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Comedian Adam Corolla faces the wrath of the Asian-American community; the final destination of James Hong; can Bruce Kanegai outlast everyone on Survivor? All this and more in the latest edition of News Bites.
South Korea's first Super Bowl MVP
For a country where professional football doesn’t even exist, South Koreans were proudly hailing their new superstar athlete Hines Ward from the Pittsburgh Steelers, the reigning Super Bowl champions. Ward was a vital player for his team as he scored a 43-yard touchdown in the 21-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks, for which he was awarded the Super Bowl MVP. Ever since his victory, there has been an epidemic of the “Ward Syndrome” throughout South Korea as there have been talks about honoring Ward with a state award, granting him citizenship, and even airing a documentary dedicated to him on Korea’s main television channel, KBS. Although his life might be glamorous, Ward has had his fair share of struggling with discrimination for his African-American and Korean-mixed descent. However, Ward is proud of his heritage and even has his Korean name tattooed on his forearm.
Sweeney Todd...the remix
It feels as though we often see Caucasians play Asian characters in musical productions such as Madame Butterfly and The King and I. But now we have a chance to see a reversal of a role reversal as the East West Players are once again putting on a production of Steven Sondheim’s musical thriller Sweeney Todd. The renowned, yet twisted musical takes place in the mid-19th century where Sweeney Todd, a murderous barber, returns to his hometown in London to seek revenge for his unjust exile. Through psychotic rage, the barber ends up butchering his victims, while his baker friend Nellie Lovett disposes their bodies by cooking them into her pies. The love story between Anthony Hope, the sailor who saved Todd’s life, and Johanna, Todd’s estranged daughter, is the gleaming light of hope within this otherwise gruesome tale. The East West Players received five Theatre L.A. Ovation Awards, five Drama-Logue Awards, and a LA Weekly Theatre Award for their 1994 production.
Ronald M. Banks, Kerry Keiko Carnahan, Samuel J. Chen, Cesar Cipriano, Louise Marie Cornillez, Michael Dalager, Antoine Reynaldo Diel, Michael Hagiwara, Jennifer Jung, Timothy Ford Murphy, Kristina Reyes, Ray Rochelle, Charles Romaine, Helen Ryu, Marilyn Tokuda, Kathy Villanueva and Lito Villareal
Directed by Tim Dang
February 8 – March 5, 2006
Go to APA's in-depth coverage of Sweeney Todd
There’s no way of escaping destiny. According to James Wong, director of Final Destination 3, that is. Wong also directed the first film of the series and hopes to achieve an innovative plotline for his third installment along with a fresh, new cast of actors. This time around, the movie begins at an amusement park, where a group of high school seniors engage in a horrific rollercoaster accident. The main character Wendy is the lucky (or not-so-lucky) one who has a premonition of the accident and steps off the ride, only to be confronted with an even crueler fate waiting for her. The film, like the preceding two, is a chilling and suspenseful battle between the characters and their destined demise.
Starring: Ryan Merriman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Texas Battle, Gina Holden, Dustin Milligan
Directed by: James Wong
Comedian Adam Carolla caused quite the riot among the Asian-American community as he mocked the Asian Excellence Awards on his radio show. In this segment, Carolla claimed he had a “recording” of the award ceremony -- and then proceeded to play a clip where the host and honorees spoke in a series of repetitive “chings-chongs.” Organizations such as the Center for Asian American Media and Asian Media Watch are taking action into their own hands as they are writing outraged letters to Viacom/CBS Radio, host of Carolla’s show, “to condemn Adam Carolla for his racist and insensitive comments on his radio program” and for “the lack of response by CBS Radio's 97.1 Free FM (KLSX-FM).”
Bruce Kanegai survives, but barely
There is yet another Asian star entering into the Reality Show Hall of Fame! Bruce Kanegai, a 58-year-old, third-generation Japanese-American, is a current contestant on the new season of Survivor: Panama. The accomplished karate instructor and art teacher is from Simi Valley, California and grew up in Los Angeles. In terms of the show, things haven’t been looking too bright for Bruce. So far, Bruce has been banished to Exile Island and has had trouble finding the immunity idol while the storm catches him off guard without food, shelter, or a fire. After his miserable stay at Exile Island, Bruce returns and joins the Casaya tribe. What happens next? Stay tuned...
Wong Kar-wai Jonesing for Norah
Talented singer and songwriter Norah Jones will be making her acting debut as she will be in director Wong Kar-Wai’s film My Blueberry Nights. Wong has directed award nominated films such as 2046 and In the Mood for Love, and Blueberry Nights will be his first English-language movie. Jones, the daughter of legendary Indian musician Ravi Shankar, is famous for her Grammy award-winning album Come Away With Me and her chart-topping followup, Feels Like Home.
Date Posted: 2/23/2006