"It happened in 2005 Iran, yet it seems ever more relevant today in the USA...Unfortunately, the play itself has a tendency to be didactic, at times forcing the actors to speechify; the sudden stylistic shifts between Brechtian theater and naturalism also make it difficult to stay immersed in the story (except in the climactic scene in the court room, which is written to perfection.) Of course the piece has a commendable theme and is important theatre." Full Review
“An emotional roller coaster well worth the ride…This is a great production with an important, relevant story…The twists and turns from this premise are harrowing, and there are moments of violence portrayed so realistically, they can be hard to watch…The acting and direction are superb. Director Rick Leidenfrost-Wilson worked out how these talented actors can bring forth this story believably with a minimal set that makes excellent use of the space.” Full Review
“An appealing coming-of-age play…The playwright, Jay Paul Deratany, expertly weaves the stories together…Rahul Rai as Mahmoud is ideal as the amiable jock who loves learning from the sensitive and erudite Ayaz, expertly played by Roberto Tolentino. Naama Potok infuses the appropriate amount of pathos into her role as Ayaz’s mother. Sahar Bibiyan intelligently portrays the passionate lawyer struggling for her place in the repressive male-dominated Muslim court hierarchy." Full Review
“Tolentino crafts Ayaz’s character with unnerving honesty, his uncertain body movements and sunken chest alluding to a lack of appreciation of self. Rai successfully captures both Mahmoud’s frat boy braggadocio and his latent capacity for compassion. Together, the create a chemistry that brings the text to life…Despite eschewing subtlety in favor of affect (particularly in its dialogue), 'Haram Iran' presents multiple conflicts with intricate complexity.” Full Review
See it if you like gripping plays with socio-political themes. Intense, depicting human rights abuses and anti-gay animus in contemporary Iran.
Don't see it if you're not prepared to reflect on the ways religious extremism can be used to justify horrific treatment of women, children, and gay people.
See it if You want to see a bad presentation of what I suspect is an excellent script. The direction, design & much of the acting are just wrong.
Don't see it if You want to suspend disbelief, or see decent acting, direction & design. 1 actor was good & he stood out because everything else was so bad.
See it if good solid acting in a riveting, sad true story about 2 Iranian teens accused of being gay
Don't see it if see a coming of age story of boys coming of age in present day homophobic Iran
See it if You want to get an idea of how the government of Iran deals with Sharia law & Gay young boys - Hanging! Respectful of the Quran.
Don't see it if You are offended by the reality of life in Iran. A powerful, emotional and disturbing show, but well worth the 2 hours.
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