Friday, June 10, 2011

EWP's 45th Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner & Silent Auction

Its taken me a minute to breathe, but its time to share.

On May 2, 2011 the lights went up and lights went down on East West Players' 45th Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner and Silent Auction at the Universal Hilton. It was my first time at the event as the Producer. I had been as a guest (thanks to brother Jim) and I had been as crew (thanks to Meg). But being the producer of an event with lots of moving parts is always a great ride.

It was truly a beautiful night. After several months of scheduling and inviting, we were excited to be able to honor HARRY SHUM JR., from GLEE; Bank of America for their support of East West Players and the larger ARTS COMMUNITY; and Michael Hagiwara - a long time East West Players family member. Karin Anna Cheung, Dante Basco, George Takei, John Cho, Rodney Kageyama and Aaron Takahashi were awesome presenters! James Kyson-Lee and Tamlyn Tomita were our MCs for the evening.

Its a fundraising Gala - but many people who attend say that its their favorite fundraiser of the season - because its not just a boring dinner and silent auction - its a show. This year - we had some amazing entertainment:
The 3 Filipino Tenors (Antione Diel, Randy Guiaya and Lino Villareal) turned it out with their Opening Medley - takin' us through the decades 4.5 decades that EWP has been producing Asian Pacific American theatrical work. Laurie Cadevida rocked it with 'Born This Way' and Joan Almedilla sent us all to the dessert buffet and final moments of the silent auction with "Song For You."

The night was amazing for many reasons. It was of course a personal milestone, since I've been a fan of EWP and a part of the community for over 10 years. It was great because I am also the Lead Teaching Artist for their PEAC Program. It was also great because my wife Ellen is part of the EWP family and crew regularly working shows.

I invite you to check out East West Players. I invite you to DONATE to them.

I invite you to join us next year for the 46th Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner and Silent Auction on 4/30/12! If you'd like to volunteer you can email:

I am today's Filipino - circa 2006

And while I'm on the documenting past collaborations, projects and pop-ups... here is another lil' somethin' somethin'.

Producer of Events... Grace Nono

Over the course of the last 15 years I've produced many events. Here is one of those magical moments from 2006 that willed its way into being while I worked at FilAm ARTS.

The great Pilipina singer GRACE NONO was in Los Angeles for an artist exchange at UCLA. She had collaborative presentations through APEX Artist Exchange Program - but the community wanted a little more. So, we hustled and booked the small gallery next to Remy's on Temple in Historic Filipinotown for this small intimate concert.

Sadly, my Tagalog skills were not what they could be and Grace wouldn't talk to me very much in English. Joel Quizon and Ian Laczi's held it down as sound engineers and resident Tagalog speakers. Ernie Pena shot the video. Special thanks to Jilly Canizares - cuz nothing happens without her blessings or guidance. Thanks to everyone's efforts it was truly an intimate and amazing event in this tiny gem of a storefront with one of the biggest voices in the world.