With a Vietnamese mother and an Irish American father, Eddie Borey has firsthand experience of what it's like to straddle two diverse cultures. In his world-premiere play “Christmas in Hanoi,” an East West Players production at the David Henry Hwang Theater, Borey exploits that intensely personal experience in an intriguing drama that may not pay off all its plot points but is nonetheless rich with emotion and mystery.
The play's tightly knit family ensemble includes the grandfather, George (Long Nguyen), who fled his native Vietnam with his daughter, Oanh (Elyse Dinh), a Vietnamese translator, and her husband, American CIA officer Philip Ganley (Michael Krawic).
Oanh's and Philip's daughter, American-born Winnie (Elizabeth Liang), a controlling anesthesiologist, has always felt overshadowed by her younger brother, Lou (Joseph Daugherty), a freewheeling surfer dude turned acupuncturist.
Oanh died a year ago, but her ghost is still very present, although unable, as yet, to tear the thin veil separating her from her loved ones. When George and Philip insist on going to Vietnam, ostensibly to honor Oanh, Winnie suspects a more pressing purpose – and her fears prove hauntingly accurate.