Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World

Local playwright Yussef El Guindi’s immigrant fairy tale begins with an awkward, cross-cultural hook-up. On one side of the ethnic divide is earthy, crass American waitress Sheri (the delightful Carol Roscoe, who’s better known for directing but wonderfully cast here). After a few taxi rides with mild-mannered Egyptian cabbie Musa (handsome Shanga Parker), she accepts an invitation to his seedy walkup for a drink. “In about ten minutes I’m going to be a cinch to bag,” she announces over too much scotch. But can their lusty attraction compete with his ties to the traditionalist Egyptian community? She’s an infidel, and he’s a Muslim—yet one who admits to going to the mosque more to see friends than to pray. 9/11, though never mentioned, still casts a decade-long shadow. El Guindi, raised in London and today a U.S. citizen, is best known as a writer of political plays. And while the generally apolitical Pilgrims is amiably studded with nudity, crudity, and ambiguity, it’s also freighted with some didacticism. Thus, Musa’s devout roommate Abdallah addresses the audience about his wondrously positive experience coming to America, the bounteous food, the friendly women, the plentiful jobs, etc. We don't really need the speeches, since Musa and Sheri's happy romance speaks for itself. Pilgrims’ light, benevolent spirit is probably best-suited to summer. Likeable leads Roscoe and Parker fully sell the heat and the charm of their romance, with plenty of mishaps and raunchy humor along the way. MARGARET FRIEDMAN

Tuesdays-Fridays, Sundays. Starts: June 17. Continues through July 17, 2011

 
comments powered by Disqus