Audiences have only few chances left to catch playwright Qui Nguyen’s latest offering, Poor Yella Rednecks. The Off-Broadway,Manhattan Theatre Club produced play is a follow-up to his earlier work, Vietgone, which unpacks the story of his refugee parents who moved to rural Arkansas in the 1970s. It will end its limited run on December 3rd.
Poor Yella Rednecks picks up in the eighties as the relationship between his mother and father hits the skids. Meanwhile, Little Man/Playwright (Jon Norman Schneider) tries to find a sense of identity and belonging. (The character, portrayed as a life-sized puppet, is intended to be Nguyen).
Through a mixture of puppetry, rap songs, graphic novel projections, and kung fu fighting, Nguyen’s work intends to weave a story of human resilience, forgiveness, and the power of family bonds.
The Los Angeles-based scribe has written for Marvel and Disney, infusing this play with a similar over-the-top comic sensibility.
Last week, the New York Times featured the playwright. Read the article here.
Here is what other critics had to say:
“Whether “Poor Yella Rednecks” comes off as a work where everyone involved (including the audience) has bitten off more than they can chew or as a fully satisfying meal definitely depends on your appetite for unconventional theater. Either way, it’s a rich meal worth digesting.”
–Brian Scott Lipton, Cititour
“ ‘Poor Yella Rednecks’ tries to be many things but it is mainly a very engaging love story that speaks volumes about the immigrant experience wrestling with priorities when food and love are often mutually exclusive.”
–Roma Torre, New York Stage Review
“The small theatrical miracle of “Poor Yella Rednecks” is its ability to embrace the mythic style Nguyen pioneered with his off-off-Broadway company, Vampire Cowboys, while highlighting the real and persistent struggles immigrants to this country have faced and continue to face in 2023. It’s a strange and intoxicating mix that makes this play a rare and satisfying watch.
–Zachary Stewart, Theatremania
Poor Yella Rednecks runs through December 3rd at MTC at New York City Center 131 West 55th Street. For tickets and information, click here