You definitely don’t feel good after watching a performance of Disgraced, currently playing at the Lyceum Theater. Disgraced is a dinner party gone horribly wrong. It brings to the table all of the deep- seeded racism inside most, if not all, of us.
About an Indian man, Amir (Dhillon), and his Caucasian wife, Emily (Mol), and his black colleague, Jory (Pittman), and her Jewish husband, Isaac (Radnor), the tensions run high when his colleague is promoted to partner because he was presumed to be helping a Muslim in his quest to open mosque near ground zero. Race, religion, gender, and politics are all discussed during a lively debate that culminates in Amir living down to his racial stereotype.
After the performance a dozen or other bloggers and myself were invited to stay for a talk back with the cast (Hari Dhillon, Gretchen Mol, Josh Radnor, and Karen Pittman) and their director (Kimberly Senior). The cast was surprisingly calm and jovial. I asked Josh Radnor and Gretchen Mol before it started how they decompress after performances and he said that they don’t dwell in the outcome of the play at all, they snap out of it pretty quickly.
They all loved discussing the play and their characters. I was relieved to hear that the play had to master message that we were supposed to pick up on (because I hadn’t). The point of Disgraced was to start a conversation about race in this country (how timely!).
They were all lovely in person and so interesting to talk to. It was a really cool experience to be given the opportunity to have. We all headed to Cafe Une Deux Troi after for drinks and more discussion (sans the cast).
Disgraced might not leave you feeling great, but it will entertain and it will get you thinking.