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inside news about Asians and women on stage

by Marilyn Abalos

The New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC), the largest multi-arts festival in North America, will present the 7th annual festival from August 8th - 24th, 2003. This year the festival will present programming by Asian and Asian American artists from over 200 of the world's best emerging theatre troupes and dance companies. Outdoor performances (FringeAlFresco), a series of panel discussions, workshops and conferences (FringeU), and a series of shows and activities for kids and families (FringeJr) will also be featured. For tickets and schedule information, call 212- 279-4488 or 1-888-FringeNYC, or visit www.FringeNYC.org.

In 2003, many of New York City's most prominent downtown venues will host productions from around the globe as part of FringeNYC, which will offer performances covering a wide range of disciplines, including dance, theater, performance art, children's theater, spoken word, and multimedia. Included in FringeNYC 2003 are works from 10 countries including France, India, Czech Republic, Canada, Australia, Venezuela, Germany, and Japan and 15 US states including: Illinois, Virginia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Georgia, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, and Florida. Highlights of FringeNYC 2003 include:


ARSAT: Fluid Motion Theater & Film, Inc. (New York, NY)
An adaptation of Joseph Conrad¹s "The Lagoon" incorporating traditional
Malaysian dance and Japanese Taiko drumming. The Play Room: SAT 8/9@2:15;
SUN 8/10@8:15; TUES 8/12@8:00; FRI 8/15@3:00; MON 8/18@7:00; THURS
8/21@5:45; SAT 8/23@5:150- 40min.

Set amidst the political turmoil of 1890s Malaysia, "Arsat" is the moving tale of a noble warrior who is forced to choose between loyalty to his brother and his love for a woman. Christine Simpson's evocative multidisciplinary adaptation will incorporate Japanese Taiko drumming and traditional Malaysian dance forms, celebrating the haunting beauty of Joseph Conrad's work and exploring the universal themes of love, familial duty and the impact of war on human relationships.

"Arsat" is adapted and directed by Artistic Direction Christine Simpson and will feature a versatile multiethnic case including Pun Bandhu, Eric Hanson and Kurt Uy, live Japanese Taiko drumming by John Ko and Wynn Yamami and traditional Malaysian choreography by Christine Hew. Fluid Motion Theater & Film, Inc. was established in 2002 by Jovinna Chan and Christine Simmpson for the purposes of commissioning and producing plays and films adapted from western and non-western literary and dramatic texts.

Tom X. Chao in Cats Can See the Devil

CATS CAN SEE THE DEVIL: The Present Company and Tom X. Chao (New York, NY)
A new play by Asian-American Tom X. Chao (The Negative Energy Field), combines puppets and actors in a hybrid form, featuring the return of Chao¹s most popular characters, The Abstract Geometrical Shapes. Under St. Marks: SAT 8/9:NOON; SUN 8/10@11:15; THUR 8/14@5:00; MON 8/18@9:15; SAT 8/23@8:45; SUN 8/24@3:45- 65min.

"Cats Can See The Devil: is a puppet show, but not a puppet show for children. It doesn't have a lot to do with cats or the devil. Instead, audiences will see an amazing inventive puppet show combining unique visual humor with Tom X. Chao's signature deadpan stage persona. Our Narrator (Chao) has assembled a team of five beautiful puppeteers to summarize ten thousand years of galactic psychohistory in which the Narrator recounts his deeply personal tale, "The Story of the Abstract Geometrical Shapes With No Allegorical Content."
Produced and Written by Tom X. Chao, "Cats Can See the Devil" is directed by John Harlacher. Leya Balsari, Tom X. Chao, Monica Cortez, Kim Katzberg, Mar, & Krista Worth are featured.
Tom X. Chao began his involvement with the Horse Trade Theater Group in the Fall of 2000 with an invitation to develop a new show at The St. Marks Theater, "Can't Get Started," later revived in the Spring of 2002 along with "The Negative Energy Field," again at the St. Marks. In the past six years, he has written, directed, and performed works at Dixon Place, HERE, The Knitting Factory, P.S.122, on WBAI-FM. and at the D.U.M.B.O. Art Under The Bridge, Pure Pop, and New York International Fringe Festivals. He regularly appears at variety shows including Timsloft, The Carmen Mofongo Show, Rumble in the Red Room (Pulse Ensemble Theater), First Tuesdays at The Cornelia St. Cafe, The Shark Show at the Slipper Room, and Modern Humorist Live.
Presently, Tom is readying his comedic science-fiction radio play, "The Scientists," for broadcast on WBAI-FM. He is also producing a music video of his original song, "Cannot Be Denied." Tom holds a degree in Cinema Production from the University of Southern California, where he also studied fiction with T. Coraghessan Boyle, Richard Yates, John Rechy, and Hubert Selby, Jr. He earned a Master's Degree from NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study.

Fisherman and His Soul

THE FISHERMAN AND HIS SOUL, KyoRyuKan Theater Company (Kyoto, Japan)
A new adaptation of Oscar Wilde's titular short story which tells the story of a Fisherman who chooses to send away his soul to win the love of a mermaid utilizing puppetry, dance and live music. Washington Square UMC: SAT 8/9@NOON; MON 8/11@3:00; TUES 8/12@8:00; WED 8/13@6:15; THUR 8/14@10:15; FRI8/15@5:00- 50min.

Adapted by Peter Golightly, "The Fisherman and His Soul" is about a fisherman in love with a mermaid who sends his soul away. Japanese Noh and Bunraku puppetry technique, classical Indian and modern dance, live music combine to tell a tale of love, betrayal and redemption. It's a child friendly tragedy.

