November 24, 2011
Reviewed by Paula Citron
Modern Times Theatre
Written by Soheil Parsa and Peter Farbridge
Directed by Soheil Parsa
Performed by Peter Farbridge, Beatriz Pizano, John Ng, Steven Bush, Carlos González-Vio, Stewart Arnott, Costa Tovarnisky and Bahareh Yaraghi
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
Nov. 18 to Dec. 4, 2011
The innovative Modern Times Stage Company produces works of substance and beauty. Their splendid new show Hallaj is so compelling that the audience is simply not conscious of the passage of time.
The point of inspiration is Mansur al-Hallaj, a Sufi mystic who was brutally executed for heresy by the Baghdad Caliphate in 922. He was sort of the Martin Luther of Islam, believing in a direct connection to God, and bypassing the traditional religious, social and political rituals and conventions.
Hallaj is not a stage biography. Rather co-writers Peter Farbridge and Soheil Parsa use Hallaj as a way to investigate universal issues of identity and truth, and the impact of one man’s vision against the world.
This magnificent physical theatre piece is brilliantly directed by Parsa. Farbridge in the role of Hallaj leads a stunning multicultural cast. As always, the imaginative lighting and sound design are excellent.
Do not miss this outstanding play.
Hallaj continues at Buddies in Bad Theatre until Dec. 4.