Stage Veterans


The Grateful Crane Ensemble presented “The Best of Grateful Crane” on Sept. 11 at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center’s Toyota Meeting Hall. The show featured songs from the ensemble’s productions over the past 10 years, including “The Camp Dance,” “Nihonmachi: The Place to Be,” “The Momotaro Project” and “Natsukashi no Kouhaku Uta Gassen.” Above: The audience included playwright Wakako Yamauchi (center), pictured with cast members Merv Maruyama and Susan Haruye Ioka, both of whom appeared in Yamauchi’s plays in the mid-1980s at East West Players — Maruyama in “The Memento” and Ioka in “The Music Lessons.” The latter play also starred Grateful Crane’s Darrell Kunitomi (left photo) as Ioka’s brother. The ensemble also includes Jason Fong, Keiko Kawashima, Kurt Kuniyoshi, Aimee Machida, Mary Kageyama Nomura, Helen H. Ota and Fusako Shiotani. Yamauchi is also known for such plays as “And the Soul Shall Dance,” “12-1-A” and “The Chairman’s Wife.” (Photos by J.K. Yamamoto/Rafu Shimpo)


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