Archives for posts with tag: Kinky Boots

The Fairy Princess would just like, first, before anything else, to wish Queen Lesli Margherita a fond farewell from Matilda and excited squeals of joy as she heads to The Broadway in DAMES AT SEA.

TFP saw Ms. Margherita in MATILDA and she was fabulous, so if you missed her in that, you should definitely try and catch her in DAMES. Because there will be nothing like Ms. Margherita for quite some time, she is a force of nature, everyone should witness it at least once in a lifetime.

Likewise, Billy Porter is leaving KINKY BOOTS for his new Broadway show – SHUFFLE ALONG, and TFP is very thrilled that he is going to shine his beautiful light on a new work.

Moving on – TFP is sorry to miss WILD RICE, the Theater company from Singapore which is adding an appearance at the Brisbane Festival (A Festival, A FESTival...) to their repertoire…

tumblr_m5k6quqa3m1qbkr5o

It’s the word “Festival”, TFP cannot help it.

tumblr_mmqzugOP8Z1ql5yr7o1_500

ANYWAY….WILD RICE is bringing it’s landmark production of THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST by OSCAR WILDE there this coming weekend – September 11, 12, and 13th, and one can find out all the relevant information here.

The show is being done with an All Male Cast, with stunning visuals and costuming – take a look:

Looks pretty great – and nice to see an All Asian Cast on the world stage.

6a00d8341c730253ef01b8d10a6b6f970c-800wi

Randy Rainbow took on Kim Davis and her refusal to recognize the law in a hilarious musical theater send up –

TFP has a particular fondness for parodies of CHICAGO…they are, indeed, her jam.

first-celebrity-reactions-obama-win

All right enough of theater for the moment – let’s move on to television…specifically ABC.

tumblr_mf7jgksP3O1qi99ako1_400

Y’all ABC is winning at Diversity.

Winning in a an “in your face’ kind of ‘take that other networks’ kind of way.

JasmineOLD

NOT ONLY did FRESH OFF THE BOAT get a Season 2 order…

They put THE MUPPETS on the same night!!! What does that mean? It means that when people of all colors tune in to see the amazingness that is the MUPPETS, on the same night, they will be seeing an Asian American Family acting just like any other family, and everything is copacetic. 

FOTB had an AMAZING first season – but this means ABC is not going to sit around and stand back and see how Season 2 does – it is throwing programming support behind it. It means that Tuesday nights on ABC is going to define Children’s Evening Viewing and that means that API’s are going to become part of the American consciousness in a larger way than ever before – at least on television – and that’s F***ING Awesome.

tumblr_mahlqrMHW41qj0a7k

But they did not stop there –

They have programmed the DR. KEN show for Friday Nights, again, showing Asian Americans as funny and smart in Prime Time hours on nights when young impressionable minds and their Parents, will be home – more APIs in the living room during Family time! YAY!

Not to MENTION – Not to MENTION…but TFP is OF COURSE going to mention this – for those later evening hour viewers, aka grown ups – they have cast in a LEAD ROLE – PRIYANKA CHOPRA!!!

priyanka-chopra-quantico-new-series-sex-scene

http://abc.go.com/shows/quantico/video/abc-new-drama-trailers/VDKA0_vlxaawyg

(Click the above link for the trailer.)

In fact, TFP points out that the very description of the show is “A diverse group of recruits has arrived at the FBI Quantico base for training.”

large

TFP said “DIVERSE“…or rather, ABC said it, right in the description.

sF3L5vP

ABC is getting it – getting it quicker and smarter than quite a lot of the other networks – maybe their Diversity Department is better than everyone else’s?

tumblr_lyui1uLvn51qhh6xjo1_500

I mean, actress Amy Okuda was ‘discovered‘ in ABC’s Diversity Showcase and is now going to have a recurring part on How To Get Away With Murder.

You cannot talk about Diversity without “Shonda Thursdays” (although…c’mon Ms. Rhimes…we need API season regulars in professions such as law, politics, and medicine set in cities like Washington D.C., Seattle, and Philadelphia), they are fantastic.

Great to hear about Amy Okuda!

photo

She joins Conrad Ricamora

JACK FALAHEE, CONRAD RICAMORA

and Tamlyn Tomita

tamlyn-tomita

as a recurring on that show.

