Thursday, May 21, 2015

Review of Inana at TimeLine Theatre Company

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called Inana. It was written by Michele Lowe and it was directed by Kimberly Senior. It was about this man named Yasin Shalid (Demetrios Troy) who just got married to a woman named Shali Shalid (Atra Asdou) and they are learning to love each other because they haven't really gotten to know each other; they are just married. They are in this hotel room in London and they have come from Mosul in Iraq for their honeymoon but also to escape from the war. Yasin is the head of the museum in Mosul and he has this one-armed statue of Inana which is very important to him because it was the last of her kind. And it turned out that there is more than one one-armed goddess in the show. Inana was the goddess of love, war, and healing. The thing is that the show is about the same things the goddess is about. It is about love because of the marriages in the play and also the family relationships. It is about war because war drives them away and threatens Inana. And it's about healing because over the course of the play Yasin and Shali are trying to heal from not being able to go back to their hometown and things that they lost there. I thought this was an amazing show. It was very educational, but in a good way. I loved the plot. I loved the characters because, even though the play is short, you get to know the characters so well.

This show is very suspenseful. You didn't really know what was going to happen to the characters at any given moment. It is very exciting because it is like an adventure story because it is kind of like Indiana Jones, except instead of trying to find artifacts, this is about trying to preserve artifacts. It is also pretty exciting to find the different back stories to the characters that you didn't expect. There is also a bookstore owner named Abdel-Hakim Taliq (Frank Sawa) who keeps being hurt by the government because they think he is doing something bad, but really all he is doing is having books that are not completely religious for them or have pictures of naked babies in them. He is kind of like Yasin's best friend. And his story shows how the government would hurt people for not good reasons and it also shows how dangerous it would be for Yasin to stay in Iraq.

I felt like some of the scenes were very touching, too, Shali's father, Emad Al-Bayit (Anish Jethmalani) has asked Yasin to take her away and never let her come back to Iraq. She doesn't want that; she wants to be able to go back. You feel sorry for Shali because she has basically had everything she had known taken away from her. And she doesn't know where she is very well and now she is going to live in this place she doesn't know very well. But later in the play you find out she is not the kind of person you think she is; she is stronger than you think. I think one of the reasons her father sends her away is that he loves her so much and doesn't want her to get hurt. I thought that was very touching and sweet. I also found it touching the relationship Yasin and Shali built throughout the play. They tell stories to each other that you get to see in flashbacks. And some of the flashbacks are touching too, like when you see that whenever Shali was a good girl, she would get an orange. And it was also really sad when you found out about Yasin's first wife Hama (Arya Daire). What happens to her is absolutely awful.

This doesn't sound like a very funny play, but then when you actually see it, it actually has some pretty funny moments. These are some of my favorite funny moments. I thought the waiter (Michael B. Woods) was very very funny. He kind of reminded me of Monty Python waiters because of his attitude; his attitude was like, "I shall connect with this man even though I am just a waiter who comes to his hotel room." I really love Monty Python, so that was really great. One of the other funny things is when Shali's sister Mena (Daire) gives her lingerie and then Shali goes to try it on in the bathroom and then she comes back out and says "It looked good" but she is still still in her same clothes. And Yasin thought she would come out in it, so then he is all ready to say "you look gorgeous in that," but she comes out in her normal clothes. Mohammed Zara (Behzad Dabu) was very funny. He was the assistant to Yasin at the museum. It was funny how eager he was to take over the museum and how giddy he was. It was just very funny and adorable.

People who would like this show are people who like artifacts, suspense, and lingerie that your wife won't let you see. I really really liked this show. I thought it was super awesome. I think people should definitely definitely go see this show. It talks about some scary subjects, but you don't see them happening, so I think if you think your child would be okay with that they could see it too.

Photos: Lara Goetsch

No comments: