East West Players has announced its forthcoming-- and 35th--season. Under the umbrella title of "Time of Your Life," EWP will present a season of works featuring Asian American history and the company's love for musicals by Stephen Sondheim.
The season will kick off Nov. 8 with a world premiere co-production (with Singapore Repertory Theatre) of Prince Gomovilas' The Theory of Everything. Gomovilas, the author of Big Hunk O' Burnin' Love, has set his new work in a Las Vegas wedding chapel where seven Asian-Americans gather every week for a UFO watch. The play won both the International Herald Tribune Playwriting Competition and the Julie Harris Playwright Award Competition. Loy Arcenas will direct and design the comedy, which closes Dec. 3, 2000.
Jan. 31 will see the opening of Frank Chin's The Year of the Dragon, with EWP founding artistic director Mako directing. The play caused an uproar when it was first produced in 1974. It not only influenced a generation of APA writers, but it also had a profound effect on a generation of Asian-Americans.
The third attraction will be A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, March 21-April 15, 2001. With book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart, music and lyrics by Sondheim, the musical is considered one of Broadway's best farces.
The fourth play is another Asian-American classic, Yankee Dawg You Die by Philip Kan Gotanda. Two different generations and two very different sensibilities clash in this serio-comic valentine to Asian American actors, past and present, which plays May 23-June 17.As an added play offering, EWP, in promotional collaboration with the Ahmanson Theatre, will offer premium seats to selected preview performances of Flower Drum Song, which will play at the Ahmanson next year. Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang has updated Oscar Hammerstein and Joseph Field's book to reflect a more contemporary vision of Chinese heritage in today's modern world.
Subscription tickets are now on sale at EWP. Individual tickets will not go on sale until March 2001. For information call (213) 625-7000.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent