Overview: A young Jewish girl disguises herself as a boy in order to study the Torah. Problems arise when she falls in love with a fellow student and can’t confess her love. Yentl is then forced to marry a young woman because of Jewish law and find reasons to keep from consummating their marriage.
Opinion: I understand that it is traditional for Jewish women not to study religion, but I find it a tad sexist. Women should be able to learn what they want the same as men, that doesn’t mean that women will give up their “womanly duties” they will just be able to have a better conversation with their male counterparts. Is that a bad thing? Not unless you enjoy a dull and boring life.
That said, this musical is wonderful in challenging the archaic laws put down for women of the times, pre-world war I, and shows that woman came be just as good as men. Even if it portals Yentl’s thirst for knowledge stems from the fact she was raised by a single father. The storyline reminds me much of Disney’s Mulan, where a daughter runs off to fight in place of her father. In both cases it was illegal for women to speak their minds or fight wars or study religion. These women taught girls that they can do whatever they put their minds to and I think that is great. I remember when when I was younger, this was my favorite musical by Barbara because of the strong message behind it.
I do find it sad that because of the life Yentl chooses, she has to give up finding a husband and having children with the man she loves. Had she been able to be a scholar as a woman, things would have turned out differently. Obviously it would not have made as good of a story but still makes you feel for her.
Barbara is spectacular as always. Not only is she a beautiful woman, but makes a handsome man. Pulling off both parts well. One thing I’m not quite sure about is the music. Don’t get me wrong, I love her voice, but it seems as if the songs are actually one long song. There is not much difference in tempo or melody. At least to me it all seems the same just different words.
Papa vs The Way He Makes Me Feel
Because of that I find it difficult to pick a favorite song. And as there is no dancing there is no favorite choreography. Which I feel was a bit of an justice because I love Jewish dances. Actually for a long time I’ve loved different cultures and one prominent in my mind is the Jewish culture so not having a lot of dancing I find was a disservice and would have enriched the musical.