by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move

The following is a reprint from L.A. Theatre Review

Majd Murad in Blood FruitMajd Murad is a truly likable and empathetic soul with the unusual stigma of growing up in America as a first generation Iraqi-Catholic (yes they exist) immigrant, struggling to have life and love on his own terms, notwithstanding a controlling, loud and often nonsensical family, a slightly bullying brother, a conservative neighborhood, and – he’s gay.

Blood Fruit isn’t groundbreaking. But then Majd doesn’t claim to be. He is simply here to educate and inspire by “airing out his dirty laundry” good and bad. However, after reading two full pages of extraordinary bios of the extraordinary people involved, I expected a bit more.

Directorially Blood Fruit is often messy and campy in a My Big Fat Greek Wedding kind of way. Often manically blocked I was relieved when the character(s) stood still. I did laugh quite a bit but the play winds long, then glosses over the key part of the story. In the course of sexual awakening, freedom and joy, this innocent, naive young man is taken advantage of by an HIV positive lover who deliberately infects him with the virus. He is only 23. Although not the only focus of this take, it is a truthful, soul-crushing moment that deserved a little more impact.

Majd does get his happy ending and so do we. He is to be applauded for his courage and sense of humor in the face of a life he did not choose but is most willing to embrace – every bit of it.

Written and Performed by Majd Murad
Directed by Bethany Kraemer
Developed with Eric Trules
Produced by Jack Fry