David Henry Hwang's new drama receives its Broadway premiere.
What Is the Story of Chinglish?
In an effort to drum up contracts for his sign-making company, American businessman Daniel Cavanaugh travels to Guiyang, China and pitches his services to the city’s Minister of Culture. The city is building a new cultural center, and Cavanaugh is selling his ability to both manufacture the signage and ensure that the English translations are correct. With the help of a Western expatriate as his business consultant, he negotiates the tricky waters of Chinese business etiquette, but he must handle the romantic customs on his own.
What Is Chinglish Like?
Since as much of the dialogue in Chinglish is in Chinese as in English, subtitles are projected directly onto the set. Thus, the integration of the two languages is kept as seamless as possible for the audience while keeping the feeling of a fish-out-of-water story intact. The miscommunication, by English speakers botching Chinese pronunciation or Chinese interpreters making bizarrely literal translations of English, is a running joke in the show. Rotating sets keep the scene shifts fast and fluid, so the action in this single-act show never stalls.
Is Chinglish Good for Kids?
Are your kids interested in subtitled movies? They will probably do fine at Chinglish. Some of the misunderstandings that go along with culture clash, like different concepts of respect and love, will be lost on younger kids. Two characters end up in bed together, and though there is no nudity, be prepared to explain infidelity.