Category Archives: Theater

Nov. 27: BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG: Books of Wonder Launch of Maulik Pancholy’s NIKHIL OUT LOUD with Jesse Tyler Ferguson will air on FIOS 34, RCN 83, and Spectrum 56/1996

Lia Chang, co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, has launched her latest venture, BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, an Arts and Entertainment program produced weekly at the studios of MNN.org.

Lia Chang and Maulik Pancholy at the Books of Wonder Book Launch of his new middle grade novel, NIKHIL OUT LOUD in New York on October 11, 2022.

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, an award-winning filmmaker, and a photo activist and documentarian, who lifts up and amplifies BIPOC communities and artists and the institutions that support them. Bev’s Girl Films collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.

The twelfth episode of BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, executive produced and hosted by Lia, will air on November 27 at 6:30 pm (EST) on FIOS 34, RCN 83, and Spectrum 56/1996. If you miss the episode, it will be archived on my youtube channel.

Books of Wonder in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

On this edition of Backstage Pass with Lia Chang, I observed “National Coming Out Day” at Books of Wonder in New York with the launch of Nikhil Out Loud, the sophomore offering by Award winning actor and author Maulik Pancholy, that tells the story of a gay Indian American boy who learns the power of using his voice.

Maulik Pancholy at the New York Book Launch of his new middle grade novel, NIKHIL OUT LOUD, at Books of Wonder on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Maulik was joined by his friend and colleague, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, best known for his role as Mitchell on “Modern Family,” who received the 2022 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in Richard Greenberg’s Take Me Out, and can been seen in the remounted Broadway revival at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre through February 5, 2023. They chatted about Maulik’s inspiration for writing the book, the power of representation and so much more.

Maulik Pancholy and Jesse Tyler Ferguson at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Maulik Pancholy and Jesse Tyler Ferguson at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Maulik Pancholy and Jesse Tyler Ferguson at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Maulik Pancholy and Jesse Tyler Ferguson at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Maulik Pancholy and Jesse Tyler Ferguson at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Maulik Pancholy and Jesse Tyler Ferguson at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Maulik’s husband, Ryan Corvaia,  Founder & Owner, Dish Food & Events, surprised him with these adorable Nikhil Out Loud cookies.

Ryan Corvaia surprised his husband, Maulik Pancholy with NIKHIL OUT LOUD cookies. Photo by Lia Chang
Ryan Corvaia surprised his husband, Maulik Pancholy with NIKHIL OUT LOUD cookies. Photo by Lia Chang
Ryan Corvaia surprised his husband, Maulik Pancholy with NIKHIL OUT LOUD cookies. Photo by Lia Chang

The crowd who came for the book launch filled Books of Wonder to capacity and included his mom, his in-laws, cousins, friends and fans.

Maulik Pancholy with his mom at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Maulik Pancholy with his mom, husband, Ryan Corvaia and in-laws at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Maulik Pancholy with his HarperCollins Team at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Maulik was signing books for a line that spanned the length of the store when I left early to make my 8:00pm curtain for the Broadway revival of the Tanya Richardson Jackson helmed The Piano Lesson starring Samuel L. Jackson, John David Washington, Danielle Brooks, Michael Potts and more.

The packed house at Books of Wonder for Maulik Pancholy’s Book Talk with Jesse Tyler Ferguson in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Maulik Pancholy signing a copy of NIKHIL OUT LOUD at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Since the launch in New York, Maulik has been on a book tour across the country. Tonight, Maulik will discuss and sign his new middle grade novel Nikhil Out Loud with Linda Hurtado Bond at 6:30 p.m. at the Oxford Exchange, 420 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. Click here for Tickets – $5 for admission or $17.99 for admission and a copy of the book.

Click here to purchase the book.

Maulik’s debut middle grade novel, The Best At It, is a Stonewall Honor Award winner and is in development for television at HBO Max.

About the book:
Thirteen-year-old Nikhil Shah is the beloved voice actor for Raj Reddy on the hit animated series Raj Reddy in Outer Space. But being a star on TV doesn’t mean you have everything figured out behind the scenes. . . .

When his mom temporarily moves them to the small town in Ohio where she grew up to take care of Nikhil’s sick grandfather, Nikhil feels as out of orbit as his character.

Nikhil’s fame lands him the lead in the school musical, but he’s terrified that everyone will realize he’s a fraud once they find out he has stage fright. And when a group of conservative parents start to protest, making it clear they’re not happy with an openly gay TV star being in the starring role, Nikhil feels like his life would be easier if only he could be Raj Reddy full-time.

Then Nikhil wakes up one morning and hears a crack in his voice, which means his job playing Raj will have to come to an end. Life on earth is way more complicated than life on television. And some mysteries—like new friendships or a sick grandparent or finding the courage to speak out about what’s right—don’t wrap up neatly between commercial breaks.

Maulik Pancholy is an award-winning actor whose career has spanned hit television shows, animated series, the Broadway stage, and films.

He played Alec Baldwin’s intrepid assistant Jonathan on the Emmy®, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award-winning NBC comedy 30 Rock; Sanjay on the Showtime hit series Weeds; and Neal on the NBC comedy Whitney. His numerous recurring and guest starring roles include Only Murders in the Building, The Good Fight, Dynasty, Star Trek: Discovery, Elementary, Friends from College, The Good Wife, Web Therapy, The Comeback, The Sopranos, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. For his work on television, he has been nominated for and won the Screen Actors Guild Award on multiple occasions.

Pancholy has entertained both children and adults as the voice of Baljeet on the Emmy® award-winning Disney animated series Phineas & Ferb, and as the title voice of Sanjay on Nickelodeon’s Sanjay & Craig. He is the voice of Ranjeet on Disney Junior’s Mira, Royal Detective and can be heard on the Netflix series Q-Force and the upcoming Netflix series Ghee Happy.

He has appeared in blockbuster films such as 27 Dresses and Hitch, and his many theater credits include starring on Broadway opposite Matthew Broderick and Martin Short in Terrence McNally’s It’s Only A Play, playing opposite Ed Harris in David Rabe’s Good For Otto, and starring in the Tony-nominated production of Bess Wohl’s Grand Horizons at the Helen Hayes Theatre on Broadway. Most recently, he starred in J.C. Lee’s To My Girls at 2nd Stage Theater, directed by Stephen Brackett.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, activist and an Award winning filmmaker and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia is also the host and Executive Producer of BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG, a new Arts and Entertainment program that airs on Sundays at 6:30pm on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996.

Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. Her short film, When the World Was Young recently garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2022 Lia Chang Multimedia, unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang, unless otherwise indicated. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at backstagepasswithliachang@gmail.com.

Video- BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang – An Academy Museum Tribute to Big Trouble in Little China’s James Hong w/ Arthur Dong, Dennis Dun, Peter Kwong

Updated: 

The eleventh episode of BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, executive produced and hosted by Lia, aired on November 20 at 6:30 pm (EST) on FIOS 34, RCN 83, and Spectrum 56/1996. If you missed the episode, it is archived on the BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang youtube channel or click below.

 

Lia Chang attends the screening of BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and special tribute to James Hong on November 5, 2022.  Photo by Michael Owen Baker © Academy Museum Foundation

On this edition of BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, you’ll meet prolific Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Arthur Dong who has curated a terrific film series presented by The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Hollywood Chinese: The First 100 Years.

Lia Chang and Arthur Dong at the reception and screening of “Hollywood Chinese” Nov. 4, 2022, at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Photo by Tami Chang

On the opening weekend of the series, I flew to LA for to celebrate the 15th anniversary since the release of Arthur Dong’s Hollywood Chinese documentary and finally got my signed copy of Arthur’s book, Hollywood  Chinese:The Chinese in American Feature Films. You can get your copy here.

Arthur Dong and Lia Chang at the reception and screening of “Hollywood Chinese” Nov. 4, 2022, at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Photo by Tami Chang

Here’s a recap of my 24 hours in LA. 
Nov. 4 at 3:30 p.m. A late lunch at Petit Trois, Ludo Lefebvre’s L.A. Bistro with Jeanne Sakata and her husband, Timothy Patterson.

Petit Trois

We noshed on the heartiest French Onion Soup I’ve ever had made with veal broth, gruyère and emmental cheeses, carmelized onions and croutons, and a Belgian Endive Salad (walnut, avocado, anchovy, formaggio di fossa, lemon zest, sherry vinaigrette).

Lia Chang, Timothy Patterson and Jeanne Sakata at Petit Trois.

6:00pm Ted Mann Theater at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, 6067 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Photo by Lia Chang
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Photo by Lia Chang

My first visit to the Academy Museum began with a opening night reception for the film series Hollywood Chinese: The First 100 Years, followed by a screening of Hollywood Chinese (2007) and a post-screening conversation with the film’s director and series guest programmer Arthur Dong, moderated by Academy Museum Director and President Jacqueline Stewart.

Lia Chang at the reception and screening of “Hollywood Chinese” Nov. 4, 2022, at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Photo by Michael Owen Baker © Academy Museum Foundation

Opening night reception of Hollywood Chinese at the Academy Museum on November 4, 2022. Photo by Michael Owen Baker © Academy Museum Foundation
Jacqueline Stewart, Arthur Dong at the opening night reception and screening of “Hollywood Chinese” on Nov. 4, 2022, at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Photo by Lia Chang
Jacqueline Stewart, Ross Lipman, Arthur Dong, Lia Chang at the opening night reception and screening of “Hollywood Chinese” on Nov. 4, 2022, at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Photo by Tami Chang
Tami Chang, Buck Gee, Arthur Dong, Lia Chang, Young Gee, Jean Rosenblatt Sem Gee, Zand Gee at the reception and screening of “Hollywood Chinese” on Nov. 4, 2022, at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Photo by Michael Owen Baker © Academy Museum Foundation
Todd Weiner, Lia Chang, Stephen Westerhout at the Opening night reception of Hollywood Chinese @ the Academy Museum on November 4, 2022. Photo by Tami Chang
Lia Chang photographing the Gee Family at the reception and screening of “Hollywood Chinese” Nov. 4, 2022, at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Photo by Michael Owen Baker © Academy Museum Foundation
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Director and President Jacqueline Stewart and Arthur Dong, at the reception and screening of “Hollywood Chinese” Nov. 4, 2022, at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Photo by Lia Chang
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Director and President Jacqueline Stewart and Arthur Dong, at the reception and screening of “Hollywood Chinese” Nov. 4, 2022, at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Photo by Lia Chang
Arthur Dong at the reception and screening of “Hollywood Chinese” Nov. 4, 2022, at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Photo by Michael Owen Baker © Academy Museum Foundation
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Director and President Jacqueline Stewart and Arthur Dong, at the reception and screening of “Hollywood Chinese” Nov. 4, 2022, at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Photo by Michael Owen Baker © Academy Museum Foundation
Lia Chang at the reception and screening of “Hollywood Chinese” Nov. 4, 2022, at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Photo by Michael Owen Baker © Academy Museum Foundation

Hollywood Chinese: The First 100 Years showcases films that both critique and celebrate Hollywood’s depictions of the Chinese, as well as spotlight groundbreaking Chinese and Chinese American artists who have navigated an industry often ignorant of race.

Lia Chang and Tami Chang. Photo by Zand Gee

Nov. 5 – The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

2:00pm – I watched a double bill of Anna May Wong in Daughter of the Dragon and King of Chinatown, featuring a primer by Arthur and an introduction by Anna May Wong’s niece, with my sister, Tami Chang.

4:00 pm –  I had a few hours to explore the museum, which I will feature in an upcoming article.

Lia Chang and Donna Noguchi in John Carpenter’s BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (1986).
Lia Chang and Donna Noguchi in John Carpenter’s BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (1986).

7:00 pm -I played a Wing Kong guard in John Carpenter’s cult classic, Big Trouble in Little China, which was featured on a double bill along with Black Widow at the Academy Museum as part of the opening weekend of Hollywood Chinese: The First 100 Years film series.

Bernardo Rondeau, Academy Museum Senior Director of Film Programs. James Hong tribute at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures series, HOLLYWOOD CHINESE: THE FIRST 100 YEARS on November 5, 2022. Photo by Michael Owen Baker © Academy Museum Foundation
Arthur Dong, Guest Programmer. James Hong tribute at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures series, HOLLYWOOD CHINESE: THE FIRST 100 YEARS on November 5, 2022. Photo by Michael Owen Baker © Academy Museum Foundation

The evening was a special tribute to James Hong, who plays Lo Pan in the film. Arthur presented a deep dive into Hong’s 68 year career.

Arthur Dong, Guest Programmer. James Hong tribute at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures series, HOLLYWOOD CHINESE: THE FIRST 100 YEARS on November 5, 2022. Photo by Michael Owen Baker © Academy Museum Foundation

The Q & A that followed included Arthur moderating a panel with Big Trouble in Little China cast members James Hong, Dennis Dun (Wang Chi) and Peter Kwong (Rain).

