Robin Williams’ odd Broadway offering

When I heard that Robin Williams was going to be in a Broadway show, I was so excited. He’s such a marvelous actor. I had no idea he would be in a play that I can only describe as weird: he plays a tiger in “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Early in the play he is shot and killed by Kev, an American soldier, and he immediately comes back as a ghost to narrate the rest of the play.

Bengal Tiger

The play is set in Baghdad in 2003, after Saddam Hussein’s home was raided and his two sons were killed by American soldiers, who stole some of the house’s possessions, including a solid gold gun and solid gold toilet seat.

The audience sees how the Tiger’s life becomes intermingled with Kev (Brad Fleischer), the white soldier who kills him, and Tom (Glenn Davis), the Black soldier who was stationed with Kev and took part in the Hussein attack, taking the gun and toilet seat. We also meet a character named Musa, who serves as a translator for the military but was the former gardener to the Hussein family.

The play, written by Rajiv Joseph, describes the horrors of war and depicts the strange happenings that are the result of the Tiger’s ghost haunting Kev. Then, when Kev dies, he haunts Tom. As for the gardener, he is haunted by the ghost of one of Hussein’s sons, Uday (Hrach Titizian), who had brutally raped his little sister when she came to see her brother’s gardening work.

If by now you are saying, “What?” join the club. Even though there are some funny moments, I would have to classify this play as simply the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen on a Broadway stage. It is not something to experience unless you are forewarned.