YELLOW FACE

Critics

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95 %

Reviews: 11

Audience

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Reviews: 0

Truth and fiction blur in Pulitzer Prize finalist David Henry Hwang's hilarious and moving show, Yellow Face, which is based on the author's own life. When Hwang mistakenly makes a disastrous casting decision, he quickly gets in over his head. As the situation spirals further out of control, he finds himself at the center of a government intrigue and investigation.

Winner of an Obie award, Yellow Face explores timeless questions surrounding cultural identity through a sharply satirical lens. Director Rob Zimmerman remounts this award winning San Francisco production of a sharply biting look at race, politics and the media at the Beverly Hills Playhouse.

Reviews

Avatar
"Robert Zimmerman does an outstanding job in bringing Yellow Face to Los Angeles. Playfully iniquitous in the way humans move to achieve their rightful positions in life. Yet, it is a difficult and demanding presentation where limited rehearsals must bring out multiple characters for the six actors in the other roles. Finding a significant through line would be the ultimate test for any director. But, overall the actors succeed nicely. Well, mostly, still one has observations."

sweet - Joe Straw - Joe Straw #9 - ...read full review


Avatar
"Impeccably directed by Robert Zimmerman (a man who has worked with the best) inspired this amazing ensemble, with only chairs on the bare stage, to rise and shine as they portray dozens of characters, sans costumes or props, utilizing only their talent, vocal inflections, facial expressions and gestures to pull it off...  Theatre lovers will sink their teeth into this production, which ends up surprising and enlightening us as to who our real enemy is."

sweet - Ingrid Wilmot - Will Call - ...read full review


Avatar
"Director Robert Zimmerman has done a bang-up job of helming this intricate tale about being Asian-American in the U.S. mainstream. Laughs are mingled with tender and painful moments, and the intriguing story moves ahead with purpose... YELLOW FACE is an absorbing tale about the American culture then and now – a culture in which racial issues have yet to be resolved. This would be an especially fascinating show for students of Asian studies, giving them the opportunity to see the very personal emotions which underlie words like “prejudice” and “race.” YELLOW FACE will have people discussing racial, political, and ethical conundrums long after the curtain comes down."

sweet - Elaine Mura - LA Splash - ...read full review


Avatar
"The numerous characters—journalists, agents, FBI men, congressmen, TV stars, Asian-American activists, etc.—who appear in Yellow Face are handled by the extraordinary, seven-person cast, all of whom use their voices, body language, and facial expressions to instantly make you believe in them. Working on a bare stage whose only props are chairs, a few phones and a cage-like backdrop, the actors move in tightly choreographed fashion, bringing Hwang's world to vibrant, hilarious life."

sweet - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


Leigh Kennicott
"This ingenious play, now on view at The Beverly Hills Playhouse, has a long track record, but this San Francisco-originated production is as provocative as ever. Yellowface is a half-autobiographical, half-fantasy portrayal about Hwang's fight for casting equity when Miss Saigon came to New York from London, retaining non-Asian casting in a key role. Hwang asks his audience to unpack what, exactly, cultural and ethnic identities mean. Are they inherent or constructed? The answer hangs over this tantalizing play without offering a clear response."

sweet - Leigh Kennicott - ...read full review


Deborah Klugman
"Yellow Face packs a lot of ideas and information into its near two-hour running time but there's little dramatic action. So the onus falls on the actors — most heavily on Sun as DHH — to provide the drama through their reaction to events. Under Robert Zimmerman's direction, Sun's laidback performance is serviceable but without the crisp ironical edge to make him interesting."

sweet-sour - Deborah Klugman - StageRaw - ...read full review


Steven Stanley
"A welcome transfer south from the city by the bay, Yellow Face adds up to the side-splittingest and most talk-provoking show in town."

sweet - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


Frances Baum Nicholson
"All of these actors and characters intertwine in an elaborate choreography at the hands of director Robert Zimmerman. The minimalist staging works splendidly, and the finesse with which the cast handles the fast-paced, sometimes overlapping storytelling keeps the audience engaged, even occasionally on the edge of their collective seats, throughout. “Yellow Face” remains profound, even as it also remains very humorous."

sweet - Frances Baum Nicholson - Daily News - ...read full review


Gil Kaan
"Playwright David Henry Hwang's YELLOW FACE receives a most sturdy mounting from co-producers Firescape Theatre and Yolk Productions in association with the Beverly Hills Playhouse. Director Robert Zimmerman guides his talented cast of seven with a sure hand, mining the maximum laughs and feels from Hwang's very clever script, with Hwang as the pivotal character. Hwang's so meta, so self-depreciatingly, so candid of his own flaws."

sweet - Gil Kaan - BroadwayWorld.com - ...read full review


Avatar
"Directed by Robert Zummerman, YELLOW FACE shows off a period that ushered in the political correctness era of the 1990s and later became part of the permanent domestic domain. It also brought to the attention that foreign governing bodies can indeed play a role of how a political campaign for office can be influenced through the acquisition of large amount of funds. These elements still plays a part to the current political landscape of now. This time, the shift moved from Asia to Russia! Those antics would make interesting fodder for perhaps a future stage play (even a musical?) to perform somewhere else! Only time, tide, and the power of social media will bring that idea to stage light! Until then, this play as performing at The Beverly Hills Playhouse will tide one over to a fitting “T”! (Tea?)"

sweet - Rich Borowy - Accessibly Live Off-Line - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder
"Director Robert Zimmerman does a masterful job navigating the action around the restrictive playing style without detracting from the storyline, the inventiveness of his staging actually adding to the magic of the theatrical experience. Still, it is the rule-defying work of David Henry Hwang, a guy who obviously never feels the need to color within the lines, that emerges as the most memorable aspect of Yellow Face."

