Archives for posts with tag: Tony Awards

The Fairy Princess watched THE TONYS this year with bated breath, and now, indeed – there has been a hit, a palpable hit in the lack of performers with API heritage – the blow dealt by Ms. RuthieAnn Miles!


This is not the first time Ms. Miles has been mentioned in this blog, the first was for her portrayal of Imelda Marcos in the hit show at the Public Theater, HERE LIES LOVE…


Then AVENUE Q had an anniversary, TFP and Ms. Miles were in the same group shot that TFP likes to call “The Ghosts of Christmas Eves Past”

L-R: Lisa Helmi Johanson, Sala Iwamatsu, Ann Harada, Erin Quill, Hazel Raymundo, RuthieAnn Miles

If you missed her acceptance speech – which is only the FOURTH TIME THAT A PERSON OF API HERITAGE HAS ACCEPTED A TONY AWARD FOR INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE IN 69 YEARS – here it is:



Oh is THAT All you got – BETTER TRY AGAIN!!!!


– for what this means for you both individually and collectively, to watch your win was indeed SOMETHING WONDERFUL.


(If you would like to see her sing the actual song, please click on the link below)


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.


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

Rest In Peace.


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.”


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.


 “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.


“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?


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 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….



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.


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.


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?


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!


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


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


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


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?


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!


The Fairy Princess and most of Broadway is still reeling from the announcements of our highest theatrical honor – The Antoinette Perry Awards.

This week were the TONY Award Nominations, which were both thrilling, and devastating to the Broadway Theatrical Community. Shows close as a consequence of the nominations, and the first casualty was Jason Robert Brown & Marsha Mason’s The Bridges of Madison County. You can catch it till May 18th. Also, it is going on tour, and there has been a Cast recording, so if you miss it on Broadway, you may be able to catch it soon near you.

While The Fairy Princess is but a casual observer of the TONY Nominations this season, not quite in a tree, but…

oh, Theatrical Producers if you want me to shut up all you have to do is employ me to do 8 shows a week, because one doubts that The Fairy Princess would be able to hold down that schedule, raise a toddler, and blog

but till then, she could not help but notice that in a Season with no Asian Americans nominated in the Performance Category (and yes, there were people around to be nominated in the Cast of Aladdin), the TONY Committee had Film and Television Star, Ms. Lucy Liu announce the awards with James Franco.

James Franco, TONY Host Hugh Jackman, and Lucy Liu

James Franco, TONY Host Hugh Jackman, and Lucy Liu

I suppose that is supposed to give The Tony Awards a bit of Diversity?

Or because May is Asian American month?

It seems a weird misfire – after all, no better way to point out that there are no Asian Americans in leading roles to nominate than to have an actual Asian American announce said nominations?

Perhaps it means that Ms. Liu is considering a stage role? One can only hope.

The Fairy Princess did not miss the irony of this, and she is sure she is not alone.

There was one API nominated for Best Costume Design of a Musical, Linda Cho for A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder. Congratulations! I saw it, and the Costumes were fantastic. So was everything else. That show has 10 TONY nominations, and deserves every single one and could have actually had a few more in my opinion.

There was one Performance Nominee who is Asian, but not from America.  Mr. Ramin Karimloo, who is Canadian and of Iranian aka Persian descent, and yes, that is considered Asian. He is nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role in a Musical for his Jean ValJean in Les Miserables.

Congratulations Mr. Karimloo!

Ramin Karimloo, TONY Nominee from the Revival of Les Miserables

Ramin Karimloo, TONY Nominee from the Revival of Les Miserables

What IS it about Canada that their Asian heritaged Actors do so well?

Canada also has this lady:

Canadian Actress, Sandra Oh, who created one of the fiercest television Doctors the world has seen, Dr. Christina Yang

Canadian Actress, Sandra Oh, who created one of the fiercest television Doctors the world has seen, Dr. Christina Yang

Sandra Oh – dealing another deathblow to Asian representation on American television, by departing Grey’s Anatomy after 10 excellent seasons. The Fairy Princess tips her tiara to Ms. Oh and hopes her journey will take her next, perhaps, to Broadway?

One can dream.

Maybe I should move?

But back to the main point, which is that the Tonys were announced, and people are puzzled with how some of the ‘nods’ came down. I supposed ‘egregiously overlooked‘ is not just for Julie Andrews anymore….


