Born (or so she thought) to a Vietnamese mother and an Irish father, Eileen Fogarty always wondered why her predominantly Asian features looked so different from those of her siblings. As her mother finally admits, the story of her heritage is “phuc tap.” (Vietnamese for “complicated.”) In her one-woman, autobiographical show, Fogarty recounts her hunt for the truth, a quest that takes her across three continents and into the lives of 15 characters. Onstage, the likeable performer shows passion and range: She’s equally believable as her dragon-lady Aunty Thuy as she is as her 90-year-old Irish grandfather—but she’s no Margaret Cho when it comes to generating laughs. The source of comedy is clearly meant to be Fogarty’s impersonation of her mother, but whether Mom’s driving a car or singing karaoke, the punch lines fall flat. In the end, Fogarty’s gooey conclusions about what really defines a family (Hint: It’s not blood!) might make her a great guest on Oprah, but as a solo performer, she needs to sharpen her edge.
It’s Phuc Tap!
By Eileen Fogarty
Fri, Aug 12 at 5:30 p.m.; Sat, Aug 13 at 7:45 p.m.; Sun, Aug 14 at 7 p.m; Tue, Aug 16 at 5:15 p.m.; Sat, Aug 20 at 12 p.m.; Sun, Aug 21 at 7 p.m.