By Johnny Wu, Bing and Judge Xu Geming in Chinglish
I sit at my half hour call in my dressing room awaiting the beginning of another eight-show week—our second to last one. The last time I wrote an entry, we hadn't even left the rehearsal room to see the stage. Since then, we've conquered a tech week where Leigh and our brilliant designers led us through two turntables, projections, sight-lines, and demanding quick changes. A preview week where David expertly trimmed the fat from the script; we would rehearse the changes during the day and perform a tighter show each night. Then a glorious opening night, complete with a decadent reception at Petterino's. Then the Broadway announcement for the fall. Then the extension announcement for the final week of July here at the Goodman. And now, with wild laughter and mid-scene outbursts of applause blaring out of my dressing room speaker, I smile for what sheer delight it is to give this story away to a full house every night.
We've also settled into Chicago itself. We've found jazzy yet calm hotel bars to escape the otherwise overwhelming clamor of weekend nightlife. We've boated on the Chicago River and learned impressive details about the city's architecture. We've even gotten out of the Loop—breaching magical realms like Wicker Park to devour delicious tacos at Big Star and sip fancy cocktails at The Violet Hour. The girls made it to Kingston Mines and Chicago native Christine Lin won an "Ass-Off" competition—still don't know what that entailed. We've eaten everywhere, we've shopped, we've hosted friends and family…we've lived fully. But the people we've come across define the best of this city. We've had the pleasure of speaking to many of our patrons, both in the lobby post-show and at the talk backs. Here's a shout out to the intelligent, warm, and engaging theatergoers of Chicago. Thank you for making Chinglish a huge success!
Also, a big shout to Jennifer Lim, our star, for her big write-up in the Tribune!
And finally, a giant shout (and high five) to everyone here in the Goodman family for taking care of us, for inspiring, for being so damned good at what you all do. We look forward to our next play date!
Top: The author in his dressing room. Middle: Christine Lin, Clara Wong, and Angela Lin out on the town. Bottom: Angela Lin, Larry Zhang, Johnny Wu, Brian Nishii (and Cedro), and Stephen Pucci get distracted on the way to the train.