BWW Review: THE INVISIBLE HAND at Gulfshore Playhouse
THE INVISIBLE HAND by Ayad Akhtar is now playing at Gulfshore Playhouse. The story follows an American investment banker who is being held for ransom by a militant group in Pakistan and his attempt to try and find a way to get them the money and get out.
Kohler McKenzie plays the American investment banker, Nick Bright. I found his performance incredibly powerful; you truly felt for him with all the pain and worry he carried through his captivity. His captors included Bashir (Aby Moongamackel), Imam Saleem (Tony Mirrcandani), and Dar (Rishi Mukherjee). Each of these actors were very strong in their performances. Moongamackel’s Bashir starts out very cold, then begins to open up and learn how to manipulate the global market from Nick. He is a rather sneaky and conniving personality, and this was perfectly portrayed. Mukherjee’s Dar was more sympathetic toward Nick, and I felt bad that he was put in a position where he had to be rather cruel, as he clearly did not want to be. Imam Saleem is the most harsh of them all, and he was the boss of Dar and Bashir. Nick tries his best to compromise with him when it comes to the 10-million-dollar ransom over his head, but Imam Saleem is rather heartless and greedy. Mirrcandani did an excellent job bringing forth his character’s cold-blooded personality.
THE INVISIBLE HAND is a very intense show. You are watching the desperation of someone being held captive, and the greed of his captors. It’s a lot to process, and I really appreciate that in a play. The end of the show brings a realization that not only stuns Nick but the audience as well. The moment when he becomes aware of what he has truly done is something I imagine is very hard to swallow for him. It’s something for everyone to think about.
The production was directed by Kristen Coury, with lighting design by Jose Santiago, costume design by Renee Baker, scenic design by Riw Rakkulchon, music & soundscape design by Michael Keck, and fight choreography by Zeke Bocklage. Other creative team members include Stage Manager Jamie A. Eckhold, Casting Director Michael Cassara, and Cultural Consultant Rishan Dhamija. I think each creative team member did a wonderful job bringing this show to life. The costuming and set were excellent, and transported you to the time and place of the play.
THE INVISIBLE HAND is playing through April 16, and I suggest checking it out if you get the chance. It’s an emotional, suspenseful, powerful show, and I am glad Gulfshore Playhouse brought it to their stage. It brings a lot of lessons, and the cast is fantastic.
To learn more and buy tickets, click here: https://gulfshoreplayhouse.org/shows-events/the-invisible-hand/
Elizabeth James, Broadway World