BWW Reviews: The World Premiere of THE BOOK OF ODED: CHAPTER TWO Rocks!
The Book of Oded: Chapter Two/by Oded Yosef Kassirer/directed by Sammie Wayne, IV/Working Stage Theatre/thru February 15,2015
At times funny, poignant, or tear-inducing; Oded Yosef Kassierer's The Book of Oded: Chapter Two grabs hold of your attention in a totally involving, one-man retelling of a decade of Oded's life; and doesn't let go until the seventy minutes are over. Oded's gift of storytelling has him sharing every-day, yet memorable conversations between himself and his various friends, family and first lover Gil; seamlessly re-enacting them all in with only the slightest change of body language to distinguish between himself and who he's conversing with. Sammie Wayne, IV directs the charismatic Oded in a smoothly paced, totally conversational, informal tone.
Oded recounts of his initial blind date with the closeted Israeli lieutenant and how their relationship develops, with Gil not out to his fellow soldiers or most of his family. The first time Oded gets invited to dinner with Gil's family, a chance choice of clothes innocently illustrates his and Gil's like minds. Oded's relationship with Gil morphs into numerous configurations -closeted lovers, shared home dwellers with two dogs, caretaker-patient, exes, life-long friends. Oded's range of emotions so real all the time, then so deeply personal sometimes. And his dance moves so beyond hysterical!
With a few minor tweaks and a more generous production budget, this world premiere could easily fit very nicely in an intimate major LA theater (Geffen, Taper). The simple, single set (also designed by Oded) with clever four-sided prop pieces effectively and efficiently suggest the different settings Oded's in (his apartment in Tel Aviv, an APLA dance benefit in Los Angeles, a hospital room in New York).
The accolade "tour de force" would definitely apply here! Bravo Oded! Do check out this Book! Love to see what Chapter 3 reveals.