Artists at Play Presents L.A. Premiere of ‘Cowboy vs. Samurai’

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“Cowboy Versus Samurai,” Michael Golamco’s hit comedy inspired by “Cyrano de Bergerac,” will make its Los Angeles debut at The Rosenthal Theater at Inner-City Arts, 720 Kohler St., with an opening night on Saturday, Sept. 28.

Presented by Artists at Play, this production will be Golamco’s third L.A. premiere over the past three years, the prior shows being the West Coast premiere of “Year Zero” at The Colony Theatre in 2011 and the world premiere of “Build” at Geffen Playhouse in 2012.

Founding members Peter J. Kuo and Julia Cho will direct and perform, respectively. The cast also includes Feodor Chin, Daniel Vincent Gordh and West Liang. Understudies are Michael Barnum, Elaine Loh, Tyler Wolfe and Julian Yuen.

“As Artists at Play continues to present plays new to Los Angeles, we are proud to produce a show by locally based playwright Michael Golamco,” said founder Stefanie Lau. “Michael is a growing, prominent voice in American theatre, and is at the forefront of the next generation of great Asian American playwrights.”

“We’ve all known about the play for years; it’s been around even before Artists at Play came to be,” said Cho. “Productions of it have been done all over since 2006, so we were shocked that it had yet to be produced in Los Angeles. And we thank our lucky stars that we get to be the ones to present it.”

In Breakneck, Wyo. — population 1,000 — Travis and Chester are the only Asian Americans in town. Chester evokes an Asian American Che Guevara, pointing out the racial injustices in their small town, while Travis couldn’t care less. That is, until Veronica Lee, a beautiful and bright Korean American, moves into town.

Before Travis can make a move, he learns Veronica has a dating preference for white men — like Travis’ good friend Del, whom she’s fallen for. But what happens when Veronica learns the letters from Del that stole her heart were actually penned by Travis?

“This play is a wonderfully comedic addition to the Asian American theatre canon, and the American theatre canon as a whole,” said founder Marie-Reine Velez. “It articulates the comparison between dating experiences of the regularly exotified Asian American female and the often-emasculated Asian American male. And it humorously and heartily delves into issues like (racial) dating preferences and the insecurities that follow.”

“The L.A. theatre community should have an opportunity to see these great plays that are being produced across the nation,” said Kuo. “ We recognize we’re filling this void with the work we produce that may not be seen in L.A. otherwise.”

Previews are on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 26-27, at 8 p.m.. Opening night is Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. and performances run through Oct. 20. Performance times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Ticket prices range from $15 to $35 with student and group (10 or more) discounts available. Tickets may be purchased at http://bit.ly/AAPCvsS. Additional information about the show and Artists at Play can be found at http://ArtistsatPlayLA.blogspot.com.

Artists at Play has just received an LA STAGE Alliance Ovation Award nomination for best acting ensemble in a play for its last production, “Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them.”

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