Actor Tal Rosenzweig is hoping her current play Handle With Care will attract members of the Israeli Canadian community to the Teatron Toronto Jewish Theatre.
“Because this play has both Israeli and Jewish content in it, I think it’s a really good opportunity to bring more Israelis to the theatre,” the Israeli-born actor says. “There are a lot of Canadian Jews coming to Teatron, but there is not as much awareness within the Israeli community about this theatre. It is a very uplifting play, and I hope that both Israeli and Canadian Jewish audiences give it a chance and come to see it.”
Rosenzweig makes her Teatron Toronto Jewish Theatre debut in Handle with Care, a romantic comedy by Emmy Awardnominated writer Jason Odell Williams, at the Toronto Centre for the Arts – Studio Theatre beginning Feb.20
Handle with Care won the coveted New York Times Critic Pick for its current off-Broadway production. Rosenzweig’s castmates include Teatron veterans Zack Amzallag, Tal Shulman and Gloria Valentine.
“The play takes place in a remote town called Goodview in Virginia,” she says. “My character’s name is Ayelet, she’s in her 30s and she’s single. She follows her grandmother who left Israel because she wanted to visit Goodview, but Ayelet doesn’t know the real reason for the trip.
“Unexpectedly, her grandmother passes away. Then she finds out the courier, who was to deliver her in the casket back to Israel, loses the casket. He can’t speak Hebrew and she can’t speak English, so he brings a friend, Josh, who is Jewish so that he can try to understand her. There is a lot of miscommunication and the comedy comes from there.”
Through all the goings on, a love story unfolds between Ayelet and Josh, played by Amzallag. Rosenzweig says that inbetween the comedy that surrounds the disappearance of the casket there are flashbacks showing Ayelet’s time with her grandmother. The audience gets to see the relationship between grandmother and granddaughter, and eventually learns the reason for their trip to Virginia.
“Handle with Care brings up the whole question whether things happen because of destiny, or is it just random,” says Rosenzweig, who now makes Toronto her home. “It would be interesting if the audience left with this question in mind.”
She says the fact that her character is Israeli and that she herself comes from the same culture really helped her to have a better picture of who Ayelet is.
Rosenzweig began performing at the age of 12. Then, when she was an engineering student in California, she had the opportunity to perform in an original play call Edges at the Silicon Valley Theatre. Now an electrical engineer by day, her passion is still the theatre. She has spent six years performing for Mifgash, a Toronto Hebrew-speaking theatre company.
At the beginning of April, Rosenzweig, who enjoys reading and salsa dancing in her spare time, will perform once again for Mifgash in a musical called Kazablan.
Handle with Care runs from Feb. 20 to March 2. Tickets at Ticketmaster, or 1-855- 985-ARTS or www.teatrontheatre.com.