Play #94 - The Key by Vivian Neuwirth
Anne and Davi stumble in the door of Anne's apartment after what has clearly been a night of a lot of laughing, and not a small amount of drinking. Anne lives here in New York, Davi is here from Israel visiting his friend Chaim. Anne and Davi are very drawn to each other, but each time that Davi tries to make a move, Anne seems to resist. Eventually it comes out that Anne is not exactly what she seems. Her family is Palestinian, and when they moved to the states, they all but erased that part of their identity - they claim to be French, they speak no Arabic in the home, etc. This revelation is difficult for Davi, who is an active soldier in the Israeli army. They argue, but also manage to reach something of an accord. Then, after spending the night sleeping beside each other, Anne gets up to go to work, making plans to meet Davi for lunch at the famous restaurant at her office - in Tower 1 of the World Trade Center. And, you guessed it, it's a September morning. Fade to black.
Let's be honest - this piece was a little heavy handed for my taste. The secretly Palestinian woman doesn't think that's going to be an issue when she brings home the Israeli soldier she just met? She has kept this secret for how long, and it comes out like this? And then, the fact that they stay together, that's supposed to be some sort of hope for peace? And then, of course, toss in a little 9/11 for good measure, providing a heinous backdrop for that sublime moment of peace. The characters are kind of flat; they never develop beyond metaphors for me. And the 9/11 suggestion at the end... sort of emotionally manipulative. My Master's thesis was about post-9/11 theatre, so I do have an awful lot of thoughts about plays dealing in this subject. And for my money, it's an earnest attempt, but not one I would recommend to anyone.