A Lo Pan replica made a surprise visit at the James Hong tribute at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures series, HOLLYWOOD CHINESE: THE FIRST 100 YEARS on November 5, 2022. Photo by Michael Owen Baker © Academy Museum Foundation
A Lo Pan replica made a surprise visit at the James Hong tribute at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures series, HOLLYWOOD CHINESE: THE FIRST 100 YEARS on November 5, 2022. Pictured: Lo Pan, James Hong and Peter Kwong. Photo by Michael Owen Baker © Academy Museum Foundation
A Lo Pan replica made a surprise visit at the James Hong tribute at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures series, HOLLYWOOD CHINESE: THE FIRST 100 YEARS on November 5, 2022. Photo by Michael Baker © Academy Museum Foundation
James Hong is feted at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures series, HOLLYWOOD CHINESE: THE FIRST 100 YEARS on November 5, 2022.  Photo by Michael Owen Baker © Academy Museum Foundation
James Hong. A James Hong tribute at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures series, HOLLYWOOD CHINESE: THE FIRST 100 YEARS on November 5, 2022. Photo by Michael Baker © Academy Museum Foundation
James Hong. A James Hong tribute at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures series, HOLLYWOOD CHINESE: THE FIRST 100 YEARS on November 5, 2022. Photo by Michael Baker © Academy Museum Foundation
James Hong focus at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures series HOLLWYOOD CHINESE: THE FIRST 100 YEARS. The tribute included screenings of “Big Trouble in Little China” and “Black Widow” on November 5, 2022. Photo by Michael Owen Baker © Academy Museum Foundation
Panelist Peter Kwong, Dennis Dun, James Hong & Arthur Dong. James Hong tribute at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures series, HOLLYWOOD CHINESE: THE FIRST 100 YEARS on November 5, 2022. Photo by Michael Owen Baker © Academy Museum Foundation
Dennis Dun speaks during the James Hong focus at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures series, HOLLYWOOD CHINESE: THE FIRST 100 YEARS on November 5, 2022. Photo by Michael Owen Baker © Academy Museum Foundation
Panelist Peter Kwong, Dennis Dun, James Hong  with guest programmer Arthur Dong at  James Hong tribute at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures series, HOLLYWOOD CHINESE: THE FIRST 100 YEARS on November 5, 2022. Photo by Michael Owen Baker © Academy Museum Foundation
Panelist Peter Kwong, Dennis Dun, James Hong  with guest programmer Arthur Dong at  James Hong tribute at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures series, HOLLYWOOD CHINESE: THE FIRST 100 YEARS on November 5, 2022. Photo by Michael Owen Baker © Academy Museum Foundation
Panelist Peter Kwong, Dennis Dun, James Hong  with guest programmer Arthur Dong at  James Hong tribute at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures series, HOLLYWOOD CHINESE: THE FIRST 100 YEARS on November 5, 2022. Photo by Michael Owen Baker © Academy Museum Foundation
“Big Trouble in Little China” cast member Peter Kwong speaks at the James Hong focus at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures series, HOLLYWOOD CHINESE: THE FIRST 100 YEARS on November 5, 2022. Photo by Michael Owen Baker © Academy Museum Foundation
Panelists Peter Kwong, Dennis Dun, James Hong & guest programmer Arthur Dong at James Hong tribute at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures series, HOLLYWOOD CHINESE: THE FIRST 100 YEARS on November 5, 2022.  Photo by Michael Owen Baker © Academy Museum Foundation

It was wonderful to have an opportunity to reconnect with my castmates James Hong, Dennis Dun, Peter Kwong and Gerald Okamura after the Q & A.

Lo Pan, Irene Tsu, Joycelyne Lew, Peter Kwong, Rhonda Wong, James Hong, Dennis Dun, Lia Chang, Gerald Okamura, Arthur Dong. Photo: Michael Owen Baker © Academy Museum Foundation
Peter Kwong, Lia Chang, Arthur Dong attend the James Hong focus at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures series HOLLYWOD CHINESE: THE FIRST 100 YEARS on November 5, 2022. Photo by Michael Owen Baker © Academy Museum Foundation
Gerald Okamura, Lia Chang, Peter Kwong. Photo by Tami Chang
Lia Chang, Stephen Westerhout, Todd Weiner. Photo by Tami Chang
“Big Trouble in Little China” cast member Gerald Okamura attends the James Hong focus at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures series HOLLYWOOD CHINESE: THE FIRST 100 YEARS on November 5, 2022. Photo by Michael Owen Baker © Academy Museum Foundation
“Big Trouble in Little China” cast members Gerald Okamura and Peter Kwong attend James Hong focus at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures series HOLLYWOD CHINESE: THE FIRST 100 YEARS. on  November 5, 2022. Photo by Michael Owen Baker © Academy Museum Foundation
“Big Trouble in Little China” cast members Geraldo Okamura, Lia Chang, and Peter Kwong attend the James Hong tribute at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures series, HOLLYWOOD CHINESE: THE FIRST 100 YEARS on November 5, 2022. Photo by Michael Owen Baker © Academy Museum Foundation

Click here for tickets and more information on the film series.

Special thanks to my sister, Tami Chang who got me back to LAX to catch my redeye back to New York.

Lia Chang and Tami Chang. Photo by Zand Gee

Check out the full lineup below and the remaining screenings.

• Nov. 20, 2022 | 7:30 pm | The Sand Pebbles
• Nov. 25, 2022 | 7:30 pm | Flower Drum Song –In person: Nancy Kwang, Irene Tsu
• Nov. 26, 2022 | 3 pm | Our Gang: Baby Blues with Charlie Chan in Honolulu – In person: Margie Chun Moon, original Charle Chan kid
• Nov. 26, 2022 | 7:30 pm | The Joy Luck Club -Special guests TBA
• Nov. 27, 2022 | 2 pm | The Arch with Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl – In person: Joan Chen
• Nov. 27, 2022 | 7:30 pm | The Last Emperor – In person: Joan Chen

TICKETS Tickets to the Academy Museum are available only through advance online reservations via the Academy Museum’s website and mobile app.

Film screening tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors (age 62+), and $5 for students and children (age 17-). Matinees are $5 for all. Ticket prices for Academy Museum members are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, and $4 for students, children, and matinee-goers. Use promo code VC2022 for $2 off every ticket.

TOP: Joan Chen, James Hong, Nancy Kwan, Ang Lee, Christopher Lee.
MIDDLE: Luise Rainer, James Shigeta, Amy Tan, B.D. Wong, Wayne Wang.
BOTTOM: Tsai Chin, David Henry Hwang, Lisa Lu, Justin Lin, Turhan Bey.

SCREENING DETAILS

Nov. 4, 2022 | 7: 30 pm |
Hollywood Chinese: With a treasure trove of clips from over 90 films, Hollywood Chinese traces the American film industry’s representation of the Chinese during its first 100 years. Scenes ranging from the first feature film made by Chinese Americans in 1917 to breakout Oscar wins are interwoven with interviews of Chinese and Chinese American artists who reveal stories of working in Hollywood. White actors, such as Luise Rainer and Christopher Lee, recall their yellowface performances to explain the now-controversial practice. Hollywood Chinese, produced and directed by series Guest Programmer Arthur Dong, is a fitting roadmap to embark on the upcoming film series.

Nov. 5, 2022 | 2 pm |
Daughter of the Dragon: After Anna May Wong’s breakthrough romantic role in The Toll of the Sea (1922), Hollywood relegated her
to mostly stereotypical villainous parts, including the sadistic daughter of the evil Fu Manchu in Daughter of the Dragon. Wong stars opposite silent film idol Sessue Hayakawa, both in their first sound film, with both speaking standard English at a time before Hollywood latched on to the common practice of directing Asian characters to deliver dialogue in overblown, accented broken English.

King of Chinatown: Under contract with Paramount, Anna May Wong embarked on a series of films upon which she exercised more input, starting with Daughter of Shanghai (1938), about which Wong declared, “We have the sympathetic parts for a change.” King of Chinatown casts Wong as a prominent Chinese American doctor
raising funds for the Red Cross in war-torn China, inspired by the real-life Chinese American physician Dr. Margaret Chung. This fictionalized crime drama features Korean American actor Philip Ahn as Wong’s romantic interest, playing a lawyer out to expose corruption in the underbelly of Chinatown.


Nov. 5, 2022 | 7:30 pm |
Big Trouble in Little China: James Hong gives a show stopping performance as sorcerer Lo Pan in this cult favorite. Directed by horror-meister John Carpenter, Big Trouble in Little China takes a supernatural spin on Hollywood’s Chinatown tropes, populating the neighborhood with mystical beings Kurt Russell plays an antihero, but he’s not the typical white savior—he’s an outsider who’s clueless without his Chinese American friend Wang Chi, portrayed with modest aplomb by Dennis Dun Veteran actor Victor Wong offers crusty comic relief as a sorcerer-cum-tour bus driver. Special guests: James Hong, Dennis Dun and Peter Kwong in conversation following the Big Trouble in Little China screening.

Black Widow: With over 500 acting credits to his name, including scene-stealing performances in Chinatown (1974), Blade Runner (1982), and Kung Fu Panda (2008), James Hong counts Black Widow as one of his favorites. In this crime drama centered on the case of a murderess, Hong first appears mid-point a sa drug addicted investigator. For the role, the actor drew upon his improvisation training and bi-cultural background: “I just say the lines that are in my head, and of course what’s in my head is cussing out in Chinese to Debra Winger—all patterned after all those Chinese people who came to my dad’s herb store in Minnesota.”

Nov. 6, 2022 | 7:30 pm |
Lost Horizon: This Frank Capra-directed classic is emblematic of how Hollywood constructed paradise—by way of China. The Oscarwinning art direction presents an opulent Shangri-La, yet the story is predicated on the subjugation of the Chinese by white saviors and colonialist, missionary ideals. The National Film Registry considered the film differently, however, when in 2016 it honored the film as “an emotional respite to an American public seeking escape from the Depression and yearning for their own personal utopias.” Lost Horizon received seven Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, and produced wins for Film Editing (Stephen Goosson) and Art Direction (Gene Havlick, Gene Milford).

Nov. 11, 2022 | 7:30 pm |
Walk Like a Dragon: James Shigeta was a Japanese American singer whom Hollywood studios recruited to shape into a leading man— even casting him opposite white lovers. In the western Walk Like a Dragon, Shigeta portrays a Chinese immigrant who defies racism in 1870s California, winning a shoot-out against Mel Tormé and winning the girl, a formerly enslaved Chinese woman (Nobu McCarthy) who was previously saved by Jack Lord’s character Linc Bartlett. Lead roles for Shigeta diminished after Flower Drum Song (1961) as theHollywood studio system faded—but that didn’t stop Shigeta from working, including as the iconic Joseph Takagi in Die Hard (1988).

Pre-screening conversation with Nancy Kwan where she will discuss working with James Shigeta and Bruce Lee.

Enter the Dragon: Martial arts films were popular with Chinese audiences since the 1920s but it took Bruce Lee’s star power for the genre to catch fire worldwide. Born in San Francisco, Lee ignited his movie career in Hong Kong, experienced a frustrating career in the United States, and returned to Hong Kong where he directed and starred in hit films that caught the attention of Warner Bros. This all culminated with Lee’s seminal blockbuster, Enter the Dragon. “For Asian Americans, Bruce Lee wasn’t just exciting and cool. He was somebody who very deeply moved us, because he was us.”—Nancy Wang Yuen, media scholar

Nov. 12, 2022 | 2 pm |
Six Early Films, 1900-1929: For much of the history of Hollywood filmmaking, movies often portrayed Chinese as the “other” in a “them vs. us” hierarchy. Early movies, in particular, exploited this dichotomy, illustrated by the now-absurd—but no less damning—examples in this program. Yet, this era also saw productions from pioneering- Chinese American filmmakers who aspired to elevate onscreen representations of themselves. The films are as follows: Massacre of the Christians by the Chinese, The Heathen Chinese and the Sunday School Teachers, That Chink at Golden Gulch, The Curse of Quon Gwon, Lotus Blossom, and The Letter.

Special guests: Family members of filmmaker James B. Leong will join us for a post-screening conversation.

Nov. 12, 2022 | 7:30 pm |
The Tong-Man: Japan-born silent screen idol Sessue Hayakawa produced and starred as the titular Tong-Man. Ostensibly a love story set in San Francisco Chinatown, the film’s infusion of lurid hatchet murders and opium tong wars sparked the first legal action known to be filed by the Chinese American community against Hollywood’s depiction of the Chinese. The effort failed, and instead created free publicity and soaring box office receipts. Ironically, the film was supposed to be Hayakawa’s path away from racialized Hollywood typecasting.

Year of the Dragon: With a screenplay co-written by Oliver Stone and director Michael Cimino, this violent vision of 1980s New York Chinatown gang wars triggered nationwide protests by the Asian American community for its racist and sexist portrayals. Bowing to pressure, distributors added a disclaimer denying any intent to denigrate Asian Americans. No yellowfaced white actors were used, but Asian American cast members were caught in a controversial crossfire. The film, ultimately, was a box office flop.

Nov. 13, 2022 | 7:30pm |
7 Faces of Dr. Lao: Tony Randall portrays multiple identities in George Pal’s fantasy set in 1800s Arizona. The title character, Dr. Lao, features Randall in yellowface as he cunningly switches between broken and codespeak English to challenge corruption and intolerant attitudes. Artist and sculptor Wah Ming Chang served on the team that created the film’s Oscar-nominated special visual effects (Jim Danforth received the nomination for this achievement). Chang was also on the team responsible for the Oscar-winning visual effects in The Time Machine (1960). An honorary Oscar was awarded to William Tuttle for his makeup work on 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, yellowface included.Nov. 18 | 7:30 pm |

M. Butterfly: A cross-dressing Peking opera performer-cum-spyand a delusional French diplomat are unlikely lovers in David Henry Hwang’s explosive re-visioning of East/West sexual dynamics in M. Butterfly.  Based on Hwang’s Tony Award-winning play set during China’s Cultural Revolution, John Lone and Jeremy Irons portray two men who convolute Western ideals of femininity and masculinity, where the East is submissive and the West is dominant, and where Asian men are feminized and more desirable as female than as male. David Cronenberg directed this richly designed production, which was inspired by a true story.

The Wedding Banquet: Before Ang Lee directed his heartrending examination ofrepressed homosexuality in the Oscar-winning Brokeback Mountain (2005), he directed The Wedding Banquet, a playful comedy of manners involving a gay Chinese American New Yorker and his white boyfriend who fake a heterosexual
marriage to quell nagging parents. The scheme sets the stage for lighthearted explorations of family, self-identity, cultural values, and sexual politics. The US/Taiwan co-production earned an Academy Award nomination for Best International Feature Film, propelling Lee’s career worldwide.

Nov. 20, 2022 | 7:30 pm |
The Sand Pebbles: Robert Wise’s follow-up to The Sound of Music (1965) netted eight Oscar nominations, including a Best Supporting Actor mention for Mako’s endearing portrait of a Chinese coolie. Hong Kong and Taiwan provide the locations for this widescreen spectacle—an exotic 1920s China in revolutionary turmoil, where Chinese women are prostitutes and Chinese men are ruthless, where colonialism and missionaries are the norms, and the leading man is always a white savior. The Sand Pebbles kickstarted Mako’s distinguished career in film, stage, and television, and as co-founder of the nation’s leading Asian American theater group, the East West Players, in Los Angeles. Fellow founders James Hong and Beulah Quo also appear in The Sand Pebbles.

Nov. 25, 2022 | 7:30 pm |
Flower Drum Song: Flower Drum Song represents a Hollywood milestone for Chinese American representation with its all-dancing, allsinging, and almost all-Asian cast, headlined by James Shigeta, Oscar-winner Miyoshi Umeki, Jack Soo, Benson Fong, Patrick Adiarte, and Nancy Kwan in her follow-up to The World of Suzie Wong (1960); Juanita Hall reprised her yellowfaced Broadway portrayal of Madame Liang. This lavish romantic comedy gave many Americans their first look at Chinatown beyond tourist facades and was later inducted into the National Film Registry for its stories of immigration and cultural assimilation. The musical, with joyful tunes by Rodgers and Hammerstein, earned five Oscar nominations for art direction, cinematography, and costumes, as well as its music scoring, and sound. Hermes Pan choreographed the lively routines.

Special guest: Post-screening conversation with actress Nancy Kwan

Nov. 26, 2022 | 3 pm | 
Our Gang: Baby Blues: “Every 4th child is born Chinese.” This questionable Almanac factoid ignites Our Gang member Mickey’s fears that his unborn sibling will end up being Chinese. What’s he afraid of? Perhaps he’ll learn something from Eddie and Jennifer Lee, two veteran Hollywood movie extras who portray the parents of a boy rescued from racist bullies by the kids in Our Gang. The Lees’ real-life daughters, Faye and Margie, appeared as Charlie Chan’s kids in Charlie Chan in Honolulu (1939). Anti-Asian violence, racial slurs, Confucianism, and white saviorism: it’s all packed into this ten-minute short that, in the end, is a call for tolerance.

Charlie Chan in Honolulu: Just one of over forty films in the popular Charlie Chan detective franchise, Charlie Chan in Honolulu emphasizes family, with the plot bookended by the birth of a grandchild. A raucous family meal with Chan’s kids opens the film, pushing the patriarch to command, “Save football tactics for gridiron!” Audience members who cringe at the sight of yellowfaced white actors might want to wear blinders and earplugs when Sidney Toler appears as Chan, replete with slanted eyes and dubious aphorisms, in order to enjoy some spirited scenes with Victor Sen Yung and Layne Tom Jr. as his all-American sons.

Nov. 26, 2022 | 7:30 pm |

The Joy Luck Club: In the history of Hollywood studio films, only a handful have centered on contemporary Chinese American characters and cast with mostly Asian actors: Flower Drum Song (1961), The Joy Luck Club (1993), Crazy Rich Asians (2018), The Farewell (2019), and Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022). Based on Amy Tan’s novel about mother/daughter relationships, The Joy Luck Club was guided by Tan as co-producer and co-writer and Janet Yang as executive producer, with auteur Wayne Wang directing what became his pivot into main-stream studio filmmaking. Hiring white performers in yellowface was off-limits, and the film boasts an ensemble cast of trailblazing Asian American actors from two generations: veteran actresses Tsai Chin, Kieu Chinh, Lisa Lu, and France Nuyen portrayed the mothers, while Rosalind Chao, Tamlyn Tomita, Lauren Tom, and Ming-Na Wen played the daughters.

Nov. 27, 2022 | 2 pm |
The Arch: Lisa Lu’s first Hollywood role was as a bar girl in China Doll (1958). Frustrated with typecasting, Lu travelled to Hong Kong for The Arch, portraying a woman in 1700s China confined by rules of chastity. The film was made by one of Hong Kong’s earliest female directors, Tang Shu Shuen, and considered the region’s first art film to reach international audiences. Mixing naturalism with techniques like freeze frames and double exposures, the black-and white film was co-edited by Les Blank and co-photographed by Satyajit Ray’s frequent cinematographer Subrata Mitra. The Arch launched Lu’s distinguished acting career in Asia, which then thrived transnationally in America (The Last Emperor, The Joy Luck Club, Crazy Rich Asians).

Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl: After her breakthrough appearance in Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor (1987), Joan Chen was offered parts that mainly exploited her ethnic allure. She recalled, “If I didn’t leave Hollywood, I would have never directed Xiu Xiu”—and leave she did to direct and co-write Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl. The independently produced film centered on a young girl relocated to the countryside during China’s Cultural Revolution. Exquisitely shot on location in Tibet, Xiu Xiu won seven Golden Horse Awards, including director and writer nods for Chen.

Special guest: Post-screening conversation with writer/director Joan Chen.

Nov. 27, 2022 | 7:30 pm |
The Last Emperor: In 2015, #OscarsSoWhite went viral and fueled a movement that exposed the decades-long scarcity of Academy Award nominations for people of color in acting categories. In the Oscars’ 94-year history, only three Best Picture winners featured mostly Asian casts, and none of these received any acting nominations: Parasite (2019), Slumdog Millionaire (2008), and The Last Emperor, which won nine of nine nominations. This presentation of The Last Emperor not only celebrates the breathtaking imagination of director Bernardo Bertolucci’s epic vison of China, but also gives audiences a chance to reconsider the Academy’s omission of honors for its brilliant cast.

Special guest: Post-screening conversation with writer/director Joan Chen.

General admission tickets for the museum’s exhibitions are $25 for adults, $19 for seniors (age 62+), and $15 for students. Admission for visitors ages 17 and younger, and for California residents with an EBT card is free.

COVID PROTOCOL
Visitors are required to follow all current COVID-19 public health guidelines by the state of California and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health in place at the time of their visit.

ABOUT THE ACADEMY MUSEUM
The Academy Museum is the largest institution in the United States devoted to the arts, sciences, and artists of moviemaking. The museum advances the understanding, celebration, and preservation of cinema through inclusive and accessible exhibitions, screenings, programs, initiatives, and collections. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, the museum’s campus contains the restored and revitalized historic Saban Building—formerly known as the May Company building (1939)—and a soaring spherical addition. Together, these buildings contain 50,000 square feet of exhibition spaces, two state-of-the-art theaters, Shirley Temple Education Studio, and beautiful public spaces that are free and open to the public. These include: The Walt Disney Company Piazza and the Academy Museum Grand Lobby, which houses the Spielberg Family Gallery, Academy Museum Store, and Fanny’s restaurant and café. The Academy Museum exhibition galleries will be open seven days a week, with hours Sunday through Thursday from 10am to 6pm and Friday and Saturday from 10am to 8pm.

Academy Museum film programming supported by the Richard Roth Foundation.

Academy Museum film programming generously funded by the Richard Roth Foundation. Donors to the Academy Museum’s fund in support of Asian American Pacific Islander programming include Esther S. M. Chui-Chao, Julia and Ken Gouw, and Dr. Peter Lam Kin Ngok of Media Asia Group Holdings Limited.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, an award-winning filmmaker, and a photo activist and documentarian, who lifts up and amplifies BIPOC communities and artists and the institutions that support them. Bev’s Girl Films collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia is the co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia is also the host and Executive Producer of BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG, a new Arts and Entertainment program that airs on Sundays at 6:30pm on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996.

Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. Her short film, When the World Was Young recently garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2022 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang, unless otherwise indicated. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at backstagepasswithliachang@gmail.com.

Video: BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang – Asian American Artists Taking Center Stage in New York and Beyond

Lia Chang, co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, has launched her latest venture, BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, an Arts and Entertainment program produced weekly at the studios of MNN.org.

Arthur Dong and Lia Chang at the opening reception of HOLLYWOOD CHINESE: The First 100 Years at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in LA on Nov. 4, 2022. Photo by Tami Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, an award-winning filmmaker, and a photo activist and documentarian, who lifts up and amplifies BIPOC communities and artists and the institutions that support them. Bev’s Girl Films collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.

The tenth episode of BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, executive produced and hosted by Lia, aired on November 13 at 6:30 pm (EST) on FIOS 34, RCN 83, and Spectrum 56/1996. If you miss the episode, it is archived on my youtube channel.

Watch below:

On this edition of BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, I’ll be shining the spotlight on my Asian American colleagues taking centerstage.

Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Arthur Dong has curated a terrific film series presented by The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Hollywood Chinese: The First 100 Years. Screenings of all 27 films in the series take place at the museum’s state of the art Ted Mann Theater in Los Angeles through Nov. 27.

The film series both critiques and celebrates Hollywood’s depictions of the Chinese, and presents groundbreaking Chinese American artists who navigated industry challenges from the beginning of film history to now.

On the opening weekend, I flew to LA to celebrate the 15th anniversary since the release of Arthur Dong’s Hollywood Chinese documentary, and it was screened as the kick-off of the 27-film series.

TOP: Joan Chen, James Hong, Nancy Kwan, Ang Lee, Christopher Lee.
MIDDLE: Luise Rainer, James Shigeta, Amy Tan, B.D. Wong, Wayne Wang.
BOTTOM: Tsai Chin, David Henry Hwang, Lisa Lu, Justin Lin, Turhan Bey.

I watched a double bill of Anna May Wong in Daughter of the Dragon and King of Chinatown and then reconnected with my Big Trouble in Little China cast mates James Hong, Peter Kwong, Dennis Dun and Gerald Okamura at a screening of the film, followed by Q & A.

Irene Tsu, Joycelyne Lew, Peter Kwong, Rhonda Wong, James Hong, Dennis Dun, Lia Chang, Gerald Okamura, Arthur Dong. Photo by Tami Chang

Click here for tickets and more information on the film series.

Click here to purchase Hollywood  Chinese:The Chinese in American Feature Films.

Saturday evening served as a tribute to James Hong, which you can watch on my episode airing on Nov. 20.

Featured on the show:

Patrick Chen’s award winning short film, A Father’s Son, starring Tzi Ma, Ronny Chieng, Perry Yung and Kathleen Kwan.

Henry Chang, Wing Lee, Ronny Chieng, Patrick Chen and Lia Chang attend the New York Shorts International Film Festival at Cinema Village in New York on Oct. 26, 2022.
Henry Chang, Wing Lee, Ronny Chieng, Patrick Chen and Lia Chang attend the New York Shorts International Film Festival at Cinema Village in New York on Oct. 26, 2022.

Director Patrick Chen Receives 2022 NYSIFF Special Mention and 2022 QWFF Best Director for a Narrative Short Nomination; Queens World Film Festival will Screen A FATHER’S SON at MOMI on Nov. 4

Yilong Liu’s Good Enemy at Minetta Lane Theatre – through Nov. 27

Ryan Spahn, Ron Domingo, Chay Yew, Francis Jue, Yilong Liu, Geena Quintos, Jeena Yi, Tim Liu, Alec Silver, Emilia LaPenta – Producer of New Play Development and Commissions for Audible Theater. Photo by Lia Chang

Audible, Inc.’s production of Yilong Liu’s Good Enemy, directed by Chay Yew and featuring Francis Jue, Ron Domingo, Tim Liu, Geena Quintos, Alec Silver, Ryan Spahn and Jeena Yi.

A father learns that closing the door to his past means shutting his daughter out in Good Enemy, Yilong Liu’s haunting and hopeful new play. When Howard (Francis Jue) makes a surprise cross-country trip to visit his college-age, Tik Tok-loving daughter, he’s forced to confront the realities of their relationship and the rift between them—a rift caused by Howard’s refusal to face memories of his life as a young man in China. In a smart, thrilling story that deftly weaves two generations and two continents amidst sweeping social changes, Good Enemy explores the power of human connections…affirming that no one lives an “ordinary” life, no matter how hard they might try.

Performances at Minetta Lane Theatre through Nov. 27. Tickets from $35 for Good Enemy are on sale now at www.Audible.com/MinettaLane.

Audible Theater is proud to collaborate with TodayTix to offer $20 mobile rush tickets beginning at 10am each performance day. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis exclusively through the TodayTix app.

Opening Night of Yilong Liu’s GOOD ENEMY

Ryan Spahn, Ron Domingo, Chay Yew, Francis Jue, Yilong Liu, Geena Quintos, Jeena Yi, Tim Liu, Alec Silver, Emilia LaPenta – Producer of New Play Development and Commissions for Audible Theater. Photo by Lia Chang
Ryan Spahn, Ron Domingo, Chay Yew, Francis Jue, Yilong Liu, Geena Quintos, Jeena Yi, Tim Liu, Alec Silver, Emilia LaPenta – Producer of New Play Development and Commissions for Audible Theater. Photo by Lia Chang

Playwrights Horizons’ hosted a special AAPI night for Mia Chung’s Catch as Catch Can, directed by Daniel Aukin, which has performances through November 20.

Set deep in blue-collar New England, Catch as Catch Can centers on the Phelans and the Lavecchias as they welcome home a recently-engaged prodigal son-setting off an evolving crisis that reshapes their lives, and the play itself.

Cindy Cheung and Jon Norman Schneider in Playwrights Horizons' production of Mia Chung's CATCH AS CATCH CAN. Photo by Joan Marcus
Cindy Cheung and Jon Norman Schneider in Playwrights Horizons’ production of Mia Chung’s CATCH AS CATCH CAN. Photo by Joan Marcus

In this surprising, theatrically demanding work, actors double in roles of father and daughter, mothers and sons. As the families gather for the holidays, the weight of familial expectations bears down on the younger generation; such community pressure and the very meaning of family finds heightened expression in a theatrical high-wire act, as the actors acrobatically play across gender, generation, and race.

Rob Yang and Cindy Cheung in Playwrights Horizons’ production of Mia Chung’s CATCH AS CATCH CAN. Photo by Joan Marcus
Jon Norman Schneider, Cindy Cheung, Rob Yang. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast includes Cindy Cheung (Playwrights: Log Cabin; The Civilians’ The Great Immensity) as father Lon Lavecchia and daughter Daniela Lavecchia; Jon Norman Schneider (Awake and Sing!, The Oldest Boy) as mother Roberta Lavecchia and son Robbie Lavecchia; and Rob Yang (Succession, American Rust) as mother Theresa Phelan and son Tim Phelan.

Amaterasu Za is presenting Chushingura – 47 Ronin, adapted and directed by Ako Dachs, The production will be performed mainly in Japanese with English subtitles. Chushingura – 47 Ronin has been extended through November 13 at the A.R.T./New York Mezzanine Theater, 502 W. 53rd Street.

Chushingura – 47 Ronin is based on one of the most enduring stories in Japan. Portraying real events that took place in 1702-1703 during Japan’s Shogun-led Edo period, this sprawling story of honor, betrayal, clan loyalty, sacrifice, justice, and revenge has been told and retold in hundreds of ways in Japanese books, plays, movies, television dramas, and animated series. This new stage adaptation is  performed mainly in Japanese with some English and supertitles translation throughout.

The cast includes Ako (FX’s “Shogun.” Off Broadway: God Said This -Lortel nom.), Yoshi Amao (TV: “Shogun,” “Mr. Robot.”), Saori Goda, (NBC’s “Love Your Selfie”), Tatsuo Ichikawa (Apple TV+, “We Crashed”), Rina Maejima (A Chorus Line), Jun Suenaga (Film: Mother’s Day), Yasu Suzuki (Film: College Road Trip. NETFLIX’s “Daredevil”), Hiroko Yonekura (Regional: Avenue Q), and Minami Yoshimura (Regional: Godspell).

For more information about Amaterasu Za, please visit www.AmaterasuZa.org

Noah Diaz’s You Will Get Sick, directed by Sam Pinkleton and starring Daniel K. Isaac, Linda Lavin, Marinda Anderson, Nate Miller and Ryan Landani Sanchez. Performances at the Laura Pell Theater through Dec. 13.

