The Japanese American National Museum will host East West Players’ reading of “Iyakan Blues (Crier for Hire),” written by Giovanni Ortega and directed by Tim Dang, on Thursday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m.

Giovanni Ortega
Giovanni Ortega

Aurora, Remedios, and Eugenia are three of the most sought-after professional criers (individuals paid to cry at funerals) in Monterey Park. They are eager to welcome Aurora’s 14-year-old daughter Ligaya (nicknamed Gaya) from the Philippines into their world and teach her their somber trade.

However, they soon realize that Gaya has the opposite effect on people, making them laugh instead of cry. What ensues is a hilarious and heartwarming story of cultural identity, generational conflict, and finding home in a new country.

Featuring Sandy Yu, Joy Regullano, Myra Cris Ocenar, Nikki McKenzie, Jonathan Arroyo, Nicholas Downs, and Julian Yuen.

Ortega wrote “ALLOS: The Story of Carlos Bulosan,” which was commissioned by East West Players for its Theater for Youth Tour in 2011. It was produced in Chicago the following year by the CIRCA Pintig Theater Company, which once again presented “ALLOS” as part of “Migrant Stories.” During the same time, EWP included an excerpt of his work in “Our American Voice” in 2014.

JANM is located at 100 N. Central Ave. in Little Tokyo. The event is free and open to the public. To RSVP, click here.

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  1. Great post! Thanks for sharing a bit of your fiamly history. I wish we could see that exhibit. My husband’s grandpa and great grandpa were gardeners before WWII. I’m not sure if they kept it up after the internment but I know that J’s grandpa’s home garden has the biggest most beautiful dahlias I’ve ever seen.