Centerstage is pleased to present “Yellow Fever” by Rick Shiomi, a noir-genre detective thriller set in the Pacific Northwest, and told through the lens of the Japanese and Chinese immigrant communities in the 1970s.
The shadows of the internment camps linger over a vibrant community as it fights to establish itself just a few decades after losing so much. In the midst of it all is detective Sam Shikaze, a nisei private eye who has a story to tell.
“Yellow Fever” opens Friday, May 20, and runs through Sunday, June 12.
The show brings exciting new talent to Centerstage, along with a few familiar faces.
Tim Takechi, last seen in our live-streamed 2020 venture “Theatre Magic”, portrays our iconic private eye, Sam Shikaze, who’s every bit as hardboiled and cynical as a good noir detective should be. Takechi has been recognized for his work all around the Puget Sound area, and was recently seen in Lakewood Playhouse’s “A Christmas Carol…More or Less.” His easy style and comedic timing are an ideal match for our hero.
Portraying Rosie, a café owner and mother-like figure to Sam, is Aya Hashiguchi, well-known in the South Sound as one of the co-founders and owners of Dukesbay Productions, which provides a space for small theatres to produce their shows. Dukesbay also mounts their own shows throughout the year, including their recent “God Said This”, which also featured the multi-talented Hashiguchi onstage. She is also an active member of the Centerstage Advisory Board.
Annamaria Guerzon, last seen as both an actor and playwright in Centerstage’s afternoons of “New Works, First Impressions”, appears as the determined young reporter Nancy Wing. Guerzon is a bright young talent at the very start of her career, and she is one to watch.
Van Lang Pham plays Chuck Chan, a lawyer and friend of Sam. His resume includes the critically acclaimed Washer/Dryer at SIS Productions and Pratidhwani in 2019. Minki Bai portrays Captain Kadota, a member of the police force torn between his loyalties to his community and his brothers on the force. Bai has appeared with Jet City Improv productions in Seattle, as well as other local theatres. Graham Arthur Blair is Sargent MacKenzie, a member of the local police who has it in for Sam and doesn’t make a secret of it. Kadota’s supervisor, Superintendent Jameson, is played by Danny Lacker, a local performer who has performed with multiple Puget Sound Theatres, (and made it to Hollywood on American Idol when he was in High School!). Travis Martinez plays the mysterious Goldberg, a man deeply interested in Japanese culture, who seeks to ingratiate himself with the locals in the International District.
Finally, Keith Ordonez, recently of “First Impressions”, is our swing for the show.
The show is helmed by director MIimi Katano. Katano is the executive artistic director of Youth Theatre Northwest, with a long list of directing credits to her name and many theatre professionals who consider her their primary mentor. Costume designer Renae Ragudo brings her signature mix of style and substance to the 70s-era world of the Pacific Northwest. Sound design is by Trey McGee, a professional designer from the Seattle area, recently transplanted to Brooklyn and working both coasts. Lights are designed by Adem Hayyu, who last designed for “Let There Be Love” in February 2020. Hayyu recently founded the event production company SkyLit Designs, LLC. The set is designed by Burton Yeun, who designed the set for “A 1940s Radio Christmas Carol” last season. He is a master of intimate, immersive designs and a perfect fit for this show. Jasper Conley joins Centerstage for the first time as stage manager. Conley is a co-founder of Rainy Day Collective, a streaming theatre that performs classic works. Scenic painting and décor will be by Tori Dewar and Jasmine Johnson, both major contributors to Centerstage as skilled workers who excel in visual artistry.
ABOUT THE SHOW: It’s the spring of 1973 in the International District of British Columbia. As the fog and misty rain continue to claim their place, a mystery unfolds after the popular Cherry Blossom Bazaar: the Cherry Blossom Queen has gone missing, and even the cops who were at the Bazaar have no leads. Sam Shikaze, a sardonic private eye in perfect noir tradition, decides to take on the case. What starts off as a suspected runaway case becomes something much more sinister as Sam digs deeper into the underbelly of the community he calls home.
This classically crafted thriller calls to mind every sepia-toned noir you’ve ever seen, and includes the exact character you want: the trench-coated private eye; the aggressive, take-no-prisoners young reporter; the world weary sergeant; the well-meaning best friend; the strangely always-around quiet guy. And somewhere in there is someone who will stop at nothing to get what they want… if only Sam can figure out what that is in time.
For more information on YELLOW FEVER, call the office at (253) 661-1444, or email the box office at Rylie@CenterstageTheatre.com. Tickets available online at www.CenterstageTheatre.com.
“Yellow Fever” By Rick Shiomi and directed by Mimi Katano.
Dates: May 20-June 12
Show times: Fridays at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 p.m.
Ticket prices: $32 for adults; $28 for seniors/military; $15 for ages 18-23; $12 ages 17 & under.
Location: Knutzen Family Theatre, 3200 SW Dash Point Road in Federal Way.