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Mais El-Rim (Piccadilly/Damascus 1975)
Editor's Notes (contain plot spoilers):
On the way to attend her cousin's wedding in Kahloun, Zayoun's car breaks down near a village called Mais Elrim. The village is already tense because of the dispute between Na'man's family and Shahida's family. The reason is that Na'man and Shahida love eachother but their families don't agree on a marriage because of a 20 year old feud which the other villagers have also taken part by siding with either Na'man or Shahida's family. Zayoun wants to get to Kahloun as fast as she can because she's only a few hours away from the wedding. She also has her cousin's wedding dress. She looks for the mechanic, Na'man, to find out that he closed down the store because of a recent quarrel with Shahida. Zayoun decides to help by bringing the families together. She meets with Na'man's aunt who sounded pretty stubborn as to the feud. Zayoun plays along because she is in a hurry. But things don't work out as they should be. The heads of the two families, Raji and Hatem, meet and decide to fight eachother. It gets late and they postpone the fight to the next day. They each hire a bully so that to ensure the other one will get life beaten out of him. But Zayoun overhears the two bullies talking about the next day's fight and she tells the policeman about it who eventually arrests the two guys. Reja and Hatem both deny they hired anyone and they decide to take the dispute to the Mayor of Mayors. To Zayoun's shock, they all blame her for starting the troubles. She claims her innocence. Still the families each doesn't want to make the initiative of stopping the dispute. When the Mayor finds that none, not even Na'man or Shahida, wants to end this mess, he announces the verdict. He is the one who will get to marry Shahida in a few days.
Everyone becomes sad. So Reja and Hatem try to reach a compromise to end the dispute. Meanwhile Zayoun makes a phone call to her grandmother in Kahloun and finds out that the wedding has finished. Finally, the Mayor exposes his plan which was not to marry Shahida but rather to bring the families together. Zayoun still stuck asks from Na'man to fix the car but because of the preparations of his own marriage, he will not do it. She gets some villagers to push her car out of the village and she asks them to remember her whenever two fall in love.
One of my favorite plays, in fact it's my favorite play. A simple story, very beautiful songs, funny dialogue and great cast with a special cameo by Ziad Rahbani. He even sings with Fairuz in the final song. There is also a relatively long role given to late Joesph Saker, life long friend of Ziad and the main performer in most of his works. Ziad also contributes by composing the music of 'Habbou Baadon' and the first introduction which is a masterpiece and if I am not hallucinating, sounds similar to his overture of the second act in his Nazl Essourour. His uncle Elias too did a masterpiece of music for the second overture as well as other great compositions and arrangements.
Booklet Summary: Not Available
Fairuz ... Zayoun
Nasri Shamseddine ... Raji
William Haswani ... Ashawish
Joesph Nassif ... Hatem
Huda ... Shahida
Elie Shewirie ... Na'man
Layla Karm ... Amet Neman
Joesph Sakr ... Nesnas
Ziad Rahbani ... Soldier
Elie Sneifer ... Mokhatar Elmokhatir (Thanks to Mike Sassine)
(couldn't identify the Aamt Na'man, Ghandour and Abou Hala'a charaters)
Written by the Rahbani Brothers
Except for the first overture and Habbou Ba'adon, music by Ziad Rahbani.
Music of the second overture and Valse d'Amour, lyrics/music of Ya Marek Atawahine and the arrangment of Ya Laure Elhob by Elias Rahbani.
Track 2 CD 2: Old Church Carol, and Track 17 CD 2: Folklore/Traditional Lebanese Music