Next Stage review: Winter Of 88


WINTER OF 88 by Mohammad Yaghoubi (Nowadays Theatre Company/Next Stage). At the Factory Mainspace. Jan 12 at 1:30 pm, Jan 18 at 4:15 pm. See listing. Rating: NNNNN

Mohammad Yaghoubis powerful story of an Iranian family enduring the attacks on Tehran in the winter of 1988 is especially resonant this week against the aftermath of the Ukrainian International Airlines plane crash.

In this story within a story, we first hear a couple discussing the husbands narrative based on his childhood memories of the Iran-Iraq war. Onstage, his story comes alive as Nasrin (Aida Keykhaii) and her two children Mayhar (Armon Ghaenizadeh) and Nahid (Parmida Vand) bicker, culminating in Mayhar storming out just before the missile attacks begin.

The knotted emotional history is tangible: Vand evokes Nahids insecurity and frustration, aggravated by her husbands (Jonathan Shaboo) sad resignation. Keykhail endears herself with her maternal hovering, which eventually transforms into panic over the whereabouts of her son, escalating the anxiety that is further amplified by sharp explosive sound effects.

The distress is only broken as the narrators interject to debate historical records, or as they recall personal details.

As new information continues to surface this week about the crash, this must-see play deftly balances the personal and the political, asking: What do we choose to remember, and how do we remember it? And what meaning will that hold for us?




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