Archive for Vietnamese Theater Music and Dance

Opinion | The Beatles of Vietnam – Vietnam ’67 – NYT

Published by David Lindsay
“As so many rock ’n’ roll stories do, the CBC Band’s began with the purchase of a guitar behind the back of a disapproving father.

When he was a young child in Vietnam, Tung Linh wanted a guitar, so his mother bought one for him. His father, Phan Van Pho, was a cook for French officials in Hanoi, and he wanted his children to become doctors or engineers, not musicians. When he found the guitar, he smashed it.

But his wife, Hoang Thi Nga, nurtured Tung Linh’s interest in American music, which he shared with two of his seven siblings: Bich Loan, a singer, and Tung Van on drums. When their father died in the late 1950s, Ms. Hoang went to work as a custodian on a Republic of Vietnam naval base. The family was poor, and those years were hard, but she wanted her children to be happy, so she nurtured their desire to perform American music.”

How three poor siblings in Saigon became the CBC Band, one of the hottest acts of the war.
NYTIMES.COM

Posted in: Vietnam-American War, Vietnamese Theater Music and Dance

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Vietnamese Traditional Instruments

Dan Nhi Two-string FiddleDan Nhi Two String FiddleThe Dan Nhi is popular among several ethnic groups in Vietnam. It is also referred to as Dan Co in southern provinces of Viet Nam.

Dan Nguyet – Two-String Guitar

Dan Nguyet    The Southerners of Vietnam refer to this instrument as Dan Kim. Dan Nguyet has two strings and the resonator resembles the moon, that is probably why it is named Dan Nguyet, which means moon lute.

Source: Vietnamese Traditional Instruments

Posted in: Vietnamese Theater Music and Dance

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Review: ‘Vietgone,’ a Refugee Tale With Laughs and Rap – The New York Times

“For positive proof that in certain realms of theater, we have moved firmly beyond political correctness, see “Vietgone,” a raucous comedy by Qui Nguyen that strafes just about every subject it tackles and every character it presents. Sure, sometimes it wobbles uncertainly between satire and sentiment, but Mr. Nguyen’s fresh and impish voice rarely lets up as he thumbs his nose at our expectations.

As the character of the playwright (Paco Tolson) explains at the top of the show, the principals are Vietnamese who become refugees in America. The show is set in 1975, but these characters, he says, won’t sound the way you might expect them to. Scanning the audience at City Center, where the play opened on Tuesday in a Manhattan Theater Club production, Tong (Jennifer Ikeda), a 30-year-old Vietnamese woman, observes, “Damn, there’s a lotta white people up in here.”This voice, the playwright reminds us, is more or less the opposite of the Asian one of stereotype, as in: “Herro! Prease to meeting you! I so Asian!” The Americans in the play, he adds, will speak like this: “Yee-haw! Get ’er done! Cheeseburger, waffle fries, cholesterol!” They do indeed.:

Source: Review: ‘Vietgone,’ a Refugee Tale With Laughs and Rap – The New York Times

My friend and director Lauren Keating highly recommends this play.  I haven’t seen it.

Here are two comments after the reveiew:

bkny

nyc 2 days ago

I’ve seen both productions; having been blown away by what I saw at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in the summer, I looked forward to a second viewing here. I thought the actors in Oregon rendered the play more compellingly; in particular, I thought Jeena Yi in Oregon occupied the character of Tong more convincingly, helped by her greater command of the rap idiom. The thrust stage in Oregon also put the actors in different proximity to that of MTC’s standard type of stage, and that gave the OSF a certain immediacy that the MTC production loses with its traditionally configured house. Having said all that, this is a play so worth seeing: fresh, emotional, provocative. Highly recommended.

Olof Sander

NYC October 28, 2016

This was the most infantile piece of nothing”.I left during the intermission, because I could not take it anymore.At least 40 people did the same.It was easy to count them as we were all gathering at the entrance waiting for the terrible rain to stop.
Fot the first time in 35 years I was really (!!)tempted to walk by the stage in a theatre and “BOOH”

Posted in: Vietnamese Literature, Vietnamese Theater Music and Dance

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