Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World by Seattle-based writer Yussef El Guindi (which premiered at ACT Theater last year) is an excellently complicated comedy about love and culture clash—a kind of Annie Hall for the 21st century. (You can read The Stranger's glowing review here.)
Apparently, the rest of the world agrees—the play just won the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award (which comes with a sweet $25,000 check).
Congratulations Yussef! To celebrate, please enjoy this excerpt from the script, in which Musa (an immigrant who has just fallen in love with a waitress named Sheri) talks with his friend Tayyib:
Tayyib: My first advice to you this morning is to please wipe that stupid smile off your face; because if you don't, I will delay opening my store to slap it off. It should be a law that people in love should not be seen by other people until the silliness of love wears off and they settle down into a normal relationship.
Musa: I am not in love! Stop saying this!
Tayyib: You know how I know? All lovers have this brain-dead look in their eyes. Scientists report on this. When you fall in love, your intelligence drops. There are studies. You smile for no reason, you hug and laugh at nothing. And you think the whole world has been built just to be a stage for you and your lover. What has not been studied is how annoying this is to the people watching.
Musa: How long since you been with a woman?
Tayyib: I tell you my friend, I make love like a bunny.
Musa: I mean not with yourself, with real person.