Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Stage Door: The Actors from "Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo"

Here are some of the wonderful actors leaving the Richard Rodgers Theatre after a matinee performance of Rajiv Joseph's Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo on Saturday. Unfortunately, no Glenn Davis (however, I did spot Mr. Davis leaving an evening performance of The Dream of the Burning Boy the next day) and no Mr. Williams (FYI - he does not leave the theater after matinees).

First, we have Brad Fleischer, who plays Kev.  As I watched him during the performance, I wondered how many of our young men off to Iraq are like this character - unprepared, lost or simply gone.

Then we have Hrach Titizian, who plays Uday, son of the reprehensible Saddam Hussein. The gentleman standing next to me remarked to Mr. Titizian that his performance was "spooky". Yes, that was a good way to sum up his role in this play.
Next we have Sheila Vand who plays Hadia and a very young Iraqi Teenager. Either way, as one of the two females in this cast, her story is devastating.

Finally, Arian Moayed who plays the conflicted Musa, who no longer wants to work for tyrants. I asked Mr. Moayed how he feels after such an intense performance. He replied that he was exhausted, especially with two little ones as he strolled away with his family. Ironically this story about Mr. Moayed was printed in the Sunday New York Times: From Starry-Eyed to Star.

Overall, I was happy to see a play such as Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo on Broadway, which tends to stick to safe accessible commerical peices. I wonder if they would have been able to do it without the star power of Robin Williams. While the toned down Mr. Williams was fine as the titled tiger, this play was about the strong supporting cast and the impact of the situation in Iraq on everyone, including the dead.

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