Written by 8:44 pm Anaheim, NO MSG ADDED, Review, The Chance Theater, Theater, Uncategorized

MORE MSG PLEASE That’s Flavor! : NO MSG ADDED Presents: The Empress of OZ

photo credit: Timothy Huynh 

Written by Patrick Chavis

NO MSG ADDED is an Asian American Comedy skit group based out of Orange County, California. The Empress of OZ is their latest skit show at the Chance Theater in Anaheim. Using a loosely based Asian OZ tease, the cast treats the audience to 20 unique short comedic skits based on-what else?- Asian American Culture and some of the thematic elements of OZ – Home, heart, brain, and Courage.


This show is obviously inspired by shows like Nickelodeon’s “All That” and the iconic late-night tv show Saturday Night Live. The comedy is less broad in this show as the focus is more on various Asian American cultures–East Asian, Southeast Asian, etc. Using multiple thematic elements from The Wizard of Oz and tying them in with aspects of Asian American culture cleverly and you can make a straight line to the ideas the sketches are covering. The sketches stay true to the formula for the most part, and the show relies mainly on the talents coming from what each cast member has to offer, with some poignant messages sprinkled throughout.    

Lots of sketches in this show, so if you’re not a fan of something, it’s over quickly, and you’re onto the next story. Eric Vue and Maviene Tran wrote the sketches that stood out to this reviewer; they had me rolling.


“Nostalgia”, written by Eric Vue, was a quick and straightforward skit with people drinking an alcoholic spirit that makes them recollect certain things-and sometimes the memories aren’t even real…oh, and “a note of Oak”. The performance from Eric Vue and Johnathan Vu is hilarious. Both are just so committed to the bit.

Vue wrote the OZ teases that tied the show together, and I loved the banter between him and Shinshin Yuder Tsai, who was dressed up like a fat male Glinda. 

“Eulogy For Blue”, written by Maviene Tran is a comedic and dark take on the popular children’s show “Blue’s Clues.”

“MILF (Mom I’d Like to Friend)”, written by Maviene Tran is a story about two friends (Jonathan Vu and Eric Vue) who want to authentically friend a mother (Adrienne Garcia) told in an old-school rap style. This one is cute and a little wholesome. Similar to Will Smith’s rap style in the late 80s.    

“Strongest Boy in Church,” (another one written by Maviene Tran) is a funny skit about two old Asian ladies (Adrienne Garcia and Gabi Garcia) fawning over young men picking up heavy chairs at church. I could watch a whole play of that.    

Final thoughts:

Sketch comedy, even at the higher levels, can be a mixed bag, and comedy is one of the hardest things to attempt but it’s also so worthwhile when it hits. No MSG Production of The Empress of OZ misses more often than it hits, but it is oh so awesome when they hit. I am excited to see more from this developing comedy group.      

7.3 Overall
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