East West Players (EWP), opens up its 48th Anniversary Season Making Light, with “Nisei Widows Club: How Tomi Got Her Groove Back,” written by Betty Tokudani and directed by Amy Hill with Hula choreography by Keali’I Ceballos.
The third installment of a comic trilogy following the lives of a group of widowed Nisei (“second generation”) women who only have each other in the face of loss and the search for love in their golden years. Tomi loses her only son to a heart attack at the early age of 45, and the other widows gather around her during this time of grief. Hilarity ensues when they embark on an unforgettable trip to Hawaii, which unleashes the cougar in all of them at a hula retreat.
“The ‘Nisei Widows Club’ have really struck a humorous chord with the community, even though the story centers around loss,” says Tim Dang, Producing Artistic Director of East West Players. “This newest story will feature even more laughter demonstrating the strength of these senior citizen women in times of adversity.”
The production brings back the original four “Nisei Widows” - Takayo Fischer as Sumi, Emily Kuroda as Hana, June Kyoko Lu as Betty, Jeanne Sakata as Tomi. EWP introduces Tui Asau as the object of their desire – Kimo the hula teacher.
The design team includes: set design by Tesshi Nakagawa, lighting design by Jason Bieber, costume design by Dori Quan, sound design by Dennis Yen, and props by Ken Takemoto. Stage manager is Maya Rodgers.
The Community Partners for “The Nisei Widows Club” are the Japanese American Community and Cultural Center (JACCC), the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) and AARP.
"The Japanese American Cultural and Community Center is proud to be a community partner for ‘The Nisei Widow's Club,’” says Leslie Ito, President and CEO of the JACCC. “EWP and this play show a great example of how the arts play a vital role in bringing awareness to the stories of multiple generations of Asian Pacific Americans. The last ‘Nisei Widow's Club’ provided me an opportunity to bring my grandma to the theater - we both enjoyed the show and look forward to seeing the next in the trilogy."
“The Japanese American National Museum is pleased to support East West Players as a community partner for “The Nisei Widows Club,’” says its CEO, Dr. Greg Kimura. “ The National Museum has a long history of partnership with EWP and other community groups in promoting the rich and diverse art and stories of Japanese America, including, presently, “The Nisei Widows Club” and “Our American Voice,” the latter in conjunction with the Smithsonian traveling exhibit "I Want The Wide American Earth.”
Daphne Kwok, AARP Vice President of Multicultural Markets and Engagement, remarks "AARP is so pleased to begin a partnership with East West Players, an icon in our community. With the "Nisei Widows Club" play, AARP seeks to support the stories that share and tell about the stages of our lives."
All performances will be staged at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center of the Arts at 120 Judge John Aiso Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Previews are Thursday, November 7 through November 9 at 8pm and Sunday November 10 at 2pm. All preview seats are $21, $16 for students.
Opening Night for “The Nisei Widows Club” is Wednesday, November 13 at 8pm and includes a 7pm pre-performance cocktail reception, and a post-show reception with the cast and creative team (call theater for availability).
A special “Pay-What-You-Can” Performance is on Friday, November 29 (the day after Thanksgiving) . Southern California Edison Community Night is Wednesday, November 20 at 8pm. The production runs until December 8, 2013.
Regular performance run: November 14-November 29: Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. November 30 – December 8: Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm, Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm. No performance on Thanksgiving Day. December 1st and December 8 shows are sold out.
Tickets may be purchased online at www.eastwestplayers.org or by calling 213.625.7000. Regular tickets range from $26-$36. Student, Senior, and Group discounts available. Dates, prices and details are subject to change.
SOURCE: East West Players