Story lifts ACT’s Elevator to great heights

Apr 17

Story lifts ACT’s <i>Elevator</i> to great heights

It's hard to imagine a better production of Stuck Elevator than the one now on view at American Conservatory Theater's Geary Theater. Production values and performance levels are superlative, and the show makes a forceful impression.

This world premiere by Bryon Au Yong (music) and Aaron Jafferis scores major points for originality. In telling the story of immigrants in America, they take their inspiration from the real-life tale of a Chinese restaurant delivery man, Kuang Chen, who was trapped for 81 hours in a stuck elevator in a Bronx highrise.

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Busy Chay Yew gets creatively Stuck at ACT

Apr 10

Busy Chay Yew gets creatively <i>Stuck</i> at ACT

How does Chay Yew manage to be the artistic director of Chicago's Victory Gardens Theater and hopscotch the country as an in-demand director?

"Consummate scheduling," Yew says.

He's in town to direct the world premiere of Stuck Elevator for American Conservatory Theater. This inventive new musical, with music by Byron Au Yong and a libretto by Aaron Jafferis, is based on the true story of Ming Kuang Chan, a deliveryman for Happy Dragon Chinese restaurant, who got stuck in a Bronx elevator for nearly three days in 2005.

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The dark art of violence and abuse

May 31

The dark art of violence and abuse

Dael Orlandersmith's Black n Blue Boys / Broken Men is a brutal experience. How could it not be? Its 90-plus minutes are all about the sexual, physical and emotional abuse of young men and how such violence affects them into adulthood. These fictional stories are harrowing, graphic and shattering, which is to say this is not an evening of light entertainment.

Orlandersmith wrote and performs these stories, and she doesn't pull any punches as she plays six men/boys of varying ages and ethnicities. Under the direction of Chay Yew, Orlandersmith is such a graceful, powerful performer that you can't take your eyes off of her, even when the material makes you flinch.

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