November 10, 2014

Oddball characters materialize fully formed in Odd Birdz, a sketch comedy show by the clever young Israeli ensemble Tziporela, which is making its American debut at the Players Theater in Greenwich Village. At the end of the 90-minute performance, you may be surprised to realize how firmly the troupe has established them and how fond you feel of some: the dysfunctional folk duo (Ben Perry and Dana Ivgy); the romantically entangled translators (Gal Friedman and Tamara Klayngon); the bickering couple in the audience (Tomer Nahir Petluk and Mr. Friedman); the janitors with a flair for drama (Omri Doron and Mr. Perry, who is the show’s ultra-charismatic standout). Physical comedy is the other great strength of this cast of eight, and it takes many forms: a puppet show performed by Efrat Aviv with a contortionist’s skill; a leaping-and-twirling dance number (Mr. Friedman and Ms. Aviv); a cold-weather striptease (Ms. Klayngon and Mr. Petluk); a struggle between a rictus-grinning talk show host (Naama Amit) and her exasperated guest (Mr. Petluk).