Seems as if the nominations this year are a bit xenophobic this year, a bit anti-Hollywood, and a bit…frustrating. How do you not use all five slots in your BEST MUSICAL category when there are a plethora of musicals this season? The Fairy Princess could go on and on, but we all have to Sondheim it.



The hard part about these nominations is that they have direct influence on whether or not shows stay open, whether or not several hundred people stay employed, and whether or not new ‘stars’ are made.

However, I’m going to go a bit Anne of Green Gables here, it is not my usual M.O., but here it is:

If you are in a Broadway show, making a living, having 8 opportunities per week to perform the craft you love so well, then you have already won – regardless of what any Nomination is given or not given.

As Patti LuPone once said, when cheering up Ken Page for not receiving a nomination for his role as Old Deuteronomy in CATS – The Base of the TONY is plastic, let’s go have lunch!”

The way to keep shows open – with or without nominations is simple – you ‘vote’ with your dollars. You buy a ticket.

If you have a favorite play or musical this season – go see it again. If you have a favorite Actor or Actress, make sure you catch them in their show. This is one of the strongest seasons in a really long time – get out and go see something you will enjoy, go out and see something that will challenge you, go out and see….something.

Because although the TONY base is plastic, the People of Broadway are not – and they need you, the audience, more than anything else. A show can survive without nominations, it cannot survive without audiences.

Congrats to all the Nominees – may the odds be ever in your favor.

And for those who have been ‘egregiously overlooked’ – let’s remember:

“Time heals everything” – Jerry Herman.



It is kind of giving me the giggles to think how much Hugh Jackman is probably sweating it trying to come up with something to beat this opening last year:


Go Hugh, Go!

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,


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!


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!!!!!


It was TOTALLY AWESOME that several days ago THIS happened:



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..


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


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.


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!


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.





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)


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 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….



Or, well….



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


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 – (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….



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


You see this…


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


(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….



This past weekend marked the start of New York City’s Gay Pride – and what better way to celebrate Drag Queens bitchslapping the Popo, than with the start of my new blog – The Fairy Princess Diaries!

Ian Paget, Erin Quill, Raymond J. Lee (from Left to Right)

What, you may ask, is this blog going to be about? Well, likely it is going to address things that tick me off – and most everything does these days because I recently gave birth, which makes you irritable, but what irks me MOST is the unschooled-ness of the new Fairy Princesses running around WeHo or Chelsea, who are giving Fag Hags a bad name.

Of course, me being me, I will likely sound off on things that I am also somewhat of an ‘expert’ on  – Musical Theater, Pop Culture, and People Who Parent Badly in Public, but mostly, it will be me being me, which means I’m going to teach you how to be a better Fag Hag aka Fairy Princess aka Fruit Fly.

What, you may ask, is a Fag Hag? Well, in old school parlance, a Fag Hag was used to denote an unattractive somewhat clingy woman who only hung around with Gay Men who seemed to be under the delusion that if she stuck it long enough, one would see the error of his ways, and fall madly in love with her, “Just as you are….”. But then Bridget Jones started singing Adele songs and a new world order was born.

I have been called a Fag Hag since, probably…well at least to my FACE (NOT THE FACE, YES, the FACE)…I would say college – and I both embraced it and resented it – and here’s why….
1. I never thought my Gay friends would give up the sexual member of both our choices and fall madly in love with me
2. I never hung out ONLY with Gay Men, although yes, the majority of my time was spent with Gay Men, it was likely because I was majoring in Musical Theater Vocal Performance…as in Real Estate, it’s ‘Location, location, location”
3. I had female friends – Straight ones, Gay ones, even Republican ones…& I like my Gal Pals
4. I felt that the term “Fruit Fly’ was more apt for me, because I kind of buzzed in and out and around the scene and I always dressed cute and wore makeup.

I think I was focusing too much on the “hag” part of the title…it just screamed “Witchy Poo” to me, come to think of it, she was always chasing after better looking unattainable mates she could not have…(OMG, I just outed Witchy Poo as a Fag Hag….God will get me for that, Stanley….)

