The Smiling Spider will be taking a break for the rest of the summer but I wanted to leave you with a few shows worth seeing. First, the 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors are taking over the city with their new sketch comedy “Bow Down to your Asian Masters”:

July 31th-August 23th. Thurs., Fri., Sat., & Sun. @ 8pm, 4 WEEK LIMITED ENGAGEMENT! (July 30th PREVIEW $5) @ THE COMPLEX (Dorie Theater) , 6476 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90038, (East of Highland Ave.) Reservations: 818-754-4500 (vm) or purchase tickets online at . Information: email or go to


At CASA 0101, you can enjoy the latest episode of EL VERDE, the super hero on an everlasting quest to discover what his super power is… August 7th-30th. For more information go to

closerthan ever

LODESTONE THEATRE ENSEMBLE, under the artistic direction of Philip W. Chung & Chil Kong, proudly presents CLOSER THAN EVER, a musical revue in two acts with words by Richard Maltby, Jr. and music by David Shire. Directed by Chil Kong. Music Direction by Akira Nakano. Starring: Sharline Liu, DT Matias, Blythe Matsui, Paul Na kauchi, Erin Quill, EJ Arriola, Jully Lee, Jiehae Park, & Miley Yamamoto.

An all Asian American revival of CLOSER THAN EVER, the classic 1989 musical revue which won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical and was nominated for multiple Drama Desk Awards. CLOSER THAN EVER features self-contained songs which deal with such diverse topics as aging, mid-life crisis, second marriages and unrequited love. This is the second mainstage production of Lodestone’s tenth and final “Beginnings and Endings” season.

Thursday-Saturday 8pm, Sunday 2pm. ALL THURS. SHOWS: 2-for-1 general admission tickets if you say the codeword “Doors” at box office. NOTE: Thurs., August 13 performance is SOLD-OUT. To RSVP: (323) 993-7245. For more more information, go to:


I would also like to acknowledge R. Ernie Silva whose solo show, Heavy Like the Weight of  A Flame, has been extended at  the Odyssey Theatre through September 5th. R. Ernie Silva prances about the stage with uncommon grace and power in this autobiographical journey written by Silva and novelist James Gabriel. The show is deftly choreographed and directed by Mary Joan Negro with special mention to Bosco Flanagan whose lighting design subtly evokes the dark places visited by Silva and reflected off of his unsually expressive face.

The following review was found on “Watching R. Ernie Silva in his autobiographical ‘Heavy Like the Weight of a Flame” is like listening to exquisite poetry, music both classical and jazz all wrapped in the true life experience of the urban jungles of New York. His movement, lovely guitar riffs and impersonations of the players in his life story add to a profoundly satisfying evening of performance art. This is special theater, well worth going to.” By mypetard.

Like El Verde, I hope Ernie Silva will treat us to more episodes of his identity quest. Click here for more information.



Smiling Spider sightings this weekend can be expected in Hollywood where Action Theater Company’s “R.U.R.” comes highly recommended by a very trusted source, Olya Petrakova Brown of ARTEL, who recently directed “Kharmful Charms of Daniil Kharms,” a delirious ensemble piece inspired by the surreal writings of Soviet writer Daniil Kharms.

Here’s what Action Theatre Company has to say about its new production: “R.U.R.” stands for “Rossum’s Universal Robots.” Written in 1920 – R.U.R. garnered worldwide acclaim for its author and introduced the word “Robot” to the English language. Mass-produced, efficient and servile labor, Karel Capek‘s robots remember everything, but lack creative thought, and the Utopian life they provide ultimately lacks meaning. When the robots revolt, killing all but one of their masters, they must attempt to learn the secret of procreation.Working from a new adaptation by Action! Theatre Company Artistic Director, Tiger Reel, this production will highlight Capek’s themes of technology’s effect on society, gender and class roles and will wrestle with the question: “Are we as a race worth saving?”

A quick web search led me to Dennis G. Jerz‘s blog:

“R.U.R. was written in 1920, premiered in Prague early in 1921, was performed in New York in 1922, and published in English translation in 1923.  The following year, G. B. Shaw and G. K. Chesterton were among those in London participating in a public discussion of the play.  Capek responded, via The Saturday Review, to what he felt was the excessive thematic attention they and other critics paid to one of his devices: “For myself, I confess that as the author I was much more interested in men than in Robots.”  Click here for more.

