Entertainment Spotlight

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

Posted by Ben Fong-Torres - on Tuesday, 27 December 2011

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

Arts & Entertainment

Racist Tweets after Miss America Nina Davuluri is crowned - first Indian-American to win title

Posted by AC Team on Monday, 16 September 2013

Racist Tweets after Miss America Nina Davuluri is crowned - first Indian-American to win title

 

September 15, 2013

Atlantic City, N.J. 

Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri Photo credit: The Miss America Organization / ABC

CNN.com reported examples of racist tweets that were posted on Twitter by some users right after Nina Davuluri was crowned Miss America tonight. The 24 year old Miss New York made history as the first Indian American to win the Miss America title. Miss Davuluri's talent routine was a Bollywood fusion dance. 

In response to the racist tweets on Twitter, including some Twitter users accusing her of being Arab and a terrorist, Ms. Davuluri said at her first press conference after winning the crown in Atlantic City, "I have to rise above that."  "I always viewed myself as first and foremost American."

Ms. Davuluri said "I'm thankful there are children watching at home who can finally relate to a new Miss America." 

A native of Syracuse, New York, Davuluri is applying to medical school. As the 2014 Miss America, she will receive a $50,000 scholarship as part of her pageant title. 

Ms. Davuluri's first runner-up is Miss California Crystal Lee. Lee performed a ballet dance, is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese, and obtained a B.A. and M.A. from Stanford in four years.

Davuluri is the second Asian American to win the title. The first Asian American to win the title of Miss America was Angela Perez-Baraquio who won in 2001 and is of Filipino descent.

For more on the story:

MissAmerica.org

ABCNews.go.com

CNN.com

USAToday.com

Jeff Yang, writer of Tao Jones column for Wall Street Journal Online

Related: RedAlertLive.com reports racist slurs for Puerto Rican singer Marc Anthony by some Twitter users for Singing 'God Bless America' and the young Mexican-American boy Sebastien De La Cruz for singing the National Anthem During the NBA Finals. 

Lia Chang Stars in "Power Play" by Lorey Hayes July 31-August 1, 2013

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Friday, 26 July 2013

Lia Chang Stars in

July 26, 2013

Actress Lia Chang stars in the award-winning play "Power Play"  by playwright/actress Lorey Hayes in Winston-Salem, North Carolina July 31-August 1. 

We are proud to take over Lia's "Backstage Pass" column this month to congratulate her on her upcoming performance in "Power Play."

Lia stars with Pauletta Pearson Washington, aka Mrs. Denzel Washington ("The Watsons Go to Birningham"), Lorey Hayes ("Dreamgirls)", Roscoe Orman ("Sesame Street"), Marcus Naylor ("Law & Order: Special Victims Unit)", and Phynjuar ("Meet the Browns").

Photo credit courtesy by Wiliam J. Chang (L to R) Pauletta Pearson Washington, Lia Chang, Roscoe Orman, Lorey Hayes.

The actors will perform the play in a staged reading at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

“Power Play” by Lorey Hayes
 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 3 p.m. July 31 and Aug. 1
 Shirley Recital Hall, Salem College, 500 E. Salem Ave., Winston-Salem
 Tickets: $25
 Information: 723-7907, www.nbtf.org.
Tickets also are available from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Saturday at the N.C. Black Repertory Company office,
610 Coliseum Drive, Winston-Salem.
Starting Tuesday, tickets may be purchased from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. daily at
Benton Convention Center, 301 W. Fifth St., Winston-Salem.

About "Power Play":

 Roscoe Orman's Franklin Wright has been propelled to political stardom by his Asian American campaign manager, played by Lia Chang.

Just three days before the election, hoping to become California’s first African American governor he finds himself in a scandal that threatens his career and marriage — a scandal based on a secret that his wife, played by Paulette Pearson Washington, has harbored for years.
 

Related:

National Black Theatre...

Update: Go see Linsanity! Jeremy Lin's "Linsanity" Documentary hit theaters Oct 11, 2013 but watch for earlier releases in your area!

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Update: Go see Linsanity! Jeremy Lin's

October 6, 2013 Update: Linsanity is in selected theaters now! Buy tickets and go!

October 4, 2013 UPDATE: Go see Linsanity!

"Linsanity" the docoumentary begins screening in theaters in a limited release October 11, but keep an eye out for earlier screenings in your area!

Its a terrific documentary! Show support on the opening weekend by buying tickets!

July 24, 2013

Mark your calendars!

