Me, an Iranian, in heaven last night


Me, an Iranian, in heaven last night
by Multiple Personality Disorder

   Last night I watched a play called An Iranian in Heaven, yek irani dar behest, a comedy that was multi-dimensional on several levels. A political, and social satire, saighal khordeh dar tool’e zaman, polished by the years of theatrical and writing experience of two outstanding Iranian performers of our time, Shohreh Aghdashloo and Houshang Touzie.

   The storyline goes something like this, an Iranian man in Diaspora loses his life on earth suddenly and appears again in heaven. But even before we saw the man for the first time, the audience began to connect with him and the play; even before the play started. Before there was anyone on stage, there was a voice that began to tell us about the man whose life was in turmoil, the life that came to a screeching halt all of a sudden. At least I identified with him even before he was dead, even before he appeared on stage. His time was not fully up but there he was at the gate of heaven trying to weasel his way through the new system and get the best deals, as we keep trying to do so often in diaspora. He even tried to get his hands on the heavenly lady, get drunk, and smoke weed while at it! Along the way the story unfolded masterfully, and we were treated to a joyous night. Throughout the play, Jamshid, the Iranian man in heaven told the story of his life in diaspora, in a country with a different set of rules that he could not fully comprehend.

   Jamshid compared his life to that of his father in the old country. He explained, with great humor, how his father was the king of the household; but Jamshid himself in his adopted country of exile had become powerless, fearful of his wife, worrying about lawsuits, and so on. He even, despite all his fears, was subjected to taking care of a gigantic dog, scooping dog poop, and taking him, yes a gigantic male dog with a gigantic sexual desire, for daily outings. Jamshid's predicament with this dog received some of the loudest laughs from the audience. Houshang’s body language in regards to his relationship with this family dog was hilarious. At times I was fearful I might pee in my pants, thank goodness I was saved by the intermission.

   The universal message of kindness, love, understanding, brotherhood, and tolerance for others was immaculately conveyed through humor and laughter. I admit, at some parts during the show my eyes became wet, I don't know, it might have been tears, and many others might have felt the same way.  In a bizarre way, that is something I enjoy the most about our lives in diaspora, that somehow through all the pain that we have been through we come out more resilient than ever before, that we are still capable of laughing even though the events of our lives tell us otherwise.

   Kudos to Houshang Touzie for his great performance, and to Shohreh Aghdashloo for being such a great actress, and kudos to all the people that worked so hard to bring this play to San Francisco.  

Footnote: Picture for the Blog Image was provided by Payam S.


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Sharareh Golshani

MPD joon you couldn't have said it better

by Sharareh Golshani on

I've admired Houshang Tozie since I can remember and I loved every minute of the play...

your review was great  I laughed reading the part about his dog...not sure what was funnier...the thought of you watching the play or Jamshid's expressions LOLOL

مرسی عالی بود








Multiple Personality Disorder

I hope you didn't depress them with your sad stories

by Multiple Personality Disorder on

...or else, from the looks of it, they looked like they had recovered nicely.


Azarin Sadegh

I don't like to brag, but...

by Azarin Sadegh on

I don't like to brag, but right now I'm sitting just a few meters away from Houshang Touzi at BN/Calabasas...and we said hi to each other! I'm sure the poor man is asking himself who the h^&* is she, smiling (so widely) at me? 

He is such a humble guy...the best Iranian comedian and satirist! Plus, the only time he and Shoreh came to my house, not only I realized how smart they were, but also they looked pretty timid...Really wonderful peope! 

I hope to be able to go see their Heaven soon!

Nazy Kaviani

Very nice!

by Nazy Kaviani on

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the play, MPD. It's a great review.

I laughed a lot while Jamshid was trying to "reach an understanding" with the angel about his new living conditions! Priceless!

It was really a good time. The audience loved the show and that was also priceless.



by yolanda on

Hi! MPD,

    Thank you for summarizing the comedy for us.....I am inspired. My favorites are the entire 3rd & 4th paragraphs...

Thank you for taking us there!