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Thespian Thoughts Theatre Review – Chinglish by East West Players – “Timely and clever”

Thespian Thoughts Theatre Review – Chinglish by East West Players – “Timely and clever”

 
 


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Thespian Thoughts Theatre Review – Chinglish / “Timely and clever”

 

International relations get strained in this timely story about an American businessman’s efforts to do business in China. His hopes of landing a lucrative contract for his company are challenged by problems with translation and transactions. But his attraction to a Chinese government official might make the trip worthwhile after all.

 

It’s a promising set up but doesn’t quite deliver as opportunities to push both the comedic and dramatic opportunities further don’t get fully explored.

 

Xi Yan, Vice Minister of Culture, played by Kara Wang, explains a situation to American businessman Daniel Cavanaugh, played by Matthew Jaeger in East West Players production of David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish.

 

So we’re left with a play that is good yet not great as a result of that confusion over tone.

 

The best scene comes when the American businessman only wins respect from his hosts after revealing he used to work for scandal hit company Enron. Plus there are some good performances to enjoy, especially from the always entertaining Ewan Chung.

 

Anyone thinking of doing business in China would be well advised to check out this play first as it cleverly lays out the pitfalls as well as the potential of such an enterprise.

Jeff Locker (foreground) plays Peter Timms and Ben Wang plays Minister of Culture Cai Guoliang in East West Players production of David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish.

Jeff Locker (foreground) plays Peter Timms and Ben Wang plays Minister of Culture Cai Guoliang in East West Players production of David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish.

Xi Yan, Vice Minister of Culture, played by Kara Wang, explains a situation to American businessman Daniel Cavanaugh, played by Matthew Jaeger in East West Players production of David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish.

Xi Yan, Vice Minister of Culture, played by Kara Wang, explains a situation to American businessman Daniel Cavanaugh, played by Matthew Jaeger in East West Players production of David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish.

L-R) Leann Li as Prosecutor Li, Joy Yao as translator Zhao, Ewan Chung as Judge Xu Geming, Kara Wang s Vice Minister Xi Yan, and Mattew Jaeger as Daniel Cavanaugh in East West Players production of David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish.

L-R) Leann Li as Prosecutor Li, Joy Yao as translator Zhao, Ewan Chung as Judge Xu Geming, Kara Wang s Vice Minister Xi Yan, and Mattew Jaeger as Daniel Cavanaugh in East West Players production of David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish.

(L-R) Jeff Locker as British ex-pat Peter Timms and Ben Wang as Minister of Culture Cai Guoliang in East West Players production of David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish.

(L-R) Jeff Locker as British ex-pat Peter Timms and Ben Wang as Minister of Culture Cai Guoliang in East West Players production of David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish.

Xi Yan (Kara Wang) stands with her husband, Judge Xu Geming (Ewan Chung), while American businessman Daniel Cavanaugh (Matthew Jaeger), looks on in East West Players production of David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish.

Xi Yan (Kara Wang) stands with her husband, Judge Xu Geming (Ewan Chung), while American businessman Daniel Cavanaugh (Matthew Jaeger), looks on in East West Players production of David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish.

Kara Wang plays Vice Minister of Culture Xi Yan in East West Players theatrical production of CHINGLISH written by David Henry Hwang. 

Kara Wang plays Vice Minister of Culture Xi Yan in East West Players theatrical production of CHINGLISH written by David Henry Hwang. 

Kara Wang plays Vice Minister of Culture Xi Yan in East West Players theatrical production of CHINGLISH written by David Henry Hwang. 

Kara Wang plays Vice Minister of Culture Xi Yan in East West Players theatrical production of CHINGLISH written by David Henry Hwang. 

 


 

Chinglish
By David Henry Hwang
Presented by East West Players

 


 

Performs Wednesdays thru Saturdays at 8 and Sundays at 2 until October 11
At Union Center of the Arts, 120 Judge John Aiso Street, Los Angeles 90012
Tickets $28-$38 from 213 625 7000 or East West Players

 


 

Directed by Jeff Liu
Cast: Ewan Chung, Matthew Jaeger, Leann Lei, Jeff Locker, Ben Wang, Kara Wang, Joy Yao

 


 


Pepper Jay Productions LLC

Pepper Jay Productions LLC


 


 

Thespian Thoughts is a theatre review article on Actors Entertainment, a channel on the Actors Podcast Network, a Pepper Jay Production.

 

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