In a police lockup one day after the 9/11 attacks, a Muslim man in a Starbucks outfit faces toward Mecca and begins murmuring “Allahu akbar.” A fellow detainee notices and says, “I know what you’re doing, and I don’t think it’s a good idea right now.” The same might be
said, gently, to Michael Swift, the writer and director of September 12. This well-intentioned but achingly amateurish play, which follows two drug dealers on the titular day, fails to add meaningfully to the mass of literature and art that 9/11 has already produced.
Dealers Biz (Omar Perez) and Press (Chris Perry) attempt to exact retribution for some counterfeit bills and find themselves confined to the Tombs with a Muslim barista, a marine, and most insidious, an attorney. Each receives a monologue in which he explains his situation. Swift wants to capture the anger and confusion of the days after the attacks, but he doesn’t have anything new to report. An offering from Family Tree productions, a new company dedicated to staging “culturally relevant, original work,” September 12 is an earnest but undistinguished date.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 28, 2007