Inspired by “the life and (short-lived) basketball career” of playwright Lauren Yee’s father, The Great Leap centers on a fictional amateur San Francisco basketball player who joins a college team just before it travels to China for an exhibition game. Although the 2018 play is set in 1989, when relations between the West and China were still thawing, its portrayal of various cultural clashes is timely, especially in the wake of the recent uproar in China after an NBA executive tweeted his support of anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.
Yee’s previous plays, such as King of the Yees, are distinguished by her seemingly lighthearted and witty dialogue, which inevitably reveals her characters’ personalities and hopes in rich detail. B.D. Wong directs a cast that includes Grant Chang, Justin Chien, Christine Lin and Beverly Hill 90210’s James Eckhouse.
Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molina Ave., Pasadena; opens Wed., Nov. 6, 8 p.m.; through Sun., Dec. 1, 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.; $25-$92. (626) 356-7529, pasadenaplayhouse.org.