Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Lulu -An Auschwitz Fairy Tale

I was exchanging email recently with Daniel Hoffman, of Davka and the Israeli Ethnic Ensemble. While we were chatting about his upcoming tour of the US Midwest (I'll be seeing him play in Sandusky Ohio on Nov 7), he mentioned that he had recently scored his wife, Karine Koret's, "Lulu" a clown piece on the horrors Auschwitz.

I was intrigued. I've always been a fan of fantasy, magic realism, puppet and clown performances, and surrealist art. I find that having my sense of reality disrupted breaks me out of my comfort zone and helps me look at the well understood with new eyes (or ears). This technique works particularly well in areas where we've been overexposed and desensitized. And with sixty years of documentaries, books, films, plays, museums, and musical homages, there is little in modern Jewish culture that is as overexposed and desensitized as the Holocaust.

That's why I fell in love immediately with the short montage of Lulu that had been uploaded to YouTube. Her one woman show, co-written with the play's director Shlomi Golan, is a topsy turvy dream. Lulu's limited understanding and alternately playful and terrified recapitulation of her experience is deeply affecting. It also helped recapture the horror I felt when I was in my early teens first learning about the Holocaust, a feeling that has become a bit numb over the years. And for that, thank you.

Lulu -An Auschwitz Fairy Tale

Lulu premiered at the Teatronetto Festival of Solo Theater in Tel Aviv, Israel in April of 2009. I'm not aware of any plans for it to tour the US, but I'll let you know if I hear anything.

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