To begin the show, the entire cast takes the stage. One by one, they say where they are originally from (or where their ancestors are from) and where they live now. It’s a very odd way to start a show having the actors first appear as themselves before becoming the characters.
Country Y owns Country X and the citizens of Country X are not happy about it. Can a citizen from Country Y be friends with someone from Country X? Can they treat each other as equals? Or, is the political baggage too much? Q is moving from Y to X to start a new life. She meets a fellow immigrant, F, and they agree to explore the caves together.
Having the names of the characters and countries does have the effect of removing any ethnicity or bias from a name. But it also makes the play feel like characters are variables in computer code. It makes them completely generic and thus it is hard to relate to them. Still, the play does bring up some interesting ideas. Christopher Chen, the playwright, was inspired by E.M. Forester’s “A Passage to India” about the British Raj and the Indian Independence movement in the 1920s Due to the current events taking place in Europe, it is easy to see Country Y as Russia and Country X as Ukraine.
Charin Alvarez (La Ruta, Lettie) is excellent as B, dealing with a horrible boss. Patrick Agada (The First Deep Breath) is great as F, trying to settle into a new country. Leyla Beydoun is good as Q, struggling to find new friends. Adam Poss is a big personality as Q’s husband, always explaining his thoughts thoroughly. Peter Sipla (Cambodian Rock Band) plays the host. Lastly, Carolyn Hu Bradbury and Tiffany Renee Johnson (School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play) are solid in their supporting roles.
Cost of a ticket: $30
PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It –
Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother
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