December 9, 1995 |
During intermission, an elderly Japanese American woman, perusing a lobby photo exhibition, calls her son and daughter over to examine a shot of the relocation camp where she was interned during the war. "A Jive Bomber's Christmas" at the Japanese American National Museum is rife with such bittersweet moments, on stage and off.
December 9, 1997 |
In Saachiko and Dom Magwili's entertaining musical, "A Jive Bomber's Christmas," Jive Bomber is the nickname that a wheeling-dealing Nisei, Jackson (Mike Hagiwara), uses at an unnamed World War II Japanese American internment camp in December 1943. The fourth edition of this well-acted production features the original cast members, with two more venues added this year.
August 4, 1997 |
The John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, usually a cool respite from summer, heated up Friday night with the presentation of "Tungo Sa Liwanag," a dance drama celebrating the centennial of Philippine independence, though the commemoration does not officially begin until next year. Meaning "Towards the Light," this ambitious, occasionally awkward theater piece, written by Rico Obusan and directed by Dom Magwili, worked best when the scores of Filipino dancers ably went through their ritualistic paces.
April 26, 1991 |
Personal criticism, as opposed to aesthetic distance, usually gets a critic in trouble. But sometimes there's no other way to go. "Canton Jazz Club" at the East West Players, big sprawling mess that it is, captivated me. It is a musical about a glamorous hot spot in L.A.'s Chinatown in 1943. When I was kid in the early '40s, my mother's favorite movie was "Limehouse Blues," with George Raft (as an Oriental roustabout) and Anna Mae Wong.
December 16, 2006 |
First produced in 1993, "A Jive Bomber's Christmas" has become an on-again, off-again tradition at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo. Set in the Japanese internment camp at Manzanar, this original musical by Saachiko and Dom Magwili is a broadly comic, unabashedly sentimental holiday entertainment that makes a touching statement about resiliency during hard times. Plans for a cabaret-style Christmas pageant are made by Jackson, a.k.a.
October 9, 1992 |
An all-Asian-Pacific-American cast in the Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine "Into the Woods"? No problem. The fairy-tale characters at the center of these "Woods" long ago transcended their northern European roots. The cast at East West Players is uniformly strong, and that's all that's necessary to adapt this wisest of American musicals into Asian-American terms. Director Tim Dang did add a couple of other details, however. One of them works well: two black-clad and hooded stagehands, Kabuki-style.