By J.K. YAMAMOTO, Rafu Staff Writer
The inaugural Stonebridge Music Festival will be held on Saturday, Aug. 22, at 7:30 p.m. at the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd. in La Mirada.
“Attracting a predominantly Sansei audience, we’ve taken into consideration their music tastes and desires,” said concert organizer Gerald Ishibashi of Stonebridge Entertainment. “The first annual Stonebridge Music Festival was designed to provide a first-rate entertainment experience for these friends and music lovers.”
Featured artists are Willie K, Hawaii’s renaissance music man; Corazon de Leon, which started out as a celebration of Santana’s music; Little Albert Maligmat, formerly of Society of Seven; actress, singer/songwriter and writer Brooke Ishibashi; and actress, writer and producer Brittany Ishibashi (host).
Tickets are $60 and $45. Discounted group rates are available. For more information, call (310) 627-7272 or visit www.StonebridgeEntertainment.com.
Brooke and Brittany Ishibashi, both daughters of Gerald Ishibashi, have worked together on many projects along with their sister Brianna.
Brooke, who will be performing with Corazon de Leon on such songs as “Game of Love” (a collaboration between Santana and Michelle Branch), said that the concert is “a treat for us because Dad has assembled this world-class group of musicians” and found it “invigorating” to work with them.
“We grew up with all of that backstage,” she noted, referring to the music her dad grew up with and later promoted — everything from Motown to the Shirelles to Three Dog Night.
Gerald Ishibashi also produced The Great Nisei Reunion last year at the Aratani Theatre and this year at the La Mirada Theatre. This year’s concert featured his mother-in-law, Mary Kageyama Nomura, the “Songbird of Manzanar,” and daughter Brittany as emcee.
Brooke said that her father wants to bring families together with “events that different generations can enjoy … Our grandparents will be there, our parents will be there, Brittany’s son … It’ll really be super fun.”
Brooke’s name was in the trade papers recently because she was cast in a pilot for an NBC sitcom called “Truth Be Told,” now known as “People Are Talking,” described as “an unabashed comedy about two diverse couples who are neighbors and best friends.” She was to play Tracy, who is married to Mitch (Mark-Paul Gosselaar).
Unfortunately, as the show was developed, the producers decided “I was too young to play the wife,” Brooke said. “It didn’t seem to be an issue in the beginning, but they ended up casting somebody a little more age-appropriate.” Despite the disappointment, she said, “It was a great experience, super fun.”
Brooke has done several plays and readings, mostly in New York. Her stage credits include “A Beautiful Day in November on the Banks of the Greatest of the Great Lakes,” “Good Person of Szechwan,” “Oklahoma,” “The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G,” and “Takarazuka” (as Chifumi and Junko).
She was in a workshop production of “Behind the Painting,” which was set in Thailand and Japan before and during World War II. That play became “Waterfall,” which recently had a successful run at the Pasadena Playhouse.
“I had a lot of friends involved in the most recent production, but I couldn’t continue with it,” Brooke said. “… I got to work with them, contribute to the development of the show. I played a couple of different roles (Nuan and Kimiko). A lot of changes occur in the workshop process.”
Brooke, a mezzo-soprano whose repertoire includes pop, rock, folk and jazz, has performed in a number of concerts, including “Tomo Yo/My Friend,” a benefit for victims of the 2011 tsunami in Japan, at Joe’s Pub in New York.
Brittany appears as Karai, a former protégé of Shredder, in the upcoming live-action movie “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2.” “We just wrapped principal photography in New York City … It comes out June 3 of next year,” she said. “… My role is the leader of the clan that goes against the turtles, trying to take over the world. It was a lot of fun to create the character.”
She stressed, “In the film, a lot of the actors do their own stunts,” rather than using CGI.
Her other recent TV appearances include a guest role on the USA series “Satisfaction,” a drama about marriage and extramarital affairs. USA is also the home of the miniseries “Political Animals,” in which she co-starred with Sigourney Weaver, Carla Gugino and James Wolk.
Brittany also stars in “Everything Before Us,” the debut feature film of Wong Fu Productions. The directors are Wesley Chan and Philip Wang, and the cast includes Aaron Yoo, Brandon Soo Hoo, Victoria Park and Randall Park.
“All the leads are Asian American … It’s pretty much an all Asian American crew,” she said. “It’s my first time to play the romantic lead … It’s set in parallel world where relationships are governed by the government. It controls what you can do — life, relationships, the jobs you can have. It’s maybe a little bit sci-fi, a little bit romantic, a little bit comedy too.”
In the film, the Department of Emotional Integrity gives a “relationship score” to keep people accountable for their choices. The score is public for all to see, and affects various aspects of daily life. The story focuses on the challenges faced by two couples in their teens and early 30s.
Her other credits include guest roles on “Castle,” “Bones,” “The Mentalist,” “Parenthood,” “House, M.D.,” and “Desperate Housewives.” She had a recurring role as Dr. Kelly Hamata on the short-lived series “Emily Owens MD,” which starred Mamie Gummer.
Brittany noted that her sister Brianna is also working on the upcoming concert, behind the scenes. “She’s an incredible writer; she’ll also be scripting a lot of it.”
Working with her father and sisters on the Stonebridge Music Festival “seems like a natural fit,” Brittany said. “We all grew up backstage. It’s in our blood, in our bones. It’s fun to be able to share the stage with family.”