It’s a play/musical about Vietnamese refugees in America during the 1970’s. Simplistically, one can say it’s a love story. But it’s really about the displacement from one’s own home and family, the yearning to make it back, and the journey to making a new one.
Although it’s set in the 1970s during the end of the Vietnam war, the play has a very contemporary energy. This is in part because of the dialogue. With the dialogue, the playwright sort of employs reverse stereotypes in which the refugees speak “elegantly and shit” and the Americans employ “yee haws, howdy, cheeseburgers” and a mish mash of other words that make everything sound like mumble jumble.
Also, most of the music is set to rap. Many might deem that a ripoff of the insanely popular ‘Hamilton’ but I think that might just be a coincidence as ‘Vietgone’ has been 3 years in the making. The rap makes sense and is a good vehicle for the characters to release their anger and pain of their circumstances.
Although I enjoyed the music, it did feel lot many of it sounded similar and it all blended together and felt indistinctive when you’re watching it on stage. But I can appreciate it more when I’m re-listening to each individual song at home and giving it proper time to sink in.
The leads, Raymond Lee and Jennifer Ikeda, are great as the not-so-likely couple when they first meet. They imbue their roles with their own charm, hitting sentimental, emotional notes. The supporting cast is also fantastic with Jon Hoche, Samantha Quan, and Paco Tolson playing multiple roles but giving each a unique flair so it’s not so apparent that it’s actually the same actor/actress. They really provide much of the laughter in this surprisingly funny story.
The show will be playing at the NYC Center thru November 27, 2016 so check it out if you have the chance. You can also get tickets for $30 if you’re an MTC 30 under 30 member.
If not, I have discount code you can use for half off ($45 off $90 – thank you AABA NY!):
For buying tickets at the box office or calling the box office, use AUD. For tickets through mobile or web ordering, use 18429.
Please let me know if you get a chance to watch and tell me what you think about Vietgone.
Enjoy the mew life,
Note: I am in no way affiliated with this production. The opinions expressed on my blog are 100% my own.