Red Flamboyant OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Godwell Chan
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    April 24, 2015
    Closing:
    May 16, 2015

    Theater: Anderson Hall / 61 Gramercy Park North, New York, NY 10010

    Synopsis: 

    Mrs. Hue lives in present day Vietnam with a small group of women who are all living with HIV/AIDS. Bricks smash the windows of her small house. The locals fear they will be infected by the women. Mrs Hue is forced to seek help from a stubborn government official to protect and support her group. Unlikely heroes emerge both in this world and the next as these poor women reach new heights of courage.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Red Flamboyant

    ‘Red Flamboyant’ Is Earthbound and Flush With Romanticism

    Laura Collins-Hughes

    May 4, 2015: A newspaper article fired Don Nguyen’s imagination: A group of women in Vietnam, shunned by their society, gathered together to stave off fear and loneliness with laughter. All of them were H.I.V. positive, and to many in their culture, their virus was cause for shame. Laughter is not a strong suit of Mr. Nguyen’s jumbled and ambitious “Red Flamboyant,” the play that article inspired, but defiance is. With medicine scarce and the mortality rate high, the women must fight for themselves or surely die. For emboldenment, they look to the legend of Trung Nhi and Trung Trac, female warriors out of Vietnam’s glorious, far-distant past. These are the overlapping worlds of Mr. Nguyen’s play, which is both earthbound and shot through with romanticism. Some of his characters — Mrs. Hue (Nancy Sun), who owns the house where the women live, and Mrs. Sau (Karen Huie), a generation or more older than the others and a link to the country’s history — bear the same names as the women in the article, and the play is least successful when most wedded to it. Then the humor is forced, and so are the tensions.

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