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eee - reese

That's how you say her name. Maybe everybody in Israel says Iris that way.
Anyway, it's also how you say brilliant in theatrespeak.

Iris Bahr grew up in New York City and moved to Israel at age 12, stayed there until she got out of the IDF [Israeli armed forces] ...maybe after 19? ... Then she came back here and got into TV acting, film directing, got into Brown Univ in Providence and graduated with a degree in neuropsychology and religion [interesting combo, that.] She also wrote the solo hit DAI. Which in Hebrew means "enough" and in English means the same thing.

She plays a female CNN reporter [French extraction] doing random interviews in a Tel Aviv coffee shop at exactly the wrong time. She also plays each one of the persons interviewed --- and they are all blown up by a suicide bomber, each one by one, as their separate interviews proceed. Each explosion is deafening, shakes the seats, and kills everyone on the stage and in the audience; of course, there is only a single physical person on the stage. Who revives herself, changes costume into another personality, and goes on ...

Regardless of the PR photos, Iris does NOT appear naked behind the Israeli flag [although she told me her current version has had some scenes deleted, to fit into the small time slot preceding the next same-evening show which is a totally different attraction] ...

This is pretty dark material, but along the way she even gets some humor out of the characters and explores a love affair. The favorite coffee-shop personality is Svetlana, the whore from the Ukraine who remarks that she has to be careful what she says in the heat of passion, since she doesn't want to be induced to blurt out "Oh, Shmuel, you were soooo soooo good, that's a 200-shekel discount !!"

We were about 60 in the small theatre and it looked like there were only five or six Gentiles [including me]. So I was very intrigued by what the reaction to Shmuel [and the others] would be. Many stared daggers at the stage with looks that would curdle milk ... while others, including groups of middle-aged Jewish ladies, laughed themselves silly and then became miserable when appropriate. Many of us jumped at each explosion, even though we knew it was coming -- quite well done. Well-written, too: the reporter describes the front-door entrance of the lover whom we know is the suicide bomber and the reporter does not [yet] ... he goes right up to his girlfriend, hugs her, and

Iris is lovely, utterly charming, and very fluently bilingual --- and I *really* felt marginalized because when I met her post-show, I was the only one in our group who was unable to speak Hebrew with her: she told me that she'd performed both downtown in the West Village, in the round [audience on all four sides of her] and in Edinburgh, on a standard stage in front of thousands. She liked the results in each of the theatres, it was a "totally different feeling" among the staging varieties.

She also wrote a book subtitled 'my travels through Asia as a twenty-year-old pseudo-virgin'. No explosions there, I guess [not nitrate-related, anyway].

http://www.irisbahr.org

Show's been extended into March 08: it's just off Times Square on 47th :)

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