Moliere in Jerusalem

Moliere In Jerusalem

Moliere in Jerusalem? Oui!

A clever adaptation by the Psifas theater group brings this French classic to the stage. Psifas is an all-women’s ultra-Orthodox troupe that performs exclusively for female audiences. This Hebrew translation also adapted the materials  to make them more relevant to ultra-Orthodox society, combining clever staging with cultural competency.

The original play focuses on a rich bourgeois man with aspirations to become nobility, even if it means forcing his daughter into a marriage against her will. The main character’s wise wife acts as a foil for the greedy fool. In this version, a rich bourgeois woman has aspirations to become a politician, even if means forcing her niece to marry someone with the “right” political connections. Every time the greedy fool looks in the mirror, her own image reflected back at her embodies her conscience –making for comedic hilarity playing on the classic trope of the mirror that mimics and talks back.

The production makes use of music and dance, as per Moliere’s original, and also uses the classic Punch-and-Judy style physical comedy that is a hallmark of French culture. It was  well acted and delighted  the audience members, many of whom hailed from Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox community, providing an important cultural outlet that adds to the city’s artistic diversity.