11 Comments

  1. Deryl Shields

    Wonderful show! We need to see more by this playwright!

    Only thing … maybe can modify the motorcycle headlights so they won’t shine directly into the eyes of the people in the middle of the first row of the balcony – hurt my eyes!

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  2. Susan Lynette

    I am still sorting through all my thoughts and feelings. It was an outstanding, creative and emotion-provoking play. The anachronistic language and the English actually being Vietnamese sometimes was confusing but on the other hand, it greatly enriched the story and gave us more information about the characters.
    Having taught ESL to adult Vietnamese people at local Community Colleges from 1975 through the early 1980’s, I was surprised at how many of the people I remembered…even a few names.
    And yes, there were some whose children and/or spouses were left behind.
    The playwright and the actors certainly deserved their standing ovation.

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  3. Mary Beth Gemperle

    Disappointing. I had heard a lot about this play at Ashland, but didn’t see it there. The subject matter seemed to offer a lot of potential,but I found the characters cartoonish and not like real people. It left me cold and unmoved.

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  4. Lynne Ingalls

    My husband found the music too loud for the words being rapped. I find the subject of war extremely depressing; and being of a certain age, the Vietnam War is particularly jarring. I know the play was also, in part, a love story but it was not enough to keep us there after intermission. I agree with the comment about the motorcycle light in the eyes and would add that the strobe lights also required that I shut my eyes.

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  5. Branston and Kelly Weyer

    Just got home from Vietgone and have to say we were just amazed at the completely entertaining, imaginative, well enacted, funny joyful tearful play. One of the very best plays we’ve seen ever. Even though I was in Vietnam in ’68, never thought about the viewpoint presented in the play. We would go again if it comes back, and be out standing on the street corner trying to convince others to not miss this life enriching moment. A huge standing ovation!!!!!!!!!!!

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  6. Anne Dutra

    What potential was here for us to grasp the deep emotional loss of people
    fleeing from a war torn homeland. It was lost, however, in the vulgarities
    and ill timed humor that completely rendered the characters as jokesters.
    It was difficult to remain after intermission.
    We’ll review the play offerings for next season more closely before renewing.

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  7. Carol Ann Davis

    Inspired sets that enhanced the story, multi-talented actors who often had challenging dialogue, great use of the sounds of the time… and then we have the script they had to work from: In the words so commonly echoed through the first half of the play: it was “muthuh-fuckin’ bullshit, bitch” … and don’t mean that in a good way! The affection of hip-hop dialogue in “Hamilton” worked because it was written by and spoken by actors for whom that was part of their culture. Using hip-hop in Vietgone simply made it a bad copy of someone else’s inspiration. The repeated use of the (same) profanities illustrated a lack of vocabulary; can’t think of a word, throw in a [no-longer] shocking word. The play worked best when the actors were truer to the emotional state and cultural reaction of Vietnamese refugees in the 1970’s and it didn’t work at all when they parodied people who didn’t live in the the hood until 15 or 20 years later. I was embarrassed at the cartoonish one-dimensional portrayal of the characters of both ethnicities. I was originally going to encourage my adopted family of former Vietnamese refugees (some tortured for their work with the Americans, some separated from the rest of their family for years and even decades, some too young to remember when they didn’t live in the USA…) to see this play but now I would be embarrassed if they even came across it accidently. I can understand why the playwright implored us to not tell his parents; if I was his mother, I would ground him … and, unlike this father, I KNOW what grounding means.

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  8. Duy Nguyen

    So glad I got to see a play about Vietnamese refugee experience from Vietnamese perspectives. Superb cast! It had so many layers, funny, powerful, and poignant. It’s not just about war but also about sacrifices and love. It’s a must see. Too bad it’s not opened to wider audiences and have longer run.

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  9. Robin Richardson

    I agreed with many of the above negative comments during the 1st act of the play- too frenetic, confusing with current cultural music and language used for 1970’s, one dimensional characters, over use of crude language, ect. And then during the 2nd act I started to see the play thru the eyes of the playwright: a son of immigrants, trying to piece together his family’s history through their narrative, historical references and his own cultural bias and fantasies. Perhaps the use of rap. current language and swear words was his way of trying to put his parent’s story into a form he could empathize with. I wonder if the scene at the end with the son and his father would have made the play more meaningful if it was at the beginning- or perhaps that would have guided the audience too much. Certainly lead to some great discussions with friends I went with- always a good sign.

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