When was the last time you heard of someone going from a Diversity Showcase to a Network Show? In recent years?

jinkx8

Seriously – have you?

giphy

SIDEBAR:

Because having been a part of one of “A Network to be Unnamed”‘s Diversity Showcase, TFP can tell you the one she was in had some issues, but that may have been because that Head of Diversity told TFP, when TFP tried to give notes (written notes, handed in, not given to the Actors) that “Television is a Director’s Medium!” and “Writers do not give notes“.

971

TFP has to apologize to API Actresses in New York, because after that contretemps, her scene was pulled from consideration for the New York showcase – a scene that was specifically written FOR an API female. It was pulled because TFP gave notes and did ‘not seem grateful enough’ to the people in charge. TFP was also j’accused of quite a few things which include but are not limited to homophobia, racism, sexism…(there were a LOT of isms in there), for not knowing the difference between theater and television and best of all…this all occurred at the reception, in full view of about 100 people.

Awesome.

TFP had been under the assumption that it was a showcase for her as well, something that was later pointed out by a colleague to be untrue – it was not, actually a showcase for the writers per se, it could not be- because the shows were already staffed up by the time the showcase was presented. Thus it is truly a showcase for the Actors, which is great, but…let’s be honest about it, oh Unnamed Network. If a writer’s response was not wanted, then invitations to rehearsals should not have been issued. According to the Director of the scene, the scene was about collaboration – but only that between Director and Actors and TFP should ‘lower your expectations, in fact, you should have no expectations in a showcase, I don’t.”

giphy-facebook_s

TFP has to apologize to all the Actresses who submitted with that scene – if you were not in the NY Showcase of a specific Network, if you looked to that scene and it gave you hope, TFP is very sorry. She did ask the Head of Diversity to not yank it for all APIs just because that Head of Diversity did not like the API that wrote it. TFP even said that if they found the right actress for it – while she would appreciate them letting her know, she would not attend (in case her notes again were found to be too out of bounds of a writer’s purview) – but that has NOT been the case.

TFP apologizes.

SIDEBAR CONCLUDED:

So TFP would like to give ABC some fist pumps…

giphy

ABC…you are KILLIN’ IT!

5c1e1ad30b4f3a0e97b30a68483b6c81

Keep it going, keep it going, keep it going….

It’s about representation, everyone – not representation everyone is comfortable with – just Actors being able to tell interesting stories – and in television, you vote with your remote…hope you click it to the above mentioned shows and keep this trend going, for in television, where those who make money succeed, others are sure to follow.

These are but a few shows TFP mentioned, there are more, but we gotta keep the Networks on their toes, so we’ll get to the other stuff soon enough.

giphy-2

TFP out.

UPDATE: In a, ahem, remarkable turn around,  after Jordan Roth announced that his theaters would dim in honor of Joan Rivers,  and after this blog was published, The Broadway League has reversed it’s initial position:

“Joan Rivers loved Broadway and we loved her. Due to the outpouring of love and respect for Joan Rivers from our community and from her friends and fans worldwide, the marquees of Broadway theaters in New York will be dimmed in her memory.” – Charlotte St. Martin, Exec Dir, The Broadway League

Tonight, at 6:45pm, Theater Lights on Broadway will dim in honor of Ms. Joan Rivers.

934835_10154574751860612_7557474859587747331_n

Why yes we can, Ms. Rivers – yes we can.

Rest In Peace.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

The Fairy Princess has been reflecting on what it means to be a “theater person’ today, in light of The Broadway League’s decision to not dim the lights in honor of the passing of TONY Nominee and thrice walker of ‘the boards’, Ms. Joan Rivers.

This is what Joan said about Broadway in a recent interview with  New York Magazine,

If you don’t go to Broadway, you’re a fool. On Broadway, off Broadway, above Broadway, below Broadway, go! Don’t tell me there isn’t something wonderful playing. If I’m home in New York at night, I’m either at a Broadway or an Off Broadway show. We’re in the theater capital of the world, and if you don’t get it, you’re an idiot.”

4373772-0-3

So guess who doesn’t get it?

Apparently, The Broadway League.

“Under our criteria people need to have been very active recently in the theater, or else be synonymous with Broadway – people who made their careers here, or kept it up,” Ms. St. Martin said in an interview on Monday.

“We love Joan – she was very supportive of Broadway and came to a lot of show openings – but she hasn’t acted on Broadway in 20 years,” Ms. St. Martin added. “When you say Joan Rivers, you don’t think comedy, television and Broadway. You think comedy and television. It’s certainly nothing against her.

