Entries tagged with “Anat Waxman”.

In her book On Death and Dying, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, MD describes five stages of coping with the malady that she observed in the psychology of many people hit by cancer. The stages may last for different periods of time and will replace each other or may exist simultaneously: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. There is one common feeling through all these stages: Hope.

This information is well known by everybody who faced a disease that can be terminal or who had somebody close and dear who had to cope with such a malady.  Playwright Anat Gov not only has the chutzpah to bring to stage the very delicate and emotional subjects of dealing with cancer and the perspective of death, but also does it with artistic tools and from a perspective different from the one taken by the majority of the artists or writers who did it before.


source http://cameri.co.il/index.php?page_id=2195


There is no melodrama in the text of Sof Tov (which could be translated as Good End or even Happy End) written by Anat Gov and the staging of Edna Maze at the Cameri Theater in Tel Aviv. We are watching a comedy and a musical and if there is anything that is close in genre it is not the psychological journal or reflections on life and death but rather the kitsch medical soap operas that are quite popular on TV. However, the subject and the approach are unexpected. A famous actress enters hospital for chemotherapy for an advanced form of cancer. Statistics are not on her side, the disease was discovered late, she can at best win a few more years of life spent in hospitals and treatments, probably slowing but unable to stop the disease. She seems unable or unwilling to cope with the five stages of the relationship between sick people and fate, and decides to fight back her own way, refusing treatment soon after it started. Does she have the right to do it to herself and her family, has the medical personnel around the right to assist or must they continue the treatment against her own will? The moral and emotional questions asked by the play are smart and difficult if not impossible to answer. The amazing thing is that the low key approach and the comical register work so well in dealing with them on stage.


source http://cameri.co.il/index.php?page_id=2195


The mix of comedy text, music and dance on such a serious subject succeed to ask the right questions, put in move emotions and entertain most of the time in the version of the play created by Edna Maze. The emphasize is on the strong acting with a wonderful Anat Waxman in the main role, and a supporting cast in which the three actresses playing each one of the other three fellow patients creates wonderful portraits of the ex-rock girl, of the Auschwitz survivor and of the young haredi woman brought together by the destiny of the same malady. Oded Leopold as the doctor was the only actor which I liked less in the performance, he fits the exterior of the role but does not catch and relay the human vibration. Dancing and singing are not the best, the Cameri knows to do much better, and certainly Broadway or West End will do better if they will have the inspiration to take and remake this play. I am pretty sure that they will do it, as the daring and well written text of the play deserves an international career.


The six characters of Shmuel Hasfari’s new play ‘Havdalah’ do not need to seek for a playwright. Hasfari is well in control of the members two families representing two poles of the Israeli society immediatly after the six days war, and taking responsibility on directing he drives the play and its nuances up to the very last detail.

The name of the play which means in Hebrew ‘separation’ is of the Jewish ceremony that marks the end of the Shabbat and the start of the new week. It’s the symbolic separation between holy and profane, between the spirit of the Shabbat and the dealings of the day-to-day life.

Separation and departure is the theme of the play. Apparently it is a story about the cultural gap between two Israeli families – one of Holocaust survivors, the other of ‘aristocratic’ Jerusalemites whose kids fall in love and decide to marry. Looked more attentively the text says much more about the separation between the idealistic and moral pre-1967 Israel and the euphoric and materialistic post-1967 Israel, about the departure from the values that led to the foundation of the country. Although located in time in 1968 it says a lot about Israel four decades later.


The Cameri performance is not as serious or dull as it sounds, it’s actually funny, well acted, and has moments of great comedy, especially in the first act. The story is well written and works well until close to the end. Each character is well defined and relates well with the other. All the actors team is good, and it’s clear that the writer-director worked with each of them to the last details of their characters. Anat Waxman especially shines, while Gil Frank matches her with a deep and human performance. At the end of the play all characters have twisted their personalities and ‘adapted’ to the new times, only Frank’s moralistic character is almost reduced to silence, an anachronism in a new world deprived of values.