Lauren Yee’s The Great Leap at Oklahoma City Rep through Nov. 20

James Aaron Oh and Brian Kim McCormick. Photo by Edward T. Morris

First Look: Brian Kim McCormick, Jenelle Chu, William Langan, and James Aaron Oh in Oklahoma City Repertory Theater‘s Oklahoma Premiere of Lauren Yee’s THE GREAT LEAP; Performances through Nov. 20 

Lloyd Suh’s The Far Country at Atlantic Theater Company – Nov. 17-Jan. 1
Atlantic Theater Company (Neil Pepe, Artistic Director; Jeffory Lawson, Managing Director) is presenting the world premiere production of The Far Country, an Atlantic commissioned play by Guggenheim fellow Lloyd Suh, directed by Obie Award winner Eric Ting.

The Far Country features Ben Chase (Mondo Tragic), Jinn S. Kim (Race, Religion & Politics), Whit K. Lee (Assassins), Christopher Liam Moore (All The Way), Shannon Tyo (The Chinese Lady), Amy Kim Waschke (Off-Broadway debut), and Eric Yang (Legacy).

The Far Country begins performances on Thursday, November 17th, and will open Monday, December 5th, for a limited engagement through Sunday, January 1st, 2023 Off-Broadway at the Linda Gross Theater (336 West 20th Street).

An intimate epic that follows an unlikely family’s journey from rural Taishan to the wild west of California in the wake of the Chinese Exclusion Act.

Schedule:
Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 7pm, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Saturday and Sunday at 2pm.
Monday evening performance on 12/26 at 7pm.
Wednesday matinee performance on 12/7, 12/21 & 12/28 at 2pm.
No Sunday evening performance on 12/11.
No performance on Saturday, 12/24 and Sunday, 12/25.

Tickets:
Regular tickets begin at $75. Order online at atlantictheater.org or by calling AudienceView at 646-989-7996.

Atlantic is committed to connecting deeply and authentically with audiences from a broad range of economic backgrounds, ages, ethnicities, and perspectives. Its access ticket initiative makes $25 tickets available to every preview performance in the 2022|2023 season. Access tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis via Atlantic’s website beginning 2 weeks prior to the first performance of each Atlantic Theater Company 2022|2023 production. $25 access tickets for The Far Country are on sale now.

Shannon Tyo, Whit K. Lee, Ben Chase, Jinn S. Kim, Christopher Liam Moore, Amy Kim Waschke and Eric Yang Set for Atlantic Theater Company’s World Premiere of Lloyd Suh’s THE FAR COUNTRY, Nov. 17-Jan. 1

Phil Wong, Sumi Yu, Lawrence-Michael C. Arias, Nick Nakashima, Katrina Lauren McGraw, Brandon Leland, Naima Alakham, Alia Hodge, and Lucca Troutman Set for TheatreWorks Silicon Valley‘s LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS 

Thom Sesma in Classic Stage Company’s A Man of No Importance

Ken Leung in Will Arbery’s Evanston Salt Costs Climbing In previews

KPOP- Eddy Lee, Lina Lee, Kate Mina Lin, Jully Lee, Woo Sung Hyun ( kevin woo ), Zachary Noah Piser, Jinwoo Jung

Vichet Chum’s BALD SISTERS at Steppenwolf in Chicago – Dec. 1-Jan. 15, 2023 

The cast of BALD SISTERS includes, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie,
Jennifer Lim, Coburn Goss, Wai Ching Ho and Nima Rakhshanifar.

Rehearsals are underway for Steppenwolf’s world premiere of BALD SISTERS, written by Vichet Chum, directed by Jesca Prudencio. The next show in their new in-the-round Ensemble Theater in Chicago, BALD SISTERS invites you to get up close and personal with all the family drama—and comedy. The cast includes Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Jennifer Lim, Coburn Goss, Wai Ching Ho and Nima Rakhshanifar.  FF10 online to get $10 off TICKETS to any preview or regular public performances.  Click here for more information regarding discounted tickets. Steppenwolf Theatre Company is located at 1650 N Halsted Ave, Chicago, IL 60614.

RECENTLY STAGED PRODUCTIONS

R.A. Shiomi’s Fire in the New World

Gregory Yang as Sam Shikaze and Anna Hashizume as Yumiko Alexander. Photo by LKBachman

Full Circle Theater presented the World Premiere of Fire in the New World, written and directed by Full Circle Co-Artistic Director R.A. Shiomi, at Park Square Theatre’s Proscenium Stage through Nov. 6.

The World Premiere was the third installment of Shiomi’s noir-style detective comedies featuring Sam Shikaze, the hard-boiled private eye who fights crime in Vancouver’s Japantown and beyond in the years after WWII. This time, Sam is up against a big time developer intent on bulldozing his community. But Sam is also hired to find the developer’s missing Japanese American wife. The play is a smart and fun detective comedy chock full of social commentary and sly intrigue.

The cast includes Gregory (Greg) Yang (he/him) as Sam Shikaze, Brian Joyce (he/him) as Jonathan Webster, Anna Hashizume (she/her) as Yumiko Alexander, Alice McGlave (she/her) as Rosie Ohara, Joe Allen (he/they) as Roderic Alexander, Keivin Vang (he/him), Song Kim (he/him) as Mas Matsumoto and Alec Berchem (he/him) as Tom Williams.

Qui Nguyen’s Vietgone at The Guthrie
In October, The Guthrie Theater presented Vietgone by Qui Nguyen, with original music by Shane Rettig and directed by Mina Morita on the Wurtele Thrust Stage at 818 South 2nd Street, Minneapolis, MN.

Hyunmin Rhee, Rebecca Hirota, Eric Sharp, Viet Vo, and Emjoy Gavino in Qui Nguyen’s VIETGONE at The Guthrie Theater. Photo: Dan Norman

Part history play and part memoir, Nguyen’s irreverent, whip-smart comedy uses flashbacks and bursts of rap music to share a human-centered view of the Vietnam War and its aftermath. When Saigon falls in 1975, Vietnamese refugees Quang (Hyunmin Rhee) and Tong (Emjoy Gavino) find themselves living in the land of “cheeseburgers, waffle fries and cholesterol” (aka America) — an intoxicating adventure that leads them to question their futures, both together and in their new country.

The cast of Vietgone features Emjoy Gavino (Guthrie: A Christmas Carol) as Tong/Ensemble, Rebecca Hirota (Guthrie: debut) as Thu/Huong/Ensemble, Hyunmin Rhee (Guthrie: debut) as Quang, Eric Sharp as Nhan/Khue/Ensemble (Guthrie: A Christmas Carol, As You Like It) and Viet Vo (Guthrie: debut) as Playwright/Bobby/Giai/Ensemble.

Viet Vo, Eric Sharp, Hyunmin Rhee in Qui Nguyen’s VIETGONE at The Guthrie Theater. Photo: Dan Norman

Jiehae Park’s peerless

Sasha Diamond, Benny Wayne Sully, Shannon Tyo in Jiehae Park’s peerless. Photo: James Leynse

PRIMARY STAGES and 59E59 Theaters, in association with Jamie deRoy, is presenting peerless, by Jiehae Park (Hannah and the Dread Gazebo) and directed by Margot Bordelon (… what the end will be). peerless played a limited run at 59E59’s Theater A (59 E 59th Street) through Nov. 6.

The cast of peerless features Marié Botha as “Dirty Girl/Preppy Girl,” Anthony Cason as “BF,” Sasha Diamond as “M,” Benny Wayne Sully as “D/Brother” and Shannon Tyo as “L.”

A darkly comedic twist on Shakespeare’s Macbeth set in the cutthroat world of elite college admissions, Jiehae Park’s clever and incisive adaptation, peerless, is a comedy…until it’s not.

This new version of the classic story centers on M and L, twin Asian-American siblings who have given up everything to get into The College. When another classmate claims what they feel is rightfully “their spot,” the twins decide they have only one option: murder.

Shannon Tyo, Sasha Diamond, Marié Botha, Anthony Cason, and Benny Wayne Sully in Jiehae Park’s “peerless” at 59E59 Theaters 

COST OF LIVING

David Zayas, Katy Sullivan, Kara Young and Gregg Mozgala. Photo by Zachary Maxwell Stertz

Manhattan Theatre Club extended the Broadway premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Cost of Living, written by Martyna Majok (Sanctuary City, Ironbound) and directed by Obie Award winner Jo Bonney, at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre through November 6.

Cost of Living‘s cast features acclaimed original stars Gregg Mozgala (Lucille Lortel Award winner for his performance) and Katy Sullivan (Theatre World Award winner for her performance), who reunite for the Broadway production; Tony Award nominee Kara Young (Clyde’s, The New Englanders at MTC); and David Zayas (“Dexter,” Anna in the Tropics).

Winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize, Martyna Majok’s powerhouse play receives its Broadway premiere after a celebrated run at MTC’s Stage I. Hailed by The New York Times as “gripping, immensely haunting and exquisitely attuned,” this insightful, intriguing work is about the forces that bring people together, the complexity of caring and being cared for, and the ways we all need each other in this world. Kara Young and David Zayas join acclaimed original stars Gregg Mozgala and Katy Sullivan in this production, again directed by Obie Award winner Jo Bonney.

Jason Ma, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Jojo Gonzalez, Eileen Rivera, Nelson T. Eusebio III, Valérie Thérèse Bart, Lia Chang. Photo by Rani O’Brien

Kansas City Repertory Theatre production of Twelfth Night – chatting with Nelson Eusebio, composer Jason Ma, Jojo Gonzalez.

KCRep’s TWELFTH NIGHT Featuring Jojo Gonzalez, Francesca Fernandez McKenzie, Brandon Jones, Vanessa Severo, Eileen Rivera, Freddy Acevedo, Jimmy Kieffer, Darrington Clark, Sam Cordes, Manon Halliburton, and Chelsea Rolfes

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, activist and an Award winning filmmaker and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia is also the host and Executive Producer of BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG, a new Arts and Entertainment program that airs on Sundays at 6:30pm on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996.

Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. Her short film, When the World Was Young recently garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2022 Lia Chang Multimedia, unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang, unless otherwise indicated. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at backstagepasswithliachang@gmail.com.

Nov. 4-27: Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Spotlights Chinese Representation in Hollywood During Cinema’s First Century Film Series Curated by Oscar®-Nominated Filmmaker Arthur Dong

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is presenting Hollywood Chinese: The First 100 Years, Nov. 4–27. The film series both critiques and celebrates Hollywood’s depictions of the Chinese and presents groundbreaking Chinese and Chinese American artists who navigated industry challenges from the beginning of film history to now. Curated by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Arthur Dong, Hollywood Chinese takes a wide look at practices and depictions from the past and what we can learn from them today.

Jack Soo, Nancy Kwan, Miyoshi Umeki, James Shigeta on a lobby card of FLOWER DRUM SONG.

This series includes screenings, as well as a number of double features, taking place throughout the month of November. Each will be shown in the museum’s Ted Mann Theater.

November’s Oscar® Sundays are also programmed as part of the series Hollywood Chinese: The First 100 Years, guest programmed by Arthur Dong.

TOP: Joan Chen, James Hong, Nancy Kwan, Ang Lee, Christopher Lee.
MIDDLE: Luise Rainer, James Shigeta, Amy Tan, B.D. Wong, Wayne Wang.
BOTTOM: Tsai Chin, David Henry Hwang, Lisa Lu, Justin Lin, Turhan Bey.

• Nov. 4, 2022 | 7:30 pm | Hollywood Chinese – Arthur Dong & Jacqueline Stewart in conversation
• Nov. 5, 2022 | 2 pm | Daughter of the Dragon with King of Chinatown-Introduction by Anna Wong (AMW’s niece)
• Nov. 5, 2022 | 7:30 pm |Big Trouble in Little China with Black Widow – In person – Q & A with James Hong, Dennis Dun and Peter Kwong
• Nov. 6, 2022 | 7:30 pm | Lost Horizon
• Nov. 11, 2022 | 7:30 pm | Walk Like a Dragon with Enter the Dragon – In Conversation: Nancy Kwan, friend/colleague to James Shigeta & Bruce Lee
• Nov. 12, 2022 | 2 pm | Six Early Films, 1900–1929
• Nov. 12, 2022 | 7:30 pm | The Tong-Man with Year of the Dragon – In person: Dennis Dun
• Nov. 13, 2022 | 7:30pm | 7 Faces of Dr. Lao
• Nov. 18, 2022 | 7:30 pm | Gay Night: M. Butterfly with The Wedding Banquet – Introduction by Andrew Ahn (Spa, Fire Island)
• Nov. 19, 2022 | 7:30 pm | The Sand Pebbles
• Nov. 25, 2022 | 7:30 pm | Flower Drum Song –In person: Nancy Kwang, Irene Tsu
• Nov. 26, 2022 | 3 pm | Our Gang: Baby Blues with Charlie Chan in Honolulu – In person: Margie Chun Moon, original Charle Chan kid
• Nov. 26, 2022 | 7:30 pm | The Joy Luck Club -Special guests TBA
• Nov. 27, 2022 | 2 pm | The Arch with Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl – In person: Joan Chen
• Nov. 27, 2022 | 7:30 pm | The Last Emperor – In person: Joan Chen

SCREENING DETAILS

Nov. 4, 2022 | 7: 30 pm |
Hollywood Chinese: With a treasure trove of clips from over 90 films, Hollywood Chinese traces the American film industry’s representation of the Chinese during its first 100 years. Scenes ranging from the first feature film made by Chinese Americans in 1917 to breakout Oscar wins are interwoven with interviews of Chinese and Chinese American artists who reveal stories of working in Hollywood. White actors, such as Luise Rainer and Christopher Lee, recall their yellowface performances to explain the now-controversial practice. Hollywood Chinese, produced and directed by series Guest Programmer Arthur Dong, is a fitting roadmap to embark on the upcoming film series.

Nov. 5, 2022 | 2 pm |
Daughter of the Dragon: After Anna May Wong’s breakthrough romantic role in The Toll of the Sea (1922), Hollywood relegated her
to mostly stereotypical villainous parts, including the sadistic daughter of the evil Fu Manchu in Daughter of the Dragon. Wong stars opposite silent film idol Sessue Hayakawa, both in their first sound film, with both speaking standard English at a time before Hollywood latched on to the common practice of directing Asian characters to deliver dialogue in overblown, accented broken English.

King of Chinatown: Under contract with Paramount, Anna May Wong embarked on a series of films upon which she exercised more input, starting with Daughter of Shanghai (1938), about which Wong declared, “We have the sympathetic parts for a change.” King of Chinatown casts Wong as a prominent Chinese American doctor
raising funds for the Red Cross in war-torn China, inspired by the real-life Chinese American physician Dr. Margaret Chung. This fictionalized crime drama features Korean American actor Philip Ahn as Wong’s romantic interest, playing a lawyer out to expose corruption in the underbelly of Chinatown.


