TEIBELE AND HER DEMON -- At the Dreeger through December 2.
Isaac Bashevis Singer, God bless him, a great man, a Nobel Prize-winner, a man who is faithful not only to his original lanuage but also to his original typewriter, Isaac Bashevis Singer has written, with Eve Friedman, don't know her personally but if he chose her she must be worthy of him, has written a play, a nice folk story, brand-new, takes place in Frampol, Poland, hundred years ago, it's got humor, it's got a point even, not to mention sexy, and onto the play Isaac Bashevis Singer has tacked, may God forgive him, an ending, looks like "Faust" the opera, like maybe a church play. With incense.
With incense ?
With incense .
And the Angel of Death, he doesn't carry a cross exactly, he carries a sword, but only it looks like a cross.
"Teibele and Her Demon," a nice little two-page story it would make in The New Yorker magazine, maybe two and a half, you can't count the space they use for the funny pictures, it's about a woman, such a beautiful woman, and a man, oh, my, such a man, and such a coat he's wearing -- rags! -- he loves her, she can't stand him, he gets an idea, appears to her in the middle of the night, says he's a demon, she can't see him, it's dark. However, feel him -- yes. That she can do.
The point, it's a good point, very deep, makes you think, it's that the deceiver is not the only deceiver, but the deceived, too, she's deceiving, or otherwise the deceiver couldn't deceive her without she knows all about it. You're laughing? You'd rather see maybe a play about a man's got heartburn? That's today what they call a play, everybody don't feel so good, might as well stay home, watch television, watch your relatives. This play, it's a story. A human story, a love story, and also a little switcheroo, doesn't hurt.
But all this I'm telling you, it's only the first act, maybe a little more.
You watch the girl, actress' name is Laura Esterman, very nice makes quick the costume changes, also got a friend, very nice, name is Lee Lawson, makes the wisecracks, and the hero, you can call him a hero, actor's name is F. Murray Abraham, (Murray Abraham?) him, too, quick takes the shirt off, puts it on, makes with the quick jokes, he's also got a friend, rabbi comes in, wears a fur coat, a matching hat, also fur. Whole thing takes maybe an hour, an hour and a half, who knows, goes by like that.
Then comes no more comedy, no more brand-new old folk tale, comes the tragedy, comes -- from where? From the old typewriter Isaac Beshavis Singer got, only writes Yiddish, American New Yorker magazine got to explain in italics afterwards it's a story had to be translated after it's been written on 86th Street?
All of a sudden, everybody's running around, no more funny story, the rabbi makes with the Scarlet Letter, another fellow's got the garlic, there shouldn't be any vampires, the stage is full of symbols, full of morals, full of dry ice, sounds like the Concorde airplane goes overhead, please, excuse me, Isaac Beshavis Singer, famous Nobel Laureate, writes such lovely stories, not only folk tales, also wonderful stories in New Yorker magazine, also in paperback, about middle-aged lovers, they shouldn't all have to be teenagers, Isaac Beshavis Singer, What Happened ?