Now in the final week at East-West Players, solo show artist and writer Dan Kwong offers his new play Be Like Water. His first multiple character play is billed as a drama, yet is staged as light-hearted comedy with a soft ending that has had comparisons to being an after-school special.
Nonetheless, Kwong’s venerable skill in writing monologues that forward a story line while introducing new depths in a character is intact, and insightful.
What the book has, but almost upstaged by disco glam, was the growing pains of the late 70s: a generation coming off 60s protest and social change, complicated by the end of the Vietnam War, and for a culture, the death of a lone media personality in 1972.
The performance by Cipriano does give a glimpse at 70s pop culture fused by pop philosophy and sold with charisma and sincerity, and how Bruce Lee embodied that phenomenon. It even shows that same sense of humor and self awareness, as Bruce Lee is seen in his fictitious personas, ranging from the film “Enter the Dragon” and from the Batman television series where he once played Green Hornet’s sidekick “Kato.”
At its best, “Be Like Water” has you believe you are watching the powerful charisma of a cultural icon, whose spiritual presence survived the mirrored ball decade known as the 70s, as he explains the flow and power of water.
"Be Like Water"
By Dan Kwong
Directed by Chris Tashima
In association Cedar Grove OnStage
East West Players
David Henry Hwang Theater, 120 Judge John Aiso St
Wednesday 10/08/08 8pm
Thursday, 10/ 09/08 8pm
Friday, 10/10,/08 8pm
Saturday 10/11/08 8pm
Sunday 10/12/08 2pm