Bob, the best advice is to warn people to stay away.

Guards at the Taj by Rajiv Joseph at the Atlantic Theater with Omar Metwally and Arian Moayed. Two guards stand at attention at the crude wall surrounding the just completed Taj Mahal. They are costumed beautifully and authentically but then open their mouths to reveal jokey California speak. They are standing and their lines recall stand-up comedy at first but this is a tragic true tale where the hands were chopped off of the 20 thousand men who worked on the Taj including the architect so that there could never be another building as beautiful ever built. These very same guards are tasked with chopping and cauterizing, the aftermath of which is shown in the next scene. The guards are cleaning up a bloody floor and manage to sweep the stage blood to holes where it's hopefully recycled. The guards are walking around soaking wet and may get sick from it and then the show would have to be canceled. Unfortunately, they go on to more banal conversation and guarding again. We bailed out when one of the guards has his buddy detained and chained for talking about killing the king who ordered the chopping. They're back in the blood room which had already been cleaned up and we noticed that one wants the other's hands chopped off, too. A number of audience members also left at this point. In a show without intermissions, it's hard to leave gracefully but the audience spoke clearly that this blood bath contrived play should have already ended.

© 20015 By Patricia N. Saffran.  All rights reserved.

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