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FOOD AND FADWA OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Opening Night: June 7, 2012

Show NY TIMES DAILY NEWS TM BACKSTAGE HUFFPOST
Broadway Review Broadway Review Broadway Review Broadway Review Broadway Review

Synopsis: Meet Fadwa Faranesh, an unmarried, 30-something Palestinian woman living in Bethlehem in the politically volatile West Bank. Known for her delectable cooking and deep-seated sense of duty to her family and aging father, our kitchen maven insists on continuing the preparations for the wedding of her younger sister, despite constraints of daily life under occupation. Politics blend with family tensions to create a sometimes humorous and sometimes heartbreaking meal. Story by Lameece Issaq and Jacob Kader and directed by Shana Gold, this new play melds the fight a Palestinian family wages to hold onto its traditional culture with its need to celebrate love, joy and hope. NYTW teams up with company-in-residence Noor Theatre to present Food and Fadwa.

Off-Broadway Tickets
Off-Broadway Tickets

Broadway Reviews

NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:

"Even the most meticulously prepared cook cannot be expected to cope with all kitchen disasters. A fully stocked spice rack, an ample larder and even a closet full of pickled staples will not necessarily suffice when a curfew keeps you housebound for more than a week with a family to feed. That is the calamity faced by the beleaguered but enduring heroine of “Food and Fadwa,” a new play by Lameece Issaq and Jacob Kader about a Palestinian family living near Bethlehem. Ms. Issaq stars as the title character, Fadwa Faranesh, an expert home cook dealing with a few boiling family dramas in addition to the challenge of catering her sister’s wedding while under virtual house arrest. "

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NEW YORK DAILY NEWS REVIEW:

"Picture a foodie, as talkative and as obsessed with EVOO as Rachael Ray, only Palestinian and living in Bethlehem, and you’ve got a bead on the title character of Lameece Issaq and Jacob Kader’s compelling new play “Food and Fadwa.” Spiced with comedy and leavened with drama, it’s a contemporary group portrait of life under occupation. But the co-authors set politics and the ever-present barrier wall simmering on the back-burner. Theirs is a family story, with most focus fixed on an unmarried woman in her 30s who copes with life’s ups and downs through cooking. So much so that Fadwa (Issaq) imagines herself the host of a Food Network-style show as she prepares the wedding feast of her younger sister Dalal (Maha Chehlaoui) and the enterprising Emir (Arian Moayed). "

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THEATERMANIA REVIEW:

"Food and Fadwa, now at New York Theatre Workshop under Shana Gold's direction, proves to be a mildly effective, if well-acted, look at a Palestinian family dealing with, among its many issues, a harsh Israeli-imposed curfew in their Bethlehem home (nicely designed by Andromache Chalfant). One suspects, however, that the comedy-drama itself might have been harsher than it is in its treatment of Israeli rule -- there's a brief reference to the loss of an olive-tree orchard, presumably to make room for new Jewish settlements -- but co-authors Lameece Issaq and Jacob Kader clearly opted (perhaps unwisely) for a lower-key approach. "

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BACKSTAGE REVIEW:

"You know you’re in trouble when the most interesting character onstage is the crazy chain-smoking aunt who only appears occasionally to obsessively gossip on her cell phone about a favorite television show. Sorry, but that was my reaction to “Food and Fadwa,” a comedy-drama about a Palestinian family that’s being co-presented by New York Theatre Workshop and Noor Theatre. The script, by Lameece Issaq, who also plays the lead, and Jacob Kader, makes many references to TV and pop culture and unfortunately sinks to that level in its depiction of the clan’s coping with Israeli occupation and various soap opera conflicts."

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HUFFINGTON POST REVIEW:

"So much more is cooking in Fadwa Faranesh's West Bank kitchen than merely delicious food for her extended family. The touching, comedic new play, "Food and Fadwa" that opened Thursday night at off-Broadway's New York Theatre Workshop is about a loving, resilient Palestinian family coping with life in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Shana Gold skillfully directs the sophisticated, tenderly humorous, food-centric drama, which combines a mixture of family values and the clash of modern vs. traditional ways, deftly seasoned with political undertones. Eventually, it will break your heart a little."

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