KyoRyuKan was founded by Peter Golightly and Manivannan Naidu to provide Japan, or specifically western Japan with an off off Broadway, alternative to expensive publicly and privately owned theaters. The company also functions as a common ground for collaborations between different cultures, different art forms and though it my not seem relevant to Americans, different generations. Our open door policy is advanced by the center, but we seem to attract people who want to cross boarders.

"The name of the KyoRyuKan means "Dinosaur House", said Golightly. "It started as a joke because when I first moved into the "loft space", people here who are accustomed to very small living quarters were amazed that an artist of all people would take on something this big (by NYC standards it is not enormous). The other reason is that "space" in Japan is very expensive. Using a play on words we used to joke that my pay check was nothing more than feed money for my pet monster ("gesha wa essa desu" is kind of like my money is its honey). "Monster" became "Dinosaur", and we changed the characters so that instead of "terrible lizard" it means "the house of the capitol dragon" (our Kyo is the same as the one used for our city Kyoto)."


SMOKE: KyoRyuKan Theater Company (Kyoto, Japan) A dance/kyogen performance by Peter Golightly inspired by Japan¹s DaimonjiFestival where spirits of the dead ride on smoke from enormous fires and return to heaven. This comic and philosophical piece combines traditional Japanese and modern dance. Washington Square UMC: SAT 8/9@3:15; MON
8/11@9:45; TUES 8/12@5:00; WED 8/13@10:15; THUR 8/14@6:30; FRI 8/15@8:45-
45min. Sumie Sagame and the Performance Project join "Smoke."

RE: Dharma Road Productions, Inc. (New York, NY)
Japanese choreographers Akiko Furukawa, Aiichiro Miyagawa, Aya Shibahara and
Sakura Shimada each create an interlocking piece of this evening of dance,
which tenderly traces the soul¹s journey through its endless cycle of birth,
love, death and reincarnation. The Play Room: FRI 8/8@7:00; MON 8/11@3:00;
THURS 8/14@9:00; FRI 8/15@10:30; SAT 8/16@3:45; WED 8/20@5:00; SAT
8/23@NOON- 45min.

"re" is an experiment in collaboration a jigsaw puzzle of movement vignettes and video projections. The four choreographers create a piece and assemble the picture. Tenuouslyu unfurling lifelines across the unsettled sea of 21st century life, they confront their dreams and fears in the common recurrences of every day life and seek invisible connections with the eternal rhythms of existence. The piece blends contemporary and classical dance forms with gestural movement and dramatic situations juxtaposing lyrical and narrative modes of expression and Japanese and American cultural sensibilities to create a visual idiom unlike any other.

Dharma Road Productions Inc is a multi ethnic alliance of dance and theatre artists based in New York. Dharma Road serves to assist its seven founding artists in the production of their work and to assist and empower like spirited emerging artists, especially visiting international artists.

SIDES, THE FEAR IS REAL: Mr. Miyagi¹s Theater Company (New York, NY)
A frustrated cast of Asian actors takes on the biased world of casting in
this hilarious spoof on the audition process. Kraine: FRI 8/8@11:15; SAT
8/9@1:45; MON 8/18@11:00; THURS 8/21@9:45; FRI 8/22@4:30; SAT 8/23@10:15;
SUN 8/24@4:45- 75min.

Are you an actor? Are you related to an actor? Perhaps you know someone who used to be friends with someone who was married to someone who was once on "Law & Order"? Then you are aware of the bizarre and unpredictable process known as auditioning. Watch as six real actors live out their most hilarious and terrifying audition nightmares simply for your viewing pleasure.

"Sides" (a "side" is a segment of script used for audition purposes) is a sketch comedy show based on the stranger than tru live audition experiences of the actors: Sekiya Billman, Cindy Cheung, Paul Juhn,Peter Kim, Hoon Lee and Rodney Tu.

THE BOY WHO WOULD BE ASIAN: "The Boy", written and directed by Eddie Kim, is set in the fictional land of Neo-Shaolin, and follows the stories of three main characters: the boy who would be Asian, who goes to Neo-Shaolin to learn how to cook an authentic Asian dish to honor his dead father (or at least, that's what he tells everyone); Sniper1, a dj without any records, who is on a quest for a magic Asian mushroom, and the not so bad badguy, who has started peddling illegal substances in order to raise money for the plane ticket out of Neo-Shaolin and home to his friends.

Eddie Kim, who is Korean-American, spent the past two years in Japan on his own quest, where he taught English to Japanese junior high school students, dejayed UK hard house music, and wrote the first drafts of "The Boy Who Would be Asian." He has adapted/directed several pieces and written several plays. Most recently, he collaborated with Liam O'Rourke to create "Destination Immortality," a sci-fi play based on "The Tempest" which follows the story of two rock n'rollers.

LOVE: A MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTION, Short & Bald Productions (Brooklyn, NY)
This hilarious one-man tour-de-force brings audiences face to face with
twelve colorful outback characters, all woven into a backdrop of clever,
original songs by Korean composer SoHee Youn. Fat Chance Productions' Ground
Floor: FRI 8/8@9:00; SUN 8/10@3:00; THUR 8/14@11:15; FRI 8/15@7:30; SAT
8/16@9:15; TUE 8/19@5:00; FRI 8/22@11:30- 75min.

