East West Players’ 42nd Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner & Silent Auction honors Carrie Ann Inaba & Velina Hasu Houston
East West Players (EWP), the nation’s premier Asian American theatre organization, celebrates its 42nd Anniversary with its glamorous Visionary Awards Dinner & Silent Auction, which salutes those who have raised the visibility of the Asian Pacific American (APA) community through their artistic excellence and support of the Asian Pacific performing arts. The award winning event will take place at the Hilton Universal City on Monday, April 28, 2008. Proceeds from the event will benefit East West Players’ educational and artistic programs.
“Every year attendees anticipate what East West Players has in store for this star-powered and talent-packed event and each year we continue to top the previous year’s event,” said Producing Artistic Director, Tim Dang. “This year is not an exception. I look forward to bringing the best in APA entertainment with more glitz, glamour and overall fun to this year’s Visionary Awards. It will certainly be a memorable evening not to be missed.”
The evening’s Master of Ceremonies will be The Three Filipino Tenors (Antoine Reynaldo Diel, Randy Guiaya and Lito Villareal), a trio of talented tenors formed by East West Players. The Three Filipino Tenors recently appeared on East West Players’ stage to sold out performances of ‘Tis The Season: Celebrate the Holidays with the Three Filipino Tenors and represented EWP at the first National Asian American Theater Festival in New York City.
Nathan Wang will lead the orchestra for the 7th year as the evening’s Musical Director.
This years Honorees are:
Carrie Ann Inaba: Her original, creative, choreography can be seen in nearly every hit show on television including American Idol and the opening credits of So you Think you Can Dance? She is currently a judge on ABC’s Emmy nominated Dancing with the Stars. Inaba, along with her Dancing with the Stars co-judge Bruno Tonioli, served as coaches and choreographers for ABC’s new reality competition series, Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann - which premiered January 7, 2008. Inaba is currently a correspondent with NBC’s Extra. She recently hosted a travel DVD entitled Tokyology.
Inaba costarred in New Line Cinemas’ Austin Powers: Goldmember. She was also in the prequel to the film Austin Powers II: The Spy Who Shagged Me as a dancer. Additional movie credits include: American Virgin, Monster Mash, Boys and Girls, Flintstones II, Showgirls, and Lord of Illusions. In 1990, Inaba was a Fly Girl on FOX’s sketch comedy show In Living Color. Inaba’s television choreography credits include: American Idol, American Juniors, The TV Land Awards, The Swan, Starting Over, and Dance Fever.
MADE IN AMERICA AWARD
Velina Hasu Houston is an internationally acclaimed playwright of over twenty plays as well as a published poet, essayist, and screen writer. She has published two anthologies of Asian American drama and serves as a Commissioner for the U.S. Department of State’s Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission of the U.S.-Japan Conference of Cultural and Educational Interchange. She is the recipient of fourteen playwriting commissions from distinguished institutions such as: Manhattan Theatre Club, Asia Society, Lila Wallace-Readers Digest Foundation, Mark Taper Forum, and others. Houston is in pre-production with Tokyo Engeki Ensemble, Tokyo; and with a Silk Road Theatre Project commission, The DNA Trail, along with David Henry Hwang, Elizabeth Wong, and others.
This year Edison International is the first Titanium sponsor of the Visionary Awards Dinner. Erwin Furukawa, Vice President of Customer Programs and Services of Southern California Edison, will be the Honorary Chair of this year’s dinner. Previously Erwin Furukawa was regional vice president of sales for AT&T, responsible for a variety of marketing and sales initiatives for cities, counties, schools, colleges, universities, and transportation entities in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. He previously was a vice president of sales for Alternate Channels and vice president of sales for ethnic markets at SBC.
Additional event sponsors include: George and Sakaye Aratani, CBS, Disney ABC Television Group, FOX and NBC Universal as the evening’s Platinum Circle sponsors; and Macy’s and American Airlines as Gold Circle sponsors.
East West Players’ 42nd Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner and Silent Auction will be held on Monday, April 28, 2008 at the Hilton Universal City, 555 Universal City Drive, Universal City, CA 91608. The no-host reception and silent auction will start at 6pm. The dinner and awards program will start at 7pm. Tickets are $175 - $1,250. For more information on East West Players’ 42nd Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner and Silent Auction please visit www.EastWestPlayers.org or contact Development Manager Lisa Tang at (213) 625.7000 x17 or LTang@EastWestPlayers.org.