This month's CUNY Graduate Center Advocate includes my (belated) review of Jonas Hassen Khemiri's fantastic play Invasion!, as produced by The Play Company at the Flea Theatre in September:
For Khemiri, even though he allowed and even encouraged his collaborators in New York to change the setting, and to adjust certain cultural and topical references accordingly, Invasion! is a play about Sweden. That it feels so topical, timely, and relevant in a setting 4,000 miles from Stockholm, is certainly a credit to translator Rachel Willson-Broyles and director Erica Schmidt, who have successfully made the play sound like New York, or like a version of New York envisioned by a playwright with a biting sense of humor and a love of language. It is also, of course, a credit to Khemiri himself, who has written a probing, intelligent play that is at turns funny and alarming, challenging and engaging, political and heart-wrenching
It also includes a few thoughts on a couple of recent visits to Broadway shows Hair and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert:
But here’s the thing. I know some drag queens. And I know some hippies. And they don’t all look like Abercrombie and Fitch models, or like they’re auditioning for the next season of True Blood. The decades-long quest to address images of women’s bodies in popular culture hasn’t resulted in more realistic images of women; it has instead resulted in less realistic images of men. I guess that’s a move toward equality in some sense (we’re all objectified now), and again: I’m not entirely against the objectification of bodies and the commodification of sex. But I do wish that in the theatre, of all places, we might make some effort to recognize that there is more than one way to be sexy, and that there are kinds of diversity not reflected in Benetton catalogues.
You can read the full article here.