Rick @ 'Nassim' - I didn’t really like it

What’s it about?

Once upon a time, there was a play written in Farsi and… hmm… I didn’t really like it.

My experience.


Okay, let me not jump the gun.

So, I showed up about five minutes late to the play (I won’t even blame the trains — it was completely my fault), but fortunately, they let me in. When I sat down, I was super confused. There was an actor reading her lines off a screen.

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I soon realized that Nassim, the main character and playwright, spends his time behind the scenes, writing the script for an actor to perform as the show is happening — LIVE. There is a guest actor who doesn’t know what’s going to be written on screen beforehand. I missed the first few minutes so it took me a little bit to understand this part, unless I am still confused lol.

Editor’s note: The playwright, Nassim Soleimanpour, doesn’t write the script on the spot. However, he uses a new performer every night who promises not to read the script beforehand, which is why the actor needs to read the lines off the screen. The playwright also reserves the right to make changes to the script as the show progresses. So yes, it’s complicated.

Once I finally understood what was going on, the play went through a series of introductory words and phrases in Farsi which were translated into English. This went on for quite some time with a few jokes sprinkled here and there. There was also audience participation, which was actually pretty cool. The participants basically had to learn and recite some Farsi phrases. This proved to be difficult for some, including me. Maybe we’re just good ol’ dumb Americans (jokes!). Near the end of the show, Nassim explains what the purpose of this show is, and why he brought it to New York. He even creates a really cute and heartfelt moment when he calls his mother. As you can imagine, this is the part where he shares his success with his mother, something I’m sure most of us, if not all, can relate to.

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With all that said, let me just explain why I didn’t like it.

I didn’t find the show to be bad per se, I just didn’t feel like it was actually a play. It felt more like a language class sprinkled with some funny jokes. I couldn’t really follow the plot or the deeper meaning aside from what the playwright shared about his mom. However, that’s just my opinion. There were some cool moments. You can even learn how to say some Farsi words in English (might want to write them down, though). I unfortunately forgot the words post-show because they are very different from any language I’ve ever encountered. However, don’t take my word as gospel — give it a shot for yourself and see if you like it.

P.S. Nassim created a clever segment in the show when he collects voluntary gifts from the audience. He doesn’t collect anything crazy, just like gum and whatnot… you know, whatever people carry in their pockets and want to give. So if you do attend and are feeling generous, bring a little something for the playwright :)

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