Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-05-17
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW King of the Yees
by Mary Shen Barnidge
2017-04-19

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Lauren Yee. At: Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. Tickets: $10-$40. Runs through: April 30

Lauren Yee's play is a chronicle of San Francisco's Chinatown that refuses to turn a blind eye to its corrupt politicians and gangster warlords. It's also a tour of the district, with exotic xenophile-pleasing sights cited by names and addresses, in addition to cute parade lions, CGI action-movie violence and silly fortune-cookie games.

Its dramatic universe encompasses the theater we occupy, along with mythical realms associated with Joseph Campbell-styled odysseys ( cf. Mary Zimmerman ). It's about exploring your roots and talking with aged parents before their voices are forever silenced. What it is not is an elegy for a halcyon past, thanks to the intercession of a clan patriarch so exuberant and audacious—is there a Chinese word for chutzpah?—that he cannot help but assume command of the narrative ( cf. Mel Brooks ).

The evening begins with characters representing Lauren Yee and her father, Larry Yee, on the occasion of the latter's 60th birthday, lamenting the legendary West Coast neighborhood's loss of its ancestral identity under pressures of gentrification and assimilation, but five minutes into their dirge, the actors playing them are interrupted by actors playing the real-life Larry and Lauren Yee—stay with me, now—who commence bickering over the content of the play-within-a-play in process. Assisted by the three fictional-persona players and flanked by the clubhouse doors of Yee Fung Toy, the isonymous fraternal organization providing community to lonely Cantonese immigrants for generations, Larry proceeds to recount genealogical tales spiraling farther and farther off-topic so that Lauren is forced to reassert control over her project. Upon returning after intermission, though, she discovers her progenitor missing, and herself charged with finding him, lest he be lost to the memory and his legacy with him.

This is a big load of meta-theatrics to pack into a mere two hours, but Goodman Theatre's world premiere production roots its spectacle firmly in the familiar—a thunderclap whenever crime boss Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow's name is uttered ( cf. Young Frankenstein ), a dance score that segues from traditional Sino-centric instruments to MC Hammer, Korean and mixed-ethnic actors commiserating on the vagaries of show-business Asian stereotypes—all blooming under Joshua Kahan Brody's direction at a velocity that ensures that our attention never wavers.

Ultimately, however, the evening belongs to real-life actor Francis Jue, whose Larry Yee emerges a mensch transcending all cultural boundaries. Once you meet him, you won't forget him.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

'Rent' cast thrills Sidetrack attendees 2017-05-23 - Jonathan Larson's Rent has captivated audiences for more than 20 years. The story, loosely based on Puccini's La Boheme, shows the struggles of ...


Gay News

Goodman shows 'Sequins;' Stamos hosts 'Wish Ball' 2017-05-23 - On May 20, Goodman Theatre held a "Sequins and Soul" extravaganza at the Fairmont Chicago. This year, the annual gala invited the talented ...


Gay News

Kate Clinton to be honored at Levity & Justice June 22 in New York 2017-05-22 - Washington, DC ( April 27, 2017 ) — LPAC, the national grassroots lesbian political action committee supporting pro-LGBTQ and pro-women's equality candidates, is ...


Gay News

Performance of Black Pearl, A Tribute to Josephine Baker, to benefit Legacy Project 2017-05-20 - Kick-Off LGBT Pride 2017 with us on Saturday, June 3rd with a special Legacy Project Benefit performance of Black Ensemble Theatre's acclaimed "Black ...


Gay News

Nothing Without a Company Announces 2017-18 Season 2017-05-20 - CHICAGO, May 17, 2017 - Chicago non-profit theatre company Nothing Without a Company has announced their 12th season, "Identity." The season will feature ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Objects in the Mirror 2017-05-17 - Playwright: Charles Smith. At: Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn Ave. Tickets: $20-$75. Runs through: June 4 Our play's author is Charles Smith; ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Tight End 2017-05-17 - Playwright: Rachel Bykowski. At: Twenty Percent Theatre Company at the Pride Arts Buena, 4147 N. Broadway. Tickets: $20. Runs through: June 3 ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW Paradise Blue 2017-05-17 - Playwright: Dominique Morisseau. At: TimeLine Theatre, 615 W. Wellington Ave. Tickets: 773-281-8463; TimelineTheatre.com; $38-$51. Runs through: July 23 Paradise Blue is a ...


Gay News

THEATER REVIEW We're Gonna Die 2017-05-17 - Playwright: Young Jean Lee. At: Haven Theatre at the Den, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets: $18. Runs through: June 4 Whether you ...


Gay News

Theater spotlight on Token, Critics' Picks 2017-05-17 - Theater spotlight In Token, actress/comedian Kaye Winks shares lifelong tales of being that lone Black person in a world of white. This 60-minute ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.