Eric Bryant and Rajesh Bose in “The Invisible Hand,” Photo by Carol Rosegg
To enter the bizarrely frightening trauma of Nick’s abduction in Pakistan, place yourself in the audience of Westport Country Playhouse until Saturday, Augsut 6 as the political juggernaut “The Invisible Hand” by Ayad Akhtar is deliberately delivered. Eric Bryant’s Nick was not even the intended target. It was supposed to be his boss, the bank’s chief officer. But once his abductors had him in their clutches, Jameal Ali’s Dar, Fajer Kaisi’s Bashir and their leader Rajesh Bose’s Imam Salem, they are not predisposed to let him go.
With a ransom demand of $10,000,000, Bright’s future is anything but bright. The captives’ demands are denied. Nick, with a creative command of currency, proposes he make his own funds. With Bashir as his eager protege, he designs investments, in this case futures, that will yield large returns.
The Imam’s needs, whether personal or for the people, disturb the monetary balance and also cause Bashir to question his omnipotent authority. Meanwhile Nick is caught in the internal conflict. Does he side with one man against the other? Is his monetary scheme in danger of failing? Will his life be sacrificed for the cause?
The play’s title is derived from Adam Smith’s economic theory that self-interest drives the free market like an invisible hand. Certainly all the players have a personal stake in the success of Bright’s scheme. David Kennedy directs a fine cast in this tension driven tale that could be ripped from today’s headlines, one that will leave you holding your breath as guns are drawn and drones circle overhead.
For tickets ($30 and up), call the Westpor t Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, Westport (route 1) at 203-227-4177 or 1-888-927-7529 or online at www.westportplayhouse.org. Performances are Tuesday at 7 p.m., Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m.and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. For a complete listing of community events tied to the play go to www.westportplayhouse.org.
Watch how financier Nick juggles potatoes, oranges, wheat, water and sugar as seeds of greed infest the menace of monetary madness.