‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ Really Is Splendid

By Chris Narloch

If you’re planning to attend the Dore Alley fetish fair in San Francisco this weekend – or maybe you just need to escape the hellish Sacramento heat for a day – I highly recommend adding the final weekend of A.C.T.’s amazing production of “A Thousand Splendid Suns” to your to-do list.

Far more than just an entertaining play, Ursula Rani Sarma’s amazing adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s celebrated novel is an important piece of theater that deserves to be seen by the widest possible audience.


“A Thousand Splendid Suns” is a riveting drama set amid the war-torn streets of modern day Kabul that follows three generations of Afghan women bound together by marriage, family, and a secret past.

I don’t know that I have ever seen domestic abuse rendered so realistically on a stage, and the bond of sisterhood that results from that abuse is just as gripping and perfectly realized.

When the abusive husband on stage finally gets what’s coming to him, the audience the evening I saw the show erupted in cathartic applause that bordered on deafening.

The play brilliantly displays how sexism and misogyny are passed down from generation to generation -- from father to son – and I’m not surprised that this soaring production was brought back to A.C.T.’s Geary Theater by popular demand.

Carey Perloff’s direction is thrillingly visceral, and the entire cast is uniformly excellent.

“A Thousand Splendid Suns” ends this Sunday, July 29, at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater, 415 Geary St., S.F. Tickets: $22-$110. Call 415-749-2228 or visit http://www.act-sf.org.

Photos by Jim Cox.  Captions, top to bottom:

(from top) Nadine Malouf as Laila and Denmo Ibrahim as Mariam
Joseph Kamal as Interrogator, Antoine Yared as Militiaman, and Nadine Malouf as Laila |

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