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LA Theater Review

L.A. Review: 'The Women of Tu-Na House'

L.A. Review: 'The Women of Tu-Na House'
There are a lot of laughs in writer-performer Nancy Eng's charming yet wonderfully graphic glimpse into a New York massage parlor—and a lot of touching moments that result in, yes, a happy ending. In this solo show, the women of Tu-Na House ("tui na" is the actual Chinese massage, but no one really minds the mistake on the sign) range from the shop's blissful owner, who gives thanks to any saint she can find, to a trained New York masseuse who puts on a Chinese accent, to a gaggle of gals from Beijing, Shanghai, Taiwan, Saigon, and beyond, most of whom will go to great lengths to keep customers happy. Their varied stories are full of pain and anger and brutal honesty.

Eng is a polished performer who delivers super characterizations, and director Ernest Abuba keeps everything moving smoothly. The writing is sharp, but the show's poetic interludes add a sticky layer that just isn't necessary.

Presented by Mad Cat Productions and Leviathan Lab as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival at Fringe Central Mainstage, 6209 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. June 1216. Remaining performance: Sat., June 16, 3:30 p.m. (323) 455-4585 or www.hollywoodfringe.org.

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