Archives for posts with tag: David Henry Hwang

The Fairy Princess is pleased to announce that she will be Co-Hosting the charity event, CELEBRITY DOODLES, which is held annually in Palm Springs, and benefits Desert AIDS Project on APRIL 5th, 2014.

Here is the Doodle I did for them 2 years ago –

It raised $600 for Desert AIDS Project! WHAT? YES!

It raised $600 for Desert AIDS Project! WHAT? YES!

The Fairy Princess loves Palm Springs, and she is thrilled to have been asked – she began her love affair with Palm Springs 4 years ago with the SPARKLE Concerts produced by Scott Nevins and Mark Jones, and has made many wonderful friends and had a brilliant time each and every time, so – thank you Doodles for asking, see you in April!

The Fairy Princess has not been blogging that much, because well, everything has been depressing, right?

The last few weeks, in terms of the news, have been truly, truly awful – there’s people being attacked in Russia because of the way they were born…

 

Ireland decided to take away the right to use the word Homophobia from GLBT people and hand it back to actual Homophobes, because it’s defaming (Say WHAT?)

 

 

Science came under attack from people who like to…well, I guess, NOT read things and learn stuff…

 

 

and a wonderful Actor is no longer among us….

Philip Seymour Hoffman, RIP

Philip Seymour Hoffman, RIP

What this last one means, honestly, is that there are three young children who are no longer able to get a hug or anything else from their Dad, and this just about kills me – because The Fairy Princess has lost many people to addiction, and whatever your personal thoughts on the addict or the substance, to lose a person to addiction is a horrible, sad thing.

There has also been quite a lot of attention paid to Dylan Farrow, who came forward after years of silence, about abuse she suffered…and that has been an absolute HOTBED of debate on both the mainstream media, social networking, and print journalism fronts – and that, again, is horribly sad.

Because statistics…well…

ChildAbuse-stat-1

Which means, if your little girl or boy has a birthday party, and you invite 20 or so children over, statistically, more than one child in attendance at a party – in your own home, could have been sexually abused.

Which is pretty damn disgraceful, and even as rational voices have tried to be heard, the constant attacks on Ms. Farrow – both Sr. and Jr. -would likely guarantee that if there is a young child out there, being abused,  they are probably going to look at this and remain silent.

And THAT, America – is the wrong message to send – even if you like someone’s movies.

Statute of Limitations has gone by in this case, however the DA at the time,  Frank Maco stated that there was ‘probable cause‘ to move forward with a prosecution, but that his office chose not to. As a Lawyers Daughter myself, that ‘probable cause’ is telling, as is the Judge’s statement -which I have lifted from The Washington Post;     “1993: State Supreme Court Acting Justice Elliott Wilk denounces him as an inadequate, irresponsible and self-absorbed father. The judge says he doesn’t know if the molestation happened, but bars Allen from seeing Dylan for at least six months and limits visits with other children. He also criticizes the Connecticut investigation that found no abuse.”

And this is the last word on some of the facts from Vanity Fair (here)

So NOW we are going to focus on some GOOD things that happened this past week, HAPPY things that have to do with song and dance and all things not Olympian, Russian, Drug Related, blah, blah, blah – because we need it. Well, The Fairy Princess needs it.

1. REX LEE IS IN THE ENTOURAGE MOVIE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Squeeeeeee!

WERK that headset, Rex!

WERK that headset, Rex!

 

2. The Book, NOTHING LIKE A DAME by Eddie Shapiro is NOW out!

dame

If you love Broadway, or you know someone who does – THIS is what you can get them for Valentine’s Day, Birthday, whatever holiday you claim in December, it is truly so candid and inspiring – and I am so grateful that I have a copy of my very own!

See, there's my copy in the left corner - don't get distracted....

See, there’s my copy in the left corner – don’t get distracted….

 

3. ALEC MAPA is on SWITCHED AT BIRTH (and yes, I separated those posts so you would not think that he is Rex or Rex is him, because that is truly ridiculous at this point, folks)

 

And what this means is that ABC Family is now reflecting MY Family, and The Fairy Princess LOVES that!

