Archives for category: Diversity

The Fairy Princess is not an ‘at home’ drinker, she’s a social drinker – although if she lived near master chef, Ina Garten, she would be over in a flash to borrow a cup of Cosmos because Common Core Math is ridiculous…

Although TFP is pretty sure Patti LuPone must live somewhere close to Ina…

TFP agrees with Ms. LuPone that this may be her best basement work – EVER!!!! Of particular fascination is where she keeps that turban and caftan…is that on a whole other level of the house? Is it housed in the basement as well?

SO. MANY. QUESTIONS.

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First – some GOOD NEWS

KIM’S CONVENIENCE has been renewed for two more seasons!!!!!

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That is correct – Seasons 5 and 6 have been greenlit and Season 4 is available today, across the world on NETFLIX!!!!!!

SHABLAAAAAM!

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Sadly, the news from Scotland is not so great – The Edinburgh Festivals are one of the many victims of COVID-1 – with both their International Festival, their Fringe Festival, and their Book Festival being cancelled.

Going to Edinburgh is considered quite the feather in an Artist’s cap – whichever one the Artist gets to play – and TFP is sad about it – because the International scope of the Festivals is vast and inspiring.

She hopes this is a cancellation for this year only – and truly has empathy for those who were planning to hit the Scottish town and earn all the accolades.

Her thoughts too are for the town of Edinburgh, who plan their year’s calendar with this influx of Artists and Audiences, and depend on that pound being spent.

May the next round keep your coffers full…and hopefully next season we will all “Go Lassie Go, and we’ll all go together…”

TFP is tired today – so she will just leave you with some encouragement from Ms. DOLLY PARTON, who donated $1 Million Dollars today to Vanderbuilt towards COVID-19 research and that is going to be it today, Folks

Let’s hope Ms. Parton is correct – she usually is – that there can be some sort of speeded up timeline, because if homeschooling continues much longer...TFP gonna be..

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The Fairy Princess was very sad to read about Manhattan Theater Club cancelling their production of Qui Ngyuen’s POOR YELLA REDNECKS that was scheduled for this coming May.

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Hopefully this is a reschedule and not a true cancellation – because adding insult to injury would be having a Vietnamese American story being cancelled because the POTUS chose to ineptly mishandle the COVID-19 crisis, while choosing to ramp up racism against AAPIs.

Not only are we being attacked in the streets, but we are being erased from the stage – and that is just…

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Wait, don’t believe TFP?

AHEM…

WE’RE GONNA DIE by Young Jean Lee, (Broadway’s only Asian American female playwright) closed early at Second Stage.

CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND  at Signature Theater by Lauren Yee closed early.

ENDLINGS by Celine Song at NY Theater Workshop closed early.

THE HEADLANDS by Christopher Chen at LCT3 closed early.

SUICIDE FORREST by Haruna Lee at Ma Yi closed early.

The RAGE PLAY by Nandita Shenoy never got a chance to open at the Abrons Center.

Sondheim’s ASSASSINS at East West Players is looking to reschedule.

Right now, CAMBODIA AGONISTES  by Ernest Abuba is still on for their May 18th start, at Pan Asian Rep, but really, who knows?

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Quite a list.

Anyway, it a HUGE blow to AAPI’s who have long been overlooked on our stages, to then have the stories (Some centered around community issues, some not) unable to be seen – it is infuriating.

Plus, let’s face it – none of the people calling us names, attacking us cares to tell us apart – so does it matter to an ignorant racist that you happen to have heritage from a country other than China?

No, it doesn’t.

So we are ALL going to have to walk around as if armed from now until the foreseeable future, and be extra careful with our kids and elders – and that is just exhausting.

TFP hates it.

She is also very sad to know that so many are suffering and passing from COVID-19, and that AAPIs are still getting blamed for it. Meanwhile, AAPI are not immune from it, and are losing their lives to it – and it is JUST A VIRUS.

It’s just a virus.

It could have happened anywhere the circumstances were available for it to jump species.

ANYWHERE animals and humans interact.

So. Much. Ignorance.

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However it is not all bad there is some light at the end of the tunnel

@TheaterWit is going to make it’s production of Mike Lew’s TEENAGE DICK available on Vimeo for specific dates and times.

The McCarter Theater Center in Princeton, NJ will be producing, for their 2020-2021 Season, both TIGER STYLE  by Mr. Lew in January and the musical, ‘BHANGIN IT –book by Mike Lew and Rehana Lew Mirza, music and lyrics by Sam Willmott.

All super cool.

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And may TFP just mention that TIGER STYLE is a play.

TIGER KING is an insane docu series about big cat animal abuse on NETFLIX and neither of them have anything to do with one another, so don’t get it twisted.

Also, Tigers and Lions oh my should not be in captivity. Private zoos are hideous.

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KIM’S CONVENIENCE just ended their season in Canada, so that means the USA will get it here on NETFLIX …wait for it – TOMORROW!!!!!

TFP finds re-watching episodes in this time of forced closeness, oddly comforting.

AND NOW THERE ARE MORE!!!!

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KILLING EVE on BBC America moved up it’s release date by two weeks – and waaay better performers in it that just are ACTING like they kill people and stars Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer…who are just ACTING….as opposed to people seeming to have done away with their former spouses….

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ALLEGEDLY!

Ok Peeps, writing this every day is kinda a lot, but here ya go…something to keep you busy.

When this is over, you must take the pledge – you must buy a ticket to a play by an AAPI Playwright.

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Make it happen – grab yourself a ticket, make a pledge to see people’s work.

You need it.

They need it.

We are all going to need as much ‘escape’ as possible, given the way this virus is replicating.

Please accept TFP‘s condolences for any losses you may have suffered during this time, her heart is with you,

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Stay safe. Stay home.

TFP out.

The Fairy Princess is lapping the crazy pole in four inch heels while she has laundered, cleaned and baked all the things… except bread, which…too many carbs anyway.

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She has no concept of how yeast works – so she is very glad bread is not high on the list of personal needs.

Coffee however..

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She is ready for this to be over, because you try and corral a kid, in the home, for several weeks at a time while teaching college courses and –

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However it is NOT over, not ANY time soon – so we just keep self isolating. Let Essential Service people have the space they need to deal with those that are ill – and stay out of the hospital unless you need a respirator.

Meanwhile TFP’s kid never wants to go back to school – and it seems he might get his way, pardon while she searches for her sanity.

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We do not pay teachers enough.

For real.

Nor, do we pay Paramedics – she has just watched the head of the Paramedic Union reassuring people on the news that if you call them, they will come – and yet – should any of them pass away from contracting this virus – their death benefits to their families will only continue for 3 years after they pass – unlike the rest of the Policemen, Firemen etc.

Not right.

Anyway, if you are not adept at sewing, but still concerned about Health workers getting what they need, you may consider donating to

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Here is their GO FUND ME page – this is the collective brain child of TFP‘s buddy, Edgardo Miranda-Rodriguez, who last year created a comic book anthology to help Puerto Rican Hurricane Recovery, and his friends Dr. Sanjeev Sriram, Bob Bland, Kristin Mink, and Saira Rao.

They have found a manufacturer that can get them the N95 masks – FDA approved – for $2 a mask – the goal being to get 2 million masks to essential workers, asap.

If you look on the Go Fund Me page – you can find their mission statement and all related information – this is a big one, Folks – you should do this.

Even if you are not sick, do it for those who are.

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On to Entertainment –

TFP wants you to know that RUSSELL PETERS and PAUL CHOWDHRY both have comedy specials on Amazon Prime right now, and they are hilarious.

Also on Prime is a new series called THE FORGOTTEN ARMY which is about the men and women who fought for Indian Independence, as part of the Indian National Army.

Very cool, bilingual series – it is INTENSE!

Something a bit more fun – MADE IN HEAVEN – also on Amazon Prime – a series about wedding planners in Delhi – it is not a reality show, it is scripted, and alternately comedic but ultimately drama, drama, dramaaaaaaa!

Moving now to a Martin Scorsese Produced film – REVENGE OF THE GREEN DRAGONS, with Kev Jumba, Harry Shum Jr. Justin Chon, Leonard Wu, MC Jin, Celia Au, Eugenia Yuan, Ron Yuan, Carl Li, Jon Kit Lee, Phil Nee, Billy Magnussen and Ray Liotta – and many more.

Directed by the Andrews – Lau and Loo,  and is available on NETFLIX.

If docu- series are more ‘your thing’ then check out MINDING THE GAP, about young skateborders on Hulu

Equally as interesting is this interview with MINDING THE GAP‘s Director, Bing Lui as to why he had to ‘join’ the film.

Ok, one supposes one must keep some things for tomorrow – however, keep in mind, if you are able to shelter at home, and not overly concern yourself over the loss of a salary for a week or two – then you are lucky.

TFP hopes you stay healthy.

Heads up, shoulders back – keep exercising – you can do it.

Also – if anyone gives you shade, or goes further – tell them KISS YOUR FAN TAN FANNIE

TFP out.

The Fairy Princess would like to extend her condolences to the Actors, Nico Santos (Superstore, Crazy Rich Asians) who lost his Step-Father, Sonny,  to COVID-19, and to Yuji Okumoto (Karate Kid 2, American Yakuza) whose In-Laws, Liz and Robert Mar, were both taken by the virus.

TFP would also like to acknowledge the passing of Actor, Garret Sato, (Only The Brave, Hawaii 5.0) and extend condolences to his wife, Stacie Lee Sato.

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May their memories be a blessing, and may they all Rest In Power.

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By now, it is universally acknowledged that America was ill prepared for a virus this dynamic to spread with such power, and many States remain on ‘lockdown’ orders to stay at home.

As we are all ‘trapped’ in this situation – please acknowledge that there may be people in your life that are unable to remain at home, because they are essential workers in the Health, Armed Forces, Civil Forces, and the Grocery Supply chain – and the best thing you can do for them is to STAY HOME and slow the spread of COVID-19.

If you are in the enviable position of working from home, and not being  financially stressed – please consider that people in the Entertainment Field and related areas – that you know – Restaurants, Small businesses, Cleaning Services and so on – may really be feeling the stress due to no income currently and no income for the near future.

Make sure to check in with them and if you can offer assistance, please do so through The Actor’s Fund or, hey, just Venmo them their rent.

Obviously only if you have the means to do so.

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Now for some things to watch that may help you be able to get dressed today – first off – a little bit of music from Telly Leung, Rich Ceraulo, and Alvin Ing from the 50th Anniversary Concert of FLOWER DRUM SONG.

TFP loves Broadway people, check out their ‘clap back’ at the New Yorkers who yelled at Trevor Noah for singing out the window – re-edited and lots of fun, from the people who are/were in the show:

Go AHEAD Broadway!

It is great that in this time of trouble, PBS is opening up it’s GREAT PERFORMANCES library for streaming, and it is free – so if you are a theater nerd like TFP, you will not want to move from your device as you peruse all the shows that are available.

Of particular interest to TFP’s crowd may be the full production of THE KING & I with Ken Watanabe and (TONY Winner) Ruthie Ann Miles, HAMILTON’S AMERICA with Philippa Soo, and in a rather ‘irksome‘ moment, a concert production of SOUTH PACIFIC…. with no Pacific Islanders.

Perhaps if you have given up working out and want your blood pressure to just RISE?

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Honestly perusing the GREAT PERFORMANCES – particularly looking at those from the Opera World, it is shocking how other than orchestrally, there is not a ton of AAPIs in the content available. Which makes TFP appreciate her fellow AAPI Artists just a bit more, because when you go to a website to see the ‘best of the best’, and you clearly are not included quite that much…what is this saying?

Would have liked to have seen ALLEGIANCE, SOFT POWER, FLOWER DRUM SONG, BOMBAY DREAMS, BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM included, but alas, it seems it is not the case – however, plenty of musicals, plenty of plays, plenty of time in purgatory while we flatten the curve.

Shows you can watch on Network TV, where you can see some AAPIS include:

CBS – ALL RISE, MADAME SECRETARY, HAWAII 5.0 (Announced cancellation), NCIS, S.W.A.T, STAR TREK DISCOVERY, BIG BROTHER

NBC – PERFECT HARMONY, SUPERSTORE, SNL, NEW AMSTERDAM, CHICAGO MED,

ABC – THE GOOD DOCTOR, GREY’S ANATOMY, STATION 19,

FRESH OFF THE BOAT (Series Ended)

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CWLEGACIES, BATWOMAN, NANCY DREW, THE OUTPOST, BURDEN OF TRUTH

Yes, other than H50, and ALL RISE, you are not going to see more than one AAPI on a show. It should be acknowledged that only Kristin Kreuk on the CW in BURDEN OF TRUTH is ‘carrying’ the show on her star power as a headliner.

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Therefore BACK TO INDIE FILMS WE GO….

WEST 32nd, Directed by Michael Kang has a Grace Park after BATTLESTAR GALACTICA and before H50, PLUS a John Cho before SELFIE, STAR TREK and SEARCHING.

This film is available on DVD on Amazon.

21 & OVER features more Justin Chon, and why NOT?

The night before his Med School interview, Jeff’s friends take him out for a serious night of partying… Avail on NETFLIX

Now we go to the darker side with Karyn Kusama’s psychological thriller, THE INVITATION.

This is what happens when your Ex hosts a dinner party, and you accept the invitation.

Clue – DO NOT ACCEPT THE INVITATION!

Reader, he accepts the invitation.

Make sure to check out Michelle Krusiec in this.

Continuing in the tradition of psychological thrillers directed by Females, Jennifer Phang has given us, ADVANTAGEOUS, starring Jacqueline Kim, as a woman who must submit to a experimental procedure.

That is all TFP is going to say.

Reader, this is supposed to be set in a dystopian future but UNDER HIS EYE, we are kinda there now.

This is also available on NETFLIX.

If you like your Fashion Challenge shows heavily Asian, please check out NEXT IN FASHION on NETFLIX!

TFP loved it!

Hosted by Alexa Chung and Tan France, this fashion emergency has all the drama of Project Runway, but in the hands of experienced designers who just need that last big push.

It is Asian AF people – in all the diaspora glory that is our current culture – and you should for sure, check it out from your couch.

Finally, SINGAPORE SOCIAL has entered into the reality genre – and it is JUST as EFFED up as any other reality show out there – again, on NETFLIX – NETFLIX is killing it, eh?

Asians being messy AF is what this should be called, but grab the popcorn and take sides, folks – you can relax with this one, cuz it is not hard on the brain.

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If you are looking for a series that is a bit twisted – TFP is suggesting HUNTERS on AMAZON PRIME, where you can catch Louis Ozawa Changchien in all his Nazi Hunting Glory – and this show really seems to be, POC and Jewish Folks are going to rid the world of white supremacy…and if there was EVER a show HITTING THE POINT WITH A ‘EFFIN MALLET – it is this one, check it out:

There you go – stuff to see…mix it up…keep your loved ones that do not live with you in your abode at a social distance and hold it down, hold it down – you can do it!

TFP out.

The Fairy Princess posted a blog yesterday about what you, dear Reader, can do to quell the pandemic panic you are feeling in self isolation – and then, she thought of some more things – so here we go –

First off, The New York Youth Symphony (which has a large AAPI contingent) has been practicing social distancing and social distance practicing as an orchestra – they are confined, but not out – so before you read this blog, please promise to watch this video in it’s entirety while you BREATHE…

No, TFP cannot center it – it’s a tweet – let it go – all of this is about letting it go.

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Speaking of letting it go – AAPIS are going to have to say bye to the revised production of THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE at NY’s City Center. This production was to have starred Tony Nominee, Ashley Park as Millie, and was being advised by CAMBODIAN ROCK STAR scribe, Lauren Yee – so this is upsetting, yes.

However, they are cancelling the rest of their 2019-2020 season, including their 5 borough community production, ON THE MOVE, and the rest of their summer. Not just the Asians – so…pandemic mode, be forgiving.

TFP would like to thank NY City Center for taking this huge step – and yes, it totally stinks, but she understands, and hopefully, a revamped production will show up next season!

Congrats for taking Governor Cuomo’s mandates seriously.

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Best thing to do is order a candle, and settle in for the long haul.

Now for more things to watch while you are at home – and forgive TFP if she does not expect oil paintings or gourmet meals while you are confined – if you do it – GREAT!

