Infidel

Critics

LemonMeter

55 %

Reviews: 10

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 1

A suspense thriller that explores religious superstition and terrorism in the name of Islam versus unscrupulous Western imperialism and war mongering. When an American anthropologist is kidnapped in Baghdad by seemingly ruthless fundamentalists, an exchange of ideas with his captors evolves into a spiritual quest for the meaning of faith.: Sept. 1-Oct. 7; Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423; $20-$35; (323) 960-7738 or www.WhitefireTheatre.com

Reviews

Avatar

...the Whitefire keeps up to its stellar reputation of presenting the most cutting edge of theatre productions and timely, often taboo topics, what I fondly refer to as “the HBO of stage".

sweet - Bonnie Priever - ...read full review


Dan Berkowitz

In the end, Infidel is well-intentioned but enervating. As another theatregoer was heard to remark outside the theatre, “That was a long ninety minutes.”

sour - Dan Berkowitz - The Los Angeles Post - ...read full review


Avatar

All in all a worthwhile afternoon, leading to more thought and research afterward. The scene where Moses Leon Norton plays the “Bull of Heaven” statue (fantastic mask and make-up) was one of my favorite scenes, though brief and disconnected from the rest of the play.

sweet-sour - Carol Edger-Germain - Colorado Boulevard - ...read full review


Avatar

I found the play, INFIDEL, extremely well written, historically and spiritually thought-provoking, and beautiful to watch. It is the type of play where one is compelled to lean forward so as not to miss a single word. There is subtlety and nuance, but not to the extreme. It is an intelligent play that challenged my own lack of history (and sad to say - interest) in the Holy Quran. I had to ask myself why had I not taken the time to read this text before; and, why had I not tried to gain a better understanding of a world that I know so little of before? I love a play that challenges, queries, and allows an audience to make their own decisions; however, I really love a play that challenges my own ignorance or apathy. I then get the opportunity to look inward and learn. Christopher Vend, the playwright of INFIDEL, presents a rather hot topic - and as a gift to those who see the play, he gives them the opportunity to think and talk about the play with others for hours. Thank you to the cast, crew, designers, and creators for producing such a thoughtful piece of theatre. If you have not seen INFIDEL already - see it. If you have seen it - see it again! You will glean more insight with each new viewing.

sweet - Frances Hearn


Avatar

The writer, having escaped from martial law Poland, wanted to humanize people and see things from all eyes. The play, which goes 90 minutes with no intermission, gives some interesting insights that many of us are not aware of.

sweet - Serita Stevens - Splash Magazine - ...read full review


Avatar

Infidel creates a realistic world of war-torn Iraq with a story that could be front page news, although, truth be told, our remote viewpoint would only minimize the situation. To us, they are mere names and photos displayed on TV. What deems Infidel as an outstanding production? It breathes depth into the persons involved... Writer/director Christopher Vened creates an atmosphere that does not delve in heavy-handed politics. It is a situation that could happen to any of us. That is its power and leads to its ambiguous ending that this reviewer thought absolutely brilliant. Infidel benefits from a stellar cast and script that fuels an engaging and thoughtful narrative.

sweet - Jarrett Christensen - Tolucan Times - ...read full review


Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes

Produced by Rebecca Robertson-Szwaja and directed by the playwright, Infidel benefits from a fine creative team. The projections by Sean T. Cawelti are excellent and support the action as well as time and place. His Bull of Heaven mask is terrific. Jeff Gardner's sound design with music of Arabian flute and oud is spot on. Rounding out the team are lighting designer Derrick McDaniel, costume designer Phoebe Longhi, props designer/set dresser Tiffany Miller, and graphics designer Leonard Konopelski.

sweet-sour - Paul Myrvold - ...read full review


Avatar

Despite the flaws in his writing, however, Vened has done a very credible job as director, staging the action smoothly on a bare stage and focusing his actors adeptly. The cast performs, for the most part, with deep involvement.

sweet-sour - Iris Mann - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Avatar

This play really is fascinating.  The performances are electrifying and the story as old as time.  Anger and resentment turn to lethal outcomes when countries are invaded and religion takes up a cause. ...I came away with a far better understanding of the importance of human frailty within a movement. ...I highly recommend “Infidel.”  This is something not often staged.  A window on a world few of us would ever see told with empathy and a lightness that allows us the space to truly consider and to make our own judgements on how violence on an industrial scale can induce even the most pious to revenge.

sweet - Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros - NoHo Arts District - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon

The more fundamental question to ask is if this is even a play. Over the course of 90 minutes (no intermission) of what can only be described as torture pornography, no one, and I mean no one, takes stock of their received beliefs, questions who they are and what they're doing, tries to see the situation from another point of view. The characters we see at the beginning are the characters we see at the end. No one changes, no one is transformed, and neither are we in the audience. If you come in hating Muslims you'll go out hating them even more. If you come in hating rote fundamentalism (of any stripe) as well as war and violence and imperialism and stereotyping whole religions and peoples with one broad brush of contempt, then you'll leave, as I did, thinking, “Wow, I thought theatre was supposed to get us to interrogate ourselves a bit, unsettle us, make us a little less complacent in our views, help us to empathically understand people and cultures that are not our own.”

