Make sure that you secure your ticket to the hottest streaming event in town: CollaborAzian’s production of “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” is on Broadway On Demand from July 15 through July 22.

The show is a wickedly hilarious tale of family inheritance, deep-seated betrayal, and passionate love affairs. It is all wrapped into upbeat show tunes and British absurdity. 

This is an all-Asian production, which extends to the cast, creatives, and crew. Proceeds of the show go to Stop AAPI Hate. It serves as a reminder for the AAPI community that in order to celebrate our faces, we need to protect them too. 

All-Asian productions are so important right now. During the spread of COVID-19, Asian faces have been targets for xenophobic hate. We have only seen our community through traumatic news feeds. We need a space to celebrate Asian faces.

You may recognize many faces of CollaborAzian from the internet sensation Unapologetically Asian (UA). UA started an online campaign last year to celebrate Asian people of all shapes and sizes. 

With this all-Asian cast, UA is normalizing the celebration and joy of Asian faces on entertainment platforms. “A Gentleman’s Guide” joins other all-Asian productions such as NAATCO’s virtual "Our Town" in May and the Lyric Stage’s production of "Pacific Overtures" last year. These shows give a renewed sense of Asian representation in the theatre community.

Chinosity’s Rob Chen recently interviewed Diane Phelan, who is playing the empowered Sibella Hallward. Phelan is also the founder of Unapologetically Asian. She talked about why they chose this particular production.   

“We are performing this Tony Award-winning musical that is known for their all-white cast, set in 1907, because we want to showcase Asian talent doing something you don’t usually see Asian faces doing, aka British farce,” she said.

This production is a wake-up call on the differences between diversity, inclusivity, and visibility for Asians and Asian Americans in the Broadway community. 

APAC has been amazing at compiling numbers to show what kind of representation is actually happening on Broadway,” Phelan explains. “They just released data from 2018 and 2019. The numbers [of Asian representation] went up minimal percentages.” 

This reality lit the fire for CollaborAzians to ensure this show gets out to as many people as possible. 

Theater as an art form is based on the power of storytelling. With these All- Asian productions, audience member are able to participate and connect with the story the actor's are sharing. 

The added element of streaming brings Asian joy directly into your own home. This sense of authentic human connection generates understanding and empathy for the Asian American experience. 

Broadway is beginning to understand the importance of diversity. Producers need to boost the number of AAPI and BIPOC faces on their stages. They can also improve their inclusivity by developing their visibility. 

Visibility to Phelan means “putting Asian and Asian American faces on your posters in Times Square. Making us the leads. Letting us embody fully developed characters with love interests and villainous plots. Let us be the leads of your stories.”

It isn’t enough to just be invited to the table. AAPI creatives want to get their hands dirty, and not just from murder. 

They want to be integral parts of storytelling. Too long they have been disposable, sidelined characters. It is time to establish AAPI creatives as outstanding voices, or as in this production, mass murderers. 

Make sure to check out the full interviews with Diane Phelan, Alan Muraoka, and Karl Josef Co on our Instagram. Tickets for “A Gentleman’s Guide” start at $20 and donations are encouraged. You can order your tickets here

CollaborAzians is dying to entertain you.

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Emma Federer

Emma Federer is a wacky screenwriter that uses her voice to celebrate of all things Asian: from C-pop to female stand-ups to the heart-warming experiences of queer Asian Americans.
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