• The Honorable March Fong Eu 1922 - 2017

    Posted by Suzanne Kai

    The Honorable March Fong Eu 1922 - 2017
    January 9, 2018 Oakland, California The Honorable March Fong Eu will be laid to rest tomorrow Wednesday January 10, 2018. Memorial services will be held at 10AM (PST) at Chapel of the Chimes, at 4488 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, California. She has left us with a lasting legacy of a lifetime of service to our world, and inspiring us to strive to make our world a better place. You will be...

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  • Catching Up: Santana, Taj Mahal and a déjà vu ‘Blue Christmas’

    Posted by Ben Fong-Torres

    By Ben Fong-Torres

    It’s short shrift time.

    I have a life that’s ripe (and slightly wrinkled) for blogs and tweeting; for facebooking and updating.

    I’m just no good at it. My last column here on AsianConnections was about the memorial in late July for my sister Shirley. My last posting on the authors’ site, Redroom, was about a radio promo tour I did (20 stops, all on the phone in my home office) for my Eagles book. On my own home page, the last thing was about hanging with Johnny Depp at UC Berkley – in mid-October.

    Pathetic. But hey, when you’re busy having a life, it’s not easy stopping and writing about it -- although hundreds of thousands of people apparently do. I hear Steve Martin is an inveterate Tweeter, and he’s kind of a busy guy. But I can’t do it. Backstage with Depp, I realized that it was the perfect time to post on Twitter: “We’re about to go on stage; students are screaming already”—something like that. But Johnny and director Bruce Robinson were chatting; one must pay attention. So, no tweets from this twit.

    Bottom line: It’s time to catch up, and, with apologies, to give the following events & incidents short shrift.

    SANTANA: On Oct. 21, four days after the on-stager with Depp, about his movie, The Rum Diary, at Cal, I was at Mission High School, where Carlos Santana was a student in the late Sixties, soon after arriving from the streets of Tijuana, where he learned about music and life. That, he once told me, was his high school. But, at Mission High, joined by members of his band and special guests, including the great Edward James Olmos (whose stint as one of the villains on Dexter had just begun), Santana and Olmos imparted words of wisdom and inspiration to the assembled student body. Carlos advised that they find their passion. “We talk about jobs,” he said. “I never worked a day in my life, because I love what I do.” He jammed with members of Mission High’s guitar club on “Oye Como...

  • DOGS LIE - Starring Samrat Chakrabarti, Frank Boyd and Ewa Da Cruz, Wins Best Film (USA) and Feature Film Audience Award at 2011 ITN Distribution Film and New Media Festival

    Posted by Lia Chang


    Dogs Lie, Richard Atkinson’s latest indie feature starring Samrat Chakrabarti (Elle Magazine Top 100 Talents to watch), Frank Boyd and Ewa Da Cruz, scored two awards, for “Best Film” (USA) and the “Feature Film Audience Award,” at the 2011 ITN Distribution Film and New Media Festival in New York.

    “It was a great thrill for all involved to receive recognition,” said director Richard Atkinson. “The movie will be released in 2012 and will highlight a cast of rapidly rising acting talent……I’m sure we will be seeing a lot more of Samrat Chakrabarti, Frank Boyd and Ewa Da Cruz… they have all been involved in multiple movie and TV projects since we shot Dogs Lie….they are exceptional …TNA World Wrestling Champion, Ken Anderson, has a feature role as Yuri a Russian mobster. It all makes for great entertainment with unexpected twists and turns.”

    Dogs Lie won “Honorable Mention” at the Los Angeles Movie Awards 2011 and was an “Official Selection” at The Big Apple Film Festival (BAFF) in NY, the La Femme International Film Festival in LA, and the Filmi SE Asian Film Festival in Toronto, where it was the “showcase feature.”Samrat Chakrabarti plays Iqbal Khani, a likeable, conscientious clinician and romantic opportunist, alongside Frank Boyd as Josh Logan, a clinician who is a compulsive jokester with a competitive streak. The two are thrown together with eight patients at a luxury NY sleep clinic for a night of monitoring and observation. As the night progresses dark secrets are revealed. The beautiful Lucia ( Ewa Da Cruz), a patient, finds herself the center of attention as her life seemingly spins out of control. Nothing is quite as it seems. romance, blackmail and murder ensue as humor and irreverence give way to devious self interest.

