Made in America

The fight between two brothers during a nation in turmoil. From l, Aria Emory and Joseph Atash in “Made in America.”

The fight between two brothers during a nation in turmoil. From l, Aria Emory and Joseph Atash in “Made in America.”

We define ourselves by blood and by country. What makes the U.S. so unique is that we are a composite of many different cultures, creeds, and nationalities. It is our greatest strength and also what causes the most conflict. The same differences that unite us have the potential to break us as well.

Playhouse West’s production of Made in America offers a very inimitable perspective on a defining moment in history. By projecting the fallacy of perception, we are forced to look inward, to what defines an American, patriot, and hero.

It starts with a homecoming. Desert Storm veteran David Khan (a convincing Joseph Atash) has achieved great accolades with the Medal of Honor and a bestselling book. A man who seemingly has everything. Brother Zia (an excellent Aria Emory) is indifferent of his brother’s fame. He resents David not for his deeds, but for what he did not do.

Made in America explores the tedious relationship of how we define ourselves as citizens and countrymen and anyone who does not fit the typical description. And that is the rub, the premise. This story challenges what we label and define so quickly and definitely, at it is a theme that has been prevalent for us since our nation’s inception.

The production is top-notch. It features a lively set and seamless rhythm. Director Kathleen Randazzo allows the story to come alive by use of blocking and pace. All performances are authentic and convincing. Perhaps some retooling with the script that would utilize the specialized, internal language within a family, especially brothers would give the story greater intimacy.

Allowing ourselves tolerance and acceptance gives us a strength that can never be breeched. Very Recommended.

Made in America runs through March 22 at Playhouse West Studio 1 located at 4250 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood. For tickets call (818) 881-6520 or visit

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