With all the talk about George Takei coming out in the local publication Frontiers, it’s a good time to remember all the work George has done as an L.A. native, both for the local government and for the local performing arts community.
From his bio:
In addition to his acting career, George always has been extremely involved in civic affairs. Along with actress Beulah Quo, George produced and hosted a public affairs show, Expression East/West, which aired on KNBC-TV in Los Angeles from 1971 to 1973.
Always a political activist, George ran for the Los Angeles City Council in 1973, losing by a small percentage. At a crossroads, he had to decide whether to pursue a political career or an acting career. He decided on acting, but to remain involved in civic affairs to whatever extent he could.
George was appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley to the board of directors of the Southern California Rapid Transit District, serving from 1973 to 1984. George was one of the driving forces behind the Arts in Transit program in which every Metro Rail subway station is given its own distinctive look, thereby fostering neighborhood pride. He also served as a vice president of the American Public Transit Association.
George is a past chairman of El Pueblo Park Association and former president of Friends of Little Tokyo Arts, an organization that encourages and supports artists.
A community activist, George serves as chair of the council of governors of East West Players, the nation’s foremost Asian Pacific American theater. He is chairman emeritus of the board of trustees of the Japanese American National Museum and on the advisory committee of the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program.
He’s currently performing in East West Players’ production of Equus which runs through November 20. If you’ve never been to a performance at the David Henry Hwang Theater in Little Tokyo, this is a great time to check it out. It’s a good-sized venue that still feel intimate and comfortable.
And when the show is over, walk over to Suehiro and fill your tummy on an Okonomi Plate.
Equus runs October 26 through November 20, 2005, at East West Playersí David Henry Hwang Theater, 120 N. Judge John Aiso St., Los Angeles. Frontiers night, featuring discounted tickets and a cast reception, is November 17. Call 213/625-7000 or visit www.eastwestplayers.org for tickets.