“Mr. Yunioshi,” written, performed and directed by J. Elijah Cho, will be presented on Sunday, Dec. 5, 12 and 19, at Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th St., Santa Monica.J
Produced by David and Ari Stidham, the show will also be performed in January at Theater Row Theater in New York.
Mickey Rooney’s infamous performance as Mr. Yunioshi in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961) is often pointed to as the most egregious example of yellowface in the movies. His over-the-top characterization is cringeworthy to watch to this day, but it also raises several questions: Should actors really have the opportunity to play any role? Could there ever have been a “right” way for him to play it? And what compels an actor to play a character that they probably shouldn’t be playing?
Cho attempts to explore these topics and more in “Mr. Yunioshi,” which was named Best Solo Show at the 2019 Hollywood Fringe Festival. “Underneath the non-stop laughter … there’s a message about the importance of Asian representation in film and television,” said critic Zachary Bernstein.
“Mr. Yunioshi” was performed in November at the Santa Monica Playhouse as part of the Crazy Woke Asians Kung POW! Festival.
Cho is a writer/actor/songwriter from Tampa, Fla. He is a member of sketch comedy group Some Sort of Show. His favorite animal is the unicorn.
For a trailer and ticket information, visit: https://www.mryunioshi.com/