See it if Sexy academic idealistic muslim gal seduces sexy commercial egotistic muslim guy. Sparks fly. Can they grow from their differences?
Don't see it if Their antagonism hardly ever abates. They state their respective values on the portrayal of Muslims in western media, then keep arguing.
See it if you enjoy plays about dating & relationships among modern Muslims in today's USA, like 2-handers & intense confrontations
Don't see it if don't like 2-character plays or subjects about young American Muslims' professional ambitions, put off by the "Women's Project" label
See it if you like a story about the conflicts of persons within the Muslim faith. The sexual relationship muddies a lot of those conflicts.
Don't see it if you like uneven acting, exaggerated statements about prejudice. There is very little grey in this play, only black and white.
See it if you want to see a libidinous & fervid debate on the image of Muslims in art & popular culture between a pop-fiction writer & a college prof.
Don't see it if you want more from an "issues play" than mere mouthpieces for competing viewpoints on a writer's responsibility to represent his/her culture
See it if Conflicts with two people over the views and tradition. With a heavy sexual attention to each other.
Don't see it if You have no interest with the people of Muslims. Read more
See it if Mirza's sexualized political drama is often sharply written w/ moments of screwball comedy Acting is adaquate w/ politcal points well scored
Don't see it if Eventually however, Mirza's writing becomes preachy & didactic w/female lead given the prominent voice of debate Quest for balance fails
See it if I want that set at my home. The two actors light up the stage. The lighting is so effective esp during scene changes
Don't see it if Both arguments make sense BUT...something is missing Beat the steps problem by entering on floor 3 Still no handrails in theater.
See it if Holding a mirror to the world & taking to task a Muslim novelist(for his Islam depiction) a Muslim prof embarks on an affair for advancement
Don't see it if In an unspoken meeting, the two brown-skinned Muslims match hands comparing their hues, setting up the cultural dynamics & burying the lead. Read more
“Smart, sexy and not entirely satisfying....Ms. Mirza is a sharp writer and a savvy thinker...But too often Layla and Imran feel like mouthpieces for the larger arguments. When the actors really sell the repartee, those mouths can be enough...As the badinage sputters, though, the play wilts...Still, it’s nice to see a play that invites Muslim characters to be just as mouthy and sexy and messy as characters of any other denomination.”
"Layla and Imran’s hookup-turned-romance is fun to watch. But ultimately, 'Hatef**k' is another example of a genre that has become too familiar: The 'play about art,' in which well-educated people debate the role and responsibility of the artist in society. Granted, it’s an important debate, especially when the artist is a member of an often-stigmatized group. But one can’t help feeling that, like Imran and Layla, the play is using that issue to avoid some deeper and messier questions."
"Ladnier and Ramamurthy wield Mirza's sharp writing like two Olympic fencers brandishing their foils. They begin to stumble over their lines, however, as the plot progresses and Mirza becomes bogged down in the play's real purpose: an argument over the representation of Muslims in popular culture...The play is half-salvaged by Adrienne Campbell-Holt's steamy staging, which emphasizes the raw sexuality of the two performers."
"There’s stinging dialogue, solid construction and high powers of observation that accurately render the fractious literary milieu...The characters are impeccably detailed and behave so realistically, causing the possible dynamic for the viewer of siding with one over the other...Director Adrienne Campbell-Holt’s propulsive staging injects eroticism, clarity and focus, all at a brisk pace, unifying the play’s suspenseful elements with its eloquent rhetorical portions."
"Adrienne Campbell-Holt directs this non-stop verbal and emotional battle with finesse. Kavi Ladnier and Sendhil Ramamurthy are superb in their constantly guarded love-hating. I am in awe of their efforts in this play, which is such a nuanced look at living in America while Muslim. This is an excellent co-production of Colt Coeur and WP Theater."
"A well-crafted two-hander in any season...Passions are heightened with every clever turn-of-phrase until the two head for the bedroom to work off the steam...Mirza's dialogue ripples with energy sprinkled with humor and an occasional gut punch. Using her two beautifully defined creations, she can go deep as well as broad, coming to conclusions that are enlightening as well as troubling...Director Adrienne Campbell-Holt has been blessed with a terrific cast as well as script."
"The play is solid, but I think Adrienne Campbell-Holt’s direction could have more nuance. High pitched antagonism is not sufficiently interesting a dynamic to keep an audience going for 90 minutes. At some point you realize nothing is ever going to change...I also think the writing bears a bit of scrutiny, to make the piece less a polemic and focus more on the actual relationship – however flawed – these two people are allegedly trying to create."
"The strains of rom com and intellectual rigor...don’t always harmonize, and sometimes the schematics of the philosophical argument trip up the piece as much as the schematics of the romance plot, but it’s bracing and engaging throughout, energized by two strong performers with chemistry to spare...The play’s laser focus is both weakness and strength...The absence of exposition is bright and refreshing, but we end up knowing almost nothing about these people."