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BWW Review: MADE IN CHINA at 59E59 is Outstanding Storytelling and Puppetry

You don't want to miss this one. Made In China will be at 59E59 until February 19th. This very entertaining, socially relevant adult puppet show is written by Kirjan Waage and Gwendolyn Warnock with help from the Made in China Ensemble. The distinctive puppets are by Mr. Waage and the original music and lyrics are by Yan Li. It is a completely mesmerizing performance that enjoys excellent direction by Kirjan Waage and Gwendolyn Warnock.

Inspired by true events, Made In China explores the important subjects of human rights, consumerism and morality with humor and heart. It is told through a relationship between a cranky middle-aged woman, Mary, and her Chinese ex-patriot neighbor, Eddie. The two experience real adventure when Mary finds a letter in a department store purchase that is a plea for help from a worker in a Chinese labor camp. Mary and Eddie take a bizarre journey from their provincial American homes to China and back again. And during this journey, the two of them experience revelations about themselves, the world around them, and develop an unexpected relationship.

Made In China features 30 wonderfully crafted puppets, seven incredibly talented and versatile puppeteers, original music, and animated video. And while the puppets Mary and Eddie take center stage, you'll be captivated by their pet dogs, inanimate objects that come to life, and the huge Chinese dragon that appears in one of the scenes. The fast-paced dialogue is clever, yet thoughtful and the music and video perfectly compliment the story as it unfolds.

The Made in China puppeteers include Lei-Lei Bavoil, Fang Du, Ariel Estrada, Dorothy James, Andy Manjuck, Stephen J. Mark, Charles Pang, Peter Russo, and Hansel Tan Shenwei.

The design team has done a great job of bringing the show to life with set design by Yu Ting Lin; lighting design by Alex Goldberg; and video animation by Tiger Cai. The Production Stage Manager is Mackenzie Blade.

Made in China is storytelling at its very finest. The show is totally engaging but also brings to light the serious consequences of increasing global production and marketing. Gather your group and get your tickets now. You might even want to return to 59E59 Theaters to see it again.

Made In China runs for 1 hour and 40 minutes with no intermission. It is produced by Wakka Wakka, in co-production with Nordland Visual Theatre, MiNEnsemblet, and The HOP at Dartmouth. Performances are at 59E59 Theaters, 59 East 59th Street (between Park and Madison Avenues) New York, NY. To purchase tickets call Ticket Central at 212.279.4200 or visit

Photo by Heidi Bohnenkamp

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