Allow your emotions to take flight when watching Matthew Spangler’s play adaptation of Khaled Hosseini’s popular novel, ‘The Kite Runner’!
In his first-ever novel, Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini truly nailed the ability to connect cultures and hearts with his unforgettable tale, becoming a #1 New York Times bestseller in 2003.
Hosseini has since gone on to write 8 additional incredible stories while becoming a U.S. Goodwill Envoy to the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the founder of The Khaled Hosseini Foundation; a nonprofit that provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan. To say the least, the former physician turned author knows the recipe for success, so it comes as no surprise that the stage version of ‘The Kite Runner’, adapted by Matthew Spangler has already received many accolades after its Thursday opening.
Spangler’s adaptation follows the often-troubled life of Amir (Amir Arison), a Pashtun Afghan who at the beginning of the play explains that a cowardly decision he made as an adolescent changed the trajectory of his life and made him the man who he is today.
Spanning three decades and two entirely different continents, we follow Amir as he takes us back to his childhood days in Kabul, Afghanistan. Amir at times portrays a child and later, an adult version of his character, providing a genuine youthful spirit that is both believable and captivating.
Amir hails from a wealthy family and enjoys the company of his best friend and in-house servant, Hassan (Eric Sirakian). Hassan is of the Afghan race, Hazara and he and his father Ali (Evan Zes); who also serves Amir and his father Baba (Faran Tahir) face varying levels of discrimination while in public.
On many occasions, both Amir and Hassan are bullied by a particularly horrible tyrant named Assef (Amir Malaklou), who mocks them for their close friendship and background.
However, the duo usually evade the constant racial slurs and harassment, up until one fateful day of Kite Running that changes everything.
The competitive Kite Running scene in Afghanistan is traditional, and involves players flying their kites high enough to cut the others down with a sharpened string until they are the only ones left in the sky – the prize is the collection of the final fallen kite.
Amidst the Taliban’s brutal takeover of their country, Amir and Hassan find peace in this game, flying beautiful white paper kites over the audience. Only this day is unlike the others, and a traumatic run-in with Assef, preceding a devastating spit-minute decision forever alters Amir and Hassan’s friendship and the course of their lives.
Amir continues to narrate each scene with an enchanting intensity, as we follow him throughout his boyhood, into his adult years, eventually making his way into the United States with Baba – but the journey does not come without its sacrifices.
Act II continues to follow Amir on his journey to finding himself, and his place in the world; as a drummer sits downstage playing an intriguing tune every so often.
Throughout its 2 ½-hour-long production, the audience is taken on a wild emotional ride both unforgettable and unrelentlessly soulful.
You too can experience Hosseini’s memorable Broadway story come to life from now until October 30th at the Helen Hayes Theater in Manhattan!