Wiener Zeitung - June 15, 2004


Two sides of tradition and tolerance
Pessach/Ramadan is a two-part theatrical performance being performed in Vienna by the Jewish Theater of Austria. Each part is based on a short story. While each segment be taken on its own merits, collectively seen Pessach/Ramadan is a powerful statement on the universalit of the human condition; about family, history, love and tradition.

The first part, Pessach, was written by the American novelist David Mamet and depicts an elderly woman and her granddaughter preparing food for a Jewish holiday. The girl`s innocence and curiosity are offset by her grandmother`s musings about her own distand childhood in the "Old World", a childhood fondly recalled for its good times, but which was also marred by suffering and intolerance. Anne Wiederhold convincingly plays both roles.

The second segment, Ramadan by Arab writer Huda Al-Hila, portrays an Iraqi mother and daughter visiting a bazaar and prepare food for Ramadan. Inge Maux excels in her dual roles of a sometimes exasperated mother and a daughter who, as most children do, constantly questions her mother`s traditions. The interchange is both comical and touching.

The bazaar scene is especially enchanting with stagecraft and puppetry providing unique and entertaining atmosphere of magic realism. The result of both parts is enjoyable and thought-provoking. Pessach/Ramadan was adapted and expertly directed by Jewish Theater of Austria`s Warren Rosenzweig.

Joe Remick

© 2004 Wiener Zeitung