SILKEN VEILS (Pantea Productions): 2016 Fringe review 52

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The story of Darya (Leila Ghaznavi) begins on her wedding day. She has cold feet, and her fiance, Ahmad (Robert Negron), is trying to find out why. Locked in a room, she recalls her Iranian childhood through the veil of memory: her parents as marionettes and shadows. Carol Anne Raffa as her mother and Paul Del Signore as her “baba” emote powerfully from behind a lit curtain. They recite Rumi, the poet champion of romantic love, and remind Darya how beautiful and painful love can be.

Negron brings some much-needed comic relief, offsetting the sometimes grisly story of Khomeini’s Iran. The simple set design (Lianne Arnold) and effective music (Hamed Nikpay and Houman Pourmedhi) are transportive. Some of the text is trite—“Come to me, kiss me, marry me!”—and Ghaznavi acts with a Judy Garland like exuberance that is big for the small theater, but that intensity and classic telling works perfectly for the puppetry. In true fairy-tale fashion, love wins in the end.  

[Studio X, 1340 S. 13th Street] September 14-18, 2016; fringearts.com/silken-veils

 

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