Whereas London theatre finds its way to Broadway several times a year, and drama from Western Europe usually migrates to the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the festival circuit, Iranian plays are rare on these shores.
This has been an unusual autumn, however, in that two Iranian troupes are working in New York. Assurbanipal Babilla, artistic director of Purgatorio Ink, brought his tragi-farcical adaptation of Othello to the Vineyard Theatre. Using elements of burlesque, cultural taboos and sexual fantasies (gay and straight), Babilla's Othello And The Circumsized Turk reportedly incorporated elements of traditional Iranian theatre into Babilla's flamboyant personal style.
A month later, more traditional comedy finds its way Off-Off-Broadway in the theatrical comedy team of Parviz Sayad and Hadi Khorsandi. Their untitled show, which played in London and California before coming to New York, opens tonight, Oct. 28, at the Theatre of the Riverside Church on 120th St. The duo will also perform OCt. 29 and 30.
Tickets ($16) for "the theatrical duet," who, unlike the exiled Babilla, perform in the Iranian language, are available by calling (212) 686-5793.
-- By David Lefkowitz