THE STORY: Lenny is a recently released ex-convict. Despite his imposing size, he was gang raped repeatedly while incarcerated and struggles to find his manhood on the outside. Daisy, his alcoholic girlfriend, craves a “real” life with a “real” man and abandons him at a seedy pre-Giuliani Times Square bar in pursuit of some cheap Chinese takeout. At the bar is Skank, a former failed actor turned junkie, who is trying to outlast the rain storm and get a buyback from the long-missing Irish bartender as he begins to go through withdrawals. Also at the bar is Sammy, an old, dying, guilt-ridden drunk who exists somewhere between reality and the afterlife. DeMaris, a seventeen-year-old gun-brandishing single mother, wants to learn to turn tricks. She enlists the aid of Chickie, Skank’s girlfriend, a young crackhead hooker who plays Go Fish with the simple-minded day bartender Charlie, who thinks he’s a Jedi warrior and who buys meals for Chickie because he loves her and because he lives for the day they can go out, “just as friends.” The owner of the bar is Jake. The place was his father’s before him, and after thirty years, he longs for the chance to leave “this sewer” for a reinvented life in Florida. The real-estate boom, “gentrification” and the emergence of Disney in Times Square affords him that opportunity. Unaware that their last piece of home is about to be pulled out from under them, the bar patrons struggle on. Their sense of humor, their misguided hopes and dreams, and their lack of self-pity are badges that are tattooed to their souls. They will all, before the end, demand and take the chance to face head-on their complicated and sad truths.
“…a harrowing new play…just when it seems [IN ARABIA] will settle for the shock value of its raw and violent language and imagery…Mr. Adly Guirgis begins to tie all his loose ends together in a grim and sad portrait of life on the streets.” —NY Times.