So there I was, after watching over an hour of something called “Monologues,” about the search for Jewish identity, weeping—this hardcore journalist of 30 years-plus gushing tears uncontrollably.
In fact, it took everything I had to keep from going soft in the knees and collapsing straight to the floor of The Triad Theatre on West 72nd Street.
That’s how moved I was.
That’s how blown away I was.
That’s how good this show was.
Monolgues, quite simply, consists of a bunch of reflections by 20-something Jewish-Americans who had made first-time trips through Israel for 10 days, sponsored by a group called Taglit-Birthright Israel.
When my new Facebook friend, Farrah Fidler, who's also one of the performers, invited me to attend on Wednesday night, I was convinced I’d be bored to death.
Still, I went—out of support for Farrah, though pretty certain the thing would suck and I’d have to tell Farrah the next day, lying through my teeth, how much I loved it.
And, of course, her.
That never happened.
From the moment the show began, with everything inside me ready to resist, with me having already schemed a quick and quiet exit, I found myself instead pulled right in, and through 12 monologues—soulful and poignant and witty—capped by a rousing close of a rap song, it never let me go.
I laughed out loud. I nodded my head enough times to pull a neck muscle. I got goosebumps. I smiled. I chuckled. And, during each five-minute monologue, at some point, I broke down.
The words were so beautifully crafted, so powerful, so human; the performances all honed to brilliant gems.
I can’t thank all the performers enough for such an unforgettable night: Farrah and Diana Arnold and Jessica Asch and Ruvym Gilman and Greg Aguele and Ilya Khodosh and Ruby Marez and Daliya Karnovsky and Boris Zilberman and Shawn Shafner and Yael Miriam and Lindsay Arienne Weiner and Max!M!l
Your talent awes me, inspires me.
And thanks to director/Def Poet Vanessa Hidary (“The Hebrew Mamita”) and producer Lauren Eisenberg.
You should all be so proud of what you created.
Something truly special.
What a rare thing.
Here are a couple of teaser videos:
Over the next few days, I'll begin posting videos of the complete performances.