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - TicketHolders LA - ...read full review


Avatar
"Robert Zimmerman does an outstanding job in bringing Yellow Face to Los Angeles. Playfully iniquitous in the way humans move to achieve their rightful positions in life. Yet, it is a difficult and demanding presentation where limited rehearsals must bring out multiple characters for the six actors in the other roles. Finding a significant through line would be the ultimate test for any director. But, overall the actors succeed nicely. Well, mostly, still one has observations."

sweet - Joe Straw - Joe Straw #9 - ...read full review


Avatar
"Impeccably directed by Robert Zimmerman (a man who has worked with the best) inspired this amazing ensemble, with only chairs on the bare stage, to rise and shine as they portray dozens of characters, sans costumes or props, utilizing only their talent, vocal inflections, facial expressions and gestures to pull it off...  Theatre lovers will sink their teeth into this production, which ends up surprising and enlightening us as to who our real enemy is."

sweet - Ingrid Wilmot - Will Call - ...read full review


Avatar
"Director Robert Zimmerman has done a bang-up job of helming this intricate tale about being Asian-American in the U.S. mainstream. Laughs are mingled with tender and painful moments, and the intriguing story moves ahead with purpose... YELLOW FACE is an absorbing tale about the American culture then and now – a culture in which racial issues have yet to be resolved. This would be an especially fascinating show for students of Asian studies, giving them the opportunity to see the very personal emotions which underlie words like “prejudice” and “race.” YELLOW FACE will have people discussing racial, political, and ethical conundrums long after the curtain comes down."

sweet - Elaine Mura - LA Splash - ...read full review


Avatar
"The numerous characters—journalists, agents, FBI men, congressmen, TV stars, Asian-American activists, etc.—who appear in Yellow Face are handled by the extraordinary, seven-person cast, all of whom use their voices, body language, and facial expressions to instantly make you believe in them. Working on a bare stage whose only props are chairs, a few phones and a cage-like backdrop, the actors move in tightly choreographed fashion, bringing Hwang's world to vibrant, hilarious life."

sweet - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


Leigh Kennicott
"This ingenious play, now on view at The Beverly Hills Playhouse, has a long track record, but this San Francisco-originated production is as provocative as ever. Yellowface is a half-autobiographical, half-fantasy portrayal about Hwang's fight for casting equity when Miss Saigon came to New York from London, retaining non-Asian casting in a key role. Hwang asks his audience to unpack what, exactly, cultural and ethnic identities mean. Are they inherent or constructed? The answer hangs over this tantalizing play without offering a clear response."

sweet - Leigh Kennicott - ...read full review


Deborah Klugman
"Yellow Face packs a lot of ideas and information into its near two-hour running time but there's little dramatic action. So the onus falls on the actors — most heavily on Sun as DHH — to provide the drama through their reaction to events. Under Robert Zimmerman's direction, Sun's laidback performance is serviceable but without the crisp ironical edge to make him interesting."

sweet-sour - Deborah Klugman - StageRaw - ...read full review


Steven Stanley
"A welcome transfer south from the city by the bay, Yellow Face adds up to the side-splittingest and most talk-provoking show in town."

sweet - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


Frances Baum Nicholson
"All of these actors and characters intertwine in an elaborate choreography at the hands of director Robert Zimmerman. The minimalist staging works splendidly, and the finesse with which the cast handles the fast-paced, sometimes overlapping storytelling keeps the audience engaged, even occasionally on the edge of their collective seats, throughout. “Yellow Face” remains profound, even as it also remains very humorous."

sweet - Frances Baum Nicholson - Daily News - ...read full review


Gil Kaan
"Playwright David Henry Hwang's YELLOW FACE receives a most sturdy mounting from co-producers Firescape Theatre and Yolk Productions in association with the Beverly Hills Playhouse. Director Robert Zimmerman guides his talented cast of seven with a sure hand, mining the maximum laughs and feels from Hwang's very clever script, with Hwang as the pivotal character. Hwang's so meta, so self-depreciatingly, so candid of his own flaws."

sweet - Gil Kaan - BroadwayWorld.com - ...read full review


Avatar
"Directed by Robert Zummerman, YELLOW FACE shows off a period that ushered in the political correctness era of the 1990s and later became part of the permanent domestic domain. It also brought to the attention that foreign governing bodies can indeed play a role of how a political campaign for office can be influenced through the acquisition of large amount of funds. These elements still plays a part to the current political landscape of now. This time, the shift moved from Asia to Russia! Those antics would make interesting fodder for perhaps a future stage play (even a musical?) to perform somewhere else! Only time, tide, and the power of social media will bring that idea to stage light! Until then, this play as performing at The Beverly Hills Playhouse will tide one over to a fitting “T”! (Tea?)"

sweet - Rich Borowy - Accessibly Live Off-Line - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder
"Director Robert Zimmerman does a masterful job navigating the action around the restrictive playing style without detracting from the storyline, the inventiveness of his staging actually adding to the magic of the theatrical experience. Still, it is the rule-defying work of David Henry Hwang, a guy who obviously never feels the need to color within the lines, that emerges as the most memorable aspect of Yellow Face."

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - TicketHolders LA - ...read full review