Last ditch effort for redemption

The song of thanksgiving for the coming of the redeemer, is Jewish in origin but Christian in tone, as the expression of redemption and hope. For instance the song is used at funerals at the moment of internment when such matters are of sudden urgency.

So it is only fitting that this clever little play about an Israeli Arms dealer, and an Iranian Mullah is called “Benedictus“. The play is set in a Roman church for secret meetings between estranged, and unlikely friends, to help fend off a war with the US, and the ever present specter of religion serves as the backdrop for a poignant, sometimes funny, and always eerily accurate look at Middle East tensions today, and in particular the impending war against Iran.

We get a good look at possible scenarios through a jaded set of eyes of what are likely conversations in that part of the world. And while the facts and references to current and historical events (like the 444 days of the ’79 hostage crisis) are nothing new, the situational embellishments around them are so artfully crafted by the show’s creators (See below) that they may as well be true.

In fact one could argue that while they may not be factual, they are however, the “truth”. Anyway, the stories of the two men, and their mutually deceitful relationships with US politicians are so typical of their perspectives, that it’s sometimes hard to remember that this is just a social allegory.

The play unfolds elegantly from our first encounter with the cantankerous Jewish Arms dealer, played masterfully by Ali Pourtash (a non-Jewish Iranian) and the pensive, and equally affable Iranian Mullah, played convincingly by Al Faris (an Egyptian) whose mannerisms lend an unusual dignity to the role.

The show then culminates into a pastoral storyline that weaves in US interference like the double edged sword it has been, served up by flawless acting by Earll Kingston who plays the US ambassador into an amalgam for all that is as powerful as it is dirty–and angry.

Opening night introductions to the creators reveals an impressive bunch who deserve kudos for taking this on. The script by Motti Lerner, an Israeli, is directed by Mahmoud Karimi-Hakak who is Iranian which explains the brutal balance in complicated perspectives. Daniel Michaelson and Golden Thread Founder, Torange Yaghiazarian co-created the show in addition to the writer and director, along with Roberta Levitow, who claims the show as her brainchild.

The show runs 1 hour and 15 minutes long, through October 21st at the very cool Thick House theatre on 18th street, San Francisco. This show is NOT to be missed, and once everyone‚s seen it, I invite a heated debate, which is about as over-due as the poor souls singing hymns at the funeral for that last ditch effort for redemption. Bravo! [Opening & Recepion pix] [Play pix]

Buy your ticket and support these guys today:

Photos of Opening Night and Post show Reception October 1st, 2007. In attendance were several heavy weights, including actor Vida Ghahremani whose recent film “A Thousand Years of Good Prayers” recently won “best picture” at the San Sebastian Film Festival. We congratulate her.

Meet Iranian Singles

Iranian Singles

Recipient Of The Serena Shim Award

Serena Shim Award
Meet your Persian Love Today!
Meet your Persian Love Today!