The music may be expressionistic, but the scenes resemble Minimalist music, in the way the form has of moving so slowly that it lulls us into a sense of stasis, even flirting with the danger of boring us, so that when a change or motion does occur its meaning is enormously magnified. Staging a show this way certainly flouts our expectations of storytelling. Most of the scenes progress as a slow circling of characters who have little or no apparent emotional connection and move icily about through long silences broken by arias with intriguing melodies, with filmed projections as backdrops (and sometimes as part of the action).
Composer-designer Gal and director Kameron Steele show us a Mosheh about to bring down the Plagues on Pharaoh and the Egyptians. In this critical moment, major woman-centered scenes from Mosheh's life replay before his eyes in the cold, nearly monstrous manner I've described, beginning with his rescue from the reeds as a baby by Pharaoh's daughter. The women's extravagantly weird costumes reinforce the feeling that we're in some kind of psychological hell dimension.
This show won't appeal to everyone, but as the product of a distinctive and original creative force and a showcase for talented singers willing to venture into the strange reedy waters of the imagination, it deserves attention. How to place it in context? Think Robert Wilson...maybe. More to the point, check it out and prepare to be impressed, "like" it or not. Mosheh runs through Feb. 5 at HERE (formerly HERE Arts Center), 145 Sixth Ave., New York.