Stan Kang, Al Twanmo, Rafael Untalan, Mark Hairston, Tonya Beckman, Jacob Yeh (Photo: C. Stanley Photography)
Correction: This article originally referred to the closing date of Yellow Face as March 9. The production ended on February 23. We apologize for the mistake.
I had Theater J’s production of Yellow Face in my crosshairs ever since they first announced it would be a part of their 2013-2014 season. It sounded like a natural follow-up show to Signature’s Miss Saigon which I reviewed this past fall. The David Henry Hwang piece is a “based on true events” biographical tale of his life advocating for Asian American actors in the wake of the “yellowface” casting of Jonathan Pryce in the Broadway production of Miss Saigon in the early 90s. With that premise I knew that racial themes would be a big part of the piece, especially when Theater J invited me to speak on a panel about the subject.
However the show was much more than I originally expected. It’s a highly entertaining yet poignant story about the Asian American struggle as an invisible minority despite their reputation as a model minority. Just as films like 12 Years a Slave and Fruitvale Station are being touted as important films of the past year for their racial themes, I feel that the exploration of race in Yellow Face is important enough to say that this is one of the most important shows to see right now.
The We Love DC Theater team: Don Whiteside, Patrick Pho, Jenn Larsen, and Joanna Castle Miller.
Fall is in the air and that means one thing…
Oh ya and Theatre.
As new seasons across the District kick-off, the We Love DC Theater team got together at The Brixton to talk about the upcoming year in theater – and I got some of it on video! Find out which shows we are excited about in the first of two videos below!
Before Harold & Kumar, Bill & Ted, Larry & Balki, there was Felix & Oscar. The pairing of two seemingly incompatible characters has been a classic storyline that is still in use today. However Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple has been long considered the definitive example of an unlikely couple who struggle to get along.
The play’s success has created an Odd Couple franchise that has resulted in two films and a notable TV series. Theater J pays homage to Simon’s comedy with the original version of the show that results in a trip back in time. The entertaining romp still makes audiences laugh today as it did back in 1965. At the center of it all are stars Rick Foucheux and J Fred Shiffman whose performances as Oscar and Felix are a must-see.
The show starts and takes place within the apartment of Oscar (Foucheux), a New York sportswriter. His friend Felix (Shiffman) is left down and out after his wife leaves him and Oscar comes to the rescue offering Felix a place to stay. The fact that the two are divorcees are the only thing they have in common. Oscar and Felix are complete opposites: Oscar a gambling, womanizing, slob and Felix a sensitive, neurotic, neat-freak. The calamity ensues as the two struggle to have their own way under the same roof. Continue reading