NICE IRANIAN GIRL by Carol Kaufman Segal
Nice Iranian Girl is a world premiere production about, well, what else, a nice Iranian girl. Her name is Layla Rumi, and she wrote, produced and performs in this true life story under the direction of Richard Embardo. Her story is something of a fairytale and Layla is undeniably, not only talented, but charming, loaded with spunk, headstrong, and ambitious. Her life is a tailspin of what is known as chutzpah.
After Layla was born and her parents divorced, her mother moved to London and left her with her grandparents in Tehran. Layla recalled, huddling in a basement with her grandparents while Saddam Hussein’s aircraft bombarded the neighborhood. For her safety, she left to go to London to be with her Mother who had remarried.
Layla became homeless in London at the age of 15 when she could no longer tolerate the abuse of her Mother’s husband and left their home. Though underage, she managed, with her looks, to trick her way into a job at a London nightclub where she was exposed to a world of incest and drugs into which she never fell.
While living alone in London, Layla spent a lot of her time watching American television, fell in love with what she saw, and made a decision to go to Hollywood, hoping to get a job on TV. Her story, how she succeeded in Hollywood through her good looks, charm, talent, hard work, and tenacity, is beautifully told by this Nice Iranian Girl at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks.
Layla Rumi became a naturalized American citizen. And though her dream for success came true, there is one thing that she regrets in her life. Because she once posed in a bikini for Maxim magazine, Iran put her on a death list and she will never be able visit her girlhood home again.
Nice Iranian Girl plays Saturdays at 8 PM at the Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, through February 11. Reservations are available by calling (800) 838-3006. Online tickets are available at www.niceiraniangirl.brownpapertickets.com.