The night before Ms. Rivers went in to that fateful surgery which helped end her life at the age of 81, she did a show – she did a full length act at The Laurie Beechman Theater in the West Bank Cafe. As that is, in fact, a theater, and the show was over an hour of solo performance, one could argue that she in fact, defined being ‘active in theater’. Her calendar was full, even at 81, she had a bunch of live shows coming up, in addition to possibly returning to Broadway, and shooting Fashion Police.

It’s hard to fathom why Ms. Rivers is being egregiously overlooked, but let’s look at who the lights have been dimmed for recently:

“Lauren Bacall had a distinct presence onstage and screen during a career that spanned decades,” said Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League. “Along with her talent and memorable performances, her timeless beauty and witty intelligence will be remembered. Our thoughts are with her family, friends and fans.”

Ms. Bacall had 2 TONYS, 1 Honorary OSCAR, was a Kennedy Center Honoree, 2 Golden Globes, and 1 SAG Award and she had not appeared on Broadway since 1999 –  dim the lights.

Lauren Bacall

Robin Williams left us all, sadly too soon.

Academy-tweet-about-Robin-Williams

 “Robin Williams was a comedic genius with limitless talent and stunning versaitlity who left this world far too early,‘ said Broadway League Exec Director Charlotte St. Martin. “He made an impact on everyone he met or entertained. Whether on screen or live on stage, his multi-faceted talent always created memorable performances. Robin Williams will be greatly missed and our thoughts are with his family, friends, and fans”

Robin Williams appeared on Broadway twice – once in concert – Robin Williams Live On Broadway in 2002, and as an Actor in Bengal Tiger at the Bagdad Zoo in 2011. He also appeared with Steve Martin in Waiting For Godot at Lincoln Center.

A comedic genius with 2 Broadway credits, 4 Golden Globes, 1 Oscar, 3 GRAMMYS, 1 EMMY, 2 SAG awards – dim the lights.

53c8109fd547558a0d7367c5_s-elaine-stritch

“Elaine Stritch’s big personality was matched by her big talent,” Broadway League executive director Charlotte St. Martin said in a statement. “Collaborating with some of Broadway’s greatest playwrights and composers throughout her lengthy career, her signature numbers and singular style created a memorable legacy.”

Elaine Stritch had 4 TONY Nominations, 1 TONY for Best Special Theatrical Event, and 3 EMMYs – dim the lights.

So, The Broadway League will, as they should, dim the lights for someone who is known on screen, known on television, and known to be a comedic genius, with a career that spanned decades but they won’t dim the lights for Joan Rivers, who was, actually all of those things combined?

Seem odd to anyone else?

tumblr_mn7lilBTsO1sqykc2o4_r4_250

Now, you could argue, of course, that Joan Rivers received a TONY Nomination, and that, perhaps is the criteria? They will not dim the lights for her because she did not win? That could be the ‘line in the sand’, one supposes.

Until you remember that Broadway dimmed the lights for James Gandolfini, although he was nominated for GOD OF CARNAGE in 2009, he never won a TONY award.

He appeared 2 other times on Broadway in ON THE WATERFRONT in 1995 and A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE in 1992. And, without putting it too bluntly, he was best known for his work on Television in HBO’s The Soprano’s. Television? Oh dear, whatever will Charlotte St. Martin say?

James-Gandolfini-7

James Gandolfini was a consummate actor who brought individuality to each role and inspired a true connection with the audience. Whether on screen or on a Broadway stage, he made every role believable and seemingly effortless, said Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League, in a statement. “Our thoughts go out to his family and friends, and certainly to all of his fans who felt as if they knew his characters.

I see.

So, no, Broadway League, you cannot argue the “she only had a nomination and 3 appearances on Broadway” because, well – so did James Gandolfini, and you dimmed the lights for him.

Rightly so.

He was a great theater person.

Joan Rivers was also a great theater person.

In fact, all of the above mentioned people were great theater people – being a theater person is not just appearing in a show.

It is being generous of spirit by continually supporting the efforts of others

for example, attending a show….

Joan+Rivers+Outerwear+Evening+Coat+jSCKNQJxrmIl

joan-rivers-gets-a-hug-from-rod-and-john-tartaglia-at-the-95777

At Sister Act

At Sister Act, the Musical

Attending a show where you know that Broadway Producers are going to use your image and your name to sell more seats at their show and make money off of it – money that you, personally will never see.

