Thursday, April 14, 2011

Two Jews Walk Into A War

Two Jews Walk Into A War… has walked into InterAct Theatre at 2030 Sansom Street  and will remain through May 8, 2011. Run, don’t walk to see this hilarious production. InterAct’s Artistic Director, Seth Rozin, has written a blockbuster loosely based on Zeblyan Semantov and Ishaq Levi, the last two Jews left in Afghanistan. Zeblyan is brilliantly played by John Pietrowski and Ishaq is superbly played by Tom Teti. Both of these fine actors performed the first reading of Two Jews… in 2009.  As the show opens with the two men on either side of a casket in a  shattered synagogue, it is apparent that they can not even look at each other, let alone converse. And thus starts the beginning of the myriad of problems confronting the two men who want to find a way to remain in Afghanistan and repopulate without having to encounter each other. The play runs 95 minutes without an intermission but frequent blackouts give the illusion of the passage of time. In one such brief interlude the two get into an argument about who was more badly treated by the Taliban. A typical exchange between the two men includes: “They tied me up and bound and gagged me.”  “Well I was I was put on a slab of concrete and tortured for two days” : “Oh yeah? That was nothing. I was thrown into a hole and given no food or water for three days…”  “Oh you think that was bad?  For four days….” (blackout)  The story that is told is poignant as well. The two men,  forced to co-exist without a mediator, develop a symbiotic relationship. Ishaq is very learned and has memorized  the Torah. Zeblyan is good with his hands and has many questions about God and man’s interpretation of his word. To save their Jewish community, they enter into a debate similar  to the principle of which came first, the chicken or the egg? Their question becomes, “Which should come first, a Rabbi or a Torah?”  In answering this question and working toward the fulfillment of their individual dreams, the two men not only almost kill each other (literally) but also come to  a better understanding of “the greatest story ever told.” For tickets or more information call  215-568-8079 or visit online at

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your edifying review. I have seen other plays written by Seth Rosen. Your review confirms that this is up to the quality I've come to expect from him. I shall make every effort to see this performance.