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[MEDIA] B.D. Wong in Broadway's Pacific Overture & "Social Grace" w/Margaret Cho

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  • madchinaman
    Wong: It s a B way occasion for Asians By REBECCA LOUIE DAILY NEWS FEATURE WRITER http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/story/259828p-222521c.html - There
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 10, 2004
      Wong: It's a B'way occasion for Asians
      By REBECCA LOUIE
      DAILY NEWS FEATURE WRITER
      http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/story/259828p-222521c.html


      -

      'There aren't a lot of plays where we get to feel this dignified.' -
      B.D. Wong

      Social Grace (2005)- http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0409301/ / Directed
      by B.D. Wong / Writing credits - Fay Ann Lee / Cast includes
      Margaret Cho

      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
      Brian Jose
      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.
      Robert Rickenbaker
      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
      http://www.stamfordtheatreworks.org/theatre/currentshow5actors.html
      (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
      Cannes).

      -


      "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
      nothing about."

      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
      in it."

      Though his passion for the theater was fueled, so was a feeling of
      desperation.

      "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-
      American actors.

      "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
      director.

      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."
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