Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 101: The Play

Photo of the Day: Off-Broadway

After watching three lavish Broadway musicals since arriving in New York City, I took my theater adventures down a notch tonight with an intimate off-Broadway production of Julia Cho's The Language Archive. Once again, I have Mei Ling to thank for scoring us free tickets! The play is a poignant and humorous show with some complex and insightful soliloquies that wax poetic about the strange intersection of love and language; there were some striking lines and moments that resonated strongly with my own encounters with romance. I also enjoyed the witty, comedic banter and introspective asides that broke the fourth wall, but it was dramatic segments that sometimes came off as spastic and exaggerated. The characters were at times overacted, and the ending, while satisfying, was rather clunky and abrupt. However, the gorgeously curated set was an eye-pleasing backdrop for the creatively staged scenes in a very cozy theater. It was a very pleasant and satisfying theater experience overall, although it's easier to be effusive with your praise when the tickets are free.

My co-worker, who is of Georgian descent (the Central Asian country, not the Peach State), brought in traditional pastries handmade by her grandmother.
The beautifully designed set of The Language Archive at the Steinberg Center for Theatre.
Crispy, golden perkedel kentang from Lela's kitchen.
Ci Ayching shared some soto ayam that she made. Yummy!


  1. Loved reading this post! And I also enjoyed the Language expressed the experience so well! I liked your line: "The play is a poignant and humorous show with some complex and insightful soliloquies that wax poetic about the strange intersection of love and language" I think something else that was interesting was the "Asian-American" themes that were addressed even in a Caucasian setting (non-expressive man, using mundane words and tasks to communicate love, difficulty expressing ideas and feelings to older generations, etc.) was fascinating. Thankful we have friends like Mei Ling to score us these tix!

  2. Interesting observation, Glennis. Those are themes very common (though certainly not unique to) Asian-American culture. I wonder if the author, who is second-generation Korean, intentionally selected them. Julia Cho has done prior work that explicitly explores Asian-American topics before, so this may be just another way of expressing the same issues and values in a different and subtler format. In a 2006 article in the New York Times, she says this:

    “What I was trying to articulate in a lot of these plays is what it is to be Asian-American. But I think I might be getting to the end of that exploration. Not that I’m done with it, but I’ve sort of caught up a bit to where I am now.”

    Finally, I will echo your gratitude to once again say THANK YOU to Mei Ling of the tickets!

  3. Wow, great find! I'll have to check out her other works :)