Henry Ong's drama Sweet Karma is inspired by the life and tragic death of Haing S. Ngor, the Cambodian-American doctor and author who won an Academy Award in 1985 for his portrayal of journalist Dith Pran in the 1984 film The Killing Fields, which chronicled the barbarous regime of the Khmer Rouge. The play's action takes place in Cambodia and Los Angeles, and opens with the murder of Dr. Vichear Lam (Jon Jon Briones), after which Vichear awakens in the presence of a mysterious woman known only as Devi (Pauline Yasuda). Through a series of dreamy flashbacks, Devi takes Vichear on a survey of significant moments in his life, and an often painful re-examination of the choices he made. Included is the exhilarating night he won an Oscar; the day he met the love of his life and future wife, Suriya (Constance Parng); the ugly compromises he made with the Khmer Rouge; and a particularly repulsive incident in which he walked away from a dying man in the middle of surgery in order to save his own skin.It's unsettling but equally enlightening for its unpretentious wisdom concerning the choices we make and the consequences we are forced to accept. It is directed with uncanny sensitivity by Kevin Cochran, who gets fine performances from his cast.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: May 10. Continues through July 20, 2013
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