On the Scene: June 24

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Broadway San Jose closed its season this year with something very different for its season subscribers with GREEN DAY’S AMERICAN IDIOT. A very contemporary musical that was born locally at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2009 before its Tony award-winning  Broadway stint in 2010, the show was obviously a loud one.  Ushers handed out earphones to patrons whose sensitive ears might be invaded by not only the music’s volume but its repertoire of choice expletive words throughout the show.  From the audience, I sensed a very mild reaction to the show’s songs and actions in the beginning with only a trickle of applause after each song,  but by the  end’s curtain call, there was some exuberant whistles and standing ovations.  It is obvious that Broadway San Jose’s mainstream audience might be more accustomed to the usual musical theater format presentations, but kudos to Broadway San Jose for bringing new wave theater to attract a younger audience. Seen tapping feet to the music one evening were Roger and Sylvia Eng, Aaron and Maelene Wong, Bob and Joanne Johannson. General Manager Nancy Williams showed me next season’s show offerings, which should be interesting to a more diverse age group to Broadway San Jose’s productions.  Those tired of the same old tried-and-true musicals of the 80s-90s era will see a few newbies including PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT, EVITA, THE AUSTRALIAN BEE GEES SHOW, THE MUSIC OF ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER, JERSEY BOYS AND WICKED.  For some great deals for early bird subscribers, check www.broadwaysanjose.com.

Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) held its Run for Wellness at the Microsoft campus in Mountain View with over 200 individuals running together in the 5k along the Stevens Creek Trail.  Twenty-five kids added to the fun running their One Mile Fun Run and were greeted by the Nesquik Bunny who handed out free chocolate milk during the warm-up activities. NBC Bay Area Meteorologist Rob Mayeda emceed this first ever AACI Run for Wellness, which welcomed San Mateo Mayor David Lim running with his seven year old twin girls and 10 month old son. AACI Board member Patrick Kwok was an enthusiastic runner and AACI Board Member Hanley Chew’s son Marcus celebrated his 8th birthday on the day of the race, choosing to volunteer distributing water to the runners instead of a party for himself. Running in the kids’ fun run with sister Hannah, they received medals along with all of the other participants in the fun run. Was he surprised when greeted by a birthday cake at the end of his run! All of these benefit sports activities take a crew of volunteers, and a large team from the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA), were there to help out this fun event for a great cause.  A big hand of applause go to the sponsors who helped make this run happen – Host Sponsor Microsoft, Marathoner Sponsor Prometheus, Sprinter Sponsor Recology Mountain View, Jogger Sponsor Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, and staff organizer Anne Im.

Michele Lew (left) welcomes runners to AACI’s Run for Wellness

Michele Lew (far left) welcomes runners to AACI’s Run for Wellness

Oakland Chinese Golf Club held a fun tournament at the beautiful Castlewood Country Club Hills Golf Course, attracting 70 players throughout the Bay Area. Organizing committee members were Hugh and Shirley Lee, Terry Owyang, Joyce Shao, Kim Shek and David Yip. Not quite up to US Open style of playing, but the tournament turned out some pretty impressive winners. The Men’s Flight 1 winners with impressive low nets in the 60s were David Yip (Oakland), Thang Ngo (Monta Vista) and Tyler Eng (Oakland).  Flight 2 low net winners were Mario Nakano (Oakland), Walton Chang and Joe Wong (San Francisco). No Handicap Flight 3 winner wasGavin Fong. Impressive Closest to the Pin winners were Steve Shum, Edmund Lee, and Jadine Tom. If you watch the pros on TV, you know how hard that is to tee off and get your ball closest to that flag stick and the imposing hole. Last but never least are the brave 11 women who joined the tourney, and I immodestly report ye columnist (Foon Hay Golf Club) tied for first place with Jadine Tom (Oakland).  Who says luck isn’t an important part of golf?  I remember someone once advising me that the most important space in golf is between your two ears!?  My motto is always to try to hit the ball, but most importantly – have a ball!

Oakland Golf Club member Terry Owyang welcomes his first grade teacher Gerrye Wong  to the Castlewood Hills Country Club tournament.

Oakland Golf Club member Terry Owyang welcomes his first grade teacher Gerrye Wong to the Castlewood Hills Country Club tournament.

