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Tony Labrusca is taking his talents to the international big screen as a newly announced cast member in the all Asian casted film, Asian Persuasion. Also just added are fellow Filipinos, Apl.de.ap, Devin Ilaw and Fe de los Reyes. Labrusca is set to play Noodlelove Chef, Allen as mentioned in the post by the movie's official Instagram page @asianpersuasionfilm. Production for the film is underway so more details will come soon.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CUJkrWRMRX8

The film is spearheaded by multi Tony Award and GRAMMY-winning producer Jhett Tolentino who is set to make his feature directorial debut. He made his film debut as director, writer and producer of documentary short Life Is What You Make It before producing Lingua Franca. The screenplay is written by Mike Ang whose Brooklyn-based agency, Planet X, is also an Executive Production partner on the film. Asian Persuasion features an all-star Asian cast including Dante Basco, KC Concepcion who replaced Toni Gonzaga due to scheduling conflicts, Paolo Montalban, Celia Au, Jax Bacani and Kevin Kreider from Bling Empire on Netflix.

TFC News Interview with Jhett Tolentino & Mike Ang

Asian Persuasion follows underachiever, Mickey De Los Santos (Basco), who is fresh off of a divorce from his successful fashion designer wife, Avery Chua (Gonzaga). That said, Mickey devises an outlandish plan to avoid his substantial alimony obligations. You know there's going to be some crazy antics happening. Will Mickey's plan succeed or will it leave him with wanting a second chance with Avery?

https://www.instagram.com/p/CRYp59pAcYr/

It's a big call sheet of Asian decent or Asian-American creatives ready to "elevate the Asian narrative" in the industry. It'll also feature Geneva Carr (CBS’s Bull), Devin Ilaw (Broadway’s Miss Saigon), and the film will feature original songs on a soundtrack to be performed by all Asian artists. Production for Asian Persuasion begins in Spring of 2022.

ABOUT TONY LABRUSCA:

Anthony Angel Jones Labrusca Jr. is a Filipino actor, model, and singer based in the Philippines. He was born in Houston, Texas to Filipino actor Boom Labrusca and Filipina singer Angel Jones. Tony grew up in Los Angeles with his mother, step father and sister. His family moved to Vancouver, Canada when he was young then ultimately settled in the Philippines to pursue his career in show business.

Labrusca's first showbiz gig was a McDonald's Philippines TV commercial in 2016, Tuloy Pa Rin. Also that year, he joined the Philippine reality search Pinoy Boyband Superstar but did not make the cut to be part of the band. He then ventured into teleseyres as part of horror-fantasy drama series La Luna Sangre. In 2020, Labrusca starred in the hit Filipino BL series, Hello Stranger (web series), along with JC Alcantara. The series proved popular even among international fans, which led to the Hello Stranger (film) in 2021. A second season is expected to be released soon.

Cover Photo Credit: Tony Labrusca Facebook

The show has been extended through Wednesday, July 28 due to its overwhelming response and is available to stream now on Broadway On Demand.

CollaborAzian’s production of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder premiered last week on Broadway On Demand to wide success. The all-Asian American production of the Tony Award winning musical set to benefit the work of Stop AAPI Hate and has raised over $25,000 to date. 

Historically, Asian American artists have been marginalized in media and on stage, and productions like this help to spotlight the tremendous talent that has been overlooked. We’re here to show the world that we are here, and we are fantastic.

LEA SALONGA, TONY AWARD WINNER AND HOST

The success of the production supports the demand for Asian American led shows on stage and the virtual show has been extended through Wednesday, July 28th on Broadway On Demand. CollaborAzian plans to produce more shows in the future to highlight Asian American talent in theater. 

"I loved this performance of "A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE", I just loved it. I am enormously proud that this was the vehicle to raise money and support for such a great cause,” says Steven Lutvak, Co-Lyricist and Composer of the original Broadway production. “Brilliant performances, a beautifully crafted evening and a total delight. I hope to see more Asian American led productions like this in the future." 

Violence and hate toward the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities have become more common since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Organizations such as Stop AAPI Hate have emerged to help communities unite against racism. 

Collecting data is critical in the fight to end anti-Asian racism as it helps us tell the broader story of this issue...

STOP AAPI HATE COALITION

“Once we can tell the story through data, we can create and implement community and policy solutions to help address it — and tell a new story: a story of resilience, says Stop AAPI Hate Coalition. We honor AAPI-led creative groups, such as CollaborAzian, for helping tell these new stories.” 

CollaborAzian’s A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder is available to stream through Wednesday, July 28 on Broadway on Demand. 

