The Fairy Princess tries really, REALLY hard to ignore a good, let’s say eighty per cent of ‘the stuff’.

Because it is overwhelming.

Sometimes she cannot, and that is what today’s piece is about.

There are some things for AAPIs to be happy about – Wu Assassins on Netflix is doing great…

Many people in the cast, Byron Mann and Lewis Tan have been announced for very exciting upcoming projects…

Justin Chon has a new film coming out later this month, MS. PURPLE,  and he is quite the film auteur – take a look…

And then there is Broadway, also known as The Great White Way.

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Now, yes, very exciting that shows like HADESTOWN is holding it down with a few AAPIs including the lead, Eva Noblezada and one of the feature players, Kaye Trinidad as one of the Fates.

Thrilling that in the Broadway production Marc dela Cruz is alternating as Hamilton in HAMILTON and Marcus Choi is playing George Washington.

HAMILTON has been a leader in diversity since the go – and on their tours, they have people like Shoba Narayan as Eliza. Aaron J. Albano has also been dancing and singing up a storm on one of the touring companies.

BEETLEJUICE – selling out – with TFP‘s buddy and frequent BroadwayCon panelist, Kelvin Moon Loh, doing the whole undead thing in a show about death.

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Maryann Hu is holding down the role of the Queen in FROZEN, while the former Queen, Ann Sanders is appearing as Mrs. Murphy in DEAR EVAN HANSEN.

Also in DEH is Zach Pisner, previously of the Off Broadway Pie Shop set production of SWEENEY TODD, as one of the Evans currently playing the role. (Who will be on TFP‘s BroadwayCon Panel)

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Off Broadway is moving forward with the very exciting NY Premiere of SOFT POWER by one of our Greatest Living Playwrights, David Henry Hwang – and starring a cavalcade of AAPIs – which, hey TFP is gonna pull from the website – so you know their faces:

Remembering that these are the shows that are selling out years in advance and literally backing up vans filled with cash to the great Broadway Producers/Investors banks and that the lesson that diversity means dollars has been pounded into all our heads (by yours truly and others) for the greater part of the several years and you can see why TFP thought that things were changing.

Not JUST for AAPIs, but for everyone – why she went to see ANNIE GET YOUR GUN out at the Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, and you could have knocked her over with a feather to see a talented, inclusive cast. Somehow, they sidestepped all the problematic issues with that show because, TFP believes, they had a woke Director, Sarna Lapine, and they made it a point to be specific and inclusive in the casting of the show.

Take a look: Alexandra Socha as Annie Oakley opposite Matt Saldivar as Frank Butler. The cast also featured Jennifer Sanchez as Dolly Tate, Jonathan Joss as Sitting Bull, George Abud as Charlie, Isa Mooney as Jessie, Meaghan McInnes as Nellie, Oge Agulé as Pawnee Bill, Orville Mendoza as Buffalo Bill, Stephen Lee Anderson as Foster Wilson, and Will Hantz as Little Jake.

In SAG HARBOR.

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So with all the positive movement on and Off Broadway, and even at the tips of Lawn Guyland,  and with all those POC now available since the closing of several shows on Broadway in the late summer, with more coming up – could someone in the name of all that is banana pudding with a vanilla graham crust topped with Cool Whip, explain to TFP why the cast of the upcoming Broadway revival of MUSIC MAN is so….so VERY….

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Ivanka-friendly?

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It is universally acknowledged that Jackman is friends with the Kushners, and as much as TFP loves the Jackman as a performer, as a fellow Aussie, this makes her soooooo uncomfortable – it is like sending a Bat Signal to the KKK in song and dance.

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It dismisses all the progress that has been made. Frankly, with Jackman and Foster heading it up- that is kinda all you need in terms of ‘wattage’.

Why is this happening? This chock o’block prevention of access by anyone with pigment- what are ‘we’ learning from this?

It tells us, the POC of Broadway, that we are there merely to set the stage for the prevalence of Caucasian dominance.

When we – and by that, TFP is including ALLLLLLLLL the POC of the Broadway – the eight show a week, don’t call out, miss the birthdays and the holidays because the show sets the schedule, the folks that spent half their childhoods in class, those folks – look at the casting of MUSIC MAN – where not ONE ROLE in a supporting capacity has gone to a Performer of Color, we see what is thought of us.

The following is a comment by Producer Scott Rudin on the current announced production

‘In a Golden Age way’ aka ‘In a way that is all Caucasian’- this is the Production that will #MakeMusicalsGreatAgain.

We are the ‘soy sauce’ – (to quote the very bold and brave Screenwriter and TV Scribe, Adele Lim, who walked away from CRAZY RICH ASIANS 2, when she found out about the pay disparity between her and her co-writer.) for the productions.

Hashtag Not All Productions.

No, not all.

But a lot more than should be.

The POC of Broadway are feeling some sort of way about that…..

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Jackman, who has been super inclusive and supportive on his solo tour just, what…got too busy to realize that Keala Settle could have Gingold-ed Mrs. Shinn to the DEATH?

Here is a reminder of who we could have seen as Mrs. Shin(n).

There is no reason, in 2019, almost 2020, that Performers of Color need to continue the fantasy that we are only here to ‘frame’ a white hero.

There is NOTHING wrong with being in the Ensemble – it is a proud, noble, theatrical tradition and role – but it is NOT all that ‘we’ can do. “We” have been in many, many productions where ‘we’ have been included – enough so that this casting of MUSIC MAN should be shocking enough to audiences that they should have to wear shades.

Many will say “In 1912 in Iowa…there were no People of Color” which to that, TFP says…

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There were People of Color across the United States by 1912.

There were Native Americans, in Iowa.

Literally Iowa is a Sioux word, and the name of one of the Tribes.

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Tribes in Iowa include the Illinois, Iowa, Nez Perce, Pahodja, Pawnee, Winnebago, Missouria, Moingwena, Omaha, Otoe, Ottawa, Peoria, Ponca, Potawatomi and the Winnebago (also known as the Ho-Chunk Nation). Other tribes included the Chippewa, Dakota Sioux, Fox and Sauk.

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According to the Journal Of Negro History by James L. Hill, on pages 289-303, while the state was not a primary path west for The Great Migration, Iowa did have African Americans, and by 1912 – which is when the MUSIC MAN is set, they had a solid population.

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Read that again, 5,762 by 1870…and 1912 is still…let TFP do the math….42 years in the future!

They had 42 years to increase the African American Population in Iowa from when that number was taken.

Wow.

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In fact, the AAPI population in the Midwest was almost nil, because of course, of the Exclusion Act of 1882, and for subsequent laws prohibiting Asian land ownership – but a gal can dream, can’t she?

TFP has never met a non-Asian person named Shin.

She is aware that in the show, the character name is Shinn and has Irish heritage, but because she is…well…HER…she knows that Irish Asian people actually EXIST, and some of us went to really great schools that are known for stellar performers.

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Hispanic populations in the Midwest can be explored thusly:

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TFP doesn’t even need to CITE anything, use your eyes!

Three states away from Mexico you find Iowa.

The likelihood of Hispanic presence is HIGH, isn’t it?

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The answer there is no matter what brand of Caucasity you indulge in, you cannot erase People of Color, and by extension, Performers of Color from anything occurring in 1912.

Cannot be done.

EVEN IN IOWA!

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People of Color do not have to prove we belong in this country, and yet, y’all keep asking us to. Each time, TFP has been able to do it because there have been scholars determined to show that America is made from the bones of those who came before – and those bones do not belong to one group.

Stew on that for a while, won’t you?

500 Smacks of the Wand to the upcoming Broadway Production of MUSIC MAN and it’s Producers (who are honestly ducking that #MeToo movement like it’s dodge ball).

TFP is not buying a ticket. She has a choice, as does everyone else, to put her money behind projects that support the people she admires, people who see PEOPLE.

All KINDS of PEOPLE.

No matter how much you love the performers in this revival as Artists, she is hoping that you, Dear Reader, ‘vote’ with your ticket – if you want to support growth in front and behind the table, why not use that outrageously priced ticket you were going to indulge in, and go see…HADESTOWN, HAMILTON, MOULIN ROGUE, DEAR EVAN HANSEN, SOFT POWER…in short…literally anything else.

Because if you do not, then this kind of thinking is going to linger and expand – and we will be back to where we started, as adjuncts to American stories where we belong in lead roles.

Do not reward it by making it a ‘hit’.

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TFP out.

 

 

UPDATE- The Melbourne Fringe has now pulled Aisha the Australian Geisha from it’s schedule. The Artist feels she is misunderstood because she knows many Japanese People and none of them said anything to her.

TFP thanks the Aussies who stood up and said that this show was unacceptable- they know who they are.

None of us are anything without Allies.

Please read the post if you so choose.

TFP

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The Fairy Princess is Australian.

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She has mentioned this many times, and yes, she has dual citizenship with the United States, and resides there, while most of her family remains in Australia. (The sheer number of which would leave you breathless).

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As the USA has been chock a block hideous – Latinx kids in cages, kids stolen from their families, rights being stripped away from the LGBTQ community, Trans peoples being murdered, Black Men being literally killed by Police for no damn reason, the list is endless…and so OFTEN she thinks, “I have my passport, screw the USA, I’m out!

Then she remembers that Broadway is located in New York City, and she realizes that commuting from over an 18 hour flight to make half hour would be impossible, which is never not depressing.

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So Australia has always been a thought, a nice little bubble of, “Oh, then could go back to Cairns, or maybe Melbourne, or Sydney” and then….TFP remembers how RACIST Australia is – JUST AS BAD AS THE UNITED STATES (particularly FLORIDA)  and she, again, becomes insanely depressed.

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It is just chilling to note that though one ‘belongs‘ to two countries, one is always going to run into issues in both of them simply because of small minded people – white people – Caucasian people – who simply think that Asian descended people exist for the sole purpose of mockery and to funnel fame to whatever white person wants to “Yellow Up”.