 

4. ANTHONY RAPP is back on The Broadway in a new musical called IF/THEN – and here is a clip of the great work we have all been missing – and yeah, that is Tom Kitt at the piano

 

 

5.  LILLIAS WHITE is doing a Valentine’s Day concert! Yes, click here for information! I was so happy to see her at the Book Launch of Nothing Like A Dame, and she wants everyone to come to her concert! Norm Lewis does too!

Lillias White & Norm Lewis

Lillias White & Norm Lewis

 

6. The Webseries SUBMISSIONS ONLY is back for Season 3, featuring people we all know from the Broadway stages – it’s got cameos from big stars and from your Broadway regulars (it could use a bit more racial diversity, honestly, I would be remiss not to point that out) – but to me, as a member of the Broadway community, it’s a great way to get to know the ridiculous side in a way that is obviously absurd, and not just SMASH absurd.

(Cuz SMASH was totally absurd)

 

7. Canada made a protest video for the Olympics and it features a song by Human League!

 

Well played, Canada, well played…

 

8. PAGEANT, the musical has added a show to it’s existing 4, because they were SRO! What a great thing for Broadway Cares/EFA – do not wait to get tickets to the show added on the 24th, because they are going quickly

Oh Marty Thomas, how I love thee

Oh Marty Thomas, how I love thee

 

9. JUSTIN LIN is directing a new Pilot (this is not so much singing and dancing, but it’s diversity) for CBS called “Scorpion” (and no, it’s not about Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson in a speedo – we can’t get THAT lucky). It’s about a Super Brainy Guy that becomes a “real life Professor X”. Anyway, Geeks inherit the Universe and save it at the same time is what I am getting. Congratulations Justin Lin!

10. The David Henry Hwang play, KUNG FU, is in previews at The Signature Theater in NYC – and it looks AMAZING! WOW!

 

 

So if you are a Bruce Lee fanatic, or a DHH fanatic, or if you just want to see some Asian Americans on stage acting in what looks to be a great piece – check it out.

There you go – ten things that have helped me make it through the past few weeks, and I hope they help you and give you something to look forward to. Normally, The Fairy Princess is not so rah-rah, but…it has been an AWFUL few weeks, I have just been gobsmacked.

If I had my druthers, I would grab a mug of hot chocolate, fuzzy socks, and go vacation, well….HERE:

The Fairy Princess has been trying quite hard to remain positive these last few posts…because the ‘real’ news has been fairly hideous – whether you are concerned about riots in Egypt, or Child Trafficking, or Russia hating LGBT people….(Which is ludicrous, because of course, Russia is like…the Gayest Country on Earth…if you are famous for BALLET….that’s pretty Gay, Russia…pretty Gay), so she has not been posting about theater, because, well…she thought everyone learned their lesson.

The Fairy Princess lecturing Joseph Anthony Foronda in Flower Drum Song at AMTSJ

The Fairy Princess lecturing Joseph Anthony Foronda in Flower Drum Song at AMTSJ

I mean, she gave a speech at LA Stage Day about the death of Yellowface, and she was totally encouraged by the fact that the audience at LA Stage Day was receptive. Not only were they receptive, the wider, Internet audience that technology makes possible was ALSO accepting of the fact that it’s not cool to put on makeup and bad accents and make fun of Asian people simply because you are too lazy or stupid to do an actual and thoughtful portrayal of Asian culture WITH Asian actors in those roles.

I mean, weren’t we all clear on this? GEORGE? What do you think?

SHUT THE FRONT DOOR, GEORGE! THEY FORGOT!

I mean, any educated person would have to take note that demeaning a heritage you know nothing about would be…well… stupid. Any educated person would know that. Educated people, for example, who have just received an Ivy League education at an institution that is known for having high artistic standards….a place like, well…let’s just say it….YALE.

Wow...that is gorgeous...yep, that's Yale

Wow…that is gorgeous…yep, that’s Yale

Yale is a pretty fancy place – it’s graduates include Presidents, Physicians, Performers, Playwrights, in fact, the Fairy Princess’s own cousin holds a PhD from Yale….so she’s been there, and yeah…pretty fancy.