Yay for YOOOOOUUUUU – if you happen to have a small child you are trying to keep off screens but who keeps grabbing screens because screens are everywhere….and today you are just letting it ride because it is Saturday and you can do NO more – then – perhaps do the best you can….

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First up, and we are going back a ways – have you all seen TIGER HUNTER (2016)?

It is on NETFLIX, available now.

Taking place in 1979, engineer Sami is excited to leave his village in India for a job in Chicago, but he soon runs into issues when pursuing his American Dream.

Also on NETFLIX comedy specials by Ali Wong, Ken Jeong, Ronny Chieng, Jo Koy – should keep you laughing for at least an hour.

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A film TFP enjoys is SEOUL SEARCHING from 2016 – about Korean American teens who head back to Korea for summer camp and wind up getting in a whole lot of trouble. Look out for one of Justin Chon’s early breakout performances as the badass KoreAm who is a rebel – think literally ANY teen film in America – and then put Asians in it.

It’s a laugh riot from start to finish – and KoreAms especially are going to love it.

Be prepared for co-option, which is explored, but can be jarring – and questionable moral choices – again, just like any other American teen film.

It is a win. ( A salty, insane, diaspora win)

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In a time when AAPIs are getting attacked – and we are – and not ‘just’ Chinese Americans but all because, well, white people have no idea, the idea of self defense may resonate with you, in which case, you can check out THE SENSEI from 2010.

Written and Directed by Diana Lee Inosanto, it riled up the martial arts community and caused the team to get death threats – because the right to defend yourself from hatred, and self-hatred is…challenging to some.

Set during the rise of the AIDS crisis, an HIV Positive Female Martial Arts Instructor goes home to make peace with her family, only to take on a student who is being bullied for being Gay and needs to know how to defend himself.

TFP was an Associate Producer on this film – but that is not why she is sharing it, perhaps the time of THE SENSEI has come again.

It is available to watch for free, on TUBI.

Taking it back “Old School’, you can check out where a lot of the AAPI film stars got their start in films like SAVING FACE.…avail on AMAZON PRIME.

THE MOTEL – available on TUBI for free

THE MIKADO PROJECT – avail on DVD order from Amazon

BETTER LUCK TOMORROW – avail to rent on GOOGLE PLAY

And one of TFP fav’s – KARMA CALLING avail on Amazon Prime

Ok Kids, time for TFP to grab the screen from the child – have fun – don’t touch anyone anytime soon – and wash your hands, you know the drill.

If you do not – here is Daniel Matarazzo to remind you.

TFP out.

The Fairy Princess is so tired of all the ‘winning’ we seem to be doing as a country – we now have more cases of infection than the country where the virus first appeared, and that says a lot about the ineptness of our leadership – except, everyone’s Zaddy Crisis Manager, NY Governor, Andrew Cuomo.

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You’re doing GREAT, Sweetie!

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So, there you are – self isolating – AS YOU SHOULD BE – and going out for solitary activities and/or groceries, and that is it – but…you are bored.

Perhaps you have Netflix and Chilled yourself into a coma?

Perhaps you have a small child you have to teach at home during this crisis and you now want to give every teacher a million dollars and send them back to school because you just CANNOT take it ANYMORE?

Perhaps working from home without pants was fine for the first few weeks, but now you miss your pants – which is something you never thought you would think in your life?

In any case, you need momentary breaks – and TFP has compiled a few for you, so that you can get away and get happy – or as happy as you are going to get during this crisis – and no, TFP does not expect you to write a book, create award winning drama, or come up with a new style of au gratin potatoes – that is some bullshit.

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In any case – here are some things you could ‘catch up on’ while you are just me, myself, and I-ing –

ALEC MAPA, BABBY DADDY is available to watch on SHOWTIME

 

A riotous special about the ins and outs of adoption as a Gay Parent, it will make you laugh as hard as it makes you cry about the state of the Foster Care System today in America. TFP was lucky enough to be in the audience for this taping – she stans it.

Broadway’s JAYGEE MACAPUGUAY, (School of Rock) has just put together this short film – The Language Lesson, based on the Filipino Song Cycle, “On This Side Of the World” – which mirrors her pride in her heritage and her hopes for the future – directed by Garth Kravits and choreographed by Karla Puno Garcia.

 

TFP‘s recommends the webseries, JADE DRAGON, a faux docu series about a struggling Chinese takeaway in the UK.

 

Lots of British East Asians doing ‘their thing’ – being funny – written by Rebecca Boey , directed by Joseph Brett, starring Daniel F. York, Rosie Revan, Rebecca Boey, Anna Long Brophy, Stephen Hoo, and William Harry – it is a fun way to spend some time.

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Not just to recommend things that can be streaming on the internet – have you all seen FAMILY KARMA on Bravo TV?

In terms of reality shows, this one is lining up to knock it out of the park – Feuding Aunties! Kids who are not Married and in their Thirties! Divorce! Rumors! Diwali! Hot Cast!

It is LOADED, and TFP is obsessed:

 

Come ON!

Also available on Network TV – NBC – now it will be ‘on demand’ is the show, PERFECT HARMONY which features a diverse cast and music as a main component – and who does not love that?

 

Lynn Chen‘s Directorial Debut film – which she wrote as well – will be available on Apple TV beginning May 26 ‘on demand’ – hopefully quarantine won’t go that long, but if it does – here is the trailer, and something to look forward to:

 

But to ‘prep’ for May 26th, you could go watch the previous two films, Dave Boyle’s SURROGATE VALENTINE (2011) and DAYLIGHT SAVINGS (2012) – and then you will be ready!

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Again, with Lynn Chen, as an Actor – and a cast of very funny AAPI Actors comes, GO BACK TO CHINA, a film available on iTunes as of March 6th – about a spoiled rich Chinese American, whose Dad decides to pull her funding unless she comes back and works at the Family factory in China for a year.

Starring Anna Akana, Kelly Hu, Lynn Chen, Richard Ng, Kendy Cheung, Michelle Lukes, Akemi Look, Brittany Finamore, Ines Laimins, and Aviva Wang – you can view it right in your own home!

 

Alan Yang‘s new film, TIGERTAIL is coming out on NETFLIX (a format which has been beyond responsive to the AAPI audience and their need for content – Ali Wong, Jo Koy, Always Be My Maybe) and now….

 

What is it about? – According to Netflix – ‘A Taiwanese factory worker leaves his homeland to seek opportunity in America, where he struggles to find connection while balancing family and newfound responsibilities in this multi-generational drama from writer-director Alan Yang.’

Starring Tzi Ma, Christine Ko, Hayden Szeto, Hong-Chi Lee, Kunjue Li, Fiona Fu, James Saito, with Joan Chen.

It will debut on April 10th – again, something to look forward to

 

Please remember that you can also catch up with AKWAFINA IS NORA FROM QUEENS on demand, on Comedy Central,  as the season has ended now – here is a great interview with show runner, Teresa Hsiao, on the past season.

Remember, this show has a guaranteed second season! So if you missed it, you can pick it right up.

Starring: Akwafina, BD Wong, Lori Tan Chinn, Bowen Yang

If you think you cannot watch these shows and not be an über critical ass- we all trash talk one another – TFP is an expert on being on the receiving end of THAT- you CAN.

You can watch all of these talented people and not be dismissive.

Just remember, years ago – AAPIs would not even have been considered for shows/films like this – just as BD Wong states in this interview, TFP was told the exact same thing – multiple times – that Asians were not funny, and/or charming/charismatic enough to be anything other than bit players.

TFP was told this. To her FACE.

So she has tried to show you here – that statement is simply not true.

There are a variety of AAPI performers with talent and a sense of humor- and they have been walking against the wind a long time. The least we can do is turn on the TV or stream their work.

All the sh*t people talk about others – to elevate themselves, to make themselves feel safer, or more confident – it simply is not true.

Facts are facts. Science is science.

This virus could have happened anywhere in the world that humans and animals interact.

Keep your heads up, Kids – walk around like a badass – and wash your hands.

TFP out.

 

 

 

The Fairy Princess DOES NOT have COVID-19 – despite her being of Chinese heritage, and she says that simply to remind you that

  1. Viruses do not adhere to boarders – where one starts is not where it ends.
  2. WASH YOUR HANDS FOR 20 SECS at least!
  3. Social Distance is staying 6-10 feet away from people
  4. Stay home as much as you can
  5. Hoarding supplies when we do not have a supply chain issue is stupid/selfish
  6. Most people who contract the virus will recover, although we do not know if that means that they will then become immune from a re-infection
  7. This is transmitted via airborn droplets – not by race, not by blood, not by sexuality

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Now, TFP has been ‘fighting’ – that is correct, she said ‘fighting’, the recognition fight for a long time.

By that, she means, she has been fighting for the right of Asian heritaged people (and btw, let us remember she has fought for not ONLY for AAPI people) to be visible on our stages and screens for nigh on…eight years come July. That is eight years of showing some of the best that humans can be – operating and creating art on the highest levels, and eight years of seeing some of the most racist crap to ever grace the stages and screens of the world.

Lucille Ball was quoted as saying she could walk into any living room in America and be welcomed with open arms – and that is what TFP wanted for AAPIs.

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This virus and the resulting attacks on AAPI people falls in part, at the feet of the Entertainment industry for NOT embracing diversity, for NOT including AAPIs as main characters on a variety of shows, and for NOT having a variety of types of APPIs on our televisions.

They have not seen us, they have been, as Oscar Hammerstein wrote, “carefully taught’ not to see ‘us‘, and racial attacks during a pandemic is the result.

As we have NOT, for the most part, been seen by the mainstream of America, it does become easy for prejudiced people to dismiss us AS Americans – to ‘other‘ us – and the Entertainment industry  – Creatives, Casting, Executives – has been complicit in enhancing the bias that ‘we’ are not ‘real Americans.’

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When a little kid gets knifed in the face at a Sam’s ClubTFP remembers that only ABC had a prime time AAPI family on television.

When her pal, Filmmaker/Writer/Actress Lucy Sheen gets harassed on public transport, with a man feeling comfortable enough to whisper in her ear, TFP recalls that though PARASITE won the multiple Oscars – not one of the Actors in the film received recognition or three picture deals from any studio.

CRAZY RICH ASIANS was hot for a summer, but did not lead to a huge bump for any of the actors save Henry Golding and Gemma Chan.

TFP could cite a million examples – but when the President goes on television and repeatedly calls COVID-19, “The Chinese Virus“, it perpetuates racism towards AAPIs. The only way ‘we’ could have repudiated it and challenged it was by having a multiple and varied representation in place well before this POS POTUS got there – and we did not.

Now, there is a Facebook group regarding attacks on AAPIs – every day she sees the numbers go up – let us be clear – though it originated in China – the chance of your average American being able to discern who is and who is not of Chinese origin in next to nil.

They are going crazy attacking everyone- particularly people who look vulnerable- the elderly, women, young kids…

Therefore, AAPIs of all shapes, colors, genders – we all need to be prepared.

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We cannot be walking around without the B.D.E. – Big. D*ck. Energy.

You have to move like you are going to punch a mofo OUT, like out of nowhere you can pull a roundhouse kick, and you are going to have to walk TOUGH, my People.

This is some base level intelligence that we are dealing with – and the only way to survive is to be aware of who is around you at all times.

Do not look down, maintain aggressive eye contact and make them think you are a martial arts expert – walk like you expect trouble.

TFP does not want anymore senseless attacks on AAPIs in America – and if you call yourself an Ally – then she expects you will say something at the same time you are DOING something to stop the attack – you are witnesses.

Don’t just film it – stop it.

RESTING BITCH-WHO-WILL-KICK-YOUR-ASS-FACE is our new normal.

Make it happen, TFP has faith in you.

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TFP has also – since the advent of HIV and so many of her friends and co-workers getting infected and dying – been a huge reader on the subject of viruses. Some might say, obsessively so.

She did not just pick up THE HOT ZONE and read it, dust off her hands and say “welp, problem solved’, she has been actively reading about viruses since the 1990’s.

She reads the CDC website on occasion.

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Which is why she is ‘not surprised’ by the current situation – it was always going to come, the issue was going to be would ‘we’ the United States, be prepared for it.

Obviously we are not – because we have a person in charge who seems to be ‘sundowning‘ every news conference. He put someone in charge of it whose talents are better suited to being a televangelist, meanwhile his Senators, instead of warning people about how to prepare, are dumping stock left and right as early and as sneakily as they can.

The United States is not prepared.

We had been prepared under President Obama, and we would have been under President Hillary Clinton, but we have the Electoral College, so she was not POTUS despite being 3 million votes ahead and now we are not prepared.

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TFP is not a virologist – she is not a part of the CDC – however she has done a lot of reading about viruses, and this is what she has learned from people far smarter than herself so she wanted to share some of their videos and what she has picked up over the years.

She hopes this will calm you.

To begin with, Viruses are looking for a host.

All viruses want a host that they can exist within. This is basic biology – they do not want to ‘die’, they want to live in symbiosis with their host. Finding the right ‘host’ will also have the virus finding a lot of ‘wrong’ hosts, and if that host is unable to bear the virus, in the first wave of infection – the host may die.

Most of the people who contract the COVID-19 virus will live, because that is what the virus is designed for – to find a living host. Many people will die, because that is also part of a virus that is respiratory in nature, and anyone that has a weakness is particularly vulnerable.

Most lethal viruses are not of human origin. They come from another ‘source’, aka species and likely they have lived within that source for a while, and then a ‘trigger’ happens, and where HIV has lived quite steadily in monkeys for a while, or while coronavirus occurs naturally in bats, the virus gets an opening to jump species, and it does. Usually there is a ‘secondary’ host for the virus and it is that host that ‘actually’ transmits it to the humans.

Flu naturally occurs in birds. People and birds have lived with one another for thousands of years and thus, the flu we get now is a watered down version of what it once was. Unless you go back to 1918, when a quarter of the world was killed by a virulent flu that had people drowning in their own body fluids, because for some reason, nature went back to the ‘pure’ form.

Did the practice of eating wild game contribute to this virus?

Almost certainly.

Did the practice of ‘wet markets’ – where live animals are sold for consumption and/or pet ownership contribute to this virus being able to jump?

Very likely.

You have a ‘market’ where you have panicked animals, in cages, from all over the world, possibly trading viruses among them, then they ‘nip’ a finger of a human, or they are consumed – and BOOM – there is your ‘jump’.

These ‘wet markets’ exist throughout the world – and it is not just Asia that has them. North America and Latin America also – it is a market that sells live produce.

Back in 2009 in the USA we had ‘Swine Flu” – which was basically a recombination of the flu that birds get, the flu that humans get, and then it found itself back in pigs.

Did we call it “San Diego Flu” because that was the point of origin?

No, we did not.

Did we call it “The 10 Year Old Flu” – because the first patient was 10 years old?

No we did not, that would not have been accurate and every parent of a 10 year old would have lost their mind.

It was named for the animal most likely responsible for the transmission to human hosts.

Which is why calling COVID-19 “The Chinese Virus” is racist.

It implies only Chinese people pass it, when in actuality, anyone that has it, is able to pass it.

It is an airborne transmission, and the ability to infect can be undetected, until it reaches a ‘vulnerable’ host. There have been just as many, if not more cases in Italy, and no one is attacking Italians or refusing to eat pasta.

However infection from an Italian citizen is generally more likely for Americans than one from a Chinese citizen, given that we pop back and forth to Europe like we are going to the market – not to mention, it was just Fashion Week.

Viruses can be anywhere, and pandemics can start anywhere there is human/animal interaction.

It is only by circumstance that the virus originated overseas. We have plenty of chances here in the USA to start a pandemic, and scientists have been screaming about it for years.

YEARS.

Right here in the American South for example, there was a pig farm in the USA who spilled excrement into the Mississippi River and now there are fish with holes right through them – meanwhile people continue to bathe and swim and wash their dishes in the river – that was just as likely  to cause an infectious virus, and it very well might.

We have in America “farmed fish’, where the sanitation is deplorable and they are eating their own feces as well as, on occasion, taking a nibble of others of their species. We have deer that are being shot and consumed that are not always screened for Chronic Wasting Disease, we have cow meal that until recently was being made of cow parts and which has a ‘human form’ it is possible to contract- leading to Mad Cow Disease.

The point is – wash your hands.

The point is – do not be racist.

The point is – self isolate/quarantine/social distance until they figure this out.

The point is – check in on your elderly or imuno-compromised neighbors and see if they need help.

