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  • Manu Narayan, Mark Bennett, Lea Salonga, Michael K. Lee and Stafford Arima Among 2012 Craig Noel Award Nominees

    Posted by Lia Chang

    Telly Leung as Sammy Kimura and Lea Salonga as Kei Kimura in the World Premiere of Allegiance - A New American Musical at The Old Globe. Photo by Henry Dirocco.

    Congrats to Manu Narayan, who has been nominated for a 2012 San Diego Critics Circle Craig Noel Award for his electrifying turn as Richard Roma in La Jolla Playhouse’s Glengarry Glen Ross, in the category of outstanding male featured performance in a play. Multimedia: Manu Narayan Dazzles as Richard Roma in La Jolla Playhouse’s Revival of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross

    Manu Narayan (Photo by Lia Chang)

    On Monday, February 4, 2013, more than 110 local and national theater artists representing more than 45 San Diego theatrical productions will compete for the 2012 San Diego Critics Circle Craig Noel Awards at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, 700 Prospect Drive, La Jolla, CA. The award ceremony, which will take place from 6 to 10 p.m., is produced by the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle. Admission to the ceremony is free. Reservations and details can be found at

    Michael K. Lee as Frankie Suzuki and Lea Salonga as Kei Kimura in the World Premiere of Allegiance – A New American Musical, with music and lyrics by Jay Kuo and book by Marc Acito, Kuo and Lorenzo Thione, directed by Stafford Arima, at The Old Globe. Photo by Henry DiRocco.

    Allegiance, The Old Globe’s world premiere musical starring George Takei, Telly Leung and Lea Salonga, is in the lead with six nominations including Outstanding New Musical; an outstanding female featured performance nomination for Salonga’s portrayal of Kei Kimura and an outstanding male featured performance in a musical nod for Michael K. Lee as Frankie Suzuki. Helmer Stafford Arima was nominated for outstanding direction of a musical, Howard Binkley for outstanding lighting design and Darrel Maloney for outstanding projection design. The Old Globe’s Production Photos of George Takei, Lea Salonga, Telly Leung and Paolo Montalban in World Premiere of Allegiance – A New American Musical

    Moxie Theatre’s revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s, A Raisin in the Sun also...

  • In Memoriam: Senator Daniel Inouye 1924-2012

    Posted by Admin

    December 17, 2012

    American war hero and distinguished Senator Daniel Inouye has died at the age of 88 of respiratory complications at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

    "Tonight, our country has lost a true American hero," said President Barack Obama. Senator Inouye was the second longest serving senator in the U.S. and was awarded the Medal of Honor for his World War II heroics.

    He was a member of the U.S. Army's 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the most decorated unit in U.S. history. 

    For the full story click here

  • Dec. 6-22: Photo Exclusive of Samrat Chakrabarti and Sanjiv Jhaveri’s BUMBUG The Musical at The Clurman Theatre

    Posted by Lia Chang

    I can’t wait to get my holiday cheer on at the world premiere of BUMBUG The Musical, a new Rock Opera by Samrat Chakrabarti and Sanjiv Jhaveri, presented by LAUGHistan, during its limited engagement at The Clurman Theatre (Theatre Row, 410 West 42nd Street) in New York. I loved the workshop production of Bakwas Bumbug, presented by Desipina at the Wild Project in 2011, and have been anxiously awaiting its return.

    (Photo) Internationally Acclaimed singer Falu (center) shares her breathtaking voice and dance moves with the Angel Crew (left to right: Lipica Shah as Sunita, Matthew Knowland, Kiarri Andrews & Brooke Ishibashi) in the show stopper song “Ajaa Ajaa” from LAUGHistan’s World Premiere of “BUMBUG The Musical”. Photo Credit: Lia Chang

    (Photo) Andrew Ramcharan Guilarte as “Scroogewala” from LAUGHistan’s World Premiere of “BUMBUG The Musical”. Photo Credit: Lia Chang

    Performances begin Thursday, December 6 and continue through Saturday, December 22. Opening Night is Saturday, December 15 (8 p.m.).

    Helmed by Mercedes Murphy, BUMBUG The Musical, is an electrifying musical reinvention of “A Christmas Carol” told through the looking glass of NYC Immigrants and Hyphenated America. Like so many immigrants, disillusioned Deli-owner Scroogewala left his motherland years ago to pursue the American dream. Amidst his battle with holiday merriment, Scroogewala is visited by a motley crew of misfits who remind him that love, loss and laughter are all a part of that dream he’d almost given up on.