Nov. 5, 2022 | 7:30 pm |
Big Trouble in Little China: James Hong gives a show stopping performance as sorcerer Lo Pan in this cult favorite. Directed by horror-meister John Carpenter, Big Trouble in Little China takes a supernatural spin on Hollywood’s Chinatown tropes, populating the neighborhood with mystical beings Kurt Russell plays an antihero, but he’s not the typical white savior—he’s an outsider who’s clueless without his Chinese American friend Wang Chi, portrayed with modest aplomb by Dennis Dun Veteran actor Victor Wong offers crusty comic relief as a sorcerer-cum-tour bus driver. Special guests: James Hong and Peter Kwong in conversation following the Big Trouble in Little China screening.

Black Widow: With over 500 acting credits to his name, including scene-stealing performances in Chinatown (1974), Blade Runner (1982), and Kung Fu Panda (2008), James Hong counts Black Widow as one of his favorites. In this crime drama centered on the case of a murderess, Hong first appears mid-point a sa drug addicted investigator. For the role, the actor drew upon his improvisation training and bi-cultural background: “I just say the lines that are in my head, and of course what’s in my head is cussing out in Chinese to Debra Winger—all patterned after all those Chinese people who came to my dad’s herb store in Minnesota.”

Nov. 6, 2022 | 7:30 pm |
Lost Horizon: This Frank Capra-directed classic is emblematic of how Hollywood constructed paradise—by way of China. The Oscarwinning art direction presents an opulent Shangri-La, yet the story is predicated on the subjugation of the Chinese by white saviors and colonialist, missionary ideals. The National Film Registry considered the film differently, however, when in 2016 it honored the film as “an emotional respite to an American public seeking escape from the Depression and yearning for their own personal utopias.” Lost Horizon received seven Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, and produced wins for Film Editing (Stephen Goosson) and Art Direction (Gene Havlick, Gene Milford).

Nov. 11, 2022 | 7:30 pm |
Walk Like a Dragon: James Shigeta was a Japanese American singer whom Hollywood studios recruited to shape into a leading man— even casting him opposite white lovers. In the western Walk Like a Dragon, Shigeta portrays a Chinese immigrant who defies racism in 1870s California, winning a shoot-out against Mel Tormé and winning the girl, a formerly enslaved Chinese woman (Nobu McCarthy) who was previously saved by Jack Lord’s character Linc Bartlett. Lead roles for Shigeta diminished after Flower Drum Song (1961) as theHollywood studio system faded—but that didn’t stop Shigeta from working, including as the iconic Joseph Takagi in Die Hard (1988).

Pre-screening conversation with Nancy Kwan where she will discuss working with James Shigeta and Bruce Lee.

Enter the Dragon: Martial arts films were popular with Chinese audiences since the 1920s but it took Bruce Lee’s star power for the genre to catch fire worldwide. Born in San Francisco, Lee ignited his movie career in Hong Kong, experienced a frustrating career in the United States, and returned to Hong Kong where he directed and starred in hit films that caught the attention of Warner Bros. This all culminated with Lee’s seminal blockbuster, Enter the Dragon. “For Asian Americans, Bruce Lee wasn’t just exciting and cool. He was somebody who very deeply moved us, because he was us.”—Nancy Wang Yuen, media scholar

Nov. 12, 2022 | 2 pm |
Six Early Films, 1900-1929: For much of the history of Hollywood filmmaking, movies often portrayed Chinese as the “other” in a “them vs. us” hierarchy. Early movies, in particular, exploited this dichotomy, illustrated by the now-absurd—but no less damning—examples in this program. Yet, this era also saw productions from pioneering- Chinese American filmmakers who aspired to elevate onscreen representations of themselves. The films are as follows: Massacre of the Christians by the Chinese, The Heathen Chinese and the Sunday School Teachers, That Chink at Golden Gulch, The Curse of Quon Gwon, Lotus Blossom, and The Letter.

Special guests: Family members of filmmaker James B. Leong will join us for a post-screening conversation.

Nov. 12, 2022 | 7:30 pm |
The Tong-Man: Japan-born silent screen idol Sessue Hayakawa produced and starred as the titular Tong-Man. Ostensibly a love story set in San Francisco Chinatown, the film’s infusion of lurid hatchet murders and opium tong wars sparked the first legal action known to be filed by the Chinese American community against Hollywood’s depiction of the Chinese. The effort failed, and instead created free publicity and soaring box office receipts. Ironically, the film was supposed to be Hayakawa’s path away from racialized Hollywood typecasting.

Year of the Dragon: With a screenplay co-written by Oliver Stone and director Michael Cimino, this violent vision of 1980s New York Chinatown gang wars triggered nationwide protests by the Asian American community for its racist and sexist portrayals. Bowing to pressure, distributors added a disclaimer denying any intent to denigrate Asian Americans. No yellowfaced white actors were used, but Asian American cast members were caught in a controversial crossfire. The film, ultimately, was a box office flop.

Nov. 13, 2022 | 7:30pm |
7 Faces of Dr. Lao: Tony Randall portrays multiple identities in George Pal’s fantasy set in 1800s Arizona. The title character, Dr. Lao, features Randall in yellowface as he cunningly switches between broken and codespeak English to challenge corruption and intolerant attitudes. Artist and sculptor Wah Ming Chang served on the team that created the film’s Oscar-nominated special visual effects (Jim Danforth received the nomination for this achievement). Chang was also on the team responsible for the Oscar-winning visual effects in The Time Machine (1960). An honorary Oscar was awarded to William Tuttle for his makeup work on 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, yellowface included.

Nov. 18 | 7:30 pm |

M. Butterfly: A cross-dressing Peking opera performer-cum-spyand a delusional French diplomat are unlikely lovers in David Henry Hwang’s explosive re-visioning of East/West sexual dynamics in M. Butterfly.  Based on Hwang’s Tony Award-winning play set during China’s Cultural Revolution, John Lone and Jeremy Irons portray two men who convolute Western ideals of femininity and masculinity, where the East is submissive and the West is dominant, and where Asian men are feminized and more desirable as female than as male. David Cronenberg directed this richly designed production, which was inspired by a true story.

The Wedding Banquet: Before Ang Lee directed his heartrending examination ofrepressed homosexuality in the Oscar-winning Brokeback Mountain (2005), he directed The Wedding Banquet, a playful comedy of manners involving a gay Chinese American New Yorker and his white boyfriend who fake a heterosexual
marriage to quell nagging parents. The scheme sets the stage for lighthearted explorations of family, self-identity, cultural values, and sexual politics. The US/Taiwan co-production earned an Academy Award nomination for Best International Feature Film, propelling Lee’s career worldwide.

Nov. 19, 2022 | 7:30 pm |
The Sand Pebbles: Robert Wise’s follow-up to The Sound of Music (1965) netted eight Oscar nominations, including a Best Supporting Actor mention for Mako’s endearing portrait of a Chinese coolie. Hong Kong and Taiwan provide the locations for this widescreen spectacle—an exotic 1920s China in revolutionary turmoil, where Chinese women are prostitutes and Chinese men are ruthless, where colonialism and missionaries are the norms, and the leading man is always a white savior. The Sand Pebbles kickstarted Mako’s distinguished career in film, stage, and television, and as co-founder of the nation’s leading Asian American theater group, the East West Players, in Los Angeles. Fellow founders James Hong and Beulah Quo also appear in The Sand Pebbles.

Nov. 25, 2022 | 7:30 pm |
Flower Drum Song: Flower Drum Song represents a Hollywood milestone for Chinese American representation with its all-dancing, allsinging, and almost all-Asian cast, headlined by James Shigeta, Oscar-winner Miyoshi Umeki, Jack Soo, Benson Fong, Patrick Adiarte, and Nancy Kwan in her follow-up to The World of Suzie Wong (1960); Juanita Hall reprised her yellowfaced Broadway portrayal of Madame Liang. This lavish romantic comedy gave many Americans their first look at Chinatown beyond tourist facades and was later inducted into the National Film Registry for its stories of immigration and cultural assimilation. The musical, with joyful tunes by Rodgers and Hammerstein, earned five Oscar nominations for art direction, cinematography, and costumes, as well as its music scoring, and sound. Hermes Pan choreographed the lively routines.

Special guest: Post-screening conversation with actress Nancy Kwan

Nov. 26, 2022 | 3 pm | O
Our Gang: Baby Blues: “Every 4th child is born Chinese.” This questionable Almanac factoid ignites Our Gang member Mickey’s fears that his unborn sibling will end up being Chinese. What’s he afraid of? Perhaps he’ll learn something from Eddie and Jennifer Lee, two veteran Hollywood movie extras who portray the parents of a boy rescued from racist bullies by the kids in Our Gang. The Lees’ real-life daughters, Faye and Margie, appeared as Charlie Chan’s kids in Charlie Chan in Honolulu (1939). Anti-Asian violence, racial slurs, Confucianism, and white saviorism: it’s all packed into this ten-minute short that, in the end, is a call for tolerance.

Charlie Chan in Honolulu: Just one of over forty films in the popular Charlie Chan detective franchise, Charlie Chan in Honolulu emphasizes family, with the plot bookended by the birth of a grandchild. A raucous family meal with Chan’s kids opens the film, pushing the patriarch to command, “Save football tactics for gridiron!” Audience members who cringe at the sight of yellowfaced white actors might want to wear blinders and earplugs when Sidney Toler appears as Chan, replete with slanted eyes and dubious aphorisms, in order to enjoy some spirited scenes with Victor Sen Yung and Layne Tom Jr. as his all-American sons.

Nov. 26, 2022 | 7:30 pm |

The Joy Luck Club: In the history of Hollywood studio films, only a handful have centered on contemporary Chinese American characters and cast with mostly Asian actors: Flower Drum Song (1961), The Joy Luck Club (1993), Crazy Rich Asians (2018), The Farewell (2019), and Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022). Based on Amy Tan’s novel about mother/daughter relationships, The Joy Luck Club was guided by Tan as co-producer and co-writer and Janet Yang as executive producer, with auteur Wayne Wang directing what became his pivot into main-stream studio filmmaking. Hiring white performers in yellowface was off-limits, and the film boasts an ensemble cast of trailblazing Asian American actors from two generations: veteran actresses Tsai Chin, Kieu Chinh, Lisa Lu, and France Nuyen portrayed the mothers, while Rosalind Chao, Tamlyn Tomita, Lauren Tom, and Ming-Na Wen played the daughters.

Nov. 27, 2022 | 2 pm |
The Arch: Lisa Lu’s first Hollywood role was as a bar girl in China Doll (1958). Frustrated with typecasting, Lu travelled to Hong Kong for The Arch, portraying a woman in 1700s China confined by rules of chastity. The film was made by one of Hong Kong’s earliest female directors, Tang Shu Shuen, and considered the region’s first art film to reach international audiences. Mixing naturalism with techniques like freeze frames and double exposures, the black-and white film was co-edited by Les Blank and co-photographed by Satyajit Ray’s frequent cinematographer Subrata Mitra. The Arch launched Lu’s distinguished acting career in Asia, which then thrived transnationally in America (The Last Emperor, The Joy Luck Club, Crazy Rich Asians).

Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl: After her breakthrough appearance in Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor (1987), Joan Chen was offered parts that mainly exploited her ethnic allure. She recalled, “If I didn’t leave Hollywood, I would have never directed Xiu Xiu”—and leave she did to direct and co-write Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl. The independently produced film centered on a young girl relocated to the countryside during China’s Cultural Revolution. Exquisitely shot on location in Tibet, Xiu Xiu won seven Golden Horse Awards, including director and writer nods for Chen.

Special guest: Post-screening conversation with writer/director Joan Chen.

Nov. 27, 2022 | 7:30 pm |
The Last Emperor: In 2015, #OscarsSoWhite went viral and fueled a movement that exposed the decades-long scarcity of Academy Award nominations for people of color in acting categories. In the Oscars’ 94-year history, only three Best Picture winners featured mostly Asian casts, and none of these received any acting nominations: Parasite (2019), Slumdog Millionaire (2008), and The Last Emperor, which won nine of nine nominations. This presentation of The Last Emperor not only celebrates the breathtaking imagination of director Bernardo Bertolucci’s epic vison of China, but also gives audiences a chance to reconsider the Academy’s omission of honors for its brilliant cast.

Special guest: Post-screening conversation with writer/director Joan Chen.

TICKETS Tickets to the Academy Museum are available only through advance online reservations via the Academy Museum’s website and mobile app.

Film screening tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors (age 62+), and $5 for students and children (age 17-). Matinees are $5 for all. Ticket prices for Academy Museum members are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, and $4 for students, children, and matinee-goers.

General admission tickets for the museum’s exhibitions are $25 for adults, $19 for seniors (age 62+), and $15 for students. Admission for visitors ages 17 and younger, and for California residents with an EBT card is free.

COVID PROTOCOL
Visitors are required to follow all current COVID-19 public health guidelines by the state of California and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health in place at the time of their visit.

ABOUT THE ACADEMY MUSEUM
The Academy Museum is the largest institution in the United States devoted to the arts, sciences, and artists of moviemaking. The museum advances the understanding, celebration, and preservation of cinema through inclusive and accessible exhibitions, screenings, programs, initiatives, and collections. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, the museum’s campus contains the restored and revitalized historic Saban Building—formerly known as the May Company building (1939)—and a soaring spherical addition. Together, these buildings contain 50,000 square feet of exhibition spaces, two state-of-the-art theaters, Shirley Temple Education Studio, and beautiful public spaces that are free and open to the public. These include: The Walt Disney Company Piazza and the Academy Museum Grand Lobby, which houses the Spielberg Family Gallery, Academy Museum Store, and Fanny’s restaurant and café. The Academy Museum exhibition galleries will be open seven days a week, with hours Sunday through Thursday from 10am to 6pm and Friday and Saturday from 10am to 8pm.

Academy Museum film programming supported by the Richard Roth Foundation.

Academy Museum film programming generously funded by the Richard Roth Foundation. Donors to the Academy Museum’s fund in support of Asian American Pacific Islander programming include Esther S. M. Chui-Chao, Julia and Ken Gouw, and Dr. Peter Lam Kin Ngok of Media Asia Group Holdings Limited.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, activist and an Award winning filmmaker and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia is also the host and Executive Producer of BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG, a new Arts and Entertainment program that airs on Sundays at 6:30pm on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996.

Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. Her short film, When the World Was Young recently garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2022 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang, unless otherwise indicated. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at backstagepasswithliachang@gmail.com.

