Do you know who you are? Who you really are at the core of your being? When you strip away all of the diplomacy and refinement that you’ve developed over the years, who are you really and what do you believe? These are some of the questions at the center of Goodman Theatre’s new production of Disgraced.
Disgraced is a show with five characters including a Muslim man who is a lawyer, his Caucasian wife, his African American female coworker, her Jewish husband and the lawyer’s twenty-something Muslim cousin. All of the characters are intertwined in a friendly and/or loving way and have a gentle banter throughout the first half of the production. Subjects such as religion, art, politics and beliefs are discussed, but remain on a mostly-comfortable, conversational level. Then things begin to change.
This intense show explores the beliefs that we think we have and those that – if we dig deep enough – we find lingering for reasons that we can’t explain. Some that one can be proud of and others that may sicken you. That, however, is the truth that we all hold. Kimberly Senior was quoted as saying the following:
“When audiences interact with Disgraced, they think they’ll align with the person who looks like them or who has the same background as they do – and they find very quickly that’s not the case. As an Arab-Jewish woman, I never feel more Jewish than when I’m the only Jew in the room; and the least Jewish I felt was when I was in Israel.”
Ms. Senior says it better than I ever could, so without giving specifics that will ruin the second half of the play for you, I encourage you to see this penetrating show and let it speak to you about how you identify with yourself.
Goodman Theatre: Disgraced Chicago Review – Disgraced is playing at The Goodman Theatre through 10/25/15. Tickets can be purchased at a discount through Goldstar or by calling (312) 443-3800. Goodman Theatre is located at 170 North Dearborn in Chicago.