Goodman Gives Us A Well Balanced ‘KING OF THE YEES’
Reviewed by: Stacey L. Cowley
King of the Yees, now playing at the Goodman Theatre through April 30th, tells the story of Lauren Yee’s struggle to navigate her new life while remaining loyal to the rich cultural heritage of her past. Her father Larry Yee (an outstanding Francis Jue) is not only as traditional as they come, but remains the head of Yee Fung Toy family association in San Francisco. Lauren, however, believes that the patriarchal ways of the association should be obsolete, causing a rift in their relationship. When Yee’s father goes missing, she finds herself riddled with guilt, reexamining old beliefs and grappling with her self-consciousness within her community. Thrust back into a world she once fought desperately to escape, she must now embrace her past if she wants to see her father again. As intense and serious as that sounds, Yee finds a way to deliver the story in a comedic light.
The fantastic supporting cast – Daniel Smith, Angela Lin and Rammel Chan appear in a variety of roles throughout the show. Their ability to deliver the sharp, witty dialogue while displaying a range of emotions was fantastic. The comedic timing and interaction with the audience gave the show a fresh burst of energy throughout the production. The simplistic set design (William Boles) gave the performers room to stretch while the lighting (Heather Gilbert) perfectly captured the mood of each scene.
I highly recommend this quirky, one-of-a-kind show that perfectly balances comedy with sharp, dramatic wit.
When: Through April 30
Where: The Goodman’s Owen Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St.
Tickets: $10-$40 at 312-443-3800 or www.goodmantheatre.org