The Public Theater production of NAATCO’s acclaimed production of AWAKE AND SING! opened to stellar reviews and has been extended through August 8, due to popular demand. The National Asian American Theatre Company, under Artistic Producing Director Mia Katigbak and Associate Producer Peter Kim kicked off their 25th Season in residency at The Public with this classic Odets drama at The Public’s Shiva Theater (425 Lafayette Street) on July 6 and was scheduled to play through August 1.
Stephen Brown-Fried directs an all-Asian American cast that includes Mia Katigbak recreating her OBIE Award-winning role as the matriarch Bessie along with Sanjit De Silva, Mel Duane Gionson, Teresa Avia Lim, James Saito, Jon Norman Schneider, David Shih, Alok Tewari, and Henry Yuk. AWAKE AND SING! has scenic design by Anshuman Bhatia, costume design by Alexae Visel, lighting design by Gina Scherr, and sound design by Toby Jaguar Algya.
What the critics are saying:
“In director Stephen Brown-Fried’s production, the dialogue and the play come vibrantly alive. It’s almost as if Odets’ language awakes and sings. We get wonderful performances from just about the entire cast. These actors are surely not what Odets had in mind, in 1935, but they bring full value to the words. At the Public, Odets does soar and sing.” The Huffington Post
“The tension around Bessie Berger’s dining room table is so close to the boiling point, you can practically see the steam rising.” The New York Times
“Awake and Sing is as timely today as it ever was and the riveting production this company serves up proves the relevance chilling.” Theater Pizzazz
“Awake and Sing! is an American classic, and this most American of theatre companies does it proud.” Lighting & Sound America Magazine!
“Be prepared to be won over by the acting in this play.” Examiner.com
Considered Odets’s finest play, AWAKE AND SING! premiered on Broadway in 1935, performed by the Group Theater. It is the story of the Bergers, a lower middle class, three-generation Jewish family living in a Bronx apartment during the Depression. Odets described it as “a struggle for life amid petty conditions,” capturing the frenetic, pressured existence in this crowded dwelling with robust authenticity. The play recalls that this country was founded as the land of opportunity for immigrants who came with an enduring belief in the American dream. Odets’s characters are all the parents, grandparents, and children who sought refuge and forged new lives. Families like these from around the world continue to make their way here every day, making Awake & Sing! as timely today as it was when it was first written.
Performances will be Mondays through Saturdays at 7:00 p.m. with matinees on Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. Tickets for all seats for all performances are $45.
To access tickets or for more information, visit www.publictheater.org or call 212-967-7555. You may also purchase tickets in person at the Taub Box Office at The Public Theater at 425 Lafayette Street.
Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon and Taxman. She has guest starred on “One Life to Live,” “As the World Turns,” and “New York Undercover.” She is profiled in Jade Magazine.
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