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Hip-hopera ‘The City’ expands English shows

After sold-out first performance, Hebrew favorite to be staged in translation again on March 20, sponsored by The Times of Israel

The City,' a rap-driven show with hip-hop rhythms by The Victor Jackson Show ensemble, will be performed in English on March 20, 2017 (Yudan Abadi)
The City,' a rap-driven show with hip-hop rhythms by The Victor Jackson Show ensemble, will be performed in English on March 20, 2017 (Yudan Abadi)

Dorit Lilien, the Israeli actress who plays the femme fatale in The Incubator Theater’s hip-hop opera “The City,” says the first performance this year in English was “amazing.” The show was completely sold out.

The Incubator Theater, which regularly stages the original Hebrew version of “The City” at venues around Israel to widespread acclaim, has decided to perform it in English every month in Jerusalem. The next performance is on Monday, March 20. If it continues to attract large audiences, the company will take the English version to Tel Aviv.

“The audience was really into it and I think they really enjoyed it. The whole thing is that audience is supposed to be part of the play,” Lilien told i24 News after the show on February 14 – the first of a series sponsored by The Times of Israel.

Lilien plays Sarah Bennett, a mysterious woman who appears one stormy night in the office of Joe, a private eye in the classic noir tradition.

“He’s a bitter detective in a corrupt city and she’s asking him to help her find her missing sister,” she says.

“It’s inspired by the film noir genre, by black music and detective stories, and it’s performed as one song, like an opera. It’s all done in rap,” she says. “It mixes poetic language, rap hip hop, street language – so it has a lot of genres and it’s a little bit absurd.”

“We wanted to address an English-speaking audience in Israel,” Lilien says. “There were a lot of requests for us to translate it. We were asked to perform abroad, so we did it so we can perform to other audiences.”

The City Hip-Hop Opera (English version) will be performed on March 20 at Beit Mazia, 18 Mesilat Yesharim St., Jerusalem, at 8:30 p.m. Tickets available here.

To join our priority booking list and for advance news of all future events, send an email with the word “Subscribe” to: events@timesofisrael.com

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