Clubbed Thumb offers this world premiere play about economic transformation, the dreams it enables, and those it crushes. More…
The Li family would be enjoying their new lake-view luxury villa outside of the city, were they not surrounded by the gardeners, maids, and security guards who had once owned the land…not to mention the Gods, ghosts, and unnamed spirits there for thousands of years before them.
“The strikingly clever production, excellently directed by Ken Russ Schmoll, finds a perfect visual idiom to capture the play’s complicated tone, using manipulations of scale to create both deadpan humor and a weird poignancy...There’s a lot going on for a 90-minute play–perhaps too much at times...But these are tiny quibbles... especially given how wonderful the production is: witty, smart, absurdist, but also poignant." Full Review
"The ninety-minute piece...resembles a children's theatre production, with set designer Andrew Moerdyk focusing on bright, primary colors, a doll house sized villa set upstage and, as scripted, on-stage actors voicing the barks and baaaas for prop animals...The small issues that arise among the different classes of this supposedly classless society add up to a charmingly told exploration of the human search for community, be it through people, places or lifestyles." Full Review
See it if like expansive funny/tragic stories told in theatrical ways. The play is about land repossession in China, but it's a transformative journey
Don't see it if want a classical narrative or traditional storytelling.
See it if Modern Chinese issues very cleverly staged by Clubbed Thumb. Charming set used by talented cast with the excellent Daniel K. Isaac.
Don't see it if Appropriated land, class and inequality. Hilarious use of dolls as animals, including a fight between a dog and a goose. Meaningful and fun
Also Wait till you see how they cut down a tree on stage!
See it if Dislocated city & country dwellers experience culture clash & loss of meaning in their lives. Great staging w hilarious animal scenes.
Don't see it if You are not interested in Chinese issues, parents feeling separated from their children, & class differences making people feel inadequate.
See it if Visually stunning, presents a host of class warfare, local earth gods, and the lingering ghosts of the land in a now-capitalist China.
Don't see it if For all of the fantastic choices throughout, much of the play's speech (often allegorical) has a dulling effect on the action and atmosphere
See it if You appreciate fresh and interesting story-telling. You are interested in modern Chinese history, politics, and economics.
Don't see it if You require naturalistic and sophisticated settings and production values.
See it if Chinese socio-political observation interests you. Characters from different classes interact in a newly developed Shanghai suburb.
Don't see it if consistency matters to you. The performance is a mix of naturalistic acting, didactic commentary, ritual & some styles that don't have names
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