Fringe review: Fine China

FINE CHINA by Julie Phan (Woodlands Theatre Co.). At the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse. July 10 at 2:30 pm, July.


FINE CHINA by Julie Phan (Woodlands Theatre Co.). At the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse. July 10 at 2:30 pm, July 11 at 5:45 pm, July 12 at 11:30 pm, July 14 at 7:30 pm. See listing. Rating: NNN

After their strict Vietnamese-Canadian father (Nam Nguyen) dies, rebellious daughter Kim (writer Julie Phan) returns home after three years to her sister Audrey (Natalie Thai) for the funeral.

This is material that’s been covered before, and with much more clarity and power, but Phan is a promising writer whose work shines brightest in a touching scene near the end between Kim and the father’s ghost that’s funny, tough and insightful about guilt and regret.

Director Colwyn Alletson could improv the play’s pace, and the sound design verges on cliche, but there’s authenticity in the sisters’ familiar bickering, and Nguyen’s disappointed patriarch comes through vividly in a few short exchanges.

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