Sunday, May 18, 2014

Fringe Spotlight: SUPER GAY ASIAN CABARET with Kevin Yee and J.Elaine Marcos

Super-Gay-Asian comedian Kevin Yee and Filipina diva J.Elaine Marcos combine their unique style of comedy/music/sketch/standup, and promise audiences plenty of sparkle, dim sum, and unicorn magic at this year’s Hollywood Fringe Festival.

Yee is a recovering Broadway chorus boy (Mary Poppins, Wicked, Mamma Mia) and a former member of Quincy Jones’ boy band Youth Asylum. Marcos starred in Broadway musicals like Annie, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and The Wedding SingerTogether they make up the Super Gay Asian Cabaret. Here’s a fun look at what that means.

Kevin, what exactly is the Super Gay Asian Cabaret?

Two Asians doing what they love: making people laugh! I sing my original comedy songs, and J. Elaine tells ridiculous stories. We do some silly sketches, sing some inappropriate songs, and basically laugh at each other the whole time!

Can you tell us a little more about what you’ll be doing? 

We do a lot of ‘reflective’ comedy: parodying the experiences we face on a daily basis in the entertainment industry, and in life. We’re both Asian, and I’m gay so we touch on racism, sexism, and homophobia. That’s why it’s called the Super Gay Asian Cabaret. We are basically saying, ‘Come watch us make fun of our stereotypes! But now that you’re here, sit back and enjoy because there’s a lot more to us!’

For instance, we have a whole number about all of the stereotypical generic Asian roles we’ve played in our musical theater careers. J.Elaine (who was in the Broadway cast of Miss Saigon and the revival of Flower Drum Song) said to me one day, ‘You know that scene in Asian musicals where all the Asian people have to pack their bags sadly as they flee their war torn village?’ And I said, ‘You know that song that’s only written with the black keys on the piano?’ Then the ideas just flowed: ‘You know that Asian dance number with fans?’ ‘You know that meek Asian girl who’s always so helpless?’ ‘You know that director who tells you to speak with a thicker unauthentic Asian accent so it sounds more authentic to the western audience?’ So we took those ideas and put a medley together of all the terrible stereotypes we’ve had to endure, to laugh at and, in a way, celebrate them.

Will it be relatable for non-theatre insiders?

Absolutely. We talk about other things too. We both like to poke fun at our mothers, which I’m sure many can relate to. I sing about not understanding Vegans, being disowned by my father, and hating driving in Los Angeles. J.Elaine tells stories about marriage and divorce, unique audition techniques, and cooking a family dinner and giving everyone food poisoning. We are universally relatable, in a uniquely stereotypical package.”

And why bring the show to the Fringe?

The Fringe is a perfect place for us to take risks and tell our stories in that live theatre setting we thrive on. We love the ‘do-it-yourself” environment, and meeting other artists in the city. We both come from similar backgrounds. We’re both Asian, both originally from Canada, and both recently moved to Los Angeles to explore our comedy work after spending a long time doing musical theater in New York. We knew each other in New York, but didn’t start collaborating until we moved to Los Angeles and started doing the Open Mic/Improv circuit.”

Now that you’re locals does that mean we’ll see more of you and J.Elaine after the Fringe?

After the Fringe, the Asian gayness continues! Every Wednesday night in August we’ll be presenting the Super Gay Asian Cabaret at the Noho Arts Center as part of the Academy of New Musical Theater’s summer cabaret series. It’ll just be the two of us at the fringe, but at the Noho Arts Center we’ll be taking on more of a hosting position and showcasing other funny people, as well as writers and performers in the Los Angeles musical theater scene. But J.Elaine and I will still be there, and the show will still be super gay and even SUPER Asian-er!

Let the sparkle, dim sum and unicorn magic games begin!


June 16, 22, 25, 2014
Underground Theatre (Underground Annex)
1312-1314 N. Wilton Place
Tickets: $10 Use discount code MUSICALSINLA for 10% off any of the 3 Fringe dates. Good for online sales only.
45 minute show

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