|Rasha Zamamiri as Zarina and Rajesh Bose as Afzal|
The book and its blasphemous ideas have significant repercussions for the characters. (Although a fatwa was not issued, it called to mind the controversy over Salman Rushdie's "The Satanic Verses" that kept Rushdie in hiding for nearly a decade.) Akhtar makes it clear that Zarina understood the potential for the book's explosive impact by her reluctance to tell people about what she was writing.
The 90-minute play was very involving, and all of the actors were topnotch. I did, however, wonder why Zarina was so obsessed with the hajib since the females in her family (including her mother) did not wear a veil. Even more significantly, why didn't she publish the book under a pseudonym to avoid subjecting her family to the consequences of her actions?
|Professor Mohamad Al-Hakim|
I applaud Gulfshore Playhouse for presenting topical plays like "The Who & the What," which runs through this week-end. And I note that the theater will take on Lucas Hnath's "The Christians" next season. I saw the show at last year's Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, and it definitely got under my skin. It's worth keeping on your theatrical radar screen.