Mar. 20, 2013 - Issue #909: Water Crisis
The Kite Runner
Die-hard fans of the novel will be happy to know that the Citadel Theatre's current production of the adaptation leaves most of the main events of the story intact—which is, unfortunately, part of the problem. The key to a good adaptation is not being afraid to take liberties—sometimes large ones—with the story; this production of The Kite Runner clings too tightly to the original story and doesn't quite manage to find its own voice on stage.
The play simply feels too rushed; a pervasive sense of urgency takes over the entire piece, and while many of the events and issues raised by the story are deeply upsetting and emotionally charged, the audience simply doesn't get to spend enough time on any one item for the tears to really flow.
That said, visually it's very engrossing: the entire first act is narrated by Amir as he watches his younger self and other characters from his past scramble around re-enacting previous events. Though extended periods of exposition are tricky, often becoming wearisome after a time, The Kite Runner avoids this pitfall through impressively high-energy performances by all of the actors. Each one was up to the challenge, navigating the play's constant movement without a hitch. A live tabla player (the fantastic Salar Nader) fleshes out the soundtrack of the show, lending presence and immediacy to the events on stage.
The second half deals with the more recent past and then Amir's present, and is easily the more engaging of the two acts; still, that constant sense of rushing ever onward to the next plot point prevents the story from bringing to bear its full emotional weight.
Nonetheless, The Kite Runner is still an enjoyable ride, so long as you realize that there aren't any stops along the way.
Until Sun, Mar 31 (7:30 pm;
Sunday matinee 1:30 pm)
Directed by Eric Rose
Citadel Theatre, $35 – $75 vueweekly.com comments: powered by Disqus
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