Jay Allen Sanford 11 a.m., Sept. 20
For his new play, David Henry Hwang (author of M Butterfly) wanted to deconstruct Rudyard Kipling. Instead he deconstructed his image as a multicultural role model. Yellow Face (the Asian equivalent of white actors in "black face") is a topsy-turvy, often funny, and ultimately thought-provoking piece. After he protested the casting of Jonathan Pryce in Miss Saigon, Hwang accidentally casts Marcus, a white actor, in an Asian role, then pretends Marcus isn't white. Complications multiply ("I was an Asian-American role model," Hwang shouts, "back when you were a Caucasian!"). For the Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company, director Seema Sueko does a splendid job of negotiating the script's quirky tonal shifts (in which comedy and seriousness perform an snake-dance deconstruction). As DDH (i.e., a fictionalized Hwang), Greg Watanabe gives an outstanding performance, part comedian, part pin-cushion, always fully present and engaging. No weak links in the supporting cast, led by Brian Bielawski's innocent (calculating?) Marcus. David F. Weiner's spare, handsome set includes projections that evoke multitudes. 619-342-7395.
When: Ongoing until Sunday, October 31, 2010
- Sundays, 2pm
- Thursdays, 7:30pm
- Fridays, 7:30pm
- Saturdays, 7:30pm