CincyFringe Reivew: Headscarf and the Angery Bitch

The Anger in Zehra Fazal's Headscarf and the Angry Bitch is reserved not for her religion or her family or her ethnicity, but lies with the actions of all of those entities interacting together and making her life full of contradictions and confusion.

 

Fazal's character Zed Headscarf takes you in with her seminar, learning about Islam.  Along the way she shares her stories about her upbringing with Pakistani parents and extended family and how sex and it's many variances lack a place in the culture surrounding her religion.

 

Fazal's character does this most refreshingly through song parodies. She earns her "Muslim Weird Al" title with very funny versions of popular tunes.  The Ramadan song, played to tune of Litter Drummer Boy, is really clever, and will make your grandmother blush even without being within 200 miles of the performance venue.

 

Fazal is a strong singer and a solid performer, keeping the show going during a big technical problem during one of her songs.  The lighting blew a circuit braker and everything went dark, but the sound was fine. She didn't miss a beat and kept on going.

 

The songs are the highlight of the story, along with her descriptions of her family, which resonate with anyone with parents that are even remotely serious about religion or tradition.  The narrative is limited and elements of the character's sexuality make leaps that are quite large without much forshadowing.  I could have used some additional background on that for the storyline to flow without the big jump.