The Asian-American characters seeking a dreamy Wonderland in Chay Yew's new play at the La Jolla Playhouse will at least find an official opening night, Oct. 1, following an earlier postponement.
The Sept. 22 opening night performance was canceled due to the injury of actor Alec Mapa, who pulled a muscle Sept. 21, but Mapa is now recovered and began performing again Sept. 26, according to a La Jolla Playhouse spokesperson.
The part was covered for a brief time by Joel De La Fuente, who conveniently plays the older version of Mapa's character in the play. The cast and director Lisa Peterson had to be creative: Sometimes Mapa and De La Fuente's characters are on stage at the same time.
Previews began Sept. 14 at the La Jolla Playhouse in southern California. Performances continue to Oct. 17. Sab Shimono, Tsai Chin, Mapa and De La Fuente play Asian characters searching for the American dream in the world premiere of Yew's Wonderland.
* De La Fuente narrates Yew's tale of an Asian-American architect (Shimono), his wife (Chin) and son (Mapa). The family dreams of living a charmed life in a perfect house by the Pacific, but unexpected developments threaten their happiness.
Designers are Rachel Hauck (set), Joyce Kim Lee (costumes) and Geoff Korf (lighting). Mark Bennett is the composer and sound designer.
The play had its beginnings in a work called Half Lives, part of Yew's Whitelands trilogy that includes Porcelain and A Language of Their Own.
Sab Shimono, whose character is known as Man, recently starred in Yew's Red in Seattle. He was the original Ito in Mame, starring Angela Lansbury, and starred in Hal Prince's Pacific Overtures. His more recent stage credits include Yankee Dawg You Die at Playwrights Horizons and The Wash at Manhattan Theatre Club.
Alec Mapa (playing Son) starred in the national tour of M. Butterfly and in Michael Greif's world premiere of Dogeaters.
Chin (Woman) appeared in the London production of M. Butterfly and in Golden Child in Washington DC, San Francisco and Singapore. She was featured in the films "The Joy Luck Club," "Blow Up" and "You Only Live Twice."
De La Fuente (Young Man) appeared in Peter Sellars' staging of The Peony Pavilion and the Public Theater's The Two Gentlemen of Verona.
For ticket information, call (858) 550-1070.
-- By Kenneth Jones