The Grateful Crane Ensemble and JA Community Foundation present a virtual play reading of “Da Grapevine” by Soji Kashiwagi on Sunday, Oct. 17, at 5 p.m. PST, 2 p.m. Hawaii time.
Featuring Daryl Bonilla, Aiko Chinen, Samc Fukushima, Eddy Gudoy, Janice Morimoto, Kat Nakano, Charles Timtim and Sean-Joseph Choo.
This comedic play is about gossip in the Japanese American community and how it almost destroys a young man’s life.
Emiko Natto, a nosy neighbor who watches Wayne Kamaboko from her house across the street, calls and gossips about Wayne to her neighbor Setsuko Maguro, who calls and gossips about Wayne to Ayako Donburi. Pretty soon, wild rumors about Wayne spread like wildfire across the community grapevine, a.k.a. the “Coconut Wireless” — and Wayne’s life is never the same.
First produced in Los Angeles in 1993, the play is making a comeback with a Hawaii twist. Thanks to a Pidgin translation and local flavor by Hawaii theatre artist Stu Hirayama, the play now takes place on Oahu instead of L.A. and features a cast of awaii-based actors.
Funded by a grant from the JA Community Foundation, the purpose of the reading is to bring some much-needed joy to members of the community who have been cooped up for the past 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
You can watch “Da Grapevine” on Grateful Crane’s YouTube channel. Here is the link for the online premiere: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Wn9-LCE6aSM