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Fresh! (Way) Off the Boat 

Wednesday, Jul 6 2011
There’s a long tradition of immigrants’ tales of marginalization in insular American communities — in fact, it may be the defining American story. But as common as those stories are, it’s fair to say that Maryam Farnaz Rostami, a San Francisco drag queen born in Iran who grew up in small-town Texas, is turning the American immigrant narrative on its ear with her one-person show Persepolis, Texas: FOBspring to Drag Queen in One Generation. Mixing performance, dance, and the ultrafeminine drag stylings of her alter ego Mona G. Hawd, she explores coming of age in the climate-controlled hell of a Texas suburb as well as the Bay Area queer community, and delves deep into her heritage to unearth the ancient Persian city of Persepolis. Instead of placing these various settings and periods of her life in opposition to one another, Rostami explores the throughline that connects them. It’s an effort to examine the big questions, like “Who am I?” and “How did I get here?” Persepolis, Texas is more than a thoughtful exercise, though — it’s also a high-camp extravaganza that uses drag and wicked wit to not only illustrate where Rostami has been during her storied life, but also to celebrate the glorious mutability of identity.
Fridays-Sundays, 8 p.m. Starts: July 15. Continues through July 17, 2011

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Paul M. Davis


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