In the spring of this year I was able to visit Vilnius and see there a play based on G. Kanovich’s play “Smile to Us, Lord,” which was staged by a very interesting Lithuanian director Tuminas.
In general, I must say that I did not experience such a shock in my life. I believe this event is of a high order, breaking out of the sequence of gray everyday performances that are often seen, because this performance is born of actors who have unheard of love for their profession, as well as the material that is the basis of the play. It became possible, I think, also because the Jews in Lithuania today are “terra incognita”. And longing for the lost, the search for that lost time seemed to impregnate this production with incredible finds.
I consider this performance to be a kind of masterpiece, because it is not only about the Jews, it’s about the world. And I think that this performance can be played for audiences who do not understand Russian or Lithuanian, they will understand something. They will understand the most important thing.
This performance reminds, in my opinion, a candle fluttering in the wind (I have a book with this name by G. Kanovich). Actors with their amazing love, their desire to restore an unresturable world, that is, to return all these water carriers, stonemasons, former shopkeepers, beggars of that time – the actors seem to support with their breath the fire of this eternal candle. The fire of life.
And while they will play, there is such confidence that this candle will burn. And even when they will not play, but people will come to the theater, look at the scene, the actors, the memory will light this candle, heat it.
Therefore, I repeat, the impression of this performance is not at all theatrical, more precisely, not only theatrical. He brings us back to real friendship in its true sense, to real mutual understanding, brings together two cosmos – the past and the present.