Pittsburgh Tatler Review of The Golden Dragon

The Pittsburgh Tatler

Set in the kitchen of a Chinese-Thai-Vietnamese fast food takeout in a Western metropolis, Roland Schimmelpfennig’s The Golden Dragon spelunks into one of the great social fissures created by 20th-century globalization and shines a miner’s light on what Berlin critic Christopher Schmidt calls “the parallel world of migrants who, condemned to the catacombs of prosperity, provide for the needs of our lower bodies as kitchen coolies or sex slaves.”  The play revolves around a crisis in the cramped, hot kitchen:  the “new kid,” a Chinese boy, has an unbearable toothache caused by a rotting tooth.  A visit to the dentist is, of course, out of the question:  he does not have his legal papers and couldn’t afford dental treatment even if he did.  The other cooks’ decision to yank the tooth with a pair of pliers has fatal consequences for the boy, while his tooth begins its own journey, via…

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