Sons of the Prophet
Sons of the Prophet is hard to describe in that it focuses on a Lebanese family whose father is killed even before the curtain rises. There are two gay sons, one of who was born without an ear, and an uncle who’s moved in with the family to support them, even though he has huge physical problems. It turns out that the father was killed because some kids from the football team decided to move the mascot, a deer, into the road, and he smacked into it and then died of a heart attack. Should the high school football player from a foster home be allowed to finish the season? Will the hunky gay reporter sent to interview the family show any loyalty to the brother he seduced? Will the alcoholic book publisher blackmail her assistant into divulging family secrets in exchange for health insurance for his mounting physical pains? If all this sounds bleak, it is, but served up with a huge dollop of both humor and humanity. I haven’t really given away much of a plot, but this is written by Stephen Karam, who’s a playwright of which I knew very little, but has an extraordinary ability to combine real pathos with great humor. So it is actually funny, but it seems to suggest that even when terrible things happen to good people, there is hope. The issues in the play are by and large unresolved in a lot of ways. It’s not a sitcom, it’s not a Hollywood ending, but it’s a terrific piece of theater and does do an extraordinary job of combining pathos and humor. I’d give it four stars.