Pan Asian Rep's post-World War II drama follows Japanese-American draft resister Ichiro Yamada as he struggles to come to terms with the consequences of his choices after he is released from prison. More…
Adapted from the groundbreaking novel by John Okada, 'No-No Boy' explores what it was like for Japanese Americans to return to the West and try to get back on their feet after a war that had uprooted them all.
"Narasaki’s adaptation parses through a dense and layered novel to find the dramatic action necessary to portray the text theatrically. The cast is excellent...There was no lighting design: the lights stay on the whole time...The actors sometimes have to awkwardly come out of character in front of the audience, dissolving the effect of their performances...'No-No Boy' tells an important story. The play is worth watching for the actors and their truly brave performances." Full Review
"A rare, vivid insight into Japanese-American life after WWII...Nakahara pares the story to the bone...Narasaki’s theatrical adaptation has the same trouble as many stage treatments: a story of private contemplation becomes a string of episodes and loses its narrative voice...In the hope of making something exciting, Narasaki has compressed Okada’s book too much. The actors in this production try to give it room and life again, but they only break the surface in shallow, gasping breaths." Full Review
for a previous production "'No-No Boy' is an extraordinary and essential play...Has been adapted into a tight, intense script...Directed with precision by Ron Nakahara and performed by a sterling cast of ten, 'No-No Boy' blew me away from the very beginning...Admirably, it does not mythologize a monolithic ethnic viewpoint...I can only urge everyone who cares about how theater connects to this country’s past and future to catch Pan Asian Rep’s 'No-No Boy' wherever whenever you can." Full Review
for a previous production "There are over ten well-rendered characters whose situations and emotions are vividly dramatized...Presenting this epic story with a large cast in such a very small space as it is being done at Theatre Row’s Studio Theatre is problematic visually...Director Ron Nakahara’s staging is resourceful and clever...The performances of the ensemble of diverse ages are uniformly passionate." Full Review
for a previous production "'No-No Boy' is a very good play with a harsh, scalding beginning, but it has some weaknesses. One big problem the play should have addressed was the legal standing of Japanese-American men...Much of the success of the play is due to spirited work by skilled director Ron Nakahara. You have to give a yes-yes to this 'No-No Boy' production because it is stinging and because the audience learns a great deal of history." Full Review
See it if You want to see a rarely addressed slicde of american history, how we doubly mistreated Japanese Americans. Truly painful and shocking.
Don't see it if If you want another fluffy theater theater visit. This show will knock the wind out of you. It should be required in times like these.
See it if you enjoy history, storytelling, period drama and good acting.
Don't see it if you are claustrophobic, there are 8 actors on a very small stage and if you have a full house that day, its hard not to feel fenced in.
See it if you are interested in the history of the Japanese internment camps in the US & what happened after performed by large all-Asian cast
Don't see it if you don't like works with minimal sets & costumes representing multiple locations or depictions of war injuries, poor mental states
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