(In case you are reading this post in say….Scotland…or more specifically Edinburgh, it may be worth sharing that Yale Drama School – which is a Masters Program of Study, has some pretty famous Alumni to boast of….much like my own alma mater, Carnegie Mellon….which was founded by a Scot – Andrew Carnegie. GO SCOTS! )

Now, when you think “Yale Drama”, who comes to mind?

meryl-500x282

Or well, this guy….

TONY Winning Playwright, David Henry Hwang

TONY Winning Playwright, David Henry Hwang

He won a TONY Award for writing this play:

95833

And DHH is not the only Asian American to have attended Yale Drama….how about this guy?

Actor CS Lee - Dexter

Actor CS Lee – Dexter

Or THIS guy…..

Actor & 2x TONY Winning Producer, Pun Bandhu

Actor & 2x TONY Winning Producer, Pun Bandhu

And lest you think that Yale Drama is male dominated…

Actress & TED Speaker, Esther K. Chae

Actress & TED Speaker, Esther K. Chae

So…as you can see, Yale School of Drama has some fairly distinguished Asian American alumni who are gracing our stages and screens, large & small, today. And Yale School of Drama is NOT what this post is about – because obviously they are forward thinking and embrace diversity in it’s students and alumni. And Bravo to that!

However, there are a LOT of people who attend Yale and they are entitled to pursue Acting, Writing, and Directing just the same as anyone else. Their resumes still say….Yale. The word entitled is a very big one here, and it explains the reason for this post.

Though these bright minded individuals do hold degrees from Yale University, they do NOT hold Degrees from Yale School of Drama.

They do not have the training, they do not have the sensitivity, and they do not have, perhaps, their pulse on the beat of the cultural landscape of American Theater to know that there is a…and well…given the subject matter, The Fairy Princess hesitates to use the word, but it is applicable…a REVOLUTION in American Theater in regards to portrayals of Asian peoples.

Nobody binds our feet and leaves us in a corner ANY more….

The definitive answer, in many respects, to cultural misunderstandings

The definitive answer, in many respects, to cultural misunderstandings

Which is why it was all the more shocking to hear about THIS

A play currently playing at Edinburgh Fringe Festival

A play currently playing at Edinburgh Fringe Festival written & Performed by YALE Alum

You see…this is the Cast of BEIJING CAKE currently playing at Edinburgh Fringe, and….it’s a play about China….do they look Chinese to you? I see….

Cassie DaCosta, Nathaniel Moore, Sara Rosen, Gabriel Christian the cast of BEIJING CAKE

Cassie DaCosta, Nathaniel Moore, Sara Rosen, Gabriel Christian the cast of BEIJING CAKE

And HERE is a map of CHINA…real, actual, China….it’s not made up, it does not exist only in pure imagination…it’s right THERE…you see?

Wait! Wait a MINUTE you say that CHINA is a REAL and ACTUAL place?

Wait! Wait a MINUTE you say that CHINA is a REAL and ACTUAL place?

And here is a…well…a Chinese person…one who is actually, supposedly portrayed IN this play:

The Chairman...and no, not a fan as he put my Great Aunt into a concentration camp...but he was a real and actual person of which there are MANY images

The Chairman…and no, not a fan as he put my Great Aunt into a concentration camp…but he was a real and actual person of which there are MANY images

Though none of the Cast appears to BE of Asian descent, appearances CAN be deceiving so let’s see their Kickstarter video, because perhaps that would show them to be a sensitive, thoughtful bunch, who can cheerfully bring us all up to speed on the Chinese experience…http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2114703258/bring-beijing-cake-to-the-edinburgh-fringe-festiva

Yeah…not so much. Although the repeated GONGS throughout the kickstarter video are a nice touch….

The Fairy Princess has hit a wall….

great-wall-of-china

She has hit a wall because this is a project that is coming from young people! In their twenties! And Whitney Houston always told us that Children were the future!

