In New York City, real estate is expensive and coop boards have a lot of judgmental, unregulated power.
And now a mid-thirties Indian woman has to choose between her new sexy Chinese husband, and her teeny-tiny New York City co-op with a Washer Dryer.
Now before you go and judge that her decision should be obvious, let me tell you something else:
He’s really a great guy, with a steady job, and he “gets” her.
And if you are a single, Indian actress in her thirties in New York City, and actually had the wherewithal to scrape together enough money to fake your way through some co-op board meetings to be accepted-
This is a tough choice.
It also makes for a silly, fun, and unexpectedly hilarious new play “Washer/Dryer”, running for only 3 weeks at The Beckett Theatre on 42nd Street until February 20th.
If it’s so great, why is it only running for 3 weeks?
Because it’s about an Indian Actress, her Shanghainese husband, his mother, her gay best friend, and the crazy coop board president lady.
Exactly who is this play for?.
When my friend told me to go see it, I was like:
“Attention New York Chinese and/or Indian Theatregoers in your 30s: Your Rom-Com is finally here!”
I did not expect to like this farcical play as much as I did, and I would never have seen it if it weren’t for my friend insisting we go.
At only an hour and 15 minutes, it was such a delight to see a play that knew it was silly, that knew it’s characters walked the line between real and caricatures, and yet said a lot about our 21st century relationships without being on a soap box.
I am part of a mixed-race marriage myself (I’m puerto-Rican and Cuban from New York, my wife is Swedish from Seattle!), and found some great similarities between this couple’s challenges and my own.
I read some reviews that were fantastic examples of white guilt gone too far. One reviewer saw a stereotype in the Chinese mother where my Asian friends saw a wonderfully understanding and contemporary portrait of a funny character.
-She isn’t white-washed, so she’s a stereotype?
People have different cultures, and different ways of thinking about things, and expressing those differences isn’t stereotyping.
The entire show was very “tongzi ji-in-cheek”.
But MUCH better than that joke- I swear.
Especially since only the Chinese people reading this get that one.
The play’s jokes land with great timing, and I was pleasantly surprised by how many unexpected laughs I found myself having.
The entire show is a call back to classic farce; with misunderstandings, characters popping in and out, and hiding-in-plain-sight gags.
Classic, but with a modern flair for the multi-cultured 21st century mixed-race audience.
[tweet_box design=”default”]Dear second-generation Indian and Chinese Americans who live in NYC, this woman just wrote your play! All 10 of you should see it.[/tweet_box]
This blog is dedicated to helping actors become entrepreneurs, and part of what I talk about is creating your own work and learning to SELL IT to a specific audience.
The playwright Nandita Shenoy is already an accomplished writer, but in this New York production by the Mayi theatre company, she acts in it too, showing us that she can be on both sides of the stage.
She is also smart enough to know that even though anyone in New York would enjoy this show very much (Did I mention I’m Puerto-Rican and Cuban?), she knows better than to think that the “Buried Child” crowd will come see her show, as posted on her facebook page
I So, if you’ve ever wanted to see a NYC Rom-Com for the 21st Century with belly-laugh performances, and familiar-yet-fresh ideas, go see “Washer/Dryer” now.
Also, if you’re an Indian woman or Chinese man in New York City and want to see a play about what would happen if you married one of the other despite your co-p board rules, your mohter, and her gay best friend)
So first- SHARE THIS POST:
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And then see it now, and take all 9 of your friends: