TALKS: Chairs and Long Table’s Jeena Yi

Photo Credit: Matthew Dunivan

Photo Credit: Matthew Dunivan

One of the reasons I love being apart of Arts in Color is seeing the successes of of up and comers and recent grads. We’ve been really fortunate to feature many students of color who are now makin’ it here in NYC, being apart of this crazy thing that we all love-theater! One of those recent grads is Columbia Alum Jeena Yi! Check out what she had to say about her most recent role in Ma-Yi Theater Company’s Chairs and a Long Table!

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THOUGHTS: Ma-Yi Theater’s Chairs and a Long Table

Ron Domingo, Jeena Yi, Julienne Hanzelka Kim, Moses Villarama

Ron Domingo, Jeena Yi, Julienne Hanzelka Kim, Moses Villarama (Photo Credit: Web Begole)

How would you feel if you attended a play that included yellow face? Now imagine being an Asian actor constantly auditioning in New York City (struggling to come across casting calls that fit your type) and finding out that a major theater company went with white actors for the roles of the Emperor and Empress of China. Han Ong’s latest play Chairs and a Long Table addresses this very issue. As a part of the Ma-Yi Theater Company’s “Breaking the Myth” series, Ong’s new play is making it’s world premier in rep alongside  Carlos Celdron’s Livin’ La Vida Imelda at The Clurman Theater. Yellow face, black face, brown face, white washing characters that were written to be of color – these are all problems that are still going strong today, and the timing of this play could not be more appropriate.
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TALKS: Indian Ink’s Bhavesh Patel

bhaveshpatel

Bhavesh Patel/Credit: Deborah Lopez

Bhavesh Patel’s star has been on the rise. You might remember him from War Horse at Lincoln Center. Or maybe you recognize him from one of the numerous guest spots he’s done over the past few years, including Elementary, Blue Bloods, White Collar, and The Good Wife. This month he can be seen in Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of Indian Ink. Read on to find out more about the show, acting with the great Rosemary Harris, and what Bhavesh’s parents thought of him becoming an actor.

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THOUGHTS: Livin’ La Vida Imelda at The Clurman (Theater Row)

LivinLaVidaImelda_15

Credit: Web Begole

I am excited and surprised to say that there are 2 shows in Manhattan that depict the luxurious life of Imelda Marcos, former First Lady of the Philippines. A life of portrayed innocence in the global eye unfolds with scandal and conspiracy on 42nd Street. For those of you who have seen the musical, Here Lies Love and are intrigued by this legend of the Philippines, you may want to spend 90 minutes – no intermission – with Carlos Celdron (Writer and Performer). Make yourself comfortable in his living room-like set and dive into the more factual life of this politician’s wife.

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TALKS: Generations’ Elijah Caldwell

ElijahCaldwellArts in Color readers might remember Elijah Caldwell from last year’s behind the scenes peek at Showcase or as AIC’s tweeter. This month, he can be seen in Generations, currently playing at Soho Rep and extended for a second time! Read on to find out more about the show, his experiences with an all-black cast, and why you should come see this unique play.

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THEATRE TO SEE: November Edition

Credit: I love generator

Credit: I love generator

Welcome back theatre lovers! AIC has once again found quality theater with diversity on and off the stage that we want to share with all of our fabulous readers. So, during this fantastic month that begins the holiday movie overkill (which I love), the start of  holiday sales, and the day we give thanks by eating till our buttons pop, why not take some time to get some fresh air and get away from the holiday fray with a bit of theatre?

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THOUGHTS: Aladdin the Musical

aladdin-broadway-logoWhen you think of Disney what comes to mind? For me it’s magic, fairy tales, and yes-my childhood. A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to relive all of these cherished feelings in a seat at the New Amsterdam Theater while watching Aladdin! Say what you will, but with this show you definitely get the bang for your buck. If you’re searching for glitz, glamour, talented performers and an all around good time look no further. Regardless of earlier controversy surrounding the show, #DiversityOnStage is very apparent too and that’s why it’s here on Arts in Color!

Keep reading to learn more about this blockbuster hit!

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THOUGHTS: Generations at Soho Rep

generationsAs soon as you walk into Soho Rep, you know generations is going to be a different kind of play. The space has been transformed into a South African township with bricks covered in red dirt under your feet, and colorful corrugated tin on the walls. The seating (benches, chairs, and stools) and the set flow seamlessly into one another as if the audience is part of the three-generation family on stage.

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TALKS: Royal Fables’ Catherine Ang

Cathy as Sleeping Beauty/ Credit: Nick Luckenbaugh

Cathy as Sleeping Beauty/ Credit: Nick Luckenbaugh

Chinese-Filipina American actress Catherine Ang debuted the role of Sleeping Beauty in Royal Fables at the Access Theater on October 30th. Read the Q&A below to find out more about the show and Cathy’s experience creating a new kind of Sleeping Beauty!

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THOUGHTS: Father Comes Home from the Wars (Part 1, 2 & 3) at The Public Theater

Louis Cancelmi and Sterling K. Brown (Photo credit: Joan Marcus)

Louis Cancelmi and Sterling K. Brown (Photo credit: Joan Marcus)

After several weeks of seeing shows, I think I’ve finally found my new favorite this season (and I hope it’ll be yours, too). Making good theater is a tough game, but I’m pretty confident that Suzan-Lori Parks, Jo Bonney, and The Public Theater (in tandem with A.R.T)  have figured out how to win it this season with Parks’ latest play Father Comes Home From the Wars (Part 1, 2 & 3). In this epic, which is reminiscent of  Homer’s The Odyssey, Parks takes us back to the Civil War when the hunger for freedom was at it’s pinnacle and black slaves were forced to fight for the Confederacy. Our hero of these plays, Hero (played by Sterling K. Brown) wants to achieve freedom like the next slave, only he wants to earn it in what he considers the right way (i.e. not running away). Continue reading

THOUGHTS: Carnaval at The National Black Theatre

Carnaval Pix 3 72p

W. Tre’ Davis, Bjorn DuPaty, and Gabriel Lawrence (Photo Credit: Christine Jean Chambers)

The National Black Theatre invites you to a private room inside Raheem Monroe’s Club Carnaval, a Brazilian themed night club. The lights, pumping music and the fog machines create an ambiance of a place where good, albeit debauched, times are had.  Projections are used on the back wall and the room panels to show video recordings and visuals of Brazilian beach and night life. The very clean, minimal set easily transforms from the Brooklyn club, to JFK, to the 3 bedroom condo in Rio, to another location that I’ll leave undisclosed to avoid spoiling the show. Continue reading