ShPIeL-Performing Identity presents the world premiere of Angina Pectoris.
The Israeli Defense Minister desperately needs a heart transplant. The only available heart is from an Arab. Unfortunately, the minister recently passed legislation that Jewish people can only receive organs from Jewish donors. His daughter’s old boyfriend, who is also his cardiologist, wants to operate. His daughter and her extremist boyfriend want him to be true to his word and his culture. What’s an Israeli Defense Minister to do?
This comedy set-up could be a 10-15 minute Saturday Night Live skit. Instead, it’s a long, long one hundred minute quest for a guffaw. Playwright Michal Aharoni tries to use irony and absurdity to garner laughs. Although children getting in the way of bullets and a submissive woman blindly following a radical gets a few giggles, I can’t muster even a tiny snicker. It’s not funny. It’s tragic. The ongoing debate of a Jewish verses Arabic heart isn’t slapstick. It’s ridiculously boring. And this same argument is repeated and repeated and repeated.
Director David Y. Chack adds to the tedium by pacing this comedy slow. The characters end each scene by freezing the action followed by lights out. The choice makes the transitions clunky. Any potential comedic momentum is lost as the actor looks to be ineffectively mugging to the audience. And these mini blackouts happen for every scene! Halfway through the show, I start hoping the next blackout is the last.
I didn’t like ANGINA PECTORIS at all. And I don’t recommend it.
Running Time: One hundred minutes with no intermission
At Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont
Written by Michal Aharoni
Directed by David Y. Chack
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm
(no performance November 26th)
Sundays at 2pm
Thru January 3rd
For tickets, visit www.theaterwit.com
For more reviews and information on Chicago theatre, visit Theatre in Chicago.