Aired on KSDS-FM on 9/15/17
RUN DATES: 9/5/17 – 10/1/17
VENUE: La Jolla Playhouse
Metaphor, fantasy and hard, cold reality collide in “Wild Goose Dreams” by Hansol Jung, a spectacular world premiere co-produced by the La Jolla Playhouse and New York’s Public Theater.
Set in Seoul, South Korea, the play begins with a fairy tale, whose moral is: If you have a choice between family and flying to Paradise … Fly!
Birds, flight and illusion are intrinsic to this magical tale. When to stay and when to go. Where love and loyalty lie.
Minsung is a Goose Father, a South Korean man who sent his family to America for his daughter’s education. He stays behind, works hard and lives a Spartan life, so he can send everything abroad. But he’s very lonely. He seeks solace at an online dating site.
There he meets Nanhee, who defected from North Korea, leaving her father behind. She, too, is lonely. The course of their rocky relationship is traced in the 105-minute/one act play. But that’s barely a skeleton of what this magical, highly theatrical drama is like.
Nanhee’s vivid, terrifying dreams are enacted. And even more stunning, the internet itself is brilliantly brought to pulsing life, its cacophony of voices and distractions, tones and beeps personified by an outstanding Chorus that talks, sings, chants and confuses.
Sometimes, they speak all at once. Sometimes, their voices can’t be heard. For some, the discord and lack of realism may be too much. But for those looking for something fresh, young and wildly imaginative, this is one unique and magnificent piece of theater – both the play and the thrilling production. The performances are superb. The direction and choreography are electrifying, though the wood-hewn, raked stage is nearly bare most of the time.
But we get completely caught up in the challenges of living in both Koreas. The play raises questions of identity – and connection. With all our online friends, likes, pokes and tweets, why are we so deeply disconnected? And why have we allowed the internet to hijack our lives?
The unpredictable love story, which takes some dark turns, focuses on two people misled by fear and misunderstanding. It crosses boundaries and borders to remind us that, when given the opportunity, we should take wing and soar.
©2017 PAT LAUNER, San Diego Theater Reviews