The Tony Award®-winning Alley Theatre (Artistic Director Rob Melrose) is kicking off the Multi-City Regional Theatre Co- Production of Lauren Yee’s Cambodian Rock Band. The Signature Theatre Production of Cambodian Rock Band is co-produced with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, ACT Theatre/5th Avenue, and Center Theatre Group. Helmed by Chay Yew, Cambodian Rock Band runs from January 20 – February 12, 2023, and features songs by Dengue Fever.
This darkly funny, electric new play with music tells the story of a Khmer Rouge survivor returning to Cambodia for the first time in thirty years, as his daughter prepares to prosecute one of Cambodia’s most infamous war criminals. Backed by a live band playing contemporary Dengue Fever hits and classic Cambodian oldies, this thrilling story toggles back and forth in time as father and daughter face the music of the past. Lauren Yee brings us an intimate rock epic about family secrets set against a dark chapter of Cambodian history.
“Lauren Yee has created a riveting play featuring the rock music of an American Cambodian band, showing the historic reality of the Khmer Rouge, through the revelation of a father’s dark secret of survival,” shares Alley Theatre Artistic Director Rob Melrose. “We’re thrilled that Alley audiences will see this unique theatrical production before it moves to Berkeley Rep. And, we expect more theatres in cities across the country to announce this play as part of their season soon!”
“Lauren Yee’s Cambodian Rock Band is a work of incredible theatrical deftness, brutal honesty, pure heart and wit,” shares director Chay Yew. “Her play breathes life to the timely issues in our divided nation: immigration, race, genocide and human rights abuses; the rights of refugees and emigres; the consequences of apathy when a country shifts under a brutal regime; and the destruction of freedom of expression in the midst of political transitions and upheavals. In Lauren’s astute eyes, one thing remains consistent throughout our temperamental world: the constancy, the resilience and enduring power of art and artists. Cambodian Rock Band celebrates the indomitable legacy of art and music; how artists capture our individual and national spirit and hopes; and the uncanny ability of art to inspire, to affirm our humanity, and to bring us together.”
The cast of Cambodian Rock Band includes Obie Winner Joe Ngo as Chum, Geena Quintos as Neary/ Sothea, Moses Villarama as Ted/ Cadre/ Lang, Lucille Lortel Award and Obie Award winner Francis Jue as Duch, Abraham Kim as Rom/ Journalist, Jane Lui as Pou/S21 Guard and Understudies Alex Lydon, Kelsey Angel Baehrens and Vi Tran.
Below is a behind-the-scenes song preview from CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND. “One Thousand Tears of a Tarantula” by Dengue Fever, performed by Joe Ngo, Abraham Kim, Geena Quintos, Jane Lui, and Moses Villarama.
The creative team of Cambodian Rock Band includes Scenic Designer Takeshi Kata, Costume Designer Linda Cho, Lighting Designer David Weiner, Sound Designer Mikhail Fiksel, Projection Designer Five Ohm Productions with Luke Norby, Wig Designer Tom Watson, Music Supervisor and Co-Music Director Matt MacNelly, Music Supervisor and Co-Music Director Jane Lui, Associate Director Graham Schmidt, Stage Manager Merrick A.B. Williams, and Assistant Stage Manager Caroline Duffin.
SPONSORS: Cambodian Rock Band is generously sponsored by SLB (Associate Producers). The Alley Theatre is supported by the 2022-23 Season sponsor United Airlines, the official airline of the Alley Theatre and Hampton Inn and Homewood Suites Downtown Houston, the official hotels of the Alley Theatre.
TICKETS: Tickets to Cambodian Rock Band are now on sale and start at $26. Discounted tickets are available for military and senior, and any student, regardless of age, with a valid student ID for $16 for designated performances in designated sections. Tickets can be ordered online (alleytheatre.org) or by phone (713.220.5700).
Performances of Cambodian Rock Band are Tuesday – Friday at 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Cambodian Rock Band is recommended for mature audiences.
CO-PRODUCTION DATES: Cambodian Rock Band will run February 25, 2023-April 2, 2023 at Berkeley Repertory Theatre and January 24, 2024-February 25, 2024 ACT Theatre/5th Avenue. Dates for Center Theatre Group will be announced at a later date.
CONNECT WITH US: @alleytheatre, #AlleyCRB
ABOUT ALLEY THEATRE:
Alley Theatre, one of America’s leading nonprofit theatres, is a nationally recognized performing arts company led by Artistic Director Rob Melrose and Managing Director Dean R. Gladden. The Alley is committed to developing and producing theatre that is as diverse as the Houston community. The Alley produces up to 11 plays and nearly 400 performances each season, ranging from the best current work and classic plays to new plays by contemporary writers. Home to a full-time resident company of actors and expert artisans in all theatre crafts, the Alley engages theatre artists of every discipline – actors, directors, designers, composers, playwrights – who work on individual productions throughout each season as visiting artists.
Alley Theatre performs at the Meredith J. Long Theatre Center which is comprised of two state-of-the-art theatres: the 774-seat Hubbard Theatre and the 296-seat Neuhaus Theatre. The Alley reaches over 200,000 people each year through its performance, education, and community engagement programs.