The Fairy Princess was kinda thrilled that Hungary got called on it’s BS production of an All White Porgy & Bess.

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She was looking forward to celebrating the positives in American theater, like for example this guy:

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Manu Narayan, the star of BOMBAY DREAMS is back on Broadway in one of the iconic shows that define Broadway – MY FAIR LADY. Manu will be playing the role of Zoltan Kaparthy, the Hungarian who has one of the best descriptions of any musical theater character around “…Oozing charm from every pore, he oiled his way around the floor”


He will ALSO be appearing in the upcoming Broadway musical, GETTING THE BAND BACK TOGETHER, from director John Rando, with a book by Ken Davenport, score by Mark Allen, with additional material from Sarah Salzberg. This is exciting because…the musical was first ‘found’ through improv comedy with the improv group, Grundleshotz.

So count ’em, TWO Broadway musicals in a year for ^^^ this guy! Incredible!

PS Photo by Lia Chang.

And also big UPPPS for Albert Guerzon,

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who joins the rest of his cast of ESCAPE TO MARGARITAVILLE on Broadway when it begins previews on February 16, 2018.

Which brings the grand sum of Asian Americans on Broadway to 25.



These numbers will change by one or two, possibly as much as FOUR when MEAN GIRLS, FROZEN, SUMMER, PRETTY WOMAN, THE CHER SHOW, THE PROM all hit the boards. (The only one that TFP knows of as having a larger role going to an Asian American performer is MEAN GIRLS, Ashley Park is one of the “Plastics”)

(Now – special note here – the numbers of Asians on Broadway DO go up a bit more, if you happen to consider Middle Eastern Countries part of Asia. On a map they ARE a part of Asia, called Central Asia.

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However, TFP has not spoken with any of the cast members of THE BAND’S VISIT, so she does not know how THEY self identify, and that is a big important point – some people prefer the common understanding of The Middle East being Arabic – however it is, on a map, more the middle EAST than The Middle East. (See China there, right to the right of the map?) So if the Central Asians on Broadway want to self identify as Asian Americans, s’all right by TFP because our numbers go up then.

They can totes email her.)


Special mention of course goes out to playwright, Young Jean Lee, who’s play, STRAIGHT WHITE MEN, directed by Anna D. Shapiro, will open in June – making her the FIRST ASIAN AMERICAN FEMALE PLAYWRIGHT ON BROADWAY….EVAH!


Frankly, TFP wanted to focus on the good rather than the bad, but two things have occurred this past week that make her have to put fingers to computer.

The first is the continued display of the character, Juanito Bandito which is brought to you from it’s home ofThe Pickleville Playhouse, in Utah. The show then is ‘traveled’ aka ‘tours’ to two other venues – one is The Grand in Salt Lake City, and the other is the Logan space at the Ellen Eccles Theatre in the Cache Valley Center for the Arts.

Now, TFP does not know why this is funny.

She watched as much as she could online and frankly, she had to do an immediate mental douche of alternating episodes of RuPaul’s All Stars and the new Queer Eye for the Straight Guy to recover her equanimity.


Without getting too personal, this character (a melding of Frito Bandito, a character that sold chips for years and comedian Bill Dana’s Jose Jiminez)is the creation of actor, TJ Davis.

From Utah.

Long known as diversity sink hole.

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Apparently he dropped out of dental school (please start fanning your Asian Mom if she is reading this over your shoulder)  to fulfill a lifelong dream of debasing Latinx men for laughs based on prejudices by Caucasians.

All TFP has to say is…if she had been able to go back in time and counsel him – she would have told him that dentistry is very well paying and would support both his family and society more than engaging in campy racial stereotypes.

Now, a few people have written about Juanito Bandito – Arts Advocate, Howard Sherman, BloggerBitter Gertrude, and TFP is sure more are coming. Howard and Gertrude are going to give you backstory and context, so TFP is leaving that to them.


TFP got sucked into a whole different end of this drama, when she was contacted by a Board Member of THE GRAND from Salt Lake City via Tweets from Playwright, Diana Burbano.

TFP ain’t mad about it.


Here is why – hate crimes in Utah are up, according to the FBI– as reported by the Salt Lake Tribune’s Paighten Harkins. They are expected to continue to rise – and these incidents have landed Utah the 23rd spot out of 49 in the reports of hate crimes in America.

The one thing that keeps Utah lower than other states is – it’s lack of diversity.

Not a ton of people of color, people of varying sexual orientations and identifications. Therefore not quite as many available people to be victimized as in our larger metropolitan areas.

Most of these hate crimes in Utah were racial, meaning based on the victim’s race, ethnicity, or ancestry – with religion and sexual orientation coming a close second.

Now, Pickleville Playhouse is a ‘Family’ Playhouse – and they do ‘wholesome Family entertainment’ and have for 40 years.

TFP thinks The Pickleville Playhouse is a lost cause, frankly.


They know what they have, and they are exporting it to the masses of Utah – and they are ok with it. They are good at The Pickleville Playhouse, they are drinking the pickle juice that they made to ferment all that good, honest, xenophobia.

What better way to train baby racists than to gather them when they are young and ready to absorb, and feed them a show that mocks people that have different melanin than them?

Bring them young, and raise them wrong, Folks.

This is a two-fold battle plan – because it helps alleviate the need to have to be aware of other people’s humanity AND it guarantees that the hate crime numbers will continue to climb – because it has been established that ‘those people’ are not like ‘us’. “They” are merely here to cement the superiority of Caucasian people – so go UTAH!


When TFP was initially contacted by a self identified Board Member of The Grand Theater in Salt Lake City – a theater that is the recipient of Federal Money, because it is on the campus of a community college – she thought that this was a chance for real dialogue.


Now, TFP responded to each tweet – and she hopes that the Board of The Grand will take this in the spirit with which it was intended. These are slightly expanded from her Twitter responses – which are available @Equill

When you ‘rent’ your ‘house’ aka theater, what you do is, you open your ‘home’.  Whatever is housed in your theater – rental or original production – is tacitly endorsed by The Grand.

The Grand has viewed the show, thought that they could make money off of their audience with it, and therefore regardless of The Grand’s role in the creation of this racist show, The Grand participates in this show as a purveyor.

Madams get arrested for Prostitution too, ‘Boo.

Just saying.


Even if your theater does not make money off the Merch sold, the Merch is still presented. Caricatures debasing a group of people become symbols with which to devalue their contributions to this country. It makes it easier for their pain to be denied, it makes it easier to attack them.

Hate crimes are UP, ‘Boo – they are UPPPPP!


No, The Grand did not create the show, but they are complicit. They are taking the money and they are looking the other way.

Haven’t we had enough of that kind of thinking in this country?

Then TFP got this response:



Fossen in 2018 has a point – the First Amendment does protect Mr. T.J. Davis and his ‘right’ to write/produce/star in whatever he, personally so chooses.

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However, Mr. Fossen, though you are a Board Member and likely very eager (to support the theater) to take rental money – because of course, the theater gets a percentage of that money in the box office – the theater is NOT obligated to book that rental.  

Once they do book a rental, the theater is not allowed to censor it – that is true.

That does fall under the First Amendment, once it is booked.

However – what happens before the show is booked?

For example, say TFP had a theater (Jordan Roth, you wanna give TFP a theater to run?) she would have many, many options of what to choose to put in the space. She would decide upon many factors – would it be a long running show? Would it be an expensive show? Would it be a star vehicle? A Play? A Musical?


However she would be under NO OBLIGATION to provide a space for any proposed show. As a Producer, TFP would be trying to make practical decisions for that theatrical space based on her knowledge of the theater going public. That is what Producers DO. That is how they operate. It is show business, not show friendship.

One of the other ‘rules’ taught in this country – mainly by Moms, not by enough Dads, frankly – curiously though by The Rolling Stones – is that YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT.

No one is under any sort of obligation to provide anything that you do not deserve.


Ok so you are a guy who wrote a show – hundreds, if not thousands of people write shows every year in this country.

They write plays and musicals and situation comedies, rom coms and dramas, they even have writers for reality television (oh yeah – didn’t realize that did ya) and not ONE of those writers – established or not – is guaranteed a place to showcase their piece.

People of Color, Gender Fluid Persons, People of Minority Status – they all write shows – and even the most talented, even the most earnest and well meaning – they are NOT guaranteed a venue.


Frankly, TFP is very surprised by this booking simply because of the mission statement of The Grand.

See, perhaps you have not watched the video on your website…TFP has,


and here is what Richard Scott, Exec. Dir of The Grand Theater & SLCC Cultural Programming said – right there on your website ( at about 3.32 min into it) – of which you are the Master – “The Grand is unique – because it is many things – we are a community theater company, we have artistic productions that we produce, pick, generate…we produce concerts, we produce lectures...”

Now, ‘to pick‘ – you have to have choice available to exercise. Once the choice is made – for example in granting a rental, then no – you cannot induce the show to limit itself, but be yes, you can pick what goes into a space.

Now, as to having made this choice to allow the show to rent – this was where the conversation went horribly awry – the hiding behind the supposed protection of the First Amendment.

The Grand had AMPLE information to make the decision of what to bring into your theater space. Not only were there several videos on YouTube, you had a trailer to sell the show, and a copy of the script – a script that has had only minor changes in ten years.

You knew what it was. There is no deniable plausibility.

Ten years of abject racism that y’all found funny. Or perhaps you thought no one would find out, being that you are out in Utah.

Funny thing about Utah, you know what else is there?

Sundance Film Festival.

You know what THAT means, right?

Film actors and other celebrities roaming around Salt Lake City, perhaps on a day off from the Festival? (The FESTival, the FESTival) – many of whom might take the existence of Juanito Bandito in your space rather personally…(and no, they are not all Mexican heritage and TFP knows that – but on these issues, Latinx people tend to come together)see how now you are uncomfortable with this show being in The Grand?

Yes. THAT. Go with THAT feeling.

If you cannot present it to Salma Hayek, you should not present it.

No, we of the Internet may not be able to get TJ Davis to see the light – he is fine with what he is doing, and in insulated Utah, he will get away with it for as long as he wants to – however we of the Internet, and the PoC and the Gender Diverse of Utah have the ability to vote with our dollars to support this theater.

Again, it comes down to choice….


the question is – can The Grand, in beautiful Salt Lake City, continue to make the choice to provide a venue for this kind of racist theater?

You cannot hide behind the First Amendment and think it provides protection unilaterally. There are checks and balances.


Disturbances in The Force are ALL our business – because we, the people, have had enough – enough of the flames of ignorance fanning the forest fires of hatred.

This show is a log on that fire of ignorance which is elevating the hate crimes in Utah.

If you provide it a home, you showcase the message. 150 Whacks of the wand for The Grand – you had ten years worth of evidence to show that your minds and hearts are as open as your theater on a double show day – and you blew it.

It ALL matters.

All of it.


The second incident, was something that gave TFP hope for the future.

Teens in Ithaca, New York, wrote a letter and protested about the casting of Esmerelda in HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME being whitewashed at their high school.

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We all know what Whitewashing is, yes? No one needs refreshers, yes? We get it?


Back to the story – Hunchback is of course, a seminal piece in the Disney canon – is steeped in prejudice – both against deliberately segregated minorities and people with disabilities, and how kindness and love can eventually triumph.

Esmerelda is a Romani – now, the interesting thing that has come to light about the Rom – is thataccording to DNA,they are descended from India’s Dalit class.


According to this article in Live Science, 1500 years or so ago, the Rom migrated from Northwest India, in one massive group, and arrived in Europe – where they spread and became entrenched in Europe.

Now, due to migration and intermarriage or, if not marriage, sex – their skin color has many different varieties, but the way Disney Studios drew Esmerelda is fairly accurate for a 15th Century Romani Girl.

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This makes the evolution of The Romani more understandable, if you understand that Dalit was/is a term that is representative of the aboriginals of India, that are considered ‘untouchable.

In Sanskrit it means ‘oppressed’. Prejudice that exists even now in India towards Dalit people. They have higher instances of crimes against their non male persons, and higher rates of poverty, of hunger…in short, it is something that India needs to solve –  it is simply a travesty.

From a narrative though – it makes total sense.

At some point, 1500 years ago, there was a mass migration OUT of India with members of this group. Likely it was not voluntary.  They had learned by then that they were not wanted, that in fact it was dangerous to try and live among people, so they developed a tribal mentality – a wandering tribe. Their wagons and the constant movement was self preservation.

As they got out of the heat and terrain of India, and intermixed with local European groups – depending on where they were in Europe – their hair color and skin color would likely lighten. However the ‘glamor’ of The Rom remained – the thick hair, the love of bright patterns and colors, of dancing and singing

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– let’s face it. India is where the Kama Sutra was written, these were sexy folks.

Now, are there currently, Romani descendants who have light skin and hair and eyes? YES. Particularly those who managed to make their way to Ireland and Scotland, where they renamed themselves ‘Travelers”.

But in the 15th Century…that would not have been the case yet, right? 1,500 years is only 18 generations, let’s say. Allowing for early marriages and deaths that would not occur with modern medicine. In the 15th Century, they were only perhaps 10-12 generations out of being “pure” Dalit.

Which, TFP is totally geeking out about, because she enjoys a good genome puzzle – but the long and short of it is, Esmerelda would have been a person of mixed heritage, and that is the way she was drawn.

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Now, the Kiddos at Ithaca auditioned and when the cast was posted, there was a non PoC cast as Esmerelda. However these are super smart kids and look – here is a portion of the letter that they wrote to the school –

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TFP is just the PROUDEST OF YOU!!!!


Whitney was RIGHT – you ARE the future!

Now, because the kids took such a strong stand, and because it was covered in the papers, and  of course, people are horrible, some of the students got ‘doxxed(which is a fancy way of saying someone hacked them worse than a federal election) and had their ‘business’ put out for the world to see. They have received threats and the production was cancelled.


Hunties– this is to be expected. Frankly, in the long run – it will not matter. (Change your passwords though.)

Let TFP tell you something – theater has always been the place where you discover your true selves. You can put on a character, temporarily, but when the curtain descends, you are always left with you. How thrilling to know that the people you are RIGHT NOW, at a time when many have no idea where their moral compass points, are True North kind of people.

TFP is not afraid for you – (Although she does think you all deserve a trip to New York and tickets for THE PROM – who do we know who can make that happen?)not if you decide to pursue theater, or law, or dance, or art, or medicine, or computers or anything at all because you are using logic and reason to approach a situation and amend it.

Standing up, is SOOOOOOO much harder than sitting and watching life go by – but it is worth it.

Cuz as we all know – if you stand for nothing, what do you fall for?




TFP out.