    Shiv on the drums, Samrat Chakrabarti, Bakwas Bumbug co-creator, co-director and composer in rehearsal at DANY Studios in New York on 6/16/11. © 2011 Lia Chang

    I caught up with the...

  • Chinglish is Named in TIME Magazine’s Top 10 of the Year - Meet the Cast after Select Performances

    Posted by Lia Chang

    Kathryn Layng, producer Lily Fan, playwright David Henry Hwang, and director Leigh Silverman backstage at the Longacre Theatre before the opening night of Chinglish Oct 27, 2011. Photo by Lia Chang


    Time Magazine has named David Henry Hwang’s sexy and hilarious new play Chinglish the number three show out of the Top 10 Broadway shows of the year. Chinglish will feature special audience post-show talkbacks with the cast and creative team members at the Longacre Theatre in New York.

    Beginning Wednesday, December 14th after the evening show, the cast will come out to answer audience questions. The mostly bi-lingual and multi-cultural cast will also be answering questions in Mandarin and maybe give a lesson or two. In addition to the 14th, talkbacks will be held after the show on December 20th, 21st, 22nd, 27th, 28th, 29th.

    After the post-show talkbacks, head to the front of the orchestra and you’ll have the opportunity to meet the cast members.

    Chinglish is a new comedy about the misadventures of miscommunication. It is the story of an American businessman desperate to launch a new enterprise in China. There are only three things standing in his way: He can’t speak the language. He can’t learn the customs. And he’s falling in love with the one woman he absolutely can’t have.


    The Chinglish cast features Jennifer Lim, Gary Wilmes, Angela Lin, Christine Lin, Stephen Pucci, Johnny Wu and Larry Lei Zhang.

    The play is directed by Leigh Silverman, who directed Lisa Kron’s Well on Broadway and won a 2011 OBIE for directing both Go Back To Where You Are and In The Wake, Chinglish had its world premiere this summer at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.

    In November, the production received two Jeff Awards – for Hwang (New Work-Play) and scenic designer David Korins (Scenic Design-Large), at the 43rd Annual Jeff Awards held at Drury Lane Oakbrook in Chicago.


    Playwright David Henry Hwang in front of the Longacre Theatre in New York, where his new comedy Chinglish is currently playing on Broadway. Photo by Lia Chang

    Chinglish, by Tony Award-winning and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly), is playing at the...

  • New Reality TV Show Pilot Features Asian Pacific Males - That's right! by Suzanne Joe Kai

    Posted by Suzanne Kai

    While it appears that acting opportunities are improving for Asian Pacific Americans in Hollywood, it is still a rare sighting to find a handsome, sexy Asian American male in a non-stereotypical role in mainstream television and movies. Unless you are one of the lucky ones cast in the TV series Hawaii Five-0, Asian American male actors are more often cast in roles as thugs, geeks, martial arts experts, or as tourists or characters with a funny foreign accent.

    Nareth Chuon and Jason Peers, two young professionals in Los Angeles are on a mission to make a difference.

    First, they spent their weekends and nights after their day jobs producing a health and fitness style calendar called the 2010 Asian Pacific Male (APM) Calendar featuring handsome and sexy Asian American men to raise funds for charity, with renowned photographer Jeff Sheng, one of the three original creators with Chuon and Peers. The calendar and the charity fundraising was a hit. 

    Now, Chuon and Peers want to take their calendar and charity fundraising concept to television. They have just completed filming a reality TV pilot based on their experiences co-producing the calendar project, with hope that the episodes will begin production in Spring, 2012. 

    Peers said the original project was a success because "people had never seen anything like this before." Before the 2010 Asian Pacific Male Calendar Asian American men were usually photographed on "rafts or holding a bamboo fan," he quipped. The 2010 APM calendar models were photographed doing activities such as surfing, mountain climbing and riding motorcycles.

    Chuon and Peers partnered their calendar project with the Asian Pacific Health Care Venture raising awareness and funds for the non-profit community-based health care organization which provides medical and wellness services in at least fourteen languages.

    Peers said the calendar was a "passion project" and they didn't take a penny from any of the sales, but paid for the hard costs...

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