“Hound Canine,” a play with music, evokes Elvis, Joni Mitchell and “Ramy” the Hulu sequence about an Egyptian-American immigrant household in New Jersey (the final unintentionally) — which give the primary pleasures in a world premiere that wants work.
On this play written by Melis Aker, a personality we all know solely as Hound Canine (Ellena Eshraghi) is a musician who has returned after faculty within the U.S. to her residence in Ankara, Turkey, feeling numbed and alienated. She is estranged from her father Baba (Laith Nakli), and distant even from her finest buddy Ayse (Olivia AbiAssi.) She is ambivalent about her future; she isn’t certain she desires to just accept her admission to the Royal Academy of Music in London.
We ultimately determine that Hound Canine hasn’t totally processed her grief on the dying of her mom a yr earlier, and can be most likely experiencing tradition shock after her years away. The issue with “Hound Canine” the play is that the playwright doesn’t appear to have totally processed Hound Canine’s grief and tradition shock both, which makes it troublesome for the viewers to determine how we’re purported to react, and even what’s occurring.
That is very true throughout a sequence of scenes that take up a lot of the 95-minute working time, wherein Hound Canine travels in a hallucinogenic journey by her previous, which can be taking place simply in her thoughts. We see scenes of her together with her faculty therapist, and her faculty musicology professor, her audition on the Royal Academy of Music in London, after which additional again, to the yr 2000, when her father, who is understood (or a minimum of desires to be recognized) as Baba Cool, shares a burger together with her from the first-ever Burger King in Ankara. She then travels to her dad and mom’ previous – it’s instantly 1979, and she or he is her mom whereas her father is dancing to rock n roll music, and so thrilled with it that he talks again to a cop who warns him about taking part in international music, and is overwhelmed for his defiance.
Throughout her dream of her audition, one of many auditioners describes her music as “It’s like if Joni Mitchell had a little bit of an orgy with a number of Turkish people musicians, after which had a really confused child.” Clearly Hound Canine is distorting by her personal ambivalence and insecurity what the administrator is prone to have mentioned. However the seven songs that punctuate the play, written by Melis Aker & the Lazours (brothers Daniel and Patrick Lazour), and sung exquisitely by Sahar Milani, do have a Joni Mitchell vibe, maybe filtered by a Turkish sensibility; if they’re lyrical songs fairly than theater songs (don’t advance or illuminate the story in any discernible method), they had been nice interludes.
Baba’s love of Western well-liked tradition has its fullest expression in his love of Elvis Presley. And we see his impersonation of the King full with Queen Jean’s convincing costume, and it’s a delight.
I additionally like Frank J. Oliva’s set – two flooring of weathered doorways and shutters that sometimes open up for multicolored surprises.
The actors, a lot of whom painting a number of roles together with members of the band referred to as the Flaming Sultans, are various levels of great, making what they will of roles which can be usually underwritten. The actor who stands out for me is Laith Nakli as Baba. However that’s most likely as a result of the Syrian-born actor and author additionally portrays Uncle Naseem in “Ramy,” now in its third season. Like lots of the characters in that terrific sequence, Naseem is feeling alienated and ambivalent; in his case, it’s not simply because he’s an immigrant; he’s additionally homosexual, though he denies this, even to himself. He’s not the one character who hasn’t totally processed his emotions. Neither has the primary character Ramy Hassan (Ramy Youssuf, who additionally created the sequence, and co-writes lots of the episodes.) It makes them come off like jerks extra usually than we want. However the writing and the directing give us sufficient to assist us perceive why the characters act the way in which they do, even when the characters themselves don’t perceive it.
At Greenwich Home by November 5
Working time: 95 minutes with no intermission
Tickets: Title your value ($7 minimal)
Written by Melis Aker
Music & Lyrics by Melis Aker & the Lazours
Directed by Machel Ross
Music path and sound design by Avi Amon, set design by Frank J. Oliva, costume design by Qween Jean, lighting design by Tuçe Yasak
Forged: Olivia AbiAssi as Ayse, Ashley Baier as Flaming Sultan/Drums/Vocals, Ellena Eshraghi as Hound Canine, Mel Hsu as Flaming Sultan/Bass/Synth/Vocals, Matt Magnusson as Mr. Callahan, Sahar Milani as Lead Singer/Flaming Sultan, Laith Nakli as Baba, Jonathan Raviv as Yusuf, and Maya Sharpe as Flaming Sultan/Guitar/Vocals