Now though, I embrace it – it’s who I am and I would be lost, lost, LOST, without my Gays. I would have no one to complain to about how awful the TONY Broadcast was…again (WHAT is up with the sound issues? It is Radio Damn City Music Hall and no one can get through without subbing in a hand held mic? WTF!), no one would stage an ‘eyebrow intervention” (“You are coming to my apartment every three days until that mess is FIXED and there is no debate about it, Quill!”), no one would offer to beat someone up after a particularly bad date (“Give me his address…now), and I would have a rainbow shaped hole in my heart. They have been ‘there’ for me in every aspect of my life, including most recently, the delivery room, where, during a particularly bad 26 hour labor, my friend John, the nurse, talked me down while I was semi-hysterical because I could not feel my legs for several hours. They walked my Sister & Mother down the aisle at my wedding, they helped my Husband with the wedding proposal, they have given me love, support, and a career….I would be adrift without them. My friend Dennis once said to me, “We lose most of our Girls when they get married, but you’re still here”, to which I replied, “What’s the saying? You dance with the one what brought you?” Yeah, it’s like that.

Yes, Virginia – Fag Hags can get married!

I think, what it really comes down to, is that people like to tell me things, and I listen. I have had more Gay Men come out to me than an Open Call at an Ice Capades Audition. I used to joke that Fag Hags in WeHo should have special parking priviledges, and when asked why my cell phone was pink, I would respond ‘Because every time it rings, it’s a Gay Emergency.” In my younger days, I admit, I may have helped shove one or two out of their Lion, Witch, & Wardrobe (I do not advocate that now), but I have been the recipient of much love along the way. I am constantly amazed at the things I get told, why, today I was at the diner with my Husband, and the waitress wound up telling me how she had terrible Post Partum Depression. I turned to him after she left and said, “What was that?” and he replied, “It’s you. It’s just you, this is why you should blog, people just tell you stuff.” so if you don’t like it, blame Chil. No really, he’s on Twitter – @ChilKong send him stuff, he can take it, he’s tall. I’m on the Twittah as well – @EQuill – I do not have a separate twitter for this blog yet, and to ask me to double tweet when I have a newborn is redonkulous, I won’t do it – you are not the Boss of me….

My point, and I do have one, is that  I respond a proud YES when asked if I am a Fag Hag, or a Fruit Fly, OR a Fairy Princess – it’s all a YES – I like Princess best, because let’s face it, I’m not Kate Middleton and every girl wants a crown once in a while – whether or not you are willing to stroll through a Gay Mardi Gras to get it, is up to you.

They say to ‘write what you know’, well THIS is what I know – and before you make some crazy judgements based on what is previously written, I’ll let you know a few things that may surprise you:

1. I’m married, to a straight man (though he did coach Beauty Pageant Contestants  once upon a time)
2. I sing Show Tunes for a living, and my dresses are as glittery as any drag queen would want them to be.I was an Original Broadway Cast Member of the musical, Avenue Q, I was in the 50th Anniversary Production of Flower Drum Song, I have been in front of the camera and behind – having written 2 screenplays that became films (The Mikado Project avail on DVD on & QWERTY which is in ‘post’). I have worked in Casting, Commercial Production, as a Director’s Rep, written on Diversity issues, and…before people “Watched What Happens Live” 5 nights a week, I did a talk show Pilot for Bravo with Andy Cohen, which you must admit, ups my Fairy Princess Street Cred quite a bit. I also have friends who are very fancy and they run Broadway and Hollywood, no, I mean really, they REALLY run Broadway and Hollywood – so….I might have a few insights along the way that you might appreciate.
3. I have a kid, he’s a newborn, but he counts…ok, he doesn’t actually count or even talk yet, but his very existence means I am writing this at bitch in the morning in between feedings
4. I am ‘thanked’ in 5 Gay Books in the credits, what can I say? I’m a Muse – yes, JUST like Sharon Stone – however I am very fond of Filipinos, particularly Alec Mapa 🙂
5. I advocate and support the GLBT community and this blog is all in fun with a grain of truth – I’ve helped raise $$$ for Broadway Cares/EFA, The Matthew Shepard Foundation, Desert AIDS Project, The LA GLBT Center, The Trevor Project, and so on and so on…
6. I am writing this because I have noticed as I get older that…well, them young’ens do not seem to have been taught Gay Community ettiquette – and there is just NOT enough of me, or some of my equally strong minded Fairy Princesses to go around..we’re busy, we have lives, so this is, if you will, a road map on how to be a good friend – a good friend who probably has only one or two straight men in her phone. (I have 7, straight men in my phone…none on speed dial except the Husband).