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BWW Review: HEARTLAND at 59E59 Theaters-A Powerful Story Excellently Presented

Review: HEARTLAND at 59E59 Theaters

BWW Review:  HEARTLAND at 59E59 Theaters-A Powerful Story Excellently Presented

"Fear is temporary, regret lingers." Harold from Heartland

Live theatre is back, and we are so pleased to visit 59E59 Theaters and see Heartland, a production presented by Geva Theatre Center. This outstanding play is written by Gabriel Jason Dean, superbly directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh and features a top-notch cast. It tells a powerful and moving story with just the right touches of charm. Heartland has a special significance for current times as it touches on the plight of refugees and social responsibility. The show will be performed on the Upper East Side stage through April 10th.

Dr. Harold Banks, a retired college professor at the University of Nebraska, adopted Geetee when she was a refugee child in war-torn Afghanistan. Encouraged by her father, Geetee returns to her native country as an adult to teach literature to young girls at Blue Sky school. There, she meets a math teacher, Nazrullah, and as they share language and culture, their relationship grows romantically. When Geetee is tragically slain, Naz travels to the United States to care for Harold as his health declines. Set in both Maidan Shar, Afghanistan and Omaha, Nebraska, the play cleverly weaves together scenes of the past and the present to develop the story's unexpected relationships.

BWW Review:  HEARTLAND at 59E59 Theaters-A Powerful Story Excellently Presented

The three-person cast is ideal to portray the narrative and they deliver Dean's finely crafted dialogue seamlessly. The company includes Owais Ahmed as Naz, Mark Cuddy as Harold and Mari Vial-Golden as Geetee.

You'll be enthralled by scenes in Heartland that include the opening with Harold dictating a literature lecture; Naz arriving at Harold's home and being mistaken for a repairman; Naz sharing his chai tea with Geetee; Geetee talking to Naz about teaching "The Diary of Anne Frank" to her young female students; tender moments between Geete and Naz; Geetee confronting Harold on Skype about the educational materials he wrote for Afghan youth; Harold and Naz going through Geetee's belongings; and Naz relating his plans for the future to Harold.

BWW Review:  HEARTLAND at 59E59 Theaters-A Powerful Story Excellently Presented

The production team has done a great job of bringing Heartland to life with scenic design by Meredith Reis; costume design by Dina El-Aziz; lighting design by Seth Reiser; and sound design by Kate Marvin. Jenni Werner serves as dramaturg; Humaira Ghilzai as cultural consultant; Rocío Mendez as intimacy director; Veronica Aglow as Production Stage Manager; and Gulshan Mia as associate director.

Don't miss the Heartland. It is an unforgettable chronicle of love, culture, and humanity. The performance schedule for Heartland is as follows: Tuesday - Saturday at 7:15pm, Saturday - Sunday at 2:15pm. Tickets to Heartland begin at $25 and are available at https://59e59.org/.

Note: As of February 7, audiences will need to be fully vaccinated AND have proof of a booster dose (for those eligible in accordance with CDC guidelines) to attend performances at 59E59 Theaters. Fully vaccinated means having had your booster shot two weeks (14 days) before your performance date. All patrons will also be required to wear KN95 or N95 masks. If a patron does not have one, a mask will be provided free-of-charge.

Photo Credit: Carol Rosegg



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