Perry Miyake’s Latest Blends Music, Comedy

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The “happa girl sushi bar after hour” crew with leaders of San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center. Front row, from left: Warren Sata, stage directions; Chris Tashima, director; cast members Michael Hagiwara, Kym Hoy, Dan Taguchi and Shuko Akune; Perry Miyake, playwright. Back row, from left: Nancy Gohata, Sandra Nobuyuki, Marcia Mahony, Nancy Takayama, Patricia Takayama, Nancy Oda, Doreen Kawamoto, Harold Kameya, Mabel Takemoto, Linda Tanaka, Marion and Phil Shigekuni. (J.K. YAMAMOTO/Rafu Shimpo)

By PATRICIA TAKAYAMA

Perry Miyake’s play “happa girl sushi bar after hour,” presented at the San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center in Pacoima on Sunday afternoon, May 19, was a musical comedy hi

The more than 200 people who were in attendance laughed, cheered and could not say enough nice things about the performance. 

Chris Tashima of “Visas and Virtue” fame directed the concert reading. The performances he coaxed out of the actors created characters that the audience identified as their friends. They loved Kym Hoy’s sultry voice and an old ballad brought the silent articulation of the lyrics to more than a few members of the audience.

But it was Shuko Akune, whose portrayal of the loyal friend and Shin-Issei waitress character, Kats, that captured the local audience. Miyake’s dialogue, which included references to Korean soap operas and sex, got the audience chuckling and hungry for more. 

Miyake’s Sansei lead character David (played by Mike Hagiwara) is a 1970s musician whose story line — with twists and turns and years of hazy drug-induced memories — sets up the plot for the December-May relationship between David and waitress Mitzi (Kym Hoy), the “Happa girl” and fickle aspiring singer.   

As Yuki, Dan Taguchi’s magical fingers provided the atmosphere and tunes for the performance at the restaurant’s piano bar. He is known as the composer for his play, “Manzanar: Story of an American Family.”

 

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