The latest voyager into this “Caucasity Audacity” is a show called AISHA, The Aussie Geisha.

Which has not only been programmed by the Melbourne Fringe, but given the Main Room at Coopers Inn.

“The strong narrative and themes keep it moving at a rapid pace … The songs are delightful … Mrs Okaytobashme made me laugh everytime.” – Aussie Theatre.

Now, some people – people who are not People of Color, will say that TFP is not seeing this correctly, that the show is about the white girl who lost her fella to the Japanese gal, and then enrolls in Geisha school to try and win him back.

Very fish out of water type hilarity.

But look at how Aussie Theatre stated the name of her teacher  from their point of view – Mrs. Okay To Bash Me.

If “Ok To Bash Me” is the way it is being pronounced, methinks there are some missing r’s and l’s and some accent work that is likely to be, how does one put this…troublesome.

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So the show is not just a play on an Aussie in Japan, it’s definitely using the tried and true tropes taught to us by insanely jingoist productions of The Mikado, added to the panic of the “invasion of the Yellow Peril’ that Aussie teachers taught my Chinese Aussie Mum in grades school, and just a bit of meaness.

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Because a  True Blue Fair Dinkum Gal cannot lose a man to a Japanese Gal – just ain’t right – is TFP getting that ‘right’? That’s the point of it, yes?

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It is marketed as Farce – but who is the focus of the farce?

Is it even an original thought? Didn’t Shirley McClaine do it in a movie?

So this concept is the two combined, but not charming or thematically challenging, just…well, kind of a rip off between other people’s concepts.

Look, TFP loved Muriel’s Wedding just as much as any Gay Man and their gal BFF’s could, but Porpoise Spit has been done, Luv.

Oh we get it- Small town gal from oddly named town goes to the big city, finds a gay husband, learns new stuff and becomes sophisticate adjacent?

Doors are opened for her, doors she never even dreamed existed, hmmm?

Ok so three films then- The Geisha, Mame, and Muriel’s Wedding- can’t you just PICTURE it?

TFP is sure it is, ummmm, breathtaking.

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That concept was thrown in a blender with elements from all and now the small town gal from Koo Wee Rup goes to Japan and dresses up like a Geisha and mocks a truly remarkable tradition, and it’s all for laughs for both the Creatrix and the Melbourne Fringe Festival?

Asian Aussies are all supposed to buy a ticket to be the butt of the joke – because we are not to understand that we are the butt of the joke? We are going to be fooled into thinking the lady who wrote on Blue Heelers holds people who look like us in the highest esteem?

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Fringe Festivals are supposed to be edgy, a bit jagged, not as polished as giant productions but full of passion and new ideas. Fringe festivals are supposed to be places of encouragement and vivid storytelling, painful stories and some that are lightening in a bottle. All are supposed to be welcome, a giant movement in creating Art.

This show, TFP is guessing, is not that.

Sadly Oz, once again, you have succeeded in completely disappointing me.

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It’s like my Grandma sending me to the shop in Cairns, only to get harassed on the street all over again.

It’s like being a bit worried to walk back to my cousin’s house in Manly after a night at the pub, because TFP heard some yobbos talking smack about what they would like to do to her.

It’s like growing up with the story of your Great Grandfather’s murder by a White Man, who served no jail time, because it would be bad policy to jail a White Man for killing ‘A Chinaman’.

1922 Innisfail. William Fang Yuen.

Google it.

TFP’s Chinese Aussie Family has lived in Oz since the 1870’s – served in the arm forces and won medals, made names for themselves in the Arts, Business, and Scholarship.

The Family has been awarded medals for service for various reasons from the Queen, but seeing that all that means absolute shite, and that Melbourne Fringe would give a platform to Yellowface and subtle, but ‘farcical’ racism?

Something has to change, and the start of it is White People, in the Arts, saying no to programming this kind of ‘entertainment’.

Anyway, there goes another dream.

TFP out.

The Fairy Princess had a good weekend – there were some cool things that happened this past week or so…

Simu Liu of Kim’s Convenience was announced as Marvel’s SHANG CHI.

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He is very talented and funny and he does backflips, so all that is good – Shang Chi is of course,  a martial artist. He was drawn with Bruce Lee, the mixed race martial artist, as a reference point for the artists.

There is one slight issue with the casting – and while TFP does believe that the writer, David Callaham, and director, Destin Daniel Cretton, (both of whom are mixed race)

went with a brilliant choice – SHANG CHI is supposed to be biracial, according to the Marvel origin story.

He is the son of Fu Manchu and an American Blonde that he kidnapped.

Icky origin story?

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Still, the guy is supposed to be biracial.

TFP would like that issue to be addressed – as all the AAPI world is busy pronouncing they are embracing Keanu Reeves, Dwayne Johnson, Henry Golding, Dave Battista, and Jason Momoa, and writing articles like the one by Jeff Yang, about the issues facing mixed race people in casting – she would simply like Shang Chi’s team to explain how they are going to ‘handle’ this origin story.

Because it stung a bit. “We‘ are not usually in an Origin Story, so being that this particular one was ‘supposed’ to be one for our team – and it’s not, a bit of an ‘ouch’.

It is still a win for AAPIs and in particular, Chinese Canada/US diaspora – but it is erasure for biracial people.

Remember all the backlash Henry Golding got for daring to rep as an Asian Man in CRAZY RICH ASIANS? All the ways he was told he was not ‘allowed’ to be representative of Asian men?

What if biracial people did that to Simu?

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Not gonna happen – we are all happy for him.

(That is biracial RuPaul’s Drag Race Queen, Manila Luzon giving that eye roll, btw)

TFP would just like some clarity because as Marvel goes on to proclaim “the first Chinese Superhero” (Guess we are not noticing all the AAPI diaspora that Maurissa Tanchoeren has been repping on AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. for the last seven seasons….) the truth is – the guy was never written as a Chinese superhero.

He was a biracial superhero.

And now, he is not.

Still good with Simu’s casting – just pointing it out.

Because the same thing happened in HELLBOY and TO ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE, and TFP noticed.

Again, not objecting to any castings in this case – just noticing.

#RepresentationMattersEVENifyouareHapa

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Here though, IS a win for multi-racial people celebrating their many sides – check out the trailer for HOBBS AND SHAW

Dwayne Johnson has become very vocal recently about being both African American and Samoan descent, and TFP would be lying if she did not admit to having a bit of a tear in her eye when she saw his character ‘go home’ and take on ‘the baddies’ on home territory with his Samoan family.

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On Broadway, along with the closings, ‘we’ have a win – ANN SANDERS has moved over from FROZEN on Broadway to taking over as the character, Cynthia Murphy  in DEAR EVAN HANSEN through Oct 20th.  Ann previously set the standard by being the first woman of Asian descent to play Mrs. Anna in THE KING AND I on Broadway – which was amazing because….the actual Anna Leonowens was of mixed Asian descent.

TFP knows Ann because they both were in AVENUE Q on Broadway and well….

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ONCE AGAIN, they have done an AVENUE Q production, or are about to and they have chosen to not cast an Asian heritaged person as the character, Christmas Eve.

Where?

New Zealand.

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Specifically at the Napier Operatic Society in Naiper, NZ.

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It is the second oldest existing theatrical society in New Zealand, having been established in 1887 – and it is renown for it’s amateur productions. Supposed to be very high quality and professional level talent.

You can look at the below photos, they seem to do a really great job – between the costumes and the sets, TFP has no indication how the performances are, but everything really looks great in New Zealand…then they decided to expand their repertoire.

Where DID they start?

Gilbert and Sullivan.

OF COURSE! In 1891 they started the season with THE MIKADO, and they have not looked back!

Now AVENUE Q being miscast as an amateur production is nothing new – this has for sure happened repeatedly across the United States – even with the New York Production only closing this past summer. So, there were 16 years of the ‘gold standard’ – on Broadway and Off, and folks in America still, deliberately, got it wrong.

On PURPOSE! (Get it, Q-tips? Get it? PURPOSE!)

However now that MTI has licensed the show internationally, the show is up for worldwide miscasting  – and again, normally TFP would not say too much about an amateur production, until she realized that this ‘house’ and it’s place in New Zealand is revered. After the earthquake, the city chose to rebuild this theater – that means it has significant value to them.

Still, when last she ‘checked in’, they were advertising for Asians for the role of Christmas Eve.

Here is the flier originally put up:

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So they knew what Christmas Eve was supposed to look like – significantly they have Ann Harada‘s photo on this flier, the O.G. of Christmas Eve’s.

Here is some of the continued efforts to expand their diversity within the company by advertising for two characters who are People of Color within the Avenue Q universe:

However it did not seem to happen- because rather insensitively, one of their company members, put this up on a public forum:

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Now, the person that put this up is self-admittedly not of Japanese heritage. She appears, in her photos to be Caucasian, and seems to be unaware that positing that she does not give a rat’s ass what people think of her is a position that is indefensible – especially in this day and age.

TFP is not publishing her name in this blog, even though she deserves it because someone said she might be young and misunderstood.

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Yes, this is an amateur production – but it is being done by a theater of significant size in New Zealand, one that sets the standard, apparently, for professional productions to aspire to. It charges for tickets, and it has a huge following, and makes enough money to sustain several productions per season, and also has a school training program attached.

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Therefore the ‘whitewashing’ of Christmas Eve is not an insignificant issue – because there is going to be a large audience for it.

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In New Zealand – there is a problem with systemic racism against it’s indigenous people, The Maori’s, and it’s ongoing issues with immigration.  The issue of a majority Caucasian audience laughing at a faux Asian person, has repercussions that we cannot even list, particularly as America has seemingly outsourced one of it’s most malignant exports – to New Zealand, white nationalism.

Whitewashing Christmas Eve plays in to that narrative.

