Broadway Comes to Egypt

by Sarah Abdallah

When I think of theater in New York City, I think of Broadway. When I came to Egypt, I knew that there was no theater district and that seeing theater was uncommon.  To my pleasant surprise, while on a bus, I came across a huge poster that read “Broadway Comes to Egypt”. “Broadway comes to Egypt?” I asked myself with plenty of doubt. I wanted the bus to go backwards to give me a chance to reread the poster, but it kept moving. I did some research and found out that excerpts from the Broadway shows Grease and West Side Story were going to be presented at the Roman Amphitheatre. I was so excited and I purchased tickets from the box office. Yes, there is a box office in Egypt. 

Once I entered the theater, they checked my ticket and looked through my bag. I waited for an usher to guide me to my seat, but then I realized that I was not at a Broadway theater. Here I could sit wherever I wanted. Without a second thought, I headed straight to the front of the theater. I had never seen either Grease or West Side Story before, so I was excited to learn a little about both shows. 

Unfortunately, these performances did not encourage me to see either! The music was fine, and I must give credit to the actors for their hard work, but I was hoping for a story or at least a summary of the show. I actually couldn’t even understand the story behind each song. After referencing what seemed to be a playbill, a few aspects of the performance became clear to me. I realized that the Jets were a New York City gang in West Side Story and that one of the props was a hairdresser because one of the characters from Grease was a beauty school dropout. 

After seeing this dull show, I don’t know if I am too crazy about seeing Grease or West Side Story. On the other hand, I think it’s important for me to see both shows and give them a chance. I ought to assure myself that this was simply a bad representation of the songs. 

Oh well. At least I got to see some theatre in Egypt! 

Sarah Abdallah was a writer for PxP when she attended high school in New York and is currently a foreign correspondent while continuing her studies in Egypt.

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