Last year, Quantum Theatre
turned a synagogue into a 1930s Italian villa
. This month, the troupe has remade a former church (now a community center) into a comedy club for this singular show about a character with an unconventional gender identity.
Photo courtesy of Heather Mull
Sanjiv Jhaveri in "Brahman/i"
Playwright Aditi Brennan Kapil’s one- (technically, two-) actor work is billed as “a one-hijra stand-up comedy show.” It’s very smart, quite funny and, ultimately, rewardingly strange. However, it feels less like what you’d see in most actual comedy clubs — a series of bits strung together, with lots of feeding off the audience — than a cleverly scripted, evening-length comic monologue a la Eddie Izzard
That’s the opposite of a complaint: I’m always up for unabashedly intellectual, humorously essayistic riffs on art, culture and history. The character Brahman/i weaves in an extended metaphor about the Indian subcontinent’s romantic relationship with China; an hilarious, illustrated take on saucy Hindu temple relief sculptures; and a quite Izzardian sequence on Galileo’s little tiff with the Church. (“Heliocentrism!”)
The amazing Sanjiv Jhaveri, a New York-based actor, brings it all to life, including the show’s rather moving concluding twist.
Here’s Michelle Pilecki’s review of the show
has five more performances, daily tomorrow night through Sunday. Tickets
The “Temple of Comedy” is located at 113 N. Pacific Ave., in Garfield.