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Shows Worth Seeing:

The Human Scale
By Lawrence Wright
3LD Art & Technology Center
80 Greenwich St.
Box office: (212) 967-7555


Is there a public issue more toxic, frustratingly polarized, or infuriatingly mired in deliberate obfuscation than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? If so, I’m not aware of it. Nor have the few attempts I’ve seen to translate all that frustration and infuriation into theatrical energy been especially fruitful or illuminating. David Hare’s Via Dolorosa was an advertisement for Hare’s profound emotions. My Name is Rachel Corrie was a flaccid polemic trading on easy sympathy for a dead teenager. Lawrence Wright’s solo show about Gaza, The Human Scale, is something else: a remarkably effective effort to teach people about the impasse—in political, historical and emotional terms—in a way they can accept regardless what “side” they think they’re on. Wright is an award-winning journalist and New Yorker writer, and his attempt at “objectivity” here is admirable and for the most part convincing. He wisely tries to keep himself out of this narrative, standing back to identify telling incidents, oddities and interesting comparisons in a surprising way. He doesn’t demonize anyone, yet he never minces words about atrocities by all parties. And he doesn’t confine himself to dry factual matters such as military attacks, political speeches or elections, but also includes psychological and characterological portraits, filled out with shrewdly chosen video clips. The result is an unprecedentedly informative, moving and deeply perceptive 80 minutes that might not leave anyone feeling less frustrated but might just leave them slightly less desperate about the situation. You feel you’ve grasped this horrific mess more deeply after seeing this show, and strange to say, there’s comfort in knowledge, even when it’s of your own destruction.



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