BWW Review: DISGRACED at McCarter Theatre is an A-List Dinner Party You Don't Want to Miss!
There are a lot of reasons to have great expectations for DISGRACED, the play currently running at McCarter Theatre's Matthew's Stage through October 30th. It won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for drama and its playwright, Ayad Akhtar, is ranked as the most produced playwright of this current theater season. This production, jointly produced with the Guthrie Theater of Minneapolis and Milwaukee Repertory Theater, lives up: from script, to direction, to acting, to design.
It's 90 minutes of theatre at its best.
From the start, there is an energy and intellectual buzz, like the jazz music that runs between scenes, that keeps the audience engaged and curious as the story of Amir Kapoor (Maboud Ebrahimzadeh) and his wife Emily, (Caroline Kaplan) unfolds and unravels.
Dinner party conversation goes deep, touching off unresolved notions of cultural, religious, and racial identities, between guests and within.
Director Marcela Lorca said the work is imaginative and in direct conversation with current global dynamics.
"These characters are not heroes," she said. "They are complex people who often harbor conflicting points of view. In the same way, our world is not simple, nor easy, and true understanding will only derive from our willingness to ask hard questions, embrace contradictions and empathize with those who differ from us."
For the main character, Amir, the contradictions have been coated over with the veneer of big city success as a Manhattan lawyer. As that identity comes into question, he is forced to examine the foundation of his life.
"One of the central axis points of the American experience is rupture from the old world, and renewal of the self in the new one," playwright Ayad Aktar said. "For seven or eight generations, this notion is central to being American. We celebrate the renewal, we do not mourn the rupture. DISGRACED is about the gap which is created by not mourning the rupture."
Marcela Lorca's clean and purposeful staging elegantly matches the economy of this powerful story. With Adit Dileep (Abe), Maboud Ebrahimzadeh (Amir), Kevin Isola (Isaac), Caroline Kaplan (Emily), and Austene Van (Jory).
See it before it's gone. It's a dinner party you don't want to miss.
Tickets for Disgraced start as low as $25.00 and are on sale now at www.mccarter.org, by phone at (609) 258-2787, or in person at the McCarter Theatre Box Office, located at 91 University Place in Princeton.
Disgraced will be performed on the Matthews Stage. The production will be one hour and thirty minutes with no intermission.
DISGRACED IN CONVERSATION: Saturday, October 29, approximately at 4:30 p.m. on the Matthews Stage immediately following the 3:00 p.m. matinee performance of Disgraced. No RSVP or ticket is required to attend the discussion; it is free and open to the public.
McCarter "In Conversation" events feature a discussion among artists, scholars, and other public figures that fosters cross-disciplinary explorations of big questions and concepts in plays presented on the McCarter stage. Panel guests for this event are to be announced.
Photo credit: T. Charles Erickson