Woody Allen’s comedy play “Riverside Drive” on stage at Tehran theater

April 3, 2021 - 19:4

TEHRAN – American filmmaker and writer Woody Allen’s comedy play “Riverside Drive” is on stage at Sanubar Hall of Tehran’s Shahrzad Theater Complex.

Morteza Barzegarzadegan is the director of the play translated into Persian by Mohammadreza Avzar.

Mohammadreza Hashemi, Babak Qaderi and Sanaz Roshani are members of the cast.

In “Riverside Drive,” the better play on the twin bill, the wild, infantile, murderous impulses of the unconscious are the subject of forlorn meditation.

Waiting on a park bench by the Hudson River, a self-absorbed screenwriter, Jim Swain, fidgets in that special Woody Allen ozone of fretful desire. 

He is expecting his mistress, with whom he is planning to break up. A bearded homeless man, the aptly named Fred Savage intrudes on Swain’s solitude, unsettling him first by identifying him as a writer, then by claiming uncredited authorship of Swain’s latest movie, the idea for which, he maintains, Swain stole from a conversation of Savage’s, overheard in Central Park.

The play is an episode of “Three One-Act Plays: Riverside Drive, Old Saybrook and Central Park West”.

Three delightful one-act plays set in and around New York, in which sophisticated characters confound one another in ways only Woody Allen could imagine.

Allen’s first dramatic writing published in years, “Riverside Drive,” “Old Saybrook” and “Central Park West” are humorous, insightful and unusually readable plays about infidelity. 

The characters, archetypal New Yorkers all, start out talking innocently enough, but soon the most unexpected things arise — and the reader enjoys every minute of it (though not all the characters do).

These plays, successfully produced on the New York stage and in regional theaters on the East Coast, dramatize Allen’s continuing preoccupation with people who rationalize their actions, hide what they’re doing, and inevitably slip into sexual deception — all of it revealed in Allen’s quintessentially pell-mell dialogue.

Photo: A poster for Woody Allen’s play “Riverside Drive” by Iranian director Morteza Barzegarzadegan.