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Somebody's Daughter

Members say: Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting, Absorbing, Entertaining
74
Critics
73
9 reviews
Members
74
42 reviews
 

Second Stage Theatre presents this world premiere drama about three women from different generations who find their identities in question.

... Read more

Alex is a 15-year-old Asian-American girl going to extremes to get her own mother to notice her. She’s a dream child—except to her parents who wish she were a boy. Luckily, she finds a sympathetic ear in Kate, her irreverent guidance counselor who knows all too well what it’s like to walk in Alex’s shoes. Who makes the identity rules and what happens when you break them?

 

Cast & Creatives (13)


Reviews (51)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
73
Avg Score

85
Theatermania

“An edge-of-your-seat drama, which is now inducing collective gasps and heart palpitations at Second Stage Uptown…Director May Adrales weaves all of these threads into a complex tapestry with her efficient yet detailed production…'Somebody's Daughter' is a gripping work…Ordinarily, any one of these topics would be enough to sustain a play, but Hutchinson cleverly ties them all together in one deeply satisfying drama. She is undeniably a playwright to watch going forward.” Full Review

60
The New York Times

"Both Alex and the play struggle to buck formula and stereotype...Adrales tends to encourage larger-than-life performances, which can be engaging, though also a little exhausting...With so many strands and themes, Hutchinson’s plotting sometimes slips into melodrama, while perpetuating unhelpful myths about Asian families and female fertility. The best scenes, which are the talkiest and the least given over to plot, instead showcase Ms. Hutchinson’s dry, roguish, gutsy voice." Full Review

80
Time Out New York

“Hutchinson’s smart and insightful play deftly skirts the pitfalls of slickness…Hutchinson is equally adept at depicting adolescent angst, quarter-life quandaries and sexual muddles of middle age. It’s exciting to be drawn into a multilayered drama in which female characters are the driving force. Hutchinson’s engaging drama leaves you questioning the scripts that women are still too often heir to.” Full Review

40
Lighting & Sound America

"There is a solid foundation for a play here, but Hutchinson has plenty of trouble building on it. She aims for a bright, wisecracking style that, all too often, is cringeworthy...Lame attempts at wit prevent one from caring about the characters, who are perilously thin and often all too easy to dislike and dismiss...May Adrales' direction doesn't ameliorate these flaws, and, in some instances, may aggravate them." Full Review

70
Front Row Center

“While there are plenty of laughs in ‘Somebody’s Daughter,’ it’s no laughing matter…There’s a lot going on here. Culture clashes, sexism, racism, intergenerational issues, coming-of-age narratives, young love. And there are a lot of stereotypes being confronted, explored and exploded, not skirted, which is refreshing and healing…In general I was impressed with Ms. Hutchinson’s insight into and understanding of the Chinese-American experience.” Full Review

75
Talkin' Broadway

“Despite some structural problems with the plot, ‘Somebody's Daughter’ is a rich and powerful play that is likely to trigger strong responses in its audience, running the gamut from laughter, to sympathy, to outrage…Thanks to the sharp-as-tacks dialogue, the thoroughly excellent performances, and Adrales' confident direction, each of these strands is fully explored...While the ending comes off as rather pat, it is likely you will leave the theater eager to talk about what you have seen.” Full Review

85
CurtainUp

"Hutchinson has fire in the belly about things that matter — the sting of racism, for instance, and the toxicity of intolerance; and that's what makes 'Somebody's Daughter' a rather special work of art...At times, Hutchinson's characterizations tread a thin line between recognizable ethnic attributes and stereotype...But the play's facile moments are redeemed by a number of complex, well-wrought scenes...Adrales's skilled direction gives 'Somebody's Daughter' focus, drive and intensity." Full Review

80
Reviewing The Drama

"There are specifics about family relationships in Asian culture...yet what it means to be somebody's daughter is universal...I was thoroughly engaged in these daughters' stories and found myself unexpectedly moved toward the end. Alex's journey is part coming of age, and deals with first love; I usually groan at such story lines, finding them trite, but not this time...I was comforted to see the way these women grew and came to terms with being somebody's daughter." Full Review

90
Theater Pizzazz

"'Somebody’s Daughter' has it all: crisp comedy, interesting, complex characters, and two parallel plots that are all over each other yet each strong enough to stand on their own. And this production boasts a cast whose members are immersed in their roles with a passion that’s both consuming and nonchalant…Adrales’ direction is as sharp as Hutchinson’s dialogue…It delivers a steady stream of hearty laughs, while at the same time truly engaging the audience on a compelling emotional level." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
74
Avg Score

74
Funny, Refreshing, Relevant, Cliched, Entertaining

See it if a story about Asians in a contemporary setting. A funny but refreshing story about the life of 3 Chinese women living in America.

Don't see it if cliches of Chinese American life (though while may be true, feels a bit pilled on together in this overly packed story).

Also Great cast and loved seeing multiple Asians on stage as the central pl... Read more Read less

68
Relevant, Over-directed, Good use of a small space

See it if you like stories about race and family, and aren't easily offended by racial stereotypes. The actors did the best they could with cliched

Don't see it if material, and a director who seemed to want her fingerprints all over every aspect of the show.

75
Thought-provoking, Engaging, Great staging, Unfinished, Mystifying

See it if you want to see a new play tackling a very interesting subject that maybe needed a little bit more development to really hit home.

Don't see it if you'd feel cheated if you were fully engrossed in the plot as it unfurled, but when it ended you didn't know what it was trying to say.

