They Call Me Q OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

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  • They Call Me Q
  • NY TIMES

  • VILLAGE VOICE

  • STAGE BUDDY

  • THEATER PIZZAZZ

  • THEATER SCENE

Opening Night:
June 4, 2014
Closing:
September 1, 2014

Theater: St. Luke's Theatre / 308 West 46th St., New York, New York, 10036

Synopsis: 

They Call Me Q is the story of an Indian girl growing up in the Boogie Down Bronx who gracefully seeks balance between the cultural pressures brought forth by her traditional parents and wanting acceptance into her new culture. Along the journey, Qurrat Ann Kadwani (“Q”) transforms into 13 characters that have shaped her life including her parents, Caucasian teachers, Puerto Rican classmates, and African-American friends. Laden with heart and abundant humor, They Call Me Q speaks to the universal search for identity experienced by immigrants of all nationalities.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF They Call Me Q

    An Indian Girl Who Just Wanted to Be Puerto Rican ‘They Call Me Q,’ Qurrat Ann Kadwani’s Solo Show

    Ken Jaworowski

    July 18, 2014: By the end of They Call Me Q, you’re apt to like Qurrat Ann Kadwani so much that you’ll be doubly disappointed that she hasn’t written herself a better show. Her easy smile and lively eyes can brighten up a moment, but they can’t overcome a shortage of laughs and a wandering story line. In this hourlong one-woman play at St. Luke’s Theater, Ms. Kadwani recounts her birth in India and her family’s move to the Bronx. There they find a mostly pleasant life, despite the predictable cultural differences and some foreseeable misunderstandings. Ms. Kadwani’s school years were plagued by indecision and were spent only partly fitting in with the crowd. “I wanted to be like everyone else,” she says. “I wanted to be like the Puerto Rican girls in my class. No, not be like them. Be them.”

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  • VILLAGE VOICE REVIEW OF They Call Me Q

    Q the Applause

    Molly Grogan

    June 11, 2014: In a city of immigrant stories, They Call Me Q is one that has been told before: the hardscrabble fight to survive, the shock of meeting American culture in the flesh, the soul-wrenching identity crisis. But this spunky monologue, equal parts stand-up comedy and reality confessional, delivers a winning tale thanks to author and actor Qurrat Ann Kadwani's dead-on impersonations of New Yorkers and some unselfconscious spoofing of her own immigrant iterations growing up tough in the Bronx. A running joke involves Kadwani's Indian name, which is twisted by her classmates into Carrot, Qatar, even Q-Rat. These abuses — like the rest of the "curry goat" and "Red Dot" slurs she endures — slide right off her resolve to succeed, so Kadwani delivers them like punch lines rather than the slaps they were intended as. She takes a certain relish in pulling on the swaggering personas of the girls in her hood (saucy Puerto Ricans, quick-fisted African-Americans), as well as a racist teacher and her own parents, all of whom helped shape the person she is today.

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  • STAGE BUDDY REVIEW OF They Call Me Q

    Review: They Call Me Q

    Jack Mauro

    July 11, 2014: Qurrat Ann Kadwani's one-woman turn in They Call Me Q is nothing if not personal. The story is the woman's own. It is confessional (but not graphic); it is honest (but not squirm-inducing). The thrust of it brings to mind Carson McCullers' Frankie, endlessly wrestling with her elusive identity -- or it does if Frankie is imagined as a young Indian woman growing up in the Bronx. Kadwani's "we of me" is the assortment of people in her life who have shaped her varying notions of herself, and you listen and watch, and you quite strangely develop a sense of yourself as an Indian girl with fiercely Indian parents tugging on one arm and the youthful extremes, or extremes of Bronx youth, alternately pulling on the other or slugging you in the kisser. This is something, for those of us non-Indian and non-Bronx.

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  • THEATER PIZZAZZ REVIEW OF They Call Me Q

    They Call Me Q – St. Luke’s Theatre

    Eric J. Grimm

    June 4, 2014: Qurrat Ann Kadwani’s solo show, They Call Me Q at St. Luke’s Theatre, chronicles her struggle for identity as she is raised by Indian immigrants in the Bronx. Kadwani is an energetic performer who easily transitions between accents when she takes on characters from her past. Her confident storytelling makes for a breezy first half, though the rest of the show finds her less sure-footed. Kadwani’s autobiographical show is a balancing act that shows her attempting to exist as both an intelligent Indian woman and a streetwise Bronx teenager. She often clashes with her neighbors and classmates over cultural differences in altercations that are both humorous and unsettling. Kadwani is at her best when she plays her overbearing mother with a thick Indian accent and a patronizing smile. It’s a character she’s clearly developed over the course of her life. Her accent work in general is clean and her Bronx characters are as convincing as the Indian ones.

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  • THEATER SCENE REVIEW OF They Call Me Q

    They Call Me Q Review

    R. Pikser

    July 18, 2014: St. Luke’s Church, located across Eighth Avenue from the big Broadway houses is just barely off Broadway. The church has fitted its basement into an elegant theater space with comfortable chairs on risers and a small stage that still manages to have three wings. The tannish color of woodwork around the walls of the theater contrasts pleasingly with the plum walls and the whole is lit with sconces. It does not try to rival the big Broadway houses for lavishness; the atmosphere is one of intimacy and care. Fittingly, the theater often opens smaller plays and allows audiences to see young actors at the start of their careers. Quarrat Ann Kadwani is just such a young actor. She tells her story, that of a first generation American of Islamic Indian parentage growing up in the Bronx. By the end of her hour-long tale she states that she has come to terms with who she is. Along the way she does impressions of various people in her life:  her mother, her Puerto Rican school friends, herself as a Puerto Rican wannabe, an African American friend who commits suicide, her brother (briefly), her father (more briefly), and a young girl she meets in India who ekes out a living painting henna on ladies’ hands and who is the most specific, and therefore the most affecting person we meet all evening.

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