Oslo

82342-19“Oslo,” starring Jefferson Mays and Jennifer Ehle, just opened at Lincoln Center’s Vivian Beaumont Theater. It appeared last year in a limited run at one of LCT’s smaller theaters. It received glowing reviews and we’d suggest you get ticket while you can because this is a fabulous evening of theater. “Oslo” is a fictionalized retelling of the 1993 backdoor Norwegian effort to bring the PLO and the Israeli government to a peace agreement. This effort, of course, reached its culmination when Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat shook hands on the White House lawn. The play condenses the time and combines characters, but apparently stays true to the context and tone of these meetings.

We thought it worked as great theater for a number of reasons. The “story,” which we knew nothing about is compelling, the script is tight, the staging marvelous — non-stop action on a stage with spare scenery and across the board the cast is wonderful. Mays — always good — is magnificent in the role of facilitator Terje Rød-Larsen and Ehle as his wife and co-confidant is almost equally good, but the supporting cast including Anthony Azizi as one of the Palestinians, Michael Aronov as one of the Israeli delegation and Adam Dannheisser — another Israeli — are equally good.

It is almost three hours long, but it goes in a flash. It’s a play about international and personal relationships told at a complex level, and if you don’t come out of this play talking about it we’d be very surprised.

Martin McKerrow

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