Jenny Burman Jenny Burman
A Los Angeles blog
from Echo Park

Bio | archive
RSS feed

Last days for Song of Extinction...


...which is not a musical revue performed by polar bears.

The play is set partly in Cambodia, and partly in the mind of a boy named Max and in the pain of his father. One of the leads, Darrell Kunitomi (a friend of mine), who was raised in Echo Park and lives here still, describes the father's role as "one of the best parts for an Asian actor ever."

According to pre-premiere material:

Song of Extinction is the story of Max Forrestal, a musically gifted high school student who is going to fail biology if he doesn't complete a 20-page paper on extinction by Tuesday. But Max's mother is dying of cancer, and school is the last thing on his mind. His biologist father (Kunitomi), obsessed with saving a rare, threatened Bolivian insect, is incapable of dealing with his wife's impending death, or his son's distress. Max's teacher wants to offer him guidance; but helping his student pushes Khim Phan into a magical journey of his own - from the Cambodian fields of his youth into the undiscovered country beyond.

Cynthia Citron of CurtainUp described the after-curtain reaction to Song of Extinction:

After the actors had taken their bows and left the stage, the audience continued to sit in stunned silence. Nobody moved. Nobody spoke. It takes a pretty powerful play to generate that kind of response. A silence so profound as to be understood as an overwhelming tribute to an extraordinary production.

After Sunday, it's over, but far from extinct, I am sure.

It's at the Ford Theatre on Cahuenga. For ticket info, click.

Meanwhile, Darrell also is a flyfisherman of some accomplishment, and he writes beautifully about the no-kill sport for the L.A. Times.

For example:

Because I IMAGINE that my friend the stand-up comic has an evolved sense of humor, I take Chris Kuhn into fire-devastated Azusa Canyon.
Despite the sobering presence of burned-out cabins, itís easy to forget that two seasons ago the flow among some pools of the West Fork of the San Gabriel River completely ceased, that the Curve Fire raced the length of the North Fork to Crystal Lake and beyond. But it turns out that the North Fork is not a joke: On a 75-degree day around Christmas, knee-deep in water rushing past scorched granite, we pull out small rainbow trout.

Photo: Darrell Kunitomi and Lori Yeghiayan
By Jay Lawton/L.A. Times

More by Jenny Burman:
Up close at Caine's Arcade
LAAS New Hope connection on block
More breaking news
Bear in tree
Polly want a better cage
Recent stories on LA Observed:
WeHo News goes away for awhile, comes back
Glendale ex-official stole from Montrose farmers market, DA says
Another media job open in LA: associate editor for Ms.
LA Times posts books editor opening with a new twist
Disney beats earnings estimates - even with 'John Carter' disaster
Previous story on Chicken Corner: Songs in the key of popcorn

Next story on Chickn Corner: The Echo Park Christmas Parade

New at LA Observed
Follow us on Twitter

On the Media Page
Go to Media
On the Politics Page
Go to Politics

LA Biz Observed
Arts and culture

Sign up for daily email from LA Observed

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Show Jenny some love