We used the last entry in this season’s subscription at the Cameri Theatre in Tel Aviv to see the ‘The Good Soul of Szechuan’ – which is already in its second season. A good performance it was indeed. Brecht’s play written between 1938 and 1940 is known as one of his typical programmatic and dialectic theater exercise,  but it’s also a text full of power and emotion, of contrasts between virtue and evil, materialism and idealism, charity and capitalism, womanhood and machismo.  As in more than one of Brecht’s plays the ending of this moralistic tale taking place in a world haunted by tired gods disappointed with what mankind has become is open and the question in the final is addressed to the audience placing in its minds the responsibility of answering whether living according to one’s moral standing is possible in a world dominated by greed.

from www.cameri.co.il

It is the second performance that I see in this season with Ola Schur-Selektar in the principal role after ‘Yentl’. It was again a double role in which she had to spend much time in man clothes disguise, which required acting and singing as well. Tonight I became definitely convinced that the Israeli stage has in Ola one of its biggest talents, an actress full of charm and power, who knows to act, to sing, and most of all to move the audiences. Ola is a star.

The second strong part of the evening was the music composed and arranged by local musician and pop star Keren Peles. Peles demonstrates with this performance (in which she does not appear) that she is a very gifted stage music composer, and she also translated the Brecht lyrics together with director Udi Ben-Moshe. Much less inspired were the sets, close to empty stages do not fit any play or directorial concept, and in this case they did not resonate with the colorful musical score and actors approach. Yet this was overall a good evening at the theater, in a season in which the Cameri  keeps the lead as the best theater in Tel Aviv.