Video: BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang – Opening nights of DEATH OF A SALESMAN and WINE IN THE WILDERNESS, Black is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite at New-York Historical Society

Lia Chang, co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, has launched her latest venture, BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, an Arts and Entertainment program produced weekly at the studios of MNN.org.

Lia Chang and André De Shields at the opening night of DEATH OF A SALESMAN at the Hudson Theatre in New York on October 9, 2022.

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, an award-winning filmmaker, and a photo activist and documentarian, who lifts up and amplifies BIPOC communities and artists and the institutions that support them. Bev’s Girl Films collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.

The ninth episode of BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, executive produced and hosted by Lia, aired on October 30 at 6:30 pm (EST) on FIOS 34, RCN 83, and Spectrum 56/1996. If you miss the episode, it is archived on my youtube channel.

On this edition of BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, I’ll be featuring a Backstage Pass to the opening nights of the Broadway production of Arthur Miller’s Death of A Salesman, directed by Miranda Cromwell, and starring Wendell Pierce, Sharon D Clarke, Khris Davis, McKinley Belcher III, André De Shields, Blake DeLong, Lynn Hawley, Grace Porter, Kevin Ramessar, Stephen Stocking, Chelsea Lee Williams, and Delaney Williams; Two River Theater’s production of Alice Childress’s Wine in the Wilderness, directed by Brandon J. Dirden and starring Crystal Dickinson, Brittany Bellizeare, Ricardy Fabre, Korey Jackson, and Keith Randolph Smith; and the New-York Historical Society’s opening reception of Black is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite.

Updated: 10/30/22

You can watch the episode below.

McKinley Belcher III, Sharon D Clarke, Wendell Pierce, André De Shields and Khris Davis at the opening night of DEATH OF A SALESMAN at the Hudson Theatre in New York on October 9, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Keith Randolph Smith, Brandon J. Dirden, Korey Jackson, Crystal A. Dickinson, Brittany Bellizeare and Ricardy Fabre at the opening night curtain call of WINE IN THE WILDERNESS at Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ on October 21, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Multimedia: Opening Night of Alice Childress’s WINE IN THE WILDERNESS Starring Crystal A. Dickinson, Brittany Bellizeare, Ricardy Fabre, Korey Jackson, and Keith Randolph Smith at Two River Theater: Performances through Nov. 6

The opening night reception of Black is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite, currently on view at New-York Historical Society through January 15, 2023. Photo by Don Pollard
Grandassa Models and the family of Kwame Brathwaite attend the opening reception of Black is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite at the New-York Historical Society in New York on October 19, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

The New-York Historical Society is the exclusive New York City is presenting the traveling exhibition Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite, the first major show dedicated to this pivotal figure who helped launch and popularize the “Black Is Beautiful” movement of the 1960s. On view through January 15, 2023, the exhibition features 40 large-scale color and black-and-white photographs that document how Brathwaite helped change America’s political and cultural landscape during the so-called Second Harlem Renaissance, using his art to affirm Black physical beauty, celebrate African American community and identity, and reflect the vibrancy of Harlem’s jazz scene, local businesses, and events.

Organized by Aperture in partnership with Kwame S. Brathwaite, Brathwaite’s son and director of the Kwame Brathwaite Archive, the photographs—mostly shot in Harlem and the Bronx—tell a story of a movement and a time. Following its presentation at New-York Historical, the exhibition travels to the University of Alabama at Birmingham for the Abroms‐Engel Institute for the Visual Arts in February 2023.

The exhibition is accompanied by the first monograph dedicated to Kwame Brathwaite. Featuring essays by Tanisha C. Ford and Deborah Willis and more than 80 images, Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful (Aperture, 2019) offers a long-overdue exploration of Brathwaite’s life and work and is available from the NYHistory Store.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, activist and an Award winning filmmaker and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia is also the host and Executive Producer of BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG, a new Arts and Entertainment program that airs on Sundays at 6:30pm on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996.

Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. Her short film, When the World Was Young recently garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2022 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang, unless otherwise indicated. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at backstagepasswithliachang@gmail.com.

Video: BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang – Opening nights of DEATH OF A SALESMAN and WINE IN THE WILDERNESS, Black is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite at New-York Historical Society

Lia Chang, co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, has launched her latest venture, BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, an Arts and Entertainment program produced weekly at the studios of MNN.org.

Lia Chang and André De Shields at the opening night of DEATH OF A SALESMAN at the Hudson Theatre in New York on October 9, 2022.

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, an award-winning filmmaker, and a photo activist and documentarian, who lifts up and amplifies BIPOC communities and artists and the institutions that support them. Bev’s Girl Films collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.

The ninth episode of BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, executive produced and hosted by Lia, aired on October 30 at 6:30 pm (EST) on FIOS 34, RCN 83, and Spectrum 56/1996. If you miss the episode, it is archived on my youtube channel.

On this edition of BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, I’ll be featuring a Backstage Pass to the opening nights of the Broadway production of Arthur Miller’s Death of A Salesman, directed by Miranda Cromwell, and starring Wendell Pierce, Sharon D Clarke, Khris Davis, McKinley Belcher III, André De Shields, Blake DeLong, Lynn Hawley, Grace Porter, Kevin Ramessar, Stephen Stocking, Chelsea Lee Williams, and Delaney Williams; Two River Theater’s production of Alice Childress’s Wine in the Wilderness, directed by Brandon J. Dirden and starring Crystal Dickinson, Brittany Bellizeare, Ricardy Fabre, Korey Jackson, and Keith Randolph Smith; and the New-York Historical Society’s opening reception of Black is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite.

Updated: 10/30/22

You can watch the episode below.

McKinley Belcher III, Sharon D Clarke, Wendell Pierce, André De Shields and Khris Davis at the opening night of DEATH OF A SALESMAN at the Hudson Theatre in New York on October 9, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Keith Randolph Smith, Brandon J. Dirden, Korey Jackson, Crystal A. Dickinson, Brittany Bellizeare and Ricardy Fabre at the opening night curtain call of WINE IN THE WILDERNESS at Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ on October 21, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Multimedia: Opening Night of Alice Childress’s WINE IN THE WILDERNESS Starring Crystal A. Dickinson, Brittany Bellizeare, Ricardy Fabre, Korey Jackson, and Keith Randolph Smith at Two River Theater: Performances through Nov. 6

The opening night reception of Black is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite, currently on view at New-York Historical Society through January 15, 2023. Photo by Don Pollard
Grandassa Models and the family of Kwame Brathwaite attend the opening reception of Black is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite at the New-York Historical Society in New York on October 19, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

The New-York Historical Society is the exclusive New York City is presenting the traveling exhibition Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite, the first major show dedicated to this pivotal figure who helped launch and popularize the “Black Is Beautiful” movement of the 1960s. On view through January 15, 2023, the exhibition features 40 large-scale color and black-and-white photographs that document how Brathwaite helped change America’s political and cultural landscape during the so-called Second Harlem Renaissance, using his art to affirm Black physical beauty, celebrate African American community and identity, and reflect the vibrancy of Harlem’s jazz scene, local businesses, and events.

Organized by Aperture in partnership with Kwame S. Brathwaite, Brathwaite’s son and director of the Kwame Brathwaite Archive, the photographs—mostly shot in Harlem and the Bronx—tell a story of a movement and a time. Following its presentation at New-York Historical, the exhibition travels to the University of Alabama at Birmingham for the Abroms‐Engel Institute for the Visual Arts in February 2023.

The exhibition is accompanied by the first monograph dedicated to Kwame Brathwaite. Featuring essays by Tanisha C. Ford and Deborah Willis and more than 80 images, Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful (Aperture, 2019) offers a long-overdue exploration of Brathwaite’s life and work and is available from the NYHistory Store.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, activist and an Award winning filmmaker and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia is also the host and Executive Producer of BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG, a new Arts and Entertainment program that airs on Sundays at 6:30pm on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996.

Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. Her short film, When the World Was Young recently garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2022 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang, unless otherwise indicated. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at backstagepasswithliachang@gmail.com.

Oct. 23: BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang: Interview with COST OF LIVING’s Playwright Martyna Majok and Star Katy Sullivan airs at 6:30 pm (EST) on FIOS 34, RCN 83, and Spectrum 56/1996

Lia Chang, co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, has launched her latest venture, BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, an Arts and Entertainment program produced weekly at the studios of MNN.org.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, an award-winning filmmaker, and a photo activist and documentarian, who lifts up and amplifies BIPOC communities and artists and the institutions that support them. Bev’s Girl Films collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.

David Zayas, Katy Sullivan, Kara Young and Gregg Mozgala. Photo by Zachary Maxwell Stertz

The eighth episode of BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, executive produced and hosted by Lia, airs Sunday, October 23 at 6:30 pm (EST) on FIOS 34, RCN 83, and Spectrum 56/1996. If you miss the episode, it is archived on my youtube channel.

Lia Chang, Katy Sullivan and Martyna Majok. Photo by Kenya Williams

On this edition of BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, I sat down with  Playwright Martyna Majok (Sanctuary City, Ironbound) and Katy Sullivan in Manhattan Theatre Club’s Coles Family Patron Lounge at the  Samuel J. Friedman Theatre to chat about the Broadway premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Cost of Living,  directed by Obie Award winner Jo Bonney, which opened to rave reviews and has been extended through Sunday, November 6. Click here for tickets.

Katy Sullivan and Martyna Majok. Photo by Lia Chang

Cost of Living‘s cast features acclaimed original stars Gregg Mozgala (Lucille Lortel Award winner for his performance) and Katy Sullivan (Theatre World Award winner for her performance), who reunite for the Broadway production; Tony Award nominee Kara Young (Clyde’s, The New Englanders at MTC); and David Zayas (“Dexter,” Anna in the Tropics).

David Zayas. Photo credit: Jeremy Daniel/Julieta Cervantes

Winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize, Martyna Majok’s powerhouse play receives its Broadway premiere after a celebrated run at MTC’s Stage I. Hailed by The New York Times as “gripping, immensely haunting and exquisitely attuned,” this insightful, intriguing work is about the forces that bring people together, the complexity of caring and being cared for, and the ways we all need each other in this world. Kara Young and David Zayas join acclaimed original stars Gregg Mozgala and Katy Sullivan in this production, again directed by Obie Award winner Jo Bonney.

Katy Sullivan, David Zayas. Photo credit: Jeremy Daniel/Julieta Cervantes

Cost of Living‘s creative team includes Wilson Chin (scenic design), Jessica Pabst (costume design), Jeff Croiter (lighting design), Rob Kaplowitz (sound design), Mikaal Sulaiman (original music), Thomas Schall (movement consultant), The Telsey Office (original casting), Caparelliotis Casting & Kelly Gillespie (casting), and David Lurie-Perret (Production Stage Manager).

David Zayas, Katy Sullivan. Photo credit: Jeremy Daniel/Julieta Cervantes
Gregg Mozgala, Kara Young. Photo credit: Jeremy Daniel/Julieta Cervantes
Katy Sullivan, David Zayas. Photo credit: Jeremy Daniel/Julieta Cervantes
David Zayas, Katy Sullivan. Photo credit: Jeremy Daniel/Julieta Cervantes
Playwright Martyna Majok after the first preview performance of COST OF LIVING, backstage at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York on September 13, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Gregg Mozgala, Lia Chang, Liza Colón-Zayas and David Zayas.
Wilson Chin, Katy Sullivan, Martyna Majok and Lia Chang.

If you miss the episode, you can watch it below.

The 2022-23 season marks Lynne Meadow’s 50th Anniversary as Artistic Director of MANHATTAN THEATRE CLUB. Meadow was joined by Executive Producer Barry Grove in her third season, and together they have helmed MTC for 48 years. MTC’s mission, which Meadow created in 1972 and has implemented since, is to develop and present new work in a dynamic, supportive environment; to identify and collaborate with the most exciting new as well as accomplished artists; and to produce a diverse repertoire of innovative, entertaining, and thought-provoking plays and musicals by American and international playwrights. Over five decades, MTC has grown from a small off-off-Broadway showcase into one of the country’s most prestigious and award-winning theatre companies, creating approximately 600 world, American, New York and Broadway premieres. Our productions have earned 7 Pulitzer Prizes, 28 Tony Awards, 50 Drama Desk Awards and 49 Obie Awards amongst many other honors. MTC’s Broadway home is the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street) and their two Off-Broadway theatres are at New York City Center (131 West 55th Street). MTC is an anti-racist organization that respects and honors all voices, and upholds the values of community and equity, For more information, please visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, activist and an Award winning filmmaker and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia is also the host and Executive Producer of BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG, a new Arts and Entertainment program that airs on Sundays at 6:30pm on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996.

Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. Her short film, When the World Was Young recently garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2022 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang, unless otherwise indicated. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at backstagepasswithliachang@gmail.com.

Nov. 4-27: Academy Museum of Motion Pictures Spotlights Chinese Representation in Hollywood During Cinema’s First Century Film Series Curated by Oscar®-Nominated Filmmaker Arthur Dong

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will present Hollywood Chinese: The First 100 Years, Nov. 4–27. The film series both critiques and celebrates Hollywood’s depictions of the Chinese and presents groundbreaking Chinese and Chinese American artists who navigated industry challenges from the beginning of film history to now. Curated by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Arthur Dong, Hollywood Chinese takes a wide look at practices and depictions from the past and what we can learn from them today.

Jack Soo, Nancy Kwan, Miyoshi Umeki, James Shigeta on a lobby card of FLOWER DRUM SONG.

This series includes screenings, as well as a number of double features, taking place throughout the month of November. Each will be shown in the museum’s Ted Mann Theater.

November’s Oscar® Sundays are also programmed as part of the series Hollywood Chinese: The First 100 Years, guest programmed by Arthur Dong.

• Nov. 4, 2022 | 7:30 pm | Hollywood Chinese
• Nov. 5, 2022 | 2 pm | Daughter of the Dragon with King of Chinatown
• Nov. 5, 2022 | 7:30 pm |Big Trouble in Little China with Black Widow
• Nov. 6, 2022 | 7:30 pm | Lost Horizon
• Nov. 11, 2022 | 7:30 pm | Walk Like a Dragon with Enter the Dragon
• Nov. 12, 2022 | 2 pm | Six Early Films, 1900–1929
• Nov. 12, 2022 | 7:30 pm | The Tong-Man with Year of the Dragon
• Nov. 13, 2022 | 7:30pm | 7 Faces of Dr. Lao
• Nov. 18, 2022 | 7:30 pm | M. Butterfly with The Wedding Banquet
• Nov. 19, 2022 | 7:30 pm | The Sand Pebbles
• Nov. 25, 2022 | 7:30 pm | Flower Drum Song
• Nov. 26, 2022 | 3 pm | Our Gang: Baby Blues with Charlie Chan in Honolulu
• Nov. 26, 2022 | 7:30 pm | The Joy Luck Club
• Nov. 27, 2022 | 2 pm | The Arch with Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl
• Nov. 27, 2022 | 7:30 pm | The Last Emperor

SCREENING DETAILS

Nov. 4, 2022 | 7: 30 pm |
Hollywood Chinese: With a treasure trove of clips from over 90 films, Hollywood Chinese traces the American film industry’s representation of the Chinese during its first 100 years. Scenes ranging from the first feature film made by Chinese Americans in 1917 to breakout Oscar wins are interwoven with interviews of Chinese and Chinese American artists who reveal stories of working in Hollywood. White actors, such as Luise Rainer and Christopher Lee, recall their yellowface performances to explain the now-controversial practice. Hollywood Chinese, produced and directed by series Guest Programmer Arthur Dong, is a fitting roadmap to embark on the upcoming film series.

