TRANSGENDER CAST AS UNDERSTUDY FOR THE ROLE OF KIM IN “MISS SAIGON” REVIVAL

miss-saigon.jpg.pagespeed.ce.z_0DvW_yB-London, U.K. –  The West End revival of “Miss Saigon” is scheduled to open on May 3, 2014 at the Prince Edward Theatre in London. The new Cameron Mackintosh production coincides with the musical’s 25th anniversary next year.

Set in 1975 during the final days of the American occupation of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), the musical tells the epic love story between Chris, an American G.I., and Kim, a young Vietnamese bargirl, and is loosely based on  Giacomo Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly.”  It features music by Claude-Michel Schönberg with lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr. and Alain Boublil, adapted from the original French lyrics by Boublil.

Noblezada
Noblezada

Mackintosh has announced that 17-year old Eva Noblezada, a Charlotte, North Carolina native, has been cast to play the lead role of Kim. Noblezada currently attends the NorthWest School of the Arts in Charlotte. The plan is for her to perform four shows a week when “Miss Saigon” opens, with understudies covering the rest of the performances so she can keep up with her studies.

The Adobo Chronicles learned from inside sources that a 21-year old transgender will train and rehearse as understudy for Noblezada.  The sources declined to reveal the name or ethnicity of the understudy.  They, however, said that the transgender actress looks and sounds like a young Lea Salonga who originated the role of Kim when it first opened in London.

It will be recalled that when “Miss Saigon” opened on Broadway, the show was met with protests from Asian Americans because it cast a Caucasian, Jonathan Pryce, in the role of the Engineer. This time, Mackintosh has cast a Filipino actor, Jon Jon Briones, to play the all-important role.

Entertainment critics have speculated that the casting of a non-Caucasian for the role of the Engineer and a transgender understudy for the role of Kim, is the production’s way of sending a message that the new “Miss Saigon” is quite sensitive to issues of racial and sexual diversity.

Upon learning of the news about the transgender understudy, a small group of LGBT activists held a peaceful demonstration in front of the Prince Edward Theatre yesterday, chanting “We’re here, we’re Queer, we’re celebrating with our peer!”

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CALIFORNIA TO BAN LECHON, ROASTED DUCK AND BOILED CRAB

imageSacramento, California (EXCLUSIVE to The Adobo Chronicles) – Here in the most radical state of the U.S., shark’s fin and foie gras (fattened duck or goose liver) are already banned, thanks to legislation passed and signed into law within the  last two years.

California’s law that prohibits the sale, possession, trade, or distribution of shark fins went into effect in July this year, ending the longtime Chinese custom of serving shark’s fin soup. On the other hand, a federal appeals court ruled last September that California can keep in place its ban on the sale of foie gras. The law prohibits state farmers from force-feeding birds with a tube, a procedure used in producing foie gras. The law also prohibits the sale of the delicacy.

Now, in a new move that would inarguably seal California’s reputation as the world’s top melting pot of progressives, conservationists, environmentalists, human and animal rights activists,  a bi-partisan group of state assemblymembers is proposing a new set of  legislative bans.

The proposed bill will prohibit the sale of lechon (Filipino roasted pig), roasted duck and boiled crab throughout the state. The legislators cited the inhumane procedures used in cooking or displaying these traditional delicacies.

imageSuckling pigs are  bound and skewered in one whole piece before being roasted for hours over a fire pit. Live crabs are boiled in huge pots. Roasted ducks, on the other hand, are displayed stark naked in windows of Chinatown restaurants and food shops, hanging in iron hooks.

The lawmakers were one in saying that “the preparation and cooking procedures for these food items are cruel and have no regard whatsoever for the dignity of these poor creatures.”image

The Adobo Chronicles learned that this is just the beginning of a series of legislation that will look into other inhumane practices used in California’s multi-ethnic and diverse food and restaurant industry.

California voters concerned about other cuisine practices are urged to contact their assembly representatives. A toll-free hotline has been established for this purpose: 1 -000- BAN FOOD.

OBAMA SCRAPS PRESIDENTIAL TURKEY PARDON

Photo credit: Alex Brandon, The Associated Press
Photo credit: Alex Brandon, The Associated Press

Washington, D.C. Each year, shortly before Thanksgiving, the President of the United States is presented with a live domestic turkey to be “pardoned”  and spared from being slaughtered.  This bizarre White House practice began in 1989 during the first Thanksgiving of then President George H. W. Bush.  Since then, Bush and his successors spared the lives of one or two lucky turkeys each Thanksgiving.  Last year, President Barack Obama pardoned Cobbler and Gobbler, both 40-pound turkeys from Rockingham County, Virginia.

This revered tradition is about to change as The White House announced that President Obama is scrapping this year’s Presidential Turkey Pardon due to reports about a shortage of Butterball turkeys.  Butterball is the nation’s largest turkey producer. Headquartered in Garner, N.C., Butterball produces 1 billion pounds of turkey every year, equal to 20 percent of the nation’s production. The ubiquitous brand, known for its blue, gold and yellow label, is a mainstay in American kitchens every Thanksgiving.

Butterball said its poultry had trouble gaining weight on some of its farms but did not explain why. The company still has ample supplies of its frozen large varieties, which are birds 16 pounds and heavier. “We experienced a decline in weight gains on some of our farms causing a limited availability of large, fresh turkeys,” Stephanie Llorente, a spokeswoman for Butterball, said in a statement Friday. “While we are continuing to evaluate all potential causes, we are working to remedy the issue. We sincerely regret the inconvenience that some of our customers have experienced as a result of this issue.” IMG2501-e1352796768675-793x1024

In making the surprise announcement, President Obama said he hopes his gesture which he says will surely be frowned upon by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), will help, even in the smallest way, to alleviate the turkey shortage.  Obama refused to answer a question from The Adobo Chronicles  on whether the Presidential Turkey Pardon will be scrapped for good, or only when there is a turkey shortage.

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