Theater

Obsession

by

Andrea Kleine and Yasmeen Godder shared an evening at the Duke on 42nd Street. Godder’s powerful i feel funny today suggested a lot with spare theatrical means and big movement. A white wall and door, potted plant, and chair and lamp behind a red slash across the floor evoked a haunted domestic landscape. A couple—Iris Erez in a bilious green dress, Matan Zamir in a mustard-yellow shirt—looked eerie and grotesque under Jackie Shemesh’s lighting, their torturous relationship exploding like Pollock splashes and drips. Body parts jerked and propelled on their own impulse; the dancers splayed and madly fidgeted, pawed and plucked at each other as if trying to drag skin from bone. When Zamir yanked Erez into a slow dance, she went deadweight. Throughout this tumult, Tamy Ben-Tor sat moonfaced and immobile in her chair—the young man’s memory of Mom?—sometimes breaking into an odd grin or a silent laugh, never uncrossing her legs or unclasping her hands. In one instance, traversing the red barrier, Zamir crouched by her feet, crying into her hemline. Then, like a dog, he grabbed and shook it in his jaws. This stirred her to rise, speak, and reveal her horrifying passivity. Late in the piece, a party girl (Godder) burst through the door and danced by Erez’s side in identical gyrations—her mom, perhaps?—then disappeared out the door.

I’ll leave Claude—Kleine’s earnestly playful, theater-within-theater performance based on lesbian surrealist photographer Claude Cahun—to other critics. As the intriguing Cahun (Kleine) said, opening this piece of intricate artifice, “There is too much of everything.” In the mix, words and acting outweighed movement, and required closer inspection than one go-round could afford.