Broken Panda

ensemble theatre · fierce backbone · Ages 15+ · world premiere · United States

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Review by STEPHEN BLACKBURN

June 26, 2014 certified reviewer

My overall impression

I laughed out loud a lot during Amy Tofte’s BROKEN PANDA. The play examines the issue of mixed race couples like Groucho Marx would play doctor with an otoscope. Doc Farrow and Mandy Dunlap click—they volley like they’ve been working comedy together for years. Tofte provides some great dialogue gags that are delivered with precise timing, thanks to director Leigh Kennicott and the exceptional cast. Hui Ying Wen as the sullen counselor wields deadpan and one-word deliveries like a slapstick. Dunlap rocks the physical comedy (look for chair with handcuffs), while Morris Nash and Esther Austin as a diabolical and horny research couple add a splash of zesty farce. Farrow’s comedy uses his large and muscular size as a simmering threat, yet one always senses his vulnerability. I didn’t always understand exactly what was going on plot-wise, but I enjoyed the ride all the way to the end.

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