Whitney lied. These children are as whack as crack.

The Fairy Princess is FRUSTRATED.

Remember what happened the FIRST time she got this frustrated? (MR KAUFMAN? REMEMBER?)

OK here is the deal….this show at The Fringe is billed as a comedy, it’s billed as hilarious…and apparently, those who have done the billing are the playwright, director and Cast themselves, because when core members of the British East Asians attended the show this is what they saw….

BritishEastAsians

Ummmmm…..

grinch

You know who should be upset about this? More than The Fairy Princess, more than the British East Asian Artists?

Man if I went there, I would be SO pissed!

Man if I went there, I would be SO pissed!

And here is why...they make Yale Alumni look like culturally insensitive a**holes.

Cuz ya wanna see how they bill themselves….?

Wow...yeah, YALE is all over those bios....huh?

Wow…yeah, YALE is all over those bios….huh?

Yale, Yale, Yale…and you know what – Yale is actually a very sophisticated school with quite an international reputation. And now this bunch is going around the world to spread Yellowface makeup, made up Chinese and…well…racism. I mean, they do not even seem to be aware that Chinese can be broken down into various dialects like Mandarin and Cantonese!

REALLY? Because even ELMO knows what Mandarin is!

THIS is what they came out of YALE with? An entitled sense of being able to make fun of Asian people…an entitled opinion that they are able to portray us, to speak on our issues, to mock a language that is thousands of years old?

OMG Yale – you failed. You were supposed to educate them to take their place in the world and hold forth the tradition of excellence that you are known for. They ran off waving their sheepskin and decided it was a great idea to mock the Country that holds America’s dollar by the proverbial balls.

What a great endorsement for a Yale Education! I’m sure their Parents will be thrilled that they PAID for their kids to learn that you can step all over Chinese people at tens of thousands of dollars per semester! The one who will be absolutely the MOST proud?

The Director’s FATHER….

Because EVERYONE knows that Oscar Winning Screenwriters really want to be known for having Daughters who perpetuate stereotype utilizing Yellowface and made up Chinese adjacent languages! What a shame,  when you, yourself, are so meticulous in your brilliant work. But perhaps, she is a late bloomer. You have faith in her.

The Fairy Princess….not so much.

Let’s break it down people, these Actors and this Playwright and this Director are from groups that have ‘Minority’ written all over their names and faces and gender…possibly even their sexual preferences, who knows or who cares, but it’s possible. So if you are, yourself, a member of a Minority group, how DARE you mock another one? Forget what you obviously did NOT learn at YALE about cultural sensitivity, what the heck were you learning at home that makes this in ANY way ok?

Well now, they are probably upset….they are saying HOW DARE I call them on this racist play that they love doing. Who am I to expect them to strive for excellence and artistic bravery? Ok Kids…fine, but let’s turn this around….because turnabout is fair play, yes?

Foghorn Leghorn says Yes, Turnabout is fair play

Foghorn Leghorn says Yes, Turnabout is fair play

Now…if Asian American actors were to go over to Edinburgh, slap on some Blackface make up and talk like Amos & Andy – would that be ok?

Yeah, remember when people thought THIS was ok? (TOTALLY NOT OK!)

Yeah, remember when people thought THIS was ok? (TOTALLY NOT OK!)

No.

If Asian American Directors and Writers got together a made up a mockery of the Hebrew language which they THEN set it to the tune of “Yiddishe Mama” would that be ok?

No.

Cuz The Bottle Dance from Fiddler On The Roof is just Jerome Robbin’s choreo…we could learn it

Tradition my ASS!

Tradition my ASS!

(BTW, The Fairy Princess knows every damn word to Fiddler On The Roof and made her Mom take her to see it 5 times in a row when she was six years old and then she memorized the Cast recording…but she ALWAYS knew that it was a show she would NEVER do)

But we are not going to. Because we have standards.

I would have thought that you would have them too…being that you know….you went to Yale and all….so many whacks with the wand…you need to grab a mirror and take a good look at yourselves and HONESTLY wonder how you EVER thought that this was in ANY way ok….. OH….and BY THE WAY….

