theater/performance happenings

Asian American theater/performance news... Lodestone Theatre Ensemble presents its latest show, The Mikado Project—the company's first musical production. The show follows a struggling Asian American acting troupe as it tries to create its own deconstructed, politicized version of Gilbert and Sullivan's classic "Japanese" musical The Mikado, while dealing with grant deadlines, interpersonal problems, sexual/political issues and an ex-lead actor-turned-TV star-turned-has-been. Sounds like a blast. The show runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through May 20th at GTC Burbank. To learn more about Lodestone and the show, go here and here. Asia Pacific Arts also has a good piece on the show here.

In Chicagooooo... Asian American comedy troupe Stir Friday Night! presents Premature Infatuation, starring Sayjal Joshi and Steven Yeun. It's about two dudes who teach each other about matters of the heart, or something like that. They've got a bunch of promo videos for the show up on YouTube. Now running through May 18th, Friday nights at Donny's Skybox Theatre, Piper's Alley in Chicago. Learn more about the show and its participants here, here and here.

Here's a brief article on David Henry Hwang, talking about Yellow Face, his first original full-length play in 10 years: Hwang Discusses 'Yellow Face'. Hwang describes it as a kind of a "comic, fake documentary":
The lead character, Hwang explained to much laughter, is an Asian-American playwright named "DHH" who realizes that a white actor has been mistakenly cast as an Asian in the playwright's latest Broadway flop. Because DHH previously led a protest against a non-Asian actor being cast as an Asian character in the Broadway musical Miss Saigon, he tries to cover up his own gaffe. "He doesn't want it to get out…. He wants to protect his reputation as an Asian-American role model," Hwang said. "Hopefully, hilarity ensues."
Sounds really interesting. Yellow Face begins previews at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles on May 10 and opens May 20. Also, David Henry Hwang and Julia Cho will be among the playwrights represented in Ten, an evening of ten-minute plays celebrating the tenth anniversary of Asian American theater company Second Generation in New York: Hwang and Cho Contribute to Second Generation's Ten-Minute Play Event. The show runs this Monday, May 30th and Tuesday, April 1st. To learn more about Ten and Second Generation, go here.

Finally, interested in seeing some Chinese cultural dance? Hell yes, you are. Gloria at tells me that the Chinese Cultural Dance Club at UCLA will present its eighth annual dance production, Lotus Steps 2007 - Inspiration, Saturday, May 5th at Royce Hall. It's an opportunity for guests to learn and explore the diversity of China and the experiences of Chinese-Americans through folk dance, performance art, and music. In other words, it's badass. And best of all, it's free of charge and open to the public. To learn more about the performance, and how to obtain tickets, go here starting Monday, May 30th.

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