BT: Master of Return by Elyssa Nicole Trust
Directed by Susanna Wolk
Review by Mia Moreta
Planet Connections Theater Festivity
Teatro LATEA @ The Clemente
Saturday 7/14 @7:15pm-8:45pm
Sunday 7/15 @3:45pm-5:15pm
Saturday 8/4 @7:00pm-8:30pm
Planet Connections Theatre Festival is a wonderful way for theater artists to support Charites they believe in. Each show chooses a charity and sends part of the proceeds to it. This production benefits UJA Federation of NY! The play is about a young woman named Gabby Goldblum who is a girl that loves to party. She has had a hard past and has issues with anger and dealing with her emotions. Her family has harmed her independence and she sets off to leave them and move to Jerusalem. At first Gabby finds this transition very difficult because her roommate is an Orthodox Jew who knows very little about the world Gabby has come from or her ways. Gabby, being surrounded by Judaism in a way she had not been before begins to find meaning in her religion and through it healing. She eventually become what is called a Ba’al Teshuvah, (a non-religious Jewish person who returns to G-d and becomes traditionally observant) and is quite happy! Although her new ways cause problems for her parents and her boyfriend who find her to be NOT the girl she was before.
BT: Master of Return explores cultural aspects of this ancient religion from the different standpoints of devout and secular and gives us an apt comparison of student life – American vs Israeli. This play is an eye-opener for those who are a little undereducated about the Jewish religion as I was and watching it taught me a lot about those that follow it. I am glad I go to see it. The production overall was really engaging the cast was powerful. The directors’ (Susanna Wolk) casting and music choice and placement as well as sound effects was quite clever and engaging. The cast including Elyssa Nicole Trust as Gabby, Sue Berch as Tracey Goldblum, Scott Klavan as Jim Goldblum, Noah Levine as Philip Feldman, Abby Goldfarb as Shoshana Tauber, Harrison Friedman as Rabbi Salom Abramovich and Lauren Schaffel as Yael Abramovich were wonderful. Each of them brought so much to their roles. If you can please stop by and see this wonderful play you will learn so much.