Film Chinois OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: John Quincy Lee
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    January 17, 2015
    Closing:
    February 8, 2015

    Theater: Beckett Theatre / 410 West 42nd Street, New York, NY, 10036

    Synopsis: 

    Film Chinois is a noir infused drama of spy-versus-spy intrigue and dangerous romantic liaisons, in the vein of classic Hollywood films such as The Maltese Falcon. The play takes us back to 1947, Peking. Randolph, a fresh-faced American operative, has been sent to the imperial city on a secret mission. He meets a Chinese woman who calls herself Chinadoll, his would-be adversary and lover. Complicating things are the amoral Belgian Ambassador, his current squeeze, Simone, a songstress, and a mysterious “Chinese Man,” all who are in search of an old piece of film.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Film Chinois

    Political Intrigue in China, With Loyalties Uncertain

    Andy Webster

    January 22, 2015: There is roiling tumult amid the shadows in Damon Chua’s uneven but beautifully staged Film Chinois, at the Beckett Theater. In this Pan Asian Repertory production, an exercise in noir styling and political intrigue, identities can be fluid and motivations suspect. It is 1947 in Peking, suspended between World War II and the ascent of Mao Zedong’s Communists. Chinadoll (the company veteran Rosanne Ma) is a poised predator circling Randolph (Benjamin Jones), an American government operative masquerading as a tea trader. The Ambassador (Jean Brassard), a Belgian fluent in the city’s ways, dallies with the skittish Simone (Katie Lee Hill), a chanteuse pining for entree to the West. Playing a waiter, a gun-toting heavy and others, James Henry Doan hovers furtively. Randolph finds himself drawn into a search for a strip of celluloid and elusive twins who might explain an attempt on his life and the abduction of the Ambassador. Chinadoll’s loyalties, romantic and political, are uncertain.

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