KISS MY FAN TAN FANNIE

Sometimes when blogging, the world seems to be a negative place, filled with Monsters from your closet who would like nothing better than to ruin your day, consistently with some nasty stuff.

Whether you are trying to sell a cereal,

cheerios-memeor sing the National Anthem,

Public_Shaming_-_Racist_Basketball_Fans_PISSED

San Antonia, AMERICA!

or star in a tv show in a role traditionally given to a man – haters gonna hate.

Lucy Liu as Dr. Watson in Elementary

Lucy Liu as Dr. Watson in Elementary

Sometimes it seems, that no matter HOW you are trying to spin it, it’s gonna be a bad day….wait a minute, WAIT A MINUTE!

To Quote James Thunder Early from DREAMGIRLS “THERE HAVE GOT TO BE SOME GOOD TIMES!!!!”

Let’s shake it off –

(Who DOESN’T love to tell people what they really, REALLY want?)

READY – DANCE BREAK!!!!!!!!!!!!

I feel better. How do you feel? Some things lately have been awesome…and I’m going to tell you some of them RIGHT NOW!!!!!

(I KNOW, THIS IS TOTALLY DIFFERENT, RIGHT?) (Don’t be scared)

It was TOTALLY AWESOME that several days ago THIS happened:

2013 TONY Winners - BEST PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL - PATINA MILLER (Pippin) and BILLY PORTER (Kinky Boots)

2013 TONY Winners – BEST PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL – PATINA MILLER (Pippin) and BILLY PORTER (Kinky Boots)

How was it awesome? Let me count the ways….ok, I hate math, nevermind counting – and don’t judge my math. Several weeks ago, I gave a speech at LA Stage Day.

They had a Graphic Artist do a rendering of my speech as it was occurring, isn't it fabulous? I think so!

They had a Graphic Artist do a rendering of my speech as it was occurring, isn’t it fabulous?

In it, I stated that Diversity means Awards and Dollars that make you holler! So let us just take a gander at what kind of musical KINKY BOOTS is – It is a musical written by a Heterosexual woman and a Gay Man, where the story involves a friendship and a mutual respect between a Straight man and a Gay man, who also happens to be a Drag Queen.

(In a nutshell….. In a nutshell enclosed in six inch stiletto thigh high boots)

Diversity, Diversity, Diversity.

This show makes me cheer – it did in the audience and it still does now – because it is the personification of what I was talking about. You can say similar things about PIPPIN – it’s a diverse cast, it has a female Director who took the role of “Lead Player” and changed the space time compendium and made the part that had traditionally gone to a man, go to a woman. BAM – TONY AWARDS!

Diversity, Diversity, Diversity!

Congrats to the three Carnegie Mellon grads who garnered TONY Awards – (in the order in which they were received) Judith Light, Billy Porter, and Patina Miller. Bravo!

Now you MAY ask yourself…HOW did the Fairy Princess get here – and you may ask yourself….nevermind, this is getting long and I have some things to say….

When watching the TONY Awards, I was asked a question by my Mother “Do you think there will ever be an Asian American winners for Best Lead Performance in a Musical, both a man and a woman in the same year?”

Proving indeed that she is MY Mother…and my answer was….drumroll please….

“I don’t know.

Seriously, I have no idea

Seriously, I have no idea.

Because there are a LOT of things that go into winning an award like that as a performer and the first rule is – YOU NEED A PART. Yes, you need a role that you can play to the best of your ability that helps people see past the color of your skin. So that answer begins with the writers out there – the composers, the lyricists – but who knows? Maybe it will happen. It has happened…once before in a musical..

lea-salonga

But let’s see what OTHER good things happened this week:

Joel Grey selected Raymond J. Lee for the 2013 Theater Hall of Fame Fellowship for Emerging Artists! That is VERY cool! Ray has been on Broadway in Mamma Mia and Anything Goes, he just finished ACT’s production of Stuck Elevator in San Francisco and he is heading off to do a show that will be at The Papermill Playhouse – Honeymoon in Vegas, by composer Jason Robert Brown, but anyway THAT is TOTALLY AWESOME THING NUMBER 2

Back to Mom’s question and my answer – it begins with the writers – so I was very ‘chuffed’ to hear that Chicago Actor/Writer, Danny Bernardo, has written a new play that is being mounted at The Baliwick Theater, MAHAL – a story about a Filipino family trying to come to grips with the loss of it’s Matriarch. It deals with cultural identity, assimilation, homophobia, inter-racial relationships, and inter-generational relationships which leads to realizing what it means to be an American Family.

