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  Detour Guide at Chicago Temple

Detour Guide

Chicago Temple
77 W. Washington St Chicago

This one-man musical, co-produced with Stage Left Theatre, takes us on an alternative tour of the Arab world and Arab America. Using lyrics, percussion and an urban soundscape, master storyteller and musician Karim Nagi guides us through a social and political labyrinth, extolling the virtues of revolution, immigration, and hummus along the way.

Thru - Apr 7, 2019

Mondays: 7:30pm
Tuesdays: 7:30pm
Fridays: 8:00pm
Saturdays: 4:00pm
Sundays: 4:00pm

Price: $38

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 312-857-1234 x201

Running Time: 1hr, 40mins

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  Detour Guide Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...One of the most emotionally resonant vignettes finds Nagi playing Marwa, an immigrant woman from Syria working in a Middle Eastern restaurant in America — the kind of place where they use (horror of horrors!) canned hummus. She’s a trained classical musician but cannot find work in her profession in her new world. Once again, the words drop away as Nagi mimes her conducting an orchestra, using ordinary kitchen implements. It’s a lovely transformation and a wistful reminder of how much immigrants must sometimes sacrifice so much of what they love for the sake of staying alive."
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Kerry Reid

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Nagi adopts a playful persona, delighting in cultural customs that, in his estimation, demonstrate a distinct Arab sensibility. Much of this exploration is done through regional rhythm and dance, as Nagi plays his day-glo tabla like a virtuoso while dancing and/or telling stories in rhyming couplets. But he also finds time to lampoon and humanize daily rituals: Arabs, he says, enjoy clapping along to every song, overeating, and talking politics in small rooms, yelling at people who likely agree with them."
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Justin Hayford

Chicago Theatre Review - Recommended

"...Enthusiastically directed by Anna C. Bahow, Karim Nagi is a very engaging performer. He’s a performer of unbelievable talent, passion and amiability. Making the most of a realistically recreated Arabian street scene, created by set designer Samia Malik, and festooned with a myriad of authentic-looking props, by Abigail Cain, and costume pieces, provided by Brenda Winstead, this is an educational and entertaining travelogue that makes the audience feel like they’ve actually traveled all over the Arab World."
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Colin Douglas

Rescripted - Somewhat Recommended

"...The supplementary elements are all here, and the heart and drive and social consciousness are here as well. What is missing from Detour Guide is the bones; the script and the performance both feel like a first draft. On glancing at the program, you can see that Karim Nagi’s background is mostly not in theatre, but in music and dance, and this shows in the difference in quality between the two."
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Aaron Lockman

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