    (Photo) Andrew Ramcharan Guilarte as “Scroogewala” (center) with the Angel Crew (left to right: Brooke Ishibashi, Kiarri Andrews & Matthew Knowland) from LAUGHistan’s World Premiere of “BUMBUG The Musical”. Photo Credit: Lia Chang

    BUMBUG The Musical is the FIRST Full Length Musical authored and produced by the Indian-American diaspora in New York City. The production stars Kiarri Andrews, Andrew Guilarte*, Brooke Ishibashi*,...

  • A Few Words about Burton Fong-Torres 1949-2012 by Ben Fong-Torres

    Posted by Admin

    Photo: Burton Fong-Torres with mother Connie Fong-Torres

    San Francisco

    Burton, My Brother

    by Ben Fong-Torres

    The hardest part about losing a sibling – or anyone close to you, come to think of it – is having to go out and see friends and hear those most innocent of questions: “What’s new with you?” or “How’re you doing?”

    Depending on who’s asking, I’ve been saying, “All right, thanks, and you?” or “Not so great. My younger brother died.” And then you gird yourself for the questions and sympathy, and you let out a couple of details, and try to figure out a transition to another subject; any other subject.

    That’s how it’s been since November 11th, the Sunday of Thanksgiving week. Burton, who was 63 and the youngest of us five children, died after several years of living with a weak heart, helped not at all by kidney dialysis.  Since childhood, Burton was slow, and did not advance far, in school or in life. Later in life, he had no friends. And so, when he passed away, we, his family, chose not to have a service. Our mother, 91, is in nursing care and in no shape, physical or mental, to be attending a funeral for the third child she has lost.

    So, no obituary, no service, no facebook page, as we had for my sister Shirley, who died in June of last year. She was a public person, constantly in the media. Burt was the flip side.

    But he was vitally important in our family. As a close friend wrote, “Looking back, Burton was a blessing for your family. He was the one who kept your parents company.” At the Bamboo Hut, our restaurant in Hayward, after the older kids had finally escaped to college and beyond, Burt stayed and helped out until our parents closed it in the mid-‘70s.  After our father died in 1994, Burton, who by then had ended an arranged marriage with a woman from Hong Kong, moved into my parents’ condo in Oakland’s Chinatown. It was an unorthodox arrangement, a 45 year old son moving in with his 73 year-old mother. But, in many ways, they needed each other.

    Even when...

  • Dec 5 Ben Fong-Torres hosts a Q&A with The Doors Ray Manzarek LIVE on FACEBOOK to Premiere LIVE AT THE BOWL '68 Concert Film

    Posted by Suzanne Kai

    The Doors Perform Live on Facebook

     December 5th   8:30pm EST - 5:30pm PST

    Ben Fong-Torres hosts a LIVE Q&A with The Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek

    Qello and Eagle Rock Entertainment Host a Facebook Digital Premiere of the Restored LIVE AT THE BOWL ’68 Concert Film.

    10PM EST – 7PM PST

    New York, NY – On December 5th, fans of The Doors will have the opportunity to watch Jim Morrison, Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek, & John Densmore like never-seen-before live in concert on Facebook. Qello, the music entertainment digital streaming service, along with Eagle Rock Entertainment are hosting a Facebook Digital Premiere of The Doors 1968 live concert at the Hollywood Bowl, which is considered to be the band’s finest concert on film.

    The film of this historic concert has been meticulously restored using the original camera negatives; the audio has been remixed and mastered and three unreleased tracks have been resurrected, marking the first time the concert can be seen in its entirety. 

    The Doors keyboardist, Ray Manzarek says, “the quality is stunning, mind-blowing; it’s like being there right on that Hollywood Bowl stage with me, Jim, John, and Robby.”

    A ticket to the Facebook Digital Premiere comes with a trove of treats for music fans; for $4.99 ticket holders get:

    oAccess to watch LIVE AT THE BOWL ‘68 for 30-days. oAccess to participate in the *LIVE Q&A with Ray Manzarek on Dec.5th (immediately following the premiere) hosted by legendary Rolling Stone editor, Ben Fong-Torres, who was the last known reporter to interview Jim Morrison before his death. oAccess to The Doors Box Set, including When You’re Strange, The Doors Live in Europe ’68, and The Doors Classic Album. oFree 30-day All-Access Pass to Qello’s entire library of HD Concerts and Music Documentaries available on up to five devices.

    All of the above is FREE for Qello All-Access subscribers.

    Tickets are available on the Facebook Digital Premiere page at:

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