Recovery Signs

Baghdad's Theater Re-Opens

Laughter is ringing through the Iraq National Theater for the first time in six years. Although nightlife is beginning to return to Baghdad, as residents feel more comfortable eating at restaurants after dark, the theater is a rare evening pleasure in a city where cinemas remain closed at night. The play, To Enjoy the Sweetness You Must Taste the Bitterness, is written, directed, and produced by Iraqis. A number of local television stars comprise the cast. The play, a comedy, hints at Iraq's bubbling sectarian tension. In it, two friends fight after one falls in love with the other's sister, but after a spaceship lifts the men to Neptune, they have to put aside their differences and get along. Producer Essam al-Abassi said, "I am trying to send a message to the people that in the end there are no differences."