by Clifford Odets
at The Public Theater
with NAATCO (National Asian American Theatre Company)
July 6  - August 8, 2015
Scenic Design by Anshuman Bhatia
Costumes by Alexae Visel
Lighting by Gina Scherr
Sound by Toby Algya
Photography by William P. Steele

The tension around Bessie Berger’s dining room table is so close to the boiling point, you can practically see the steam rising.
— The New York Times
The Bronx dialect — “I can’t take a bite in my mouth no more,” says the exasperated mother, yelling at the grandfather “you gave the dog eat?” — can sound disjointed, coming from the NAATCO group. For all of about thirty seconds, that is. And then a remarkable thing happens: we see the Berger family of the Bronx spring to life before us. At the Public, they do not give us a lovingly-recreated, museum-worthy Depression-era family; the Bergers, here, are an American family wrapped up in Odets’ drama and striving to escape. Mia Katigbak — artistic director and co-founder of NAATCO, who won an Obie for her performance when this production was originally staged in 2013 — is up there delivering the lines of the archetypical Jewish mother, but there is nothing of parody or gimmick. In director Stephen Brown-Fried’s production, the dialogue and the play come vibrantly alive. It’s almost as if Odets’ language awakes and sings.
— The Huffington Post
“Each character’s desperation is at a different pitch and has to be carefully calibrated by director Stephen Brown-Fried. In a simple, unadorned living room, Odets’ epic war between idealism and reality, which probes the psychological complexities of those on the edge, enjoys a solid revival. “Shake down the coconuts,” Moe urges. This Awake and Sing does just that.”
— The Huffington Post