New York Premiere of ‘The Golden Dragon’

The cast of THE GOLDEN DRAGON - photo by Carol Rosegg

By William Kustiono

The Golden Dragon directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, a two-time Drama Desk nominee as Outstanding Director of the NY premieres of Sean Graney’s These Seven Sicknesses and Amy Freed’s Restoration Comedy, brought to you a stage where there is a tiny Chinese Vietnamese Asian restaurant, where five Asian cooks produce an enormous number of dishes for the restaurant patrons. The patrons live in the apartment house above the restaurant or neighboring. The Golden Dragon features: Noah Galvin (The Young Man), Peter Kim (The Man), K.K. Moggie (The Young Woman), Stephen Duff Webber (Older Man), and Welker White (Older Woman). The casts play a reversal role, men play women, women play men, old play young, and young play old.

The Golden Dragon’s playwright is Ronald Schimmelpfennig, he is one of the most produced European playwright. His plays have gone global and there are over 20 different translations of his plays. The casts of The Golden Dragon consist of two women and three men, they are playing different characters each and totaling 16. The settings are in the back kitchen, the dining room of the restaurant, the apartment, and the shop nearby restaurant. The story tells about a young Asian boy in the kitchen of the Golden Dragon restaurant is experiencing discomfort toothache. The boy could not afford going to the dentist. After several failed attempts to calm the boy down, one of the cooks has no other choice but to extract the tooth. The cook extracts the tooth with a wrench and yanks the tooth out. Upstairs in the apartment, the story tells about unhappy couple where they split up after the wife admits she has met another man. The husband leaves her, he gets drunk from the break up and then fiercely beats another women.

The cast of THE GOLDEN DRAGON - photo by Carol Rosegg.

The story pans around telling the audience about the fable interaction between a grasshopper and an ant. The carefree grasshopper spends his time singing through out the summer while the ant works diligently collecting the ratios needed for winter. When the winter comes, the grasshopper is starving and turns to the ant for help. The ant refuses to help the grasshopper, instead the ant uses the grasshopper as a prostitute to the other ants.

The Golden Dragon is an interesting and amazing play. Director Iskandar is an Indonesian. He knows pretty much everything about Asian cuisines especially South Asian Food. His ethnicity made him stand out among other The Golden Dragon directors. In the play, he perfectly described the situation in the Asian restaurant’s kitchen, it is small, cramped, and does not have many workers. From the play, he described The Golden Dragon restaurant as a small and popular fast food restaurant. The fast food described in the play is different from typical Chinese take out in the United States, the restaurant is more into a fusion Asian restaurant.

In the screening preview, there were judges who observed and scored the play. The Golden Dragon is directed with a Director familiar with Asia’s tradition, therefore the direction feeling of the play is more special. The judges should give an extra credit to Director Iskandar because when I saw the play, it feels that the setting is really perfectly depicting a small Asian restaurant in the United States. There are two Asian casts, K.K Moggie and Peter Kim, give an extra impression about the Asian restaurant’s kitchen.  Their performance matches along with three other casts.  They know how to make a real cooking impression in the kitchen. I like the kitchen part when they cook and cut the food at the same time while taking care of the orders from the patrons.

The Golden Dragon plays for 90 minutes without intermission, and there are some comic reliefs that give interesting images towards the audience. Some of the scenes contain sexual and violence but it is still tolerable. The Golden Dragon is interesting and amazing. The acting is superb and the set is also smartly arranged. The Golden Dragon is a must see play if you are engrossed by the Asian Culture. We highly recommend it! THE GOLDEN DRAGON will be performed at The New Ohio Theatre (154 Christopher Street in the West Village) from Wednesday, May 8th through Sunday, June 9th, 2013.

The Play Company is pleased to offer specially priced tickets to AsianInNY community members for performances now through June 2. Copy this link and use code ANY when you purchase tickets:
http://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pr/918344/prm/ANY

For more about the play, please visit: www.playco.org

Golden Dragon cast (Welker White, K.K. Moggie, Noah Galvin, Stephen Duff Webber)with Director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar

Director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar with his mom next to him after the opening screening

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