We have a busy theater weekend ahead, with two Beit Lessin performances (one, today, part of the ‘Pothim Bama – Stage Opening’ event) and one tomorrow at Habima. It is the start of a new season, and I am eager to see what the four theaters in Tel Aviv we are subscribed to are preparing for this year.  

 

Hana Azoulay Hasfari - source http://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%A7%D7%95%D7%91%D7%A5:%D7%97%D7%A0%D7%94_48.JPG%D7%99

 

‘Mimouna’, the play that we saw last night is written by playwright and actress Hana Azoulay Hasfari. She is born in Beersheva and I wrote about her as the principal partner of Sasson Gabai in the excellent TV series Polishuk. Her plays as most of the roles she undertakes are related to contemporary Israel social problems – status of women, conflicts between the ashkenazi and sephardi communities and between tradition and modern life. She is rightly building to herself the image of a talented (and beautiful) artist engaged in multiple creative ways in the life around.

 

source http://www.lessin.co.il/Data/ShowsImgs/%D7%9E%D7%99%D7%9E%D7%95%D7%A0%D7%94.jpg

 

‘Mimouna’, directed by Cfir Azoulay, fits well in the profile of Beit Lessin, a theater that tries (and succeeds) to survive in the competitive commercial theater environment of Tel Aviv while bringing up from time to time social and political issues on stage in a manner that is ‘digestible’ by weekend audiences, and also makes room and for the creation of Israeli original playwrights. It is not great theater in most cases (not to my taste in any case) but it succeeds sometimes to bring to stage some artistic emotion and triggers reflections on the current problems of the world close to us. This is the case for Azoulay Hasfari’s play which provides an insight into a second and third generation of a family of Morocco descent, with connections in politics, with the fights between tradition and modernity, between family and social conveniences and the different forms of rebellion of the young generation. Maybe too many problems are being brought into the time of 90 minutes of stage action, but overall the story works. The play is well written, the action is paced and the characters are credible and well acted (special mention for Sarah Von Schwartze who is playing the role that the author would have played if distributed). No surprises, but a better than average start for a new theater season.