East West Players, the nation’s premier Asian American theatre, will honor actress Tia Carrere, actor B.D. Wong, playwright Chay Yew and musical director Scott Nagatani at its 38th Anniversary Visionary Awards Gala at the beautiful Hilton Universal City high atop the hills of Hollywood on April 26, 2004. East West Players’ 38th Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner and Silent Auction is an award-winning event that salutes artists who have raised the visibility of the Asian Pacific American community through theater, film and television. Proceeds from the evening will benefit East West Players educational and artistic programs.
Actress Tia Carrere has starred in the films Wayne’s World, True Lies, Rising Sun and Lilo & Stitch, and for the past three years her own internationally-syndicated television series Relic Hunter. Actress Kelly Hu (X-Men 2 and The Scorpion King) will present Carrere’s award.
Actor B.D. Wong is best known for his Tony Award-winning performance as “Song Liling” in David Henry Hwang’s M. BUTTERFLY and can currently be seen on NBC’s Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. Academy AwardÆ-winner Marlee Matlin (Children of a Lesser God) will present Wong’s award.
The Made in America award, which recognizes a playwright who has made significant contributions to Asian American theatre, will be given to Chay Yew whose work such as RED, PORCELAIN and A LANGUAGE OF THEIR OWN has been produced at East West Players and theaters across the country. Center Theatre Group Artistic Director Gordon Davidson will present Yew’s award.
The Rae Creevey Award, named in honor of an Emmy Award-winning founder of East West Players, will recognize Scott Nagatani for his 25-year commitment and volunteer service to the theatre, mainly as a musical director for East West Players productions such as PASSION, PACIFIC OVERTURES and SWEENEY TODD. Actresses Emily Kuroda (Gilmore Girls) and Amy Hill (Fifty First Dates, The Cat in the Hat) will present Nagatani’s award.
The gala will include entertainment from talented Asian American artists. Tia Carrere, also an accomplished singer who contributed songs to the Wayne’s World and Lilo & Stitch soundtracks, and released her own album Dream, will open the evening’s program.
Vietnamese American comic Dat Phan, who has been featured on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Late Show with Craig Kilborn, and at The Comedy Store, The Ice House and The Laugh Factory, will perform. The winner of NBC’s reality series Last Comic Standing, Phan recently completed work on his first major film Cellular opposite Kim Basinger and William H. Macy and is a series regular on Nickelodeon’s Danny Phantom.
The winner of NBC’s reality series Fame, Harlemm Lee will perform. Lee is an accomplished singer and dancer who released the 1987 album Listen to my Heart Beat under the name Gerry Woo and was recently recognized by The Coalition for Asian American Children and Families for his work challenging the stereotypes of Asian Americans.
Closing the evening is singer Jenni Selma, who was in East West Players’ LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS and currently plays “Jasmine” in Disney’s California Adventure production of ALADDIN.
Music for the evening will be provided by musical director Nathan Wang and the 38th Anniversary Orchestra. Wang has composed music for film, television and theater, having earned Cable Ace, Drama-Logue, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle and L.A. Ovation Award nominations. At East West Players, Wang composed the music for CANTON JAZZ CLUB and CATHAYAN PIRATE.
Actresses Amy Hill and Tamlyn Tomita will be the Gala’s mistresses of ceremony. Hill is an award-winning actress who has worked with East West Players, Cornerstone Theater Company and the Mark Taper Forum. Tomita is best known for her work in Joy Luck Club, Karate Kid II and can currently be seen in Greg Pak’s independent film festival-favorite Robot Stories.
The East West Players 38th Anniversary Visionary Dinner and Silent Auction will be held on Monday, April 26, 2004 at the Hilton Universal City, 555 Universal City Drive, Universal City, CA 91608. The no-host reception and silent auction will begin at 5:30 pm with the dinner and event program starting at 7 pm. Tickets are $150-$1,000.
For more information on East West Players 38th Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner and Silent Auction please contact General Manager Trent Steelman at [email protected] or (213) 625-7000 x19.