By Sharon Parker
Mixed Blood Theatre turns its stage over to the capable hands, feet, and many voices of actor-writer Zaraawar Mistry to present his long-incubated one-man show, Indian Cowboy. On a candlelit stage, main character/narrator Gayomar Katrak, a kind of immigrant Everyman (indeed, his nickname in America is “Guy”), regales the audience with a series of stories about his beginnings as a foundling in India, his immigration to America, and his many encounters with fellow immigrants and native-born Americans, whose own experiences and perceptions (and misperceptions) add both humor and layers of meaning to the story.
Mistry’s skill as a storyteller, and his talent for voices–especially accents–along with his commanding stage presence kept our audience riveted throughout the performance, and ended with a satisfying feeling of having had just enough, while still leaving questions and mysteries for us to ponder. There is much here of the universal human experience, of the immigrant experience, and other matters of depth, but one’s overall impression is of truly excellent storytelling woven with a fine balance of humor and compasssion.
Mistry is co-founder of the Center for Independent Artists in South Minneapolis (www.c4ia.org), and has worked as actor, director, writer and more in several Twin Cities theaters, including the Children’s Theatre, Ragamala Music and Dance, Mu Performing Arts, and the Guthrie. According to the program for this show, he and his wife, Leslye Orr, are now working to set up a performing arts studio in St. Paul.
Performances of Indian Cowboy take place on Weds.-Sat., 7:30 p.m., Suns. 3 p.m., through Feb. 12. Tickets cost $11–$28. Mixed Blood Theatre, 1501 S. Fourth St., Mpls., 612/338-6131, www.mixedblood.com