Mothers & Daughters bond together as the critically acclaimed hit The Joy Luck Club plays on East West Players’ stage.

East West Players (EWP), the Nation’s Premier Asian American Theatre, continues its 43rd Anniversary Season, Beyond Presence, with its Los Angeles premiere of The Joy Luck Club. This stage adaptation, written by Susan Kim, is based on Amy Tan's seminal novel that spoke to and for a generation of Asian American women. The authentic and heartfelt stories of eight Asian American women are interwoven in this beautiful narrative about different generations of mothers and daughters. The Los Angeles debut opens November 12, 2008 and will be directed by Jon Lawrence Rivera with original music composition by Nathan Wang.

“Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club was a landmark story that gave a voice to Asian-American immigrants and American-born women,” says EWP Producing Artistic Director Tim Dang, “Fifteen years after its publication, so many of the issues are still relevant to not only Chinese American women but all Asian Americans. The play is written faithfully to the film adaptation but with a few scenes omitted from the movie re-introduced into the production. It will be a treat for all who grew up with both the film and book. I am very happy to be working with an award winning director like Jon Lawrence Rivera whose keen eye will give this production the theatrical impact it needs.”

In The Joy Luck Club, family bonds transcend history as four young Chinese American women and their Chinese-born mothers struggle to understand each other. When the children's present lives begin to mirror their parents’ past accomplishments and failures, a seemingly uncrossable divide grows into a bridge that unites generations.

Director Jon Lawrence Rivera is also the founding and current artistic director for Playwrights’ Arena. His productions have garnered over 70 Ovation, Garland, Drama-Logue, Maddy and LA Weekly awards. His last directorial appearance at EWP was MIXED MESSAGES (2004).

Hollywood composer Nathan Wang will be composing original music for this production. He is the composer of several feature films including The Game Plan with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and She’s the Man with Amanda Bynes. Wang has been the Musical Director for several EWP events including the annual Visionary Awards Dinner & Silent Auction and One Night Only Benefit Concerts.

The cast members featured in this ensemble production are: Jennifer Chang, Celeste Den, Edward Gunawan, Karen Huie, Elaine Kao, Emily Kuroda, Cici Lau, Katherine Lee, Ben Lin, Deborah Png and David Stanbra. The design team consists of: set & projection designer John H. Binkley, costume designer Dori Quan, lighting designer Jeremy Pivnick, sound designer Nathan Wang, property master Ken Takemoto, stage manager Darlene Miyakawa and assistant stage manager Vivis Colembetti.

East West Players will be adding several special events for The Joy Luck Club. These events were inspired by the production to give Asian American women a voice in the community and a common ground to discuss and meet. Anticipated events include: a series of forums discussing Asian American women and representation, and a special Ladies Night Out offering free strawberries, champagne and other festivities. Additional events include: “Wine” Down Fridays where complimentary wine will be served at every regular Friday performance. The Next Generation Community Night (Wednesday, November 19) will have free pizza and soda served at 7:00pm along with $1 opportunity drawing tickets for a mahjong set and autographed The Joy Luck Club items. More details to come.

All performances of The Joy Luck Club will be staged at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center for the Arts at 120 Judge John Aiso St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. The Joy Luck Club opens Wednesday, November 12, 2008 and closes on Sunday, December 7, 2008. Opening night will be accompanied by a pre-performance cocktail reception and a post show reception with the cast and creative team. Performances are Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. Previews are Thursday - Saturday, November 6 - 8 at 8pm and Sunday, November 9 at 2pm. There will be no performance Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 27. The Pay-What-You-Can Performance will be held Friday, September 28 at 8 pm. An American Sign Language-interpreted performance is scheduled for Sunday, November 30, 2008.

General ticket prices are $45 in the orchestra and $40 in the balcony. Preview tickets are $20 for all seats. Opening night tickets are $65 for all seats. Tickets are currently on sale. For ticket purchases or more information, please call East West Players at (213) 625-7000 or visit Senior, student and group discounts are available. Dates and details are subject to change.

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Copyright 2008, Roger W. Tang

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