Po Boy Tango

by Kenneth Lin
directed by Chay Yew
originally produced at Northlight Theatre, Skokie, IL.
January 7,2009 through February 15, 2009

About the Premiere Production:

A celebration of the human spirit and the joy of cooking, Po Boy Tango tells the story of Richie Po, a Chinese immigrant who turns to his estranged friend Gloria to help him recreate his mother's "Great Banquet." Despite the challenges of shark fin soup, duck po' boy sandwiches and underlying cultural tensions, Richie and Gloria find common ground through their shared humor and the blending of traditional Taiwanese cuisine and African-American "Soul Food." Helped by lessons from Po Mama’s television cooking show, the two discover a deeper understanding of food, culture and the nature of friendship. Po Boy Tango comes to the Northlight stage for a full production after a successful workshop and reading as a part of the Northlight Interplay series—the third production to make such a transition (Lady, Better Late).

Artistic Statement

From Artistic Director BJ Jones:Ken Lin is an exciting and versatile young writer of Chinese extraction who draws this story from his own life and family. Bringing two cultures together out of human need, contrasting their ideas and ideals and finally bringing them together in the kitchen of the restaurant they will share as a business, Po Boy Tango is as unusual a story as I have read in the theatrical canon. Rarely do we see an examination of racial bias between minorities, neither of which is Caucasian. Rarely do we see a writer display such courage and creativity in context. And certainly the refreshment of ideas through a different lens is a welcome change of theatrical pace. The Edgerton Foundation affords us to do continued work on the development of this script as we approach its world premiere production.

Director: Chay Yew
Set Design:Meghan Raham
Lighting Design:Keith Parham
Costume Design:Rachel Latitz
Cast:Richie Po:Francis Jue
Po Mama: Jeanne Sakata
Gloria B: Jacqueline Williams

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