Spotlight

  • Crazy Rich Asians - The Movie is coming to screens August, 2018

    Posted by Suzanne Kai

    Crazy Rich Asians - The Movie is coming to screens August, 2018
    Hollywood December 20, 2017   Crazy Rich Asians directed by Jon M. Chu is coming to theaters August 17, 2018   This marks the first all-Asian ensemble cast for a Hollywood movie in more than two decades. The last movie to have an all-Asian cast was The Joy Luck Club. Based on the novel by Kevin Kwan, the movie stars Constance Wu ("Fresh Off the Boat") as Rachel, a professor of...

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  • Exclusive video interviews with Hold These Truths Playwright Jeanne Sakata, Star Joel de la Fuente and Director Lisa Rothe

    Posted by Lia Chang

    (Photo by Lia Chang) In the dressing room with Joel de la Fuente, who stars as Gordon Hirabayashi in Jeanne Sakata’s Hold These Truths at The Theatre at the 14th Street Y in New York through November 25, 2012. 

    (Photo below by Lia Chang) In the dressing room with Joel de la Fuente, who stars as Gordon Hirabayashi in Jeanne Sakata’s Hold These Truths at The Theatre at the 14th Street Y in New York on November 24, 2012. Joel is holding a photo of Esther Schmoe and Gordon Hirabayashi on their wedding day, August 05, 1944. 

    By Lia Chang

    As Gordon Hirabayashi, Joel de la Fuente is a revelation in his nuanced tour-de-force portrayal of Gordon, seamlessly transforming into 30+ other characters throughout the course of The Epic Theatre Ensemble’s New York premiere of Jeanne Sakata’s critically-acclaimed solo play Hold These Truths (formerly known as Dawn’s Light: The Journey of Gordon Hirabayashi), directed by Lisa Rothe, which recently played an extended run at The Theatre at the 14th Street Y in New York.   (Click on the blue link above or here for the full feature and videos.)

    Playwright Jeanne Sakata was inspired by a true story to write Hold These Truths, which is set in Seattle during World War II, where University of Washington student Gordon Hirabayashi is agonizing over U.S. government orders to forcibly remove and mass incarcerate all people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast. As he fights to reconcile his country’s betrayal with his passionate belief in the U.S. Constitution, Hirabayashi journeys toward a greater understanding of America’s triumphs — and a confrontation with its failures.

    President Obama posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Gordon Hirabayashi (1918-2012), the nation’s highest civilian honor, in April 2012.

    (Photo by Lia Chang) Joel de la Fuente, Jeanne Sakata and Daniel Dae Kim. 

    Check out the Rave Reviews. THE NEW YORKER

    “One of the stunning things about Joel de la Fuente’s...

  • APAICS Congratulates New Asian American and Pacific Islander Members of 113th US Congress

    Posted by Lia Chang

    Ami Bera campaigning with former President Bill Clinton Photo: Ami Bera Campaign

     

    APAICS Congratulates New Asian American and Pacific Islander 

    Members of 113th US Congress

    Update as of November 23, 2012:

    Washington, DC -- On Tuesday, November 6, 2012 five new Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) leaders were elected to serve in the 113th United States Congress, with one race for California's 7th Congressional District near Sacramento too close to call on Election night.

    The Associated Press called the race on November 15 in favor of Dr. Ami Bera who was running against incumbent Republican Dan Lundgren. This was Bera's second attempt to unseat Lundgren.

    Dr. Bera, 45, a Los Angeles-born physician becomes the third Indian-American elected to the House of Representatives, after Singh Saund in 1952, and Governor Bobby Jindal who was elected in 2004 and is still Governor of Louisiana.

    Update as of November 23, 2012: Longtime incumbent Republican Dan Lundgren, 66, a lifelong politician who has served 9 terms in Congress, and was a former State Attorney General has not issued a statement on his official website.

    Under California law, a recount may be requested by a candidate or voter within five days after the county registrar has finalized results. It is not known if Lundgren will pursue a recount.  

    Image: Dr. Ami Bera campaigning with former President Bill Clinton  Photo credit: Ami Bera Campaign

    Click here to the full story and photos of all five leaders. 

    Click here to the latest as Congress welcomes its freshmen, and invitees with "final election results pending."

    The Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) congratulates all the candidates who ran this historic cycle, and celebrates the victories of the winners as they prepare to serve in their new leadership roles:  

    Senator-elect Mazie Hirono (HI) Representative-elect Tammy Duckworth (IL-08)              Representative-elect Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) Representative-elect Grace...
  • A Giant celebration for a gigantic victory by Ben Fong-Torres

    Posted by Ben Fong-Torres

    With a nation grieving over the loss of loved ones and the destruction from Hurricane Sandy on the East coast, a relief concert "Coming Together" with artists including Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Joel and Sting raised funds for Hurricane Sandy victims at NYC's Rockefeller Center which aired on NBC, HBO, and other outlets. With more recovery and fundraising efforts underway, our spirits are uplifted by the countless stories of courage and heroism by people helping people in the face of Hurricane Sandy. On the West coast, Ben Fong-Torres describes the dancing in the streets of San Francisco, and a thumbs up by Mayor Ed Lee over a World Series win with people from all walks of life and ethnicities coming together. The capacity of the human spirit is boundless. There is hope after all. - Suzanne Joe Kai, editor, AsianConnections.com

    By Ben Fong-Torres

    Yes, there was the joyful craziness, the dancing in the streets of San Francisco when Giants closer Sergio Romo struck out triple crown winner Miguel Cabrera in Detroit to win the World Series. (click here to full story with images)

    And yes, there was the victory parade and Civic Center celebration, drawing more than a million fans into San Francisco, from all over Northern California.

