Archives for posts with tag: Here lies Love

The Fairy Princess’s head is kind of spinning – there was a LOT this week, so since the post was getting too enormously long, she’s going to divide it up into THREE!

Yes, THREE!

Here’s just two things that I am happy about:

Here Lies Love re-opened at the NY Public Theater. What she loves about this is that it proves that a show starring Asian Americans, telling an Asian story, can not only be a sellout success, but it can come back and sell out again! This bodes well.

HERE LIES LOVE Cast Photo

HERE LIES LOVE Cast Photo

Then the kerfuffle at The Lantern Theater Company that she first addressed on February 18, 2014, had a bit of closure when the Artistic Director, Charles McMahon sat down with Japanese Artist, Makoto Hirano.

Mr. Hirano, wrote his letter addressing the situation titled “How To Stage Your Show Without Being Super Racist” in early March, on or about the 5th.

Would she have asked some different questions? Undoubtedly. However, Mr. McMahon makes it clear in the video that that would not have happened in any case, because The Fairy Princess is not a local Philadelphia Artist.

So be it.

Closure asked for, closure received.

Thank you Mr. McMahon for your honesty and candor. The Fairy Princess appreciates that you agreed to talk about this issue on camera, with a Japanese born American staring you down the entire time. She gets that this was uncomfortable for you, and she appreciates it.

But Lantern Theater….we’ll be watching you.

Cuz you thought THIS was ok:

Jered McLenigan as Anthony - Photo by Mark Garvin

Jered McLenigan as Anthony – Photo by Mark Garvin

 

It’s not.

So just know that we’ll be watching, and if we see it again….

 

Jujubee-library-reading-to-filth

The Fairy Princess has observed people having a bad week or so – and she wanted to take a moment and publicly state that she stands firmly, in regards to the issues of the last two weeks, behind Jeff Yang, Phil Yu, Kristina Wong, Calpernia Addams , and Greg Watanabe and the positions they have taken.

There is no need for any community of any kind, that acknowledges in fact, that they are a community, to turn on one another and try and destroy it based only a need to be ‘right’.

Maturity can admit mistakes, in as much as immaturity cannot be self- aware.

On to #GoodThingsThursday – here is what is going on:

1. The Fairy Princess is Co-Hosting Celebrity Doodles this coming Saturday, April 5, in Palm Springs with this handsome fellow –

International Magician of Mystery, Matthew Dowden

International Magician of Mystery, Matthew Dowden

Celebrity Doodles is an Art Auction/Fanciest Cocktail Party you have ever been to, type thing, and it is a blast! This year, they are honoring Suzanne Somers and Alan Hamel, Taylor Dayne  is singing, and the artwork is amazing. Click here for more information. There ARE still a few tix left.

Special THANK YOU to The Frank DeCaro Show on Sirius XM Radio for having me on to talk about Doodles and all sorts of other things – Frank and Doria Biddle run a great show, broadcast around the Globe, that focuses on Pop Culture, LGBT Issues, News and it is always a fun time. If you have not gotten a chance to hear them, you can click here for more information.

2. YELLOW FACE, the play by David Henry Hwang, is having another go-round in London! The last time it ran, just a few months ago, it had a four star rating. It will be at The Park Theater – and I encourage you, if you missed it the first time, to run off and view a great display of British Talent.

May 21 – June 16th. Break a leg, Everyone!

Gemma Chan & David Yip in DHH's YELLOWFACE, re-opening in May 2014

Gemma Chan & David Yip in DHH’s YELLOWFACE, re-opening in May 2014

This is great, because DHH’s Kung Fu, at NYC’s The Signature Theater

Cole Horribe as Bruce Lee

Cole Horribe as Bruce Lee

must close on April 6, 2014, so it is nice to know that his voice continues to be heard around the globe.

3. HERE LIES LOVE  is back at the NY’s Public Theater

1.167520

AND…they have a Cast Album! Which you can Order!

Is anyone else 'trippin' just looking at this artwork?

Is anyone else ‘trippin’ just looking at this artwork?

 

4. Tiananmen, a new musical, under the aegis of director, Stafford Arima (who also directed Allegiance), made it’s NY Concert Debut in the best room in town – 54 Below.

Cast of Tiananmen, the musical, backstage

Cast of Tiananmen, the musical, backstage

 

5. The API’s of the new Broadway musical, IF/THEN made their Red Carpet Bows:

The lovely Ann Sanders

The lovely Ann Sanders

 

IF/Then Cast Members Marc DelaCruz, Pearl Sun, and Charles Hagerty

IF/Then Cast Members Marc DelaCruz, Pearl Sun, and Charles Hagerty

Alongside these Superstars –

LaChanze, Anthony Rapp, Idina Menzel from the Cast of IF/Then

LaChanze, Anthony Rapp, Idina Menzel from the Cast of IF/Then

Speaking purely from a Diversity standpoint – this show looks to be a standout. This is one of the more diverse casts I have seen, the show is set in New York City, this is exactly what Diversity means.

The Fairy Princess says YES, this IS what New York City looks like!

Good job, Telsey + Company!

6. This next one is pretty exciting – especially if you were one of those who were sad to see the end of the TV show, NIKITA – Maggie Q, one of the most bankable API’s on Television, is back in a new pilot by Kevin Williamson.

(Doesn’t that just make you want to SCREAM!)

Meet 'Detective Beth Davis" from the new pilot by Kevin Williamson

Meet ‘Detective Beth Davis” from the new pilot by Kevin Williamson

In addition to that, Maggie Q is also in the DIVERGENT Trilogy and a bunch more stuff. The Fairy Princess is particularly partial to Hapa Actresses whose surnames are Irish and start with Q, so many congrats to her.

7. And finally – a shout out to BD Wong, who appeared in a comedy sketch on The Colbert Report.

To put a period at the end of the Great Hashtag Wars of 2014.

Thank you, B.D. Wong, our only Asian American TONY Award Winning Actor.

 

And there you have it – seven (or 8, you can count HLL 2x if you want to) things to feel good about as we wend our way out of Pilot Season and into Broadway  – Happy Thursday, Folks!

DSC_0164

 

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…

MED12_andy

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

220px-FrancisJue1

(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!