photo: Jordan Craven
He has no right to sit on our park benches nor to foul up our air with his stink. He's a piece of shit who shouldn't even be looked in the eye. So go the disturbing, self-loathing confessions of an Iraqi immigrant flower peddler named Sad in this striking, provocative monologue (seen previously at the Fringe Festival and now at Under St. Marks). The play ultimately resonates well beyond the scope of one person's pathology and becomes a sometimes harrowing, often sorrowful statement about the damaging cycle of racism. How could it not, as we watch the hated hate himself and speak it back at us in a calm, even charming, manner? Although the play is a tad too long and once in a while feels dated (it was written pre-9/11, and doesn't address the fresh fear-based prejudices against Iraqis) its specifics are less important than its ultimate message, which is timeless and powerful. Christopher Dornig embodies Sad so fully and mines his monologue so deeply that I had to double-check the credits to be sure he wasn't also the playwright (he's not; the play is by Robert Schneider).