‘Glee’ meets ‘Mamma Mia’ in ‘Mary Lou’ 

Double life: Ido Rosenberg plays Meir and Mary Lou in “Mary Lou.” (Courtesy photo) - DOUBLE LIFE: IDO ROSENBERG PLAYS MEIR AND MARY LOU IN “MARY LOU.” (COURTESY PHOTO)
  • Double life: Ido Rosenberg plays Meir and Mary Lou in “Mary Lou.” (Courtesy photo)
  • Double life: Ido Rosenberg plays Meir and Mary Lou in “Mary Lou.” (Courtesy photo)

If “Glee” collided with “Mamma Mia” in Tel Aviv, it would resemble something like “Mary Lou,” a musical romp opening at the Castro Theatre this weekend.

Israeli director Eytan Fox’s knack for storytelling and courage to delve beneath the surface — and offer characters audiences relate to — do not go unnoticed in this modern-day fable.

“It was actually a musical theater production and it became Israel’s biggest success ever, and everybody was happy about that,” Fox says. “But the book needed work and we rewrote the story from scratch into one we really believe in.”

Based on songs by Israeli pop legend Svika Pick, the story finds Miriam  (Maya Dagan) an adoring fan of Pick, abandoning her son Meir on his 10th birthday in her quest to become a famous singer.  

Meir (Ido Rosenberg) longs for his mother, through countless distractions in school, and eventually moves to Tel Aviv, where he morphs into a famous drag queen, dubbed Mary Lou.

“I was kind of anxious about how this would be received,” Fox says, in light of the fact that all of the songs are in Hebrew. “But it’s all very catchy and a very uplifting story of a courageous young who is different and not accepted by the world he lives in,” he adds. “He decides to leave and find a life for himself in Tel Aviv, but eventually he comes back and is accepted by his father, which is an essential part of the story.”

The movie, penned by Shiri Artzi and shot in a month, boasts impressive production values and feel-good musical numbers.  


Mary Lou

Starrring Maya Dagan, Ido Rosenberg

Written by Shiri Artzi

Directed by Eytan Fox

Not rated

Running time 2 hours 30 minutes

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Greg Archer

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