Nov. 5, 2022 | 2 pm |
Daughter of the Dragon: After Anna May Wong’s breakthrough romantic role in The Toll of the Sea (1922), Hollywood relegated her
to mostly stereotypical villainous parts, including the sadistic daughter of the evil Fu Manchu in Daughter of the Dragon. Wong stars opposite silent film idol Sessue Hayakawa, both in their first sound film, with both speaking standard English at a time before Hollywood latched on to the common practice of directing Asian characters to deliver dialogue in overblown, accented broken English.

King of Chinatown: Under contract with Paramount, Anna May Wong embarked on a series of films upon which she exercised more input, starting with Daughter of Shanghai (1938), about which Wong declared, “We have the sympathetic parts for a change.” King of Chinatown casts Wong as a prominent Chinese American doctor
raising funds for the Red Cross in war-torn China, inspired by the real-life Chinese American physician Dr. Margaret Chung. This fictionalized crime drama features Korean American actor Philip Ahn as Wong’s romantic interest, playing a lawyer out to expose corruption in the underbelly of Chinatown.

Nov. 5, 2022 | 7:30 pm |
Big Trouble in Little China: James Hong gives a show stopping performance as sorcerer Lo Pan in this cult favorite. Directed by horror-meister John Carpenter, Big Trouble in Little China takes a supernatural spin on Hollywood’s Chinatown tropes, populating the neighborhood with mystical beings Kurt Russell plays an antihero, but he’s not the typical white savior—he’s an outsider who’s clueless without his Chinese American friend Wang Chi, portrayed with modest aplomb by Dennis Dun Veteran actor Victor Wong offers crusty comic relief as a sorcerer-cum-tour bus driver. Special guests: James Hong and Peter Kwong in conversation following the Big Trouble in Little China screening.

Black Widow: With over 500 acting credits to his name, including scene-stealing performances in Chinatown (1974), Blade Runner (1982), and Kung Fu Panda (2008), James Hong counts Black Widow as one of his favorites. In this crime drama centered on the case of a murderess, Hong first appears mid-point a sa drug addicted investigator. For the role, the actor drew upon his improvisation training and bi-cultural background: “I just say the lines that are in my head, and of course what’s in my head is cussing out in Chinese to Debra Winger—all patterned after all those Chinese people who came to my dad’s herb store in Minnesota.”

Nov. 6, 2022 | 7:30 pm |
Lost Horizon: This Frank Capra-directed classic is emblematic of how Hollywood constructed paradise—by way of China. The Oscarwinning art direction presents an opulent Shangri-La, yet the story is predicated on the subjugation of the Chinese by white saviors and colonialist, missionary ideals. The National Film Registry considered the film differently, however, when in 2016 it honored the film as “an emotional respite to an American public seeking escape from the Depression and yearning for their own personal utopias.” Lost Horizon received seven Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, and produced wins for Film Editing (Stephen Goosson) and Art Direction (Gene Havlick, Gene Milford).

Nov. 11, 2022 | 7:30 pm |
Walk Like a Dragon: James Shigeta was a Japanese American singer whom Hollywood studios recruited to shape into a leading man— even casting him opposite white lovers. In the western Walk Like a Dragon, Shigeta portrays a Chinese immigrant who defies racism in 1870s California, winning a shoot-out against Mel Tormé and winning the girl, a formerly enslaved Chinese woman (Nobu McCarthy) who was previously saved by Jack Lord’s character Linc Bartlett. Lead roles for Shigeta diminished after Flower Drum Song (1961) as theHollywood studio system faded—but that didn’t stop Shigeta from working, including as the iconic Joseph Takagi in Die Hard (1988).

Pre-screening conversation with Nancy Kwan where she will discuss working with James Shigeta and Bruce Lee.

Enter the Dragon: Martial arts films were popular with Chinese audiences since the 1920s but it took Bruce Lee’s star power for the genre to catch fire worldwide. Born in San Francisco, Lee ignited his movie career in Hong Kong, experienced a frustrating career in the United States, and returned to Hong Kong where he directed and starred in hit films that caught the attention of Warner Bros. This all culminated with Lee’s seminal blockbuster, Enter the Dragon. “For Asian Americans, Bruce Lee wasn’t just exciting and cool. He was somebody who very deeply moved us, because he was us.”—Nancy Wang Yuen, media scholar

Nov. 12, 2022 | 2 pm |
Six Early Films, 1900-1929: For much of the history of Hollywood filmmaking, movies often portrayed Chinese as the “other” in a “them vs. us” hierarchy. Early movies, in particular, exploited this dichotomy, illustrated by the now-absurd—but no less damning—examples in this program. Yet, this era also saw productions from pioneering- Chinese American filmmakers who aspired to elevate onscreen representations of themselves. The films are as follows: Massacre of the Christians by the Chinese, The Heathen Chinese and the Sunday School Teachers, That Chink at Golden Gulch, The Curse of Quon Gwon, Lotus Blossom, and The Letter.

Special guests: Family members of filmmaker James B. Leong will join us for a post-screening conversation.

Nov. 12, 2022 | 7:30 pm |
The Tong-Man: Japan-born silent screen idol Sessue Hayakawa produced and starred as the titular Tong-Man. Ostensibly a love story set in San Francisco Chinatown, the film’s infusion of lurid hatchet murders and opium tong wars sparked the first legal action known to be filed by the Chinese American community against Hollywood’s depiction of the Chinese. The effort failed, and instead created free publicity and soaring box office receipts. Ironically, the film was supposed to be Hayakawa’s path away from racialized Hollywood typecasting.

Year of the Dragon: With a screenplay co-written by Oliver Stone and director Michael Cimino, this violent vision of 1980s New York Chinatown gang wars triggered nationwide protests by the Asian American community for its racist and sexist portrayals. Bowing to pressure, distributors added a disclaimer denying any intent to denigrate Asian Americans. No yellowfaced white actors were used, but Asian American cast members were caught in a controversial crossfire. The film, ultimately, was a box office flop.

Nov. 13, 2022 | 7:30pm |
7 Faces of Dr. Lao: Tony Randall portrays multiple identities in George Pal’s fantasy set in 1800s Arizona. The title character, Dr. Lao, features Randall in yellowface as he cunningly switches between broken and codespeak English to challenge corruption and intolerant attitudes. Artist and sculptor Wah Ming Chang served on the team that created the film’s Oscar-nominated special visual effects (Jim Danforth received the nomination for this achievement). Chang was also on the team responsible for the Oscar-winning visual effects in The Time Machine (1960). An honorary Oscar was awarded to William Tuttle for his makeup work on 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, yellowface included.

Nov. 18 | 7:30 pm |

M. Butterfly: A cross-dressing Peking opera performer-cum-spyand a delusional French diplomat are unlikely lovers in David Henry Hwang’s explosive re-visioning of East/West sexual dynamics in M. Butterfly.  Based on Hwang’s Tony Award-winning play set during China’s Cultural Revolution, John Lone and Jeremy Irons portray two men who convolute Western ideals of femininity and masculinity, where the East is submissive and the West is dominant, and where Asian men are feminized and more desirable as female than as male. David Cronenberg directed this richly designed production, which was inspired by a true story.

The Wedding Banquet: Before Ang Lee directed his heartrending examination ofrepressed homosexuality in the Oscar-winning Brokeback Mountain (2005), he directed The Wedding Banquet, a playful comedy of manners involving a gay Chinese American New Yorker and his white boyfriend who fake a heterosexual
marriage to quell nagging parents. The scheme sets the stage for lighthearted explorations of family, self-identity, cultural values, and sexual politics. The US/Taiwan co-production earned an Academy Award nomination for Best International Feature Film, propelling Lee’s career worldwide.

Nov. 19, 2022 | 7:30 pm |
The Sand Pebbles: Robert Wise’s follow-up to The Sound of Music (1965) netted eight Oscar nominations, including a Best Supporting Actor mention for Mako’s endearing portrait of a Chinese coolie. Hong Kong and Taiwan provide the locations for this widescreen spectacle—an exotic 1920s China in revolutionary turmoil, where Chinese women are prostitutes and Chinese men are ruthless, where colonialism and missionaries are the norms, and the leading man is always a white savior. The Sand Pebbles kickstarted Mako’s distinguished career in film, stage, and television, and as co-founder of the nation’s leading Asian American theater group, the East West Players, in Los Angeles. Fellow founders James Hong and Beulah Quo also appear in The Sand Pebbles.

Nov. 25, 2022 | 7:30 pm |
Flower Drum Song: Flower Drum Song represents a Hollywood milestone for Chinese American representation with its all-dancing, allsinging, and almost all-Asian cast, headlined by James Shigeta, Oscar-winner Miyoshi Umeki, Jack Soo, Benson Fong, Patrick Adiarte, and Nancy Kwan in her follow-up to The World of Suzie Wong (1960); Juanita Hall reprised her yellowfaced Broadway portrayal of Madame Liang. This lavish romantic comedy gave many Americans their first look at Chinatown beyond tourist facades and was later inducted into the National Film Registry for its stories of immigration and cultural assimilation. The musical, with joyful tunes by Rodgers and Hammerstein, earned five Oscar nominations for art direction, cinematography, and costumes, as well as its music scoring, and sound. Hermes Pan choreographed the lively routines.

Special guest: Post-screening conversation with actress Nancy Kwan

Nov. 26, 2022 | 3 pm | O
Our Gang: Baby Blues: “Every 4th child is born Chinese.” This questionable Almanac factoid ignites Our Gang member Mickey’s fears that his unborn sibling will end up being Chinese. What’s he afraid of? Perhaps he’ll learn something from Eddie and Jennifer Lee, two veteran Hollywood movie extras who portray the parents of a boy rescued from racist bullies by the kids in Our Gang. The Lees’ real-life daughters, Faye and Margie, appeared as Charlie Chan’s kids in Charlie Chan in Honolulu (1939). Anti-Asian violence, racial slurs, Confucianism, and white saviorism: it’s all packed into this ten-minute short that, in the end, is a call for tolerance.

Charlie Chan in Honolulu: Just one of over forty films in the popular Charlie Chan detective franchise, Charlie Chan in Honolulu emphasizes family, with the plot bookended by the birth of a grandchild. A raucous family meal with Chan’s kids opens the film, pushing the patriarch to command, “Save football tactics for gridiron!” Audience members who cringe at the sight of yellowfaced white actors might want to wear blinders and earplugs when Sidney Toler appears as Chan, replete with slanted eyes and dubious aphorisms, in order to enjoy some spirited scenes with Victor Sen Yung and Layne Tom Jr. as his all-American sons.

Nov. 26, 2022 | 7:30 pm |

The Joy Luck Club: In the history of Hollywood studio films, only a handful have centered on contemporary Chinese American characters and cast with mostly Asian actors: Flower Drum Song (1961), The Joy Luck Club (1993), Crazy Rich Asians (2018), The Farewell (2019), and Everything Everywhere All at Once (2022). Based on Amy Tan’s novel about mother/daughter relationships, The Joy Luck Club was guided by Tan as co-producer and co-writer and Janet Yang as executive producer, with auteur Wayne Wang directing what became his pivot into main-stream studio filmmaking. Hiring white performers in yellowface was off-limits, and the film boasts an ensemble cast of trailblazing Asian American actors from two generations: veteran actresses Tsai Chin, Kieu Chinh, Lisa Lu, and France Nuyen portrayed the mothers, while Rosalind Chao, Tamlyn Tomita, Lauren Tom, and Ming-Na Wen played the daughters.

Nov. 27, 2022 | 2 pm |
The Arch: Lisa Lu’s first Hollywood role was as a bar girl in China Doll (1958). Frustrated with typecasting, Lu travelled to Hong Kong for The Arch, portraying a woman in 1700s China confined by rules of chastity. The film was made by one of Hong Kong’s earliest female directors, Tang Shu Shuen, and considered the region’s first art film to reach international audiences. Mixing naturalism with techniques like freeze frames and double exposures, the black-and white film was co-edited by Les Blank and co-photographed by Satyajit Ray’s frequent cinematographer Subrata Mitra. The Arch launched Lu’s distinguished acting career in Asia, which then thrived transnationally in America (The Last Emperor, The Joy Luck Club, Crazy Rich Asians).

Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl: After her breakthrough appearance in Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor (1987), Joan Chen was offered parts that mainly exploited her ethnic allure. She recalled, “If I didn’t leave Hollywood, I would have never directed Xiu Xiu”—and leave she did to direct and co-write Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl. The independently produced film centered on a young girl relocated to the countryside during China’s Cultural Revolution. Exquisitely shot on location in Tibet, Xiu Xiu won seven Golden Horse Awards, including director and writer nods for Chen.

Special guest: Post-screening conversation with writer/director Joan Chen.

Nov. 27, 2022 | 7:30 pm |
The Last Emperor: In 2015, #OscarsSoWhite went viral and fueled a movement that exposed the decades-long scarcity of Academy Award nominations for people of color in acting categories. In the Oscars’ 94-year history, only three Best Picture winners featured mostly Asian casts, and none of these received any acting nominations: Parasite (2019), Slumdog Millionaire (2008), and The Last Emperor, which won nine of nine nominations. This presentation of The Last Emperor not only celebrates the breathtaking imagination of director Bernardo Bertolucci’s epic vison of China, but also gives audiences a chance to reconsider the Academy’s omission of honors for its brilliant cast.

TICKETS Tickets to the Academy Museum are available only through advance online reservations via the Academy Museum’s website and mobile app.

Film screening tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors (age 62+), and $5 for students and children (age 17-). Matinees are $5 for all. Ticket prices for Academy Museum members are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, and $4 for students, children, and matinee-goers.

General admission tickets for the museum’s exhibitions are $25 for adults, $19 for seniors (age 62+), and $15 for students. Admission for visitors ages 17 and younger, and for California residents with an EBT card is free.

