Hanoch Levin

Hanoch Levin

Israel's Internationally acclaimed playwright (except in the USA).

 

Here are a couple of links for anyone who wants to learn more about this iconic Israeli

literary figure.

Haaretz

Obit NYTimes

The Review

MARK SAVITT REVIEWS THE WHORE FROM OHIO

Written by Hanoch Levin
Yiddish Adaptation by Eli Rosen
Directed by Gera Sander
David Mandelbaum. as The Old Man
Eli Rosen as His Son
Malky Goldman as The Whore

In Hanoch Levin’s The Whore from Ohio, an old man’s (David Mandelbaum.) fancy turns to lust. As a 70th birthday gift to himself he, after much haggling, agrees to pay 100 shekels for a quickie with the local whore (Malky Goldman). When the old man can’t get it up, his son (Eli Rosen) does the dirty with the whore. The son, however, is worried that his father will squander his potential legacy.

This is the basic situation, but the play is more concerned with the old man’s fantasies, dreams and dream-like memories. He muses about his first love, Evelyn; a waitress with big breasts; his kindergarten teacher; and especially the whore from Ohio who lives a fabulously luxurious life. Many of these fantasies involve elaborately repulsive imagery, such as being sucked up into his teacher’s enormous ass only to meet the dreaded postal clerk already there. This feels like a disgusting variant on a mid-century European modernist play.

While some moments are funny. a 100-minute long dirty joke gets tiresome very quickly.While this is a decidedly Jewish play, I was left with the image of a weird Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Whorey Ghost.

These are three talented performers. It’s too bad they are trapped in a scatological hell here.

UNHAPPY FACE PLUS

New Yiddish Rep at the Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave.

The Mailman Monologue referenced in the review.

I prefer to think of it as The Tuchess Monologue

Come to me Evelyn
Take shape from the mist
And be formed
Turn your butt to me
It’s hot today
Take off your bra, and then…
And here is aunt Bertie
Shalom auntie
But where is Evelyn
Oh Evelyn I howled and mounted
Evelyn has evaporated melted
Aunt Bertie you’ve come to visit
In my old age
Did you bring me herring in a jar?
Come closer
It’s hot today
Lift up your dress a little
Don’t distance yourself
What is the mailman doing here
I didn’t call you
Where is aunt Bertie
But what does the mailman want from me
Evelyn has melted
Auntie has also disappeared
Only the mailman is here
He wears a yarmulke
And demands a shekel twenty
For a registered letter
I leave the post office
I’m in a nearby cafe
The waitress
I always admired the bouncy bosom of this waitress
Come, serve me a coffee
Bend down a bit It’s hot today
Let your breasts get some air
Stay there a minute
Take the fly out of my coffee
Take it out slowly
What is the mailman doing here
Can’t you drink coffee from a thermos in the office
Leave my fantasy
There is an ongoing struggle here for every millimeter
And every time he comes it shrinks again.
I’ll flee back to the age of three
there are no mailmen there.

Oh, here’s the kindergarten teacher’s butt
She’s rolling up her dress
It’s hot today
I can see it from below
oh I could be swallowed up in that enormous duchess
But wait, I’m there, inside
Striding through sweet dark tunnels
In a giant laughing kindergarten teacher
Hidden from life, free of the yoke,
From difficult decisions
Only warmth and contentment.
Ah! I thought I was alone in her duchess!
The mailman is here too
Sitting a bit bent
and demanding a shekel twenty.
How did I get saddled
With the mailman?
Where are you kindergarten teacher?
Where are you all?
Evelyn, Aunt Bertie
Waitress with the breasts
Kindergarten teacher with the duchess?
You came from the mist
And returned to the mist.
In my pants there is a deep freeze
Only the mailman is solid and real
Lurks in my fantasy, refuses to leave.
My powers betray me
My last friend has died
The magic lantern in the darkness of my mind.
Ah here is a pain for all I have spent
And here a pain for what I didn’t spend
Where ever one looks – pain and regret
No not the pain of target
This is real – the end…
Who awaits me there?…the mailman…
A shekel twenty…
What a waste…
A man lives, dies. and the whores in Ohio
didn’t even notice.