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Worldview

‘American Hwangap’ Tells A Uniquely American Family Story

"Global citizen" Nari Safavi joins WBEZ’s Worldview every Friday to help you plan an international weekend in Chicago. 

This week, Safavi recommended a play about a Korean-American family in suburban Texas, a documentary on Holocaust tourism and a solo sitar performance. 

Theater: American Hwangap

A “hwangap” refers to someone’s 60th birthday. It's seen as a milestone in Korea. 

American Hwangap is a play that follows the lives of the Chuns, a Korean-American family in suburban Texas.

In this family story, Chun patriarch Min Suk has reappeared in the lives of his ex-wife and children on his hwangap. He had abandoned them years earlier to return to South Korea after losing his job.

A co-production between Halcyon Theatre and A-Squared Theatre, American Hwangap is showing through April 1 at Christ Lutheran Church at 3255 W. Wilson Ave., Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. Sunday showings are at 6 p.m.

Director Helen Young joined Worldview’s Jerome McDonnell on Friday to discuss the play. (Click the ‘play’ button above to hear more.)

Film: Austerlitz

With no narration, commentary and virtually no dialogue, the documentary Austerlitz explores the odd coupling of Holocaust tourism. It screens at the Gene Siskel Film Center at 3:15 p.m. Sunday or Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. 

Music: Anoushka Shankar

The classical sitar-player and composer Anoushka Shankar returns for her first solo performance in Chicago’s Symphony Center. The concert will feature selections from her 2015 release “Home,” which draws from the teachings of her father and guru Ravi Shankar. Check out this one-night-only event on Saturday at 8 p.m.

Hit play above to hear more about American Hwangap and this weekend’s activities.

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