Programming Round #3: A Star is Born! (Zehra Fazal Rocks the House in HEADSCARF)

170 audience members of all ages and backgrounds laughed uproariously as Zehra Fazal’s Capital Fringe Award winning solo show unveiled itself in a richer, deeper, longer, wittier iteration than ever before. This show heads to New York for the NY International Fringe Festival in August and as I told the 120 who stayed for a great post-show chat with Zehra following the performance, “if she gets lucky, she’s gonna lucky.” Meaning, this show, if it falls into the right producorial hands (and I guess it already did, witness our great night last night), could really break out and be the right play for the right moment in the right city. Here’s a performer who cross over to SNL in a heartbeat; the writing (both lyrics and playwriting) is now razor-sharp; bawdy and lascivious and probing too.

And most wonderfully, for us, it extends and expands upon the themes raised in MIKVEH as Zehra herself becomes a Muslim-artistic cousin to Hadar Galron’s orthodox Jewish stand-up/serious dramatist fusion pedigree, critiquing a fundamentalist suppression of women and their needs; their desires; yet refusing to break completely free of a religion and an identity that means the world to our liberated, irreverent, but still religiously identified female artist. Eloquent, fierce, funny, ribald, youthful… We couldn’t be happier (though we could be far more eloquent; let’s leave that to others for now).

Congrats to Zehra on a wonderful night at Theater J!