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Again, TFP has no issue with membership companies or amateur companies – but here is what – she will say it again for people who have to hear it across the globe –

When you erase the ethnicity of that character

a character written by a Person of Color and specifically a person of Asian descent (Bobby Lopez)

a character who has, written into the script and score – an accent of an immigrant in America – you teach people that ethnic people are only allowed on the stage on Caucasian say so.

That ‘we’  are able to be mocked and ridiculed by offensive portrayals at any time, and that is not a message to send out to the people of NZ.

What is said by this casting is that ethnic people are of less value, that they are there to be made mockery of whenever white people decide to do so – that they have NO power over their own identities or heritages within the sphere of theater or anywhere else.

As lovely a country as it is, New Zealand is ‘catching up’ with many of the movements abroad, in a significantly terrifying way. The shootings at Christchurch are thought to show a growing White Supremacy movement there, (though they were carried out by a white Australian) as well as their very Trumpian New Zealand First Political Party – cited in this article in the Washington Post  casually cautioning people to be wary of Asian immigrants coming in and taking over the population of the country since 2004.

They do not need encouragement to mock and belittle Asian people.

New Zealand is already walking a fine, fine line every day of seeming tolerance vs. radical thought.

The entire population of New Zealand is just over 4.78 Million people in 2019.

Maori’s are the largest ethnic minority at 14.9 per cent.

Asians are the second largest at 11.8 per cent.

Non Maori Pacific Islanders come in a 7.4 per cent.

At 11.8% of the population, you should be able to find an Asian descended person to play Christmas Eve.

If you say you ‘cannot’, that is being lazy – and lazy people do not get to do musicals.

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This is not just about a miscasting in a community theater – this is about the arrogance and the hubris that Caucasians routinely employ to disavow the existence of minorities. To make them magical and therefore impervious to pain or humanity.

This is about a country that just experienced one of the most dreadful mass shootings from a single shooter and though they have learned to change their gun laws, by and large their arts institutions and their mindset remains static.

They choose, on their stages, to not see People of Color in significant ways.

Minorities exist in their world on their say so.

If they believe they ‘cannot find any‘, guess what?

They don’t.

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This is a significantly horrible message to send – and it never need have happened – because the Napier Operatic Society knows what it’s membership looks like – they know what they do well, and what they do not. They thought, perhaps, they could find someone – but they could not – but they did not cancel.

Why? Because the members that auditioned for those roles thought it would be fun to paint themselves. Bottom line – they thought they could get away with it. Obviously it has worked before.

Significant that a company around for as long as it has been has almost no minority representation. Perhaps, they do not feel comfortable auditioning for that group?

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Judging from the photos and past seasons, it is a very large membership company where overwhelmingly, the ethnic makeup is Caucasian. WHY choose a show that happens in New York City, which IS a melting pot, which DOES have minorities in a more than significant way, just asking for trouble.

If the show demands ethnic minorities, and you do not have any – do not do the show.

It is simple.

TFP knows that white people find this very thought offensive, that they would much prefer to paint themselves a face with another tone and engage in mockery – but in the end you have to look at yourself in the mirror and say – Amateur or not

“Did I do this character justice?

Did I represent to the best of my ability who and what the writers of the show intended?

Could I look a member of this show, any member of it who played in New York – on or Off Broadway in the face and be proud of what I have done?”

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If not, do not do the show.

It plays into mockery and offense to have a non AAPI person play that role –

Napier Operatic Society knows it.

You, the reader, know it.

TFP for sure knows it.

She fines Napier Operatic Society 500 whacks of the wand – the word Amateur comes from the Latin word for love – you love it so much, you devote yourself to that pursuit – you cannot tell TFP you love musical theater if you allow Caucasians to play Christmas Eve.

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TFP out.

 

 

 

TFP has noticed in the last week or so, an inordinate amount of BODY SHAMING recently, nationally, in the Broadway community, er…Off Broadway, and internationally. Movie stars, athletes, and stage actors have all faced it, and have spoken up about it, which TFP applauds.

When Katelyn Ohashi had a chance, winning her BEST PLAY Award at the ESPY Awards, she took her shot back at internet trolls who said some nasty things about her online.

 Good for her for calling them out. Women’s Gymnastics has had a shattering past two years, it is athletes like Ohashi that will turn it around.

As she said, the leotards in gymnastics seem to be primed to invite comment – but what about vacations?

Actors get no time off from the gym? From dieting?

Folks had an issue with Jason Momoa, a literal Gawd among us heathens!

They called him fat for his ‘Dad Bod” while on vacation!

That is not a Dad Bod, Dudes – for real. There is no beer gut or clear examples of a guy who was in shape when he was young, letting it go quite happily to deal with family and work.

Y’all, come ON – it is JASON MOMOA – he is not, has never been overweight.

Even if he is looking a bit less like Aquaman in this really bad, taken without his knowledge, photo – he likely falls into the healthy parameters for his height and weight.

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KIM CHI SLAPPPPP to the Folks feeling like they can climb on and attack these two mixed race people at the TOP of their professions!

Jason Momoa and Katelyn Ohashi –

EAT ALL THE THINGS!

ENJOY YOURSELVES! DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO!

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Here is what – diversity or inclusion does not mean only skin tone and ethnicity, while it includes body shape and size, it includes performers with disability AND it includes people of the LGBTQ community AS WELL.

Get it, AS WELL.

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TFP was very sad to read and then hear the comments of Theater Critic, Peter Filichia and radio host/owner, James Marino as they reviewed the Off Broadway show, CAMP MORNING WOOD, on Broadway Radio.

They did not talk much about the show and it’s themes,  performances, the writing, the jokes –  NOPE!

What interested them most was the size and shape and genital endowments of the Actors, and commenting about them and what led them to be cast in a play that occurs within a nudist camp.

One can only listen to their giggly chortling as they discuss other males and their penis sizes, and shudder. It had nothing to do with theater, except that the show was viewed in a theater space.

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This was not theatrical criticism.

This was two men, who would likely never be asked to be naked in public, much less on the stage – making really bad dick jokes.

Though the two gentlemen in question are absolute beauties themselves with FLAWLESS physiques…

 Now, if TFP were to to on to criticize THOSE two bodies in particular, then all and sundry would be coming after her.

Because how DARE she criticize white men. Particularly white men of the extended theatrical community who have long thought they lofted above the fray.

What if she asked you to imagine them naked and try and guess their penis size – and then invited you to laugh at them because you did not guess, well, generously?

you-think-im-evil-gifWould that make you uncomfortable? Would you think, “Hey – that is not what I am looking for when I read an article,”.

Well, yes.

That is the point.

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These men whose jobs would not exist if Talent did not take chances and put their work on the stage and on the page, only to provide them with free tickets so they could come to a show and giggle like pre-teens in a locker room over something that is entirely natural.

After all – ‘Everyone is born naked and the rest is Drag” – thank you, RuPaul.

TFP wants to be clear – if you are a Theater Critic and you attend a show, you may talk/write about the performances (Nay/Yay), the writing, the scenery, the direction, the costumes, the lights, the sound, what you may NOT do, is conclude that Actors’ bodies are up for your disdain or amusement.

It means not only during interviews do you not touch performers’ bodies physically, it also includes not harming them in print and on social media by mocking the bodies that you are not touching.

You do not imply that their breasts are either not big enough or too big for a role. That they are “Too Black, too Asian, too Latinx, Not Native American ‘enough” to be in that role.

THAT IS NOT YOUR JOB!

We do not care what you think of our hips, noses, eyes, eye shape, legs, thighs, lungs, hands, arms or any other body part that a ‘critic’ could nitpick and that list DEFINITELY includes penises.

Heaven knows what these guys think of Performers with Disabilities!

Actors bodies are their instruments. Actors bodies are wonderful, fluid things that help ensure a great performance, but the manner in which genetics assembled their parts is not for comment. By a professional ‘critic’ or by anyone else.

TFP is fairly certain that the White Male Critics are circling like sauropods after a meteor strike – and the only thing that would ‘save’ them, would be empathy. But empathy – as we have seen with the current administration – seems to vanish the closer one gets to power. The more they believe in their own taste level, the more they feel that their knowledge extends past theater to any subject they would like to wax on about.

Where TFP and the rest of the Broadway Community are asking – after numerous troubling reviews by White Critics – is, isn’t it time that people without empathy stop reviewing shows? And Films? And Dance Pieces? And Art Installations? They do not seem to even like going to these shows, so why drag it out?

What is needed are Critics of differing background, different ways of identifying, people who still love it – even though for so long they have been shut out of it. Get people who love theater.

If you have no ability to do the research into what you are about to view – or indeed have no interest in doing so, and creating that empathy, creating that bond between audience and actor – why are you even doing it in the first place?

Broadway Radio sells subscriptions. It makes money on the love people have for the theater. Yet it seems to hold Actors in contempt. It gives space for promotion and interviews where they fawn over the ‘big fish’, but it is not what you do when ‘everyone’ is watching – it is what you do when you think no one can see you that matters.

The disdain they had for the Actor’s bodies in CAMP EVER WOOD is the disdain they have for all Actor’s bodies.

Frankly, if Broadway people decide NOT to do interviews or allow coverage to Broadway Radio – it would fold pretty fast. There are a lot of people out there making their living on Broadway that would be ‘fat shamed’ by these critics. Or “thin shamed” etc. etc. etc.

Time for Broadway Performers and Producers to take a stand as to what is allowed, and what is not.

Tick tock Broadway Performers, tick tock.

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Because if all Performers now have to meet the very rigid standards that these two men have decided upon, then stories will be less interesting. Stories will be unable to be told to be best of the shows abilities because everyone will have to meet the measurement requirements and weigh ins.

That is what Broadway and Off Broadway Actors do – we tell stories.

Theatrical Critics have degrees in theater criticism (one hopes) and not body policing.

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The Actors in question were playing members of the LGBTQ community, and one in particular, Anthony Logan Cole, was targeted because within that community, he falls into the “Bear” Category.

The comments towards him were the most egregious.

