China The Whole Enchilada
China – The Whole Enchilada is three white men singing, dancing, and irreverently marching their way through five thousand years of Chinese history in 90 minutes. One guy loves China, one is convinced China is going to overthrow the world at any minute, and the third keeps getting China confused with Japan.
After I adopted my daughter from China I wanted to write a show about that experience. I started writing a play about the adoption process but it was pretentious and lousy. In the meantime, I had become fascinated with China and was reading a lot about the country. Then I thought, why not write a play about China? Sort of a China For Dummies. At about the same time, a well educated colleague of mine (This person has a doctorate) asked me, “Will your daughter be able to speak English?” I said, “Um…yes. Why wouldn’t she?” This person responded, “I didn’t know if their palates were formed differently.” It was at that point that I decided to bring that ignorance to the show. I wanted to use fairly provocative comedy to shed light on the absurdity of ignorance and intolerance.
The show started out as a play, but then I added a song. Then another. And another. Soon I had about a dozen songs. I asked my friend Paul Mirkovich if he could help me with the music. He said yes, thinking I was pulling his leg about writing a musical about the history of China. For months we joked about inappropriate rhymes. We were a few weeks away from a workshop of the show when I went to Paul and said we needed to record the music. His jaw dropped. “You’re serious!?” We quickly recorded the songs with a piano. After the workshop we got together, and in four days we completely orchestrated and recorded all of the songs. To this day Paul still thinks I’m kidding him.
“Sublimely silly! I found myself grinning, if not outright laughing through most of the goofy shenanigans.” ~ Houston Press
“For those seeking a total goof, – China is the ticket…crazed enthusiasm and comic flair…channeling the Marx Brothers.” ~ Houston Chronicle
“Clever and irreverent with a sharp satirical edge that cuts right to the bone.” ~ Stage and Cinema
“In this musical version of the history of China, Brown has collaborated with song writer and composer Paul Mirkovich to create two of the funniest hours I have spent in a theatre in a couple of years”. ~ EntertainingU.com
“China walks a fine line between sheer, ridiculous inanity and some serious truths about that big country over there, the one just past Japan. It’s a tricky balancing act — and a fascinating one.” ~ Orlando Sentinel
“funny, smart, surprisingly deep” ~ Bilerico Project
Outstanding Musical ~ NYC Fringe Festival
Here are some of the songs from the show. Paul sings all of the parts.
“The Khan Khan”
“Gate of Heavenly Peace”
“Evil is a Yellow Face”
The script can be purchased at Samuel French.