Mahal 1

TOTALLY AWESOME THING 3!!!!!!!! (Look, my math is holding up!) And there is my pal from Flower Drum Song, Joseph Anthony Foronda playing the Patriarch! That is pretty awesome too! Congratulations to Danny, who wrote this play, in part, to come to terms with the loss of his own Father – having dealt with that the last year, and tomorrow being Father’s Day, I think it is a wonderful tribute and one his Dad would be very proud of, on so many levels.

AND….in terms of Diversity, Diversity, Diversity – it’s a WIN!

Speaking of plays…and I do, often – I wanted to share a HUGE Diversity Win with everyone – the FIRST PLAY ON THE INTERNET – specifically, YouTube and it is David Henry Hwang’s play Yellowface. Many congratulations to the YOMYOMF on this huge accomplishment!!!! Particular ‘shout out’ to Philip Chung, Jeff Liu, Justin Lin and my fellow cast member from The Mikado Project, Ryun Yu who stars at DHH

AWESOME THING NUMBER 4!!!!!!

Finally – again in Chicago – there was a kerfuffle this last week, in regards to The Jungle Book – which is being adapted by the Goodman Theater – here is a piece of what they are going for:

In a nutshell, Mary Zimmerman gave an interview in which her answers seem…well, they don’t seem cool. Here is the Chicago Tribune article about the situation, HERE. And here is the interview with Chicago Magazine that started this situation –HERE.

Which prompted THIS response from Silk Road Rising Theatre Company‘s AD, Jamil Khoury to take to his blog about the situation. (Read his first post HERE)

This was exciting to The Fairy Princess, because Mr. Khoury’s blog post began with “For years I have bit my tongue…” and that, to The Fairy Princess meant “Some SHIZ is going down…and you are gonna be sari…” because nothing says ‘prepare for total domination…’ like starting with how long you have held it in!

How long? YEARS! Grab an umbrella, ella, ella! There’s a fight coming and for ONCE…I didn’t have to start it. The Fairy Princess’s tiara was starting to get dented from all the knocks she had taken in this whole thing, and thank heavens Mr. Khoury was going to go fight the windmill.

Right, Mapa?

"Oh no he DIDN'T?"

“GURL….and THEN what?”

Anyway, Mr. Khoury – who no, I do not know – spoke up! He said what he had to say, and YEAH, he said it like THAT and you know what it led to?

A conversation. A conversation with Mary Zimmerman. (Read about it HERE) and there came a meeting of the minds, and there came…peace. And just like that, an understanding bloomed in Chicago – and things are going to change.

Things are going to change because Silk Road Rising had had enough, and they demanded clarity and they demanded response – AND THEY GOT IT.

So the next time someone tells you to just suck it up and go about your business, when you know you should say something, when you KNOW in your GUT that something is not kosher – I want you to think about the tremendous risk that Mr. Khoury took, and that it led to resolution.

And THAT is AWESOME THING NUMBER 5 ABOUT THE PAST TWO WEEKS….

Which means that my answer to my Mother will perhaps change to “Absolutely’

 

Drop the Mic, Ms. Audra McDonald – and take us home…..

The Fairy Princess is pleased to announce that she will be a Keynote Speaker at the LA Stage Alliance’s Stage Day Conference on May 18, 2013!

Wait, I have to do a speech? Awww nuts....

Wait, I have to do a speech? Awww nuts….

