The Play Begins Before You Even Realize It
When the audience enters the theater, the actors are scattered throughout, mingling with the guests. One of the actors applies her makeup with help from the audience, and another tries on different articles of clothing, asking what the audience members think of each wardrobe change. One of the actors is sweeping the stage and chocolate is handed out as the show begins (again).
It’s Brutally Honest
All comedy is based on a certain amount of truth. One of the things that makes the Odd Birdz show so unique is the truths that support each of the group’s skits. In the beginning of the show, one skit portrays an honest date. The man and woman meet at a restaurant and exchange honest banter like, ‘My hands are sweaty,’ ‘I’m so lonely, I take the subway just to be around people,’ ‘I’m messy, unfaithful, and I don’t shave my armpits!’ and even the waiter chimes in. You’ll have to see the rest in person, because some of the banter is hilariously inappropriate.
It Suits Adults Of All Ages
Nearly everyone will find something to relate to in the Odd Birdz show. If you travel a lot in and out of Israel, you will probably feel for the man just trying to get past Ben Gurion Security in one skit. If you like to go for a ladies night out once in a while, you will likely relate to the ‘OMG’ skit, which uses just words and noises to portray what a girls night out looks like over time. If you have trouble walking to your seat in a movie theater, there’s also a skit for you — as long as you can make it to your seat in time for the show to start!
You’ll Learn Some Hebrew
Even the English show has some Hebrew mixed into it. During one of the skits, about half of the dialogue is in Hebrew, and there are translators who are part of the skit. Some of the Hebrew one may learn includes some curse words that you probably will not learn in school but are very important to know on the streets of Tel Aviv.
The Actors Are Expression Geniuses
To say that the actors have mastered the comedy in facial expressions and exaggeration would be an understatement. The energy it must take them to complete a show is shocking. The screaming, singing, jumping, and running across the stage — they express themselves with every muscle of their body, which makes the show simply thrilling to watch.
It Has A Little Bit Of Everything
Lip-syncing? Check. Swing dancing? Check. Selfies? Check. Puppetry using just the actors’ feet? Check. Even the transitions between skits add a new element to the show. In one skit, after clothes are hurled around the stage, those who come to ‘clean up’ before the next skit are dressed as Pac-Man characters, eating up the articles of clothing and trying not to get eaten by the ghosts.
The show even has some self-references. In one act, two characters are talking about whether they consider the Odd Birdz show to be ‘off Broadway.’ They ask the audience the same question, adding an interactive element. There are also references to Israel, such as the skit located at Ben Gurion Airport. Another self-referential moment is when one character screams, ‘You’re a terrible person! You deserve to make aliyah (immigrate to Israel) and stay in Israel forever!’
You’ll Get To Taste Some Cheap (But Yummy!) Champagne
At the end of the play, the actors beat everyone to the lobby and stay there serenading the audience members, handing out cheap Champagne while exclaiming, ‘Champagne! It’s cheap!’ It may be cheap, but it’s quite sweet and tasty, a perfect ending to an already amazing show. If you want more than a taste, enjoy a cool Tel Aviv bar that can top off your evening.
One thing to know about the show is that there is no intermission. So if you are one to get hungry half way through, it’s recommended to grab some dinner beforehand around the area. If you’re dying for a taste of the show, you can always find a skit on the Tziporela Theatre Company’s website. Warning, the skits in real life are even better than they appear. Odd Birdz is a show not to be missed. They only thing you will regret if you do choose to go is not going twice.
By Eliana Rudee
Eliana Rudee is a fellow with the Haym Salomon Center and the author of the “Aliyah Annotated” column for JNS.org. She is a graduate of Scripps College, where she studied international relations and Jewish studies. Her bylines have been featured in USA Today, Forbes, and The Hill. Follow her column on JNS.org on Facebook, and Instagram.