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Review Roundup: GOLDEN SHIELD Opens at Manhattan Theatre Club

Golden Shield’s ensemble cast features Cindy Cheung, Fang Du, Kristen Hung, Daniel Jenkins, Michael C. Liu, Max Gordon Moore, Ruibo Qian and Gillian Saker.

Golden Shield

Manhattan Theatre Club's American premiere of Golden Shield, written by Anchuli Felicia King (White Pearl) and directed by May Adrales (Vietgone at MTC), is now running at New York City Center - Stage I (131 West 55th Street).

Golden Shield's ensemble cast features Cindy Cheung, Fang Du, Kristen Hung, Daniel Jenkins, Michael C. Liu, Max Gordon Moore, Ruibo Qian and Gillian Saker.

From international playwright Anchuli Felicia King comes a new play about loyalties, intrigue and the delicate art of translation. When enterprising American lawyer Julie Chen files a class-action lawsuit involving a multinational technology corporation and the Chinese government, she hires her strong-minded sister Eva as her translator. But what compromises will they make in order to win? And can they put aside their past differences to speak the same language? Directing this fast-paced production is May Adrales (Vietgone).

The show's creative team includes dots (scenic design), Sara Ryung Clement (costume design), Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew (lighting design), Charles Coes & Nathan A. Roberts (original music & sound design), Tom Watson (hair & wig design), Ka-Ling Cheung (vocal coach), and Alyssa K. Howard (production stage manager).

See what the critics are saying...

Elisabeth Vincentelli, The New York Times: A wealth of possibilities lies in the difference between these two words, but "Golden Shield" is more interested in histrionics than in how approximations can get close to the truth, or at least a truth.

David Cote, The Observer: We live in a time of so many good-to-great streaming series, and playwrights who write for them, it seems churlish to wish a new drama upon another medium. And yet Anchuli Felicia King's overstuffed, schematic play of ideas could provide a writers room with enough material (IT ethics, the fog of translation, international law, and toxic siblings) for eight episodes on Hulu. Whether it would get a second season is another question.

Robert Hofler, The Wrap: These personal dramas prove a distraction that becomes glaring toward the end of the play. After the legal case has been resolved, and "Golden Shield" comes to its natural conclusion, King provides at least another half dozen endings to tie up all the sibling and lesbian loose ends.

Frank Scheck, New York Stage Review: It feels churlish to complain about a playwright being too ambitious. But Anchuli Felicia King doesn't make it easy to resist the temptation with her new play receiving its American premiere courtesy of Manhattan Theatre Club. This convoluted effort interweaving corporate intrigue, legal machinations and family drama becomes further burdened with its explorations of the vagaries of the art of translation. Throughout the play, an onstage character known only as "The Translator" (Fang Du) attempts to translate what the characters are saying to each other and also what they're not saying. If only he could have made what's actually going on more coherent.

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