Saturday, March 31, 2012

Review- ODD Showcase- ODD

Most of the time when you see a show in Hong Kong you grumble about the ticket prices. This was certainly not the case tonight. Tonight I got to see a great FREE piece of NEW theatre created by local artists that was better than a lot of the stuff I've paid over 200 bucks to see. New theatre should always be celebrated because it's difficult to create from nothing. I give serious credit to the ODD Group for the hard work they put into the show tonight. Sure, I didn't like all of the pieces but I thought all of them came from valid places and were entertaining.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

80 Days Around the World- Week Five

Sorry for not updating on our usual day! We got super busy with lots of work things and we had a promotional performance of our next show: The Vixens present: Snow and the Deadly Seven. You can get your tickets online now thanks to our sponsor Passionately Yours!! (Shameless Shameless Plug...)  Also, one of our team mates Matty had to take a sudden journey home to be with his Daddy while he has surgery. I'm sure we speak for the entire Hong Kong Theatre Community when we wish Daddy Gillespie a quick recovery, so that his son can come back to us! We miss you Matty!

This week we got some things knocked out. The highlight of places we visited was a California Cuisine/Wine Bar in Central. This resteraunt was weird because it had wine machines where you inserted your credit card and wine came out of a spout. The food was super tasty. We loved the baja style fish tacos! Didn't care so much for the tomatoe soup because it had a very sweet aftertaste we couldn't place. I would describe it as maple-ish; not so yummy. All the food is organic and they do wine tasting on Sundays!

We journied to Egypt with Habibi, although we love their lunch menu options I would never go there for dinner as the prices are ridiculously expensive. It's better to go there at lunch time because you get enough food, lots of little portions to snack on and it won't break your bank. Dumplings were scratched off the list at Wang Fu in Central. A Michelin forked resteraunt that looks like a hole in the wall at first glance. Don't be so fooled. The food is delicous, the portions good and the prices very reasonable! When you want dumplings this is the place to go. Also, the eggplant in oyster sauce is exceptional here!

Steakhouse was taken off the list with a groupon at Angus Steakhouse. My main complaint with this place is location. It's located at the Wanchai Pier which is kind of hard to find if you don't know where you're going. The restaurant staff was very nice and personable but it felt very empty. Everyone there was on the groupon. Portions were huge and tasty! Steak was cooked well. Lots of veggies although they didn't have a seafood free salad option for my dining partner who is anti-seafood. They easily took it off no problem la! (They did give him a strange look though when he asked for his salad plain...) I don't really see how this place made a profit on us diners last night but as long as groupons are offered on steak dinners I will buy them! Next week, french lunch at a fancy place in soho...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Vlog #2- Women's Issues

Despite being the 21st century there are still some women's rights issues in the art community NO MATTER where you live! This morning I sat down with two directors in the Hong Kong theatre community, Candice Moore and Wendy Herbert to discuss hot button lady's laments.

What do we feel about issues like the casting couch, the unbalanced audition pool, how are women directors treated compared to their male counterparts, are women's lit pieces done enough, are we pulling in enough of the female demographic audience with our play choices?

All of this and more discussed in this vlog: Women's Issues in Hong Kong.
Feel free to start a hearty discussion in the comments! The more conversation the better!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Review- One World- World Family

I was invited to see a Theatre for Youth production called One World English Carnival. I am a Children's Theatre Director by profession so I can have a good time and see a kids show! The show was presented this weekend at Polytech University at the Jockey Club Auditorium. Tickets were really cheap and each child was presented with a souvenir tambourine! (I didn't get one but I survived...)

Before I get into the review, I would like to apologize for any mis-spellings in the names of the cast during this review. There was no program given out to me so I am unable to double check my spellings! Thanks for your understanding...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

80 Days Around the World- Week Four

We had another team member join us this week! We were running a tad behind and one of our fellow foodies in HK, Louise decided to join in on the challenge with us! She lives on Lamma Island and works in the NT a lot so she's going to help us hit some different areas. We got a lot more done this week then on previous weeks.

We had an overall issue with shitty service this week. I don't know why but all the wait staff were assholes at every place we went to. I know that waiters don't get paid a lot in HK but seriously a bad waiter can RUIN a meal. At Yorkshire Pudding in Soho we were shoved in the back corner and almost had to flash our tits to get a waiter's attention. Our waiter at Outback Steakhouse would actually sigh and roll his eyes when you asked him for something. He obviously hated his job. It took about 3 times for Delaneys in Wanchai to get my order correct. I know it was St. Patty's Day and super busy but the staff should take some pride in their work!

Louise hit up Thai food in Tsing Yi, Indian on Lamma Island, Hot Pot in Mongkok and Moroccan in Soho. She gave overall positive grades. She always looks to see if a restaurant has veggie options for the non-meat eaters in her group and that the service is good.

