BWW Review: DISGRACED at Denver Center For The Performing Arts
Disgraced is an introspective look into the lives of a married couple and how they identify individually with the Muslim religion and how that perception reflects into their lives.
The show opens on an intimate set, designed by Lisa M. Orzolek, which invites the audience to "take a peek" into the lives of Amir (Dorien Makhloghi) and Emily (Olivia Gilliatt.) The very first scene immediately dives into the meat of the theme. We quickly learn that Amir is struggling with cultural identity, torn between the religion he was raised with and the close minded career he has chosen to embark on. Emily is a struggling artist who has found inspiration in the struggles of her husband and the religion he is trying to abandon. We also meet Abe (Vandit Bhatt), Amir's cousin who is also struggling with the same cultural identity as Amir.
As the play unfolds we are introduced to the two characters who foil our protagonist couple. Conveniently, they are also a married couple. Isaac (Benjamin Pelteson) is an art gallery owner who is auditioning Emily to put her work into his show and Jory (Christina Sajous), Isaac's wife, is a co worker to Amir who is in direct competition for the promotion coming up at his company.While the performance itself intrigued me, I found that the message of the show seemed to go over my head. Perhaps I was intimidated by the fact the show was a 2013 Pulitzer Prize winner, but as I watched, I felt I was being educated rather than entertained. The dialogue is very rich in substance and though some moments of lightness occur it did not feel like enough to balance the heavy moments the majority of the play produces.
Overall, I feel the show was performed excellently. The actors had a beautiful ensemble dynamic that fluidly moved throughout the space and owned each of the eccentricities of their characters. Images created by Director Carl Cofield were stunning and brought even more depth to the scenes on display.
Disgraced performs in the Ricketson Theater at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts through May 7th. Tickets can be purchased at the box office by calling: (800)641-1222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo Credit: Adam Viscom