THEATRE TO SEE: December

Credit: I love generator

Credit: I love generator

Guys. December is upon us. I don’t know about you, but I think 2014 has flown by! Before we welcome in 2015, take some time to get out and enjoy a little theatre. You just might be inspired to make a big leap into the new year by trying something new yourself. If we don’t change as individuals how can we expect to see any change in our world? So, in between checking out new theatre, go out there and do your part to change the theatre scene and give the shot of diversity that reflects the world we see and even the world we hope for! Who knows? We just might be writing about you and your new work in 2015!

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TALKS: The Asian American Composers & Lyricists Project’s Christine Toy Johnson

symphonyspace_460x285The Asian American Composers and Lyricists Project and ReImagined World Entertainment will present “Arriving In Asian America,” a song cycle collectively written by members of the project with original words and music by Adam Gwon, Timothy Huang, Christine Toy Johnson, Ming Aldrich-Gan, Hyeyoung Kim (with Michael Cooper), Leon Ko, Robert Lee, Yoonmi Lee (with Gaby Gold), Yan Li, Jason Ma, J. Oconer Navarro, Kamala Sankaram, Tidtaya Sinutoke (with Ty Defoe) and Jeff Tang. Directed by Dax Valdes. We spoke with Christine about what to expect and why she’s passionate about #DiversityOnStage.

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THOUGHTS: Disgraced

disgracedposterWhat happens when you distance yourself from your cultural roots in order to move up the corporate ladder? What is lost? And what is merely hidden, just below the surface, waiting until that moment (probably after one too many drinks) when you just can’t take it anymore? This is the premise of Disgraced, Ayad Akhtar’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play that recently opened on Broadway.

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THOUGHTS: Side Show

sideshowHad Daisy and Violet Hilton (Emily Padgett and Erin Davie), conjoined twins fused at the pelvis, been born today, they would have been separated soon after birth and gone on to lead separate lives. But in the early 1900s medicine had not advanced that far, so instead they became a sideshow act and eventually landed in vaudeville.

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THOUGHTS: Our Lady of Kibeho

ourladykibehoOur Lady of Kibeho, a new play at the Signature Theatre by playwright Katori Hall, tells the story of three young Rwandan women at the all-women’s Kibeho College and their visions of the Virgin Mary in the early 1980s. A priest in the play remarks that Rwanda is where God goes on vacation— and in keeping with this, Our Lady of Kibeho is a visually stunning production.

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THOUGHTS: Lost Lake

lostlakeposterLost Lake starts with a premise that might be familiar to anyone who has dabbled with renting through the likes of Craigslist or AirBnB: Big city nurse and mother-of-two Veronica responds to a by-owner listing for a lake house rental, with plans for an affordable family vacation. Wise enough to visit before putting money down, she discovers that the homeowner, Hogan, who seems about as dilapidated as the house itself, will be renting his primary living space to her for the week while he is staying with family who live in town—the rental is a way to pick up some needed extra cash. He promises to have the place fixed up and cleared out by the time she comes back. With limited options, she agrees.

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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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