Incident at Hidden Temple
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Incident at Hidden Temple

Incident at Hidden Temple NYC Reviews and Tickets

(15 Ratings)
Members say
Disappointing, Absorbing, Ambitious, Relevant, Slow

About the Show

Pan Asian Rep presents the world premiere of Damon Chua's historical fiction noir set in China during World War II.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (15)

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116 Reviews | 53 Followers
Ambitious, Great staging, Riveting, Great acting, Great writing

See it if You like a well written mystery thriller with good "noir" atmosphere via chiaroscuro lighting. You like factual historical background of WW2

Don't see it if You're not interested in a chapter of WWII history involving US-Sino relations and the heroic Flying Tigers. You will be missing out! Read more

314 Reviews | 40 Followers
Absorbing, Entertaining, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Cliched

See it if rich story with interesting historical background. Very cinematic with scenes that build a sense of mystery.

Don't see it if Intriguing mystery doesn't deliver an dramatically intense conclusion. A little unfocused and bland along the way.

393 Reviews | 101 Followers
Ambitious, Relevant, Absorbing, Resonant, Unresolved

See it if You're up for an honest if stilted attempt to throw some light on a moment of Sino-American history that sadly still affects us today.

Don't see it if You're expecting real noir or a sharply focused script with a full and final resolution. Interesting questions are raised but not the point. Read more

218 Reviews | 58 Followers
Great lighting, Ambitious, Disappointing

See it if want to support the arts; enjoy a different glimpse into WWII, the Flying Tigers, Chinese leaders, references to Hemingway, Hidden Temple...

Don't see it if you are looking for a polished production with a well developed plot. Read more

431 Reviews | 129 Followers
Disappointing, Actors are stilted and the pacing is slow, Good lighting and set, The play is not boring, but not altogether engaging either.

See it if You're interested in a historical fiction and might find a political WW2 drama with murder and romance subplots intriguing.

Don't see it if Want something really well-acted, a plot that doesn't meander/have holes, aren't interested at all in Chinese culture or characterizations.

398 Reviews | 120 Followers
Disappointing, Confusing, Slow, Ambitious, Relevant

See it if you are interested in Chinese-American history. However, there are too many sub plots which do not strengthen the script.

Don't see it if you want good dialogue and acting. The script needs polish. Except for the blind man and the secretary the acting is rudimentary.

184 Reviews | 17 Followers
Ambitious, Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Slow, Would-be mystery

See it if you wish to support new productions.

Don't see it if you're looking for great theatre.

32 Reviews | 6 Followers
Absorbing, Relevant, Great staging, Edgy, Dated

See it if Asian people History buffs Political junkies

Don't see it if You are looking for a light-hearted show Read more

Critic Reviews (10)

The New York Times
January 26th, 2017

"In addition to mood, noir is famous for labyrinthine plots, but the one here is just muddled...Chua is less interested in historical facts than in genre tropes...Alas, he did not stop at thriller and also went for melodrama, romance, spy mystery, political yarn and supernatural fable...A lot happens over the course of two hours, including a plot development reminiscent of 'Raiders of the Lost Ark,' but with a Buddhist artifact. Yet what dominate are lengthy exposition and stilted dialogue."
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January 26th, 2017

"The piece has the potential to use the lessons of the past to illuminate the present — an objective never fully realized in this half-hearted attempt at noir...Knockoff Nancy Drew meets Indiana Jones: a suspense-free murder mystery that transforms into an inexplicable treasure hunt. To his credit, director Schwab faithfully stages the misguided script...A combination of wooden acting and an aimless script make 'Incident at Hidden Temple' an unmemorable night at the theater."
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Lighting & Sound America
January 27th, 2017

"A better title for ‘Incident at Hidden Temple’ might be ‘Nancy Drew Goes to War-Torn China’…Throughout, Ava is presented as being both clueless and insanely accomplished; she is as muddled as the play that contains her…Even the lowest-budget B melodrama was better constructed than this...Under the circumstances, it's difficult to know what actors could do, so it probably signifies very little that the entire company gives such wooden performances.”
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February 2nd, 2017

"'Incident at Hidden Temple' is suggestive of many different ideas pertaining to allegiance, cooperation and strategy, but unfortunately the obscure and fictional story lines are worn thin and far too overstretched by the play's final curtain. Whether an indication of a flawed script beyond repair, or a lack of thoughtful direction by director Kaipo Schwab, many performances are over embellished, exaggerated, and hardly resemblant to any sympathetic or even likable characters."
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Theater Pizzazz
January 28th, 2017

“Wartime drama in ‘Incident at Hidden Temple’ is as compelling as it gets. As the landscape shifts from a village fable to a convincing military drama, director Kaipo Schwab skillfully coordinates interrogation of a larger truth…The play, filled with memorable characters, is something of a winding path constructed by playwright Damon Chua...Ava is portrayed adeptly by the Ying Ying Li.”
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Front Row Center
January 27th, 2017

“An evocative reminder of a pivotal piece of World War II history…Act One does a good job in setting up the multiple conflicts and questions. While Act Two has resonant moments, it isn’t as strong, relying on some unlikely coincidences and encounters. Ultimately, though the story's questions are answered (except the biggest one, which the playwright leaves to the audience), there’s almost too much to bring together smoothly. The staging and the acting overall are excellent.”
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Broadway Blog
January 30th, 2017

"Chua...focuses only intermittently on the complex military-historical issues...Instead, he diffuses his treatment by introducing various melodramatic mysteries...An air of superficiality hovers not only over the writing but over the entire, stilted production...Director Kaipo Schwab's pacing for the two-hour play is uneven and his staging awkward, beginning with the thoroughly unconvincing stabbing that begins the play...As for the acting, let's just say better luck next time."
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Times Square Chronicles
January 26th, 2017

"All the technical elements are well done. The play by Damon Chua keeps your interest, though it could use some cutting. The direction by Kaipo Schwab is serviceable and gets the points across, but how could he have not heard the timber of the actors voices?...Ms. Ma, Mr. Dolan and Mr. Liu far much better than the rest of this cast, who seriously need acting lessons."
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