Review: Kronos Quartet Revisits Vietnam Horror in ‘My Lai’

By James R. Oestreich
September. 28, 2017
The New York Times

You would like to think that a soldier who took a heroic stand against evil and managed to save at least a few lives amid a massacre could find peace of mind in his dying days. The creators of “My Lai,” a musical theater work given its premiere at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Wednesday evening, suggest otherwise in the case of Hugh Thompson.

Vietnam is much in the air at the moment, thanks to the PBS documentary series “The Vietnam War,” by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. But as comprehensive as that survey is, it gives surprisingly cursory treatment to the massacre of more than 500 Vietnamese civilians by American troops in the village of My Lai on March 16, 1968. When it finally came to light, in November 1969, that mass killing proved pivotal in marshaling American fatigue and disgust with the war, which finally led to the withdrawal of troops in 1973.