On Holy Ground | Archive | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly

On Holy Ground 

Thursday, Dec 1 2011

Religion or politics should never be discussed in polite circles, so they say, but Stephanie Liss' world-premiere play does both, focusing on the Israeli-Palestine conflict as seen through the eyes of three interconnected women. Henrietta Szold (Salome Jens), who proposed a binational state in Palestine and was a co-founder of Hadassah, the Woman's Zionist Organization of America, provides historical perspective in Act 1. In the second act, two mothers, one Jewish (Lisa Richards) and the other a Jihadist (Abbe Rowlins), share a loss. Separated by just a fence, their ideologies stretch the distance between them into an insurmountable length. Though Liss' script needs a good trimming, especially in Act 1, she fleshes out a complicated political situation. Meanwhile, director L. Flint Esquerra's cast takes what could be a dry textbook and gives it a throbbing heart. Jens has the difficult job of sustaining attention while never leaving her chair, and though she seemed at first to be reading lines from the book sitting on her lap, she's talented enough to eventually sweep the audience up. But the real power of the script comes from the story of the two mothers, as Richards and Rowlins both find the cores of their characters. Rowlins sheds light on the surprisingly convincing motivation of a devout Jihadist, and while Liss' script attempts to focus more on a discussion of the maternal instinct, it's far more interesting to consider that religious zealotry trumps all inherent tendencies. The MET Theatre, 1089 N. Oxford Ave.; Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 3 p.m.; through Dec. 18; (800) 838-3006.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: Nov. 18. Continues through Jan. 22, 2011


Location Info

Related Stories

  • "Free Palestine" Graffiti Painted on Westside Jewish Mural 7

    The Israeli - Palestinian conflict has largely remained a distant battle removed from our everyday lives. But the seemingly intractable strife this week came to Los Angeles' Westside in a small but declarative way. Someone vandalized a mural on the SoCal Workmen's Circle/Arbeter Ring building in L.A.'s most Jewish of...
  • Violence in Westwood 4

    A car-to-car beef preceded an officer-involved shooting today at a Westwood pro-Israel rally attended by Palestine sympathizers, authorities said. A "verbal and physical altercation" took place between the occupants of two vehicles at the end of the protest outside the Westwood Federal Building, an L.A. County Sheriff's Department official told...
  • On Holy Ground

    Stephanie Liss' pair of one-acts explores the timeworn Israeli/Palestinian conflict through the experience of three women. "Daughter of My People" surveys the life of Zionist leader Henrietta Szold, who co-founded Hadassah and helped save the lives of Jewish children during World War II. It's a slightly overwritten monologue gleaned from...
  • Taking Risks Onstage

    Like Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy, Queens native Hari Kondabolu tells many stories of the tomfoolery of white people. Some of the tales he relates onstage involve the comedian of Indian descent embroiled in a racist situation. Such as the time when his father picked him up at LaGuardia Airport...
  • To Quiet the Quiet

    In an apartment kitchen, a man, Quinn (Michael Marc Friedman), is questioning a raddled, nervous woman, Kathy (Lisa Richards). He seems initially to be a defense attorney coaching his client on testimony about some crime she has committed. As the scene progresses, her behavior becomes stranger and stranger: She's giddy,...
Reach the writer at rebeccahaithcoat@gmail.com

Related Content

Related Locations

Now Trending