The point is – panicking is not beneficial to your mental health.

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TFP is really concerned not just about transmission, but about how people are going to economically survive this period.

If you have the ability to be financially generous, please look for places to give – meals for medical workers, vemo a financially vulnerable friend, give to a charity.

If you belong to a Union, see what they are going to do to help their members, and consider contributing.

We are going to get through this – if you are lucky enough to not contract it – good for you.

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If you have contracted it, TFP sends you her very best wishes for a full and complete recovery.

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If you have lost someone close to you to COVID-19, TFP sends you her deepest condolences and this hug.

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Finally, TFP asks you to keep in mind that is it kindness that will ‘save’ us – not toilet paper.

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Be well.

Wash your hands.

 

 

In the past day and a half, The Fairy Princess‘s I-phone screen has cracked, her new jacket got torn to shreds by a villainous door handle not retracting, and her Kindle has gone to the grave.

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The Mercury in Retrograde is obviously taking the blog quite seriously.

Maybe it is telling her to get back to work – post BroadwayCon has been super cool – and btw you can catch both her Playwrighting and Actor Panels on the Official FB Page where they will stay forever, ad infinitum – but since all this absolute shite is going on – suppose the universe is also saying ‘get back to work’.

There ARE some great things happening – some endings, but more importantly many BEGINNINGS, and sometimes, when your life seems to be tanking out while everyone else is #Winning #humblebragging #SoGrateful – it’s good to look OUTWARD for inspiration.

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TFP is particularly grateful it was not her laptop, this go round – that is all she is saying.

FIRST – TWO plays by AAPI Women have opened Off Broadway, TFP has seen them both – and they are exciting and clever and should be supported because they are both signaling a new wave of Playwriting that does not separate music from the message the way ‘traditional’ plays have – and TFP is HERE FOR IT!!

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Last evening, CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND by Lauren Yee opened at SIGNATURE THEATRE, and TFP really cannot say ENOUGH about the Cast – two of whom she knew prior, and four of whom are new to her and she is so glad she knows them now. It has already been extended – twice.

Please keep these names on your lips and in your hearts, so that they are able to tell AS MANY stories of diaspora as possible: Courtney Reed, Francis Jue, Joe Ngo, Moses Villarama, Jane Lui and Abraham Kim.

Directed by Chay Yew, it is a simply stellar bit of storytelling.

WE’RE GONNA DIE – by Young Jean Lee has opened at SECOND STAGE – and it is a life affirming show about…death, but not only death and not death specifically – it is more like how you find the will to go on when bad stuff happens – and…you should see it, because without giving too much away, it is a storytelling cabaret of epic proportions, yet only just over an hour.

Directed by Raja Feather Kelly it opened on February 25th and runs till March 22nd.

The fun thing is – more people are writing! Yay!

TFP can share that playwright, Christopher Chen has his new show, THE HEADLANDS being produced at LINCOLN CENTER THEATER. 

The Cast includes, Laura Kai Chen, Edward Chin-Lyn, Mahira Kakkar, Mia Katigbak, Harry Stram, Johnny Wu, and Aaron Yoo.

Directed by Knud Adams, the show runs till March 22.

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Nandita Shenoy’s new work, THE RAGE PLAY will open on March 28th at the Abrons Arts Center on Grand Street, and is inspired by the #MeToo movement.

Starring Leila Ben-Abdallah, Alexandra Curran, Yolanda K. Wilkinson, and Chris Wight, directed by Lori Elizabeth Parquet – this show is being produced by the Flux Theater.

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LOTS OF THINGS HAPPENING – for example, TFP’s MVP, Sandra Oh has some good news – in addition to the next season of KILLING EVE on the BBC, she will be Executive Producing and starring in a 1/2 hour Dramedy written by Amanda Peet. The show will be on NETFLIX and it has a GAME OF THRONES team behind it – all exciting.

LYNN CHEN has had her DIRECTORIAL DEBUT film – I WILL MAKE YOU MINE, picked up for distribution by Gravitas Ventures – and it has not even premiered yet at SXSW!!!!

THAT. IS. BADASS.

Check out when Lynn was Kickstarting and just think of her NOW!!!!

Congrats to the Team, and of course, DAVE BOYLE.

Knock it outta the Park, folks!

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TWO highly regarded films of the past season directed by Asian heritaged folks,  available to watch in the privacy of your home, – THE FAREWELL by Lulu Wang is already on Amazon Prime , and PARASITE by Bong Joon Ho will stream on HULU in April.

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FINALLY – because TFP is really just trying to get over all the stuff that keeps breaking around her – FOLKS, here are shows that TFP is watching, that she wants to keep on the air  – let’s hear it for diverse storytelling and casting and keep it going, we need second season ORDERS:

ALL RISE on CBS – it is a female driven narrative with a world that looks both like Los Angeles and the Court System.

PERFECT HARMONY on NBC – a music driven comedy about a choir and a crusty conductor is more of what we need right now – and TFP watches it because it contains music done in a way that is naturally integrated into the show.

It is not a competition show, it is not fantasy moments that we, the audience understands is not really happening – it is music as many of us grew up learning – in a choir.

These two shows give TFP hope!

As we journey forth into an election year – what the country needs most right now, is a way to have a conversation. Network TV is the way most Americans spend their evenings. It is what they talk about the next day at the water cooler, it is a way to share time with people you love, but do not necessarily want to argue with all the time.

When ALL RISE had an episode about ICE being allowed to pull people out of the courtroom, and the Court (Simone Missick) refused – when PERFECT HARMONY tackled the disconnect of a child not feeling like she belonged because of the dominant culture all around her – until the Rev. Jax (Rizwan Manji) was able to show her how everything can connect to us – those were television MOMENTS with a capital M.

They gave TFP hope that acceptance and understanding is possible – even in a world divided, which is what we are now.

We are divided – and divided, as we all know – is how we fall.

Let’s not fall.

Let’s give these shows a second season order.

Also – vote your asses off!

TFP out.

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ATTN- Darlinghurst has recast the role of Connie, while putting back the role of Vicki. Thus an Asian Aussie will be in the role of Connie and the original casting for Connie will be moved to Vicki and will also take on the strenuous duty of Dance Captain.

TFP thanks the Equity Diversity Committee and the Darlinghurst Theater for this very rational and well thought out solution.

Here is their statement:

Here is the original post :

The Fairy Princess, much like the rest of the world, has been glued to the news of the fires in Australia, and the earthquakes in Puerto Rico.

Here is a list of organizations you can give $$$ to to help with Fire efforts in Australia – it includes groups that assist volunteer fireman, animals, and people – and it is the most comprehensive list TFP has seen. It lists explanations as to where the money will go and it lists organizations that are doing the work.

TFP encourages you to also give to Puerto Rican Disaster Relief, in particular a rather easy way to give, is to purchase a copy of #RICANSTRUCTION, a comic book anthology she contributed a story to.

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To this date, they have given $140K in direct grants. TFP also likes BStrong which, again, is a boots on the ground organization, giving cash and other supplies to people who need them.

Please give what you can. Anything is great.

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TFP also would like to particularly thank Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, for it’s donation to Fire Efforts – she is an Aussie, an American, and a longtime AEA member, and she is very touched that an organization she has raised money for, and donated to – would extend themselves this way.

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Right now, she is fully understanding the point of view of the Aboriginal Elders and Indigenous Peoples around the world who say that Mother Earth is angry with ‘us’, the humans categorically destroying it so a few billionaires can head towards being trillionaires, haphazardly using plastic, and drilling, and over taxing resources like…the OCEAN, and the LAND, and the AIR – and honestly – where do people think they are going to go?

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TFP cannot EVEN with the lack of leadership in both the United States and Australia that allows Climate Change to continue on unchecked, simply because it does not make the oil and coal industries money.

She is exceedingly angry, all the time. All the time. Because she is a dual citizen of Australia and the United States. Not through immigration, through birth – her Mother was born in Australia, thus she registered TFP when she was born in the USA. That was the law at the time, TFP‘s child is not an Australian – which is upsetting but…one supposes he can get a visa to visit his VERY LARGE EXTENDED FAMILY in Oz.

Or she can just show him photos of what it used to look like.

When the Great Barrier Reef was full of color and not bleached out and dying.

When the Barramundi were not in danger of being fished out.

