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Karen and I saw *Cambodian Rock Band* at the Signature Theatre on 2/18/20.  We went because we're fans of Ronnie Ong, or to be precise, fans of his recording of "Buttons and Bows":



















Playwright Lauren Yee wrote *Cambodian Rock Band* - - she took songs by the band Dengue Fever (a contemporary Los Angeles band that does songs by Cambodian bands from the 60s and 70s) and other Cambodian-based songs and wove the songs between scenes going back and forth between contemporary Cambodia and Cambodia in the 70s.


The show started with two songs, played by a tight, fierce five-part band.  I was thrilled, I felt like this was going to be a fantastic show.  Then we saw the first scene of the play and all the air went out of the balloon.  The writing was so lousy, it didn't even rise to the level of a mediocre TV movie.  We were subjected to a few plot twists/reveals that were supposed to be surprising but were a total yawn. We heard a few more songs, which were exciting and well done, but the following scenes always dispelled that energy and made us both frustrated. Karen and I left at intermission.

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