PENGUINS, PUPPIES AND PORN, Woken¹ Glacier (New York, NY)
Actors from Tokyo, New York and Tel Aviv experience a collective nightmare
where puppies burn, penguins drown and taxidermists go to war in this dark
exploration of contemporary life. The Great Hall: MON 8/11@10:30; WED
8/13@3; MON 8/18@10:30; WED 8/20@4 ­ 65min

THE SEMEN TREE, Angel Abcede (Chicago, IL)
A new one-man musical by Asian-American Angel Abcede mixing humor, irony,
song and dance to explore the volatile issues of teen sexuality and physical
relations between adolescents and adults. Fat Chance Productions' Ground
Floor: FRI 8/15@11:30; SAT 8/16@7:00; SUN 8/17@3:45; WED 8/20@7:15; THUR
8/21@11:15; FRI 8/22@9:30- 80min.

BRAIN FREEZE: Also at the Fringe, John Kawie will present "Brain Freeze", a one man show chronicling this actor/comedian's journey through a stroke and its aftermath. With a skewed take and unique wit you'll be surprised how universal his experience is.

Five years ago comedian, writer and actor John Kawie suffered a massive stroke with affected his who left side. He thought his career was over, hence his life was over. He never knew how strong he was until he had to conquer that disability. Directed by Jerry Diner, "Brain Freeze" tells the story of events leading up to the stroke and how he has been coping since.

Being the only Arab-American comic, at the time, John brought a unique perspective to the Middle East specifically, and to the world in general. He co-produced a multicultural stand-up show called "Those People" featured in Alan King's 1995 Toyota Comedy Festival in New York City. He has worked in concert with Dennis Miller, Howie Mandel and Frank Gorshen. As a writer and performer he was a regular on the David Brenner Radio Show and contributor to Bill Maher's monologue on Comedy Central award winning show "Politically Incorrect." He also contributed to Dennis Miller's show on HBO and became a substitute for Dick Cavett on his radio show. While undergoing therapy he was a consultant with Robert DeNiro for his character in the Joel Shumacher film "Flawless."

BROADS WITH SWORDS: Renny Krupinski's "Lady MacBeth Rewrites the Rulebook" will be presented by Broads with Swords, at the Fringe. Playing at The Bank Street Theatre, "Broads with Swords" is a company full of multi-talented women, performing fights on stage like you've never seen before.

"Broads with Swords is the only all female fight company in Europe," said Krupinski. " I formed the company because of the lack of work & prospects for highly skilled fighting women in the UK. We started off in Edinburgh Festival where "Lady Macbeth Rewrites The Rulebook" was a great success, transferred to London for a sell out run and have just finished touring the UK to rave reviews and huge audiences."

When Lady Macbeth decides she's going to be the greatest and only tragic heroine in Shakespeare, she plays dirty. When Scamvix, a Playstation arch-villainess, decides to steal The Jewel of Life from Sector 7 and takes on the ultimate warrior Tara Loft, she has to play dirty. When the two worlds collide through Lady Macbeth & Scamvix's evil machinations, the 17th century is confronted by the 23rd and sword-led mayhem ensues.

Broads With Swords is a subsidiary company of Ithaka Theatre Co., which is dedicated to the furtherance of innovative new work for physical theatre and female performers. At its helm as artistic director, writer and fight director is Renny Krupinski…whose work spans 25 years and who has won awards for his acting and writing and currently is arranging fights for the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon.

For this particular production only female performers of the highest physical calibre with the prestigious British Academy of Dramatic Combat (BADC) Advanced Performance Certificate will be used…ensuring fights to a scale and level never experienced by a live theatre audience before.

LADIES AND MORE AT THE FRINGE: "Dear Charlotte" by Joy Gregory is about Charlotte Brontë, the parson's daughter from the Yorkshire moors who wrote some of the most celebrated novels in the English language, including Jane Eyre. With only two dresses, both brown, Charlotte lived an isolated life and saw most of her family die before she was thirty. When she received a letter from an English poet advising her that "literature cannot be the business of a woman's life and it ought not to be," it set Charlotte on the path to her greatest project: creating a heroine in her own image. "Dear Charlotte" is the story, both of a woman finding her voice, and of how imagination can save a life from the confines of repression, grief and hardship. "Sextuple Indemnity" finds Amanda Shephard, a sassy and sexy female private eye trapped in a film noir world. When a handsome, mysterious client walks into Shephard's office, she's thrust into a crazy, gender-bending murder mystery where nothing and no one are what they seem. A parody of classic film noir, this is where neither storyline nor characters can be taken for granted. Presented by Unartistically Frustrated, "Sextuple Indemnity" was written and directed by Dayna M. Gross.

"Fly Girls" is a 90 minuet musical featuring two mile high girls looking for love and adventure in the friendly skies. Every wonder about the ladies with non-stop smiles? Dottie Doright is a small town girl with first class dreams. Kelly Kissenger is a frequent flier with love in her gut and sex on her seat. When Dottie is assigned a tour of duty as Kelly's sky partner, the real turbulence begins. Can two stewardesses get what they want without blocking the aisles? "Fly Girls" is directed by Whitney Pastortek. Music composed and played by Daivd H. Turner. "Greetings From Planet Girl" features straight outta Boston five wicked funny space vixens who take you on an intergalactic joyride brimming with music, comedy, songs, skits and gams galore. Strap yourselves in and prepare for lift off, as the A-list of Boston's comedy babes delivers their precious space-cargo of comedy. Written and performed by Margaret Ann Brady, Jan Davidson, Dorothy Dwyer, Lucy Holstedt and Julie Perkins. Directed Robbie Gray.

