Okay, so I'm the bad fairy at this party. There's everything to Want to like about this play- it's by a local guy, it's politically correct, all the characters are happy at the end, even the dead guy, it has the Koran about five feet away from a bed, five seconds from a sex scene. And it's at the ACT we all know and love (Kurt Beattie is wonderful) What's not to like? I'll tell you. In a play comprised of five onstage characters, two are irrelevant. That's the main structural flaw. The directing is not great- We get a fancy lift set of a taxi, yes, but we also get a lot of crossed sight lines (so you're looking at the back of the character nearest you who's obscuring the face of the character looking in your direction, and thus you have no face to look at but the face of your friend who also can't see any other face but yours) and when I went (the final night of previews), my friend and I and others were unable to hear/distinguish a good chunk of what was spoken. But the worse thing is This play is culpably naive. This is a play where one simply has to admit- Yes, I was unfaithful, Yes, I'm a bad Muslim, and ones friends and lovers and even ones God forgive one without much of a backward glance. And this above all is a hymn to an America that no longer exists, if it ever did. The author should visit the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma (see speakwithoutinterruption.com
, Guantanamo in Tacoma)- he should think whether he, as a talented non-honky, really wishes to toot the old American bugle of "give me your poor, your yearning to be employed" - America is not on its way to Mecca, so far as I can tell, but a place a whole lot hotter. Even if I'm wrong about that (and I hope to the popularized Koran I am), the instant dissolves into "everyones happy, everyones living the American dream" are in opinion obscene. No one who thinks deeply about the topics surfed over in this play can be anything but angry- The mattress is very thin here, my friend, and the pea is extremely large. I think the playwright has a great deal of promise- but his promise is a raisin out in the sun. This is a modern day Romeo and Juliet where all you have to say is "I'm sorry" and all you have to know is we're all on a way to a Mecca that looks like Kubla Khan.
And I really really Wanted to like this. I hear the author is a nice guy, but angst driven, depressed, philosophical, quirky, stubborn, Woody Allen he ain't. (Okay, okay- one minor "plus"- watching Sherry storm in wearing a birka is amusing, and some of the "watch your f-ing language lines" are pretty funny. There's some coffee humor that works. Sigh.)