Producers that are all in The Broadway League.

Ahem.

She would go to shows multiple times and bring people, was a major fan of anything Broadway. Most of our conversations were about what she saw or what I was going to see, or I had seen – she was always recommending what show to watch. Our last trip she yelled at me to see HERE LIES LOVE.

One of her favorites was Jerry Herman, she thought he should have written the music for ROCKY…or ANY Broadway show. Of course she loved Broadway, she starred in her own Broadway show that she wrote! Nominated for a TONY!”

                   – Dan Glosser, longtime friend & pianist

With Arnold Steifel, Kenny Solms, Dan Glosser & Tony Tripoli

With Arnold Steifel, Kenny Solms, Dan Glosser & Tony Tripoli

Being a Theater Person means raising money for charity she was one of the first celebrities, if not the first celebrity, to come out in support of raising money and awareness for AIDS prevention and treatment. She was on the Board of God’s Love, We Deliver, and delivered meals to those in need herself on Thanksgiving.

Joan_Rivers

She supported Guide Dogs for the Blind, a school which helps connect guide dogs to those who are in need of canine assistance due to blindness or low sighted ability.

Joan presents George Basioli with a guide dog named after her late husband, Edgar in 1988

Joan presents George Basioli with a guide dog named after her late husband, Edgar in 1988

 

Ms. Rivers served as an honorary Director at The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, having experienced that particular loss in her life. These mentioned were but a few of her many, many charities.

Joan Rivers & Tony Tripoli

Joan Rivers & Tony Tripoli

Being a theater person is having to surround yourself with it’s music and texts constantly and wear them like a coat even in your darkest hour.

“Joan was so devoted to New York Theater. She went to absolutely EVERYTHING and having done Broadway 3 times, often said it was the toughest, most rewarding place for any actor to work. She was planning a return to Broadway with a remount of her show, “Sally Marr & her Escorts”. She insisted that every loved one who came to town go to at least one show – her treat, naturally – each visit.

When I sat with her while she was in a medically induced coma, the Original Cast Album of OKLAHOMA was filling the entire Intensive Care Unit. At one point, I couldn’t take it any longer and I changed the cd to A CHORUS LINE – I secretly hoped she’d wake up and tell me again about going to it’s Opening Night.

For the Broadway League not to dim the marquee lights for Joan is an insult to the memory of one of the New York stage’s most passionate advocates and talented performers.”

-Tony Tripoli – Head Writer, Fashion Police

Being a theater person is knowing that if you make it look easy, everyone will think that they can do what you can do ‘no problem’, when you know it took thousands of hours, endless preparation, and a combination of luck and talent that is different in everyone who succeeds.

 

Being a theater person is getting back up when they knock you down, and smiling while doing it.

“Joan Rivers is the top of the pyramid when it comes to comedians – male or female. She was also a devastatingly underused actress. Over the years, I had the great fortune to meet  and work beside her several times. Beyond being funny, she was incredibly warm, caring, and full of life and love.

The world, not just the people in showbiz, have suffered a huge loss, and I for one, would dim every light in the world to honor the great Joan Rivers. Shame on the Broadway League for being too dim to realize what a disgraceful decision they have made. In the end, Joan herself probably would have laughed and said “Oh F*uck em if they’re too dumb to realize they could’ve saved a few bucks on the electric bill!”

-Scott Nevins, Bravo’s The People’s Couch

Joan Rivers & Scott Nevins

Joan Rivers & Scott Nevins

Joan Rivers was the epitome of what it means to be a theater person – she loved it, she lived it, she wrote it, she experienced it. She did the Broadway ‘8 shows a week’ time step, and she also did television, and she wrote books, and she also did charity work, and she  did films. She was also a wife, a mother, and a grandmother.

Her comedy was caustic and rough at times, yes, but so was Elaine Stritch’s – and the lights were rightly dimmed for her – The Fairy Princess was there. It was special and moving, because ordinary New Yorkers and tourists and Broadway professionals stopped and looked at her image and said their own personal farewells. My group had people who were very close to her, and it comforted them.

Do not Ms. Rivers’ friends and family and extended audience deserve similar comfort?

joan-rivers-melissa-rivers-cooper

Did she swear? Yes.

So the f*#!k what?

