Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Playwright taking on Wall Street’s church of big money

By Michael Soklove
At the age of 7, Ayad Akhtar, the son of two doctors in suburban Milwaukee, was seized by a religious fervor. He taught himself to pray, and he saw the Prophet Muhammad in his dreams. Mr. Akhtar’s subject has been the tension between the sacred and the secular — how to honor one’s culture, including its ancient religion, without being imprisoned by it. In October, at the Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center, he returns to Broadway for the first time since “Disgraced,” and his new play, “Junk,” marks yet another creative turn. He once again mercilessly examines a faith and culture — in this case, money and Wall Street — and his characters are subject to the pull of a powerful orthodoxy. It implies we have all been co-opted, having traded our healthy suspicion of people with vast wealth for something more like worship. [More]