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Welcome to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Members say: Self-absorbent, Banal, Enchanting, Confusing, Delightful
41
Critics
36
7 reviews
Members
61
2 reviews
 

Avant-garde artists Monk Parrots return to 59E59 with this new dark musical comedy set in Dharan about American expats in search of a dream.

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The performing and visual artists of Monk Parrots return with their distinct style of theatre in 'Welcome to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.' This dark musical comedy takes an intimate look at the barriers between Middle Eastern and Western cultures and the emotional and psychological lives of American expatriates who encounter barriers related to culture and gender.

 

Cast & Creatives (15)



Reviews (9)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
36
Avg Score

35
The New York Times

"An off-putting piece if ever there was one...The show’s creators are apparently going for the decadent garishness of 'Cabaret,' but the piece lacks the coherence and clarity of purpose to pull that off, coming across instead as a randomly assembled stew. Theatergoers who frequent 59E59 are not unadventurous, but at a recent performance the number of empty seats after intermission showed that they’re also apparently not monk parakeets. They couldn’t adjust to this strange, sloppy show." Full Review

20
Theatermania

"'Welcome to the KSA' is about as geopolitically enlightening as Disney's 'Aladdin'...Leonard seems to be trying to say something about the radical shifts in Saudi society, but he is often undermined by his inability to resist cheap jokes...The entire cast seems to be treading water, doing their best not to drown in this sea of unfunny clichés. At very least, 'Welcome to the Kingdom' succeeds in being stylistically authentic: a terrible musical about a terrible place." Full Review

20
Theatre's Leiter Side

"The subject itself is worthy of theatrical treatment, as very few shows venture into the Middle East...'Welcome to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia' chooses to handle the material in an egregiously exaggerated, absurdist manner. Multiple themes arise but the writing and performance style, abetted by unlistenable music and lyrics, make it impossible to focus on any, creating a bizarre mishmash of confusion and unreality." Full Review

40
Theatre is Easy

"If there is a deeper message at play here, it isn't successfully communicated. The lack of material to drive the story forward and poor character development make the whole plot seem sloppy. When interesting information is presented, it has little connection to the rest of the story. Overall, the cast is strong in their roles as well as multitasking in different roles, such as John Gasper performing as Randy and other odd characters." Full Review

35
Theater Pizzazz

"The title of this work is so inviting, the subject matter interesting in the extreme, but, alas, it’s all in the execution, execution in all its meanings. One sees the intentions when studying the script, but it reads better than it plays...The most cogent comment on this work? The house was packed and people frantically searched for seats before it all began. After intermission about a third of the house was empty." Full Review

75
A Seat on the Aisle

"An extraordinary surrealistic theatrical production that brilliantly captures and exposes Saudi Arabia's contradictions...The play does hit a few false notes...But that said, the work succeeded in hitting its mark much more often than it failed, a credit both to the playwright and to the entire cast." Full Review

40
Our Theater Blog

"Most of the music is highly forgettable and, in many cases unintelligible, odd as the theater is very small and the actors use mics...The set is made of plastic cutouts with flopping hands that seemed more Halloween than Saudi. There are a few effective numbers, mostly those performed by The Descendants of Abraham, a trio played by whichever company members are not already onstage, in superb camel costumes by designer Alison Heryer." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
61
Avg Score

46
Banal, Confusing, Self-absorbent

See it if you could enjoy a piece of absurd (artistically used here, with much leeway) theatre.

Don't see it if you don't like seeing theatre that just "is".

100
Delightful, Enchanting

See it if It was wonderful!

Don't see it if You don't like musicals