Theatre company TerryandTheCuz is taking a bigger bite out of the proverbial American pie with Made In America, a play starring Malaysian comedian Douglas Lim and actor-filmmaker Gavin Yap.
The show, which delves into the pursuit of the American dream, had a limited run at The Public Theater in New York last year where it was titled Thicker Than Water. Now under its new billing, it will be re-staged at the same venue from Apr 30 to May 19.
“The show has evolved tremendously,” says Terence Conrad, 38 and co-founder of TerryandTheCuz. “We’ve added and tweaked stuff. It’s almost a new show for us. We keep improving the show after each run and we believe we’re finally reaching its final form.”
Before it returns to the US, audiences in Malaysia will get their chance to watch the latest incarnation of the play in Kuala Lumpur this week. “We want to showcase how far the show has come in one year,” Conrad says. “We are still trying out some new stuff out before we head to New York.”
Made In America, written by TerryandTheCuz, Martin Blum, Mark Winter and Chris Ryan, centres on two Malaysian screenwriters who set out to write the perfect American movie. “The Public Theater was so blown away by the show that they invited us back,” Conrad says.
“The only catch was that they believed the title of the show didn’t reflect the content of the show as it touched a much deeper nerve with American audiences who watched it. The new title not only better reflects the show but also America at this critical juncture in history.”
Made In America aims to explore and dissect how Malaysians consume American pop culture from the outside. It is also a study on the pursuit of dreams, ambition and identity.
TerryandTheCuz and The Public Theatre crossed paths in 2015 at the International Society of Performing Arts Congress in New York. After several pitch meetings, the KL-based company secured a run in New York, making it the first fully-produced Malaysian show to premiere off-Broadway.