Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Dust Storm and
Spirit and Sworded Treks (playing in repertory)
Vintage Theatre: 5/30 – 6/23
     Theatre Esprit Asia (TEA) is the first Asian American Theatre Company in Colorado. Co-founded by Maria Cheng and Tria Xiong, this is a company to keep your eye on. I was lucky enough to get to see their premiere of two new one-acts over at Vintage Theatre and was stunned by the work.
     The first play, Rick Foster’s “Dust Storm,” takes us on a heartbreaking journey that begins with an Asian American schoolboy awakening on the morning of December 7, 1941. The shockwaves in America begin to ripple and soon there is a flood of paranoia directed at the Asian American community. 
     The subsequent journey these innocent immigrants are forced to take from one internment camp to another is told with the strong clear voice of actor Peter Trinh and the thoroughly well written words of playwright Rick Foster. Accompanying Trinh’s poignant performance are slide projections of the images of Chiura Obata, who recorded the tragic story in his sketches. The show is directed by Warren Sherrill and merits your attendance.
                                                                       Maria Cheng
     The second play written and performed by playwright, director and actor Maria Cheng is “Spirit and Sworded Treks.” This is a magnificent work. Ms. Cheng is an artist of the first magnitude and her performance of this play is a fluid meditation on her observations of Life. It involves what one might assume to be a lifetime study of martial arts , a clear understanding of spirituality and a deep connection with such American institutions as Van Cliburn’s classical music and football. 
     This is a masterful expression of performance art that is not to be missed. As Cheng regales us with her intoxicating wide-eyed storytelling we are mesmerized by her constantly shifting body postures and martial arts moves that mostly include a Samurai sword. 
      This work is richly textured with high energy, pathos and lots of hilarious moments. The audience sits in rapt attention throughout exploding in bursts of laughter as Ms. Cheng injects her monologue with searingly well  aimed and timed bon mots.

Theatre Esprit Asia presents
Rick Foster's Dust Storm (in rep with Spirit & Sworded Treks)
Directed by Warren Sherrill.
Maria Cheng's Spirit & Sworded Treks (in rep with Dust Storm)
Directed by Maria Cheng & Tria Xiong
*mature adult language.May 30 - June 23Tickets are available by calling 303-856-7830 or online at www.theatre-esprit-asia.org. All performances are held at Vintage Theatre, 1468 Dayton St., Aurora 80010 Marlowe's Musings

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