‘Masao and the Bronze Nightingale’ at CASA 0101

Michael Sasaki (Masao Imoto) and Angela Oliver (Charlene Williams) in the world premiere production of “Masao and the Bronze Nightingale.”
Photo by Daren MOOKO

CASA 0101 Theater, in association with the Japanese American National Museum, will present the world premiere of “Masao and the Bronze Nightingale,” written by Dan Kwong and Rubén Funkahuatl Guevara, based on a short story written by Rubén Funkahuatl Guevara, directed by Dan Kwong and starring Michael Sasaki as Masao Imoto and Angela Oliver.

In the aftermath of World War II, formerly incarcerated Japanese Americans are shocked to discover Little Tokyo has become “Bronzeville,” an African American community. When a Japanese American jazz musician from Boyle Heights falls for a Bronzeville singer, the ripple effect of their romance causes upheaval in every direction as the Japanese, Black and Mexican American communities react.

The show will be presented at CASA 0101 Theater, 2102 East 1st Street (at St. Louis Street) in Boyle Heights on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. from April 22 through May 15. Opening night is Friday, April 22 at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $30 for general admission, $25 for students and seniors, $20 for Boyle Heights residents, $25 for groups of 10 or more, $20 for groups of 20 or more. Special guest speakers will be featured after Sunday matinee performances. For tickets and more information, call (323) 263-7684 or visit www.casa0101.org.

Concurrently with the performances of “Masao and the Bronze Nightingale,” the Jean Deleage Art Gallery, located in the lobby of CASA 0101 Theater, and co-presenter the Japanese American National Museum, are presenting an art exhibit through May 15 entitled, “Bronzeville: Modernity, Race, and the Search to Belong.” The exhibit binds together the multiple contradictions and complexities of identity in a racialized modern society. Five artists share their personal relationship and their connections with the Japanese American experience through the visual language of art.

The exhibit can be viewed prior to performances of the play and during regular gallery hours, which are Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.