When the koalas still had habitat and the kangaroos, emus, Tasmanian devils, wallabys and so on, were not being burned alive like hell’s barbeque.

Actually, she would like to send a lot of those politicians swimming off the Reef and just…paddle the boat away, frankly.

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What’s the worst that could happen?

She would advise wet suits for the chill and so that they look much more like seals or sea lions.

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However amidst all THAT – all the world’s attention on the fires, TFP does have to mention that the Darlinghurst Theater Company – a professional theater in Sydney, is doing A CHORUS LINE.

You know- the very famous musical about American Chorus Dancers auditioning for a Broadway show for a (manipulative, and controlling pyschopathic) Director who makes them give him their lives before he allows a small number of them to work in his show.

It was concepted by Michael Bennett and his extended circle of dancers spent HOURS meeting and talking into a tape recorder about their lives and then he purchased their stories from them for a DOLLAR, someone brought in Marvin Hamlisch and the rest is Broadway history – except for the ‘kids’ who spent lots of time talking whose stories did NOT make it into the show.

That is what theater IS, to a very large extent. Lots of white guys taking the pain of lots of people of color and turning a profit.

Yeah, harsh – but think about it.

This is also why now AEA monitors workshops and readings of shows.

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One of the dancers was Baayork Lee – and let’s see her work for a second, she is in the green dress here, on the 1969 TONY Awards show, repping for PROMISES, PROMISES.

Here she is with ‘The Michael Bennett Dancers”, clogging, in ‘A JOYFUL NOISE” – and she has the FIRST close up and is at the far left.

Here she is at the CHORUS LINE REUNION

Here she is, ACCEPTING HER SPECIAL TONY AWARD for not only her choreography and directing and dancing career – but for starting her own Theater Company – NAAP – National Asian Artist Project.

She is one of the O.G.’s for Asian Americans in Theater.

A Chinese American, born and raised in New York City’s Chinatown, who went to see theater as a child, and chose to dance.

She was the inspiration and the ‘Original Broadway Cast” member for the role of CONNIE WONG in CHORUS LINE.

Everyone knows this.

EVERYONE knows that Connie is Asian in the show.

(Baayork Lee and TFP have had our differences, but…BUT…that does not change things in terms of respect, history, or the right way things should be done)

Michael Bennett asked her to come and share her story, he asked her to be in the show, he created a role for her – an example of the dichotomy that was Michael Bennett – so that there would always ‘have’ to be an AAPI person in the role of Connie Wong.

This has helped countless young dancers over the years – but it is not going to be the same in Australia, unfortunately. Because local Helpman Award Winning Director/Choreographer, Amy Campbell said that

“I didn’t precast any of the roles … everything was up for grabs,That’s what A CHORUS LINE is all about – it’s about auditioning for a show – so I felt that everyone should be given a chance.”

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As you can see, at first glance, the cast appears to be diverse – for Australia, which has has some issues with that in the past, which is a nice improvement – here is the cast – and the theater is in Sydney, which is a theater hub- plenty of folks around to audition.

This screen shot has been grabbed straight from their website.

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So the show that is supposed to be about multi-ethnic dancers in New York – with surnames to match – Wong, Morales – those surnames are specific and related to text in the show.

Some of the characters discuss name changes, self acceptance, body changes (plastic surgery), changes oh, down below, up above... However there are specific surnames that go with specific parts – because there are quips written into the script about the dancer’s background.

“But I said to myself, “Hey it’s only the first week – maybe it’s genetic. They don’t have bobsleds in San Juan!” – Diana Morales – Song “Nothing”, from CHORUS LINE

Obviously, the Actor/Dancer in that role, is supposed to reflect that experience. Does that mean that everyone who plays Morales should be Puerto Rican?

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In a perfect world, yes.

We do not live in a perfect world, so within the diaspora of Latin and/or Hispanic countries would of course, be acceptable – much more so than say, someone in a bad wig.

Let’s look at Connie Wong, the Character, in this production.

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The surname she has is rooted in Malta, and then Greece – and then ostensibly, Australia.

We need to ask the Helpman Award Winning Director, Amy Campbell how she imagines that this performer – who seems to be an excellent dancer, having just appeared as Anybodys in WEST SIDE STORY, is going to pull off the following dialogue which is from the script.

TFP will give you one answer – she won’t be able to ‘sell this’ – and no one should ask her to.

CONNIE: Connie Wong. Always Wong and never White. Sorry, bad joke. Born in Chinatown.

Zach: How old are you?

CONNIE: I was born in the year, four thousand, five hundred and sixty two the Year of the Chicken.

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The other question to ask is why the actress in question chose to change her head shot for the CHORUS LINE poster to the current one – was that because the theater company was trying to make her look Asian?

Because that, oh dear reader, is yellowface.

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Now, everyone in Australia, don’t go after this Actress – she did not hire herself. She just auditioned and she is playing the hand she is dealt. She is likely an amazing dancer.

But everyone can play cards, and one has been dealt already….

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This casting is forcing us all to look, YET AGAIN, at the innate racism that Australia routinely shows to Asian performers of their own.

Anyone remember the Caucasian King in The King & I at Sydney Opera House. Lisa McCune and Teddy Tahu Rohdes?

His Girlfriend was Mrs. Anna, so he got to be “The King” = they had to fly Jason Scott Lee in from Hawaii to fix that mess.

Mr. Lee broke his ankle, so Lou Diamond Phillips flew in to replace him.

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Then we had the thing at The MUNY where they were doing yellowface in Jerome Robbin’s Broadway, and the Actress they got to be Tuptim? Australian. And she was apparently gutted that that kind of ‘thing’, which was acceptible ‘at home’, did not fly in the States!

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Remember this show that had to be pulled from last year’s Melbourne Fringe – Aisha, the Aussie Geisha?

From self proclaimed comedienne, Kate Hanley Corey?

Do NOT tell me that Australia, and it’s performance community does NOT have an issue with Asians on the stage, because CLEARLY when you have to import them from another country, when you have been known to label your country “The Gateway to Asia”, so you can make $$$ off tourism, something is wrong.

Fair Dinkum, Mate – the Bloody Climate Change burning everyone to hell and back – and you throw racism on the top like a beetroot on a burger?

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So again, nothing to do with the Dancer in question except she cannot pull this dialogue off.  Year of the Chicken, which is a joke about the Year of the Rooster, but likely if you are not Asian, you won’t know this.

TFP does not ‘buy’ that out of the hundreds of dancers that Ms. Campbell purportedly saw for this role, she could not find someone of Asian descent to do it.

TFP thinks this for several reasons – the first being, her Mum, who was born and raised in Australia during a much less open time than now, went through the British Royal Ballet system and became a Certified Advanced Teacher – and she was from CAIRNS – if you can be from CAIRNS and rise through the ballet world – it is possible to find one Asian Aussie who can do the choreo that TFP learned as a child in musical theater class at the age of 11 because her teacher thought she would eventually need it!

Because she was shorter.

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Literally we are not known for our towering heights – so no, Ms. Campbell, you just wanted to work with someone you knew, and you  thought that the dancing outweighed the ethnicity.

TFP wants you, Ms. Campbell, to really look at what you did here – you took a work that was written to reflect EVERYONE and you made it something else. Yes, you have many diverse faces in the company – but having a diverse face, does not negate erasure of a KNOWN ROLE, and it does not negate the fact that you think changing the Actress’s headshot would get you out of a sticky conversation!

This is not acceptable.

If you are going to turn to us and say that this is the “non Asian” version of Connie, ‘Ms. Connie Edna May Sue MacKenzie from Greenville, North Carolina” – a version that yes, can be done, and is allowed for by licensing, then WHY IS HER HEADSHOT ON THE POSTER SO DIFFERENT FROM HER ACTUAL HEADSHOT?

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Finally, Ms. Campbell – and yes, there are other things in the world TFP is worried about and really, she just wants her little cousins, who are Chinese descent, to be able to go to a friggin musical and see themselves once in a BLOODY while – TFP would like you to watch Ms. Yuka Takara, who did the revival of CHORUS LINE on Broadway and what she has to say about representation and what this show and Baayork Lee’s being there meant to her.

She says she did not know that theater was ‘for her’.

Theater is for everyone.

However thanks to people like you, she did not know that.

Thanks to people like Baayork Lee, she now knows that.

