The Dispute

The Dispute

About

Long before the Marquis de Sade and reality TV, an enlightened Prince runs an experiment into the nature of sex. Four foundlings are raised in isolated confinement in an artificial Eden. Now it’s show time and they will be unleashed. Will the serpent appear in the garden? And if so, will the man, or the woman, be the first to fall?

With: Alexis Camins*, Jennifer Chang*, Claro de los Reyes, Mel Duane Gionson*, Jennifer Ikeda*, Lanny Joon*, Mia Katigbak*, Annabel LaLonde, Alfredo Narciso*, Olivia Oguma*

Directed by Jean Randich

Run

August 4 – 6, 206: Previews
August 8, 2006: Opening
Runs through August 26, 2006

Tuesdays – Saturday, 7:30
Saturdays & Sundays, 3:00

Abingdon Theatre
312 West 36th Street
Between 8th / 9th Ave.
(A, C, E, 1, 2, 3 to Penn Station)

Previews: $15
Opening Night: $50
Run: $19
Student discounts available

For tickets:
SmartTix
(212) 868-4444

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Production Staff

Neil Bartlett: Translator
Sue Rees: Set Designer
Stephen Petrilli: Lighting Designer
Kirian Langseth-Schmidt: Costume Designer
Robert Murphy: Sound Designer
Simmone Yu: Assistant Stage Manager
Qui Nguyen: Fight Choreography
Orlando Pabotoy: Commedia Consultant
Jeanie Lee: Postcard Illustration and Design
Henry Akona: Stage Manager

Reviews

The National Asian American Theater Company’s production at the Abingdon Theater is an enchanting piece of theater.

(Anita Gates: New York Times)

The all-Asian cast is superb in this tight and clever piece. And what a psychologically superior piece this is. The Dispute is a delicious piece of theater that has been lovingly and immaculately produced. Who is more likely to cheat? See the play. Find out, because there is no “dispute” about the quality of this impressive production.

(Barbara and Scott Siegel: Talkin’ Broadway; Drama Desk)

…the plot kicks into high gear and the audience is swept away by the vibrant performances of the central quartet. Jennifer Chang is utterly delightful as the vain, self-absorbed Egle. She perfectly captures the sense of innocence that can inadvertently turn into cruelty. Olivia Oguma, as Adine, is quite funny. Alexis Camins is a joy to watch as the male Azor, who adores Egle with a puppy dog-like affection. Finally, Lanny Joon is hilarious as Mesrin, who is easily swayed by the beauty of the new people he discovers.

(Dan Bacalzo: theatermania.com)

In Jean Randich’s beautifully modulated and often riotous production, the quartet soon proves that men and women can be equally fickle. Egle (Jennifer Chang) first falls in love with herself upon seeing her reflection in a puddle. Her affection is deflected from herself when Azor (Alexis Camins) appears, declaring his undying adoration for her. Given Azor’s instant love, Egle can’t understand why Adine (Olivia Oguma) doesn’t follow suit, but the attentions of Mesrin (Lanny Joon), Adine’s lover, cause Egle’s affections to shift from Azor, who upon meeting Adine proves equally inconstant. Each of these performers is felicitous with both verbal and physical comedy, and things become hysterically madcap as the lovers’ affections shift, often with such innocence that they thoroughly charm. The same can be said of The Dispute, which succeeds marvelously even as it leaves its central question tantalizingly unanswered.

(Andy Propst: Backstage)

With their production of Pierre Marivaux’s 18th Century romantic comedy The Dispute, the National Asian American Theater Company offers a superbly acted and highly entertaining piece. An exquisitely playful cast makes the proceedings a delight to watch. Bringing depth and wry humor to what could be dangerously simple lines, the cast members climb about the playground of a set with childlike abandon. There is surprising tenderness when the sheltered youths enter the garden for the first time, and lay their eyes on the world. Similarly, to share with these characters the joy of self-discovery and personal revelation is no small feat. Because the assembled cast relishes the work at hand, the audience is transported into a voyeuristic world where we can laugh not only at the folly of youth, but our own as well.

(Adam Hetrick: Edge New York City)

Photos

The Dispute
(Photographer: Sue Rees)

The Dispute
(Photographer: Sue Rees)

The Dispute
(Photographer: Sue Rees)

Notes

This production is made possible in part by support from the New York State Council on the Arts and the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs

The season is dedicated to Margaret K. Moore

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