FROM PAGE 43
As they clash, however, it’s less about the specifics of first- and second-generation immigrants and more about how parents and children in any culture connect and disconnect.
Cho gives each of the Lees a moment to recall their mother and wife — with each actor giving her character voice as she might have spoken at a particular moment. Each moment is moving: She tells Isaac how much she loves him as her firstborn; Jimmy is given advice for succeeding in life; and Boo-Seng is excoriated for some choices he makes. The presence of this unseen woman is strongly felt, even translated through these men (and the actors playing them — and her).
Director Wendy Goldberg has staged Cho’s script fluidly with powerful punctuation as the story moves from scene to scene, including several fantasy moments when Jimmy’s Red Angel comes to life (Roarke Walker also plays some related but more earthbound characters).
As a security guard with the responsibility of walking Boo-Seng out of his former employer’s office and as a lonely man who offers Boo-Seng a beer and some conversation, Tony Campisi is a naturalistic anchor to some conversations that illuminate Boo-Seng’s alienation.
The scenic shifts are fascinating with Kevin Judge’s set, which initially appears to be a static wall of Southwestern scenes — a receding highway, a close-up of a double-yellow line, a square of cracked mud, several shots of sand. But these panels shift, slide and turn to reveal different set components — a booth in a restaurant, the kitchen of the Lees’ modest home, a hotel room and the suggestion of a car in which they spend much time — topped by an ever-changing sky, a blend of photo and video that has a life of its own. Durango does not bring us to a conclusive ending: The road trip fails to achieve its overt goal, but Jimmy, Isaac and Boo- Seng have come to know each other better and perhaps have more insights into themselves.
Where they are headed is not revealed. In fact, Cho leaves us hanging. But that’s the nature of life, isn’t it? This fine play doesn’t offer pat answers, but it will make everyone who sees it think about where they might be going. ©
Director Wendy Goldberg has staged Cho’s script fluidly with powerful punctuation as the story moves from scene to scene