Baba, Jee (Father, Yes)

moj productions · Ages 17+ · world premiere · 1hr · United States of America

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Review by BENJAMIN XIAO
July 09, 2018 certified reviewer

What I liked

- Ayesha Siddiqui has done an amazing job with the dialogue in this play. The dialogue was so realistic, grounded, and punchy that I legitimately felt like I was eavesdropping into a real conversation with a real family.

- Ayman Samman perfectly displays the quiet intimidating nature of an immigrant father whose intensity of love for his daughter is rivaled only by his inability to communicate it.

- Great use of the stage. Apartment felt much bigger than the stage actually was.

What I didn't like

I loved the whole play, but if I was to nitpick, it would have to be on the sound design. The ambient noise from the city and the incoming storm were distinct enough to distract from the scene sometimes. I remember there was this weird horn like sound that kept appearing during the storm.

My overall impression

I have to say I was completely blown away by Baba, Jee. It is an extremely well-paced, intensely written, heartwarming tale of a father and daughter struggling to reconnect after years of being apart and through layers of unresolved issues.

Baba, Jee portrays the classic immigrant generation gap in a very realistic, grounded way that is very rare to see in plays and movies. Whereas most other similar fare would concoct loud arguments and increasingly absurd situations to highlight the cultural differences between immigrant father and 2nd generation child, Baba, Jee understands that often times in real life, such situations play out more like a subtle game, with both sides quietly attempting to fulfill what they assume are the other’s unspoken expectations, and struggling when those assumptions are ultimately proven wrong.

As a 2nd-generation Chinese American who has dealt with similar issues with my parents, I felt like I could relate to this story. I was deeply moved. Highly recommend this to everyone.

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