Back in 1974, East West Players premiered Frank Chin's epic drama The Year of the Dragon at its old 99-seat home on Santa Monica Boulevard. Now EWP will revive the play Jan. 31-Feb. 25 at its new mid-sized theatre in Japantown, with original director (and artistic director emeritus) Mako once again handling the directorial chores.
The play's first run sparked much controversy and uproar, thanks to its black humor and wit. San Francisco Chinatown tour operator Fred Eng presents a stereotypical persona to his customers, despite his contempt for them. On the home front, things are driving him crazy, too: his dying father reveals that he has another wife in China—and is bringing her to San Francisco, much to the shock of Fred's mother and the rest of the family. Fred's middle sister is of no help and neither is her China-crazy husband, Ross. Little brother Johnny is a street punk and is getting into big trouble.
Mako's cast is comprised of Keone Young, Dana Lee, Mimosa, Trieu D. Tran, Momo Yashima, Shizuko Hoshi and Brian Mulligan. The set is designed by Yoichi Aoki with costumes by Don Quan. The lighting designer is Frank McKown, the sound designer Miles Ono.
East West Players is located at the David Henry Hwang Theatre at the Union Center for the Arts, 120 Judge John Aliso St. For tickets and information call Telecharge at (800) 233-3123. $15 rush tickets available one hour before curtain based on availability (not offered on Jan. 31).
— By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent