Made in America Review – Surviving and Thriving in Life

Teruko Nakajima in MADE IN AMERICA - Photo courtesy of Teruko Nakajima
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Teruko Nakajima’s solo show has racked up awards upon awards since it opened and even became a STAGE RAW Top-Ten pick. There must be something very special about the production to warrant the accolades it has received. Written, produced, and performed by Teruko Nakajima and Titi (her lovable dog), MADE IN AMERICA is a shocking, autobiographical tale about a first-generation American who immigrated to the U.S. from Japan. Directed by John Flynn, this is a play which will intrigue, delight, entertainment, and grip you as it uncovers all of the pitfalls just waiting to happen when people leave the safety and security of their home countries and travel afar to make a new life for themselves.

Teruko Nakajima – Photo courtesy of Teruko Nakajima

An actor, dancer, singer, writer, and sculptor who was born into a family of artists in Tokyo, multi-talented Teruko Nakajima had temperamental parents with some problems of their own.  From her mother’s excessive drinking to her father’s domestic violence, her life at home often challenged her feelings of safety and love. And it certainly didn’t help that she experienced sexual abuse repeatedly as a child and even in later life. It was with nary a backward glance that Teruko decided to move away from her family home to a destination as far away as she could go. Settling in New York City to follow her show business dreams, Teruko soon found that transplanting herself wouldn’t be an easy job. Eventually hovering within and around New York’s sex trade, Teruko finally fell in love – with a bodyguard for the infamous Yakuza.

Teruko Nakajima – Photo courtesy of Teruko Nakajima

But even marriage could not solve her ceaseless searching for fulfilment and acceptance. When the brief marriage ended, she decided to try her luck in Los Angeles. From dancing to singing – and finally to acting, Teruko continued her hunt for options – until her increasing depression and serious suicidal thoughts led to her psychiatric hospitalization. By now, you’re probably wondering how this all worked out. You’ll just have to check out MADE IN AMERICA to find out.

Teruko Nakajima – Photo courtesy of Teruko Nakajima

MADE IN AMERICA taps into the many challenges and tragedies of life while examining the problems inherent in moving to a new country. Director John Flynn helms the production with a firm hand. But this solo show is really all about Teruko Nakajima and her struggles to fit in. Somewhere. Anywhere. 

MADE IN AMERICA runs thought July 31, 2022, with performances at 8 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The Complex (Dorie) Theatre is located at 6476 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90038. Tickets are $20. For information and reservations, go online.


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