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Among the observations made in contemporary playwright Stephen Karam's comedy-drama Sons of the Prophet
is the notion that calamities convey no sense of justice or remorse. Simply enduring the suffering is aspiration enough for Joseph Douiahy, the play's hapless protagonist, whose former glory as a marathon champion has been marred by inexplicable chronic pain. His own infirmities are soon eclipsed, however, by a chain reaction of tragedies that befall his family and push a reluctant Joseph into the ever deeper waters of responsibility. All of which would be challenging enough for Joseph without his overbearing boss, a desperate publishing agent, badgering him to write a memoir chronicling his Lebanese-American family's connection to Kahlil Gibran, author of a famed spiritual book, The Prophet
. Karam remarkably manages to present each successive debacle with a wry humor that prevents the atmosphere from ever becoming oppressive. To the contrary, the play uncovers poignancy in the common resiliency of a family coping with grief in their own dysfunctional fashion. Directed by Jef Hall-Flavin, this local premiere features accomplished performer Sasha Andreev in the central role, surrounded by an equally impressive supporting cast including Angela Timberman, Michael Tezla, and Maxwell Collyard.