Monday, April 10, 2006

Play Review: " Meryl Streep"

The fact that this play has been attracting crowds for over a month in Beirut should've been a hint, but I still went ahead and checked out "Testofel Meryl Streep". The story was so lame that no matter how good a job the director and cast did in dressing it up nicely, there was no way to salvage the play. To be fair, the director, Nidal Al Ashkar, did an excellent job putting out a professional product. The cast as a team they completed each other, Rana Alameddine with her looks and Elie Karam with his skill.

On to the lame, because lame is more fun to critique. The writing was just poor; cheap laughs, a story that goes everywhere yet reaches nowhere, and a cliche taboo. Just in case you haven't heard yet, "Women have sex!" Yeah, I'm not kidding. Your Mom has sex too , by the way.

This "taboo" by itself is not enough to carry the show. People do watch Sex in the City, The L Word, and Desperate Housewives, so there is no novelty in that subject. Oh, but they speak in
Arabic! Ok, in that case the Beirut theater scene these days is heaven for you. You have "Testofel Meryl Streep". If you still need to satisfy your fix "Hayat Al Mar'a Al Sirriya" should do it. Not enough? There's "Sayyida, Hurra, Mustakilla". You're still horny? "Hakki Nasswane " opens up next week on Masrah el Madina. Enjoy.

9 comments:

AbdulKarim said...

There is one sleezy Egyptian movie from the 70's that completely broke the taboo. It's called "Zee2ab La Ta2kol Lahem" (Wolves That Don't Eat Meat) and stars Nahed Sherif who appears completely naked, full frontal, in the movie. Although it wasn't a pleasant site, the idea that this woman was Arabic and spoke Arabic during these scenes turned out to be a turn on :) Hmmm, maybe you should give the Egyptians some credit Jamal.

Ramzi said...

Haven't seen the play myself, as I rarely find the topics of local plays remotely interesting to me.

Correction: it's Rana not Rania.

Jamal said...

ak-now full nudity on the stage would be breaking a taboo.

ramzi- thanks for the correction, i knew that, i mixed up names with an alameddine i knew. It's a shame this is what sells, there was an excellent play on MM in december that got cut short because no one showed up.

Eve said...

I wasn't impressed much, probably because I had read the book and knew what my expectations were. but all in all I found it was ok. The highlights to me were the way they moved in slow-motion, and the big screen TV. the husband irritated me, but I'm sure this kind of people is abundant. and Rana was not bad in the last monologue scene (you know, where everything ends up being related to our civil war)

hind said...

hey. I know teh directing couldve been done better and that the subject matter is not as exciting to us folk who have moved past giggling when we see an exposed thigh or hear the word sex out loud, but i did think that rana and elie did a good job, and not simply because of her, granted, good looks. She worked very hard on this play and did better than most other actreses ive seen around here. I wouldnt just compliment her looks and thats all, i believe thats unfair to her dedication and her, yes, talent. ASnything i didnt like in the play comes from the stylized directing which distanced me a little from the actors, but they are obviously skilled and hard working.

Jamal said...

Hind- I thought Rana tried TOO hard to emphasize the neurotic aspect of the Woman's personality that it came out very forced. Just my humble opinion. Elie did a heck of job, i jusdt hope he's not like that in real life ;o)

hind said...

haha. Elie is a VERY close friend of mine and used to be my boss fora coupla years. Hes amazing, and absolutly the opposite of his character, what a wonderful man and his marriage to rana is a tribute to friendship and love unlike any other ive seen. He did a great job true, and hes more experienced than she is, and anything really forced in her i blame on the directing. Being one myself, i can see how a director would lead the actor down a certain path and voila, these were the results. Did you see lina khoury's play? lina is also a good friend and the play was much better than i expected, having had enough from women talking about general cliched problems a lot of us have moved past. BUt it was rather funny and quite creative at times, well done and lovely actresses.

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