Reviews

Exotic America

Soft Power, the new musical by David Henry Hwang, is about sixteen different shows stuffed into one, so bear with me here. It begins with the playwright himself (Francis Jue), who is approached by Xūe Xíng (Conrad Ricamora), the President for North America of Dragon Entertainment Group, to adapt the Chinese comedy Jiāng Cuò Jiù […]

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Reviews

Chasing the Dragon

The Blue Dragon is a melodrama devoid of drama.  Which is odd, since a plot description would suggest otherwise: Claire (Marie Michaud), a French Canadian whose alcoholism has prevented her from adopting in her native country, flies to China in order to buy a baby.  When that fails, she finds hope in an old friend, […]

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Reviews

Out of Place Everywhere, at Home Nowhere

In the summer of 1867, a group of Chinese-American railroad workers (“coolies”) go on strike for a ten dollar raise and an eight hour workday: “Good for white man, all same good for Chinaman.”  While they wait for the negotiations to end, they gamble and tell outrageous stories, placated by opium and big dreams.  But […]

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Reviews

The Jew’s Ear Juice

We’ve all seen the photos.  A sign that reads, “Do Drunken Driving.”  Another warns, “Slip and Fall Down Carefully.”  Or a can labeled, “The Jew’s Ear Juice”—perhaps the most unappetizing beverage on the planet.  These comical mistranslations provide the springboard for Chinglish, David Henry Hwang’s new play about the failure of language as a means of […]

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