Saturday, August 25, 2007

ching chong chinaman - the play

i know. if you can, try to look beyond the picture at left..

i just read this positive review of "ching chong chinaman" a play performed by bathwater productions at The New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC). my curiosity and interest were piqued to say the least. i'd really like to see this show - unfortunately, the last performance is tonight:

"Ching Chong Chinaman
reviewed by Kat Chamberlain
Aug 19, 2007

I don't want to claim that being an Asian American myself makes me any expert on the subject of "Asian-American-ness"; no more than, say, being a woman helps me know more about "woman-ness" than any man does. We all have blind spots, especially when it comes to seeing ourselves. But Ching Chong Chinaman by Lauren Yee truly surprised me, in a highly entertaining and informative way.

The Wongs are your notoriously typical middle-class suburban American family, set in their blissfully content and carefree ways. They are seventh and eighth generation Chinese Americans: Upton, the son, living in the world of Warcraft; Desdemona, the daughter, trying her darnedest to get into Princeton; Grace, the clueless Mom; and Ed, the work-and-golf Dad.

Their insulated life gets a jolt when Upton brings home Ching Chong, and explains that the man is one of the "Indentured servants—workers from Third World countries whose time is worth far less than my own." He bought Ching Chong a one-way plane ticket to America and forged a student visa. In return Ching Chong will complete his homework, chores, and familial obligations. "Cheaper than minimum wage labor, indentured servants present a solution that is amenable to both sides."

The Wongs are so culturally removed from their heritage that, when first spotting Ching Chong with Upton, Desdemona asks, "Who's that Asian guy?" Replies Grace before seeing the man, "Don't talk about your brother like that!" But before long Grace falls for Ching Chong, and Desdemona, feeling the need to get closer to her roots, sets out to be, well, more "Chinese."

The play is boldly satirical and mocks all the major stereotypes—not only about Asians but also Americans. It pushes the envelope with mirth and produces big laughs. It is also an equal-opportunity offender, and there lies a problem: the characters get jeered at so much that they become thoroughly ridiculous, and that makes it hard for us to care about them. Ching Chong is not developed enough, either, to serve as a mirror or an inspiration.

Although the plot is less than satisfying, the dialogue and critiquing is marvelously sharp-witted and penetrating. It turns clich├ęs on their heads. My favorite part is about Desdemona sponsoring a Korean girl and trying to use that fact to pump up her college application. There is also a golf speech that is destined to be a classic.

The cast is superb, with Jamie Yuen-Shore as Desdemona and Cirocco Dunlap in multiple roles being standouts. Director Anne Marie Bookwalter makes the scene changes as fun as the play itself, and keeps the pace snappy and tight. The stage is smartly arranged and utilized. Overall, regardless of whatever faults Ching Chong Chinaman may have, this play is too smart and funny to miss. It makes me wonder at a few things I do as Asian and American, respectively and together. And they are funny.

Written/created by: Lauren Yee
Directed by Anne Marie Bookwalter
Presented by Bathwater Productions"


dongdong said...

ralph lauren pas cher
louis vuitton bags
coach outlet online
nike store uk
vans shoes
air jordans
christian louboutin
hollister clothing store
coach purses
chi flat iron
air max 95
michael kors outlet
coach outlet
toms shoes
timberland boots
oakley outlet
abercrombie & fitch
coach outlet online
coach outlet
michael kors handbags
cheap jordans
burberry outlet
kate spade handbags
ed hardy outlet
gucci outlet
ray ban sunglasses
christian louboutin shoes
nike air max
ray ban outlet
adidas trainers
converse shoes
discount oakley sunglasses
kate spade outlet online
chaussure louboutin
louis vuitton borse
toms wedges
michael kors
micahel kors

Unknown said...

tods shoes sale
cheap nba jerseys
abercrombie and fitch
michael kors handbags
rolex uk
air max 90
beats by dre
rolex watches
michael kors handbags clearance
ralph lauren uk
coach outlet online
fitflops uk
air jordan 13
louis vuitton outlet store
coach outlet
ralph lauren polo shirts
valentino shoes
louis vuitton outlet
oakley sunglasses
new balance outlet
tory burch outlet
burberry outlet
michael kors handbags
air force 1 shoes
michael kors outlet
cazal sunglasses
nike store uk
ferragamo shoes
tiffany jewelry
cheap uggs
hollister canada
ugg boots clearance,ugg australia,uggs on sale,ugg slippers,uggs boots,uggs outlet,ugg boots,ugg,uggs
louis vuitton pas cher
oakley sunglasses
tiffany outlet
michael kors handbags
ray-ban sunglasses

Unknown said...

michael kors outlet store
coach factory outlet
longchamp outlet store
christian louboutin
air max shoes
adidas yeezy boost
cheap oakley sunglasses
giants jerseys
cheap jordan shoes

Unknown said...

retro jordan shoes
tory burch outlet
tory burch sale
oakley outlet online
cheap oakley sungalsses
ray ban outlet online
ray ban sunglasses outlet
coach outlet
the north face outlet
Michael Kors Bags

John said...

ralph lauren
tory burch outlet online
true religion outlet online
nike store
pandora charms outlet
kate spade outlet online
tory burch outlet online
discount oakley sunglasses
nike sneakers

John said...

gucci borse
coach handbags outlet
nike store
ralph lauren outlet
ralph lauren
kate spade purses
burberry outlet online
cheap nike sneakers
nike outlet store
nfl jerseys

raybanoutlet001 said...

cheap ray bans
golden state warriors jerseys
coach outlet
oklahoma city thunder
red bottom shoes
michael kors outlet
coach outlet
coach outlet
ralph lauren outlet
ray ban sunglasses

Unknown said...

oakley sunglasses wholesale
cleveland browns jerseys
new york knicks
chrome hearts
adidas superstar
nike shoes
cheap nhl jerseys
christian louboutin shoes
coach outlet
nike soccer shoes

chenlina said...

soccer jerseys
ugg outlet
hermes birkin bag
ray ban sunglasses for women
asics running shoes
x-large clothing
moose knuckles jacketsjavascript:void(0)
stephen curry jersey

Unknown said...

pandora charms
seahawks jerseys
jbl speakers
nike free
uggs outlet
basketball shoes
armani jeans
timberland boots
kd 10 elite

jeje said...

canada goose jackets
red bottom shoes
pandora outlet
basketballl shoes
ugg boots
michael kors outlet
champion sportswear
canada goose outlet
canada goose

sahabatqq said...

Situs Judi Online Terpercaya
Agen PokerQQ