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Review Roundup: CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND at La Jolla - What Did the Critics Think?

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Review Roundup: CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND at La Jolla - What Did the Critics Think?

La Jolla Playhouse presents the Oregon Shakespeare Festival production of Cambodian Rock Band, by UC San Diego MFA Playwriting alumna Lauren Yee, directed by Chay Yew, featuring music by Dengue Fever. A co-production with Portland Center Stage at The Armory, Cambodian Rock Band will run November 12 - December 15 in the Playhouse's Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre.

The cast features Brooke Ishibashi as "Neary/Sothea," Abraham Kim as "Rom," Jane Lui as "Pou/Guard," Joe Ngo as "Chum," Daisuke Tsuji as "Duch," Moses Villarama as "Ted/Lang."

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

Jame Hebert, San Diego Union Tribune: Maybe most of all, the production's actors just rock - more or less literally, since the cast also makes up the band of the title, and shows off impressive chops on the mix of vintage Cambodian rock tunes and compelling songs by the contemporary band Dengue Fever. (Matthew MacNelly arranged and directed the music for the show, officially a Playhouse presentation of an Oregon Shakespeare Festival production.)

David L. Coddon, San Diego CityBeat: The brilliance of "Cambodian Rock Band" is its facility for shifting but also sustaining mood while never straying from its conscience and soul or from the cautionary messages it imparts. The potency of Cambodia's music is an affirmation of a people's survival and courage in the face of humanity at its worst. So too is the love between a parent and child demonstrated as transcendent and unbreakable.

Beth Accomando, KPBS: The play is part concert and the music is riveting and essential to the story. On a certain level, I wish there had been more of that Cambodian rock music in it because it is irresistible because of the way it has imported a Western sound and then added a Cambodian flavor and then exported it back out to us.

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