Ms. Rivers surely could not have cursed more than David Mamet, and though no one wishes it, when the time comes, do we not all agree that Broadway will dim the lights in his honor?

They F*#!kin’ better!

Was she a saint? No. Are any of us? Do not we of the theater salute and embrace all our colorful people with all their eccentricities?

Yes, we do.

When did we of the theater start scorning people who started in the theater and went on to other things?

When did we become that small and petty? When, Broadway League?

When did we toss people out of our little group simply because they became successful in another area? The woman began her career starring in a play opposite Barbra Streisand!

rupaul1

The Fairy Princess would like to remind The Broadway League that dimming the lights takes….

ONE MINUTE.

This woman promoted Broadway, appeared on Broadway, was nominated for one of Broadway’s highest honors and we, of The Broadway cannot turn off the lights for ONE MINUTE?

“In the ever changing world of Broadway, the ‘rules’ for the TONY Awards change every year due to ‘unique circumstances’ and a changing art form. Why all of a sudden is The Broadway League clinging to an interpretation of a random rule – especially when it comes to honoring such an Ambassador of Broadway – it is beyond me.

By the way, what are we talking about here? Someone pushes a button and then pushes it again sixty seconds later? She gave us 81 years, I think we can give her 60 seconds.”

-Erich Bergen, JERSEY BOYS the movie, Madame Secretary

erich

The Fairy Princess would like you to look at this next photo – (she found it on the web, Melissa, don’t yell at anyone) it is the program of Joan River’s final service

10678641_10152740195176214_5146831054386844739_n

Only a true theater person would ask to be saluted by The NY Gay Men’s Chorus singing “Nothing Like a Dame“, segue to multiple TONY Winner Audra McDonald singing “Smile“, then bring in TONY Winner and the tallest Aussie to grace our stages, Hugh Jackman to sing a song Peter Allen wrote for Judy Garland, and finally, end with a bagpipe salute of “Give My Regards To Broadway”.

To quote that Peter Allen song:

So put your hands together and help her along

All that’s left of the singer

All that’s left of the song

Stand for the Ovation

And give her one last celebration

Quiet Please, there’s a person up there

And she’s been singing of the things

That none of us could bear to hear for ourselves

Give her your respect, if nothing else

While Jujamcyn President, Jordan Roth, has announced that his theaters will dim their lights in honor of Ms. Joan Rivers tomorrow, Tues. Sept 9 at 6:45 pm, as of this writing, none of the other Broadway theaters have announced their intention to do so.

Oh – nicely done Mr. Roth, you Sir, are a man of the theater!

The rest of The Broadway League needs to catch up – your arguments as to ‘why not’ simply do not make sense – you can honor men who have appeared on Broadway exactly the same amount of times as Ms. Rivers, or who have had exactly the same type of fame, but you cannot honor Ms. Rivers?

Not ONE MINUTE for a career that spans over 40 years?

tumblr_n2z7azDC6j1qcluu2o1_250

81 Smacks of The Wand to The Broadway League for using some made up excuse that is probably based, in part, on sexism and jealousy, to deny Joan Rivers ONE MINUTE of theatrical respect that we, The Broadway Community, should give her.

She left us asking us to “Give her regards to Old Broadway”, cannot Broadway give her regards in turn?

Cannot Broadway give her ONE MINUTE of regard?

‘Shouldn’t just everyone go to The Broadway League Facebook Page and ask them to dim the lights for Joan? Shouldn’t they?”

– Jim Caruso, Cast Party

Linda Lavin, Joan, and Jim Caruso at Feinstein's

Linda Lavin, Joan, and Jim Caruso at Feinstein’s

So from The Fairy Princess, and in Honor of Ms. Joan Rivers, please-

Kiss our (##*!?#)Fan, Tan Fannie!

And DIM THE DAMN LIGHTS!

Dear TODAY SHOW,

I am writing an Open Letter, not to confess anything, or reveal shocking details, or even to kvetch about the weather, which of course, every New Yorker holds Al Roker personally responsible for….

Al Roker from The Today Show

Al Roker from The Today Show

Just kidding Mr. Roker, we love you…after all, The Fairy Princess knows (from having met you during a prank Matt Lauer pulled on you) that you are a huge afficianado of the show tunes! And anyone who loves Broadway musicals enough to sing a few bars while working on what turned out to be a fake photo shoot, is good enough for me!

