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“Chinglish,” a comedy about miscommunication, opens Wednesday at Syracuse Stage


SYRACUSE — A comedy about the misadventures of spoken communication opens Wednesday at Syracuse Stage.

“Chinglish” by David Henry Hwang tells the story of an American businessman, Daniel Cavanaugh, who travels to a bustling Chinese province looking to score a lucrative contract in properly translated signs.

The businessman tangles with a government official, a bumbling consultant, and a sexy bureaucrat along the way.

The comedy runs through Sunday, March 16, in Archbold Theatre at the Syracuse Stage complex, 820 E. Genesee St.

Mr. Hwang, a Chinese American playwright, has been called “the first important dramatist of American public life since Arthur Miller” by Time magazine.

“Chinglish” premiered at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, where it won a 2011 Jefferson Award for best new work, before moving to Broadway and being named Best New American Play of 2011 by Time Magazine.

Mr. Hwang is best known as the author of “M. Butterfly,” which won the 1988 Tony, Drama Desk, John Gassner, and Outer Critics Circle awards. It also was a finalist for the 1989 Pulitzer Prize.

A Syracuse Stage news release said Mr. Hwang drew inspiration for “Chinglish” from the common miscommunications he experienced while on business trips to China.

About half of “Chinglish” is in Mandarin Chinese that is translated with more than 750 subtitle slides, letting audience members in on humor that stems from miscommunication between characters.

May Adrales, director of “Chinglish” at Syracuse Stage, recently directed Mr. Hwang’s “The Dance and the Railroad” at New York City’s Signature Theatre Company and later at the Wuzhen International Theatre Festival in China.

The details: Syracuse stage’s “Chinglish”
WHAT: “Chinglish” at Syracuse Stage, 820 E. Genesee St.
WHEN: Wednesday through Sunday, March 16. It will be staged every day except on March 3, 4 and 10th. For specific times, call Syracuse Stage at 443-3275 or go to
COST: Single tickets range from $30 to $52 for adults. Tickets are $18 for those under age 18 and $35 for those 40 and under. Discounts are available for senior citizens and groups.
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