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Theater review: 'New Eyes' at the Whitefire Theatre

January 13, 2011 |  2:37 pm

Who wants to defend her homeland while stretched in downward dog? Seems yoga teachers, plastic surgeons and acting coaches all want to talk politics in “New Eyes,” Israeli Yafit Josephson’s ebullient solo show now running at the Whitefire Theatre

Blessed with a strong profile and a personality to match, Josephson struggles to grow into her nose and complex heritage. But even after escaping to Hollywood, the twentysomething actress finds the world all too ready to buy into the stereotypes she hoped to ditch. “When did I sign up to be an ambassador?” she wonders, cast for the umpteenth time as a terrorist. 

NEW EYES - 1 Despite the show’s occasional misstep, Josephson is a winning presence, and her impersonations of pushy parents, showbiz types and Israeli playas land on target. (Her mother, on hearing Josephson is considering a nose job: “That’s the most important part of your face! It’s like giving away Jerusalem!”) 

Sharper storytelling by Josephson, co-writer Suzanne Bressler and director Sammie Wayne would give this piece more sustained impact. At the top of “Eyes,” Josephson satirically compares a drill sergeant in the Israeli Army with an assistant director on the Paramount lot. The show’s nebulous climax draws similar comparisons — to more sobering effect — but for once, Josephson could work harder to make her point. 

-- Charlotte Stoudt

“New Eyes,” Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. 8 p.m. Thursdays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays. Ends Feb, 13. $25. (323) 960-7712 or www.plays411.com/neweyes. Running time: 1 hour, 20 minutes.

Photo: Yafit Josephson in "New Eyes" at the Whitefire Theatre. Credit: Boris Kievsky.

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