People need to see themselves once in a while. Frankly, you have done a huge disservice with this casting to Asians in Australia – my Family is now up to 6 Generations in Australia. TFP really did not think that Aussies ‘saw’ her, so she does not live there – although she would much prefer it.

You have just proven that point. Even when we are written to be ‘there’, you do not choose to see ‘us’ – and that is a definite choice.

200 Smacks of the Wand to you. TFP sentences you to make a wildlife contribution of at least $100 AUS.

Yes, TFP is choosing the wildlife!

TFP picks the koalas and kangaroos over this production – and she advises Asian Aussies to do the same.

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The Fairy Princess is flapping her wings a bit slower today – because BEETLEJUICE on Broadway is closing – despite huge box office, for no other reason than Producer Scott Rudin wanted his show in there, and she is not ok with that.

The Cast ‘announced’ it in a cute little video by one of the stars, Alex Brightman.

This is a question of real estate, to some extent – there are only 41 Theaters that qualify as Broadway Houses, and they are all unique to some extent, The New Yorker’s VULTURE has done a humorous if appallingly accurate job in breaking them down, which you can read here.

However TFP does want to list the theaters, because…well you will see – you can totally skip this list, and go to the next part.

Al Hirshfeld – MOULIN ROUGE!

Ambassador – CHICAGO

American Airlines Theater – A SOLDIER’s PLAY, then BIRTHDAY CANDLES

August Wilson – MEAN GIRLS

Belasco – GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY

Bernard B. Jacobs – COMPANY (coming up)

Booth Theater – FREESTYLE LOVE SUPREME, then Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Broadhurst – JAGGED LITTLE PILL

Brooks Atkinson – WAITRESS, then SIX

Circle In The Square – OKLAHOMA (that f…) then AMERICAN BUFFALO

Cort Theater: Derren Brown SECRET, upcoming, THE MINUTES

Ethel Barrymore: THE INHERITANCE

EUGENE O’NEIL – THE BOOK OF MORMON

George Gershwin – WICKED

Gerald Schoenfeld – COME FROM AWAY

Hayes Theater – GRAND HORIZONS

Hudson Theater – AMERICAN UTOPIA, upcoming PLAZA SUITE

Imperial – AIN’T TOO PROUD

John Golden – SLAVE PLAY, upcoming HANGMEN

Longacre Theatre – THE LIGHTENING THIEF, upcoming DIANA (as in Princess)

Lunt Fontanne Theater – TINA

Lyceum Theater – A CHRISTMAS CAROL (nothing announced upcoming)

Lyric Theater – HARRY POTTER AND ALL HIS PARTS

Majestic – PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

Marquis Theater – TOOTSIE (Closing JAN 5) – NOTHING ANNOUNCED

Minskoff Theatre – THE LION KING

Music Box Theater – DEAR EVAN HANSEN

Nederlander Theater – Harry Connick Jr. then, THE LEHMAN TRILOGY

Neil Simon Theatre – EMPTY

New Amsterdam Theatre – ALADDIN

PALACE THEATRE – EMPTY/Under Construction

Richard Rogers Theatre – HAMILTON

Samuel J. Friedman – MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON, HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE

Schubert Theatre – TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

ST. James Theatre – FROZEN

Stephen Sondheim – SLAVA’S SNOW SHOE and then, MRS. DOUBTFIRE

STUDIO 54 – THE SOUND INSIDE, then CAROLINE OR CHANGE

Vivian Beaumont Theatre – FLYING OVER SUNSET

Walter Kerr – HADESTOWN

Wintergarden Theatre – BEETLEJUICE, then MUSIC MAN

There are currently 26 musicals playing on Broadway – give or take, some closing, some about to open, but 26 is a good number – TFP has made them bold, so you, Dear Reader, can see them.

The ones in blue are empty and have no announced productions listed. Frankly, The Palace may never open in our lifetimes again, because ‘construction’ that forced SPONGEBOB the Musical, to close, happened – and that was a shock as well.

There are 4, ’empty’ theaters – and no, none of them are ‘perfect’, and yes, all could use an update. Will the Palace ever come back? Who knows?

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Also- YES John Mulaney and Rachel Bloom both of you asked on Twitter about the whole closing of Beetlejuice and the optics of either adding more theaters or not – there could be more theaters –  you would have to be advocating for this with the Producer’s Guild and the Theater owners –  definitely there could be more theaters opened on Broadway.

However, it would take either – a consortium of VERY WEALTHY PEOPLE WHO NEVER EXPECTED RETURN ON IT IN THEIR LIFETIMES to do such a thing, OR it would take Corporations who have a vested interest in owning their own spaces to advocate for their own pieces, to do it.

But if they won’t impeach the Orange, why should we expect them to have a soft spot for theater?

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Because everything in show business is Real Estate.

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One wealthy Actor or Actress is not going to do it. If you can get all the people in MARVEL movies and pair them up with Brad Pitt – it would still be not enough to build a Broadway theater from the soup to the nuts. (Although someone TALK to Brad Pitt, he loves construction, apparently).

Let’s say there are now 3 empty theaters.

Forget the Palace for now. Apologies to Judy Garland.

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Now, in this scenario, you are Scott Rudin, and you have Hugh Jackman on speed dial and on hold for this production – and undoubtedly, Hugh gets a tidy sum if you have tied up his schedule and a full production has NOT come to fruition – however, you do not have a theater yet.

However you have announced the cast. You, Scott Rudin, have a tick tick ticking in your head because if this show does not go up, you are out some drachmas. Sets have to be built, costumes, choreo has to be learned, it is a nightmare of logistics and you need to know where you are going.

Producers play the guessing game, and that, frankly is why people love producing. Producers are gamblers by nature. To be a Producer you have to invest in what you THINK is going to happen, what MAY happen, and how you facilitate that happening, and not only on your dime

It is about money, but it is also about taste level.

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After all, if you pick a project that is a commercial success, that is one kind of ‘win’ as a producer – but the HOPE is, you pick a commercial AND ARTISTIC kind of success. Thus shoring up your ‘taste level’ points, and making people more likely to invest on your say so.

Scott Rudin is used to, deservedly so, being seen as a tastemaker – because he usually stacks the deck with celebrity actors and beloved shows, even when he does take a change on a ‘new’ project, as with SHUFFLE ALONG or TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, it is stacked with celebrity talent – both on the stage and as creatives.

So if TFP were Scott Rudin and she had a Hugh Jackman type person who needed a theater – she would have been looking, of course, at not only what was available, but what seemed like it may BECOME available. She would be looking at shows that were up and running that had a shaky box office draw, perhaps she could get their space….

Hmmmm….remember looking for blood in the water.

Smell it yet? Looking around, looking around…

LION KING?

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FROZEN? Hahahahha.

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HAMILTON?

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There are just some long running shows that are simply not closing any time soon, and we all know it. PHANTOM, WICKED, HADESTOWN, DEAR EVAN HANSEN, MEAN GIRLS…all king of the rock, no one is going nowhere, no how. It is somewhat crazy how long running shows at the moment are – vacancies are particularly hard to find.

CHICAGO? That would be more realistic, honestly,  as a dogged production that has has some real life drama in recent history, but the tourists love it. Last year, New York City hosted 65.1 MILLION Tourists! With overall attendance up  on Broadway to 9.5 per cent.

Hence it keeps running.

It would be a negotiation to get the Barry and Fran Weissler  to close it, and given that it is beloved, it would have been a steep negotiation. However the show has been running since 1996.

1,114 Seats in the Ambassador…just sayin’….

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TFP thinks Rudin could have managed it, seeing as it was another Shubert Property, but you would have to strike a deal with them, and they have seemingly always ‘made’ their ‘minimum’.

The “Minimum’ is the amount of money the box office has to clear, to keep the show open in the theater. Dependant on reaching ‘that number’, the owners of the theater can evict the show from the theater. Theater owners are also a cagey bunch because they never want to have a space be empty. A long running hit like PHANTOM or WICKED is ‘the dream’ if you are a Producer or a Theater owner, because the longer a show runs, the more money you make off of it.

Then when you go on tour …another money maker…so ‘everyone’ wants a long running show that you can ‘kind of’ forget about, that just keeps meeting expectations. It gives you, the Producer, freedom to run around and look for the next big thing.

The cycle continues.