About CollaborAzian’s A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder 

CollaborAzian’s A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder will be helmed by theatre and television director Alan Muraoka, who has played Alan, the owner of Hooper's Store on Sesame Street for the past 23 years. He most recently played Iago in Disney's Aladdin on Broadway, and starred as the Engineer in Miss Saigon. The all-Asian American cast will star Cindy Cheung (13 Reasons Why), Karl Josef Co (Pacific Overtures), Ali Ewoldt (The Phantom of the Opera), Diane Phelan (School of Rock), and Thom Sesma (Sweeney Todd). Steven Cuevas (Once On This Island) serves as music director. 

Producers include Jeremiah Abraham (Sony Pictures’ Yellow Rose, ARRAY’s Lingua Franca), Karl Josef Co, Ariel Estrada (Founder and Producing Artistic Director, Leviathan Lab), Rob Laqui (The Industry Standard Group, Cardinal Theatricals), Diane Phelan, Pearl Sun (Come From Away), Anne Fraser Thomas (Hercules), Jessica Wu (A Chorus Line, Miss Saigon), and Miranda Gohh. Executive Producers include Elliot and Cathy Masie (Masie Productions) and Matthew A Woolf (Woolf Productions LLC). 

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder won four Tony Awards at the 68th Tony Awards in 2014, including Best Musical. 

About Broadway On Demand 

Broadway On Demand is the industry-leading livestream platform housing performance & theatre education programming, & the preferred choice of top Broadway artists, producers, educators & professionals. Broadway On Demand has streamed 2,500 events & live productions – from Broadway shows to concert series, performance venues to individual artists, & original content – in 82 countries to over 300,000 viewers. Thanks to a unique licensing interface, ShowShare, approved middle school, high school, college, community & professional theatre productions utilize the platform to stream to their audiences. Broadway on Demand is available on the web, mobile, Apple and Android app store, AppleTV, Roku, Chromecast, and Amazon Fire TV. For access to the complete and ever-expanding Broadway on Demand library, subscribe at BroadwayOnDemand.com.

Cover Photo Credit: Tremendous Communications

Tony Award Winner and Disney Legend Lea Salonga will make a special appearance as the host of CollaborAzian’s production of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder on July 15th, 2021. The abridged version of Robert L. Freedman and Steven Lutvak's musical is directed by Sesame Street’s Alan Muraoka and features an all-Asian American cast and production team. Donations for StopAAPIHate.org are now being accepted and tickets for the virtual show are now available.

CAZN_GGTLM_Promo-Image_Tickets

“Historically, Asian American artists have been marginalized in media and on stage… productions like this help to spotlight the tremendous talent that has been overlooked. “We're here to show the world that we are here, and we are fantastic.”

LEA SALONGA

The production has generated much excitement in the theater community, announcing an exclusive streaming partnership with Broadway On Demand and promotional partnership with Broadway World.

Along with the increased demand for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) representation in Hollywood, the AAPI Broadway and theatrical communities are also making their voices heard. Organizations such as the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (CAPE) Broadway Diversity Project, Unapologetically Asian, Leviathan Labs, Chinosity, and Tremendous Communications have also come together in support of the production.

“Broadway On Demand is committed to celebrating diversity and amplifying the voices of marginalized communities. It is an honor to partner with CollaborAzian in bringing this incredible production the attention it deserves.”


TRALEN DOLER, BROADWAY ON DEMAND VICE PRESIDENT OF PROGRAMMING AND PARTNERSHIPS

About CollaborAzian’s A Gentelman’s Guide to Love and Murder
CollaborAzian’s A Gentelman’s Guide to Love and Murder will be helmed by theatre and television director Alan Muraoka, who has played Alan, the owner of Hooper's Store on Sesame Street for the past 23 years. He most recently played Iago in Disney's Aladdin on Broadway, and starred as the Engineer in Miss Saigon. The all-Asian American cast will star Cindy Cheung (13 Reasons Why), Karl Josef Co (Pacific Overtures), Ali Ewoldt (The Phantom of the Opera), Diane Phelan (School of Rock), and Thom Sesma (Sweeney Todd). Steven Cuevas (Once On This Island) serves as music director.

Producers include Jeremiah Abraham (Sony Pictures’ Yellow Rose, ARRAY’s Lingua Franca), Co, Ariel Estrada (Founder and Producing Artistic Director, Leviathan Lab), Rob Laqui (The Industry Standard Group, Cardinal Theatricals), Phelan, Pearl Sun (Come From Away), Anne Fraser Thomas (Hercules), Jessica Wu (A Chorus Line, Miss Saigon), and Miranda Gohh. A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder won four Tony Awards at the 68th Tony Awards in 2014, including Best Musical.

