Time Out says
Culture Project. By Iris Bahr. Dir. Will Pomerantz. With Bahr.
Women tend to know their own minds (let’s just ignore the peanut gallery on this one), and so one-woman shows are usually an onslaught of a single (usually sassy) attitude. The best of them, though, can show us a house divided against itself. Since nowhere does divided homes better than the Middle East, solo performer Iris Bahr needs to split herself into a dozen arguing voices to discuss the whole meshuga mess. If in Dai (Hebrew for “enough”) she never particularly surprises us—these are well-rehearsed fights in the world as well as onstage—she does elegantly demonstrate the empathetic skills we’ll need to fix things.
Bahr’s conceit is simple: She roams among café tables in Tel Aviv, doffing and donning shirts and wigs to impersonate the average citizens she finds there. Most of them aren’t actually Israeli: There is the chilling American fundamentalist, the Russian-Catholic prostitute with forged papers, and a handful of visiting diaspora from New York. Between each “interview,” Bahr jolts us with a bomb blast—and by the end of the evening, your shoulders will be riding permanently up around your ears. Her endearing portraits of confused, often lonely people may not add up to a whole lot in the end. But the cumulative effect of all those explosions makes it clear how hard it is to do any sort of clear thinking when you’re steeling yourself for the next ka-boom.—Helen Shaw