Check the Fringe website for more about the Festival. There's a journey through the mind of Christopher Walken, a mock talk back with five former cast members of "Cats", priests who confront scandal in the Church today, the vampire Nosferatu, Sherlock Holmes and Houdini. For tickets and schedule information, call 212- 279-4488 or 1-888-FringeNYC, or visit www.FringeNYC.org.


Cindy Cheung in Karaoke Stories. Photo by Kaipo Schwab

KARAOKE STORIES: Imua! Theatre Company is back with "Karaoke Stories," a romantic comedy-adventure-thriller for the hipster crowd. Set in and around a karaoke lounge, "Karaoke Stories" has everything but musical numbers. In its place are a dim-witted aspiring screenwriter and his equally dim-witted producer friend, whose latest project, inspired by the works of Quentin Tarantino, sets out to explore love from a man's perspective and ends up leading it's audience through a wacky, dreamlike world populated by a beauty queen, a despondent clown, a master sushi chef, a smattering of small-time thugs, some frat boys and a mermaid. The results are hilarious, bawdy, and of course, politically incorrect. It's Pulp Fiction meets Porky's, with an all Asian-American cast - and one token white guy. "Karaoke Stories" runs August 8-30 at the CSV Cultural Center in the Lower East Side, New York City. For tickets, call 212-828-2444 or visit www.imautheatre.org.

"Karaoke Stories" is directed by Alan Muraoka, who also directed the 1998 Off-Broadway revival of Falsettoland, which was produced by NAATCO and enjoyed a sold-out run at The Vineyard Theatre. For the past three years, Mr. Muraoka has been Director-in-residence for 2G, an Asian American theatre company. As an actor, Mr. Muraoka has appeared on Broadway in Miss Saigon, playing the lead role of the Engineer, The King and I, and My Favorite Year, among other productions. For the past five years, he has been on the Emmy-Award winning series, "Sesame Street," where he plays "Alan," the new proprietor of Mr. Hooper's store.

Euijoon Kim, the playwright, is a member of the David Henry Hwang Playwriting Institute. His play, My Tired Broke Ass Pontificating Slapstick Funk, was produced at East/West Players as part of their 2000 season. Karaoke Stories has received several staged readings at theatres in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Virginia and New York.

Featured in the cast are Sekiya Billman, Cindy Cheung, Deborah Craig, Siho Ellsmore, Mel Gionson, Marcus Ho, Paul Juhn, David Jung, Tim Kang, Peter Kim, Evan Lai, Hoon Lee, Marissa Lichwick, Brian Nishii, Eileen Rivera, James Saito, Jonathan Salkin, Jason Schuchman, Kaipo Schwab, Rodney To, Keo Woolford, and Aaron Yoo.

STRAIGHT OUT: Written by Regie Cabico and directed by reg e gaines, "Straight Out" will be presented on August 5 - 6, 9PM, at Chashama Theatre at 135 West 42nd Street as part of the First Annual Urban Theatre Arts Festival. The one man show is he latest compilation of comic monologues, slam pieces and poems by the first Filipino and queer Nuyorican grand slam champion, battling a Barbra Streisand singing mother, mtv shoots, letters to Filipino celebrities and Catholicism in tight levi corduroys. Regie Cabico who has been featured on HBO's def poetry jam and PBS' "in the life" is collaborating with 2 time Tony nominee reg e gaines of Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk. For tickets, call 212 352 3101 or visit www.theatermania.com.

MISS JULIE: A new adaptation of August Strinberg's psycho sexual Darwinian classic, Miss Julie adapted by Julie Saad, begins August 7 and closes August 31at the Common Basis Theatre, 5th Floor located at 750 Eighth Avenue. Originally, Miss Julie was about an aristocratic young woman who has a brief affair with Jean, her father's valet and opportunistic social climber, before the two realize they are nothing alike and the relationship loses its passion. In this new adaptation set in New York City, Julie, the daughter of a famous film director and an up and coming actress herself, finds herself seducing her valet on the 4th of July. For tickets, call SmartTix at 212-868-4444 or visit www.smarttix.com.

Miss Julie was written in 1888 and banned in the playwright's native Sweden for its strong language and sexual imagery. "The story, as I have adapted it, now brings with it the notion that there is royalty in America: our celebrities," says adapter and actress Julie Saad. "Much like the character of Julie feels trapped in her own position of privilege, today being in the public eye can be like being in prison."

Miss Julie is being directed by Daniel Cohen, stars Jamie Askew (Mad Forest - Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Joys of Childhood - Humana Festival 2003), Bryen Luethy and Julie Saad (Lysistrata in The Lysistrata Project on the steps of Brooklyn's Borough Hall).

. THE DUCHESS OF MALFI: As the culminating event of its summer 2003 season, "Enter the Actress," Kings County Shakespeare Company will present "The Duchess of Malfi" by John Webster from August 14 to 31 in Founders Hall Theater of St. Francis College, 182 Remsen Street, Brooklyn Heights, New York. The season is dedicated to celebrating milestones for women in classical theater. For reservations, call 718-398-0546 or visit www.kingscountyshakespeare.org.

"The Duchess of Malfi," a work of dark genius, is based on the true story of an Italian duchess who in 1503 married her chief steward, incensing her class-conscious brothers. Playwright John Webster was a slightly later contemporary of Shakespeare, and one of the best-known playwrights from the Jacobean period. In this, his most oft-performed play, he uses a corrupt court as a backdrop to illuminate the story of a woman struggling to keep her sense of morality while fighting off the constraints of society. Battling to free herself from the repression of two powerful brothers, the Duchess faces a quagmire of political betrayal, religious hypocrisy, and madness.

