Memoirs of a Ninja, the world's first martial arts musical comedy, will have its world premiere at the Secret Rose Theatre in NoHo on July 21. With book and lyrics by Keisuke Hoashi, music by Brian Lewis, the musical is directed by Derek Chin and features the choreography of John Dyer V. Martial arts stunts and choreography are by Michelle Kato and Ken Yoshizumi. Hoashi plays the lead role.
The plot of Ninja details the adventures of a group of ninjas who seek more peaceful pursuits than the brutal plans of world domination espoused by their evil leader Xix'ian Ju. One ninja wants to be a gourmet pastry chef. Another years to star in a Broadway musical.
"The show, running through Aug. 27, parodies all facets of the entertainment industry and makes serious observations that skewer Asian racism and debunk stereotyping," said Hoashi, whose previous local acting credits include Onizuka: Kona's Son and Reunification Hotel. He studied playwriting with Julian Barry.
Chin began acting in Hong Kong and pursued graduate studies in film at USC.
The cast also includes Aiko Yamamoto, V. Ray Boddie, Ron Edward Baker, Alicia-Lee, Vicki Rovel-Kirk, Mimi Chen and stunt performers The Martial Entertainers.Secret Rose Theatre is located at 11246 Magnolia Blvd. in NoHo. For tickets and information call (818) 754- 8686 or visit www.memoirsofaninja.com.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent