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Bengal Tiger At The Baghdad Zoo
At the Richard Rogers Theatre. Previews begin March 11, 2011 and opens March 31, 2011. It runs until July 31, 2011.
The play was a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer for drama. It takes place in Baghdad in 2003.
Bengal Tiger opens with a tiger (Robin Williams) in a mangle cage. He's telling about his life and about the other tigers who were in the zoo and escaped.
There are two sodiers guarding him and the other animals in the zoo. One is a wise guy, trigger happy soldier named Kev (Brad Fleischer). Kev wants to kill the tiger or any other animal they watching. The other soldier Tom ( Glen Davis) is compasionate and caring. He keeps Kev from from shooting them
Tom has a solid gold gun that he stoled from Sadem Hussein son Uday house. He was with a group of soldiers when they stormed the house and he killed Uday. He also has a solid gold toilet seat that he has hidden some where.
Feeling sorry for the tiger Tom gives him something to eat.The tiger bites off his hand. Kev kills the tiger and steals Tom's gold gun.
From this point on the tiger is a ghost roaming around Baghdad landing in a park where there animal fiqures made of plants. He wonders if he has found gods paradise on earth. There are many ghosts in the park each haunting a character in the play. Are these the demons we have when we feel guilty of something we have done to someon or something.
Kev keeps seeing the tiger. He ends up killing himself.
Tom ignored Kev plea for help. His artifical hand made his life difficult. All he is intersted in was finding his gold gun and tiolet seat. He is haunted by Kev's ghost.
The interpeter Misa (Arian Moayed) is haunted by his young sister (Sela Vand) ghost Her death was caused by Uday (Hrach Tiyizian) his employee. Uday ghost keeps haunting him pushing his contol buttons.
Misa said he will give Tom the gold gun back if he gives him some guns. Tom refuses saying he was a terroist. Misa says no I'm an artist, when the Army leaves what will I have. I can sell the guns and live.
Tom takes Misa to the desert to visit a leper colony ( that's where he left the tiolet seat) to translate for him. He has no intension of giving Misa any guns. Out despair Misa kills Tom.
The tiger and his other ghosts justify what they have done as if every thing is okay. You feel the anguish and pain of each character. The tiger keeps looking for God asking when are you coming to your garden.
Robin Willaims keeps using the F words so many times I lost count. Why? It served no purpose.
The set design was done by Derek McLane. It was bleak, right side had two levels the rest was used as a office or the gardens. The stage makes a point without over doing it. Derek did the set design for Ragtime and Million Dolar Quartet. He won a Tony in 2006 for the best revival Pajama Game.
It seems like many of the cast members Williams, Moayed, Davis, Titizian and Vand are making their broadway debut. Congratulations and break a leg.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich
Photos by Annazor.