The Musk of the Gardens of Allah

Tagline: It's that old crescent moon in your eyes.

Genre: Drama


A new performer, an Iranian-American named Ahmad, joins the cast at the Lorelei, a drag supper club in West Hollywood, and he and Bar, one of the gender illusionists, become romantically involved until she learns that he has a wife and two young children. Zeph, in the meantime, gets to know an Iraqi-American named Sadiq. He develops strong feelings for Sadiq and finds himself on the threshold of his own affair. Zeph's partner O'Keefe invites Zeph and Sadiq out to a movie location at the Imperial Dunes in California to join the cast as extras for a few days, and they spend the time costumed as Bedouins in the Sahara. After shooting wraps, Zeph and O'Keefe sort out their feelings for each other on a high dune as the desert sun sets.

At the Lorelei, Bar, Ahmad and his wife, Nadereh, have a heated confrontation, until a "bomb" is dropped—Nadereh is told that the American she had wanted to marry but couldn't because of family pressure to marry an Iranian, is now single again. This manumitting fact allows the closet door to swing open and the partners to change amicably.

Author: John Garvey