Raghs is a one-women show found at The Winterfest at the Hudson Theatre Guild. Written and performed by Sohailla Mahjour, who is extremely talented and should be encouraged. For a first play this is impressive work.
We Follow Sarina as she visits Iran and teaches the culture to her best friend Kerrigan. She tells her of meeting her older cousin Benji, a kick-boxing doctor in Iran at twelve, who she develops a fascination with. At fourteen Benji comes to America for a visit. At one point Sarina has a conversation with her mom about her teenage cousin getting married and her mom explaining, “marriage is a political process.” Sarina states “I could never get married at this age.”Now at 16 Sarina has gotten her first kiss from her cousin. She shares it with Kerrigan who is disgusted because Benji is twenty years older than Sarina. As she loses Kerrigan, she gains Benji and a life she claimed she did not want. In the end is Sarina trapped or did she get the life she wanted all along?
The story is touching and real, giving insight into another world. Some of the characters need to be more fleshed out earlier on so we have clear description of them. This would help establish Kerrigan and Benji as they blend together until the middle of the play.
Ms. Mahjour is a talented actress who needs a really good director, unfortunately Pati Amoroso isn’t a strong enough choice. For more than half the show Ms. Mahjour is sideways and we miss her expressive face. You have to cheat out. Being sideways also muffles the sound, so we miss some of the text, which would clear up the confusion on who is who.
Ms. Mahjour is a talent on the rise and though Raghs isn’t perfect, I highly recommend it.
Raghs: Winterfest, Hudson Guild, 411 West 26th Street. Jan 28th @ 1pm and 29th @ 6pm.