Jemma Alix Levy, who last summer helmed KCSC's production of "Hamlet," directs. Associate Artistic Director Renée Bucciarelli plays the title role. The cast also features Andrew Oswald, Matthew D'Amico, John Fordham, Patrick Hallahan, Vicki Hirsch and Shauna Miles.

KCSC, which is led by women, has proclaimed the theme of its 20th Anniversary Season to be "Enter the Actress," and dedicated it to celebrating milestones for women in classical theater. Artistic Director Deborah Wright Houston explains, "We are interested in how and when women became actors, playwrights, producers and directors in a profession that was at first completely closed to them. How did these women manage to advance themselves in a profession generally considered immoral for men, and therefore, doubly immoral for them?"

"The Duchess of Malfi" resonates strongly to women theater artists today, since it presents, in Webster's own words, "a gloomy world" and "a deep pit of darkness" when it comes to women's free choices in love. It is also a milestone work dramaturgically, insofar as it ushered in the development of title roles for women in European drama.

MR. GALLICO: Widemouth Theater and HERE Arts Center present a new musical throttling from yesteryear, "Mr. Gallico" by Sam Carter and directed by Henry Caplan at HERE (145 6th Ave between Spring & Broome) from August 8 to September 7. Set in historic New York at the end of the 19th century, the play unravels a narrative of a newly arrived confidence man (Gallico) who passes himself off as a spiritualist and a medium. For tickets, call 212-868-4444 or visit www.smarttix.com.

"Mr. Gallico" is a new musical that's a cross between the vocal growling of Tom Waits and the Brechtian style of Kurt Weill. He sets up shop as the upstairs tenant of a butcher who in time, becomes mystified by Gallico's remarkable effect on the local women. Unable to contain his curiosity, the butcher sneaks into Gallico's parlor during a resurrection and is mistakenly identified by the mark as a figure raised from the grave. A bargain to collaborate is struck between the two men, leading them down a dark and serpentine path that will test the limits of love and memory; a haunting meditation of words and music.

Directed by Henry Caplan, "Mr. Gallico" stars Jason Howard (NYSF/Public Theater, Ontological, EST, Circle Rep., AJT, Ohio, HERE, and the adobe theater), Karl Herlinger (The Beautiful Love - Vineyard; The Time of Your Life - Chain Lightning) Tate Henderson (We're All Dead - Ohio Theatre, Bow Down (La Mama E.T.C.), Invert - Cherry Lane Theatre).

WHAT'S YOUR KARMA? - A Review: For those who enjoy the entertainment of fortune tellers, psychics and such, "What's Your Karma?" is my latest Summer discovery. Astrobabble in association with Michael Johnson and Savio Clemente present Lilith Dove's "What's Your Karma?" at The Producers Club on West 44 Street. What goes around comes around is the premise of the Show. As you walk into the intimate theatre you are given instructions to pick a card, the cards are then collected and Ms. Dove randomly selects a card a reads its karmic vibrations and rapidly conveys past life information and what is needed to move onto the next level. It's tantalizing entertainment. For tickets, call 212-352-3101 or visit www.theatermania.com.

My card was selected along with 14 others. As Ms. Dove picked up a card, in almost trance-like concentration, she began to "pick up the vibes" and recite brief profiles of our past lives. Some of us were scholars in ancient Greece, high priests in Egypt and Aztec Mexico, part of Caligula's decadent group, Italian noble family, traveling explorers and adventurers, children, slaves who died in loneliness and poverty. And very much in line with the current psychology concepts of how your early childhood affects your attitude and behavior as an adult, our past lives affect our present day values and action. That's your karma. Then there's darma, the path you take to fulfill your final destiny.

Clairvoyant Lilith Dove grew up in Essex, England and realized at an early age that she possessed a special gift. She came to New York and has been studying metaphysics for over ten years. Her clientele includes many from the entertainment, fashion and business worlds looking for help with their professional and personal lives. Featured on the "Late Show with David Letterman," her readings have helped many people gain a greater understanding of their individual talents and abilities. For more info visit www.whatsyourkarma.com

STATE OF THE UNION: Theater for the New City's 27th annual street theater production will be "State of the Union," a brand-new, rip-roaring outdoor musical comedy that will tour City streets, parks, and playgrounds throughout the five boroughs August 2 to September 14 and is FREE to all New Yorkers. In "State of the Union," a biting, satirical commentary about fear, anyone could be a spy. At the heart of the play is the notion that American politics are like oil: "it's smooth, it's groove and sticks like flies, but way down deep it lies," and in no case can the erosion of our civil rights protect us.
The production, written and directed by Crystal Field, has a company of 25 actors, twelve crew members, two assistant directors and five live musicians. For audience info, call 212-254-1109.

Three "modern mamas" - Bahamian, Italian, and Puerto Rican - form an unlikely but tenable bond, one which unites them as they navigate the modern, surreal world. When the Italian mama falls ill from eating a bad sausage, she rushes to the emergency room. There, the three mothers and extended families meet, and confusion over the hospital's endless bureaucratic red tape indirectly causes the death of a Bahamian granduncle. The three mothers try to call 1-800-FLOWERS to purchase a memorial wreath, but accidentally dial 1-800-Turn In Your Neighbor: the hotline for Homeland Security! A miscommunication mishap labels the three mothers as terrorist suspects.

