This is an extraordinarily complex work - drawing on Jewish mysticism and folklore in its exploration of some of life?s biggest issues, among them truth, love, honesty, faith, maternity, birth and death, loyalty, gender identification, sexuality and more. It is amazing to realize that this work was written by a young woman in her mid-20s. As the play begins, Samuel Cohen William Tatlock Green is good-humoredly bantering with his law partner, Renee Watson Tia Stivala, when they are interrupted by the arrival of Eli MacLeod Andrews. There is something otherworldly about Eli and his arrival seems to portend something mysterious or even sinister. When Samuel invites him to his home to share Sabbath dinner with his wife, Ruth Olivia Rorick, and himself, the mystery deepens. Who, actually, is Eli? He appears to be something more than a man and yet, at the same time, something less. Is he a Golem? A Dybbuk? Or an Angel from Heaven, sent by God to help Ruth get the baby she so desires, much like the Angel sent down by God to Sarah and Abraham in Biblical times? Eventually, it all does get sorted out and we are provided with the answers we are seeking. ChanaPorter is a very talented writer destined to have a significant impact upon the theatre. That, at least, I think is besharet. I have posted an expanded version of this review and reviews of several other plays on my blog www.aseatontheaisle.blogspot.com.
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