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The Chinese Clown Cabararet
Jane and Tair Chen
With Tonji-kun now on the scene, we necessarily approached the Fringe Festival this year with a different attitude, exclusively looking for kid-friendly productions. We started with this play – or almost didn’t, as I didn’t look closely enough at the ticket to realize the venue was the only one well away from Fringe Central. After a brisk walk, we were almost last in line, and thus got front row seats (people seem to want to avoid the front row if there is a possibility – threat? – of interaction). I had great hopes for a clown show in the Chinese tradition, but these were diminished when Jane Chen emerged in a Western clown costume. (Tonji-kun was fascinated by her big red nose, though.) No matter, maybe the play’s content would highlight Asian American themes. Unfortunately, what followed was a fairly generic Fringe show that happened to be performed by Asian actors. By that yardstick, the play was long and started to lose steam in the second half.Tonji-kun got restless and we had to bail, but didn’t feel too bad about that.