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Jian Jung

Zoetrope

September 23, 2023

Clearly, "Zoetrope" often becomes difficult to follow for non-Spanish speakers.  The dearth of realistic sets makes knowing which location is which confusing, despite the occasional descriptive titles.  Then, the fact that most of the actors—all of whom are terrific—play several parts in a rapidly time-shifting plot makes figuring out who’s who and who is in a relationship with whom difficult to ascertain.  Why is Puerto Rican independence glossed over?  How does Claudio become a filmmaker?  It’s the debut of his movie that ends "Zoetrope." [more]

9 Kinds of Silence

September 18, 2023

This play demands attention to the smallest details and a thoughtful encounter with what truth is being hidden and revealed in both the spoken text and the silent actions. It leaves one with a need to make sense of the experience and the feelings that it engenders. It is drama to be experienced and savored. See the show if you like intense, thoughtful, well-acted drama. [more]

Suicide Forest

March 6, 2020

This illustrates the biggest problem with "Suicide Forest":  it takes on too many issues, jumping from social to sexual to mythological to intimate family subjects.  Making the play even more difficult to understand is that it is performed in both Japanese and English.  In addition there is some confusing cross-ressing. "Suicide Forest" is alternately funny, disgusting and moving, making it too often a tiring show to sit through despite its wealth of social commentary. The director Aya Ogawa kept the show rolling along but couldn’t make all the parts gel. [more]

Sincerity Forever & Bad Penny (Mac Wellman Festival: Perfect Catastrophes)

September 21, 2019

The Flea Theater is honoring one of its co-founding members, playwright Mac Wellman, with a five play festival called “Perfect Catastrophes” which includes two world premieres and three revivals, with casts made up of The Bats, The Flea’s youthful resident company. First up are the one-act plays, "Sincerity Forever" and "Bad Penny," which require separate admissions but can be seen back to back on the same evening or afternoon. Any two of the plays in this festival are an immersive view of the avant-garde playwright who has created new works for almost 50 years and has won three Obie Awards. [more]

Poison

November 17, 2016

“He” and “She” are a 40ish upper middle class couple who divorced ten years earlier following the traumatic death of their young son who was hit by a car. Due to toxic waste from a nearby gas factory, 200 graves, including their son’s will have to be dug up and the remains reinterred elsewhere. This unpleasant circumstance instigates this reunion after a long estrangement at a cemetery in Holland. [more]