Shampoo Queen

28-05-2024

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Tue

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18:00
28-05-2024

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Tue

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20:30
10-06-2024

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Mon

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18:00
10-06-2024

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Mon

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20:30

A new production of the musical satire by Hanoch Levin

Jaffa Theatre presents a newly updated version of the musical satire “Shampoo Queen” by the playwright Hanoch Levin, first performed at the Cameri Theatre in 1970 under the full title “Shampoo Queen: A Satirical Review in Two Parts – A Brotherhood Shadowed by Military Threat”.

The musical was written in response to the victory of the Six-Day War, where Levin saw a smugness that characterized those days. Unfortunately, due the difference in opinion, Levin’s musical caused a social uproar and was therefore taken down as a result.

“Shampoo Queen” is a work comprised of twenty-one pieces – some are songs and others are a multifaceted-discourse – that showcase the political atmosphere and policies placed aimlessly because of Israeli pride and arrogance.

In this play, Levin predicted the governmental policies enacted upon the conclusion of the war would become problematic. This production flaunts a manifestation of ridicule and a severe grotesqueness, which was characteristically fitting to Levin.

The new production is performed in Hebrew by a director and four Arab actors/singers that provide a new and ironic perspective on the known text.

In the depth of the night, unseen
In the pale moonlight
Good people go out to the garden
They give out blue gas in self-satisfaction
For the flower cups
We are OK people
People that are very OK
A generation goes and a generation comes, and we stand forever
We are OK people
People that are very OK
A finger in the butt a song in the throat
It’s good it stinks and its warm

The Play is in Hebrew
Show length: 90 min

Director/designer: Rabie khoury
Music: Original music written by Zohar Levy in 1970
Adaptation and Music Direction: Elias Grozizy

Costume designer: Yuval Levy
Movement counseling: Denis Blotzerkowski
Assistant director, show manager: Suhad Khwaiss
Photography: Raday Rubinstein

Actor-Singers:
Mouna Hawa – starring in the series “Mona” & the film “In Between”
Wattan abd El-ghany – New graduate of the Theatre Department, Tel Aviv University
Bassam Biromi – Actor and rock singer, Soloist at Ensemble Chalas
Rami Saliba – Singer Actor (Oum Kalthoum, Farid El Atrash), horse trainer

Back to the Bathtub
Shai Bar-Yaacov, Yediot Aharonot, 15.6.2023
The satiric cabaret of Hanoch Levin, taken off stage in the 70’s because of audience protest, returns to the stage, proving that many parts of the play are relevant till today.
In honor of the 80th birthday of Hanoch Levin, we celebrate his renewed staged works. The Jaffa Theatre decided to go for Levin’s early and the most provocative play, the satiric cabaret called: “Shampoo Queen.”
The factor that makes this production special is director Rabia Houri’s casting. He chose to stage Levin’s skits and songs in Hebrew, with a talented group of four actors: Bassam Biromi, Mouna Hawa, Rami Saliba and Wattan El Gani. The team’s origin displays Levin’s harsh critical statement in a revolutionary and surprising light. When they sing “We are alright people, we are really alright people,” you feel the ironic view of the educated young Arab generation on the so-called “liberal” Israeli society, who does not accept them as equals.
In regards to the songs, the director decided to keep the original tunes that Zohar Levy wrote. The actors, especially the actresses, give excellent musical performances. The musical director, Elias Grzuzi, made one significant change in the song “My Father” when he added the oud as an accompanying instrument. So, he composed this poem expressing the sentiments during the protest of the dead sons against their parents also in the Palestinian society. This funny and intriguing show conveys the vitality of a protest as well as a lot of theatrical grace.

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Shampoo Queen at Jaffa Theatre is more painful than the original
Nadav Menuhin, Walla Culture, 30.5.2023
“Shampoo Queen” is a cruel satire pertaining to Israel. However, in Arabic, the effect is drawn out to a greater extent. Hanoch Levin’s classic at Jaffa Theatre is more relevant than ever. Now, one can say that there is more dirt to wash away in the bathtub. There is one difference that changes everything: the voice of the Arab actors. The intra-Jewish parody turns into a sharp, poignant and gruesome indictment.
“Shampoo Queen” by Hanoch Levin, “A satirical review in two parts, brotherhood in the shadow of military threat.” It discusses the point of extremism in all of Israeli theatre and culture. This play is perhaps the most cruel and merciless perspective that the Israeli story can receive; we have never looked worse than we do in “Shampoo Queen”. Israelis are now hollow, jealous, pleasure-seeking, self-centered, and completely indifferent to the suffering of others. We are swept away in a wave of chaos towards another cycle of war, violence, and death in the name of some invented and misconstrued principle.

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