SIDES...THE FEAR IS REAL
nytheatre.com review by Kelly McAllister
Sides: the parts of a script that
actors are asked to prepare or read as part of the audition process. And
now, also, a very funny hour of sketch comedy, presented by Mr. Miyagi’s
Theatre Company. A lot of the material, according to the program,
consists of actual sides gathered by the cast, and friends of the cast,
during auditions for films and other productions. Every sketch is a
different audition of some type, and every sketch is very funny. I like
this show for several reasons. Not only does it make me laugh, it is
smart, current, and unapologetic. The cast is a talented young group of
Asian American actors, many of whom have had a fair deal of success.
Some of the scenes address the ordeals that an Asian American goes
through at an audition, but not all, and never with a sense of
August 15, 2003
There are several scenes with an insane casting director named Cass, hilariously played by Cindy Cheung. Cheung is outrageous as Cass, but never goes so far over the top that you don’t believe her. In another scene, Rodney To is fantastic as a playwright/director who seems to live in his own little world, and sees nothing wrong with contradicting himself on a constant basis. Hoon Lee, who has an amazing presence on stage, is great as the straight man to a pair of idiotic casting directors who try to not-so-subtly get him to read a part with a stereotypical Asian accent. Rounding out the fine cast are Sekiya Billman, Peter Kim, and Paul Juhn. This is a great company that works very well together.
The one thing I would like more of from this show is a deeper exploration of the frustrations and degradations that happen to actors at auditions. The company is obviously quite talented, and has the ability to hold an audiences attention—but after about 45 minutes of jokes on the same theme, I wanted a little more depth. But this is a small complaint.
If you enjoy laughing out loud, good acting, and having fun, you should go see Sides. If not, get some help. And go see Sides anyway.