Last updated March 13th 2016

Nitzan Cohen - Scared to Death/Photo: Gadi DagonNitzan Cohen – Scared to Death/Photo: Gadi Dagon

Nitzan Cohen is scared to death; he is also one of the funniest performers I’ve encountered. I laughed and laughed throughout his performance, stopping only to take a breath;  and as I caught my breath, I felt a pang in my chest, as the feelings hit home.

Scared To Death is a one-person show, written and performed by Nitzan Cohen. I saw the performance last night, at the Tmuna Theatre October Festival, in the small intimate back space of the “Cycle” room at this venue, it is about as close as you can get to a show that feels like a conversation among friends.

In the spirit of “why wait until you’re 40 to have a mid-life crisis” Nitzan shares his fears, dreams, hopes and memories with the audience in casual, conversational style. There is nothing harder than being “natural” onstage, and Nitzan rocks it all the way. There is an effortless flow to his monologue of angst gone wild, as if we all just happened to be sitting together at a party, possibly a bit drunk, with inhibitions set to “off.” He’s even prepared a diagram of seating arrangements at his funeral.

Nitzan Cohen - Scared to Death/Photo: Shahak PazNitzan Cohen – Scared to Death/Photo: Shahak Paz

Yet make no mistake, Nitzan Cohen is masterfully in control of this hilarious, tightly constructed narrative and every impromptu moment that ensues. Involving the audience is always a huge risk. Not everyone knows how to work that crazy, unpredictable animal (the audience), but he really made them perform (don’t worry – only the intrepid volunteers), much to the laughter and delight of the rest of us.
It’s well-crafted, intelligent humor, with intimations of the serious fears that we humans share. From childhood holiday memories of jam-smeared Hannukah, to Stephen Hawking, New Age philosophies, marriage, kids and theatre – Nitzan Cohen walks on the funny side of everything.

The performance is in Hebrew, a great incentive to those of you working on learning the language.

Scared To Death by Nitzan Cohen
Musical arrangements: Aviv Stein; Lighting design: Nir Partoush; Production Manager: Keren Yovel.
Future performances: November 11th & December 16th at Tmuna Theatre. For tickets, call: 03-5611211.