West Bank, UK begins "when Israeli ex-patriot, Assaf Ben-Moshe Benvenisti, breaks up with his German girlfriend and returns home to his rent-controlled flat on the West Bank of London [where] he discovers that Palestinian refugee, Aziz Hamoud, has taken over his lease. Their American landlord is torn between the two men, and urges them to work out their differences and learn to live together in harmony."
The UK-set musical features a cast including Jeremy Cohen as Assaf and Mike Mosallam in the role of Aziz, with Anthony Patellis and Michelle Soloman.
A two-piece ensemble comprising Baldyga (from the LA-based group Kokopelli) and Jeremy Brown (from New York Klezmer bands Art Bailey's Orkestra Popilar and Frank London's Klezmer Allstars) perform the Middle Eastern-themed score of West Bank, UK.
West Bank, UK features set design by Michael V. Moore, lighting design by Matt Berman, costume design by Greco and musical direction by Scott Baldyga with Wendy Seyb providing choreography. In addition to co-creating West Bank, UK Oren Safdie also directs the LaMaMa debut.
Safdie has previously written Jews & Jesus, Private Jokes, Public Places, The Last Word and the screenplay for "You Can Thank Me Later," starring Ellen Burstyn. Fulbright Scholar Cohen, who previously collaborated with Safdie on Jews & Jesus, is a graduate of Columbia University's Poetry Division, and the Berklee School of Music.
Presented in association with Malibu Stage Company, West Bank, UK will play LaMaMa E.T.C. through Dec. 16 with an official opening scheduled for Dec. 2. Tickets are available by calling (212) 475-7710 or by visiting www.lamama.org.
LaMaMa E.T.C. is located at 74A East 4th Street in Manhattan.