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SUSAN LIEU – 140 LBS: How Beauty Killed My Mother
December 14, 2019 @ 8:30 pm - 10:00 pm PST$15.00 – $25.00
Award-winning playwright and activist Susan Lieu’s autobiographical solo dramedy brings to light the tragic story of her mother’s unexpected death.
Two hours into surgery, Susan’s mother loses oxygen to her brain and the plastic surgeon deliberately does not call 9-1-1 for fourteen minutes. Five days later, while in a coma, she flatlines. The surgeon is charged with medical negligence and her family falls apart. Nineteen years later on her wedding day, Susan’s mother’s seat sits empty and Susan realizes she can no longer ignore what she’s always wanted: to know who her mother was. Sifting through thousands of deposition pages and reaching out to the killer’s family, Susan uncovers the painful truth of her mother, herself, and the impossible ideal of Vietnamese feminine beauty.
A heartfelt mother-daughter story, the live performance takes on a whole new meaning as Susan will be entering her second trimester of pregnancy on her tour. Susan has performed 140 LBS to over 3000 people and was the featured Seattle storyteller for The Moth Mainstage in May 2019.
The San Francisco Chronicle calls it “fascinating, touching, upsetting, poignant, startling, affecting, engrossing, emotional, informative and, more than anything, humane.” Lieu has been featured on NPR, KING5 News, ABC7 News, The Seattle Times, and The Seattle Channel, among other publications.
Susan Lieu, Playwright & Performer
Susan Lieu is a Vietnamese-American activist playwright and performer who tells stories that refuse to be forgotten. With a vision for individual and community healing— made possible through the interplay of comedy and drama—her work delves deeply into the lived realities of body insecurity, grieving, and trauma. Her first work, 140 LBS: HOW BEAUTY KILLED MY MOTHER, is a solo theatrical show about the true story of how Lieu lost her mother to plastic surgery malpractice when she was 11 years old and her search to find the man responsible for her mother’s death. Lieu plays 11 characters in 75 minutes, weaving the story through the lens of the Vietnamese refugee experience. She has been featured at CAAMFest37, The Moth Mainstage, and RISK! Susan is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale School of Management.
Sara Porkalob, Director
Sara Porkalob is an award winning artist-activist and creator of the DRAGON CYCLE. She’s based in Seattle but will very soon be working all over the nation. She’s featured in Seattle Magazine’s Most Influential People of 2018, City Art’s 2017 Futures List, and served as Intiman Theatre’s 2017 Co-Curator. She is a co-founder of DeConstruct, an online journal of intersectional performance critique. The DRAGON CYCLE is a trilogy of plays about the three generations of her family; one play for each generation built around a central female protagonist. The first in the cycle, Dragon Lady (a two act cabaret with original music focused on her gangster/nightclub singer Grandma), is the recipient of three 2018 Gregory Awards for Outstanding Sound/Music Design, Outstanding Actress in a Musical, and Outstanding Musical Production.