“Wittily funny, wonderfully complex, and deeply moving.”

– New York Theatre Guide

Did you know that Cambodian Rock Band was inspired by one single night in 2011? Playwright Lauren Yee attended a Dengue Fever concert and, after learning more about the band and the origins of their music, was inspired to write her play with scenes alternating between narrative and live music performance.

In Cambodian Rock Band, it’s 2008 and a father-daughter duo are heading to Phnom Penh; she to prosecute a notorious Cambodian war criminal, he 30 years after escaping then-Communist rule. In a psychedelic theatrical extravaganza set to some of the country’s most popular rock music, including from Dengue Fever, Cambodian Rock Band shines a light on the country’s vibrant ’70s rock scene and how an entire generation of musicians was purged by the Khmer Rouge, as it brings long-buried family secrets back to life.

From our friends at Berkeley Rep: Welcome to The Rep Sessions, a stripped down music experience featuring their incredible cast of Cambodian Rock Band [Francis Jue, Abraham Kim, Jane Lui, Joe Ngo, Geena Quintos, and Moses Villarama]

While this may sound like a musical, it’s not! It’s part rock concert, part play. A traditional musical has characters motivated by emotion to have them start singing; however, in Cambodian Rock Band the fictional band (The Cyclos) are putting on a concert at the same time that the narrative of the play occurs. So instead of the actors singing the plot points, this darkly funny, electric show is backed by a live band. As it toggles back and forth in time, father and daughter face the music of the past.

Get a taste of the show! Courtesy of our friends at Alley Theatre, you can see The Cyclos rocking the house in Cambodian Rock Band [Francis Jue, Abraham Kim, Jane Lui, Joe Ngo, Geena Quintos, and Moses Villarama]

Cambodian Rock Band will rock Arena Stage from July 19 to August 27, 2023! Subscribe to our 2023/24 Season today to guarantee the best seats at the best price or buy tickets today.