Wakim's life as a first generation Lebanese-American inspired him to capture that world in his music. Especially when he saw parts of it start to change and vanish, he urgently realized he must capture the beauty of this world. That set him on the quest to write this show.
We are presenting a WORKSHOP PRODUCTION of the show in Wichita, KS which is an exciting new step in the process. Please see this link for tickets.
Told through a wide variety of music encapsulating jazz, rock, traditional Arabic, and so much more, An American in Beirut follows the story of two American characters, Jack and Anna as they search for their identities in Beirut, Lebanon. Anna, in search of her true bloodline, is obsessed with the possibility of being part Lebanese; Jack, in search of happiness and a true understanding of what in his American life is making him unhappy.
The main Lebanese characters, Elie and Nabila, personify Lebanon and take Jack and Anna on a whirlwind of cultural adventures. Lebanon reveals itself to be a place of joy, spectacle, color, and amazing food. As Jack and Anna begin the path of understanding Lebanon, and as a love-story seems to be unfolding, conflict arises and Jack is pressured to return to America to resolve a work-related emergency. He then must make the decision of what he wants to pursue: happiness or success?
The musical continues with conflict, drama, glamour, and disappointment, as both Jack and Anna realize they know themselves better than they may have thought. This knowledge doesn't provide the feelings they expected, and uncertainty overwhelms them. We then learn a particularly Lebanese maxim that sums up the entire show: we find ourselves to better receive the love of other people.
I hope you have a chance to watch An American in Beirut.
About the Reading
In March 2017, the Kansas State University Theater department offered to produce An American in Beirut as a staged reading as a part of their regular season. This was go time for Wakim and Kirkhart. After extensive work, the piece was ready for rehearsals on February 12th, 2018.
After nine rehearsals, the show premiered to two sold out audiences at the Purple Masque Theatre in Manhattan, KS. After gaining widespread appraise, next steps became apparent and we are continuing to explore new performance opportunities. Check out media from the recording on the American in Beirut homepage!