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.


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)


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!


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.


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.


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?


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?


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.


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?






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.)


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.


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?


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


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.



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?


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.



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….


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?


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?



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…


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?


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?


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

You must not know the ones TFP knows.


TFP out.