Soon, Homeland Security Forces appear, and present the families with an ultimatum: "Since you know about the Cell and the System, if you don't want to go to jail - yer gonna have to work for us." The families are unwillingly co-opted as spies, and are sent all over the world on missions to interdict everything from weapons of mass destruction to religious fanatics. It's a picaresque journey through American paranoia, corrupt bureaucracy and governmental lies.

The schedule of "State of the Union" is as follows: Manhattan: Sat, Aug 2 2:00 pm E. 10th St. and 1st Ave; Sun, Aug 3 2:00 pm Peace Place Park, 124th St. (2nd & 3rd.); Sat, Aug 9 2:00 pm St. Mark's Park/Abe Lebewohl Pk, E. 10th St. & 2nd Ave; Sat, Sept 6 2:00 pm Wise Towers, 89th St. & Amsterdam Ave.; Sun, Sept 7 2:00 pm Central Park Bandshell; Sat, Sept 13 2:00 pm Tompkins Square Park, E. 7th St. & Ave. A; Sun, Sept 14 2:00 pm Washington Square Park.

Brooklyn: Sun, Aug 10 2:00 pm Herbert Von King Park (Bedford/Stuyvesant); Fri, Aug 15 8:00 pm Dino's Wonderwheel Park, Coney Island; Sun, Aug 24 2:00 pm Brooklyn Prospect Park, Concert Grove near Wollman Rink. Bronx: Sat, Aug 16 2:00 pm St. Mary's Park, 147th St. & St. Ann's Ave. Queens: Sun, Aug 17 2:00pm Travers Park, Jackson Heights (34th Ave. betw. 77th and 78th Sts.); Staten Island: Sat, Aug 23 2:00 pm Staten Island Stapleton Houses, 210 Broad Street (betw. Tompkins & Gordon).

Author/director Crystal Field began writing street theater in 1968 as a member of Theater of the Living Arts in Philadelphia. She wrote and performed her own outdoor theater pieces against the Vietnam war and also curated and performed many poetry programs for the Philadelphia Public Schools. Field has written and directed a completely new opera for the TNC Street Theater company each successive year. She collaborated for eleven years with composer Mark Hardwick, whose "Pump Boys and Dinettes" and "Oil City Symphony" were inspired by his street theater work with Ms. Field. The Village Halloween Parade, which TNC produced single-handedly for the Parade's first two years, grew out of the procession which preceded each Street Theater production. Ralph Lee, who created the Parade with Ms. Field, was chief designer for TNC's Street Theater for four years before the Village Halloween Parade began. Field has also written playlets for TNC's annual Halloween Ball and for an annual Yuletime pageant that is performed outdoors for 2,000 children on the Saturday before Christmas. She has written two full-length indoor plays, "Upstate" and "One Director Against His Cast." She is Executive Director of TNC.

SHAKESPEARE IN THE BOROUGHS: The Public Theater will offer free performances of Shakespeare in all five boroughs throughout the month of August. Each performance is followed by a moderated discussion among the performers and audience members. Shakespeare in the Boroughs was established in 1994 to help educate young people and establish an interest in and understanding of Shakespeare. This free program complements and extends The Public Theater¹s productions of Shakespeare in Central Park by providing workshops and performances to residents of each borough. In collaboration with local arts and community organizations in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island,the program offers workshops designed to attract and educate young audiences through scene study and by familiarizing them with Shakespeare¹s language. The Shakespeare in the Boroughs program culminates with free Shakespeare performances, which are open to the public and appropriate for all ages. For more information on Shakespeare in the Boroughs, call 212-539-8681 or visit www.publictheater.org.

Throughout the month of August, Shakespeare in the Boroughs provides residents of each borough with free performances of Shakespeare scenes at various venues. Each performance is a fast-paced tour through the best of Shakespeare¹s plays and the basics of his life and lore, delivered by a dynamic cast of actors from The Public Theater¹s Shakespeare Lab program.
These actors are joined by high school students participating in the Shakespeare in the Boroughs summer workshops. As part of its Shakespeare in the Boroughs outreach program, The Public Theater distributes free tickets to Shakespeare in Central Park in all five
boroughs throughout the summer.

Schedule of Shakespeare in the Boroughs Performances is as follows: Bronx: August 7, 3PM. The Point Community Development Center, 940 Garrison Avenue at Manida Street;
August 14, 7PM, The Lovinger Theatre at Lehman College, 250 Bedford Park, Boulevard West. Brooklyn: August 7, 4PM, Brooklyn Children¹s Museum, 145 Brooklyn Avenue.
Manhattan: August 22, 4PM, Aaron Davis Hall, West 135th St. and Convent Avenue.
Queens: August 15, 7PM. Queens Theatre in the Park, Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
Staten Island: August 22, 7PM, Snug Harbour Cultural Centre, 1000 Richmond Terrace.


Adnil Ramos, Fran Walsh and Maine in Goddessdance. Photo by Cynthia

GODDESSDANCE: There are sensational Asians in the "Goddessdance", the spectacular belly dance drama at Theatre 3 on 311 West 43rd Street in New York City. Adnil Ramos and Fran Walsh as well as Maine and Toshi Hamada join an ensemble of 25 belly dancers, vocalists, musicians and drummers from around the world in celebration of the myth and magic of the Middle East. With original music, lyrics and choreography Jehan Kamal, GODDESSDANCE blends ancient and modern, Eastern and Western, traditional and new through August 16. For reservations, call SmartTix at 212-868-4444 or visit www.smarttix.com.