79
Funny, Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy family dramas that deal with contemporary issues in a funny, entertaining way, share a commitment to Asian-American theatre

Don't see it if you can't relate to the Asian-American subculture or super-Tiger moms, don't like family stories

79
Funny, Relevant, Entertaining, Great staging, Smart

See it if you'd like a lively look at three women of different generations navigating worlds, coping and understanding

Don't see it if stereotypes made fun of re serious issues is no laughing matter for you

79
Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you enjoy a show developed around Chinese-American culture & the problems that develop, and inter-racial relationship problems

Don't see it if you aren't interested is shows dealing with family problems, interracial problems, or are offended by some profanity

Also Funny, sad, realistic, current. Show moved along & kept you involved. ... Read more Read less

88
Absorbing, Ambitious, Edgy, Intelligent, Resonant

See it if you are interested in the concept of three generations of Asian-American women, who are not necessarily related.

Don't see it if you do not like unbalanced plays: the first act is excellent; the second act tends to sag.

Also The directions of May Adrales is excellent as is the set design by Lee... Read more Read less

67
Great writing, Banal

See it if you like good sets and good writing.Acting was weak; 4 of the 6 just didn't get beyond 1 dimensional portrayal. That means poor directing.

Don't see it if you want good acting & performances that are multidimensional and show nuanced characters.Everyone was shown on 1level.I blame the director

86
Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Riveting, Great writing

See it if You want to see a fascinating play about the special circumstances of Asian American families caused by their strict societal customs.

Don't see it if You have no interest in the special problems of Asian Americans. You are wanting to see a comedy. Physical violence is part of this drama.

88
Edgy, Intelligent, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if Nice look into aspects of the Chinese community adapting to the U.S.. Thought provoking re: various views re cultures. Makes one think...

Don't see it if Avoid front row re. views of the great stage set. The site is always cold. Bring a sweater

65
Cliched, Great staging

See it if You're interested in exploring the Tiger Mother concept.

Don't see it if You have issues with seeing Asians stereotypes on stage.

79
I really liked this look at 3 chinese women at 3 very different life stages

See it if You want to see the world from a different cultural perspective. Three women examining possibilities and one's view of them.

Don't see it if You have no interest in domestic drama of any culture. You dont like a fresh approach to predictable drama

77
Funny, Clever, Intelligent, Confusing, Entertaining

See it if Nice little show. Pleasant. Hits unexpected notes. Kept me engaged all the way through.

Don't see it if The flashbacks can be confusing. Michelle Kim needs a bit more seasoning before she can carry a lead. A subtle anti-abortion message.

73
Ambitious, Intelligent, Engaging, Formulaic

See it if The female characters rule the day. See it for insights into stereotypical Chinese culture, racism, sexism, family turmoil & growing pains.

Don't see it if Some good insights, but overacted by one central character. The 1st act is more interesting and cohesive than the 2nd .

Also The play could use stronger direction and some tightening to the secon... Read more Read less

80
Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Engaging

See it if you are interested in asian cultural and family issues, or if you enjoy examining different cultural and racial points of view.

Don't see it if you do not like stories of disfunctional families and relationships or if you are not interested in varied points of view.

80
Ambitious, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great writing

See it if you enjoy timely plays about race, assimilation and generalizations combined with familial expectations

Don't see it if you don't like slightly challenging and thought provoking pieces

76
Clever, Thought-provoking, Refreshing, Relevant, Great staging

See it if You want to see a play with some problems in content overridden by the thinking it forces of the audience.

Don't see it if You don't want to see a production dealing with stereotypes

87
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if you want to be entertained w/ a fine young cast w/ excellent social infused material & solid staging for small space; millenials would enjoy

Don't see it if you dont like perceived asian stereotypes, bi racial relationships or sexual and parential conflict themes

90
Ambitious, Great acting, Masterful, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you want to see a strong play with a unique topic and masterful performances.

Don't see it if you don't like stories about teenagehood.

20
Disappointing, Cliched, Overrated, Awful writing & directing, Perpetuates racist stereotypes

See it if you believe all negative stereotypes & cliches about Asian immigrants/Asian-Americans. You want predictable, uni-dimensional characters.

Don't see it if you want to see real characters of any depth or real humanity. The cast do try, but the writing & directing give them zero to work with.

Also Full disclosure: I'm Asian-American.... Read more Read less

52
Ambitious, Disappointing, Cliched, Stereotypical

See it if you want to support a diverse cast and encourage theaters like Second Stage to keep having diverse stories told.

Don't see it if stereotypical characters really bother you.

Also I really wanted to like this play, but...wow. The mother character, in... Read more Read less

75
Funny, Relevant, Overrated

See it if You want to see Asian female characters and their concerns onstage

Don't see it if You expect to get new insight about these characters and concerns

Also A very mixed bag. The theme is worthy and the language is refreshing a... Read more Read less

69
Absorbing, Ambitious, Intense, Thought-provoking, Riveting

See it if non-sequential plays with jumps in time intrigue you, and you like family-driven conflicts.

Don't see it if Trigger warning- physical abuse shown and discussed.

Also Cliche characters and far fetched plot configurations are at the core ... Read more Read less

78
Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Talky

See it if you like relationship dramas.

Don't see it if you don't like stories that center on women.

Also Spoiler ahead: a tightly woven, nicely acted play exploring parental e... Read more Read less

90
Refreshing, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if you are not familiar with the Asian-American experience.

Don't see it if you have no empathy.