There goes a play . . .
21 October, 2010
There goes a play . . .

Who knows how many thousands, or millions of big and small things are happening in this motley world as each of us carry on with our own big or small business! And only one iota of these human doings will be reflected on by the means of mass communication. Most of the life is probably brewing just behind the scenes. Any time you hit any of those mazes of human bustle, you find people sweating over what they think is most

rational and useful to be done at that particular moment of their lives, thinking that the job they keep on tinkering with is most worth their while and endeavor. And this has been the way it is from time out of mind.
One of those little warrens we are talking about is located in the oldest and quaintest corners of Tbilisi. The place is called ‘Theater at Atoneli’. And believe it or not, I am engaged there in one of the roles in one of the plays, being produced within its amazingly warm and inviting walls as I am sweating over molding this special article into something sensible and readable.

The play curiously titled as ‘Good Morning, Hundred Dollars!’ was penned not very long ago by the aboriginal Tbilisi townies, husband and wife Peter Khatyanovski and Inga Garuchava, and immediately grabbed for expedited putting on stage by my childhood friend Keti Dolidze, well-known movie and theater director and the daughter of legendary Siko Dolidze, director of the most celebrated Georgian pictures. It is no secret that I have tried myself a couple of times in my fresher years both on screen and stage, which certainly makes my renewed immersion fairly comfortable into the never-changing sweet and thorny artistic world, where I still feel myself ill at ease although my professional co-actors are going all out to make me feel at home. This way or that way, their explicitly feather-touch treatment is not enhancing my thespian gift at all. Even without those fringes in place, I would never take myself seriously on the stage, but Keti is insisting that I can play the damned part. Of course she has chosen me for the role because she knows I can manage in English better than most of the presumably available actors. You might want to know that the guy I am doing is an American who is not quite a spring chicken but he is in a fairly tolerable shape for his age. If you can possibly imagine, the entire piece is played in the Georgian language, and it is only my protagonist (not exactly the main character though) who operates in English on the stage. It is meant that the spectator will anyway understand the brief and stupid lines which Ted (my guy) is using at his sporadic talkie moments.

The action is taking place in America. Ted is a massage specialist working for a wealthy female vegetable Mary (Nana Pachuashvili). Eliko (Nineli Chakvetadze), a married Georgian woman in her mid-forties is working as the senile matron’s baby-sitter who will soon return to Georgia, and Ben (Ramaz Ioseliani) is a violin player hired to entertain the rich old lady. I am surprised at the capacity of thought and action accumulated in this short and laconic production, so dynamically and expressly presenting on the stage all what we want to call social, political and economic particulars of our life – as incisive and life-size as they happen to be in our routinely dragged-on reality. I embarked on rehearsing the role very shyly and reluctantly but as the spectacle started to acquire some of its anticipated contours I saw myself as a more or less organic bit of the entire course of action, happily pepped up by those bona-fide encouragements on part of our crew members into bargain. 
Just a couple of days shy of the dress-rehearsal, this smart theatrical miniature, which plays out like a comedy but definitely smells like a drama, might have a latent potential of winning numerous hearts and minds not only in Georgia but in America too, saying nothing about the rest of the world. As unassumingly written and directed as it might seem, the play is a clear manifestation of the most cherished human ideals – love, friendship, tolerance, faith and compassion. Keti, Mari, Eliko, Ben and Ted are very far from the notion of the ‘birds of a feather’, but they can also be the good souls of the same ilk. Isn’t bringing people together in peace and understanding one of the most active dreams of the mankind? There you go! You’ve got it all in abundance right on that tiny stage of that cute little Theater at Atoneli . . . Yes, the fortune would have it, all of them will finally be living together. And things like this are happening everywhere at all times. What never happens though is giving a birth to family, the members of which will never again desire to live in separation. They will all, just all of them rush to Georgia for their treasured perennial abode.

There is one more character that is always sheltered behind the scenes, the owner and operator of the Theater Rezo Salukvadze. He himself is a very artistic figure, never having made money out of his theater. (Would he really care?) The only thing this tremendously likable Georgian patron of arts is concerned about is to cushion the artistes against unpredictable fits and starts that might come into their way towards the incipient performance. Rezo is simply in love with the House and its come-and-go dwellers – his is not a regular stock company.

