Yesterday, the posse battled 10,000 police officers, road closures, and a drunken pot dealer to get to Tel Aviv. Once there, we headed to the beach to watch the incoming planes, the setting sun… and to play in the water! Ok, so I was the only one who went in, but it was lovely. I frolicked, and they had an impromptu dance party. (“All we need is music.” – “There’s always music in my head!”) After dinner at an Indian restaurant, we headed to the theatre.
Avenue Q. In Hebrew. Amazing. Before hand, those of us who had seen the original version in New York had speculated about how the cultural references would translate. The first is that Gary Coleman was replaced with Michal Yannai. Michal was a child star in Israel who was riddled with gossip and rumours as a young adult (actually, even fairly recently) including a sextape (à la Paris Hilton). She poked fun at herself during the play, referencing nudity, her floundering career, and more that I didn’t catch. Christmas Eve, a Japanese character in the NY version, was replaced with Latina (name and ethnicity). Rod’s song about his fictional girlfriend in Canada has the cities changed – assuming that Israelis wouldn’t know Alberta and Vancouver, the cities were changed to Toronto (where she’s from) and Sydney (her name; I’m guessing the lyrics refer to Sydney, Australia, to make it obvious that he’s confused, and probably not to Sydney, BC). Some of the races and jokes in “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist” were changed. The wedding was changed; BZ and I burst out laughing when the characters came out wearing kippot and the wedding was under a chuppah.
But it was pretty much the same play. And it will be playing in Jerusalem next weekend, January 17 and 19. If you want to go, and pay a reduced fare of 130NIS, let me know. I can give you a code that gets you that fare.
ETA: You can also read BZ’s review over at Jewschool.
[Photoset from the day, with commentary.]