"Goddessdance" is an ecstatic celebration of the divine mystery of life. The lines between sensuality and spirituality blend in this unique theatrical experience. Haunting melodies, mystical poetry, intense rhythms and lavish costumes enhanced the raw talent of the cast. Choreographer Jehan Kamal drew heavily from Middle Eastern dance vocabulary, ancient myths, and the elemental forces of earth, air, fire, water and principles of sacred geometry.

According to Jehan, the hypnotic core movements of bellydance, which are circles, spirals, undulations, infinity loops and vibrations, mimic the cyclical dance of nature, the heavens and subatomic dimensions. Belly dance is the umbilical cord linking us to our Essence - The Dance of the Universe.

The rich history of belly dance is presented. It opens back in time to the origins of belly dance, an age before patriarchy, when women's body like the abundant earth mother was worshipped as a vessel of life, and nourishment. Then moves on exhibiting opulent scenes of gypsy caravans, the colorful marketplaces along the silk road, snake charmers, whirling dervishes, slaves, temple dancers and the secret harems are alive in "Goddessdance" reminiscent of images from the Arabian Nights.

"Goddessdance" is highly entertaining and visually stunning, but importantly bringing an appreciation of the dance and history. It is especially exciting to see the display of Asian, African, Middle Eastern, and Caucasian women perform this often misunderstood dance form.

Jehan has performed from the great concert halls of the West to the palaces and temples of the East. In addition to a career as an internationally celebrated entertainer, she has worked to raise belly dance back up to its honored place in the sacred altar and has resurrected ancient philosophies which make it a divine expression of Spirit. Jehan's work as composer/singer/choreographer for dance company Ballet Exotiqa and her current company Goddessdance. Jehan is director of the Temple of Jehan, her NY-based school and teaches worldwide. She has produced 7 CDs of exotic world music.

Adnil Ramos's solo in the Caravan market was gleefully uninhibited and wantonly seductive as she tried to entice a sheik to buy her and add her to his harem. She is a unique Asian complement to this outstanding dance company. She was born and raised in Daly City, California. She attended college in Las Vegas, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biology. While completing the biology program, she also studied various forms of dance and began getting performance work as a belly dancer. Upon graduation, Adnil moved to New York in order to pursue a career as an actress and belly dancer. Concluding that a life in science would have to wait until the performance bug was dealt with, she said. Adnil has appeared in several independent films, as well as TV and stage productions.

At the opening of "Goddessdance" live musicians perform, including Frances Walsh on cello. Bravo! The low cello sound adds an intriguing dimension to Jenhan's original music. Fran is also a sublime dancer to the ensemble. Adnil's younger sister, Fran is half English and will be a sophomore at Chaparral High School in Las Vegas, Nevada. She has studied ballet for seven years and the cello for 4 years. She is currently vacationing in New York and much of her time is spent taking dance classes and performing in Goddessdance. Frances intends to become an elementary school teacher.


Pianist Lang Lang in Mostly Mozart Festival

MOSTLY MOZART: The Mostly Mozart Festival kicked off at Lincoln Center with pianist Chinese Lang Lang and Mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe with new Music Director Louis Langree conducting the Orchestra. America's oldest indoor summer music festival, Mostly Mozart will take place through August 23 presenting 33 performances, including guest appearances by five distinguished maestros, six renowned ensembles, 21 world class soloists, and a range of innovative programming in addition to Baroque presentations and masterworks from the Classical era. Now a New York institution, the festival has broadened its focus to include works by Bach, Handel, Schubert, Haydn, Beethoven and others. For tickets, call CenterCharge at 212-721-6500 or visit www.lincolncenter.org.

Lang Lang played the Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor during the opening night. He is one of the most exciting and moving pianists of our time. Since his astonishing and masterful last minute substitution for an indisposed Andre Watts at the Ravina Festival Gala of the Century in August 1999, Lang Lang has performed with many of the world's leading orchestras. He made his sold out Carnegie Hall debut in April 2001 to great critical acclaim with the Baltimore Symphony and Yui Temirkanov. Most recently Lang Lang joined the New York Philharmonic and Lorin Maazel for performances in New York. To coincide with the Mostly Mozart Festival Opening Night Gala, deutsche Grammaphone released "Lang Lang Plays Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn."

Violinist Midori in Mostly Mozart Festival. Photo by Dan Borris

The Mostly Mozart Festival program will include on Aug. 12-13 two concerts led by Maestro Emmanuel Krivine, with violinist Midori, who returns to the festival for the first time since 1989. Currently celebrating the 20th anniversary year of her spectacular New York Philharmonic debut at age 11, Midori will give a pre-concert recital before her performance.

On Sat., Aug. 10, 8PM, the Juilliard String Quartet and pianist Jon Kimura Parker will play in concert. The program includes works by Haydn, Beethoven and Mozart.

On Aug. 15-16, Alicia de Larrocha will give her farewell performance. Legendary pianist and four time Grammy Award winner Alicia de Larrocha has appeared in virtually every Mostly Mozart Festival since 1971. Ms. De Larrocha will bid farewell to Mostly Mozart with two performances of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major with the Orchestra under the baton of Emmanuel Krivine.

Two concerts headlined by Peter Serkin playing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 17 in G major on Aug. 19-20. The program also includes Schubert's Symphony No. 4 in C minor ("Tragic") and Mozart's Masonic Funeral Music.

Highlights presented by visiting ensembles include the two-concert "Beethoven Experience," led by sir Roger Norrington with the Salzburg Camerata from Austria. In a US premiere, the Europa Galante period instrument ensemble from Italy will perform Alessandro Scarlatti's oratorio "La Santissima Trinita." The Norwegian Chamber Orchestra will also appear, with pianist Leif Ove Andsnes in his New York conducting debut leading the Orchestra and as soloist in piano concertos by Haydn and Mozart.

