Vietgone, our first play of vacation attending OSF (Oregon Shakespeare Festival) has set a high bar. Written by Qui Nguyen, Directed by May Adrales with five stand out actors stretching their talent to cover eighteen roles with changing accents, language and emotional cues. The stage set and background music create the mood beautifully.
The play is boisterous and bawdy (not unlike some of Shakespeare’s), it is angry with the best use of rap in a play I’ve ever seen. It jumps around in time, but never leaves the audience behind. It is a love story, an immigrant story. A human story. It sounds cliche, but I really did laugh and I really did cry. I won’t speak of the end except to say it is the real payoff and I was not the only playgoer leaving with tears running down my face.
This play is well executed all round from the writer, director, actors, all the set, scene, sound and stage artists…and how DID they make it seem as if that helicopter taking off on the day Saigon fell was right there in the theater with us?
No wonder this play is such a huge draw that they have added several additional performances to meet the demand for tickets. I would definitely see this play again and am looking forward to seeing more from writer Qui Nguyen.