Fringe Review: “Operation: Immigration” – A Loving Tribute to Fatherhood


Photo courtesy of The Aharoni Family.

Avi Aharoni’s solo performance is a labor of love. Operation: Immigration recounts his late father’s epic personal story of living as a Jew in Iran, Israel, and Minnesota. Menachem Aharoni, born Shekrola, was a youth and a man who worked heavy labor ceaselessly and at times, enduring physical pain, so his siblings could have a leg up in a dauntingly difficult world.

The younger Aharoni’s account beautifully conveys the feeling of Menachem’s joyously muscular outlook as he was right there in the thick of actually building a new nation, the State of Israel. He held to a purpose bigger than just himself and ultimately met Avi’s mother. Her gay South African housemate in Israel made her wake up to the fact that Menachem was a man she’d be foolish to reject. A sweet example of a gay man with instinct and inner wisdom rooting for true heterosexual love. This moment is quite funny and one of the show’s many humorous moments.

The words “hero” and “heroic” have been thrown about far too loosely in recent years. However, in the case of a courageous man who emigrated twice, those words definitely apply. Directed to compelling effect by Guthrie Theater veteran actor, Robert Dorfman, for Wandering Jew Productions.

Operation: Immigration
Through Aug. 11
Mixed Blood Theatre, Minneapolis
www.fringefestival.org

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