|James Wilson takes a look at Memorial from Pan Asian Repertory Theatre at A.R.T. /New York Theatres:
I have long maintained that everything I know about anything comes from the theatre. For instance, my understanding of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Commodore Perry opening up trade with Japan, and even Lyndon B. Johnson's turbulent presidency is filtered through the musicals and plays I have seen. Therefore, it was quite illuminating to learn the full backstory behind the Vietnam Veterans Memorial through Livian Yeh's Memorial, which is currently playing at A.R.T New York Theatres in a production by Pan Asian Repertory Theatre. Even though, according to the program notes, the drama takes a fair amount of liberty with the actual people and events, it offers a striking view of a Washington, D.C., landmark I have visited several times and admired without knowing the complete, fraught history that brought it into being.