Christine Lin goes to Broadway in 'Chinglish'

September 7, 2011

The only Chicago actor in the Goodman’s production of David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish took off for NYC Wednesday.

“I suppose I should be a little nervous about starting such a large project, but I’m too excited about everything, from moving to New York City to being in a Broadway show!," Christine Lin wrote in an email last night.  "I’ve been packing and saying my goodbyes this week, which has been really tough. My family and friends here are amazing, and I just love Chicago, crazy weather and all.”

Rehearsals start on Monday for the Broadway production of the critically acclaimed play about an American businessman who goes to China in search of economic opportunity.  Lin calls Chinglish a “great show—fun, sexy, poignant, and so relevant to our polycultural world.”

Lin’s role—primarily the third translator, but also a few walk-on parts—wasn’t in the early drafts. "I guess I’m lucky I got written in!”, the 29-year-old Buffalo Grove and Barrington native told me in July.

“There was actually a scene I auditioned with that ended up getting cut from the final script,” she said. “The scene was really funny, but it was kind of a little side thing. It was about Peter [the Ohio businessmanAustralian translator] trying to pick up a girl in a bar, and it sort of doesn’t register that he’s speaking Chinese because of the way he looks and responds to her in English…” Business as usual in this language-focused farce.

A gee-whiz kind of girl, Lin talked a few months ago about the thrill of being at the Goodman in a show that got huge audience response.

“It’s an amazing rush to hear that many people laughing or to hear that many people with you—even to listen to the reaction over the monitor backstage.", said Lin. "I love doing the Enron scene. From the moment we start turning with the music [in David Korins’s ingenious set], you just feel really cool.”

Previews of Chinglish begin October 11 in New York.