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SATURDAY & SUNDAY
“Fresh off the boat” is what the title stands for, and that phrase pretty well describes Steve, a Chinese immigrant who calls himself a “warrior”—and behaves accordingly as he romances a waitress in a Los Angeles Chinese restaurant. The waitress has also aroused the passions of her female cousin, Dale—which complicates her first date with Steve: Dale not only comes along, but also takes to baiting her rival with slurs and lots of unwarranted assumptions. Before long, all sorts of ethnocentric prejudices are being explored by playwright David Henry Hwang, who used the same odd time shifts and unexpected symbolism in this early play that he would later use in M. Butterfly, the gender-bending Broadway opus that put him on the theatrical map. Tsunami Theatre, a fresh-faced Asian-American troupe that has previously mounted staged readings but no full-fledged productions, manages to negotiate most of the play’s twists without fuss or confusion in its spare production. Director David Charles Goyette has been resourceful on what is clearly a tiny budget, and the three-member cast is capable enough to suggest that the company may well have a future in D.C. At 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31, at Living Stage, 1901 14th St. NW. $15. (301) 656-3332. (Bob Mondello)