Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Anali Goldberg's Edgy Borscht Belt Trilogy Brings the Laughs

Anali Goldberg, star of the one woman show 'The Borscht Belt Trilogy' performs in Berlin on February 20, 2020

The Borscht Belt Trilogy brings Berlin, "something Jewish, something Sexual" by Artist Ariel Nil Levy

Finding the performance space for The Borscht Belt Trilogy, Anali Goldberg's latest offering of comic absurdity, was half the fun. Held over two nights in an industrial part of Neukölln, I almost didn't find the venue. Fortunately, while walking down a dark laneway on Ziegrastraße, I spotted two people who looked like they, a) Knew where they were going and, b) Were dressed as if they were headed to watch an alternative Theater show. Thankfully I was right on both counts.

Walking up a dark stairwell I noticed the Graffiti covering most every available square inch, along with a run-down quality to the building. Outside the performance space was a torn up brown leather couch, big enough to seat two. I immediately plunked myself down to wait in comfort.

When the show did start, I was pleasantly surprised. As a one-woman show, The Borscht Belt Trilogy is even stronger than a group performance of Anali's I saw a few months ago in Lars Deike's Ostkreuz Atelier.

Theatergoers who attended were rewarded with a night of filthy, edgy humour. Ariel Nil Levy's alter ego for the show, Anali Goldberg, is a strange hybrid of Berlin clubber and Jewish mother. In character, Ariel's voice is rich, warm and deep. It easily filled the performance space, demanding his audience's full attention.

Since the show was staged in the middle of the space everyone had a good view of the action. A smart choice by the Director. Good use was made of props, including a large metal bucket, Aubergines (more on them later) and even the Bathroom.

Ariel Nil Levy's comedy has much in common with the late George Carlin, and the Canadian comedy group, The Kids in the Hall. It is consistently filthy, outrageous, and deliberately sets out to push the audience's buttons.

For example, near the end of the show, Anali has an argument with her husband, Edgar, who she has turned into an Aubergine. This argument ends with Anali losing her composure and crushing Edgar, along with a number of other Aubergines, under her feet. The moment was outrageous and very funny.

Keep an eye out for Anali Goldberg's return to the stage in April 2020 with 'Where are the Animals?' (Wu Seyen di Chayes?). It will be the piece's world premiere, and not to be missed.

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