This is SO exciting! I mean, we will get to shoot the breeze and talk about all those silly kerfuffles that happened with Asian American representation in Theater over the last year, and oh MY will we laugh because it was all so….

Sorry, wait a minute – what’s that you have there?

Ah yes, Drama Desk nominations – so exciting, The Fairy Princess knows so many on this list, let’s take a look:

Billy Porter for KINKY BOOTS – well, naturally – he is amazing in that show. Christiane Noll for CHAPLIN – she’s so talented, remember her turn in RAGTIME as Mother? Oh, I loved it so much…

The Cast of WORKING is getting recognized! Nice!

Prospect-Theater-Companys-WORKING-at-59E59_Poster

Oh look, HERE LIES LOVE which is now at The Public is getting quite a few nods – Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Director of a Musical, Outstanding Lighting Design, Outstanding Lyrics and Outstanding Music – oh they must be so pleased!

Yeah, they look pretty happy

Yeah, they look pretty happy

Ok, going down the list and going down the list and….ummmm – hold please….let me look at this list for Best Featured Actor and Actress in a Musical….oh dear.

grinch

NO!

NO!

THIS CANNOT HAPPEN AGAIN!!!!!!!

I thought we agreed!

I mean AAPAC made a statement!

The Roundabout Theater agreed to a close door meeting to discuss this…this…the…’Brownface’ and the faux Bollywood accents and the…I feel like I am Foghorn Leghorn and all the Award Committees are trying to prove they are chicken hawks!

Lemme get this straight Drama Desk Awards – in a musical about Asians, played by Asian Americans, there are no Individual Nominations (And btw, that is totally fine and happens a lot and it is not the reason for the following outburst).

But the people wearing heavy makeup and using crazy Bollywood gestures have Nominations for Best Featured Actor and Actress in A Musical!

For being directed to inhabit their roles with what the The New York Times said was “…silly imitation exoticism …in absurd burnt-umber makeup”

(The Fairy Princess wants to be quite clear, that no Actor or Actress takes the stage and gives any sort of performance in a Broadway revival without direction, so she is fairly certain that the choices made to portray Neville and Helena Landless were not from the Actors. This is not about the talent or a personal attack on these particular actors)

(Obviously the Actors do not go around their daily lives striking these kinds of poses – that would be RIDICULOUS)

THE MYSTERY! OF! BROADWAY BROWN!

Those two have the nominations, not these two…

Mr & Mrs. Ferdinand Marcos as played by Jose Llana & Ruthie Ann Miles

Mr & Mrs. Ferdinand Marcos as played by Jose Llana & Ruthie Ann Miles

Again, so we are clear…these two

Rather unfortunate photo

Hmm, -Rather unfortunate photo

And NOT any of the people pictured here

HERE LIES LOVE...and Asian Americans...er...Asian American Love

HERE LIES LOVE…and Asian Americans…er…Asian American Love

The Fairy Princess has a question for the Drama Desk Nominating Committee – If you nominate Caucasians made up to resemble what is a stereotype of an Asian person, isn’t that, well…endorsing the use of stuff like….oh, I don’t know….

THIS?

THIS?

Or, well….

THIS?

THIS?

Oh Drama Desk Committee, you have many, many things to worry about, so I will give you the answer…it’s not B.

THE ANSWER IS YES!

Because you see, the makeup is only a few kick ball changes away from..(.and I so hesitate to use this photo because, well, it’s AWFUL), but you see, by endorsing those kinds of performances with such a distinguished award, oh Drama Desk Nominating Committee, you are only a few shades away from endorsing…uh…THIS

Yeah, remember when people thought THIS was ok? (TOTALLY NOT OK!)

Yeah, remember when people thought THIS was ok? (TOTALLY NOT OK!)

Aha! THIS is the part where everyone is going to get mad, and argue that using Brownface or Yellowface is fairly standard in our industry – alive and well since the 1800’s, and that Caucasians wearing exaggerated makeup to resemble Asians is, in no way, comparable to Minstrel performances that characterized and dehumanized African Americans shamefully in this country.