    But I also think of the line of 15 or 20 people in front of a tiny Taco Bell/KFC place on a recent late Tuesday afternoon. Taco Bell had promised free tacos if any player in the Series stole a base.

    The Giants center fielder, Angel Pagan, came through. He not only scored tacos – Doritos tacos, mind you – for hundreds of thousands of people, he showed up at one restaurant and helped assemble tacos behind a drive-through counter. “I feel happy that I brought everybody together in the United States,” he said.

    The next day was the big parade, and Romo struck a similar theme of togetherness. Sporting a T-shirt reading “I Just Look Illegal,” Romo, who is Mexican-American, looked into the mass of...

  • Nov. 9 Wexner Center Event: A Conversation between Renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz and Rolling Stone founder, publisher and editor Jann S. Wenner

    Posted by Admin

    Columbus, Ohio

    Friday November 9, 2012 renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz will have a conversation with Rolling Stone's co-founder, publisher, and editor Jann S. Wenner at the Wexner Center for the Arts Mershon Auditorium in Columbus, Ohio.

    Their collaboration at Rolling Stone in the 1970s is legendary. Their subsequent—and independent—roles are also legendary as interpreters and shapers of the social, cultural, and political history of America. This event is part of a public celebration of the prestigious Wexner Prize which will be presented in a ceremony to Ms. Leibovitz on Saturday November 10. 

    Annie Leibovitz Photo by Nick Rogers courtesy of Leibovitz Studio © 2012 

    Annie Leibovitz is the 2012 recipient of the prestigious Wexner Prize which recognizes an artist whose work reflects exceptional innovation and the highest standards of artistic quality and integrity.  

    A major presentation of work of more than 200 photographs by Annie Leibovitz is on view now through December 30, 2012 at the Wexner Center for the Arts on the Ohio State University campus in Columbus, Ohio.

    The Wexner Center is the first institution to be able to exhibit the complete "Master Set" which is a collection of 156 photographs personally selected by Annie Leibovitz. The exhibition will include photographs from her recent book "Pilgrimage," a project featuring interiors, landscapes and talismanic objects attached to historical figures including Abraham Lincoln, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Georgia O'Keefe, Elvis Presley, and Emily Dickinson, among others. 

    Annie Leibovitz began her career as a photojournalist for Rolling Stone magazine in 1970, while she was still a student at the San Francisco Art Institute. By 1983, when she joined the staff of the revived Vanity Fair, she was established as the foremost rock music photographer and an astute documentarian of the social landscape.

    Annie Leibovitz was Rolling Stone's Chief Photographer, during the period when Ben...

  • Playing Lady Thiang in the Harbor Lights’ Production of The King and I is a dream come true for Christine Toy Johnson

    Posted by Lia Chang

    For Christine Toy Johnson, playing Lady Thiang opposite Mel Sagrado Maghuyop as The King and Tamara Jenkins as Anna, in the Harbor Lights Theater Company’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I, is a dream come true.

    Christine Toy Johnson Photo by Bruce Alan Johnson

    “I’ve been so lucky to have had a chance to play so many of my dream roles: “Maria” in West Side Story, “Julie” in Carousel, “Cunegonde” in Candide, “Amalia” in She Loves Me — and now, to finally get to play “Lady Thiang” after chasing her for so many years really feels like a dream come true,” said Johnson, an award-winning actor, playwright, filmmaker and advocate for inclusion in the arts. “I’m so glad it’s here and now, with this company, at this time.”

    As a performer, she has been featured extensively on Broadway, off-Broadway, in regional theatres across the country, in film, television, and concerts worldwide. Highlights include the New York revivals of The Music Man, Merrily We Roll Along, Pacific Overtures, and Falsettoland, the national tours of Cats,Flower Drum Song and Bombay Dreams, and leading roles at some of the most well-respected theatres across the country including the Huntington Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, the Berkshire Theatre Festival, Indiana Rep, Missouri Rep, Paper Mill Playhouse, Denver Center Theatre Company, Minnesota Opera, California Musical Theatre, the Ogunquit Playhouse, the Weston Playhouse and the Hangar Theatre. Nearly 100 television appearances include two years as “Lisa West” on “One Life To Live,” “Ugly Betty,” “The Big C, “Fringe,” “Royal Pains,” “Crossing Jordan,” “Nunsense,” “Nunsense 2” and many episodes of various Law and Orders.” Recent guest starring spots on TV include “30 ROCK” in an episode called “Plan B”, and as Vanessa Williams’ friend “Julie” in “666 Park Ave.”

    The King and I director Alan Muraoka and...

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