Steven Tanaka and all his helpers have organized face-melting, ass-kicking Next Music From Tokyo shows across Canada for many years and volume 10 continues the trend. The Montreal show sold out and I’m not sure how often that’s happened in the past. I admit I did not unequivocally like all five bands this time around but all of them put on crazy and energetic performances with lots of crowd surfing.
Next Music From Tokyo vol 10, the totally awesome Japanese underground music concert tour (organized by Steven Tanaka), will be on Monday, May 22 at Le Divan Orange in Montreal starting at 8pm. Tickets are only $14 in advance or $20 at the door. This show is between the Toronto and Vancouver shows. The bands for this edition are The Taupe, ゆくえしれずつれづれ(Yukueshirezutsurezure), 指先ノハク(Yubisaki Nohaku), Bakyun the everyday, 百蚊(hyacca/Hyakka).
Check out some music videos of the bands… Continue reading “Next Music from TOKYO Vol 10 concert – May 22 @ Le Divan Orange”
Inside these Walls was broadcast on CBC back in October, 2016 but I only just discovered this recently. It’s a documentary about an estranged father who has been imprisoned in China for his pro-democracy beliefs and the turmoil it has caused for his family in Montreal. Here’s the description from CBC.
“Wang Bingzhang, founder of the Overseas Chinese Democracy Movement, has spent the last fourteen years in a Chinese prison for the crime of political activism. Although he once abandoned them to pursue his political beliefs, his ex-wife and children campaign tirelessly for his release. Inside These Walls captures the complex range of emotions of a family bound together in struggle and hope.”
Otherwise, you can watch this Ted talk by Wang’s daughter Ti-Anna.
Canada won its first ever Rugby Sevens cup and its top playmaker, Japanese Canadian, Nathan Hirayama, was also named player of the final at the Singapore Rugby Sevens tournament. Mike Fuailefau who is a teammate also scored a try in the final and is part Samoan.
The Wok is a Montreal based web series created by by Matthew Chan and David Der. The four main characters are portrayed by Annie Yao, Sean Curly, Oliver Koomsatira and Matthew Chan.
Here’s one of the episodes. The audio quality needs improvement but there are some good jokes here.
Window Horses is an interesting looking animated film that was just released in Montreal theaters (Cineplex Forum, Cinema Beaubien, Cinematheque Quebecoise) on March 17, 2017. It is written & directed by Ann Marie Fleming (Asian Canadian director) and the main character, Rosie Ming, is voiced by Sandra Oh (Korean Canadian actress). Gloria and Stephen are Rosie’s grandparents and are voiced by Nancy Kwan and Eddy Ko (Chinese Canadian actor).
This is a review of Kim’s Convenience the theater play (very minor spoilers) but will also briefly mention some elements of the TV show for comparison, which I saw first. The play opened this past Wednesday and continues its engagement until March 19 in Montreal at the Segal Centre. It’s produced by Soulpepper, created & written by Ins Choi and directed by Weyni Mengesha with set & costume design by Ken Mackenzie.
Also as an aside, the theater play will make its US debut this July in New York!
The play starts off with Mr. Kim aka Appa (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) walking into the store. If you’ve seen the TV show, he’s the familiar genial Appa with his jokes and accent but I would say there’s a bit more to him in the play, which is not restricted by TV rules. Much of the first act is comedy as he and his daughter Janet (Rosie Simon) clash and argue over various topics. There is early mention of a Walmart arriving soon and an offer to buy the convenience store from a customer. This is more background info as the main theme of the play is intergenerational conflict between parents and their adult children. Mrs. Kim aka Umma (Jean Yoon) appears from time to time often humming a tune. The fourth member of the family, Jung (Richard Lee), is however not around the store at all, having left the store/home many years previously due to a past incident.
One of the first arguments begins when Appa asks Janet to call 911 about an illegally parked Honda because it’s a Japanese car and he holds a grudge against Japan due to its past history of occupation of Korea. Later on when a customer with a Carribean accent comes into the store there’s an amusing confusion of different accents which leads into some race issues. Appa tries to “educate” Janet on which combinations of race, gender, sexuality will mean a customer is likely to steal. Some of these jokes will be familiar to TV show watchers but there are some differences. In fact, I find they work better in the play because unlike the TV show which tries to stretch some of these jokes into themes for an entire episode, they’re maybe one or two liners in the play.
Kim’s Convenience is a play created by Ins Choi and produced by Soul Pepper Theater Company. It was recently adapted into a hit TV show on CBC with its first season having completed this past autumn. The play will be making its Quebec debut at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts in Montreal with performances from March 8-19, 2017. Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Jean Yoon who were also in the TV show reprise their original theater play roles. The play has gotten rave reviews and is one not to miss! I’m looking forward to it. This is part of the festival Montréal en Lumière.