Created out of nothingness and chaos by the amazing Clipa Theatre group in collaboration with Masha Nemirovsky, Paradize is madcap comedy, biting commentary, and a visual delight.
A play-within-a-play, Paradize takes place behind the scenes of “Paradize” – a production based on the Biblical story of creation, performed by a small theatre company. We, the audience, are on the margins of creation – the stage is beyond us, we can’t see the big picture, only the light and sounds coming from the stage, entrances, exits, props and actors getting ready to go on.
Physical theatre takes on the grand tradition of reality TV and “the making of” as all the action takes place in the wings. The director (Dmitri Tyulpanov who also designed the set) plays God while his wife (Idit Herman who designed the costumes) performs the role of Eve between sewing costumes, pouring coffee and promoting the play over the phone: “It’s a once in a lifetime experience!” Adam (Yonatan Kunda who is also the sound man) slouches in, complete with baseball cap, two gold chains hanging from his neck and navy blue trainers slung low on his narrow hips, and exchanges air kisses with Eve/Idit. Oded (Oded Zadok) the ever-resourceful backstage hand vacuums, drills, and does whatever he has to do to keep the show moving, while Zvi (Zvi Peterkowsky) diligently tries to wiggle convincingly into his role as the snake.
Paradize exposes the relationship between art and artifice in a hilarious comedy that had this reader (and from the sound of it, the entire audience) in paroxysms of laughter for the full 60 minutes. All the elements of the production – from the cardboard cut-out props (newspaper on one side, beautifully realistic zebra, tiger, flamingo and more on the other) to the witty, tongue-in-cheek costumes, perfect comic timing and nuanced performance within the theatrical madness – come together perfectly. The entire ensemble is excellent; Herman and Tyulpanov are consummate performers whose every move is mesmerizing.
For those who are unfamiliar with physical theatre, Clipa’s Paradize is a terrific introduction – clever, entertaining and entirely communicative without relying on words to convey meaning. There is very little text (in a combination of Hebrew, Russian and English), and it works on the level of sound and intonation to create a brilliant combination of sense and nonsense. Playing with the illusions of theatre, the bar and foyer area are transformed into a green paradise for this production, complete with animals, creating an inviting space to hang out before the show. Clipa Theatre is a rare jewel in a dodgy neighborhood, literally as well as metaphorically, bringing a sense of wonder, artistry and fun to the experience of theatre.
Paradize is performed by Clipa Theatre members: Idit Herman, Dmitiri Tyulpanov, Zvi Peterkowsky, Oded Zadok and Yonatan Kunda. Dramaturg: Masha Nemirovsky. Set design: Dmitri Tyulpanov. Costumes: Idit Herman. Lighting: Uri Morag. Sound: Yonatan Kunda.
Performances will take place November 10 – 13, 2010 at 20:30. Clipa Theatre, 38 Harakevet Street, Tel Aviv. Tickets are 90 NIS/70 NIS (students, soldiers, seniors), to reserve call: 03-6879219. Additional information can be found on the Clipa Theatre site.