Kiki Yeung’s solo performance in her play “Second Chances for Grace” is simply spellbinding! She’s a real talent, complete with thespian humor, athleticism, insane facial contours and keen sense of timing.
Step by step, Kiki shares her own personal life, through her fictional character, Grace. You, a member of the audience, tag along with Grace, as she intimately introduces you to members of her own Asian family. You realize in moments that what you think the typical Chinese family is all about, is no different than what you would find in any family, even yours…. days of absurdity, anger and frustration lathered in days of humor, music, love and delirious joy.
Here are just a few members of her memorable family cast, though not necessarily in this order. There is Aunt Florence, a very funny, self-absorbed, quite obnoxious woman who would probably make any of us want to be excused from the table. Then there is Dad… a man full of life, warmth, love and music, Grace’s lighthouse and inspiration. Her mother, she calls Ma, is an off-the-charts overly protective woman, but loving, nonetheless. Of course there is Grandpa, always full of good advice and wisdom when not inebriated. You will get a kick out meeting each one of Grace’s family.
One experiences several emotions from watching Kiki Yeung’s performance….exhaustion, elation, love, nostalgia and triumph. All in all, this is a play not to be missed!
- Elliot Matloff (Speaker & CEO of Matloff Company)
Kiki as Grace transports us. With wit and tenderness, we relive a young girl's life of emigration, illness, and, ultimately, Phoenix-like transformation. Grace guides us through the confusion and fear of grown-up ideas thrust upon a child's existence and, inevitably, how we must own the choices of our caretakers and transform ourselves to create the life we desire. We remember that within each of us exists an inner child whom we must care for and remember. Only in acknowledging the truth of our past as we experienced it can we recognize the vulnerability in our humanity that we all share.
- Michelle Murphy (Crunchy Mamas of San Diego)
"Second Chances for Grace” rejuvenated me! It was wonderful to see one of our best talents from Seattle commit to such a personal story. Los Angeles is lucky to experience the fruits of her creativity. She presents a diversity of characters with her dextrous maneuvering of voice and body. Her joyful dive into song, dance, and movement give full expression to her script’s heart. It is impossible not to feel spiritually nourished by such a truthful performance. Invigorating! - Michael Su
"I got completely lost in Kiki's world while watching Second Chances for Grace. Her presence is so engaging I felt I was transported to her youth and right into the past with her Father & Mother. She has an amazing talent for transporting you moment by moment into out loud laughter to chills to tears. Her story is so very inspirational. I encourage you to take the journey with her into her incredible story!" - Briana Houston, Skin Tight Body Art
San Diego Reader
SD Fringe: Second Chances for Grace
In love with the Word
By Binh H. Nguyen, June 30, 2016
Second Chances for Grace Before the main actress enters, stand-up comedian Isak Allen warms up the crowd with a brisk routine. Sporting a mohawk, he quips: “What is this you’re looking at?” With a wave across his face, he answers, “Half of me built the railroads, while the other half told the first-half to do so.”
A young woman enters with Mickey Mouse and Barbie puppets in her hands, singing the intro to Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are.” Kiki Yeung, as Grace, recounts her life story. She and her family came to the U.S. from Hong Kong. Her father collected over 5000 CDs and now calls himself Elvis. Her mother, in broken English, confidently challenges her husband and daughter to “take me the way I are.”
In San Diegan Asian Artist Ensemble’s coming-of-age story, growing pains and pure pleasures are affectingly portrayed. From every Chinese child’s struggle to carry out their parents’ wish to become a piano prodigy to dealings with weight issues, from experiments with sex, drugs, and 1990s-era raves (in college, Grace was “disciplined and focused about weed”), from chasing the new American dream of becoming an actress in Hollywood to falling in love with the Word (“luxurious, lose-control Jesus-love”), Kiki Yeung paints a moving and joyous portrait of the artist as a young woman.
“Despite the systematic squelching of Asian and Asian American cultures,” this reviewer wants to tell his younger self, “there’s so much to cherish who you are.” This is only the beginning of taking pride in being Asian in this country — with second chances and heroic, funny acts like Grace.
CONGRATULATIONS! That was great work!" - John Anderson, Production Manager, San Diego Repertory Theatre
"POWERFUL! POIGNANT!" "I LOVED YOUR SHOW!" "RAW, REAL AND PERSONAL!"
"I just loved your performance - keep going, girl! I just know there are more stories for you to share - and keep moving - you are terrific!" - June Gottlieb
"I have spoken about your show with Dr. Divya Kakaiya, at Healthy Within Treatment Center - I think your performance would be an inspiration. I look forward to seeing another show! Best wishes!" - Cheryl Nickel, Space4art co-founder
"I LOVED THE SWITCHES OF CHARACTERS, IT WAS SO QUICK, BUT JUST ENOUGH TO KEEP ME GOING."
"VERY FUNNY AND VERY SAD." "YOU MADE ME CRY."
"I WAS HOLDING BACK THE TEARS. I DIDN'T WANT TO CRY BUT THE ENDING IS SO TOUCHING."