Mu Performing Arts production of Yellow Fever, written by R.A. Shiomi, will be performed in Guthrie’s Dowling Studio from March 8-24, 2013 and directed by Rick Shiomi. The play is a groundbreaking noir comedy in the Asian American theatrical canon told through the eyes of Sam Shikaze, a nisei (second generation Japanese) Canadian detective that explores themes of political deception and cultural assimilation.Yellow Fever premiered in San Francisco in 1982 and was produced Off-Broadway to critical acclaim by Pan Asian Repertory Theater later that same year. The New York Times‘ Mel Gussow called the show, “…so captivating that it makes one eager for further adventures of the inimitable Sam Shikaze,” and named it a “New York Times Critic’s Pick.” Edith Oliver of The New Yorker observed, “Yellow Fever is a funny mystery-a real mystery that is, that parodies private eye movies and also tucks in quite a lot of social comment without ever breaking its own comic mood.”
Yellow Fever features Mu favorites including Kurt Kwan (Sam Shikaze), Sara Ochs (Nancy Wing), and Eric Sharp (Captain Kadota). Guthrie audiences may remember Kwan from his starring roles in Mu’s Dowling Studio productions of Cowboy Vs. Samurai and Yellow Face as well as recent appearances with Ten Thousand Things Theater. Ochs and Sharp were both featured in Mu’s recent smash hit Into the Woods. Ochs was seen in Company at Theater Latté Da this fall and Sharp performed in Frank Theatre’s The Way of Water.
The cast also features Wade Vaughn (Jameson), Jeannie Lander (Rosie), Alex Galick (Chuck Chan) and Brandon Ewald (Mackenzie). Vaughn and Walking Shadow Theatre Company were recognized with a 2012 Ivey Award for their production of Compleat Female Stage Beauty.
Set in Vancouver’s Little Tokyo, Yellow Fever follows 1970s detective Sam Shikaze as he attempts to solve the disappearance of the mysterious Cherry Blossom Queen. Shikaze becomes entangled in a web of political deception and racism that rouses memories of the Japanese-Canadian internment camps and leads to an unexpected romance.
The artistic team includes Joseph Stanley (Set Designer), Kathy Kohl (Costume Designer), Karin Olson (Lighting Designer), Forest Godfrey (Sound Designer), and Lisa Smith (Stage Manager).
Yellow Fever previews March 8, opens March 9, and continues through March 24, 2013 in the Dowling Studio. Single tickets start at $18 and are now on sale through the Guthrie Box Office at 612.377.2224, toll-free 877.44.STAGE, 612.225.6244 (Group Sales) and online at www.guthrietheater.org.
MU PERFORMING ARTS is one of the largest Asian American theater companies in the nation. Mu produces great performances born of arts, equality, and justice from the heart of the Asian American experience. The company recently celebrated its 20th anniversary season with record-setting productions of Into the Woods and Mu Daiko’s 15th Anniversary Concert. Artistic Director Rick Shiomi was recently honored with an Ivey Award for Lifetime Achievement. www.muperformingarts.org
The GUTHRIE THEATER (Joe Dowling, Director) was founded by Sir Tyrone Guthrie in 1963 and is an American center for theater performance, production, education and professional training. The Tony Award-winning Guthrie Theater is dedicated to producing the great works of dramatic literature, developing the work of contemporary playwrights and cultivating the next generation of theater artists. With annual attendance of nearly 500,000 people, the Guthrie Theater presents a mix of classic plays and contemporary work on its three stages. Under the artistic leadership of Joe Dowling since 1995, the Guthrie continues to set a national standard for excellence in theatrical production and performance. In 2006, the Guthrie opened its new home on the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, the Guthrie Theater houses three state-of-the-art stages, production facilities, classrooms and dramatic public lobbies. www.guthrietheater.org
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Photos: Yellow Fever Playwright Rick Shiomi Explores New Territory with An All-Female Cast
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Rick Shiomi helms Mu Performing Arts’ Asian American Cast of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods at Park Square Theatre in St. Paul, July 17-August 5, 2012
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Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.