Margalit Tzan'ani
Tzan’ani at the Comfort 13 club in Tel Aviv. 'Do you want a mischievous performance or a civilized one?' she asked the crowd at the start of her first show since her conviction, Dec. 23, 2011. Photo by Tom Zoyali
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For the first time since she was convicted of extortion and threats, singer Margalit Tzan'ani returned to the stage over the weekend. At about 2 A.M. on Friday morning, her performance at the Comfort 13 club in Tel Aviv began.

The show, which was discussed extensively in the local media, was part of the popular Arisa line of gay parties, which in the past has hosted Zahava Ben, Sarit Hadad, Julieta, Liat Banai and other Mizrahi performers. The party started hours before the singer took to the stage, enabling the audience - which numbered about 800 at its height - to stop drinking and rejoice at her arrival.

This was not the first time that "Margol," as the singer is popularly known, has cooperated with the gay community - two years ago she performed at the annual gay rally in Rabin Square. "Welcome her, the one and only, the devastating queen, Margalit Tzan'ani!" were the words that welcomed the singer before she went onstage. Despite the criticism heard from inside and outside the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender ) community about the fact that she shouldn't be allowed to perform before having served her punishment (six months of community service ), the performance went ahead with no interference and without a note of protest.

Tzan'ani decided not to discuss the criminal affair onstage, preferring to joke about the subject in typically immodest fashion. She began with the question: "Do you want a mischievous performance or a civilized one?"

During the show, which lasted almost an hour, she performed some of her familiar hits: "Etz Yarok Miplastik" (A Green Plastic Tree ), "Od Yihyeh Li" (Some Day I'll Have ), "Naari Shuva Elay" (My Boy, Come Back to Me ), a cover version of Zohar Argov's "Elinor" and her new single "Yeled" (A Boy ).

"You don't know what fun it is to perform after five months," said Tzan'ani at the beginning of the evening, adding: "In order to shut me up you have to shoot me in the forehead."

Throughout the performance the singer praised her close friends and dedicated the songs to them - the writer and journalist Gal Uchovsky, who is a member of the gay community, and her public relations director Ofer Menahem - and repeatedly used their names instead of the original lyrics. The gesture seemed at first to be one of gratitude to those who supported her throughout the affair, but after Tzan'ani had done this repeatedly, there were spectators who interpreted it as an expression of scorn for the performance, and some of them even left in the middle.

Before leaving the stage, Tzan'ani warned the audience: "Before I go I want to sing an artistic song." These words constituted an introduction to the marvelous song "Homot Hemar" (Walls of Clay ), which was the high point of the evening, and her best rendition. When she was about to leave the stage, she turned to one of the fans and told him jokingly: "Don't start up with me. It's not worth your while, you know that in any case I have a mark on my forehead."

The final chord came not from the guitarist, but from the singer's big mouth: "I've already received my check, and my time is up anyway, so see you later."

The singer, who is an experienced performer, did not give the performance of her life at the Arisa party. The renditions of most of the songs were at a lower level than expected from a highly regarded and professional singer like her. Although the audience seemed to be swept up in the performance, sang the words to the songs, and was loud and joyful, after the show there were quite a few disappointed reactions too. A partygoer who has already experienced many of the line's parties said at the end of the show: "A waste of NIS 80. But the Arisa audience was happy."