Wednesday, Aug 15, 2018
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 43 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 




 

 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 9, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 06
Tale of a divided Korean family
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Tale of a divided Korean family

by Miryam Gordon - SGN A&E Writer

AMERICAN HWANGAP
WEST OF LENIN/SIS PRODUCTIONS
Through February 25


If your dad disappeared in your teens and then showed up expecting you to celebrate his 60th birthday, what would you do? What if your family was Korean and obedience to family was baked into your DNA? Family dynamics and reconciliation are on full display with Lloyd Suh's American Hwangap at West of Lenin, co-produced with SiS Productions.

In many Asian cultures, the 60th birthday is very important. There are 12 animal years in the Asian Zodiac, each with specific social attributes, and after five cycles, you are honored for your long life. Min Suk Chun (Stephen Sumida) lost his job as an engineer in America, after moving with his wife to Texas and birthing three children. He is so demoralized about his future that he believes moving back to Korea would be best and essentially abandons his family.

Now, on the eve of his 60th birthday, he shows up again, and tries to make amends to his wife Mary (Kathey Hseih), and his adult children, David (Moses Kristjanson Yim), Esther (Mara E. Palma) and Ralph (Michael Cerado). Each of them has their own reaction and their own relationship with him and Suh allows them each to unfold for the audience.

The play is written for 2005, so references to North Korea's leadership is to Kim Jong Il, which can be a bit disconcerting. Most of the rest of the play feels as contemporary as can be, even though the set decoration uses old phones. There is a subtle confluence with the politics of the split Koreas: North and South, where their history of being overtaken by China and Japan meant that Korea never developed a very distinct culture, and then separated from itself in a very bad war.

So the family dynamics relate to the dysfunction in the two Koreas, just as they demonstrate real schisms in the feelings of those who have been abandoned. Sumida must be very charming, in a gruff and disarming way, and nails that portrayal. Suh writes the Dad as accepting the criticism of his abandonment with solid grace and composure. Min Suk is ready to face the music of his family's disappointment.

Mary is admonished by her eldest, David, not to have sex with his father, but there is an undeniable attraction there (that we are simply not aware of) and the draw of their history entices her to reconnect physically, even as she demands that Min Suk respect the changes and independence that she has won over the years.

David is in New York, an investment banker, and reluctant to reward his father's appearance with a visit. He dithers through the entire play. We can understand his complex feelings, but it is a difficult role to pull off without getting petty. Yim mostly stays on that tightrope walk.

Esther and Ralph have much more deeply complex stories than we realize at first, which is part of the pleasure of watching them unfold. Suh embeds some small surprises that change our perceptions of their characters. Min Suk's reappearance seems to begin a healing process that both sincerely need, though neither knew it.

Thankfully, the play does not wrap everything up neatly and it simply stops. We get to imagine how this family proceeds into the future. Overall, it's a sweet and sour portrayal that will stir the sympathies and linger.

For more information, go to www.westoflenin.com or https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3210085 or call 800-838-3006.

Discuss your opinions with SGNcritic@gmail.com or go to www.facebook.com/SeattleTheaterWriters. More articles can be found at MiryamsTheaterMusings.blogspot.com.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

Michael Feinstein on old friends, timeless music and building bridges
------------------------------
Pacific Northwest Ballet presents a spectacular, virtuosic and memorable Swan Lake
------------------------------
Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company brought profound conversation and dance to University of Washington
------------------------------
Rufus Wainwright to appear in special engagement at ECA, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis joining Ciara at Benaroya Hall for student arts concert
------------------------------
A fine Bulgarian soprano as Bellini's Norma
------------------------------
Tale of a divided Korean family
------------------------------
Classic The Gin Game casts classic Seattle couple
------------------------------
Seattle Humane - Pets of the Week
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Help create a social and support network for LGBT veterans
------------------------------
k.d. lang to appear at the Moore Theatre and on Vashon, Paul Simon to visit Seattle on farewell tour, Sasquatch unveils 2018 lineup
------------------------------
Latest Cloverfield a weirdly inconsequential curiosity
------------------------------
Violently obnoxious Peter Rabbit a vile adaptation
------------------------------
Freed a drearily maudlin end to the Fifty Shades trilogy
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 
 
 
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1707 23rd Ave
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News 2018 - DigitalTeamWorks 2018

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News