Speaking of golf, I better not ignore the latest tournament of my home club, The Foon Hay Seniors Golf Club, which boasts a membership of 80 members. Ready to celebrate its 10th anniversary next month, this club has traveled to most golf courses in the greater Bay Area and has made a lot of senior age golfers happy, mad, and/or sad. Those happiest at its latest Willow Park Golf Course foray were Low Gross champs Robert Cheung and Deanna Leong.  The team who handled and manhandled the crazy colored ball in that contest successfully were that of members Robert Cheung, Paul Char, John Kao and Larry Louie. Out of the Men’s A flight came winners Clarence Bakken, Tom Hubbs, Robert Cheung, Randy Got and Harvey Tom, all coming in the net 60s range.  Performing admirably in the Men’s B Flight range wereBert Why, Darrell Jones, Paul Char, Ernie Wong, Henry Liu and Larry Louie. Money winners in the Women’s Flight were Deanna Leong, Jane Chan, Alice Liu and Helen Hubbs.   Congratulations everyone who stepped onto the golf course, whether you brought home $$$ or not.  You’re enjoying good scenery, good companionship and even if not good golf, you’re alive and healthy enough to hit a ball and drive a golf cart.  Isn’t that a good enough accomplishment for a senior sportsman? I’m not proud – I’m always happy to be in a vertical position myself.

TheatreWorks, located in Silicon Valley, is presenting the west coast premiere of “Wild with Happy”, a crazy comedy that deals with death and healing at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts.  Storyline is of the dilemma a young black penniless actor faces when his mother dies and he decides to have her cremated as the least expensive path to care for her remains against his very vocal aunt’s wishes.  OBIE award-winning actor Domingo is hilarious in the leading role and Sharon Washington is the loud aunt who lets her feelings all hang out in a very appealing immensely touching performance. Play continues through June 30;www.theatreworks.org.

Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation Director Michael McKechnie and I had the opportunity to speak on AIISF’s history and future on Mina Li’s Mandarin Journal program which will air on KTSF Channel 26 the end of July at her 10:30 pmprime time.  The very charming Mina was able to conduct our half hour interview program efficiently in English, Cantonese and Mandarin. Appearing with us was William Mock, a detainee at the immigration station in 1937 at the age of 18 years old, who spoke of his 11 months on Angel Island before proving his immigration information and papers were legal. He spoke of the poor conditions on the island and the discriminative treatment he received during his stay there, and of the hardships he faced upon his entry to make a living for his survival.  Director McKechnie showed pictures of some of the other 80 nationalities who also were detained at the immigration station during the 30 years when over a million people came through the island’s entry center for all those wishing to come to America on the California west coast. He cited that 35% of the detainees were Chinese who were treated more harshly during the interrogation processes determining their right to entry. I told of the discovery of the poems etched into the walls of the detention barracks in 1970 which began the over 40 year campaign to save the history of this immigration station which was once called the “guardian of the west” and has since been designated as a National Historic Landmark.  Thank you to Mina and KTSF for enabling community organizations to share their mission and activities to its television audiences, both in English, Cantonese and Mandarin.

William Mock, Gerrye Wong and Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation Director Michael McKechnie are welcomed by Host Mina Li at her Mandarin Journal program taping.

William Mock, Gerrye Wong and Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation Director Michael McKechnie are welcomed by Host Mina Li at her Mandarin Journal program taping.

Someone who has served on the Board of any community organization for 11 eleven years deserves to be honored, and the San Francisco Symphony and Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas did just that with a special concert with music of his own choosing that was dedicated to John Goldman, its Board president.

San Francisco Chorus, Lisa Vroman and his favorite musician Kenny Loggins saluted the popular Goldman and his wife Marcia in words and music to the audience’s delight.  His continual support and leadership has been instrumental in the Symphony’s successful decade of bringing music to Bay Area audiences and its worldwide acclaim. We salute you, John Goldman.

Aaron and Marcia Goldman, together with performer Kenny Loggins congratulate John Goldman at the San Francisco Symphony concert dedicated in his honor.

Aaron and Marcia Goldman, together with performer Kenny Loggins congratulate John Goldman at the San Francisco Symphony concert dedicated in his honor.

Happy Memories at a Sad Time

Old and new family friends of popular Santa Clara matron May Chu came to pay homage and remember the wonderful person she was as a young bride, wife, mother, grandmother, and friend to all who remembered her delightful laugh anytime she would greet you. Her memorial program showed many beautiful photos of a teenage May, who was the chosen bride of World War II vet Judson Chu during his visit to China, over 66 years ago. Two of her children, Assemblywoman Judy Chu and Jeffrey spoke of their mother’s hard work and dedication to see that her children had every opportunity offered in America.  Son Dean alongside daughter Dorothy also testified to her astute businesswoman abilities to earn money to ensure that her children would have a good education and be well taken care of.  Other friends spoke of her philanthropic generosity to organizations such as Chi Am Circle, when she helped instigate its scholarship grant program, and the Chinese Historical and Cultural Project, when she was the first major supporter to its building of the Ng Shing Gung museum of Chinese American History in Santa Clara County in late 1980s. A good friend is gone but will always be remembered for her ready smile and hearty laugh.


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