Stage Raw Review of The Rescued

Now playing at The Road on Magnolia, Julie Marie Myatt’s The Rescued is a touching tale about the journey to peace. Under the direction of Marya Mazor, a small yet spectacular cast takes on the personas of rescue animals and tells their startlingly relatable stories.

Six lonely, neglected animals have found a new home. Their tales — where they came from, how they cope with their pasts, and how they’ve learned to move forward — are surprisingly human. This motley crew is made up of the volatile Jason (Patrick Joseph Rieger), Harold (J.D. Hall), the “oldie but goody,” the temperamental Buster (Leandro Cano), the elegant Candice (Meeghan Holaway), Darrell (Rahul Rai), the lovable and neurotic ball of energy, and finally, Lola (Kacie Rogers), the newbie.

Pets are people too in 'The Rescued,' an odd but emotional world premiere by Road Theatre - LA TIMES

There’s no other way to say it: Julie Marie Myatt’s “The Rescued,” now in its world premiere at the Road on Magnolia, is one of the most genuinely odd plays you’ll see this season. Yet just when you’re about to relegate it to the realm of the purely twee, it delivers an emotional punch that may floor you.

Most moving of all is “weiner dog” Darrell (Rahul Rai), who keeps the memory of past torture at bay with a bombastic cheerfulness that covers inner agony.

HARAM! IRAN! True Story of Forbidden Love in The Middle East Comes To New York Stage - Huffington Post

Based on real-life incidents, Jay Paul Deratany’s 2010 provocative and ultimately haunting play Haram! Iran! brings to the stage the true (and by some accounts, controversial) story of Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhouni, two Arab teenagers who were put to death in Iran in 2005 for accusations of having a homosexual encounter, with concurrent charges that may or may not have been true. Their public execution received international attention, complete with graphically disturbing photos which were seen by millions on the internet.

Theater Review: ‘Haram Iran’

Ayaz (Roberto Tolentino) is a studious fifteen year-old Arab Iranian who has been asked by his school principal to tutor academic slacker Mahmoud (Rahul Rai). Mahmoud’s soccer buddy, Fareed (Kal Mansoor), is jealous of the growing friendship between Ayaz and Mahmoud.

Rai successfully captures both Mahmoud’s frat boy braggadocio and his latent capacity for compassion. Together, the create a chemistry that brings the text to life.

​Copyright © 2014 by Rahul Rai. All rights reserved.​