Among the stand-outs in the cast are Tzi Ma in numerous roles including Hwang’s father, and Peter Scanavino, as the white man who becomes a leading Asian personality based on some resumé tinkering. (By putting him in The King and I, Hwang reminds us of Lou Diamond Phillips, who starred in a recent tour of that warhorse after gaining fame in La Bamba, directed by the same Luis Valdez who had his own casting nightmare with a Frida Kahlo biopic.)
Others who give multiple dimensions to multiple personalities are Julienne Hanzelka Kim, Lucas Caleb Rooney, Tony Torn, and Kathryn A. Layng, the real-life wife of the playwright who, despite Yellow Face's careful blurring, knows exactly where the newspaper ends and the fish-wrapper begins.
This world premiere is a co-production between Center Theatre Group in L.A. and The Public Theater in Manhattan. At press time, the Public’s press office confirmed that the play would be produced in its 2007-08 Season, but the exact slot was yet to be announced. The production is also made in association with East West Players, which America’s paper of record called “the nation’s pre-eminent Asian American theater troupe.” There will not be a separate run at East West – whose main stage is named for this playwright, and whose health is in part owed to his father. So that 10% of the ticket price will benefit East West, order tickets online and use code 8873.
CREDITS by David Henry Hwang, directed by Leigh Silverman, with Julienne Hanzelka Kim, Kathryn A. Layng, Hoon Lee, Tzi Ma, Lucas Caleb Rooney, Peter Scanavino, Tony Torn. David Korins, set; Myung Hee Cho, costumes; Donald Holder, lights; Darron L. West, sound; James T. McDermott/Elizabeth Atkinson, stage management.
World Premiere Mark Taper Forum, May 10-July 1, 2007, produced by Center Theatre Group and The Public Theater in association with East West Players.