Friday, July 21, 8:00 p.m.
Cost: $15/$12 members/$8 students
(school ID required for college students)
Aladdin Ullah, Writer & Actor
Regge Life, Director
Avi Sharma, tabla player
In his one-man show “Dishwasher Dreams,” when writer, actor and comedian Aladdin Ullah gets offered a role as a Muslim terrorist in a Hollywood film he reminisces about his dad leaving Bangladesh and arriving in Harlem during the 1940s. He draws on the story of his father a steamship worker from East Bengal, who jumped ship, settled in Harlem and worked for years as a dishwasher and line-cook. Aladdin explored his fathers life as well as his own childhood growing up on East Harlem in the 1970s and 80s. Accompanied by tabla player Avi Sharma, Ullah tells the story with a deep sense of humor, drama, and empathy for the American Immigrant experience. Aladdin Ullah has been pioneering the past decade a one of the first South Asians to perform stand-up comedy on national television on networks such as HBO, Comedy Central, MT, BET, and PBS. Reggie Life directs.
As inaugural member of the Public Theater’s Emerging Writers Group, Aladdin has been been developing his solo show Dishwasher Dreams which has been in festivals/workshops such as: New Works Now! At the Public Theater, New York theater workshop, New York Stage and Film, Chicago’s Victory Gardens, Cape Cod Theater Fest, Silk Road, Shakespeare in the Bahamas. He was the IAAC (Indo-American Arts Council) Playwright in resident at the Lark Play Development Center and resident playwright at New York Theater Workshop. His play the Halal Brothers was featured in the Labyrinth’s Barn Series at the Public Theater directed by Liesl Tommy and the Lab’s summer Workshop led by John Ortiz. It was also part of the 2010 Classical Theater of Harlem’s Future Classic Reading Series directed by Christopher McElroen at the Shomburg in Harlem. He is the recipient of the 2012 LMCC (Lower Manhattan Cultural Council) playwrighting grant and The Paul Robeson Development Grant. A recent book based on Aladdin’s journey to research his father for the solo play was made into a critically acclaimed book called Bengali Harlem written by Vivek Bald and published by Harvard Press.
Avi is one of the leading Tabla players from the Caribbean, and United States promoting the tradition of rhythm; he is the embodiment of World Music. His ability to incorporate Caribbean rhythmic elements on Tabla with Indian Classical melodic and percussive overtones make him extraordinary as a percussionist. He studied Tabla from his father, Dr. Ravideen Ramsamooj who is the Managing Director and Founder of the East Indian Music Academy Inc.. In 2015, he debuted as a Tabla soloist touring Nepal, and India where he performed in Agra near the world greatest wonder, the Taj Mahal. Avi represented the West Indies, and the United States in the premiere Music Festival of India called the Taj Mahotsav. Avi was also nominated for the 14th Annual Independent Music Awards for Best World Beat Album “Melodic Intersect – Inner Vision” and also made the Top 100 list for Best World Music albums for the 57th Grammy Awards. Avi has performed with music ensembles such as the Queens Symphony, Sufiana, Chakra, Sukarma and Melodic Intersect. He has performed in Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Dominican Republic, India, United States, Canada, and Nepal.
Regge Life is a theater and film director his theater credits include Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts (Pearl Theater), Lorraine Hansberry’s Raisin in the Sun (Capital Repertory), Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls… (Pittsburgh Public Theater), Jessica Hagedorn’s Mango Tango (Joseph Papp’s NY Shakespeare Festival), Michael Bradford’s Living in the Wind (American Place Theater), Stephen Jeffrey’s I Just Stopped by to See the Man ((Milwaukee Rep), August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean (Pittsburgh Public Theater) among many others. He is the founder of Global Film Network and producer/director of Cocktail Party, Live Your Dream, Doubles, among others.