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Review Roundup: LCT3's THE HEADLANDS - What Did the Critics Think?

The Headlands

LCT3's Production of The Headlands officially opened last night, February 24, at the Claire Tow Theater.

The play, by Christopher Chen and directed by Knud Adams, features Laura Kai Chen, Edward Chin-Lyn, Mahira Kakkar, Mia Katigbak, Henry Stram, Johnny Wu, and Aaron Yoo.

In The Headlands, Henry (to be played by Aaron Yoo) is an amateur sleuth and true crime aficionado who sets out to solve the ultimate case: the unsolved murder of his father. Using his memories and the family stories he was told as a child growing up in San Francisco, Henry begins an investigation through a labyrinth of secrets and deceptions that leads him to question the sincerity of those closest to him. The Headlands is a contemporary noir that explores the stories we tell ourselves and the fallibility of the mind.

Let's see what the critics are saying...

Jesse Green, The New York Times: At first it seems as if "The Headlands," the beguiling new play by Christopher Chen that opened on Monday at the Claire Tow Theater, is going to fall into the trap that many staged detective stories do. Instead of enacting live conflicts, they narrate crimes that occurred in the past. If I wanted that kind of experience, I'd plug in my earbuds and listen to "Serial."

Robert Hofler, The Wrap: If only "The Headlands" had more of that dramatic heft. As amateur sleuths go, Yoo's upbeat but concerned son makes the Hardy Boys look downright hard-boiled. Christopher Chen's vision is terrific. His execution of it is in need of some tough, wisecracking similes. Calling Sam Spade.

Jesse Oxfeld, New York Stage Review: The mystery at the heart of The Headlands-what happened to dad, and what are mom and dad's long-buried secrets-is nicely plotted and slowly, intricately revealed, even if if the emotional storytelling around it is not. There's the real germ of something worthy here. Unfortunately, in what's currently onstage at the Tow, it never comes to fully comes to, um, a head.

Donna Herman, New York Theatre Guide: While most of us have not had to deal with such traumatic events in our lives as the murder of a parent, we can all relate to the process of discovering that our parents are not who we thought they were. Christopher Chen has written The Headlands in such a way as to be able to take us through the peeling back of the onion layer by layer, while Aaron Woo's vulnerable and honest performance as Henry allows us to experience the effects of such discovery viscerally. It's a powerful combination. But this is not a production for the faint-of-heart. It's a hard-hitting family drama that deals with tough issues. It's real and it's fascinating. But it's not easy.

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