Cowboy vs. Samurai

The many fine insights in the Asian American Theater Company's latest play manage to overshadow the distractions of a clunky two-and-a-half-hour production. Deep in Wyoming backcountry, Travis and Chester have their ideas about what it means to be Asian men in a white man's world called into question by the arrival of Veronica Lee. At the heart of playwright Michael Golamco's sweet, charming play are some refreshing and funny takes on how Asians struggle to define and retain their sense of self. Wylie Herman is particularly touching as a cowboy drawn to Veronica, and Jose Saenz throws himself with reckless abandon into the role of an Asian man looking to find some identity — any identity — to proudly call his own. The delicacy of Golamco's script, however, is almost crushed under the weight of lengthy blackouts and awkward set changes; where the play should flow, it creeps and stutters along. But if you're willing to forgive them their production flaws, there is a story both unique and timeless waiting to be told.

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