LA Times reviews Christmas in Hanoi featuring Joseph Kim ’96

Written by Eddie Borey, the cross-cultural family drama Christmas in Hanoi features Joseph Kim ’96 in one of the lead roles.

In this scene from the play Christmas in Hanoi, members of the Ganley family, including grandson Lou (Joseph Kim ’96, left) visit a spirit medium to deal with hauntings in their family. Photo by Michael Lamont.

In her Los Angeles Times review, F. Katherine Foley notes that the play, staged by the East West Players, “is very much a family drama, but echoes of the catastrophic ‘American War,’ as it is known in Vietnam, reverberate.”

Alumni in Entertainment Panel

After the March 10 performance of Christmas in Hanoi, actor Joseph Kim ’96 joins Chris Donovan ’92, senior VP with The CW network; John Murchison, vice president, miniseries, HBO; and Marco Black ’92, line producer and unit production manager for CSI: Miami and CSI: Vegas,
for a discussion about their work.

  • Discounted tickets are available through the East West Players website or call 213-625-7000. Use ticket code Bates26.
  • For more information: Office of Alumni Engagement at

Kim, who performs under the stage name Joseph Daugherty, plays the American-born grandson of a Vietnamese grandfather, George. Years before, George fled his native country with his daughter, Oanh (who has since died but who haunts her family), and Oanh’s American husband, Philip Ganley.

In the play, George, Philip, Lou, and Lou’s sister, Winnie, return to Vietnam.

“Spirits of Vietnamese war dead – ‘angry ghosts’ deprived of ritual and resting places – drift around the play’s periphery,” Foley writes. “And when those angry ghosts fix their fury in the person of Philip, creepy events unfold.”

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