TFP takes that very personally because Bears ( and they know who they are) are among her closest friends, and she will ‘stan’ for them as much as they have for her. She has attended their weddings, their funerals, their birthdays, viewing parties – they are part of her extended Family. She loves them.

Bears are reliable AF.

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“Bears” are men in the Gay Community who have strong, hardworking bodies, who are not afraid of what other people think of them, and they tend to have a robust way of looking at life. They are, in general, men who would be considered “thick” in common parlance – and all the variations that entails.

It is great that Mr. Cole was on the stage and proud to be so- and TFP would have enjoyed seeing/hearing a review of his performance.

Here is the cast photo, taken by Michael Wiltbank – see if you can find “The Bears”.

There are two.

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Mr. Cole was portraying a character whose body was supposed to look exactly as Mr. Cole’s looks.

Which is, let’s face it – AMAZING!

Yay playwright Marc Eardley!

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The LGBTQ community comes in all sizes and shapes and colors – and not everything is NAKED BOYS SINGING – sometimes it is CAMP MORNING WOOD – and that is ok.

It is a relief.

We need diversity in every aspect of the stage and productions – ‘we’ need it. It cannot continue to be the realm of people who have hit a genetic lottery with body type – it just cannot. It is unrealistic and leads to lower self esteem across the board – ACROSS THE BOARD!

These instances are people who are highly visible who know that this can be ‘part of the game’  – can you imagine what the effect is on a kid ‘following along’ at home – watching people at the top of their professions being ‘fat-shamed”?

What happens to that kid? Do they get an eating disorder? Do they self-harm?

People who do not fit into the expectations of White Male Critics of a Certain Age should be able to turn in a performance without worrying that the requirements of a script, and their commitment to it, is going to bring on attacks in platforms heard around the country.

In this case, the play and the actors made a commitment to being naked on the stage. Then a critic attends and instead of seeing the show – he starts looking at the penises.

Then he goes BACK to the place that sent him to review this show, and talks ABOUT THE PENISES.

He did a PENIS REVIEW!!!!!

alyssawhat-1503331755For those who think TFP is being ‘too sensitive’ or a ‘snowflake” – rest assured that OnStageBlog has done a quick review of this critic in the past, and it seems Mr. F cannot help himself but to allude to how attractive he finds someone in a show. Or what he thinks their weight should be. That the comments prior did not send up red flags, is a shame.

Think, before you make that charge about ‘too sensitive’ – what would that man say about you and your body? Really think on it.

What if it was your child? What if it was your Significant Other?

What if someone told you your hips were too big to be in a show?

What if they told you something about your lips or hair or you were too thin?

You were too ethnic?

Too ‘Normal”.

This is an insidious business.

a153673298cc4ab08f6c92abd53d1277ebc41df8_rTrue Story:

TFP once got a call from CBS, where WAS she?

Didn’t she KNOW she had to come in RIGHT AWAY!!! NO ONE ELSE COULD DO THIS PART! TFP had been in their Diversity showcase, so she was very flattered. She got off the plane and rushed right over.

She went in, she got her sides – the sides were “Morbidly Obese Asian Woman”.

TFP was between a size 6-8 at the time.

The Head of Casting thought she was “Morbidly Obese”.

The Casting Director walked in, shook his head and rolled his eyes.

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Go back and read what he said about other shows and the bodies in those shows – it’s an issue. He should not be reviewing shows – and especially not on the radio.

TFP sentences Broadway Radio to 150 whacks of the wand, a session of sensitivity training and early retirement of these problematic views and people.

And, she has been dying to say this, so here goes….

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THE FAREWELL a film by Lulu Wang is opening this weekend in New York and Los Angeles and soon, around the country.

If you are able to see it the weekend it opens when it comes to your town – please grab a ticket. AAPIs are not guaranteed a place in the showbiz pantheon due to the success of a RomCom that is a lovely RomCom, but nevertheless, a RomCom that had a huge theatrical opening.

Once.

As in it was the only AAPI Rom Com that has opened on a national level in theaters.

Ahem.

THE FAREWELL  looks to be a beautiful, gut wrenching comedy based on the Director’s real life, as to what it means to say goodbye, when one of you knows that it is forever.

TFP also had a Grandma that lived overseas….she is sure many others have as well.

It also highlights the differences between Asian Americans and Asians in the Homeland, wherever the homeland may be, which is a great discussion to continue to have.

OPENS THIS WEEKEND, JULY 12TH!

GET YOUR TICKETS AAPI AMERICA!

AND CALL YOUR DAMN GRANDPARENTS!

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Finally, would like those who are in New York City, or commutable distance to join TFP at the additional screening of Director, Leon Le‘s critically acclaimed film, SONG LANG on August 1st.

Tickets are avail HERE.

OOoh looks beautiful.

Showbiz can be as vast as the ocean and have as much diversity – it is these opinions from both Trolls and in the above case, two Theater Critics that keep it from being that way.

The Gatekeepers only want glam, well endowed, sexy AF GLAM or GET OFF THE STAGE!

Yep not here for THAT!

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TFP out.

 

The Fairy Princess has noticed a lot of AAPI ‘Winning” going on – much beyond, of course, the King, Keanu Reeves.

First off, on “The Broadway” attention must be paid to – no, NOT the TONY Winners, they have enough attention…the little show who was parodied but never mentioned, BE MORE CHILL by Joe Iconis.

Why, you ask?

Because in a show that is about – NOT a brothel, harem, warin a show with NARY a hoop skirt or scantily clad bikini to be found – in a show about HIGH SCHOOL in AMERICA – they had NOT one, not TWO, not THREE, but FOUR AAPI ACTORS ON AS PRINCIPALS in ONE NIGHT!

This is so remarkable that “Michael In The Bathroom“, George Salazar – who is, of course, one of those AAPIs – tweeted it out so that attention could be paid – and THANK YOU George, for doing so.

Please enjoy the song that was parodied on the TONYS – MICHAEL IN THE BATHROOM – and please BUY A TICKET TO THE SHOW!

Here’s why – when shows do not win TONY Awards…they close.

Because Broadway Math is hideous.

Because Broadway Theater Owners want to be reassured that they will continue to ‘make that nut’- and that is what a TONY Award tells them.

Because Broadway is just too damn competitive.

Has absolutely nothing to do with how good a show is or how many people it touches or how great the Cast is.

Not saying anything about BE MORE CHiLL’s box office at all- that is just Broadway and how it works.

The question is SHOULD a show that is this NON WORRIED about FOUR AAPI LEADS going on in one night – in a show that is not a ‘traditional’ AAPI musical – SHOULD that show not be supported by AAPIs?

It should. In droves.

Buy a damn ticket. Right HERE.

Because if it happened once, it will happen again – and don’t you want to take your teenager to see a show where they see themselves? Where the thought is – hey – this should be a commonplace thing, no biggie – but it has NEVER happened in TFP’s memory.

NEVAH.

In a show that is not about SPECIFICALLY AAPI stories, this has NEVER happened.

FOUR LEAD ROLES.

FOUR.

NEVER. HAPPENED. BEFORE.

(And don’t @ me with “Hamilton…” – that is a tour.

It is super great that it is happening on tour – but this is Broadway. Without any dissing intended- four AAPI leads has not happened in that particular show as it plays Broadway – though they have 2 AAPIs as Hamilton alternates (Eddy Lee, Marc de la Cruz– who also alternates for King George) dancers, etc.

HAMILTON is great. HAMILTON is genius.

HAMILTON did not replace an AAPI lead that had a TONY Nomination with another AAPI person, although on the tours – they have had AAPIs. That is not blowing things out of proportion or doing anything other than stating facts.

TFP loves HAMILTON. She is just stating facts.)

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Anyway, ALL HAIL BE MORE CHILL – long may it run!

ALSO super cool – in the U.K., across the pond, there is PROGRESS because the FIRST PLAY about British Vietnamese people has made it to the stage!

SUMMER ROLLS by Tuyen Do!

Tickets HERE

Full production!

Cast is 100% People of Color!

60% Vietnamese!

Here is the trailer:

If TFP was in London, she would go see it.

GO SEE IT – It opens June 19th!

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Congrats To Eugene Lee Yang from The Try Guys from Buzzfeed, who, during PRIDE Month has ‘come out’- and as it turns out, is quite the dancer.

Also – Jeremy Lin is the First Asian American to win an NBA Title – that must be a sportsball thing, but it is cool as hell – especially when he wears the Sandra Oh quote shirt that supports East West Players, so yeah for Sportsball!

Speaking of Sandra Oh – her show, KILLING EVE on BBC America had the highest ratings of any show on the network for it’s second season, so YAY!

Likely there will be a third and OH… speaking of a third season….

So the phenomenal show WARRIOR which is showing on CINEMAX here in the USA, and has just been released in the U.K. – was renewed for a second season, which is shot.

However they have NOT been picked up for a third season…yet!

Which has TFP like…what is going ON? Makes her head wanna go…

Which is important because it is a vision into the humanity of AAPIs in America. It is about the price that was paid, by our forefathers and mothers to get to a place where they had a chance to change their destiny.

If America is a country of immigrants, and it IS – then “our” story, or at least a reasonable facsimile of an aspect of it, needs to be told. Understanding and tolerance comes from acknowledging that we have all struggled to get to the United States – and along the way – we have all faced bigotry, we have all faced poverty, crime, but our people came ANYWAY.

It comes originally from the mind of Bruce Lee, and has been brought to you by his daughter, Shannon. It is everything we would like to see about our true arrivals, our first arrivals to this country.

She is asking y’all to watch WARRIOR in whatever form it is available to you – not JUST because it is about the beginning of AAPI America – but because it shows us sexy, virile AAPIs who are fighting back against the power structure – and who knows, if they had won – the whole world might be different, no?

And then she is asking you to TWEET @Cinemax to ask them to give WARRIOR a third season, come on Folks – you know the drill. #WarriorMaxS3 or whatever, maybe that is not catchy enough – but…you get the idea, yes? Let them know you watch the show and you want more of these stories.

In between watching ALMOST BE MY MAYBE on repeat, on NETFLIX, you have time to send a tweet or an Instagram.

If you want to see yourself you have to show up – buy a ticket to an AAPI Film Festival– the ASIAN AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL – aka AAIFF is happening in NYC JULY 25th – August 3rd – BUY SOME TICKETS!

Here is just a sample of the outstanding work that you will be seeing:

This is SONG LANG, which will premiere in NYC on July 7th – it has already won 22 International Awards and will play at Lincoln Center! Directed by Leon Le, it looks phenomenal. Congrats Leon!

Which concludes TFP‘s shilling for projects she is not associated with, but thinks you should be aware of.

Remember – it is not enough to smile softly when you see something good happen – you have to support the people and programs that helped put that smile on your face.

TFP out.

 

The Fairy Princess has been watching the fervor over #AlwaysBeMyMaybe – written by Ali Wong, Randall Park, and Michael Golamco, which is now appearing on #Netflix.

It’s fun. It’s funny. It has Daniel Dae Kim as an asshole and Keanu Reeves as….Keanu Reeves – and it is a true win, for those involved and for those who get to see it across America.

PLUSTFP‘s Pal, Peggy Lu plays Ali Wong’s Mom, so that is a nice Easter Egg surprise!

What keeps resonating with her, and pissing her off, quite frankly, is that everyone is ‘surprised’ about how good Keanu Reeves is. He is a goddamn movie star with a career that spans over 30 years, and all the AAPIs are ‘surprised’ that he can turn it out!

Everyone is now shouting about Keanu being of AAPI descent because he was in a film with Asian Americans – this was not his first film with Asian people!

TFP is frustrated with this reaction – all the ‘surprise’ is rooted in passive aggressive non-acknowledgment that one of the biggest stars in the damn universe is Hapa.

Come ON now….

Surprised that JOHN WICK has staying power?

“No one’ seemed to know he was funny…he was in BILL & TED’S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE, AAPIs!

“No one’ seems to know that he is, in fact, all the letters in the #AAPI  – even though his name, literally translates to “Cool Breeze” in Native Hawaiian.

Even though he did 47 RONIN (which TFP actually kinda liked, but…was not a box office sellout)!

The fact of the matter is – Keanu has always be ‘repping’ as a person of mixed heritage, a Person of Color. Always. Right from the go.

Right from when he introduced himself as Keanu.

Let’s face it, it is not a “John”, “David”, “Chris” aka ‘safe, non-ethnic” name.

Not a “white’ name.

It is KEANU!

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Can you imagine how long it took an overworked Casting Assistant to learn how to say it during cold reads? A bit longer than it took America to learn to say “The Rock“. (And TFP fully LOVES Dwayne Johnson, but DJ did not take the ‘ethnic name’ road less traveled – that was not his journey)

The fact is the AAPI community has a hard time with Hapas. Halfies. Mixed Race People.

However you say it.

Back in the day, people called TFP ‘Eurasian’.

There is so much to unpack and it has to do with a lot, but basically – it is due to lack of representation. There have not been accurate representations of Asian and Asian descended people, enough so that there seems to be room for everyone. Even though there IS room for everyone. There is – it just has been ‘sold’ to the world that there is not enough room for People of Color, that we all get x many spots, and that is it.

Not true. TFP knows you have been ‘raised’ to think this – but it is not true. No one knows another person’s path or where they will wind up, but the universe is open.

People see Halfies, and they say “oh, that person is responsible for watering down my heritage” or “that person’s Mom/Dad was a race traitor” or some such nonsense. It seems to be that they think we ‘choose’ how to look when we are in utereo. That ‘we’ exist to ‘take their jobs‘.

The fact that our eye shape may be a certain type of way or color, that our skin can be a variety of shades,  that we cannot be seen to be AAPI by the AAPI community unless there are awards involved…it’s a toxic won ton soup on the best of days – and that is some bullshit.

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That kind of thinking leads to ‘uproars’ on the Internet over Darren Criss being Filipino. He has ALWAYS said he had Filipino heritage. Always. That was one of the first things TFP read about him, back in the GLEE days…but because AAPIs do not seem to know the length and breath of what Hapas look like….to them, he did not ‘register’ as Filipino until he won an award for “The Asassination of Gianni Versace” – where he ‘played’, an actual mixed race person of Filipino descent, Andrew Cunanan.

Then it was all “HOW DAAAAARE HE SAY HE IS FILIPINO WHEN HE HAS NEVER SAID IT BEFORE!!!!”

He did. You just did not have him on ‘your’ radar. He said it.

It’s due to the lack of representation that #AAPI people “roll their eyes‘ at the casting of ALADDIN – when, if Aladdin took place in Switzerland and the actors cast were 1/2 French and spoke French everyone would fall over themselves to say ‘How lucky” it was that they were able to get an Actor that spoke French!

But y’all don’t – do you?

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TFP is tired of people seemingly ‘not seeing’ that Keanu has AAPI heritage and then being surprised by his talent and surprised he ‘identifies’ as a Person of Color.

Click that link – he does not want to be a spokesperson for Asians in Hollywood because…why?

Guess who never made him feel welcome?

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There are more of ‘us’, by the way…- Folx like –  Dwayne Johnson, or Dave Bautista, or Pom Klementieff, or Screenwriter/Director Mike Dougherty (Godzilla), Comic book Scribe Greg Pak, Karen David, Gemma Chan, Sir Ben Kingsley, Youngest EGOT Winner Composer/Lyricist Bobby Lopez, TONY nominee Philippa Soo, Jason Momoa, Daniel York, Naomi Scott, Marwan Kenzari, TONY winner RuthieAnn Miles, Russell Wong, Henry Golding, Sonoya Mizuno, Ian Anthony Dale, Meaghan Rath, Jimg Lusi, Fiona Xie, Amy Hill, Musician Sean Lennon, Musician Bruno Mars, Musician Mahalia Barnes, Julia Nickson, Dave McInnis, Chloe Bennet, Lewis Tan, Nancy Kwan, Jessica Henwick, Darren Criss, Ali Ewoldt, Adam Jacobs, Sandra Allen, Courtney Reed, Thom Sesma, Zachary Noah Piser, Arielle Jacobs, Mark Paul Gosselaar, Drag Queen Manila Luzon, Sophie Miller-Sheen, Golfer Tiger Woods, Tennis Player Naomi Osaka, Gymnast Katelyn Ohashi, Shannon Elizabeth, Kristin Kruek, Kelsey Asbille,  Phoebe Cates, Michaela Conlin, Tim Lounibos, Rob Schneider, Chanel Iman, Cassie Ventura, Norah Jones, Kate Rigg, Meg and Jennifer Tilly, Devon Aoki, Ryan Potter, Merle Dandridge, Rich Ceraulo, Lindsay Price, Sam Tatsuo Tanabe, Ann Sanders, Miss Universe Brook Lee, Erin Quill, Olivia Oguma, Lisa Helmi Johanson, Isabella Russo, Manna Nichols, Alex Chester…

We have always been there – Merle Oberon, anyone?

Vivien Leigh?

Maybe we need to all get in a film together and save the world?

Maybe Mike Dougherty should write THAT one next.

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Until that happens, can AAPI people please stop being surprised that we exist, and can they also stop with the “prove to me how _____ you are!” challenges.

It is exhausting. TFP is exhausted.

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‘We’ will never speak the language ‘enough‘ for you.

‘We’ will never cook the food well ‘enough‘ for you.

Not because ‘we’ cannot – because you do not accept it.

‘We’ will never represent ‘enough’ for you, even if ‘we’ talk about representation and pride in Heritage in every interview given, ever on the planet that ‘we’ participate in.

Because one person on the internet will ‘miss’ that interview and make a huge ass deal over it and this is why ‘we’ cannot have nice things.

The one thing you can ‘count on’ AAPIs to do is rip apart Hapas. That is a loaded statement. It is also, true.

RANDALL PARK had to say ‘He’s ours’ in an interview for Keanu Reeves to ‘count’ to the AAPI community at large.

WHY IS THAT NECESSARY?!?!?

It should not be necessary.

A Mother asked TFP what to do recently – because her daughter had ‘self-identified’ in a class project as ‘a coconut’.

WTF?

Because “I am brown on the outside but white on the inside”.

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TFP’s heart broke and of course, she suggested all the books and all the ways in which this child – this CHILD – could see herself in the world. TFP explained that the child seemed to be looking through one kind of lense, but it was up to her parents to open her up to a kaleideoscope of what the world was, and what she meant to the world.

The child has multiple heritages- and thinks she is a friggin’ COCONUT!

Not ok.

That child means the world. All children do. We have to do better AAPI America. We have to – because chances are – your grandchildren (Unless the world ends in 2050) are not going to look like you.

Practice acceptance NOW – in all things.

Practice tolerance.

Representation DOES matter – and for AAPI Descended People btw, it is broad. It includes multiple shades and identities – from the deepest to the lightest, from cis to non-binary, and it is effin’ GORGEOUS.

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Can it with the ‘surprise’. Multi-racial people do not need your damn shock and amazement anymore – we just need you to stop questioning if we belong.

We do.

And we are fine JUST THE WAY WE ARE BRIDGET JONES!!!!!

And if you do not think so….

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TFP out.

 

 

The Fairy Princess is very happy to announce that Keanu Reeves is having a really good weekend, and it looks like it will translate into a great month of May for him.

Here are three reasons why:

First – he got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – as did Ms. Lucy Liu earlier this month.

TFP loves that they both got it, however let’s keep in mind that Ms. Liu was only the second Film Star of East Asian Descent after Anna May Wong to get it, one supposes we should point out that Scarlett Johannsen already had one…

Merle Oberon was of South Asian descent, however Ms. Oberon was not open about her heritage. Likewise Vivian Leigh, who also is supposed to be of South Asian descent or Armenian – her Grandfather’s surname was Yackjee.

Which tells you all you need to know about the perception of mixed race peoples throughout time.

So it IS very nice to see Keanu and Dwayne Johnson ‘repping’ for the Halfies.

Mr. Reeves is not the first or the second AAPI to receive this honor : Philip Ahn, Yul Brynner (he is of partial Buryat (aka Mongol) ancestry via Russia), Jackie Chan, Sessue Hayakawa, Ben Kingsley, Casey Kasem, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Toshiro Mifune, George Takei, all came before – but as one can see…numbers are low.

There have been 2,600 Hollywood Stars Awarded throughout time, and when one considers that Victoria Secret – not the models, the store – have a star, one can see there is MUCH room for improvement.

AHEM, Hollywood.

You are moving, you are just as SLOW AF with the AAPIs – but take your claps….we are getting there…

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SECOND:  JOHN WICK 3, in which he stars alongside screen goddess, Halle Berry, beat AVENGERS by taking in $57 million in it’s opening weekend – which btw is still going on, run out and buy a ticket – though AVENGERS is in it’s 4th week since release, and has a few AAPIs in the cast – notably British East Asian Benedict Wong, David Bautista, Hiroyuki Sanada (who incidentally was beaten by Jeremy Renner in friggin’ SWORD FIGHT, wtf which took TFP right OUT the movie), Jacob Batalon, and the fab Pom Klementieff – this makes it a good weekend to be Keanu.

Third – he is rocking the sexual heat opposite Ali Wong in ALWAYS BE MY MAYBE which will premiere on NETFLIX on May 31st.

Look at this trailer – hot, hot, hot!

Anyway, the fact of the matter is – when good things happen to good people, you root for them – when good things happen to people with whom you share an ‘issue’ – like not being actually accepted in either ‘world’ because you do not fit the narrow confines of what they perceive x to be…you kinda do the world’s happiest dance.

Awesome, ‘Cousin!’

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If she is LUCKY!!!!

TFP out.

The Fairy Princess  was confused over some stuff this past weekend but…what she will say – you have OPTIONS this May – in the theater and on television AND in movies, YES, and they are exciting.

And that is ALL she will say.

Kinda.

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TFP is appearing at BROADWAY SESSIONS at the Laurie Beechman Theater on Thursday May 23rd at 10PM to celebrate the CLOSING of AVENUE Q.

Doors open at 10pm, TFP will be there along with other Original Broadway Cast members to answer questions and sing some funny songs – hosted by BEN CAMERON with DREW WUTKE on the ivories,  see ya there!

Remember, AVENUE Q is closing for ever (till it is not…) on May 24th.

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On the “Everyone does a good deed, but not like Alec Mapa…” front – Alec Mapa, (DOOM PATROL) and his husband, Jamison Hebert when to Washington, D.C. yesterday to advocate for the rights for LGBTQ people to be able to adopt.

They are tremendous people and what they do – as advocates for LGBTQ Adoptive Parents, aside from their glorious work in Entertainment, makes a huge difference.

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FIRST UP – you of COURSE know that Sandra Oh is KILLING IT on KILLING EVE on the BBC America- so we will leave it to her to continue her amazing work- as we are not yet through the season.

Turn your attention to NETFLIX, we have the comedy stylings of AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE’s Ali Wong and FRESH OFF THE BOAT’s Randall Park, with not so hard on the eyes, THE GOOD DOCTOR’s Daniel Dae Kim (as the reminder that you can never trust people that are too good lookin’!)

May 31st!

Take a look:

Directed by Nanatchka Chan, and co-written by AAPI Playwright turned TV Megahit guy, Michael Golamco with Ms. Wong – this will be THE film to have seen amidst our lusty month of May.

Plus KEANU REEVES!!!!!

Kal Penn has a new show – SUNNYSIDE – which will be on NBC Thursday Nights at 9:30 – and thankfully for AAPI America – it has ALL KINDS of Asians on it – and THAT is the future – as we all mix and learn from one another and TFP is HERE for it!

Take a look at the trailer and fall in love with this cast, cuz they look super fierce and funny:

Four Asians on a television show and they do not all live in the same house?

Progress!

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ALSO on NBC this Fall – (guess they were watching ABC’s woke scorecard and got motivated) (?) – is a new show with TFP‘s favorite, Rizwan Manji and fellow Cast Member, Gedde Watanabe!!!!- called PERFECT HARMONY – no definitive night yet on schedule, but we have a trailer!

Technically the marquee name is Bradley Witford, but…take a look…there is music and comedy happening all around us – we are in “the Golden Age of Television”.

WARRIOR is still going strong on CINEMAX they have announced a Season 2 and added what? MORE AAPI Performers – so let’s continue to show up for this, truly AAPI American story – taking place from when Asians came first to San Fran.

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HADESTOWN, the new Broadway musical directed by Rachel Chavkin that has an all female Creative Team – has given EVA NOBLEZADA from San Diego, CA – her second TONY Nomination for her second show on Broadway!

We have just ALL the LOVE for THAT!

You can also check out her breakthrough performance alongside Ms. LEA SALONGA in the film, YELLOW ROSE, which took home the Grand Jury Prize as well as being the Opening Night Film at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. Ms. Noblezada took home the award for Breakthrough Performance.  Yellow Rose was written, directed, and produced by Diane Paragas.

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Jeff Liu is directing Prince Gomovilas‘s THE BROTHERS PARANORMAL for Pan Asian Rep, Off Broadway in NYC, which runs April 28-May 19th. Starring: Brian D. Coats, Vin Kridakorn, Emily Kuroda, Dawn L. Troupe, Roy Vongtama

Pan Asian is in it’s 42nd Season, Folks – they have been through more issues with Representation than almost anyone else, so if you have the extra cash – throw some love their way. Right HERE.

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Finally, in light of all TFP’s pals who found out whether or not their show or pilot was picked up and/or not, cancelled or extended -Y’all – it is just entertainment.

There will be another show. Another show, another opportunity, another option. Things have a way of circling back around. You will work again. Trust and believe.

Six years ago when TFP started this blog, there was nothing like this embarrassment of riches appearing on our television landscape.

Now, there is.

There are AAPI performers who get pilots every year, who are series regulars every year…which is AMAZING – not, of course, ENOUGH, but it is amazing to see rapid progress.

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Though the work in television is exhausting…

it is not like trying to preserve the rights over your own ovaries in Alabama,

it is not like trying to preserve your rights to be acknowledged as a person to your government because you fall into a category that our POTUS does not recognize,

it is not like you are getting locked up into a cage for using your legal right to seek asylum in this country.

Those things are hard. They are life threatening.

So go out and VOTE to make the world a better place. If you live in ALABAMA, you better vote OUT all these old white men, and vote in some Women of Color & LGBTQ folx – because the white people you have in office now have been letting their state DOWN…..

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Be aware of the world – not just your corner of it – and remember, if you ‘come’ for TFP... she doesn’t give a….

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she will just pull out the receipts….

TFP out.

 

 

 

The Fairy Princess wants you to know there is good stuff going on around the USA, and she is going to make this a ‘feel good’ post – because every now and then we need that.

First off – on the SAME NIGHT – Cinemax premiere’s the new series WARRIOR, which takes place in the United States, at a time not anywhere within recent decades. Why is this important? Well, because – Asian Americans, and the first immigration wave of course was Chinese, were in the United States since 1815.

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1815 was the first ship to arrive in the United States with sailors who became merchants – or one supposes they could have been merchants first, then sailors for the purpose of the trip, and then merchants once again – who knows – the POINT is – how many Asian Americans have been aware that ‘we’ have been here since 1815?

WARRIOR is set among the Tong Wars in the late 1800’s. The concept of placing Asians within America’s history via a series like this was Bruce Lee’s – and he would super proud of his daughter, Shannon Lee for getting this series up and running.

What are the Tong Wars? Basically – gang wars over territory or ‘honor’. They were in every city where there was a Chinese faction, though San Francisco was the most brutal and long running – and only one, the Hip Sing Tong was bi-coastal. Though originally founded by the Chinese, they welcomed the AAPI diaspora – which, when you think about it, was very forward thinking.

The cast includes British East Asian, Andrew Koji in the lead role, and then a roster of badass talent best known on New York stages like, Hoon Lee, Perry Yung, and reunites director, Justin Lin with his Better Luck Tomorrow star, Jason Tobin. Rounding out the main company are Dianne Doan, Olivia Cheng, Joe Taslim, Dustin Nguyen,  and some white people who do not need the promotion.

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Next up – TONIGHT is the 100th Episode of ABC’s FRESH OFF THE BOAT and TFP needs you to turn on your televisions and keep the love going. This is history making – as it, this has never happened before.

That is correct, 100 Episodes of a Television show about an Asian American Family that has made it into the zeitgeist has NEVER happened before.

Let TFP interject a personal story here – her son was sick, and as a result he had to stay home. On the day he stayed home, TFP at a certain point during the day, turned on the television and he was fascinated. Because he was watching FOTB ‘on demand’. TFP had tried before with him, but honestly, he was too young to understand it.

Now, at six years old, he understood. He asked for episode after episode and when he was asked why he was now fixated on this show, he said “Because they look like me.” Even with all the media reluctantly adding an AAPI cast regular, even with as varied as the landscape is now – and as sure as TFP is that that trend will continue – her son was fascinated by Fresh Off The Boat.

Representation matters.

He has seen ‘himself’ on television, he can watch it from his couch. He knows he has a ‘place at the table’ moving forward. Who knows what this does to his brain?

TFP is not sure what that feels like, but she is thrilled that, at age 6, he has that knowledge.

Congrats to ABC and the Cast, Crew and Creatives of FRESH OFF THE BOAT.