sour - Eric A Gordon - PeoplesWorld.org - ...read full review


Rob Stevens

In the world of 99-seat theatre in Los Angeles, it is usually not a good idea for a playwright to also direct the world premiere of his play. An extra set of eyes, a talent for staging and a gentle wielding of an editor's tool is always a plus... The cast has talent but playwright/director Vened has failed them in both his jobs.

sour - Rob Stevens - Haines His Way - ...read full review


Avatar

...the Whitefire keeps up to its stellar reputation of presenting the most cutting edge of theatre productions and timely, often taboo topics, what I fondly refer to as “the HBO of stage".

sweet - Bonnie Priever - ...read full review


Dan Berkowitz

In the end, Infidel is well-intentioned but enervating. As another theatregoer was heard to remark outside the theatre, “That was a long ninety minutes.”

sour - Dan Berkowitz - The Los Angeles Post - ...read full review


Avatar

All in all a worthwhile afternoon, leading to more thought and research afterward. The scene where Moses Leon Norton plays the “Bull of Heaven” statue (fantastic mask and make-up) was one of my favorite scenes, though brief and disconnected from the rest of the play.

sweet-sour - Carol Edger-Germain - Colorado Boulevard - ...read full review


Avatar

The writer, having escaped from martial law Poland, wanted to humanize people and see things from all eyes. The play, which goes 90 minutes with no intermission, gives some interesting insights that many of us are not aware of.

sweet - Serita Stevens - Splash Magazine - ...read full review


Avatar

Infidel creates a realistic world of war-torn Iraq with a story that could be front page news, although, truth be told, our remote viewpoint would only minimize the situation. To us, they are mere names and photos displayed on TV. What deems Infidel as an outstanding production? It breathes depth into the persons involved... Writer/director Christopher Vened creates an atmosphere that does not delve in heavy-handed politics. It is a situation that could happen to any of us. That is its power and leads to its ambiguous ending that this reviewer thought absolutely brilliant. Infidel benefits from a stellar cast and script that fuels an engaging and thoughtful narrative.

sweet - Jarrett Christensen - Tolucan Times - ...read full review


Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes

Produced by Rebecca Robertson-Szwaja and directed by the playwright, Infidel benefits from a fine creative team. The projections by Sean T. Cawelti are excellent and support the action as well as time and place. His Bull of Heaven mask is terrific. Jeff Gardner's sound design with music of Arabian flute and oud is spot on. Rounding out the team are lighting designer Derrick McDaniel, costume designer Phoebe Longhi, props designer/set dresser Tiffany Miller, and graphics designer Leonard Konopelski.

sweet-sour - Paul Myrvold - ...read full review


Avatar

Despite the flaws in his writing, however, Vened has done a very credible job as director, staging the action smoothly on a bare stage and focusing his actors adeptly. The cast performs, for the most part, with deep involvement.

sweet-sour - Iris Mann - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Avatar

This play really is fascinating.  The performances are electrifying and the story as old as time.  Anger and resentment turn to lethal outcomes when countries are invaded and religion takes up a cause. ...I came away with a far better understanding of the importance of human frailty within a movement. ...I highly recommend “Infidel.”  This is something not often staged.  A window on a world few of us would ever see told with empathy and a lightness that allows us the space to truly consider and to make our own judgements on how violence on an industrial scale can induce even the most pious to revenge.

sweet - Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros - NoHo Arts District - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon

The more fundamental question to ask is if this is even a play. Over the course of 90 minutes (no intermission) of what can only be described as torture pornography, no one, and I mean no one, takes stock of their received beliefs, questions who they are and what they're doing, tries to see the situation from another point of view. The characters we see at the beginning are the characters we see at the end. No one changes, no one is transformed, and neither are we in the audience. If you come in hating Muslims you'll go out hating them even more. If you come in hating rote fundamentalism (of any stripe) as well as war and violence and imperialism and stereotyping whole religions and peoples with one broad brush of contempt, then you'll leave, as I did, thinking, “Wow, I thought theatre was supposed to get us to interrogate ourselves a bit, unsettle us, make us a little less complacent in our views, help us to empathically understand people and cultures that are not our own.”

sour - Eric A Gordon - PeoplesWorld.org - ...read full review


Rob Stevens

In the world of 99-seat theatre in Los Angeles, it is usually not a good idea for a playwright to also direct the world premiere of his play. An extra set of eyes, a talent for staging and a gentle wielding of an editor's tool is always a plus... The cast has talent but playwright/director Vened has failed them in both his jobs.

sour - Rob Stevens - Haines His Way - ...read full review


Avatar

I found the play, INFIDEL, extremely well written, historically and spiritually thought-provoking, and beautiful to watch. It is the type of play where one is compelled to lean forward so as not to miss a single word. There is subtlety and nuance, but not to the extreme. It is an intelligent play that challenged my own lack of history (and sad to say - interest) in the Holy Quran. I had to ask myself why had I not taken the time to read this text before; and, why had I not tried to gain a better understanding of a world that I know so little of before? I love a play that challenges, queries, and allows an audience to make their own decisions; however, I really love a play that challenges my own ignorance or apathy. I then get the opportunity to look inward and learn. Christopher Vend, the playwright of INFIDEL, presents a rather hot topic - and as a gift to those who see the play, he gives them the opportunity to think and talk about the play with others for hours. Thank you to the cast, crew, designers, and creators for producing such a thoughtful piece of theatre. If you have not seen INFIDEL already - see it. If you have seen it - see it again! You will glean more insight with each new viewing.

sweet - Frances Hearn