My First Sony, performed in Hebrew and English

The Divorce from Hell

One of the most amusing yet profoundly tragic tales of the disintegration of a family is the subject of a one-person play, My First Sony, playing for one more night at Eclectic Theatre. Adapted from a best-selling Israeli novel of the same name by its author, Benny Barbash, it was performed in English, Tuesday night by one of Israel’s leading actors-directors, Roy Horovitz. On Wednesday,  there will be two performances, one in Hebrew, followed by one in English.

Although some of the publicity states that the play reflects some of the societal issues of Israel in the 1980’s, my opinion is that it portrayed a dysfunctional couple of any age, and any society. In our post 12-step age, where we have learned not to make “you” statements, not to  take another’s personal inventory, nor make personal attacks even when we are dealing with the worst schlemiel in the universe, the destructive dance the husband and wife engaged in was brilliantly enlightening and made me cringe.

It is the age old dilemma, he has the artistic mentality, but is a mediocre playwright, she is the bread-winner and the more she makes him feel inadequate the more he acts out by philandering, going AWOL, and cruelling taking out his frustrations on those he loves. All that is missing is booze.

In order to cope with the bedlam surrounding him and his complicated relationship with his father, who is capable of extreme love as well as cruelty to his son, Yotam, an 11 year old, begins to record conversations of everyone around him. The play, in monologue form, recounts these conversations with some hilarious editorial comments. Not all the recorded conversations involve his parent’s spats: some are overheard conversations in the locker room, his father engaging in clandestine infidelity when he thinks the kids are sleeping, the gossip of his mother’s female friends and the neighborhood kids viewing some domestic violence.

The Israeli actor, Roy Horovitz, performed for more than an hour in English, and although at first he was a little nervous and sped through his lines, after about ten minutes the comic timing kicked in and it was hilarious and heart-wrenching at the same time. His moderate Israeli accent gave it a certain authentic flavor which added to the charm.

For anyone who needs to be reminded how not to behave to one’s spouse, or one’s children or indeed any other member of the human race, this is a must see.

 

My First Sony. Adapted by Benny Barbash from his novel of the same name. Eclectic Theatre 1214-10th Ave. Pike/Pine Corridor, Capitol Hill. Wed. Sept. 16th only. 6:30pm in Hebrew. 8 pm in English. Tickets: (800) 838-3006. www.eclectictheatercompany.org

 

 

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