Not Quite: Asian American by Law, Asian Woman by Desire | Public House Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Ada Cheng

Ada Cheng

Elizabeth McQuern

Not Quite: Asian American by Law, Asian Woman by Desire Agenda Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Thursdays. Continues through June 22 2017
Price: $10
Midway through Ada Cheng’s 45-minute autobiographical monologue, she recounts having to surrender her green card a few hours before her naturalization ceremony. She insists she was “illegal” for this brief span, tearing through a ten-minute jag about how vulnerable she and her fellow immigrants suddenly were to deportation. Well, no; turning in your green card doesn’t affect your legal status, and the overcooked episode becomes emblematic of Cheng’s broad, simplistic, and occasionally suspect analysis of America’s current anti-immigrant fervor. Like many artists addressing their own otherization, she spends great energy embellishing a selective sense of victimhood, maintaining, for example, that her students don’t attend to her lectures because she’s short, female, and Asian—although her own ineffective communication style offers a more likely explanation. —Justin Hayford


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