The New York Times
- Alexis Soloski. “10 Plays and Musicals to Go to in N.Y.C. This Weekend” The New York Times. Sept. 5, 2019
The Theatre Times
Abigail Weil. “THE TALMUD AT DOXSEE” thetheatretimes.com. The Theatre Times, September 14, 2019
Four performers appear in the show – Lucie Allouche, Abrielle Kuo, Eli M. Schoenfeld, and Jae Woo – wearing identical Tiffany blue turtlenecks, loosely belted trousers, black slippers and a succession of flowy robes. They are accompanied onstage by Lu Liu, virtuosic player of the wooden stringed instrument the pipa. Electronic music, sound effects, and a brief guitar riff are provided by Eamon Goodman, the very talented sound designer who I think went to the same college as me, a liberal arts school where radical Jews are incubated.
- PJ Grisar. “Bruce Lee? Yes. Shammai? Yup. The Talmud Meets Kung Fu In A New Play” Forward.com. Forward/Culture, September 6, 2019
“The Talmud” doesn’t always leave an audience member feeling like they crammed for the Tanakhic equivalent of the LSAT’s. As in a kung fu film, the balletics and the dense mythology are peppered with just enough of a story to keep momentum and interest going. The legends you may remember from Jewish day school —Nero firing his arrows and having them land near Jerusalem, Titus profaning the Temple, Bar Kamtza being slighted at a banquet — all figure into the company’s telling. Most of the proceedings will be underscored by live pipa music from musician Lu Liu.
The music, by Liu and composer Avi Amon lend a filmic quality to the presentation, but what really draws out the project’s kung fu movie pedigree is a live feed of the cast projected onto the set from iPhones affixed to an actor’s breastplate – a visual reference to the high priests of Israel, the Kohen Gadol, and their bejeweled chest pieces. The clever costume design reflects a happy happenstance that reveals yet another resonance between the world of Talmud and that of kung fu.
New York Theater
Jonathan Mandell.“The Talmud Review: Jewish Tales With Kung Fu Moves” New York Theater September 14, 2019. https://newyorktheater.me/2019/09/14/the-talmud-review-jewish-tales-with-kung-fu-moves/
“The Talmud” amounts to an exquisitely eerie hour of theater. Verbally, it is at least intriguing; visually, it is beautiful, thanks to Freedman’s forceful and graceful choreography, the simple, gorgeous design, and an original score that Lu Liu performs on the pipa, a four-stringed Chinese musical instrument. Video projections grace the delicate white voile cloth panels hanging from the ceiling, above a floor that scenic designer Kyu Shin has cleverly turned into a chessboard, as if to emphasize the importance of intellectual strategy for survival during Talmudic times.
Matt Kiesling. “The Talmud”www.theasy.com. Theasy, September 16, 2019
This ambitious work moves at a dizzying pace, and combines new technology with traditional stagecraft to showcase a mix of striking choreography, dramatic lighting, and stirring music. The compositions of Avi Amon and the hypnotic pipa playing of Lu Liu create a particular sense of epic scale, and secure the genre of Chinese martial arts cinema.