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An irreverent take on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Oren Safdie and Ronnie Cohen’s musical creates strange bedfellows in Israeli Assaf (Jeremy Cohen) and Palestinian Aziz (Mike Mosallam), who are forced to share a London flat when Assaf returns home after breaking up with his German girlfriend (the first in a series of improbably humorous juxtapositions). The two refuse to live together, so their American landlord, NYC (Janine Molinari), is called upon to arbitrate. However, her loyalties are split between the handsome arms dealer (Assaf) and the enticing drug dealer (Aziz). Receiving no assistance, the roommates decided to make the best of a bad situation, getting close and sharing more than just the flat. The songs, spanning a range of musical styles, lampoon the history of the Middle East conflict as well as its modern incarnations. Cohen’s voice is the strongest, but there are few solos in the ensemble-driven piece that includes numbers such as the dueling “My Hometown,” the plaintive “Let Me Come Visit America,” and the tensely hilarious “Tea Time.” Both Molinari and Anthony Patellis play multiple secondary characters including reporters, Assaf’s paramour and Aziz’s uncle, plus a couple of suicide bombers. While the cast has good energy, Safdie’s direction lets the heavily allusive material hang too ambiguously between being a bawdy comic romp and a story about real people.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 5 p.m. Starts: March 22. Continues through April 13, 2008