Hwang’s ‘Chinglish’ at South Coast Rep

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Brian Nishii, Michelle Krusiec, Alex Moggridge, Celeste Den and Raymond Ma in South Coast Repertory’s 2012 production of “Chinglish” by David Henry Hwang. (Photo by Ben Horak/SCR)

COSTA MESA — South Coast Repertory presents David Henry Hwang’s “Chinglish,” directed by Leigh Silverman, through Feb. 24 on the Segerstrom Stage.

Daniel’s sign-making company is in trouble, but he has a great idea: score a fat contract in China, where signs for English-speaking tourists are mangled by hilarious mistranslations. But he forgets the first rule: always bring your own translator because business deals involve much more than wining and dining.

And when Daniel falls in love with a beautiful bureaucrat, even feelings take on different meanings. The repartee is fast and funny, and the timing is spot-on in this East-West comedy that embraces both sides of the cultural divide.

The play features Vivian Chiu, Celeste Den, Michelle Krusiec, Austin Ku, Raymond Ma, Alex Moggridge, and Brian Nishii. All are making their SCR debut, and most appeared in Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s production of “Chinglish” last year.

Showtimes: Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 29-30, Feb. 5-6, 12-13, and 19-20, at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, Jan. 31, Feb. 7, 14, and 21, at 8 p.m.; Friday, Feb. 8, 15, and 22, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 2, 9, 16, and 23, at 2:30 and 8 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 3, 10, and 17, at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 24, at 2:30 p.m.

Post-show discussions will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 6, and Tuesday, Feb. 12. The Saturday, Feb. 23, performance will be ASL-interpreted for the deaf community.

Note: This play contains adult language and situations.

Ticket prices range from $20 to $70. Discounts are available for students, seniors, those under 25, educators, and groups.

SCR is located at 655 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa. Call the box office at (714) 708-5555 or order tickets online at www.scr.org.

About David Henry Hwang

Hwang was awarded the 1988 Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics and John Gassner awards for his Broadway debut, “M. Butterfly,” which was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His play “Golden Child,” which premiered at SCR, received a 1998 Tony nomination and a 1997 Obie Award. His new book for Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Flower Drum Song” earned him his third Tony nomination in 2003. “Yellow Face” won a 2008 Obie Award for Playwriting and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

“Chinglish,” his most recent work, won a 2011 Chicago Jeff Award before moving to Broadway, where it received a 2012 Drama Desk nomination.

Other plays include “FOB” (1981 Obie Award), “The Dance and the Railroad” (1982 Drama Desk nomination), “Family Devotions” (1982 Drama Desk nomination), “The Sound of a Voice” and “Bondage.”

He co-authored the book for Elton John and Tim Rice’s “Aida,” which ran almost five years on Broadway, and was the bookwriter of Disney’s “Tarzan,” with songs by Phil Collins.

As America’s most-produced living opera librettist, he has written four works with composer Philip Glass, as well as Osvaldo Golijov’s “Ainadamar” (two 2007 Grammy Awards), Bright Sheng’s “The Silver River” (1997), and Unsuk Chin’s “Alice in Wonderland” (2007 “World Premiere of the Year” by Opernwelt Magazine).

Hwang penned the feature films “M. Butterfly,” “Golden Gate” and “Possession” (co-writer), and co-wrote the song “Solo” with composer/performer Prince. He won the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master American Dramatist, the 2012 Inge Award for Distinguished Achievement in the American Theatre, and the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award.

A 2013 US Artists Donnelly Fellow, he is currently the Residency One Playwright at New York’s Signature Theatre, which is producing a season of his plays in 2012-13, including the premiere of his newest work, “Kung Fu.”

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  1. Just wanted to note that “Chinglish” is playing on the Segerstrom mainstage, not the Julianne Argyros stage. Thanks!

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