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RIZWAN MANJI has been cast in Bradley Witford’s new pilot, PERFECT HARMONY, where he will play Reverend Max, the pop culture loving pastor where Witford’s Ivy League Music Professor comes to take charge of the church choir.

Long may it run!

KILLING EVE Season 2 is coming!!!!!! THIS COMING SUNDAY APRIL 7th!

So much love for Ms. Sandra Oh, who is living her BEST life and getting to do all the things that we, as supporters wish for her, and all the things she wishes to do.

Starring in a show? Check.

Hosting Saturday Night Live? Check.

Winning Awards? Check. (Golden Globes, SAG Award, Critic’s Choice)

You GO Sandra Oh!

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One of the funniest people in the world – ALEC MAPA – has joined the show DOOM PATROL as Animal-Vegetable-Mineral- Man, with an extra Dinosaur Head and some other features on the streaming DC Universe.

TFP doesn’t quite know how to handle this show, but she is known for her love of puppets and the bizarre – so she LURVES it! Also – seeing ALEC MAPA on any screen makes your day better!

GET IT MAPA!

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WAIT – there is MORE!

#StarringJohnCho is yet again, a thing!

He is taking on the lead role in a live action series about a Space Hopping Bounty Hunter, based on a popular anime series,  COWBOY BEBOP for NETFLIX and this is super exciting.

The writing staff looks somewhat inclusive and gender diverse – Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Vivian Lee, Jennifer Johnson. Liz Sagal to name a few – TFP thinks this will be a fun watch, she is going to gear up to binge it.

Go John Cho!

(And go @its_willyu for developing this concept and creating art work to show how easily one casts great talent in major films.)

SARAYU BLUE is going to be be in the Jenny Han book inspired sequel “ALL THE BOYS I’VE LOVED BEFORE along with star, Lana Condor!

Super Hawt! Wow, this month is LIT and we are only 5 days in!

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Finally, Asian American Film Lab has opened up it’s 72 Hour Shootout Registration – the actual shoot out will take place the first weekend in June 2019. The theme will be announced at the ‘launch’ of it – so not to have to contend with cheating – and then the clock ticks down.

What it is: you and your team have 72 hours to write, cast, direct, film and edit a short film based on a theme, which varies from year to year. There are a bunch of workshops to help you prepare for this adventure and there are a ton of prizes to win, which include mentorships by Entertainment Professionals at NBC and ABC, cash prizes, and so on – with a chance for your winning short to be shown at the Asian American International Film Festival in NYC.

You want more stories – make them yourself!

There you go, this post should make you feel all the feels – #AAPIApril – who would have thought it?

TFP out.

The Fairy Princess should have written about MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG a bit earlier – you now have literally 2 weeks to see it, but see it you should. Tickets here.

The reason you should see it is because Manu Narayan is a friggin’ leading man for our times, and he has his bona fides all in a row, up there, on the stage, for you to see.

 

 

As he said on TFP’s BroadwayCon Panel – he likes being in the show because he is playing a quintessential New Yorker – and of course he is, the part was never written with a performer of Indian descent in mind. Which makes you wonder WHY is an Indian American NOT a quintessential New Yorker? Because once you have seen Manu do the show, it is clear that, he is.

However, that it works so well is a tribute to how it has been written, or in this case, rewritten. The book is the book – people have issues with it, however TFP thinks it works. There has obviously been some pruning, and with new orchestrations by Alexander Gemignani (Soon to go into MY FAIR LADY with Laura Benanti), the show is high polished gem of a musical.

It’s a throwback to a different school of musical, and she is HERE FOR IT!!!!!

It is so refreshing to see how a show that premiered on Broadway in 1981, based on a play written in 1934, and told backwards – seems so modern.

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The Fairy Princess has some news – PROGRESS is being made in the U.K. with The Lams – on Feb 28, 2019, BEATS Org had a sit down with Cheryl Taylor (CBBC Controller), Melissa Hardinge (Comissioner) and Miranda Wayland (BBC Diversity Lead), in a meeting chaired by The Writers Guild.

The good news is that they agreed that “Twenty Twenty will contract as many East Asian Comedy Writers and Off Screen Crew as possible who meet the requirements for the show.”

CBBC has also hired a British East Asian Head Writer – which means, that – the dumplings will no longer be burned in the oven, ‘pickled veg‘ will likely be renamed kimchi and hopefully, as discussed in this podcast They Call Us Bruce hosted by Asian American writers and activists, Phil Yu and Jeff Yang, no one will be called “Chonger’ in any fashion whatsoever.

So- YAY – a guarantee that there will be British East Asians working actively on this show – in line with America’s FRESH OFF THE BOAT, Canada’s KIM’S CONVENIENCE, and Australia’s THE FAMILY LAW.

While the jury is still out on what “Living With The Lams’ will eventually be, at least the British East Asians can rest easier, knowing that there are now BEA’s working on the show in a viable manner.

It’s a WIN – so TAKE it! (Guardedly)

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Also of some excitement in the U.K., is the premiere of the play, PAH-LA by Abhishek Majumdar, which will be show at The Royal Court Theatre, opening APRIL 3 and running till April 27th – grab your tickets here.

PAH-LA is based on real events during the Lhasa riots of 2008, and the playwright consulted, among many others – His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama.

 

PAH-LAH is directed by Debbie Hannan, The Cast is – Paul Chan, Tuyen Do, Zachary Hing, Daniel York Loh, Kwong Loke, Richard Rees, Gabby Wong, Millicent Wong

Break Legs, Kids!

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Now on to something happening stateside, and it’s honestly – it’s not something TFP likes to go back and talk about because – people are protesting MISS SAIGON again, this time because the OVERTURE CENTER for the Performing Arts in Madison, Wisconsin cancelled it’s panel discussion that was to accompany the show.

As a result, the Academics who were invited to the panel, have assumed their positions outside the theater to lecture people on what they believe the issues with the show are. That is the crux – the Academics had a different view of what educating the public was than the theater did, and so the theater cancelled the panel rather than just hash it out.

Frankly – unless you are going to protest every show that deals with prostitution in musical theater – protesting MISS SAIGON does not get you anywhere with TFP.

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Not. Anywhere.

You want to take a stand about the dehumanizing world of prostitution, then you better be ready to take down 90 per cent of Broadway musicals, all of them, without qualm, equally. You better see the women in these stories – all of them – regardless of color of the skin, regardless of how they identify, and frankly, men too – as being worthy of your consideration and protest.

EQUALLY.

If you go full tilt boogie no prostitution in musicals, period – TFP will stand with you. She will miss the torch songs, the funny songs, the jokes about flexibility, the stories of brutality, compassion, love, and all else – she really does not want to be stuck with 1776 on endless repeat, but again – if eliminating prostitution from the American stage is the goal – she will stand with you.

Rewrite American Musical Theater and all it’s tropes. Get MT to change completely- but we do not just do it for one group.

She understands Asian Americans – particularly of course Vietnamese Americans – like to blame MISS SAIGON for a myriad of ills, but the truth is if you are cherry picking your protests specifically because the Actors who are telling the stories are AAPI, telling a story that revolves around in this case, Southeast Asian People – then TFP is out.

What about Latinx female representation on our stages? What about African American female representation? Are you going after THE LIFE? Are you going after DON QUIXOTE?

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The show premiered in 1989 in the West End, and on Broadway in 1991.

The Vietnam War was undeclared and went from November 1955 till April 30, 1975.

The show was written well after the war, and is not, honestly ‘responsible’ for the stereotypes – it is not that powerful. It was based on Madame Butterfly by Puccini. Have you gone and protested the opera? Because if you have not gone and done that, you are a hypocrite.

The opera premiered in 1904, you have had time….although that was set in Japan, so do you only protest when it directly reminds you of you?

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To TFP, if you want to ‘hate’ a form of entertainment that dealt with Vietnam, you would be better off looking to films like FULL METAL JACKET, which gave us all the hated phrase “Love you long time” and countless, dehumanizing instances of man’s inhumanity to man. THAT film, and all the immature people that saw it – Ask TFP about how many times some a**hole has quoted that movie to her as she walked down a New York or LA street unaccompanied.

Go ahead.

The number is countless. As in, it is unable to be counted because it is so many.

Yes, there were protests of MISS SAIGON originally.

Not because of the storybecause of the casting of Jonathan Pryce as a Eurasian pimp.

Do not combine the issues – the original protest was a casting protest.

We call that “Yellow-face’. We still protest that. That was what the protests were over, the yellow-face. Not over the story. Asian American Actors – and in fact, Playwrights, protested because ‘they’ were not allowed to tell the story and represent it the way they felt it should be represented. The AAPIS wanted to tell that story, they wanted to be the focus of a story that was filled with people that looked like them.

AAPI people are allowed to play ‘bad’ people. They are allowed to play people who are complicated. They are allowed to play villains. They are allowed to play murderers and prostitutes and people on the seamier side of life – and they do without undo protest, in every Asian country in the world – but here it is no go?

But then we all go to film festivals and see dark, messed up films from Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, etc – and talk about how great they are (and they are), but we do not protest them – even though many of them show gritty stories and characters.

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People blame MISS SAIGON for a few reasons – and those few reasons are because there are not enough representations of AAPI peoples on our stages. The lack of variety means that only one kind of story is being told, and in those kinds of stories, Asian women are largely subject to some kind of sexual objectification – whether it is prostitution or not quite clarified existence as a concubine, or being given in marriage to a French planter who drinks – there is a lot of sex, and AAPI women do not seem to come out, er, on top.

Let TFP name some of the most definitive “AAPI” musicals, ready?

THE KING AND I

FLOWER DRUM SONG

SOUTH PACIFIC

ALLEGIANCE

PACIFIC OVERTURES

Without MISS SAIGON there are 5.

With it, there are 6.

(Don’t start with THE MIKADO – even Theater Mu is doing it now, (and they have hated musicals for YEARS)  so yes, it can be done, but again, as people tend to NOT use AAPIs to do that show, TFP is only going to count THE MIKADO when it gets a professional Broadway Production, and ALL AAPI cast.)

