|Jon and I at it again. |
Photo: Jim Baldassare
The play's tone shifts after the battle, when its hero, Hung Tran (a robust and expertly calibrated turn from Paco Tolson) brings The Playwright (played with wryness and a certain sweet nerdiness by William Jackson Harper) to the stage. Hung, an incarnation of Nguyen's cousin, a Vietnamese refugee who survived a horrific journey in the China Sea, demands that Playwright tell his story truthfully, announcing "You're here to help turn this story out correct, playwright."
I have to give mad props to Andy Propst from Theatermania, the guy has shown me so much critical love in NYC, and I am lucky to have someone so thoughtful in my corner.
That Sounds Cool
After seeing Agent G, I'm not just a believer again, I'm a thoroughly obsessed fan: Nguyen's latest is not just a tale of Vietnam, filtered through war movies, noir drama, and spy flicks, but the tale of an artist daring to find his voice without compromising his aesthetic.
Hello, Aaron Riccio. Aaron reviews everything under the sun and is always on point.
The ensemble of five is superlative. Paco Tolson and Bonnie Sherman are spectacular as, respectively, Hung and three different (and very important) white women; Harper is funny and then moving as the beleaguered Playwright; Amy Kim Waschke breathes life into numerous stereotypes as, among others, a Vietnamese boy and a young Vietnamese woman who works as the housekeeper at a whorehouse. Stealing the show constantly is Jon Hoche, who plays seemingly a zillion different antagonists to Hung and/or The Playwright...
Martin Denton. A living legend who works tirelessly to legitimaize the work we all do downtown. Thanks as always, man.