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The Arts
04.15.09

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Phaedra

CULTURE WARRIOR: Robert Farid Karimi keeps several personal identities going at once.

Balancing Act

Theatreworks' 'Distracted' lives up to its name

By Garrett Wheeler


IN THE GROWING universe of spoken word, few performers can match the illustrious career enjoyed by UCLA grad Robert Farid Karimi. Born of Iranian and Guatemalan parents, Karimi grew up in the Bay Area, immersing himself in the multicultured community that surrounded him and taking the lessons he learned to heart. Addressing issues of race, spirituality and politics, Karimi's performances have earned him a long list of awards, including a National Poetry Slam Championship, a Verve Spoken Word Grant and an Alliance of Artists' Voices & Visions Award. Karimi's new multimedia show channels the spirit of Freddie Mercury in order to tell the story of an Iranian/Guatemalan man named Robertito who must cope with everything from the Iranian hostage crisis to the death of his grandmother. For MACLA Performance Art Program, he will conduct some workshops on mixed-race identity and perform twice.


ROBERT FARID KARIMI appears Thursday (April 16) and Saturday (April 18) at 8pm at MACLA, 510 S. First St., San Jose. Tickets are $7–$10. (408.998.ARTE)


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