LINCOLN CENTER OUT OF DOORS FESTIVAL 2003: Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Lincoln Center's largest and longest-running community outreach program, returns for its 33rd summer season of exciting cultural events, August 2nd through the 24th. All events are free and open to the public. For more information on the entire 2003 festival, call the Lincoln Center Out of Doors hotline at 212-875-5766 or visit the Lincoln Center website at www.lincolncenter.org.

Celebrating the vibrant cultures and heritages of Asian this summer's Free Out of Doors programs include:

CHINESE THEATRE WORKS' LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD, Wed., Aug 6, 10:30AM, North Plaza. This classic childhood tale of the perilous trip to Grandma's house will be presented using the makeup, mime and martial arts conventions of Chinese opera. Top Peking and Kun Opera performers, including actors featured in Lincoln Center's celebrated production of "the Peony pavilion" will present a retelling of this timeless tale in elaborate hand sewn silk costumes and using English dialogue and Chinese song. FROM CHINATOWN WITH LOVE, Sun., Aug 17, 6PM, Jose Robertson Plaza. Peeking Opera star Xiao-ling Tong and 30 other artists offer a wonderful afternoon of open air song, dance, and exhibitions, including excerpts from "Farewell My Concubine."

HAN-TANG YUEFU, Thurs., Aug. 21, 8:30PM, North Plaza. Presented in conjunction with the Taipei Cultural Center, with special program features recreations of two important Asian artistic traditions: classical nankuan music, which originated between the Han and Tang dynasties, and the elegant dance of the Pear Orchard Oepra tradition, which flourished during the Song-Yuban periods, 960-1370 AD. This singular production is at once dreamlike, ancient and elegant. A GLIMPSE OF THE MUSICAL THEATRE OF THE PEAR ORCHARD, Fri., Aug. 22, 2PM, Bruno Walter Auditorium at the NY Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. Presented by the Taipei Cultural Center, this lecture will provide additional insights into the Pear Orchard tradition.

LA CASITA: A HOME FOR THE HEART, Sat., Aug. 23 and Sun., Aug. 24, 1:30-5:30PM, North Plaza. For its third season at the Festival, 24 poets, troubadours, bands, comedians, singers, percussionists, and storytellers representing Native American, Caribbean, Mexican, Latin American and American cultures will gather together to pass on "las palabras," the great oral traditions of the spoke word, for this extraordinary literary experience. Artists include Trinidadian/Chinese poet Ayow, Ojibwe poet Mark Turcotte, hip hop bard Steve Connel, and more performing poems and music in their original languages. The inspiration for "La Casita" come from the small neighborhood gardens of New York, which often contain "casitas" - little houses where community members gather to share opinions, poetry and music.

CHAMBER MUSIC OF THE WORLD: Anjani's Kathak Music Ensemble. Shimmering vocal, sarangi, and flute ragas of Hindustan, Thurs., Aug. 7, 6:30PM, North Plaza. Ulali, Powerful a capella from First Nation Women singers., Tues., Aug. 12, 6:30PM, North Plaza. The Knights of the Many-Sided Table. String classes in the summer twilight presented in cooperation with Bargemusic., Sun., Aug. 17, 4PM., North Plaza. Slack 'n Steel. Legendary guitarists in the slack key Hawaiian and down home steel guitar styles, featuring the Campbell Brothers, Bob Brozman and Led Ka'apana, Fri., Aug. 22, 8PM, Damrosch Park Bandshell.

Dance of India in Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival

MUSIC AND DANCE ON THE PLAZA: Anjani's Kathak Dance of India. Exotic tales revealed through spinning, stamping and high energy dance and music, Fri., Aug. 8, 6PM, Josie Robertson Plaza. Divine Divas of Oriental Bellydance. Five sinuous styles: Shamira, Rayhana, Ayshe, Samara and Elena with the Mogador Band, Thurs., Aug. 14, 5:30PM, Josie Robertson Plaza.


ASIANS STORM BRITISH MUSIC: "Mutiny: Asians Storm British Music", an engaging account by Vivek Bald of a group of British South Asian musicians who, in the 1990s, changed the face of English popular culture, will be presented at the Walter Reade Theater by the Film Society of Lincoln Center on Thursday, Aug. 14. For tickets, call 212-496-3809 or visit www.filmlinc.com.

Featuring Asian Dub Foundation, Talvin Singh, Cornershop and a range of other British musicians of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi descent, "Mutiny" weaves together the genres of music documentary and social documentary. With a dynamic mix of live performances, candid interviews and seldom seen archival footage, Bald presents the story of a generation that grew up in the 1970s and 80s, defining itself in an environment of racial violence while drawing from both British street culture and South Asian roots. The artists who emerge from this generation have become some of the best innovators in British music, mixing the influences of their parents' cultures with electronica, hip hop, reggae and punk and producing unique and powerful new sounds.

New York based filmmaker Vivek Bald is also a music producer, producing and performing music under the name Siraiki. He co-founded the groundbreaking Mutiny club night in New York City, which has become an international hub on the South Asian electronica music scene and has hosted many of the artists featured in "Asians Storm British Music." Bald's previous documentary, "Taxi-vala/'Auto-biography," chronicled the lives, experiences and political activism of South Asian immigrant taxi drivers in New York City. ''

Copyright © 2003 Marilyn Abalos.
Marilyn Abalos is an arts writer published in Asian New Yorker, AsianWeek, Filipinas and Filipino Reporter.

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