The targeted first night on October the 24th of 2010 is a possibility. We are all out like one to beat the target, but who knows, anything can happen . . . Meanwhile, the actors and the director are paddling on it as fast as possible, and talent helps too – there is no paucity of it on the stage or beyond it. Poor Ted though! His maker Nug might feel a little threatened in his cameo part– not so easy to operate next to those professional giants – but for now, let’s forget about Nug’s stage fright or other artistic inhibitions and think about Teddy: will he ever know for real what Georgia is all about?

Other Stories
Zurab Tsereteli exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in London
The artworks of the Georgian painter Zurab Tsereteli will be exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery in London between the 23rd of January and the 17th of February.
Jvari Monastery reopened
Jvari Monastery in Mtskheta has been reopened.
Jvari Monastery closed for tourists
Jvari Monastery is temporarily closed for tourists.
Anita Rachvelishvili recognized as the best Verdi mezzo-soprano by Riccardo Muti
The New York Times has recently published an article about Georgian opera singer Anita Rachvelishvili.
Georgia to be a guest of honor in Paris in 2021
According to the director of the National Book center in Georgia Dea Metreveli, Georgia was offered to be a guest of honor at the annual book event in Paris in 2021.
Unknown painting of Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani uncovered in Georgia
Sulkhan-Saba Orbeliani is among the most famous Georgian public figures.
Georgian opera singer Anita Rachvelishvili crowned as best classical music artist by the New York Times
In its end-of-year review about the best classical music of 2018, the newspaper frenetically celebrates Anita Rachvelishvili from Tbilisi.
Niko Pirosmani’s Georgian woman with Lechaki sold for 2 230 000 GBP
Niko pirosmani’s painting Georgian woman with Lechaki was sold at Sotheby’s for 2 230 000 GBP.
Nikortsminda Cathedral renovation works to finish successfully
Nikortsminda Cathedral is a Georgian Orthodox Church, located in Nikortsminda, Racha region of Georgia.
Georgian film “8 Minutes” wins 10 nominations on FICOCC
Georgian film “8 Minutes” became the winner for the 10 nominations on the Five Continents International Film Festival.
Ajika granted the status of an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Georgia
The traditional Megrelian and Abkhazian technology of Ajika, Georgian spicy sauce was inscribed on the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Georgia list.
Mountains, cheese and the colors of the national flag – these are the most obvious things that the two small countries share. But there is more to it.
Claudio Margottini about Vardzia
Vardzia is a cave monastery in Samtskhe-Javakheti. Queen Tamar ordered the construction of Vardzia in the twelfth century.
International Model United Nations to be held in Tbilisi
For the first time In Georgia, International Model United Nations, organized by Kant’s Academy, will be held in Tbilisi.
Charity project COATS to help 369 vulnerable children
The 9th Community Outreach Project COATS 2018 will be hosted by Radisson Blu Iveria Hotel on Sunday, November 18th, 2018
“We try to make Georgia and its culture better known to the Swiss people”
The Swiss based society “Friends of Georgia” celebrates this year its 30 anniversary.
London hosted Qvevri Wine Festival
London hosted Qvevri Wine Festival on the 8th of November.
Shota Rustaveli among the world's top 30 writers
Shota Rustaveli is among the top 30 writers on
Rituals related to wine-making in old Georgia
In old times, wine cellars used to be considered as a sacred place where certain rituals took place.
Niko Pirosmani paintings in Vienna, in the Albertina Museum
The Albertina Museum in Vienna, Austria has organized a solo exhibition of the works of Niko Pirosmani.
The Fourth Official Ceremony of the Welcome to Georgia! National Tourism Awards
On December 17, 2018 Rustaveli Theatre will host the most remarkable event of the Tourism and Hospitality industry of Georgia
Mtatsminda Panthenon – a necropolis of great Georgians
Mtatsminda Pantheon is a necropolis in Tbilisi, Georgia.
The portrait of the Georgian King Teimuraz II returns to Homeland
The portrait of the King Teimuraz II belongs to the collection of Bagrationi Dynasty
Georgian song Suliko performed at the Frankfurt Buchmesse 2018
Georgia was granted an incredible title this year.
GEL Exchange Rate