KING OF THE YEES
Kirk Douglas Theatre
Culver City, CA
Opens: July 20, 2017
Closes: August 6, 2017
For nearly 20 years, playwright Lauren Yee’s father Larry has been a driving force in the Yee Family Association, a seemingly obsolescent Chinese American men’s club formed 150 years ago in the wake of the Gold Rush. But when her father goes missing, Lauren must plunge into the rabbit hole of San Francisco Chinatown and confront a world both foreign and familiar. At once bitingly hilarious and heartbreakingly honest, King of the Yees is an epic joyride across cultural, national, and familial borders that explores what it truly means to be a Yee.
Produced in association with Goodman Theatre
"In her new latest play KING OF THE YEES, now enjoying its World Premiere at Center Theatre Group's Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City, Yee shares the tale of how her father Larry has been a driving force in the Yee Fung Toy (Yee Family Association), a seemingly obsolescent Chinese American men's club formed 150 years ago in the wake of the Gold Rush when workers from China were brought to San Francisco to assist in the building of the much-needed railroads crossing America. And while the story may be totally fictionalized, it seemed very real to me, especially since Yee wrote herself as well as her father into the play, having them introduced in an innovative, comical, and interactive way during the preamble to the production. For those of you lucky enough to be seated in the front row, be prepared to interact with the overly friendly and well-intentioned Larry Yee, portrayed with energy and glee by Francis Jue."
"I left the Kirk Douglas not merely entertained but a whole lot more knowledgeable about things Chinese-American (and eager to learn more). Invigorating as all get-out and every bit as filled with fascinating facts as it is with risk-taking whimsy, King Of The Yees reigns supreme out Culver City way."
"Towards the end, Lauren tells the audience the story she ended up telling was not the one she set out to tell. While the character’s identity crisis works well, the play’s does not. It wants to be so many things, ultimately feeling unfocused and about 30 minutes too long. That’s not to say any of its myriad parts are bad or unenjoyable."
"Yee has the ability to make pointed, apparently autobiographical commentary in a way that enriches, entertains, and affirms."
"King of the Yees is an exciting new work that plays with the theatrical form in a fun and engaging way. It’s not a perfect play, but it’s thoroughly enjoyable, and Yee is a fresh voice worth listening to."