Amir has left his Pakistani heritage behind in an attempt to make partner at his corporate law firm, but his wife Emily doesn’t share his negative feelings about Islam - she’s encouraged Amir to help with the case of a controversial imam. When they throw a dinner party for Amir’s colleague Jory and her husband Isaac, the hard truths revealed lead to the unraveling of their carefully constructed lives.
Winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast production starring:
Geoffrey Arend as Isaac
Behzad Dabu as Abe
Hari Dhillon as Amir
Sameerah Luqmaan-Harris as Jory
Emily Swallow as Emily
Directed by Brian Kite. Recorded live at UCLA’s James Bridges Theater in April 2018.
Cosa ne pensano gli iscritti
- Gretchen SLP
Entertaining, Well-Performed but Flawed Play🎭
I love these LATW plays, and nothing else makes my evening commute miles fly by quite like a good play. That said, I do feel like this one was flawed. The fault lies not with the actors, who are all excellent, but with the script, changes to the script that were made for this production, and the unfortunate ways in which this play fails to fully translate from page to stage to audio-only format.
First, the script. To speak plainly, it’s a somewhat simplistic downer, and I’m certain many American Muslims must have been offended by it. If there were a single positive Muslim portrayal, that would have helped, and would have made it a more nuanced play. Also, its timeline is confusing; I had to both read the actual script and re-listen to the Audible version to make sure I hadn’t missed what signs we were supposed to have noticed that character A was in any way interested in character B before the revelation that somehow, they had time to have an affair sometime between Scene One and Scene Three without the audience ever knowing or suspecting.
Now to changes made to the script. I have now read the original, so can solemnly swear that there is NO suggestion of a three-month cessation of intimacy between Amir and Emily prior to the fateful dinner party. And I don’t think it was a smart change, or one the playwright would have approved, because it brings up all kinds of additional unanswered questions.
Now to ways in which listeners will be confused, or will miss out on key stage business, if they have neither read the script nor actually seen the play performed. A prime example: Jory is black! Now the action of the dinner party scene is richer, and key lines of dialogue make sense to me, knowing that. Also: Just before the dinner party, we hear glass shattering, but we never discover why. It’s Amir, throwing and shattering his drinking glass in frustration after being questioned about his heritage and background by his bosses at work.
Still, I enjoyed listening to this, it was mostly riveting, and I also got a lot out of listening to the interviews with critics during the panel discussion following the performance.
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