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Review: VIETGONE at Guthrie Theater

Review: VIETGONE at Guthrie Theater

This production runs now through October 16th

Review: VIETGONE at Guthrie Theater

When Saigon falls in 1975, Quang and Tong, two Vietnamese refugees separated from their previous partners, have a sexy meet-cute in Arkansas that promptly becomes a no-strings-attached relationship to pass the time. Living in the land of "cheeseburgers, waffle fries and cholesterol" (aka America) proves to be an intoxicating adventure that leads Quang and Tong to question their futures, both together and in their new country. Part history play and part memoir, this whip-smart comedy is punctuated with flashbacks and bursts of rap songs, all while giving unabashed reflections on American culture and offering a human-centered view of the Vietnam War and its aftermath.

Three things to know

Vietgone is a music-filled, raucous romantic comedy set against the trauma of the Vietnam War. Playwright Qui Nguyen says this is not a play about war but a story about falling in love.

The play is packed with pop culture references, performances of rap music, and witty banter. In this production, Director Mina Morita hopes to grapple with the enduring question, "What makes a home?"

As a playwright, television/film writer, and co-founder of the Obie Award-winning Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company in New York City, Nguyen is known for his innovative use of pop culture, stage violence, puppetry, and multimedia.

I really enjoyed this production. It was great to see a talented cast of AAPI performers and a production that honors an AAPI story. The cast was all talented and had great chemistry with each other. The script was really good, it was a mixture of romantic comedy, memoir, and rap music. It touched on stereotypes towards Asians that were funny but true and great to have a story of Vietnamese and Asian American culture. There were pop culture references and at times I thought of Hamilton and Crazy Rich Asians. The set was simple and the set crew assisted in bringing on props and changing sets. The sound, music, and lighting were fun. I enjoyed the screen projections and the rap gave it a modern twist.

I highly recommend this production.

Photos by Dan Norman


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From This Author - Jared Fessler

Jared [He/Him] is originally from Iowa and resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He grew up doing theatre and studied music, dance, and theatre with additional training in BFA musical theatre.

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