COVID PROTOCOL
Visitors are required to follow all current COVID-19 public health guidelines by the state of California and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health in place at the time of their visit.

ABOUT THE ACADEMY MUSEUM
The Academy Museum is the largest institution in the United States devoted to the arts, sciences, and artists of moviemaking. The museum advances the understanding, celebration, and preservation of cinema through inclusive and accessible exhibitions, screenings, programs, initiatives, and collections. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, the museum’s campus contains the restored and revitalized historic Saban Building—formerly known as the May Company building (1939)—and a soaring spherical addition. Together, these buildings contain 50,000 square feet of exhibition spaces, two state-of-the-art theaters, Shirley Temple Education Studio, and beautiful public spaces that are free and open to the public. These include: The Walt Disney Company Piazza and the Academy Museum Grand Lobby, which houses the Spielberg Family Gallery, Academy Museum Store, and Fanny’s restaurant and café. The Academy Museum exhibition galleries will be open seven days a week, with hours Sunday through Thursday from 10am to 6pm and Friday and Saturday from 10am to 8pm.

Academy Museum film programming supported by the Richard Roth Foundation.

Academy Museum film programming generously funded by the Richard Roth Foundation. Donors to the Academy Museum’s fund in support of Asian American Pacific Islander programming include Esther S. M. Chui-Chao, Julia and Ken Gouw, and Dr. Peter Lam Kin Ngok of Media Asia Group Holdings Limited.

Video: BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang: Highlights from Curtain Up! LIVE from Broadway! Concert Featuring André De Shields, Myles Frost, Jaquel Spivey,  Jewelle Shelley Blackman, Emilie Kouatchou, Brandon Victor Dixon, and the company of &Juliet

Lia Chang, co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, has launched her latest venture, BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, an Arts and Entertainment program produced weekly at the studios of MNN.org.

Lia Chang. Photo by Pauline Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, an award-winning filmmaker, and a photo activist and documentarian, who lifts up and amplifies BIPOC communities and artists and the institutions that support them.

The sixth episode of BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, executive produced and hosted by Lia, airs Sunday, October 9 at 6:30 pm (EST) on FIOS 34, RCN 83, and Spectrum 56/1996. If you miss the episode, it is archived on my youtube channel or you can watch below.

This edition of Backstage with Lia Chang features highlights of Curtain Up! LIVE from Broadway!, the free outdoor concert held in Times Square on the 1st Sunday of October.

Broadway favorites taking center stage included Tony, Grammy and Emmy winning DEATH OF A SALESMAN star André De Shields, Tony Winner Myles Frost and the company of MJ THE MUSICAL, A STRANGE LOOP star Jaquel Spivey, HADESTOWN star Jewelle Shelley Blackman, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA star Emilie Kouatchou, CHICAGO star Brandon Victor Dixon, and the company of &Juliet.

Watch the episode below:

The concert was hosted by Amber Ruffin and Jesse Tyler Ferguson, with direction from Sammi Cannold, with Daryl Waters as music director.

Amber Ruffin and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Photo by Lia Chang

The concert was a culmination of the 3-day Curtain Up Broadway Festival presented by Playbill, The Broadway League, the Times Square Alliance, and Prudential Financial.

André De Shields and Myles Frost. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields and the company of MJ THE MUSICAL. Photo by Lia Chang
Apollo Levine and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields and Jordan Dobson. Photo by Lia Chang
Myles Frost and the company of MJ THE MUSICAL. Photo by Lia Chang
Myles Frost and the company of MJ THE MUSICAL. Photo by Lia Chang
Cast member of MJ THE MUSICAL. Photo by Lia Chang
Myles Frost and the company of MJ THE MUSICAL. Photo by Lia Chang
Myles Frost and the company of MJ THE MUSICAL. Photo by Lia Chang
Myles Frost and the company of MJ THE MUSICAL. Photo by Lia Chang
Myles Frost and the company of MJ THE MUSICAL. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields, Jewelle Blackman, Liam Robinson. Photo by Lia Chang
Jewelle Blackman, Amber Ruffin and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Photo by Lia Chang
Amber Ruffin and Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Photo by Lia Chang
Jewelle Blackman. Photo by Lia Chang
Jewelle Blackman. Photo by Lia Chang
Jewelle Blackman. Photo by Lia Chang
Jewelle Blackman. Photo by Lia Chang
Jewelle Blackman. Photo by Lia Chang
Jewelle Blackman. Photo by Lia Chang
Jewelle Blackman. Photo by Lia Chang
Jewelle Blackman. Photo by Lia Chang
Jewelle Blackman. Photo by Lia Chang
CHICAGO’S BRANDON VICTOR DIXON, JESSICA ERNEST, ADRIAN KEDDELL, MARY CLAIRE KING, RACHEL SHUR SING “ALL I CARE ABOUT”. Photo by Lia Chang
CHICAGO’S BRANDON VICTOR DIXON, JESSICA ERNEST, ADRIAN KEDDELL, MARY CLAIRE KING, RACHEL SHUR SING “ALL I CARE ABOUT”. Photo by Lia Chang
CHICAGO’S BRANDON VICTOR DIXON SINGS “ALL I CARE ABOUT”. Photo by Lia Chang
CHICAGO’S BRANDON VICTOR DIXON, JESSICA ERNEST, ADRIAN KEDDELL, MARY CLAIRE KING, RACHEL SHUR SING “ALL I CARE ABOUT”. Photo by Lia Chang
CHICAGO’S BRANDON VICTOR DIXON, JESSICA ERNEST, ADRIAN KEDDELL, MARY CLAIRE KING, RACHEL SHUR SING “ALL I CARE ABOUT”. Photo by Lia Chang
CHICAGO’S BRANDON VICTOR DIXON, JESSICA ERNEST, ADRIAN KEDDELL, MARY CLAIRE KING, RACHEL SHUR SING “ALL I CARE ABOUT”. Photo by Lia Chang
Jaquel Spivey. Photo by Lia Chang
Jaquel Spivey. Photo by Lia Chang
Jaquel Spivey. Photo by Lia Chang
Jaquel Spivey. Photo by Lia Chang
Jaquel Spivey. Photo by Lia Chang
Jaquel Spivey. Photo by Lia Chang
Jaquel Spivey. Photo by Lia Chang
Jaquel Spivey. Photo by Lia Chang
Jaquel Spivey. Photo by Lia Chang
The company of &JULIET. Photo by Lia Chang
The company of &JULIET. Photo by Lia Chang
The company of &JULIET. Photo by Lia Chang
The company of &JULIET. Photo by Lia Chang
The company of &JULIET. Photo by Lia Chang
The company of &JULIET. Photo by Lia Chang
The company of &JULIET. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, activist and an Award winning filmmaker and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia is also the host and Executive Producer of BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG, a new Arts and Entertainment program that airs on Sundays at 6:30pm on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996.

Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. Her short film, When the World Was Young recently garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2022 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang, unless otherwise indicated. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at backstagepasswithliachang@gmail.com.

Video: BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang – Interview with Drama Desk Nominated Actor and Playwright Daniel K. Isaac

Lia Chang, co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, has launched her latest venture,  BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, an Arts and Entertainment program produced weekly at the studios of MNN.org.

Lia Chang. Photo by Daniel K. Isaac

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, an award-winning filmmaker, and a photo activist and documentarian, who lifts up and amplifies BIPOC communities and artists and the institutions that support them.

The fifth episode of BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, executive produced and hosted by Lia, airs Sunday, October 2 at 6:30 pm (EST) on FIOS 34, RCN 83, and Spectrum 56/1996. If you miss the episode, it will be archived on my youtube channel. 

Sasha Diamond, David Lee Huynh, David Shih, Daniel K. Isaac, Jillian Sun, Sonnie Brown, Teresa Avia Lim, Jon Norman Schneider. Photo by Lia Chang

On tonight’s episode of BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, you’ll meet actor and playwright Daniel K. Isaac, who recently made his playwrighting debut with Ma-Yi Theater Company’s critically-acclaimed world premiere of ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME at the Ellen Stewart Theatre at La MaMa.

Updated 10/3/22

Watch below:

Director Ralph B. Pena and Playwright Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

Directed by Obie-winner Ralph B. Peña, Isaac’s epic new play, commissioned by Ma-Yi, mixes traditional Korean fables with the horror of Korean Wars.

Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

Daniel is currently in rehearsal for Roundabout Theatre Company’s  world premiere of You Will Get Sick, a new play by Noah Diaz directed by Tony Award nominee Sam Pinkleton. The cast also features Marinda Anderson, Linda Lavin, Nate Miller, and Dario Ladani Sanchez.

You Will Get Sick begins preview performances on Friday, October 14, 2022 and opens officially on Sunday, November 6, 2022 at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre (111 West 46th Street). This is a limited engagement through Sunday, December 11, 2022.

Judy Hwang and Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

Daniel K. Isaac is known for his role as ‘Ben Kim’ in Showtime’s “Billions”.  He received a Drama Desk nomination this Spring for his turn in the Off-Broadway production of Lloyd Suh’ s The Chinese Lady, a co-production of  Ma-Yi Theater Company and the Public Theater. His other Off-Broadway credits include: You Never Touched the Dirt (Clubbed Thumb), The Gentleman Caller (Abingdon), Sagittarius Ponderosa (NAATCO), Underland (59E59), La Divina Caricatura (La MaMa/St. Ann’s), Anna Nicole the Opera (BAM). His regional credits include The Chinese Lady (Barrington Stage), The Ballad of Little Jo (Two River), Miss Electricity (La Jolla Playhouse). His Film/TV credits include “The Other Two” (HBO Max); Dirty Rhetoric; Plan B; The Drummer; “The Expecting” (Quibi); “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”, “The Deuce”, “Crashing”, Too Big To Fail (HBO); Money Monster (dir. Jodie Foster); “The Jim Gaffigan Show” (TV LAND); “Person of Interest” (CBS). DanielKIsaac.com.

ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME is a funny and deeply moving analog for the experiences of the Korean American diaspora. Isaac deftly moves his characters through time, tracing the legacies of trauma that are passed from one generation to the next, and the various coping mechanisms each one uses to soldier on.

Alyssa K. Howard, Jon Norman Schneider, Sami Ma, Sasha Diamond, David Lee Huynh, Teresa Avia Lim, Sonnie Brown, David Shih and Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast for ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME includes Sonnie Brown, Sasha Diamond, David Lee Huynh, Teresa Avia Lim, Jon Norman Schneider, David Shih, and Jillian Sun with Daniel K. Isaac and Sami Ma serving as understudies.

The creative team for ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME includes Se Oh (scenic design), Phuong Nguyen (costume design), Oliver Wason (lighting design), Yee Eun Nam (projection design), Fabian Obispo (sound design), Alexander Wylie (props design), and Alyssa K. Howard (production stage manager).

TICKET INFORMATION:
Tickets for You Will Get Sick can be purchased by calling 212.719.1300, online at roundabouttheatre.org, in person at a Roundabout box office. Ticket prices range from $59-$99. For groups of 10 or more please call 212-719- 9393 x 365 or email groupsales@roundabouttheatre.org.

PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE: You Will Get Sick plays Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 7:30PM with Wednesday and Saturday matinees at 2:00PM and Sunday matinees at 3:00PM.

Video: BroadwayCon: Erin Quill’s AAPI Panel – WRITING OUR WAY OUT: writing our own stories featuring Playwright Daniel K. Isaac, Director Ralph B. Pena and KPOP Composer/Lyricist Helen Park

Scenic Design by Se Oh. Photo by Lia Chang
David Lee Huynh and Jon Norman Schneider. Photo by Lia Chang
David Lee Huynh and Jon Norman Schneider. Photo by Lia Chang
Teresa Avia Lim, David Lee Huynh and Jon Norman Schneider. Photo by Lia Chang
Jillian Sun. Photo by Lia Chang
Jillian Sun. Photo by Lia Chang
David Lee Huynh, Jon Norman Schneider, Jillian Sun. Photo by Lia Chang
Teresa Avia Lim, David Lee Huynh and Jon Norman Schneider. Photo by Lia Chang
Teresa Avia Lim, David Lee Huynh and Jon Norman Schneider. Photo by Lia Chang
David Lee Huynh and Jon Norman Schneider. Photo by Lia Chang
Teresa Avia Lim, Jon Norman Schneider, Jillian Sun. Photo by Lia Chang
Teresa Avia Lim and Jillian Sun. Photo by Lia Chang
Jillian Sun and Sasha Diamond. Photo by Lia Chang
Teresa Avia Lim, David Shih, Sasha Diamond and Jillian Sun. Photo by Lia Chang
Teresa Avia Lim, Sonnie Brown, David Shih and Sasha Diamond. Photo by Lia Chang
Sonnie Brown and David Shih. Photo by Lia Chang
David Shih and Sasha Diamond. Photo by Lia Chang
David Shih and Sasha Diamond. Photo by Lia Chang
Teresa Avia Lim and David Shih. Photo by Lia Chang
Jillian Sun, Sasha Diamond, Teresa Avia Lim, and Jon Norman Schneider. Photo by Lia Chang
David Lee Huynh, Sasha Diamond and David Shih. Photo by Lia Chang
David Lee Huynh, Sasha Diamond. Photo by Lia Chang
Sasha Diamond, David Lee Huynh. Photo by Lia Chang
Jillian Sun, Sasha Diamond, Sonnie Brown. Photo by Lia Chang
Jillian Sun, David Lee Huynh, Sasha Diamond, David Shih and Teresa Avia Lim. Photo by Lia Chang
Jillian Sun, Sasha Diamond and Teresa Avia Lim. Photo by Lia Chang
Sasha Diamond, Teresa Avia Lim, Jillian Sun. Photo by Lia Chang
Sasha Diamond, Sonnie Brown and David Lee Huynh. Photo by Lia Chang
Projection Design by Yee Eun Nam. Photo by Lia Chang
Jillian Sun and Sonnie Brown. Photo by Lia Chang

Since its founding in 1989, Ma-Yi Theater Company has distinguished itself as one of the country’s leading incubators of new work shaping the national discourse about what it means to be Asian American today. Please visit www.ma-yitheatre.org for more information.

Late Night with Playwright Daniel K. Isaac – Opening Night of Ma-Yi’s World Premiere of ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME 

Lia Chang, Daniel K. Isaac, Judy Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, activist and an Award winning filmmaker and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia is also the host and Executive Producer of BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG, a new Arts and Entertainment program that airs on Sundays at 6:30pm on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996.

Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. Her short film, When the World Was Young recently garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2022 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang, unless otherwise indicated. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at backstagepasswithliachang@gmail.com