[MEDIA] B.D. Wong in Broadway's Pacific Overture & "Social Grace" w/Margaret Cho
- Wong: It's a B'way occasion for Asians
By REBECCA LOUIE
DAILY NEWS FEATURE WRITER
'There aren't a lot of plays where we get to feel this dignified.' -
Social Grace (2005)- http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0409301/ / Directed
by B.D. Wong / Writing credits - Fay Ann Lee / Cast includes
Genre: Comedy / Romance
Plot Outline: An Asian-American woman, love-struck by one of New
York City's most eligible bachelors, bravely faces the complications
and challenges of their high-profile interracial relationship.
Gale Harold .... Andrew
Fay Ann Lee .... Grace
rest of cast listed alphabetically
Billy Asher .... Jim
Christine Baranski .... Bree
Laura Benanti .... Alexandra
Lewis Black .... Rob York
Jeff Blumenkrantz .... Richard
Leanne Cabrera .... Seamtress
Wayne Chang .... Chinese Waiter
Cindy Cheung .... Kari Mills
Clem Cheung .... Ba
Margaret Cho .... Janie
John Cooney .... Salesperson
Tania Deighton .... Diane
Laura Derby .... Janice Douglas
David N. Dinkins .... Himself
Sal Di Piazza .... Delivery Man
Steven Drukman .... Colleague
Kandiss Edmundson .... Liz
Gretchen Egolf .... Bridget
Tim Ewing .... Jonathan Schwartz
Bobby Flay .... Himself
Ileen Getz .... Salesperson
Nick Gregory .... William
Jonathan Hadary .... Max
Ed Jewett .... Gary
Randall Duk Kim .... Mr. Hung
Ken Leung .... Ming
Jerome Loston .... French Waiter
Stephanie March .... Kay
Martha Millan .... Fanny
Robert Perillo .... Admissions Clerk
Sarah Rafferty .... Catherine
Roger Rees .... Barrington Sr.
Kali Rocha .... Carla
Gregory Scarnici .... Stock Brocker
Elizabeth Sung .... Ma
John Walsh .... Clark Douglas
Stephanie Wang .... Dr. Takashi
Virginia Wing .... Mrs. Hung
B.D. Wong .... Stephen
Keo Woolford .... Butler
Debora Yung .... Factory Waif
FAY ANN LEE
(Fay) is very pleased to return for her third production with
STW. Credits include: MISS SAIGON (Broadway and 1st National); INTO
THE WOODS (International). Off-Broadway and Regional: JOY LUCK CLUB,
PRIVATE LIVES, LETTERS TO A STUDENT REVOLUTIONARY, A CHRISTMAS
CAROL, THE COMEDY OF ERRORS, among many others. TV: LAW & ORDER,
THIRD WATCH, ONE LIFE TO LIVE. Film: HENRY FOOL (Best Screenplay at
"Pacific Overtures" has Pacific overtones in a new Broadway
production -and B.D. Wong, its star, couldn't be happier.
"There really aren't a lot of plays where [Asian-American actors]
get to feel this dignified," says Wong, who leads an Asian-American
cast as the narrator in the 1976 Stephen Sondheim-John Weidman
musical about the opening of Japan to the West in the 19th century.
"For the first time in many of our careers, we are not being put in
a position where someone is trying to re-create a world they known
The Roundabout Theatre Company's production at Studio 54 has been
reworked to emphasize the Japanese perspective on these historical
events. Director Amon Miyamoto, famous in his home country for
staging Japanese-language versions of American shows like "Urine-
town" and "Into the Woods," has added elements of traditional kabuki
and Noh theater.
Wong, 42, saw the original when he was a teen in San Francisco.
"This was a time when my parents would call me into the living room
if there was an Asian person on TV, which always needed to be noted,
whether it was an embarrassing portrayal or not, because it was ...
so rare," he remembers. "This show was so influential because there
was no such thing as a Broadway musical with Asian-American actors
Though his passion for the theater was fueled, so was a feeling of
"I felt it was a cruel joke that I loved this thing so much, but it
was so impractical to think of this as a way of life. There would
either be no jobs, or humiliating ones."
Ironically, Wong became a pioneer. In 1988, he won a slew of awards
when he debuted in David Henry Hwang's "M. Butterfly," the story of
a Chinese spy who poses as a woman in a 25-year relationship with a
French diplomat. Today, he has a recurring role as George Huang
on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" and as Father Ray Mukada on
HBO's "Oz." But he feels that it is still a struggle for Asian-
"You can name, probably on one hand, the series regulars who are on
network television," says Wong.
For that reason, Wong has turned to independent film and is
currently in postproduction for "Social Grace,"
(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0409301/) about an Asian-American woman
who falls for an affluent white man. It's also his debut as a
The cast includes Margaret Cho, with whom he worked in 1994 on the
Asian-American family sitcom "All-American Girl."
However, Wong, who recently split with his partner, Richie Jackson,
is aware that discrimination extends beyond racial lines.
"The unfortunate misunderstanding right now that gay people are not
spiritual or good people is very sad to me," says the actor, who,
with Jackson, has a son, Jackson Foo Wong, via a surrogate mother.
"People say that all people are equal and they love their neighbor
and that we should all respect one another's differences," he
says. "In principle.
"But when someone vehemently points out that they could burn in Hell
for thinking that, it changes their vote."