If you’ve ever felt that your parents just don’t get what your life is about — or if you’re a parent convinced that your kids don’t appreciate what you’ve done for them — you need to check out Julia Cho’s new play Durango at the Cincinnati Playhouse this weekend. Not only is this a play about strife between generations of a Korean-American family. It’s also a more universal exploration of how parents from any culture yearn for the best for their children and how children need to follow their own paths. (See my review here.)
In the Lee family, proud father Boo-Seng has just lost his job, a fact he can’t bring himself to share with his sons, eager Jimmy and angry Isaac. But he does coax them into a road trip from their Arizona home to Durango in Colorado: Cooped up in a car for a long drive, they cannot contain their strong emotions, and there are many revelations that could lead to greater understanding. But don’t expect this play to wrap events and conflicts up neatly — it’s more like life. You can see the possibilities, but they don’t necessarily arrive in a timely manner. Still, there’s a kind of hope.
Cho is a promising playwright whose work is imaginatively staged in the Playhouse’s intimate Shelterhouse Theatre. You’ll come away from this story thinking about your own parents — or your kids. Get show times and tickets here.
— Rick Pender