Released in 2003, Khaled Hosseini’s debut novel, The Kite Runner, became a sleeper hit in 2005 after being published in paperback, hitting the New York Times bestseller list and remaining there until 2007. While news of American troops in Afghanistan crowded headlines, the book provided a glimpse into a pre-Soviet invasion, pre-Taliban Afghanistan. Later in 2007, when the book was made into a film, the movie was nominated for multiple awards, including an Academy Award and a BAFTA Film Award. A new adaptation is presently playing on Broadway, and here are several reasons you may want to check it out.
1. If you like text-to-stage adaptations of your favorite novels
This one’s a no-brainer. If you like to study how different authors adapt and present the same work of art, then you must check out the production as it makes its journey from being a novel to a film to, finally, an onstage production.
2. If you are a Khaled Hosseini fan
Did you like reading The Kite Runner? Couldn’t put down your copy of A Thousand Splendid Suns and then wore out the dog-eared paperback of And the Mountains Echoed? Then you need to watch The Kite Runner on stage and see Hosseini’s world come to life.
3. If you are appreciative of diverse casts
There is Faran Tahir who is of Pakistani heritage, Azita Ghanizada who was a political asylum seeker from Afghanistan herself, Amir Malaklou who shares his Arab heritage with the story’s protagonists, the Iranian actor Houshang Touzie, and more.
4. If you want to go beyond news cliches and expand what you know about Afghanistan
Every news channel has its own idea of Afghanistan and, unfortunately, most of us have based our knowledge of a whole country on these cliches. With the help of culture consultants, The Kite Runner creates a humanizing and real portrayal of Afghan Muslim culture that is rare to find on Broadway, or in present-day media.
5. If you want your art to create meaningful social change
The Kite Runner has partnered with some phenomenal organizations that are working to provide humanitarian relief for people—especially women and children—in Afghanistan and for refugees all over the world. These partners include USA for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency; The Khaled Hosseini Foundation; Welcome.US; Women for Women International; and the New York Public Library.
6. If you are an Indian Classical Music fan
The tabla is a pair of hand drums that are most commonly used in Indian classical music. Musician Salar Nader, who was born to Afghan parents in Germany, and trained under the legendary Ustad Zakir Hussain, is an intrinsic part of the production as he starts off the play with a solo recital. The rest of the play sees Nader appear on stage a few times with his tabla and provide some excellent and unique background music to the narrative. So if you want to watch your favorite novel in its Broadway avatar and sit through a mini Tabla concert, The Kite Runner is for you.