After a night out in New York City this 30ish couple that has been seeing each other for five months returns to her apartment. She is on a student visa and works at the United Nations and he hopes for a career in finance. Over wine and beer, they passionately debate politics including the topical Iran Deal and examine their relationship. It is clear that despite their many differences that they are deeply in love. This harmony is shattered when unexpectedly her fiery brother Cas arrives from Iran causing tremendous complications.
Playwright Dewey Moss has crafted a well structured, taut, and seemingly conventional romance among clashing cultures that shockingly switches gears. Inventively based on news stories about situations in Iran, Mr. Moss skillfully weaves political issues into the dialogue among the characters and creates a plot that is gripping and painful.
Unfortunately, after reading Moss’ author/director note in the program, one will have a pretty good idea of where the play will go. The show’s website and press materials also bewilderingly spoil the plot twist. Knowledge of this robs audience members of the experience of a thrilling discovery.
With fine simplicity Moss also directs this contained and emotionally charged play that features a trio of strong performances.
The Iranian born Pooya Mohseni as Samantha is commanding and her biographical details add great depth to her performance. She richly captures the humor of the character in the early portions of the play and the dramatic anguish as it reaches its climax with intensity.
With a slight twang, soulfulness, and compassion, the athletic and charming George Faya perfectly depicts James. His palpable chemistry with Miss Mohseni adds considerably to the success of the play.
Barging in with forceful malevolence, the charismatic Gopal Divan is chilling as Cas. Like all of the great villains, he is funny and frightening at the same time. Mr. Divan humanizes what could have been a two-dimensional character with his vivid acting.
Death of the Persian Prince is a noble work that explores horrendous social issues in a compelling and informative manner.
Death of the Persian Prince (through September 26, 2015)
The DMAC-Duo Multicultural Arts Center, 62 East 4th Street, in Manhattan
For tickets, call 1-800-838-3006 or visit http://www.DeathofthePersianPrince.com
Running time: seventy minutes with no intermission