North-American premiere
of April Fools at the Segal

Israeli Karen Peles’ adult rock cabaret is a unique experience

By Byron Toben

July 5, 2022

April Fools‘ return to live theatre got a boost with the Segal Centre’s mounting of Israeli Karen Peles’ adult rock cabaret play. Ms. Peles is the leading pop singer in Israel. April Fools, written by her, was a hit there as well as in parts of Europe. This was its North American premiere, and, despite the title, it ran from May 1 to 22.

April Fools

As usual, it was preceded by the popular Sunday@Segal, expertly hosted by CJAD’s Sarah Deshaies, interviewing director Moshe Kepten, choreographer Sean Cheesman, assistant choreographer Kelly Fletcher and intimacy coach Luciana Burcheri. When I attended the May 8 matinee, the audience was still masked but not the seven live performers.

Ms. Peles is the leading pop singer in her native country – sort of a Celine Dion of Israel. April Fools, written by her, was a hit there as well as in parts of Europe.

The story or plot, such as it was, included lead singer (and pianist) Eva Foote, who last appeared at the Segal in the Irish duet rock opera Once. Here, she anchors the fast-moving show as a mother of two children with a husband she loves. However, she also falls in love with a photographer (Daniel Murphy), leading to a romantic affair. Eva is backed by six lively and lusty women of her mind with names like Morality (Heather McGuigan), Libido (Jamie McRoberts), Confidence (Julia Juhas) Music (Zou Zou Robidoux), Poet (Ruthie Nkut) and Doubt (Dominique LeBlanc).

April Fools

While watching this impressionistic spectacle, I could not repress the literary allusions it conjured up in my mind. Aristotle famously declared that a play should have a beginning, a middle and an end. This one seemed to be mostly middle, albeit well-executed.

Pirandello famously wrote, “Six characters in search of an author.” This one might well have been entitled, “Six women manifestations in search of a lover.”

James Joyce’s Molly Bloom famously exclaimed, “yes, yes, oh yes” in her reverie. Self-explanatory.

Jerry Lee Lewis famously declared that, “There’s a whole lot of shaking going on.” Here, there was most definitely a whole lot of writhing going on.

All in all, a unique experience. The audience could also be interactive with their smartphones. Hi-tech has really changed watching theatre since Sophocles. Wonder what he would make of it?

Images: Leslie Schachter

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Byron Toben, a past president of The Montreal Press Club, has been WestmountMag.ca’s theatre reviewer since July 2015. Previously, he wrote for since terminated web sites Rover Arts and Charlebois Post, print weekly The Downtowner and print monthly The Senior Times. He also is an expert consultant on U.S. work permits for Canadians.
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