Reviewed by Ilana Novick
Johannes Galli’s Eve and Lilith is a modern retelling of an ancient love triangle between Adam, Eve, and Adam's first wife, Lilith, whom he left due to lack of obedience. The play opens with Lilith (Tricia Patrick) getting ready for a night out. She wears a revealing red dress, sitting in a bordello-like bedroom covered in feather boas. Into this den of glitter and feathers walks Eve (Tatjana Maya), who wears a beige suit, hat, and dark glasses. What follows is a lengthy “you stole my man” catfight: the costumes and script attempt to dress it up as a larger discussion on women’s roles in relationships, but it never gets above being an argument.
Still, the play tries again and again to do more: at one point, Eve and Lilith decide to sleep on it. They dream of meeting each other’s ancient selves, Galli’s attempt to draw a parallel between their biblical selves and their modern conflict. Instead, it feels like two scenes in search of a play: that is, it lacks context. Specifically, it lacks smaller, quieter moments: a confrontation is much less effective and far less exciting when it’s just shouting.
Where Galli builds tension is in the costumes. Eve is convincingly buttoned up and repressed, she even walks so tight and controlled that her arms don’t swing. As for Lilith, she certainly put a lot of energy into looking sexy—tons of hip-swinging and leg-showing, looking as cheap as her apartment. But even this is overdone: there are too many feathers and too much cleavage: it’s more a caricature of sexy than actually sexy.
The arguments over women’s roles in society, and in relationships, are as ancient as Adam and Eve, but unfortunately, Eve and Lilith fails to add any new ideas.
Eve and Lilith (70 minutes, no intermission)
Part of the Midtown International Theater Festival