Variety Film Reporter Dave McNary reports exclusively that "Linsanity" the documentary about Jeremy Lin directed by Evan Jackson Leong, and produced by Christopher Chen, Allen Lu and Brian Yang will be released in theaters beginning October 4, 2013.  

For the full story by Dave McNary at Variety click here.

I saw the documentary at a press screening earlier this year, and a second time at CAAMFest 2013's Opening Night in San Francisco, and look forward to its theatrical release. 

If you would like to join the movie's "Street Team" to get the word out click here to fill out the Linsanity - Street Team form or go straight to the website and find the link at www.Linsanitythemovie.com. 

If you would ike to host your own screening with your group you can fill out a form at the official website www.Linsanitythemovie.com/screening

"Linsanity" credits:

Executive Producer: Sam Kwok, James Stern, Patricia Sun
Producer: Christopher Chen, Allen Lu, Brian Yang
Cinematographer: Evan Leong
Editor: Greg Louie

Here's the description of "Linsanity" from CAAMFest 2013:

Continue Reading

Live! Tune in tomorrow Sat. July 6, 2013 10am PST to hear Ben Fong-Torres sing Bob Dylan and Elvis songs!

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Saturday, 06 July 2013

Live! Tune in tomorrow Sat. July 6, 2013 10am PST to hear Ben Fong-Torres sing Bob Dylan and Elvis songs!

Ben Fong-Torres sang a Bob Dylan song on network television some years ago. While he might not get into costume as Dylan this time, he is going to make a rare appearance tomorrow singing Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley songs. Don't miss! Log on live online at WCL.org at 10AM PST Saturday July 6, 2013! 

Update July 7, 2013

Ben's performance can be heard online at West Coast Live's archives on KALW public radio 91.7 FM San Francisco for one week after the show. 

Tune In Live at 10am PST Saturday July 6, 2013!

Tomorrow!! From the Rock 'n' Roll man himself! -

Don't miss Ben Fong-Torres as he sings Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley songs tomorrow morning!

Log On to WCL.org to hear Ben's special appearance tomorrow on Sedge Thomson's West Coast Live show at 10am Pacific Standard Time.

Rumor has it that Ben, and friends including musician/author Sam Barry are the opening act! So, tune it right at 10am tomorrow!

Two ways to see Ben sing:

1. Log on to WCL.org to hear Ben sing live online at WCL.org

or

2. Attend Sedge Thomson's West Coast Live Show In person at the Ferry Building in San Francisco! (tickets at WCL.org)

 

 

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Invites Lucy Liu, Sandra Oh, Miyazaki Collaborator Joe Hisaishi, DP Michael Chin and others to become Members

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Monday, 01 July 2013

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Invites Lucy Liu, Sandra Oh, Miyazaki Collaborator Joe Hisaishi, DP Michael Chin and others to become Members


Beverly Hills, CA

 Photo credit used by permission: Emmy Magazine, Lucy Liu

 
Congratulations to all of the 2013 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences invitees.

"These individuals are among the best filmmakers working in the industry today," said Academy President Hawk Koch. "Their talent and creativity have captured the imagination of audiences worldwide, and I am proud to welcome each of them to the Academy. Invitees who accept their invitation to join will be eligible to vote in the annual Oscars.

The 276 invitees for 2013 include 12 names with Asian surnames that could be informally determined from the official Academy list. 

The 2013 invitees include actors Lucy Liu and Sandra Oh, CEO of Warner Bros Entertainment Kevin Tsujihara, documentary filmmaker Michael Chin, and composer and music director Joe Hisaishi who is a frequent collaborator to animation director Hayao Miyazaki ("Ponyo,""Spirited Away").

In 2012,  the overall list was 100 names shorter than 2013's. Only 7 people with Asian surnames made the 2012 list of 176 invitees including (Actor) Michelle Yeoh (“The Lady,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"), (Cinematographer)  Larry Fong ("Super 8,” “300”), (Cinematographer) Toyomichi Kurita ("Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family," "Waiting to Exhale"), (Director) Wong Kar Wai (“My Blueberry Nights,” “In the Mood for Love”), (Music) Ryuichi Sakamoto (“Love Is the Devil,” “The Last Emperor”),  (Short Film/Feature Animation) Jennifer Yuh Nelson (“Kung Fu Panda 2,” “Madagascar”).

The New York Times reports that the Academy had limited its membership numbers since 2004 by using quotas within its branches, but has now...