Spotlight

In Memoriam - Anthony Bourdain (1956-2018) and Kate Spade (1962-2018)

Posted by Suzanne Kai - on Friday, 08 June 2018

In Memoriam - Anthony Bourdain (1956-2018) and Kate Spade (1962-2018)
June 8, 2018 Its been a tough week. First Kate Spade. Then this morning the news of Anthony Bourdain.  I never knew them personally, but they touched my life and so many of my friends. There was something about our Kate Spade handbags that made us smile, and we watched Anthony Bourdain travel the world sharing his adventures in culture and cuisine.  Of the many tributes and articles, here is one by writer/filmmaker Kevin Pang, who met Anthony Bourdain several times. (for links...

Spotlight - Entertainment

Filmmaker Justin Lin Acquires Film Rights to David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish

Posted by Lia Chang on Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Filmmaker Justin Lin Acquires Film Rights to David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish


Justin Lin (Photo by Lia Chang)

Filmmaker Justin Lin, who is responsible for Universal’s mega-successful FAST AND FURIOUS franchise has just acquired film rights to David Henry Hwang’s critically acclaimed comedy CHINGLISH hailed by TIME Magazine as the BEST PLAY of 2011.

CHINGLISH, a romantic comedy with a timely, political spin debuted at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre and follows its Broadway run with an international tour beginning at Berkeley Repertory Theatre this fall. Lin will direct and produce the film for his company, Barnstorm Pictures.

“As soon as I saw CHINGLISH on Broadway, I began to envision this smart and insightful cross-cultural comedy as a film. I’m excited about working with David to bring this very timely story to the screen, ” said Lin.

Playwright David Henry Hwang in front of the Longacre Theatre in New York, where his new comedy Chinglish played on Broadway through January 29, 2012. Photo by Lia Chang


“I’ve loved Justin’s work ever since he burst on the scene with Better Luck...

Hallyu: Riding the Korean Wave

Posted by AC Team on Friday, 06 January 2012

Hallyu: Riding the Korean Wave

If you know Rain, BoA (shown left), and Sistar, then you already know K-Pop, Korea’s contemporary pop music and its artists.

K-Pop music is one of the fastest growing music genres in the world, and along with Korea’s popular TV drama serials, films and comic books are a growing source of export revenue for Korea.  

The growing global fan base of Korea's entertainment and cultural offerings, known as "Hallyu" or the "Korean Wave" feels more like a tidal wave in some countries. In France, for example, fans mostly in their youth sold out a concert in Paris reportedly in fifteen minutes. Several hundred fans who missed out on tickets held a rally and danced to K-Pop music in front of the Louvre Museum campaigning for a second concert. They got their wish for a second concert which also sold out in minutes. A flash mob as witnessed by this YouTube video shows hundreds of fans from all ethnicities crowding the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris last June, 2011 to welcome their favorite K-Pop artists. (image right)

On December 31, 2011 Korea's Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Choe Kwang-shik announced a 2012 policy to expand support of Hallyu, to help keep the wave of Korean pop culture surging across its borders. The Korean government also hopes to attract more Hallyu fans into the areas of food, tourism, fashion and other cultural and entertainment offerings.

Leaders from Hollywood and S. Korea’s entertainment industry and academia convened in November for a summit at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles to explore the impact and future of Korea’s pop culture and entertainment, encompassing its music, films, television drama serials, and comic books.

The two-day summit Korean Wave Initiative – Hallyu: Riding the Korean Culture Wave for a Globalized World was held to explore the exciting developments of this trend and to discuss ways for Korea...

Jefferson Starship to perform landmark 2,000th performance in SF this month

Posted by Suzanne Kai on Tuesday, 03 January 2012

Jefferson Starship to perform landmark 2,000th performance in SF this month

An exclusive interview with Jefferson Starship creator Paul Kantner will be posted soon - stay tuned! - AC Team

Jefferson Starship is set to perform its 2,000th concert!

Hear the music artists who helped defined a generation foused on civil rights, environmental awareness and anti-war activism.

Don't miss this rare, once-in-a-lifetime event at the Rrazz Room, San Francisco's Premier nightcub January 25-29, 2012. 

Paul Kantner, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Jefferson Airplane creator will perform with David Freiberg, a former Jefferson Airplane member and co-founder of Quicksilver Messenger Service. The original band members will be joined by Grammy nominated lead vocalist Cathy Richardson who starred on Broadway in "Love, Janis," and keyboardist/bassist Chris Smith who joined the band in 1998 after years with The Supremes.

