Berkeley, CA - Extended run through October 21! David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish, Starring Michelle Krusiec and Alex Moggridge

Posted by Lia Chang

Michelle Krusiec and Alex Moggridge star in the critically acclaimed West Coast premiere of David Henry Hwang’s recent Broadway comedy Chinglish, in the Roda Theatre of the Tony Award-winning Berkeley Repertory Theatre, directed by Leigh Silverman, which opened to stellar reviews, and has been extended through October 21, 2012. The cast of Chinglish also features Vivian Chiu, Celeste Den, Austin Ku, Brian Nishii and Larry Lei Zhang.

(l to r) Michelle Krusiec and Alex Moggridge star in Berkeley Rep’s production of Chinglish, a new comedy from David Henry Hwang. Photo courtesy of kevinberne.com

(l to r) Michelle Krusiec and Alex Moggridge star in Berkeley Rep’s production of Chinglish, a new comedy from David Henry Hwang. Photo courtesy of kevinberne.com

Chinglish received its Broadway premiere in Fall 2011, was named “Best American Play of 2011” by TIME magazine, and as one of the Top 10 Broadway shows of the year by Bloomberg Radio, NY1 and WNYC.

Larry Lei Zhang and Michelle Krusiec star in Berkeley Rep’s production of Chinglish, a new comedy from David Henry Hwang. Photo courtesy of kevinberne.com

Larry Lei Zhang and Michelle Krusiec star in Berkeley Rep’s production of Chinglish, a new comedy from David Henry Hwang. Photo courtesy of kevinberne.com


David Henry Hwang won three Obies and the Tony Award for Best Play with M. Butterfly and FOB. Now he’s back with a canny comedy of cross-cultural errors. Leigh Silverman returns to the Roda Theatre to stage the twists in a terrific play she took to Broadway. Love is on the line, and laughter fills the ledger in Chinglish. Love is on the line, and laughter fills the ledger in Chinglish, a co-production with South Coast Repertory, where it will play in 2013. It is also Berkeley Rep’s first export to Asia. See it now before it heads to Hong Kong!

(l to r) Michelle Krusiec and Alex Moggridge star in Berkeley Rep’s production of Chinglish, a new comedy from David Henry Hwang.Photo courtesy of kevinberne.com

(l to r) Michelle Krusiec and Alex Moggridge star in Berkeley Rep’s production of Chinglish, a new comedy from David Henry Hwang.Photo courtesy of kevinberne.com

In Chinglish, Alex Moggridge plays an American businessman who heads to Asia to score a lucrative contract for his family’s firm – but the deal isn’t the only thing getting lost in translation as he collides with a Communist minister, a bumbling consultant, and a suspiciously sexy bureaucrat.

(l to r) Michelle Krusiec, Alex Moggridge and Brian Nishii star in Berkeley Rep’s production of Chinglish, a new comedy from David Henry Hwang.Photo courtesy of kevinberne.com

(l to r) Michelle Krusiec, Alex Moggridge and Brian Nishii star in Berkeley Rep’s production of Chinglish, a new comedy from David Henry Hwang.Photo courtesy of kevinberne.com

What the critics are saying:
“Hilarious… a near-perfect production,” proclaims the San Francisco Chronicle. “Hwang, a past master of exploring the East-West culture clash – in such gems as M. Butterfly, FOB and Trying to Find Chinatown – has written a rich new chapter for a new world order with Chinglish… It’s a tale crisply and handsomely told.”

“Hilarious… could well be the funniest show the company has ever produced,” declares the Contra Costa Times, Oakland Tribune, and San Jose Mercury News. “The comedy is sharp and intelligent… As for the actors, they are all playing at the top of their game – not only the principals, who are astounding, but also the performers in the smallest roles. It seems each is making remarkable comic decisions to give the entire show a sense of being polished to near perfection.”

“Irresistible… a sublime comic performance,” says the San Francisco Examiner. “A constant delight. Hwang understands both cultures well enough to make the story resonate, and his use of mistranslation earns waves of laughter… Leigh Silverman’s smart, stylish staging launches the company’s 2012-13 season on a hilarious high.”

(l to r) Austin Ku, Celeste Den and Vivian Chiu star in Berkeley Rep’s production of Chinglish, a new comedy from David Henry Hwang. Photo courtesy of kevinberne.com

(l to r) Austin Ku, Celeste Den and Vivian Chiu star in Berkeley Rep’s production of Chinglish, a new comedy from David Henry Hwang. Photo courtesy of kevinberne.com

Tony award winning playwright David Henry Hwang at NYFA Book Talk at Barnes & Noble East 86th St. in New York on July 26, 2012. Photo by Lia Chang

Tony award winning playwright David Henry Hwang at NYFA Book Talk at Barnes & Noble East 86th St. in New York on July 26, 2012. Photo by Lia Chang


David Henry Hwang’s plays include Bondage,The Dance and the Railroad (1982 Drama Desk Award nomination), Family Devotions (1982 Drama Desk Award nomination), FOB (1981 Obie Award), Golden Child (1997 Obie Award, 1998 Tony Award nomination), M. Butterfly(1988 Tony Award, 1989 Pulitzer Prize finalist), and Yellow Face (2008 Obie Award, 2008 Pulitzer Prize finalist). He also wrote the libretti for three Broadway musicals: Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida (co-author), Disney’s Tarzan, and Rodgers & Hammerstein’sFlower Drum Song (revival, 2002 Tony Award nomination). In opera, his libretti include four works with composer Philip Glass – 1000 Airplanes on the Roof, Icarus at the Edge of Time, Sound and Beauty, and The Voyage – as well as Howard Shore’s The Fly, Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar (two 2007 Grammy Awards), and Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland (Opernwelt 2007 World Premiere of the Year). Hwang penned the feature filmsGolden Gate, M. Butterfly, and Possession (co-author), and co-wrote the song “Solo” with Prince. He sits on the Council of the Dramatists Guild, and served on the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities by appointment of President Clinton. Hwang is Signature Theatre’s Residency One Playwright for the 2012-2013 Season, and will receive the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award which comes with a $200,000 prize on October 29, 2012.
David Henry Hwang Set as Signature Theatre’s Residency One Playwright for the 2012-2013 Season
David Henry Hwang to Receive the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award at the 5th Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards on October 29, 2012

The creative team behind the Broadway production of Chinglish reunites for this production, a crew that has collectively won six Tony, five Obie, and seven Hewes Design Awards: David Korins (sets), Anita Yavich (costumes), Brian MacDevitt (lighting), Darron L West (sound), and Jeff Sugg and Shawn Duan (projections).

Tickets start at $35. Savings are available for groups, seniors, students, and anyone under 30 years of age – meaning discounted seats can be obtained for as little as $14.50. Or ask about ticket packages: the best prices are available to those who purchase Chinglish with other plays in Berkeley Rep’s season, such as The White Snake from Mary Zimmerman.

The Roda Theatre is located at 2015 Addison Street, near bus lines, bike routes, and parking lots – and only half a block from BART. For tickets or information, call (510) 647-2949 or simply click berkeleyrep.org.

Chinglish special events:
Post-play discussions moderated by theatre professionals follow the 8:00 PM shows on Tuesday, September 18; and Friday, September 28. Post-show discussions with Berkeley Rep’s docents take place after all weekend matinees.

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang


Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist.