(Please click on the title to see the complete review.)
When Dr. Danielson (Stephen Barker Turner), the vice-principal of a large public high school, summons Khadim Asmaan (Babak Tafti), a Middle-Eastern-born transfer student, to his office at the end of classes on the final day before Spring Break, Khadim has no idea why. For the next 85 minutes, they engage in an escalating verbal duel. Danielson is not the one-note bureaucrat he first appears to be and Khadim is not just a cocky student he is badgering. Joseph effectively holds the audience is his grip as he springs a series of surprises that keep changing our perception of the two characters. The play almost never heads in a predictable direction. The story has too many subplots for its own good and some of them are less than plausible. Nevertheless, the play is well worth seeing for the gripping performances of Turner and Tafti. Donyale Werle's set is the perfect recreation of a high school office and Paloma Young's costumes are just right. Director Giovanna Sardelli certainly knows how to build and maintain tension.