Kantner and Freiberg, descended from Jefferson Airplane, performed at Monterey, Woodstock, and Altamont with the Rolling Stones, sharing the bill with the Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin.

Kantner says that surprise artists will be added to the concerts to celebrate this historic occasion.  

The Magic of the Radio by Ben Fong-Torres

Posted by Ben Fong-Torres on Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The Magic of the Radio by Ben Fong-Torres

December 28, 2011

This one is all about Asian connections.

It began at Bellaken Garden, a skilled nursing care facility in East Oakland, where my mother, Connie, has been staying since August. I’ve been visiting there twice a week, crossing the Bay Bridge from San Francisco and popping in with potstickers from a nearby takeout restaurant.

For months, I’d seen this thin, white-haired woman seated in the lobby area, across from one of the dining rooms. After a while, we’d exchange smiles and hellos. I’d noticed her mainly because she always had a transistor radio with her. Being a radio columnist and occasional DJ, I asked what she was listening to. “Baseball,” she said. She was an avid San Francisco Giants fan, kept notes on their games, and kept their radio schedule close to her, all on a shelf of her walker. Her son, Jonathan, I would learn, works as a concessions cashier for both the Giants and the 49ers, so she was a football fan, too. We could talk.

I decided to do a little shout-out to her in my Radio Waves column in the San Francisco Chronicle, learned her name – June Kwei – and told her to watch for the mention. She appeared delighted, although I never properly introduced myself. Bad manners. (In Cantonese, “bad” is pronounced “kwei.”) Anyway, on December 11, the item ran, ending with “Holiday cheers to June Kwei.”

That evening, I received an email from a “Dede.” It was Mrs. Kwei’s daughter. I couldn’t believe it. Here’s most of what she wrote:

What a delight to see the mention of my mom, June Kwei, in your column today.  I just wanted to let you know that we are huge fans of yours, and have been faithfully following you in print and radio, since the ‘70s!

About two weeks ago, my mom called to say that "I am going to be in the paper." This event in itself was amazing, since being the typical Chinese mom, she only calls me after...

Catching Up: Santana, Taj Mahal and a déjà vu ‘Blue Christmas’

Posted by Ben Fong-Torres on Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Catching Up: Santana, Taj Mahal and a déjà vu ‘Blue Christmas’

By Ben Fong-Torres

It’s short shrift time.

I have a life that’s ripe (and slightly wrinkled) for blogs and tweeting; for facebooking and updating.

I’m just no good at it. My last column here on AsianConnections was about the memorial in late July for my sister Shirley. My last posting on the authors’ site, Redroom, was about a radio promo tour I did (20 stops, all on the phone in my home office) for my Eagles book. On my own home page, the last thing was about hanging with Johnny Depp at UC Berkley – in mid-October.

Pathetic. But hey, when you’re busy having a life, it’s not easy stopping and writing about it -- although hundreds of thousands of people apparently do. I hear Steve Martin is an inveterate Tweeter, and he’s kind of a busy guy. But I can’t do it. Backstage with Depp, I realized that it was the perfect time to post on Twitter: “We’re about to go on stage; students are screaming already”—something like that. But Johnny and director Bruce Robinson were chatting; one must pay attention. So, no tweets from this twit.

Bottom line: It’s time to catch up, and, with apologies, to give the following events & incidents short shrift.

SANTANA: On Oct. 21, four days after the on-stager with Depp, about his movie, The Rum Diary, at Cal, I was at Mission High School, where Carlos Santana was a student in the late Sixties, soon after arriving from the streets of Tijuana, where he learned about music and life. That, he once told me, was his high school. But, at Mission High, joined by members of his band and special guests, including the great Edward James Olmos (whose stint as one of the villains on Dexter had just begun), Santana and Olmos imparted words of wisdom and inspiration to the assembled student body. Carlos advised that they find their passion. “We talk about jobs,” he said. “I never worked a day in my life, because I love what I do.” He jammed with...

Featured Media

  • John Cho Cast In Avengers: Age of Ultron - #SeeAsAmStar
  • John Cho Cast In Captain America: The Winter Soldier - #SeeAsAmStar
  • Constance Wu Cast In Ghost In The Shell - #SeeAsAmStar
  • Arden Cho Cast In The Hunger Games - #SeeAsAmStar
  • Arden Cho Cast In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - #SeeAsAmStar
  • Steven Yeun Cast In 50/50 - #SeeAsAmStar
  • Constance Wu Cast In LUCY - #SeeAsAmStar

In the News

judith leiber