The Breeze at Dawn

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Through November 18 at Traveling Jewish Theatre, 470 Florida (at 17th St.), S.F. Tickets are $10-15, pay what you can on November 15; call 621-5717 or visit www.atjt.com.

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The story of two Iranian women trying to create fulfilling lives fails to achieve its full potential in this inaugural show from Featherlead Productions. Playwright Lalé Shafaghi has a lovely way with words, using deceptively simple language to sketch the outline of Mina and Shadi's journey out of Tehran. Yet the play never delves deeply enough into the complicated, ugly parts below its own beautiful, lyrical surface. Even when the two begin divulging their darker pasts, these revelations add little depth to our perceptions of their world. What does it mean to come from a place where a religion that was once at the intellectual center of its people is now used to oppress them? What is it like for an insightful, passionate woman to fight for her sense of self and still choose to respect the laws and customs of her country? Shafaghi's delicate play only superficially addresses these harder, pressing questions. Her choice to hold back left me feeling that I saw the start of an interesting story, but not the heart of where she wanted to go.

 
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