Papa ooh Mao Mao
The Chairman’s Wife is a memory play set in a Chinese prison circa 1989, where the disgraced widow of Chairman Mao relives her impoverished childhood, her rise to fame as an actress (going through a few husbands along the way), and her role in the Communist government after her marriage to the Great Helmsman, wielding power as her aging husband’s gatekeeper and private adviser. This small, rough-hewn, community-based production by Interactive Asian Contemporary Theater has a few more weak components than it should. But Lou Paman gives a convincing performance in the title role as a tough old lady—not necessarily a nice one—who makes no apologies. And what other group in town is going to stage this kind of story? (Paman alternates weekends in the title role with Nela Reyes.) Presented at the Broadway Playhouse, 4010 El Camino Ave. at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday. $10-$12. Through August 19.