Premise: The title is an acronym for Child of Deaf Adults, and the child in question is Ruby Rossi (a wonderful and fierce performance by newcomer Emila Jones), who is the only hearing member of her immediate family that includes dad Frank (Troy Kotsur), mom Jackie (Marlee Matlin) and brother Leo (Daniel Durant). Ruby works on the family fishing boat before and after school, being the ears and voice for the family to the other people on the docks. She joins the choir because of a boy she likes (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo of “Sing Street”) and the music teacher (Eugenio Berbez) spots Ruby’s singing talents right away and suggests she auditions for the Berklee College of Music. Ruby now has to decide if she should go to college (an option she never thought was possible) and thus leave the family without her help.
Premise: An older man (Lee Kang-sheng), who lives in an upscale house, stares out from his deck at the rain. A younger man (Anong Houngheuangsy), who lives in a sparse, run-down apartment, cooks lunch. The older man has chronic neck pains and goes through a grueling, burning acupuncture to find relief. The younger man works at night at an outdoor market. At about the hour mark, the two men meet in a hotel room where the younger man has been hired, among other things, to give the older man a massage. They have dinner afterwards. They part and go back to their own lives. But did their one interaction leave any lasting impression on either of their otherwise solitary lives?
THEATER: The Last of the Love Letters OFF-BROADWAY: Atlantic Theater Company
Premise: Two actors enact love letters to exes in two monologues. You (played by playwright Mgozi Anyanwu) is at her ex’s apartment, packing her things as she reads the letter and You No. 2 (Daniel J. Watt) is in some sort of institution in which he is forced to take medication, reads his letter (or a series of letters) to his ex before he feels he might forget her. What is never mentioned in the letters but becomes clear in the staging is that the world is going through some unspecified, seismic change, leading to an urgency to the ordinariness of the letters themselves.
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (c) Disney
MOVIE: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings In Cinemas
Premise: Shaun (“Kim’s Convenience” star Simu Liu) and his pal Katy (Awkwafina) are valets at a fancy hotel in San Francisco. They lead a carefree life until a group of thugs attack them on a city bus and Shaun has to confess that he is Shang-Chi, the son of Wenwei (Tony Leung) who’s the head of a gangster syndicate in China known as the Ten Rings. Shang-Chi ran away from his father after being groomed to be a kung-fu assassin. Now he has to confront his father, who possesses ten rings that not only makes him immortal but also super-powerful. This leads Shang-Chi and his sister Xu-Xialing (Meng’er Zhang) to their dead mother’s mystical homeland of Ta Lo, to stop Wenwei from unleashing evil into the world.
THEATER: Pass Over BROADWAY: August Wilson Theater
Premise: Two young black men, Moses (Jon Michael Hill) and Kitch (Namir Smallwood), seem to be forever stuck on an urban street corner near a lamppost in an unnamed city (but supposedly in Chicago). Like the tramps in the post-apocalyptic landscape in Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot,” they pass the time with rituals and storytelling which always lead the conversation back to their dream to “pass over” into the promised land, inspired by the namesake of Moses. But they are scared to death (literally) to move on because of the white policemen (embodied by Gabriel Ebert) who patrol it. “Same shit, different day” is the mantra.