Put two couples together in a well appointed living room for a dinner party. Add booze, stress, and weighty themes. Then watch as civility slowly gives way to acrimony.
This formula is on display in the Huntington Theater Company’s production Disgraced, the winner of a Pulitzer Prize in 2013. Should you see it or skip it? Here are the best arguments on either side.
Disgraced is an unsparing look at what many American Muslims face in a post-9/11 world. Given the recent ascendancy of Donald Trump, this production couldn’t be more timely.
Characters say and do things in Disgraced that are genuinely shocking. (I gasped audibly at one point. But playwright Ayad Akhtar’s characters are so well-realized that we don’t want to abandon them, even after they say stunningly imprudent things.
The cast is absolutely first-rate. Rajesh Bose and Nicole Lowrance work beautifully together in their display of domestic turbulence. Shirine Babb expertly delivers the show’s best (and greatly needed) punchlines.
I’m not religious, yet Disgraced left me contemplating the impact of my family’s cultural and religious history on my everyday thinking. I’ve been fortunate enough to see some very good plays over the past couple of years, but nothing that stuck with me the way Disgraced has.
Thanks to director Gordon Edelstein, Disgraced moves at a wonderful pace. The dialogue is rapid and, in moments, dense. But you never lose sight of the difficult ideas and themes.
The verdict: See it!
Disgraced will be at the Boston University Theatre through February 7.