Monday, March 11, 2013

REVIEW: Chinglish by David Henry Hwang

HKAPA Lyric Theatre, Wednesday March 6

I was able to catch the last performance of this wonderful play by David Henry Hwang as part of the 41st Hong Kong Arts Festival. Gaining success in the West must be very good where this play may be considered quite amusing and a novelty. BUT what about here in Asia? Particularly here in Hong Kong? I personally think that Hong Kong might just be where the applause ends and I am just not sure whether how the other people across the border will think of the play. My guess is that they will not be amused at all.

Upon knowing the theme behind the play, Sofia Coppola’s movie Lost in Translation immediately came to mind and I wondered how much unpleasant stereotyping would be directed toward the yellow people this time. On the other hand, Chinglish is written by a Chinese-American and perhaps it would be different… and indeed it was very different.

To read my review of the play for online art magazine HKELD, please click here.
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Chinglish
By David Henry Hwang 
Directed by Leigh Silverman
A co-production of Berkeley Repertory Theatre and South Coast Repertory

Creative Team:
Playwright: David Henry Hwang
Director: Leigh Silverman
Scenic Designer: David Korins
Costume Designer: Anita Yavich
Lighting Designer: Brian MacDevitt
Sound Designer: Darron L West
Projection Designers: Jeff Sugg, Shawn Duan
Mandarin Chinese Translator: Candace Chong
Cultural Advisors: Joanna C Lee, Ken Smith

Cast includes:
Daniel Cavanaugh: Alex Moggridge
Peter: Brian Nishii
Miss Qian / Prosecutor Li: Celeste Den
Minister Cai: Raymond Ma
Xi Yan: Michelle Krusiec
Bing / Judge Geming: Austin Ku
Zhao: Vivian Chiu

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