Monday, January 30, 2023
‘Bronze Nightingale’ Highlights Black-Japanese Romance in Post WWII L.A.
By Sentinel News Service
Published May 10, 2022

Michael Sasaki and Angela Oliver in a scene from “Masao and The Bronze Nightingale.” (Courtesy photo)

The world premiere of the riveting romance play, “Masao and The Bronze Nightingale” will hold its final productions on Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, May 15, at 3 p.m., at CASA 0101 Theater, 2102 East 1st Street (at St. Louis Street) in the Boyle Heights district of Los Angeles.

CASA 0101, in association with the Japanese American National Museum, sponsored the show, which reveals how 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.
“Masao and The Bronze Nightingale is 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 as Charlene Williams, The Bronze Nightingale.

Other members of the cast include Dan Kwong,  Sachiyo K, Roberta H. Martínez, José A. Garcia, Isaac Cruz, Scott Golden, Jon Gentry and Pauline Yasuda. Greg Watanabe was featured in the play from April 22 through May 1.


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

Concurrently with the production, the Jean Deleage Art Gallery and the Japanese American National Museum are presenting an art exhibit entitled, “Bronzeville: Modernity, Race and the Search to Belong.” The display features the works of artists Bryan Ida, Laura Vazquez Rodriguez, Sandra Vista, Aydee Martinez and Brandy Maya Healy.

Curated by Jimmy Centeno, with the help of Assistant Researcher Shelley Johnson II, 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 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Categories: Entertainment
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