Marin Theatre Company and Director Jasson Menadakis have a hit-production with OSLO, 2017 Tony Award-Winner for Best Play, and it may well be the Best Play in the Bay Area, now. Recounting the Middle-East drama and diplomatic challenge of our time, Playwright J. T. Rogers has tapped into the heart of negotiation difficulties between the Israeli and Palestinian negotiators and their individual strengths and sensitivities in this riveting political thriller with the deft orchestration of the 1993 Oslo Accords process as brought to fruition by Norwegian Diplomat Mona Juul (expertly performed by Erica Sullivan) and her husband, social scientist/ intermediary Terje Rød-Larsen (a role nimbly portrayed by Mark Anderson Phillips).
Kudos to all the outstanding cast members: Ashkon Davaran (as Hassan Asfour: Palestinian Member of the Palestinian Communist Party, serving as the PLO Deputy Director of Int’l Relations); Aaron Davidman (as the Deputy Foreign Minister, Yossi Beilin); Joe Estlack (as Thor Bjornevog, Senior Officer with Norway’s Police Intelligence Service); Corey Fischer (Shimon Peres, Former Israeli Defense Minister); Brian Herndon (Yair Hirschfeld, Israeli Professor of Economics and Co-Founder of the Economic Cooperation Fdn.); Peter James Meyers (as Joel Singer, Israeli Army Veteran and military lawyer and legal advisor to the Israeli Foreign Ministry); J. Paul Nicholas (as Ahmed Qurie/Abu Ala, the Palestinian Financier, serving as Finance Minister of the PLO ); Adam Nieman (as Trond Gundersen: Officer with Norway’s Police Security; and German husband); Paris Hunter Paul (as Uri Savir, Director-General of the Foreign Ministry); Marcia Pizzo (character acting par excellence, as Marianne Heiberg, as Toril Grandal/housekeeper, as the Swedish hostess, and as the German wife); Charles Shaw Robinson (who adroitly shifts from Johan Jorgen Holst, the Norwegian incoming Minister of Foreign Affairs, to the humble groundskeeper, Finn Grandal); Ryan Tasker (as the Israeli professor, Ron Pundak/Co- Founder of the Economic Cooperation Fdn., and as Jan Egeland, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Norway).
You’ll find no weak link in this production: from the cast to the minimalist set design (by Scenic Designer Sean Fanning) to the perfectly choreographed set/scene changes (by Cast members) and timeless costuming (by Costume Designer Fumiko Bielefeldt ) to the recessed lighting and equally-effective active lighting (by Lighting Designer York Kennedy ), and the historical videography (by Videographer Jeff Beilin projected behind the actors, adding to the realism of the historical content), to the music (by Composer Chris Houston) and heart-pounding sound-effects (by Sound Designer Sara Huddleston) to the Dialect Coach (Jessica Berman) and to the Cultural Consultants Omar Dajani and Eran Kaplan. , as well as Laura A. Brueckner (Dramaturg).
Plan your theater experience of Oslo with the expectation of suspense, intensity, laughter, and hope.
Don’t be surprised if you find yourself thinking about this thriller long after experiencing its drama.
By Elle Alexa Simon and Flora Lynn Isaacson, Critic, SFBACC
Production Photography by Kevin Berne
Extended through October 28, 2018, tickets for Oslo can be purchased online at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Marin Theatre Company at 415-388-5208. Performances are at MTC’s Boyer Theatre, 397 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley 94941. Performances of this production are approximately 3 hours with one intermission.
Evening Performances: Tuesday through Sunday, 7:30 p.m.
Matinees: Saturdays and Sundays, 2:00 p.m.
Coming up next at MTC from November 16 through December 9, 2018, will be the World Premiere of The Wickhams – Christmas at Pemberley, by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon, directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian.