Archives for the month of: July, 2019

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.


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?


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?


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.



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….


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.


New Zealand.


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:


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:


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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?


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?”


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.


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.


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 –




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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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….



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.


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


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.





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!


TFP out.