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Ikumi Sugamoto in Dancing Monk Ippen Photo Credit: Shota Suzuki

Ikumi Sugamoto in Dancing Monk Ippen
Photo Credit: Shota Suzuki

Today is the beginning of the 18th annual New York International Fringe Festival, which runs August 8-24 in various venues located in downtown Manhattan. I wrote up a preview of LGBT-inclusive FringeNYC shows for the GLAAD blog, and I’ll be reviewing several shows – mostly musicals – for NiteLife Exchange. But I’ll also be covering some other Fringe offerings here on this site.

Several pieces in this year’s festival have Asian or Asian American subject matter. There are a few more that involve Asian American artists, even if the subject matter is not ethnic-specific. Here’s a rundown of shows that I’m aware of that fit that rather broad-based criteria, in alphabetical order. Click on the links for more information.

Campo Maldito

Filipina American director Jesca Prudencio helms this dark comedy about gentrification in San Francisco, in which a young CEO of a tech startup hires a Santeria priest to purify his office.

Dancing Monk Ippen

From Tokyo comes this musical set in 13th century Japan, about a born Samurai who lived as a singing and dancing Buddhist monk.

Forgetting the Details

Nicole Maxali’s solo show is about family, Filipinos, and Alzheimer’s.

The Imbible: A Spirited History of Drinking

Ariel Estrada – executive director of the Asian American performing arts company Leviathan Lab – is featured as part of a vocal trio backing up Anthony Caporale as he regales the audience with tales from the world of spirits and cocktails.


Written and choreographed by Marla Hirokawa, this dance piece tells the story of a second generation Japanese American soldier during World War II.

No Homo

The ever-busy Ariel Estrada is company manager for this comedy about two longtime male pals whom family and friends think are secretly a couple.

The Princess Pyunggang

Seoul’s Bibimbab Theatre presents this ancient Korean tale about the princess of Goguryo in a kid-friendly performance that combines traditional drumming, songs, and dances.

Soga Shohaku

Tokyo-based writer-director Yuko Murata’s play is based on the story of a painter who lived in Kyoto, Japan in the 18th century. He believed an artist should paint something that invigorates one’s soul.

The Sun Experiment

Asian American playwright Catherine Yu reimagines Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, with the philosopher Wittgenstein added into the mix.

Tejas Luminous

Malini Srinivasan choreographs this Bharatanatyam journey through afternoon’s liveliness, dusk’s harmony, evening’s rituals, night’s passion, and morning’s purity and renewal.

Urban Momfare

Christine Toy Johnson, whom I interviewed previously on this blog, is among the cast members of this musical that asks, “Why don’t we ever hear songs about moms not actually liking their kids?”

The Warrior and the Princess

This show from Australia is based on the true story of a Japanese diplomat who helped thousands of Jewish refugees to escape the Nazis.


For even more Fringe offerings and to purchase tickets for individual shows, visit www.fringenyc.org.


For more of my FringeNYC coverage, also check out my reviews of Nisei, Princess Pyunggang, and Forgetting the Details on this blog, my preview of LGBT-inclusive works that I wrote for GLAAD, and my NiteLife Exchange reviews of MANish BOY, No One Asked Me, Bedroom Secrets, and Joel Creasey: Rock God.