Three of those listed were written by the same team. FLOWER DRUM SONG and ALLEGIANCE do not have any sort of sexual coercion, but FDS does have the ‘bad girl’ in Linda Low who dates around, and then Helen who has sex with Ta, and then kills herself because he doesn’t want to marry her in the original book.

White People often do not see a need to have AAPI people in PACIFIC OVERTURES playing Japanese people because…SONDHEIM.

That is the whole reason ‘they’ feel it is ok, on occasion, to do a non AAPI PACIFIC OVERTURES – one word, SONDHEIM. (And frankly, he would agree with them, he does not feel that it needs representative casting. He’s been quoted on that. He’s 89.)

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Have there been more musicals that feature AAPIS but cannot be called an AAPI Musical?

Yes – AVENUE Q and THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE – both of which have been produced in regional theaters without Asians in the roles that were created by Asian Americans.

SPONGE BOB the musical had 2 – Kelvin Moon Loh and Stephanie Hsu – were those roles written for AAPIs? Not according to Kelvin, who said on the BroadwayCon panel that when casting that show, the team was looking for “Unicorns“. (Unique performers who were all outstanding)

SPONGE BOB can be cast any which way. As can BE MORE CHILL, and DEAR EVAN HANSEN, and HAMILTON – and truthfully, that is the way American Musical Theater is going – but even with all that, MISS SAIGON gets the most backlash. More than THE KING AND I, which has sexual slavery as a plot point. Not ‘for hire’, Tuptim is given to the King as a gift.

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The King brandishes a ‘effin BULL WHIP ostensibly to beat her with and people say nothing.

Even if you tried, someone would start March of the Siamese Children and they would all be so damn cute, you could not go on. Hoop skirt magic.

When was the last time a group of people stood outside a production of THE KING AND I and yelled and screamed at both the patrons and the cast?

Never.

Heck, RuthieAnn Miles won a TONY Award the last time it was on Broadway.

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So what is it about the five to ten minute montage in the beginning of Acts One and Two during MISS SAIGON that sets everyone off? Besides the fake Vietnamese, that was not cool, and it was fixed. They wore bikinis tops with shorts, and they danced on a pole set on a bar. Seems to TFP there is a similar scene in another musical…..takes place earlier…hmmm she can hear it…

“Lovely ladies, waiting for a bite.

Waiting for the customers who only come at night

Lovely ladies, waiting for the call

Standing up or lying down or any way at all

Bargain prices up against the wall”

Not MISS SAIGON – it’s Les Miserables.

Written by the SAME men. Also -Prostitutes. Also -Mothers giving up children for them to have a better life.

No French people protesting this show. Heck, it was written BY French people.

IT IS ALMOST THE SAME SHOW!

THEY ARE JUST IN BIKINIS AND NOT PANNIERS!

The only reason people protest MISS SAIGON when they do not protest other musicals about prostitution, or with prostitution as a plot point is because that one show has people in it that look like them.

But that is not the way theater works – you cannot protest just the Asian prostitutes – that is inherently an issue. You are fine with shows that portray women of every other skin tone, but you lose it when they are Asian?

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If Asian Americans want to have more stories to tell, other than this one – by all means, please write them.

Write us crazy and rich, write us turning 35 and unable to commit, write us as demonic hairdressers, as Mothers on the Verge and Fathers who cannot show up to the church/temple/mosque on time, write us at weddings and at funerals, write for Trans AAPIs and write for LGBTQ and Gender Non Binary AAPIs – but do NOT protest us only because the performers are AAPI and you are AAPI and you do not ‘like’ the story.

One of the biggest shows on Broadway right now – PRETTY WOMAN.

Anyone protesting? Any academics going to have a sit in? Because the women in that are definitively for sale, and the men are weak – except for Richard. Or are you not protesting because that is a white lady up there? Who, coincidentally portrayed Eponine in the film version of Les Miserablesas well as on the UK stages which was written by…the guys who wrote MISS SAIGON.

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IF YOU GO TO PROTEST MISS SAIGON, PROTEST THEM ALL.

But you cannot hold this one show accountable for something that, statistically, it would be impossible to achieve- you cannot hold it accountable for anti-Asian racism simply put- very few people in this country have seen.

It is a friggin musical – how many Americans regularly go to musicals?

As TFP states previously- it is just not that powerful a show. Do not give small scenes within a two and a half hour show THAT much power- it has not been earned.

The point of it is that people can come together no matter what is going on in the world- or is the ‘protest’ somehow combined with the issue of mixed race children being born?

Just sayin’- as one Mixed Race person to those whose country put them in camps….

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TFP understands the issues with this show. Academics and Protestors say that the show is responsible for showing Asian women as prostitutes – which it does, and for portrayals of Asian men as ‘weak’, which she doesn’t quite get, because Thuy is scary AF.

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The weakest man in MISS SAIGON is Chris.

The Engineer is a marketing genius who always survives, Thuy is a badass in the Army who has to be shot close range to be stopped, John goes back and takes care of the Mixed Race kids left behind and is a friggin’ hero, while Tam probably grows up to be in Crazy, Rich Asiansthe weakest man in that show is the white guy.

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This is the Jurassic Park of Musicals – proving life will find a way. TFP knows of NO weak Vietnamese men or women. She knows plenty of Vietnamese people though- and they are a bunch of fearless badasses.

PTSD about the Vietnam War and it’s aftermath is a real thing, if this show triggers you, do not go. You do not have to be put in that head space. You do not like the thought of prostitutes, then do not go. They are truly a small part of the show, but if that is the sticking point – give it a pass.

There is a lot to unpack about America – especially if you are an immigrant or a child of immigrants. If you have been a survivor of violence, or adoption (which is it’s own kind of violence), or war, or rape, or beatings or murder, you have the right to feel some sort of way about seeing that portrayal or a reasonable facsimile on the stage – but the ills of the world do not fall at the score of a musical.

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This country, America 2019 is a friggin mess, ok?

We have an orange madman intent on dismantling the country and we all have to get out and vote for SOMEONE ELSE WHO HAS A MAJOR PARTY NOMINATION in the next election – but in the theater we vote as well – we vote with our tickets.

TFP would not go and protest you at your job, just because she did not like that that job existed. If everyone did that, there would be no dentists or proctologists.

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If this is not the show for you, if you are ‘too close’ to be able to view it dispassionatelydo not go. Practice self care. Take a break from having to relive the nightmare of what happened to your country of origin- it is fine – do not see it. Do not take your kids, do not take your parents, just give this show a pass because you do not need it in your life.

It’s ok to never, ever see it for you as an individual – you just do not get to decide that a show should never be done, based on your own trauma. Your trauma is real – you do not have to go. TFP absolves you of that – some people want to see this show, some people want to be in this show – let them see and be, and you do YOU.

Does TFP think that the OVERTURE CENTER should have cancelled their scheduled panel that was to accompany their production of MISS SAIGON?

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No. That was some bullshit.

If you schedule a panel, you do a panel. DO you think that La Jolla Playhouse liked getting their face pushed into the sand when they had a panel on “The Nightingale“?

No, they absolutely did not.

But they took it. (Moises Kaufmann, TFP is available, you can call her)

If you want to do MISS SAIGON and you have Vietnamese American scholars who want to come and participate in a panel, and you schedule it?

YOU HAVE TO DO IT – EVEN IF YOU DO NOT LIKE WHAT THEY ARE GOING TO SAY.

YOU INVITED THEM!

It is not up to Vietnamese Americans to make white people comfortable about this show. It’s not their job. If they are invited to a panel, and they are going to talk about what has shaped them as a person and what this show does to them, well then….that is their right.

That is the ‘woke’ tax. You pay it. No Asian American scholar is going to get on the stage of a theater, in front of a crowd and say that MISS SAIGON does not have it’s problems – because it does. It has tropes and it has scantily clad women, men behaving badly, orphans, the whole deal – as do about 90 per cent of the rest of the musicals in the American MT canon.

So if you are interested in doing this show and having a panel and the invitations are sent? Gurl – you are attending that wedding. Bring flat shoes in case you need to run away, but showing up is part of the bridge building that needs to happen in America.

However, the fact that these scholars do not regularly get up on panels and talk about the ills of portraying ALL women and men as ‘for sale’ on our stages, is an issue for TFP.

It reeks of, well…

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They do not want to see it because they personally, do not want it to exist.

We do not get to decide for other people, only for our kids, and then only until they stop relying on us for rides. TFP does not get to stop you from indulging in porn, and you do not get to stop her watching reality television – that is ….what’s the word?

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However even if this particular show went bye bye, FULL METAL JACKET is still available to rent. As are several other films about the war in Vietnam. The harm of films, coming in to people’s homes, is far greater than a musical – which is clearly set against the backdrop of a situation. It does not glorify the war, nor does it glorify prostitution – it portrays a desperate time and desperate measures taken.

If you do not want to see it, do not go. If you invite people to a panel, have the panel.

That’s it. If you want to tilt at the windmill of American Musicals then proceed – but bring lances for everyone, not just the ones that look like you.

Overture Center for the Performing Arts – what you did was cowardly – and if you are in the theater you have to be brave. You make a choice, stand by it. Tell us why you did this musical. Was it to diversify your audience? Was it to highlight talent that you liked working with before? Was it to address the love of a mother for a child?

You do not get to walk away from this bad decision about cancelling due to white panic.

Now, TFP really does not trust you with this show – she is sure that the talent is great, but if this was your breaking point, a panel?

Then you should not have done it in the first place.

But to the Academics who think AAPI women can be brought down by a musical? Not to mention a musical where the lead is, de facto, someone of Asian descent and someone who takes a gun and kills to protect her kid?

A MUSICAL CAN BRING US DOWN?

You think badass Vietnamese American women cannot stand tall and stare down at a musical?

You must not know the ones TFP knows.

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TFP out.