The new UK-set tuner that musicalizes the Israeli and Palestinian conflict has also undergone cast changes as it prepares for its Nov. 29 LaMaMa debut.
West Bank, UK will now feature Jeremy Cohen as Assaf and Mike Mosallam in the role of Aziz, with Anthony Patellis and Michelle Soloman.
Penned by Ronnie Cohen and Oren Safdie, who also directs the LaMaMa production, 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 creative team for West Bank, UK includes set design by Michael V. Moore, lighting design by Matt Berman, costume design by Greco, musical direction by Scott Baldyga with the aforementioned Seyb providing choreography.
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) will perform the Middle Eastern-flavored score of West Bank, UK. Oren 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 Ronnie 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.