Because… let’s face it – everyone did The Mikado in High School, and they LOVED wearing the Yellowface, they thought it was fun! They did not, and do not think absurd shuffling, and forgetting consonants and wearing eyeliner from the corner of their eye till it nearly touches their ear was bad! They had a good time!…. And then they went and lost their virginity at the Cast Party afterwards – and yeah, they were probably still wearing the makeup because…’that’s hot’.

Cuz to us….

Cindy Cheung & Christine Toy Johnson at La Jolla's talkback...they look so pissed off I feel like I need to go practice piano and bring home an A plus.  TIGER ACTRESSES! RRROOOOWWRRR

Cindy Cheung & Christine Toy Johnson
at La Jolla’s talkback…they look pissed, huh?

Yellowface or Brownface is the SAME as Blackface.

It really, really is.

Because what it says is – and think about this just a bit before everyone flies off the handle and starts bashing me on Broadwayworld.com – (and yes, I have seen the posts – nice grammar, Crackpots) – when you erase Asian faces from roles where they are possible, have them played in heavy makeup by Caucasians whose very portrayals mock their heritage, and then endorse those portrayals with an AWARD, it tells us one thing – loud and clear.

It tells us we don’t count.

And here’s the thing…if there is one thing we are known for, it’s being able to count.

It says “We are so used to not seeing you, that when we do see you, well…you are not as we had imagined, so we’d rather just forget the you that is you, and you know…make it up.”

Etcetera, Etcetera, Etectera….

I mean, if you can see this from space….

FROM SPACE

FROM SPACE

But when you go to the theater where there is a South Asian character and you don’t see this…

Manu-Narayan-03

You see this…

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Something is rotten, and we are nowhere near Denmark.

What are ‘we’ supposed to think? What would YOU think?

The Fairy Princess is NOT calling The Drama Desk Awards racist, because that would be absurd!

There have been many past winners of the Drama Desk Awards who are, in fact, Asian American – Francis Jue for David Henry Hwang’s YELLOWFACE

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(In context, a title disturbingly appropriate.)

Deborah S. Craig won for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee for her breakthrough performance as Marcy Park.MV5BMjI4MTA4MDU1M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNTExNzQ3Ng@@._V1._SX467_SY700_

So it is NOT that The Drama Desk Awards are racist – and let’s stop throwing that word around like a frisbee – it is that…it is that they are so used to seeing Caucasians play Asian, that it didn’t mean a damn thing to them. And that is the saddest part of all.

Theater is supposed to break the stereotypes, not endorse them.

It’s supposed to lift you up, and by ‘you’, I mean everyone.

The Drama Desk Awards DO have 3 Nominations this year for Asian Americans –

Joel de la Fuente: OUTSTANDING SOLO PERFORMANCE – Hold These Truths

Jane Wang – OUTSTANDING MUSIC IN A PLAY – Strange Tales of Liaozhai

Eugene Ma – OUTSTANDING MUSIC IN A PLAY – The Man who Laughs

The Fairy Princess wishes them well. She actually wishes everyone well – but truthfully what would be great is if the cast of HERE LIES LOVE sits right in front, so no matter WHO wins, they are seen.

We. Are. Seen.

And, scene.

Finally, for all the people who comment, who are sooooo threatened by the ability to see something a different way, I just ask you – why do you like theater? Do you like it because you learn something when you go? Do you like it because it can make the world brighter? Or, do you just like calling me a bitch?

Because the reason I write this is not because I ‘like’ theater, it is because I love theater. I have devoted my life to it. I just want it to be better, for everyone. I want people of all races to be able to GO to the theater and see themselves.

Seeing yourself is powerful. Seeing yourself is empowering. Seeing yourself is halfway to becoming the person you want to be.

I had a friend who is unfortunately gone now, and what he always used to say is “If they knew better, they would do better” – and this blog is to point out that sometimes people do not know, and I just try to explain to them that they need to do better. So simple. I just say it…well….

In a really snarky way.

Because…that’s me.

Anyway, this is a thrilling awards season, and I wish all the Nominees of everything well, besides….

Werd!

Werd!