TEHRANGELES - Hollywood Fringe Festival at Hudson Backstage Theatre

Reviewed by Amalisha HuEck

The Independent Collective Artists of Los Angeles & Hasht Media presented a unique, and quite different play, 'TehrAngeles' created by the theatre ensemble of players of Iranian descent. They enter, as every immigrant would, with suitcases and the hope to adapt to a new way of living. The struggle to fit into a new society, quite different than what they are familiar with, is clearly expressed and shows a mighty strive for better tomorrow. Mother, looking for a better life for her daughter and daughter wanting to make her mom proud, with their wonderful loving connection, live with a constant hope that their homeland would not fall. As every immigrant, especially at the beginning, when their language is not perfect and the love and care for his/her country is so strong, the feeling of not belonging anywhere is overwhelming. They use English and Persian language during the show, which gives the audience a feel for who they are and where they are coming from, and most importantly deepens our experience by listening to their language. It does not take away their constant thinking about their homeland and the deep pain and discomfort they are going through.

The director Nakta Pahlevan (actor, playwright, director, singer) wrote the play adjusting the characters to availability of performers here in LA, actors who speak English and Persian language. On her journey as a playwright, actor, director, and producer she had the privilege of being a part of over 100 stage productions in Los Angeles, portraying roles of diverse qualities. 'Her work reflects her dedication to exploring diverse narratives and the power of storytelling, as she aims to connect with audiences and fellow artists alike.' Her enthusiasm and skills are greatly expressed in this production. Bravo!

Music plays a vitally important part in this play, emphasizing the misfortune and the recovery from an unjust complexity of their country. Ali Azizian (composer, actor, producer, singer) created the celestial music, which accompanies the play so well, emphasizing the lives of all the immigrants before and after coming to LA and blending their dreams with this promised land.  'As the main singer, actor, musical director, composer, and one of the producers of "TehrAngeles," Ali showcases his versatile artistry in this significant production that explores the nuanced experiences of the Iranian diaspora.'

Through the lives of Zohreh-mother (Farideh Kakavand), known professionally as Frida, an accomplished Iranian actress, filmmaker, and voice artist with a rich career spanning over two decades and Sima-daughter (Nakta Pahlevan), plus a server (Shamiram Ghashehpour), an Iranian-Assyrian singer and actor, whose voice qualities are so rich and the tunes are carried so beautifully, enriching the messages and expressing the heart and soul of the Iranian immigrants during the violent 1980s, we get a taste of what being an immigrant is.  Those fine actresses with Azizian's music, under the professional direction of Pavlevan with the other powerful cast members, Afshin Katanchi (actor, co-director), Genevieve Joy (actor), Mohsen Abdollahian (actor), Aaron Gilliam (dancer, choreographer), Patti Choi (dancer, actor), and the rest of artistic team Nazanin Bakhtiari (production designer, costume designer), Sarah N. (assistant director, graphic designer) and Shirin Daghooghi (production designer, graphic designer, costume and set Designer), show us the challenges that come with the journey of each immigrant.      The orchestra and the dancers play a significant role and are a great addition to the play. Shamiram Ghashehpour's interpretation of the songs takes us to high emotional levels. What a gorgeous voice! Great actors all the way around, and an excellent team!

The play, a Hollywood Fringe Festival offering, opened on June 9, and runs two more times, Sunday June 16 at 3:00 pm and Sunday June 23 at 4:30 pm @ Hudson Theatres (Hudson Backstage), 6539 Santa Monica Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90038. The show is around 70 minutes long, with no intermission.  For rental inquiries or any other information email:     hudsontheatre@gmail.com  323-856-4249 Direct ticket link: http://hollywoodfringe.org/projects/10919

Posted By DH Magazine on June 19, 2024 10:06 am | Permalink