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With CHICAGO, the Weisslers and the Shuberts are still making money. They knew what they were doing when they put it all together – no sets to speak of, everyone in black dancewear, even with the Dancers and the Orchestra – they were always going to get a return on that – those are smart producers.

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For some reason, CHICAGO was not chosen to be given the ouster.

It is a good show, it has just been running for quite a while – and BY THE WAY….they have NEVER had an AAPI in a Lead Role on Broadway – they had one gal playing, TFP believes, Roxy, but she was over from Japan, having done the show there. No Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders. Mama Morton could EASILY be played by a AAPI, but again, crickets on AAPI Representation in CHICAGO.

OK fine, it is staying like the Koch Wing at the Natural History Museum…

Where then,  it is a particularly robust long running Broadway as of late,  do you go?

Where does a bear poop in the woods?

Answer: Anywhere it wants to.

In that question, the bear is Scott Rudin.

Scott Rudin decided he liked the Winter Garden, and why not? It has 1,526 seats. It has it’s own stand alone building (ok it has other things attached, like businesses, but no other theaters) and it is owned by the Shubert Organization. You can take the 1 train right there! Easy!

But it was not empty.

It has a show in there about a teenage girl grappling with her Mother’s passing.

That is the crux of it, it was not empty.

What to do, what to do? If you are one of the most powerful producers, a show making money and showcasing minority and diverse talent driving a female centric narrative is not going to get in your way.

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Let TFP break it down for you about the families/organizations that own the Broadway Theaters, or Theatres – there are 3.

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Yes, three.

The Shubert Organization –  16 theaters.

The Nederlander Organization –  9 theaters.

Jujamcyn – five theaters.

Then there are the four non-profit theatre companies that have Broadway theaters – Lincoln Center Theater, Manhattan Theatre Club, and Roundabout Theatre – NFP negotiates under LORT Contracts. Different $$$, technically your tix are, what- a donation or something, so the Actors get less.

Go us!

The rest of them belong to what was known as the LEAGUE OF RESIDENT THEATERS, now know as, The Broadway League.

They are the ‘Big Dogs” – they are the deciders. They wheel and deal, they are in the ‘room where it happens’, and they pick the room.

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The only exception being that Second Stage Theatre is the non-profit owner of the Helen Hayes Theater, but is not a member of the LEAGUE.

The Shuberts own:

Shubert Theatre, Broadhurst Theatre, Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, Cort Theatre, Imperial Theatre, Ambassador Theatre, Broadway Theatre, Booth Theatre, Lyceum Theatre, Longacre Theatre, Music Box Theatre, Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre, Majestic Theatre, Winter Garden Theatre, Belasco Theatre, and the Forrest Theatre.

The only above property (remember that list TFP said you could skip? Well you are going to need to skip up there now) that is currently ’empty’ that is Shubert owned – Lyceum Theatre, (950 Seats), not big enough to pay for Hugh Jackman.

Had TFP been Scott Rudin, she would have potentially looked at The Broadway Theater, with it’s over 1700 seats and a revival that has had some troubling issues from the go.

Most recently, KING KONG played The Broadway Theater, which has also been home to MISS SAIGON, BOMBAY DREAMS, and will be housing the WEST SIDE STORY Revival that has cut/added back numbers and recently hired Serge Trujillo as a “Consultant“.

TFP honestly ‘cannot‘ with the WSS revival, she wishes all the performers the best and yadda yadda yadda Break A Leg, but the idea that a White European Director and a White Female European Choreographer with no Latinx knowledge or…anyway, happy for Mr. Trujillo.

Look at how happy TFP is…

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However the point being that IF the WSS revival crashes and burns…MUSIC MAN could simply move right in and Hugh could still have the ‘stand alone’ theater with a huge marquee and seats – and in fact – that stage is much larger than the one at the Winter Garden.

TFP knows, she has stood on both.

More seats = more money.

If WEST SIDE STORY, which opens momentarily, does not do well, it could close just as quickly, and the The Broadway would be available. However previews for MUSIC MAN are slated to begin in Sept. 2020, with an opening night of October 15, 2020.

Granted, a lot can happen in six months.

This ‘deal’  that was just released has been in place since the one bad week BEETLEJUICE had several months ago, and Rudin took advantage of it.

It is what Producers do – hate the game, not the player – even if the player in this case does not play well with others.

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BEETLEJUICE  is pulling in record box office. Indisputable.

Even with non-raves as reviews (which, honestly TFP did not understand, as she has seen the show), and a box office that one week earned 53% of it’s potential,  it was the ‘come back kid, in terms of Broadway Musicals, flipping the switch and earning it’s highest grosses thus far the week of Dec. 1.

So, to put this all together – BEETLEJUICE is:

  1. Making Money
  2. Diverse Cast
  3. Female Driven Narrative
  4. Bringing in New Audiences
  5. Winning Viral Game with Tick Tock Videos and TV Appearances

Whatever they were doing over at Warner Bros Theatrical, it was working.

It was totally working.

Why screw with a winner?

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Which is why the frustration of all at the news that it is closing – this lovely show, with People of Minority Status and People of Color as a majority in this FEMALE DRIVEN NARRATIVE , in leads, in supporting roles, in the ensemble,  all very visible – and also, a variety within the POC spectrum, it falls to the guy who is doing his best to –  it must be said, MAKE BROADWAY GREAT AGAIN, and that is infuriating.

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Scott Rudin has had some very notable sucesses (EGOT)… and some lapses, let us recall what he said about the announced MUSIC MAN, led by Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster:

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Uh huhhhhhh.

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What he ‘learned’ from DOLLY, was that some people were dismayed with an inclusive cast, when they had been expecting an exclusive cast –  because they are bigots.

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That is what he learned.

YES, Virginia, you can love musicals and still be a bigot.

You can ‘love’ musicals and prefer the casts as segregated as a Pre-Rosa Parks Bus Ride, which ALSO makes you…wait for it…. a bigot.

You can ‘cloak’ your bigotry in claims of ‘historical accuracy’, but as TFP has pointed out AGAIN and AGAIN – Port Cities have always had People of Color, from time immemorial. New York City and shows that are based in New York City, have always had People of Color and should always HAVE People of Color in them. Casting should reflect the American Scene of the city in which it is set and the city in which it resides, as much as possible.

(Ask TFP about COMPANY if you really want her to lose her mind.

Not now, later. She will lose her mind later)

However your comments were duly noted.

Keeping things “The Golden Age Way” means no People of Color in that world.  That is what it means.

Picture a show Stephen Miller would enjoy.

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Let us recall that Mr. Rudin was one of the involved parties in great “leaked email’ SONY scandal in Hollywood in 2014. There is a lot of troubling material to wade through there, including the way he wrote about OSCAR Winner Angelina Jolie, and President Obama’s movie tastes that he had to apologize for.

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Mr Rudin sued over the pregnancy of the GODDESS THAT IS AUDRA MACDONALD for…becoming pregnant during SHUFFLE ALONG, and instead of just replacing her for the time she would be away, he closed the show completely – sending the Cast, almost all African American and which included TONY Winner BILLY PORTER, off to unemployment!

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That as he produced TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD on Broadway, he then threatend to sue small theaters ACROSS THE COUNTRY who had already been given permission to stage a different version of the show, and ALSO sued Harper Lee‘s estate!

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He has had some ‘moments’, we would all agree. He is the biggest Producer on Broadway and he rarely loses a fight. He got what he wanted and he wanted what he got.

BEETLEJUICE is out and MAGA MAN is coming…

So be it.

It just stings.

Losing a beautiful rainbow of a show such as BEETLEJUICE to a white wash is hard. It is hard for TFP, it is hard for, she is sure, the Cast and the Crew, it is hard for the Broadway community – this is over 100 jobs that are going away for no good reason.

MUSIC MAN could have added at least 100 jobs to Broadway without subtracting those in BEETLEJUICE, and that is the rub.

That is the rub, indeed.

It is a damn shame.

A tour is announced, however a transfer within the Broadway theater scene – such as they did with Les Miz, which then went on to run for years, has not been, although again – a lot can happen in six months.

You have six months left – it is not leaving until June – get your tickets – it will be a party every night.

Au Revoir Beetlejuice – the whole being dead thing was one of TFP’s absolute favorites.

Rest In Peace Out….sing us off, Brightman!