Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo"

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Directed by Moises Kauffman, "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo" is a play that is not-to-be-missed. With or without Robin Williams - who, for better or worse, may be more of a draw to this show than its subject matter for the average viewer - this tumultuous story of unanswerable questions will give you chills, and make you think.
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Boasting a strong storyline that infiltrates humor with heartbreak, this play has a strong book that is brought to life by a stellar cast. Robin Williams truly was superb as the "Tiger." Reigning in his comedic panache, he brought to life a myriad of emotions and left the audience mesmerized as much as he made us chuckle. Arian Moayed's "Musa" was perhaps the most wretched of all the characters, struggling against demons we were introduced to slowly and painfully, and remaining human and defiant throughout the storyline. Rounding out the leads of this cast were equally strong performances by Glenn Davis as "Tom" and Brad Fleischer (a UCSD MFA graduate, hey-o!) as "Kev," who went from frustratingly immature to sadly lost until he made a refreshing growth into a character with inquisitiveness as well as intelligence.
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This storyline was rounded out by the rest of a very talented cast, and was brought beautifully to life with sets by Derek McLane. Truly, the garden - which served as a predominant background throughout the play - was beautiful in its devastation and its significance to each character. The sound design, by Acme Sound Partners and Cricket S. Myers, as well as Kathryn Bostic's musical compositions, were together beautifully effective, lulling into everyday simplicity just as quickly as it yanked us from reverie into realization of cold, hard truths.
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Without a doubt this show is worth seeing. The sort of story you lose yourself in until you emerge, blinking, back into the bright light of day, and life in America, unsure of what to do with what you've seen, unsure of the life so many men and women have lived - and are living - in countries abroad, where war is fought, and there are no easy truths, and there is no black and white. A reminder that life is hard in ways we cannot even imagine, for so very many people we most likely will never come close to meeting.

"Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo" plays at the Richard Rogers Theater, 226 West 46th Street. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Box Office or by clicking here.

1 comment:

  1. I am so jealous of you, you have been to see some amazing productions!! This one looks fantastic! And I have always wanted to see the Importance of Being Earnest because I loved the Picture of Dorian Gray.
    I am obsessed with old tap musicals too! Are there any good ones you can recommend?