On Friday, April 19th, I was fortunate enough to see Poor Yella Rednecks, a play about the struggles of a family starting a new life in America, written by Qui Nguyen. The cast includes Tim Chiou (Quang, bully kid), Samantha Quan (Huong, Thu, San, Cop), Maureen Sebastian (Tong), Paco Tolson (Playwright, Immigration Officer, British Narrator, Little Man, Puppeteer, Bobby, Bully Tommy, Grocery Boy) and Eugene Young (Nhan, Little Man, Cowboy, Grocery Boy).
The play was very discriminating toward the Asian and Caucasian races in a very humorous way. For example, actress Samantha Quan, who had a great performance, portrayed a hilarious but spot on accent of someone of Vietnamese descent. The reality of immigration is implemented in the play by the family who consist of Quang the dad, Huong the mom, Tong the grandma and Little Man the son who struggles to start a new life. The family faces issues like racism, poverty, infidelity and the problems of their previous lives.
Poor Yella Rednecks presents real problems that a lot of families endure coming to the United States as “aliens”. For example Little Man gets bullied and ignored at school because he can only speak the Vietnamese language. The family and friends are also harassed by rednecks of their new home in El Dorado, Arkansas. This results in Nhan trying to convince Quang to move to Houston, Texas in order to be around more of their kind.
The family begins to struggle as Huong refuses to move anymore and Quang sends their life savings to his abandoned family in Vietnam. Their relationship is impacted further after Quang cheats on Huong in Houston and they go their separate ways for a while. The family begins to realize how much they mean to each other in a place where they have to survive being viewed differently.
I give this play an A because of its authenticity and how down-to-Earth it was in addition to how much swearing took place. I think all the actors did great but the best was Samantha Quan. Worth noting was her mindset on stage that, to my knowledge, resulted in great facial expressions and reaction time. The play had obviously had a lot of care and effort put into it when you notice the small details. For example, the actors had made it look natural in segments that required perfect timing. I also really enjoyed the hip hop segments where a character would appear out of nowhere with sick rhymes.
This play is great for those who enjoy comedy as well as live entertainment. You can see this play on the date of April 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 and 30th.
Reporter: Makai Walker