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Mahal, an immigrant story in Chicago

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

 

photo-53A team of seven actors took turns bringing the story of a Pilipino American family in Chicago alive on stage. The family’s loss, the conflicts between two cultures and generations, the price of assimilation, and the process of reclaiming their identities, all presented in a well-performed, dramatized story.

The play not only examines “what it truly means to be an American family”, but also the universal theme of immigrants adapting to the new country and their descents’ gripping with their roots and identities.

As a first generation immigrant from Asia, I fully understand the father’s expectations and the older brother’s request for respect from the young, America-raised brother, and the quest of the sister, who is immersed in both her country of origin and the new world, to keep the family together by juggling between the two. The play, written by Danny Bernardo, has good dialogues, and the plot, a bit overdramatized, grips the attention of the audience all the way to the end, and the performance, some parts spoken in Tagalog, was genuine and touching.

It’s a serious story presented in a comic and humorous manner. Strongly recommended it.

The show is run from June 28 through August 3 at Stage 773,1225 W Belmont Ave., Chicago. Check it out here.

Jian Ping, author of Mulberry Child: A Memoir of China, which has been developed into an award-winning documentary film by Susan Morgan Cooper and is narrated by Jacqueline Bisset. Visit www.mulberrychildmovie.com for more information.

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