Category Archives: theatre

The Pee-Wee Herman Show in NYC

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Pee-Wee Herman (Paul Reubens) is back and he’s brought along lots of his friends from the Playhouse. If you were a kid growing up in the 80’s (or a kid at heart) and remember watching “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” and waking up Saturday mornings for “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse,” then this show is for you. All the characters from the Playhouse are back including Jambi, Cowboy Curtis, Miss Yvonne, Chairry, Conky and the King of Cartoons. I was lucky to get tickets to the first NYC show on October 26 at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre and sat in the center of the balcony which had a great view. There was a huge curtain in front of the stage and as soon as Pee-Wee came out to start the show, the crowd went wild. When the curtains opened to reveal the Playhouse, the crowd cheered even crazier. It was insane! It was great to see Lynne Marie Stewart reprise the role of Miss Yvonne and John Paragon is back as the genie, Jambi. Mekalekahi Meka Hiney Ho! The show is well written, funny and there are even jokes for the adults snuck in there too. Don’t you worry, there is a secret word and don’t forget when you hear it…scream real loud! I don’t want to give much of the plot away, but It’s just another day in the Playhouse for Pee-Wee who wishes one day to be able to fly. There are plenty of laughs and one of my favorite scenes happens when the lights go out. You will love this play so much you’ll want to marry it! Hurry and get your tickets, the show ends on January 2, 2011. Welcome back Pee-Wee. We missed you!

SAMMO HUNG GUM BO,SIMON YAM, & HUANG BO at Star Asia Awards-NYAFF 2010

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huang bo being presented with award by fellow actor in movie, the Cow!

This Planet Chocko martian had a privilege to attend the smattering of asteroids & awards being handed out to honor Hong Kong cinema legends Sammo Hung Kum Bo, Simon Yam, & to recognize a new/upcoming actor Huang Bo at the Star Asia Awards Ceremony on June 25th in conjuction with the New York Asian Film Festival hosted by Subway Cinema! Sammo, known as “Dai Goi Dai” to his close friends which translates to Big Brother big shows that his circle of friends & peers give him the utmost of respect when greeting him with this title. Dai Goi Dai is usually reserved for a person with high authority like a crime boss or someone with a tremendous amount of influence in his circle of business. Deservingly so because Sammo was the eldest training brother of the “7 little fortunes” including Jackie Chan,Yuen Biao, & Yuen Wah under the tutelage of Jimmy Yuen’s Peking Opera Academy in Hong Kong. Sammo Hung was the leader of the seven little fortunes and soon thereafter, began to blaze a trail in the Hong Kong film industry that his classmates would eventually take a walk on. Shaw Brother directors such as Chang Cheh & King Hu began to notice Sammo’s skill in fight choregraphy & so…the first domino started to fall as the “Fatty Dragon” began making a name for himself. Even Bruce Lee took a notice to the ‘plump one’ & Jackie Chan as well when casting them in fight scenes. From Wuxia genres like “Come Drink with Me” & the “Fate of Lee Khan” to Kung Fu slapstick like “Meals on Wheels” to “Enter the Fat Dragon”, to Wing Chun inspired movies like “Prodigal Son”,”Warriors Two”, & “Ip Man”, Sammo has had his hands in the cookie jar in all aspects of the phrase! The ‘fatty dragon’ reigns supreme, the cookie monster said so! It’s really an honor to be able to hear & see one of Hong Kong’s legends in person!

Simon Yam has easily been one of my favorite actors in the cop & gangster themed Hong Kong movies since the early 80’s. Even the casual HK cinema film fan would recognize Simon based on the sheer number of movies he has acted in. From John Woo’s, “Bullet in head” to “Full Contact” to the famous “Young & the Dangerous” series, I can always picture Simon in a Hong Kong Police uniform and people calling him “a sir”. If Tony Leung or Chow Yun Fat is in the movie, I expect to see Simon as well! I went to a screening of “Echoes of the Rainbow” last night at the New York Asian Film festival in the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center & I can see why Simon was finally nominated as being actor of the year with this film. Simon Yam made a brief appearance before the screening of Echoes of the Rainbow & he mentioned that this movie was very close to his heart. Echoes of the Rainbow tells a story about a family living in 1960’s Hong Kong. The movie was narrated by the youngest son in the movie & it was touching indeed. This film hit home with me because the town they were portraying was also the town were my family lived in the 1960’s. The area was called “Tsam Tsui Bo”. It’s to no surprise that Simon was recognized by the Hong Kong film industry & the New York Asian Film Festival for his excellency & persistence in keeping us martians entertained in our spaceships! The question is, why did it take so long?

A rising star award was also handed out to China’s actor, Huang Bo. He’s a newcomer & I’m looking forward to watching some of his movies on display at the festival!

Oh, my Lord Godless(taken from “Storm Warriors”), I forgot to mention that Angela Mao Ying came out to present Sammo Hung with his lifetime achievement award! What a great surprise! She disappeared from the film industry about 30 years ago when she decided her family was more important than the non lucrative sport of acting & traveling to make films. Rumors had it that Angela owned a Chinese restaurant somewhere in Flushing,Queens. Angela Mao Ying was my favorite Hong Kong actress because she exuded mojo,the look, & her kick ass skills to the screen when women weren’t supposed to be strong like a tigress! Angela parallels another strong actress of a different spectrum of the rainbow named Pam Grier without the breastesses & hairdo! I must say Angela Mao looked dynomite even 30 years later! Pam Grier still looks hot as well! Maybe we should honor Angela, too! Hint Hint…Subway Cinema & New York Asian Film Festival! Fate of Lee Khan, When Tae Kwan Do strikes, Lady Kung fu, whatcha’ sayin’?!
–Mr. C (pics,article,& video courtesy of Mr. C @planetchocko.com)
sammo & angela mao ying
Angela Mao

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A View From The Bridge

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Once in a blue moon, I’ll check out a Broadway play. The main reason is the cost and parking around Times Square is definitely a hassle. But on a Sunday matinee and for under $40, I was down to see Scarlett Johansson’s Broadway debut in Arthur Miller’s “A View From The Bridge.” The play takes place in the 1950’s and involves a Brooklyn dock worker Eddie Carbone, played by Liev Schreiber, who’s got da hots for his 17-year-old niece Catherine, played by Scarlett. Eddie Carbone is a hard-headed man who is married and has been raising his orphaned niece and putting her through school while putting food on the table and providing a roof over his family’s heads. However, the drama begins once Catherine falls in love with an immigrant from Italy. Mix obsession with a little bit of desire, some jealousy and a dash of desperation and let the games begin. The play is in two acts and lasts for about two hours. The acting is top notch. I totally dug Scarlett’s Brooklyn accent for her role. I’ve been a fan since her acting in the movie “Ghost World” and more recently the work she’s done with Woody Allen. Great stuff. When the play was over, Scarlett came out into the freezing cold totally bundled up, but she seemed really nice and signed everybody’s playbills. Liev did as well and chatted briefly with the fans that waited in the cold. A View From The Bridge will be playing at the Cort Theatre (138 W. 48th St.) until early April. I liked it a lot and I would probably go see it again!
-chocko