R.U.R. will be performed through May 16th at Art/Works Theater. For more information, go to Featuring Jamil Chokachi, Tegan Ashton Cohan, Vicki Conrad, Warren Davis, A.J. Diamond, Jennifer Gabbert, Katie Kevorkian, Gretchen Koerner, Sara Lesley, Vera Miao, Michael Rachlis, Mahryah Shain and Tee Williams.


Feodor Chin and Ewan Chung. Photo by Nic Cha Kim.

You might also think you saw me spinning my web in Burbank for another sure treat: Lodestone Theatre Ensemble‘s first play of their tenth and final season: TEN TO LIFE, which opened last weekend.

TEN TO LIFE consists of four one-acts developed specifically for the tenth season by four writers who have been an integral part of Lodestone’s history. The four plays —RE:verse by Nic Cha Kim, Hacienda Heights by Annette Lee, Be Happy by Tim Lounibos and Red Dress by Judy Soo Hoo—were born from an idea to explore the milestones that come along each decade and touch on everything from a ten-year high school reunion to the census but in a distinctly Lodestone fashion…delving into the dark and twisted things lurking beneath the surface of normalcy.

TEN TO LIFE will be performed through June 7th. Click here for more information.


Look for me on the ceilings of the ACME theater where two of my favorite comedy groups, OPM and 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors, will be performing at this year’s LA Comedy Fest. For the lucky ones, they share the bill on Sunday at 7pm. The festival includes films, standup and group shows, and runs through May 17th.

Check out this video with Mighty Warriors Greg Watanabe and Michael Hornbuckle in THAILAND (for MATURE audience only):


Opening People’s Minds

ALL new sketch comedy from the 18 Mighty Mountain Warrriors that is “SAVAGELY FUNNY yet STRANGELY CIVILIZED!”

Thur, Fri, Sat, Sun @8pm at THE COMPLEX (Ruby Theater), 6476 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90038
(west of Highland Ave.)

$15 General, $12 Students/Seniors, $10 groups of SIX or more. $5 for Preview July 31st.
Buy out the house for $8 each!
2 for 1 every Sunday! (sorry, no doubling on discounts!)
Special: if you pay to see the show once, you can see it again for FREE if you bring a paying friend!

OPTIONAL Valet Parking $5 after 7pm (or just park on the street!)

Info/Reservations: 818-754-4500 or email
or buy ONLINE at
Cast: Junko Goda, Michael Chih Ming Hornbuckle, Kennedy Kabasares, Jully Lee, Greg Watanabe, Peter J. Wong


Greg Watanabe, Peter Wong and Michael Hornbuckle.

I’ve seen the Warriors perform twice and plan on never missing one of their shows in the future. They’re smart, naughty, edgy, scrumptiously silly and I am eternally grateful to them for teaching me all the things I always wanted to know but were afraid to ask about the Asian male body. Ignorance is not bliss. To sample their mighty comedy, take a look at some of the videos clips available on their MySpace page like Video Dating, A John Woo Family Dinner and my absolute favorite: The Slow Asian American Film Festival. Or go to Little Tokyo tomorrow to see a screening of the Emmy Award winning documentary “Mighty Warriors of Comedy.” The Warriors will be there!

“18 Mighty Mountain Warriors and the ImaginAsian Center present the Los Angeles premiere of the Emmy winning documentary “The Mighty Warriors of Comedy!” produced by Kibi Anderson and Sung H. Kim.
Using a combination of personal interviews and live concert footage, “The Mighty Warriors of Comedy” takes a look at the members of this innovative all Asian American comedy troupe from the Bay Area as they struggle for success and deal with the ups and downs of life. They’ve been “Up and Coming” since 1994, but will that change as some of them make the move to Los Angeles? They’re trying to sell out but will anyone buy?

Thursday, July 17 @ 8pm at the ImaginAsian Center, 251 S. Main Street, LA, CA 90012 in Little Tokyo.

$12 General Admission
$10 groups of 10 or more

818-754-4500 or email or

* MC Tamlyn Tomita!
* Live performance by 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors
* a special collaboration with the Tuesday Night Cafe Project, featuring Keiko Agena, Alison De La Cruz, Shin Kawasaki, and traci kato-kiriyama.