The curiously metaphysical Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo might better be titled Ghosts of Baghdad or The Man with the Golden Gun since what plot there is involves the latter. And this, although beautifully written, is a difficult play to like simply because there is nobody to root for in this story about the U.S. presence in and around Baghdad some 11 years ago. It's a very dark, almost nihilistic work about the effects of killing (not just war) on those who survive.
If you can get past that, you'll enjoy the excellent, professional-quality performances from a truly ensemble cast, with the standouts being (due to the demands of their characters) Andrew Bailiff and Brennan Hattaway, complemented by Jeff Boerger, Michael Banghart and Todd Heywood as a spectacularly depraved Uday Hussein. The multipurpose set (with topiary!) is excellent as well. Director Michael Hays can indeed be proud of this production which is well worth the trip to Peppermint Creek.
(CAUTION: There is lots of Bad Language, with strobe lights and gunfire. And much of the dialogue is in Iraqi. If those things bother you, stay away.)
Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo
by Rajiv Joseph
directed by Michael Hays
Sept 18 - 21 & 25 - 28, 2014
Thursday - Saturday @ 8pm, Sunday @ 2pmwww.peppermintcreek.org