Sparkly Jacket? CHECK!

Sparkly Jacket? CHECK!

But that is what this open letter is about, oh Today Show dwellers…because I have a quick question –

why when Il Divo comes to perform they get to do it here:

Oh where are they? oh right - INDOORS!

Oh where are they? oh right – INDOORS!

But when Broadway’s new musical, BEAUTIFUL, the Carole King Story came to The Today Show, they performed here:

 

 

?

This was yesterday, February 27, 2014. That’s right, and what was the weather like yesterday?

It was around 39 degrees Fahrenheit, on average. Which, can be considered fairly cold. It’s a bit cold for performers who do 8 shows a week, and have to maintain their health in order to continue to work to be singing and dancing in their show clothes OUTSIDE with NO COATS!

The Anchors are outside in down coats, hats, and gloves – they know it’s cold. We all know it’s cold. Even if you did NOT know it was cold because..well, who knows why you would not know it was cold outside if you were in NYC but hypothetically…I suppose it is possible. So even IF you did not know what the weather is outside…

Let’s face it, you could have asked this guy who, you know, works for you…

Is this thing on? The jacket? Yes.

Is this thing on?  The jacket?  Yes.

 

You had the cast of AFTER MIDNIGHT out there in their scanties on January 21, 2014.

 

 

On January 21, 2014 it averaged 33 Degrees Fahrenheit!

 

But when Tony Bennett came to see you on October 9, 2013, he was here –

Legendary Tony Bennett on the TODAY Show

Legendary Tony Bennett on the TODAY Show

 

Inside.

When WICKED showed up on October 30, 2013 they were….

 

 

Now, it is obvious that Broadway and The Today Show go together like a time step and a glittery hat, but enough is enough! There is a polar vortex going on, and you have trained performers going out in this horrible weather almost nekkid for enough minutes that they could come down with some serious bronchitis – and that is not ok.

I know that lots of other performers sing outside – you have your Country stars, and your Rock stars, and so on – but they dress themselves, and in general, they seem to dress for the weather. (And if they don’t, that is their own damn fault because they have a choice).

Show People have no choice in what they wear because it is set – that is what it means when we say that the show is frozen – all costumes, lyrics, books, music is set into place for the run of the production. If they are promoting their show, which they ARE and THANK YOU, TODAY SHOW for that, it is really the best reason to tune in for me, when a Broadway show is going to be on – they have no choice in what they are wearing.

By the time they get to you, their show is frozen – now they are too. 

It ain’t right, Today Show – it ain’t right!

The Fairy Princess is requesting that you move all these highly trained, beautiful people INSIDE until Spring. (And not just, you know, beginning of Spring, like WAY into Spring – LATE SPRING)

Please?

There is a room that's full of heat, I want to go there when I sing....

There is a room that’s full of heat, I want to go there when I sing….

You have the studio space – you let other people use it…..

Look, everyone from Broadway who performs for your TV audience and for your live crowd wants them to come see them in their theaters, and they want to give the best performances they can. Broadway people do not want to call out for illness, they want to hit the stage in their high heels and give y’all a fabulous damn show!

But how can they do that with viral pneumonia?

 

Whaddaya mean NO COATS?

Whaddaya mean NO COATS?

 

The Fairy Princess finds it hard to concentrate on the performances being given when all she is thinking is ‘DAMN, they must be FREEZING!”.

You with me KINKY BOOTS? Say Yeah for moving The Broadway indoors in winter!

They were in June, look how happy they are!

 

 

Perhaps you will not listen to The Fairy Princess…(after all, I’m just a blogger with over 55,000 views) but you do have ONE person on staff who may advocate for showtunes and those who dwell there –

It's you and me, Kathie Lee...

From you to me, Kathie Lee

 

C’mon Kathie Lee! Would you want YOUR show out there with no coats on? I think not.

These are people I know, these are people I admire, and these are people who deserve a little respect…and, heat.

Finally, I thank you TODAY SHOW for shining the light on amazing performances all year around, you do a fantastic job that lends credit to your Staff and your show – it is seeing Broadway performances on your show that brings people to New York and puts their tushes in theaters!

Doing all you do it can not be easy, but it CAN be indoors….just till Spring.

Best Wishes,

The Fairy Princess

MV5BMjI4Nzc3OTc3MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTU0MDIzNw@@._V1._SX253_SY200_

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…

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!