Vietgone is Qui Nguyen’s comedy drama about Vietnamese refugees arriving in the US after the fall of Saigon. The play hilariously mocks U.S. culture, with the American characters speaking a pidgin-English loaded with words like "cheeseburger" and "yee-haw." The Vietnamese characters, which Nguyen says are sort-of based on his refugee parents, tell their stories in rap. The rapping works beautifully sometimes, and then feels contrived and cliched at others. But at its best, Vietgone offers real insights into the way these patriotic South Vietnamese lost everything when they fled their country, and their struggles to rebuild their lives in the U.S.
Vietgone continues through April 29 at the Strand Theater in San Francisco. Details here.