9 Parts of Desire
Playwright Heather Raffo’s harrowing script looks at life in Iraq during the past 30 years—through tyranny and war—from the perspective of multiple Iraqi women. We meet a painter, a doctor, an impish girl, a peddler selling family heirlooms and a devastated mother who lost her child when American bombs fell. Originally a solo piece, this mounting is presented by an ensemble of actresses. Their names and faces bespeak American diversity, but most segments put you in the shoes of these Iraqi women, raised in a country with an ancient history, known at one time for literacy and medicine, now largely wrecked by mismanagement, military invasion and internal conflict. It’s a haunting, eye-opening evening.
Beyond the Proscenium Productions, 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, plus one 2 p.m. Sunday performance on July 20; $10-$12. California Stage, 1731 25th Street; (916) 456-1600; www.beyond-pro.org. Through July 20.