About Broadway On Demand
Broadway On Demand is the industry-leading livestream platform housing performance & theatre education programming, & the preferred choice of top Broadway artists, producers, educators & professionals. Broadway On Demand has streamed 2,500 events & live productions – from Broadway shows to concert series, performance venues to individual artists, & original content – in 82 countries to over 300,000 viewers. Thanks to a unique licensing interface, ShowShare, approved middle school, high school, college, community & professional theatre productions utilize the platform to stream to their audiences. Broadway on Demand is available on the web, mobile, Apple and Android app store, AppleTV, Roku, Chromecast, and Amazon Fire TV. For access to the complete and ever-expanding Broadway on Demand library, subscribe at BroadwayOnDemand.com.

Cover Photo Credit: Tremendous Communications

Sesame Street touches on the subject of anti-Asian bullying in a way that most of us have experienced. The "Proud of Your Eyes" video includes Wes and Alan from Sesame Street who help their friend Analyn. She is a Filipino-American who was teased because of the slanted shape of her eyes.

According to NBC News, Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization released the video as an ongoing initiative of "The ABCs of Racial Literacy" to "help families have honest conversations about race." The initiative provides an educational curriculum on racial justice for children. In the video, they sang a song about how unique their eyes are and that they tell stories of their family. Analyn goes on to say how her eyes look just like her Lola's and that she's beautiful.

Our eyes and how we look tells a story, our story. The story of who we are, but more importantly the stories of our ancestors.

Cover Photo Credit: Sesame Street Twitter

As one channel surfs the many streaming services available nowadays, the cooking, travel, and fun commentary on Family Style brings a refreshing look into Asian food. Now streaming on HBO Max and originally on Stage 13, Family Style combines the taste of Asian food and pop culture as 8 foodie hosts shares their go-to spots, family recipes, stories while also bringing a few of their famous friends.

The term family style means, food placed on the table in serving dishes from which those eating may help themselves. In most Asian cultures, family style is the way to go. For Filipinos there's boodle fights. Food placed on top of a table lined with banana leaves and "kamayan," eating with your hands. This meal is derived from a military practice where diners stand next to each other and take their stance throughout the table. Although the show takes a different approach, sharing food with one another while sharing commentary.

One foodie who is Filipino, Gilbert Galon introduces different Filipino dishes like atchara (pickled papaya) and bagoong (shrimp paste) to his fellow food hosts. The series also visits the Philippines in several episodes. It takes a look at the night market with the popular street foods like isaw, fishballs, BBQ, and more. One of the coolest restaurants that was highlighted is the Ili-Likha Artist Village in Baguio. A community space that offers food, art, flower shop, and in-house theater. Their food takes a spin on tradition Filipino food with great flavors like their ube spaghetti pasta. It's definitely a spot you'll want to visit on your next trip.

The web series does a great job on highlighting Asian stories and the various foods attached to the culture. With fun stories by Jon M. Chu, Harry Shum Jr., Ross Butler, Ally Maki, Daniel Dae Kim, Vivian Bang, and more it'll not only have you craving for your favorite dishes but also fulfilled in understanding more about the culture. Just like their tagline says, Pull up a seat and let's dig in…Family Style.

Cover Photo Credit: Family Style Facebook

#StopAsianHate is not trending as much but anti-Asian hate crimes are still happening. In northern Utah, a Filipino food truck, World Famous Yum Yum Food Truck was vandalized with anti-Asian graffiti slurs. The popular food truck serves Filipino, Vietnamese, and Asian Fusion cuisine. Jordan Clarkson who plays for the Utah Jazz and was recently given the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year Award reached out to the owners and family to help. Clarkson along with Identity Graphics helped put together a new look for Yum Yum.

The food truck since then is back serving the community and rolling through town with a newly designed truck. The truck features bright colors that you can't miss. The bold design is a nod to the Philippines flag with the blue and red colors with the bright yellow sun. Not shying away from showcasing that they cater Asian Fusion cuisine with a rice bowl logo throughout the design. The new look says "we're here, we belong!"

Yum Yum Food Truck will have a reopening on June 12th in Salt Lake City at a rather fitting event, Philippine Independence Day celebration.

Cover Photo Credit: World Famous Yum Yum Food Truck Facebook

Join us as we celebrate AAPI Heritage Month this Saturday, May 1, 2021, 12-4 pm at Whimsy Pasadena!

The Spring Market Pop Up will have 7 BIPOC owned businesses (5 out of 7 are Pinay-owned) and fundraising to support the Stop AAPI Hate campaign.

About the Fundraiser

Raffle tickets are $10 each and 100% of the proceeds are going to Stop AAPI Hate. A portion of the proceeds from select vendors and products will benefit Stop AAPI Hate and AAPI Community Fund. People can also purchase raffle tickets virtually during the event. 

List of Vendors

Be sure to arrive early! The first 30 attendees will receive gifts worth $250+ and many more!

With participation of DJ Ever Ed-E from Snapback and surprise guests!

See you there!

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