BWW Reviews: ROAD TO DAMASCUS at 59E59 is Gripping Drama
"No one deserves to be bombed because their governments have failed them."
-Road to Damascus
The Road to Damascus is a riveting play now on stage at 59E59 through March 1st. Masterfully written by Tom Dulack, this World Premiere chronicles events that occurred after a terror attack on United States soil. First conceived in 2007, this play is continually updated to reflect ongoing political changes. The Road to Damascus is a very timely, socially relevant piece that is a must-see for metropolitan area audiences.
The show has excellent direction by Michael Parva who has developed, produced and directed over 50 new works. His creative team brings the play to full life with set design by Brittany Vasta, lighting design by Graham Kindred, costume design by Lux Haac, original music and sound design by Quentin Chiappetta and video design by Joshua Paul Johnson. The production stage manager is Rose Riccardi and the stage manager is Katherine S. Fergerson.
Road to Damascus imagines a world where the first African Pope is in the Vatican and the first third party President in American history is in the White House. When suicide bombers strike New York City and Miami, the United States is sent in a tailspin. With American under attack and a full-scale civil war raging in Syria, the President must act. And the Pope, who is wholly committed to peace, is considering intervening in foreign policy. Moral reasoning in the face of war makes The Road to Damascus an important and poignant view of humanity.
The fine cast of seasoned actors bring make this political thriller a real happening and the characters are distinctive and interesting. Nadia Kirilenko (Larisa Polonsky) is a noted television journalist who is somewhat conflicted about her romantic relationship with US State Department official, Dexter Hobhouse (Rufus Collins). Pope Augustine (Mel Johnson Jr.) and his confidents, Roberto Stuyck (Roberto Guzman) and Cardinal Medeiros (Robert Verlaque) bring the position of the Vatican into perspective. Ted Bowles (Joseph Adams) and Bree Benson (Liza Vann) are NSA employees who lend a real insider view to political maneuvering. The incredible acting of this seven-person cast makes this play feel like events are in real time. While danger and secrecy take center stage, very personal moments like the conversation between long time friends Pope Augustine and Nadia give the show a thoughtful balance. This story has many layers, and you will reflect on it long after the curtain call.
Road to Damasus runs 1 hour and 40 minutes with no intermission. It will be on stage at 59/59 through March 1st. To purchase tickets, call Ticket Central at (212) 279-4200 or visit www.59e59.org.
PHOTO CREDIT: Carol Rosegg