NEW YORK - The ghosts and demons in the new play Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, which opened Thursday night with Robin Williams in his Broadway debut, may intrigue you, but the clutter of metaphors may drive you to distraction.
I appreciate that playwright Rajiv Joseph has an solid sense of scene writing that easily juxtaposes humor with raw conflict - and that he's trying to tell us something about America's involvement in Iraq and the involvement of Iraqis with their former regime and its aftermath.
But Bengal Tiger is laden with a confusion of symbols, everything from a topiary garden (that's supposed to represent ... what?) to a Pieta-posed pair of unlikely characters. There's a clueless Marine who becomes smart only in death (also representing something, I suspect) to a street-smart Marine who may or may not be the stand-in for American aggression and arrogance.