The Heart Sellers: A production with a lot of heart

By Olivia Flanz

On Wednesday, the Huntington Theatre Company had their press opening night for their production of “The Heart Sellers,” based on the book written by Lloyd Suh. Directed by May Adrales, the play takes place in 1973 and tells the story of two Asian immigrants who feel isolated after coming to the United States, only to find each other while shopping on Thanksgiving.

“The Heart Sellers” is one of those plays where less is better than more when it comes to the number of scene changes and characters. The set is a city apartment, and the cast contains only two characters: Luna, played by Jenna Agbayani, and Jane, played by Judy Song. An issue many stories struggle with is adding characters to enhance its world-building, but with this, the audience loses the chance to really know the characters that actually matter to the story. With the complexities of unimportant side characters out of the way, “The Heart Sellers” succeeds in exploring both Luna and Jane’s individual stories, making the characters feel fully fleshed out with the short amount of time the audience has with them.

This story has a little bit of everything. Even though the characters are mourning their past life in their native countries, there is no way you’re leaving the theater without a laugh. The play remedies the palpable sense of homesickness with comedy – the humor often cuts the tension during heavier scenes where Luna and Judy discuss the loneliness they’ve felt since coming to the United States.

Luckily, their shared troubles help their friendship bloom, which is nothing but heartwarming. “The Heart Sellers” is a satisfying watch as you see how two strangers become friends. Playwright Lloyd Suh describes the story as being about “making new friends and finding a home in a new place.”

The production will run through Dec. 23, so with less than a month to go, make sure to get tickets soon! Huntington Theatre’s production of “The Heart Sellers” has a lot of heart (and a lot of wine), making it a must-watch during the holiday season.

To learn more, you can visit their website here.