I'm still missing a couple places that Matty hit this week. So, most likely I'll make an update during the week. I found good fish n' chips at The Chippy on Wellington, although I think the blue banner place in Stanley right on the water is better. (Rosemary in the batter makes all the difference!) Chippy is good, fast and has deep fried Mars Bars. I really can't complain. I had great Greek food at Olive, but I always have good food here. Matty and I personally love the salmon cooked in paper.

We re-spaced the list and added the number of what's left to the end of the article. Hopefully, this will make the challenge a bit easier to understand and help any issues with formatting we were having!

Review- Turandot- Hong Kong Ballet

I had the pleasure of going to see Turandot tonight with my pals thanks to the discount tickets I aquired by attending the preview! I was really excited to see this production as the photos of the designs looked amazing and I'm a big opera person. All and all, the show was amazing although I can't say the same for the venue, the Cultural Center in TST. We will get to that later but first onto the production.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Review- Rabbit Hole- HK Rep

Hk Rep took on David Lindsay Abaire's Rabbit Hole this weekend. They had to add extra shows because the show sold out so fast so I was excited to see what all the fuss was about. Abaire's script is about the after effects of losing a child. I have read the play before and seen the (terrible) movie with Nicole Kidman; so I didn't need to have surtitles as I remembered what was going to happen. I always make sure to re-read shows before I see them in a foreign language. It's very a interesting experience to see plays in a language you don't understand, it makes you wonder about how to show has changed in the translation process.

Complete Listing of Drama/English Learning Centers and Companies

We are making a working list of all the learning centers and companies that use theatre as a medium to teach English. We are also inclduing TIE acting troups and companies in this listing. One of the scariest things about moving to HK for the first time is getting that first job. We have heard horror stories from people about bad working conditions, fishy contracts, late payments and unacceptable housing. Companies should be held accountable for their shady practices and the new staff that is coming in should be aware of any companies to avoid. It is our job as the community to give them a fair warning!
Please help me add to the list by leaving companies in the comments to be added. Please send your comments privately to our facebook account or to our email at

All comments about companies will be made anonymously to protect your privacy. Please make the comments about the company and not about the staff. We are not personally attacking anyone by making this information available, we want to just make sure no one gets stuck in a job where they treat their staff badly! *Cantonese and English Comments Welcome!*

Friday, March 16, 2012

Review- Hip Hop and Beyond

Of course, I am 100% biased on this review. I do not deny this because I am incredibly proud of watching this show. I am the drama director at LKK in Sai Ying Pun and my students invited me to their hip hop dance display at the Soho Escalator to support them. But I thought this exhibition/workshop was really awesome particularly when you considered the student's age. Most of the performers were between the ages of 14-16, all are local students at a school I work with and they can "FUCKING DANCE!" (There is no other way to state this fact...)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Our first Vlog! Art Walk 2012

We were blessed to hang out with our friends at Art Walk 2012 and make our first VLOG! This is our favorite charity event of the year because it's great people, great networking possibilities, great food and great art! ( Can you tell I think it's great?)

This year the food seemed not as good as previous years! We were starving at the end of the event and had to hit the Flying Pan! (Oh darn...)

Best Galleries this year were: Wellington Gallery (bring on the risotto balls!), Opera Gallery (Which had Dalis and Warhols on display) and the very cool wire art at Karin Webber Gallery.

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Vixens Present: Snow and the Deadly Seven

The Vixens Burlesque Troupe proudly present their first full length cabaret!

Everyone knows the story of Snow White but this is a tale with a bit
of a difference! Join Snow as she escapes the beautiful but jealous
... Evil Queen, seduces a hunter and meets the 7…. Deadly Sins! These
dazzling ladies take her on a journey through Greed, Gluttony, Pride,
Lust, Envy, Sloth and Wrath, teaching our naïve heroine that sometimes being bad can be damn GOOD!

When and Where: The Backstage Live in LKF, May 17th-18th, 8pm.
250HKD including a free drink!
Limited Seating, please reserve.

For reservations please email:


Many thanks to our sponsors: The Sampson Store, Showtime Lingerie,

Sunday, March 11, 2012

80 Days Around the World- Week Three

Not as much progress as we would have liked this week! Matthew got a bout of food poisoning due to bad sushi in Jordan. (The one on Pedder street with the orange banner.) I didn't much during the week due to my busy schedule so I really stepped it up on the weekend and managed to knock of 3 entries in one saturday!

I knocked off a few latin places this week with Mexican at Agave which does a great 2-4-1 margarita deal. The margaritas are really good here and the food is ok. I think the food is better at Coyote across the street but you can't beat a 2-4-1 deal on margaritas! (Happy Birthday Matt!) They have lots of vegetarian options but the bathrooms are serial killer scary.

Spanish was taken care of by Tapas at Bacar. Great Tapa selection, although I think some are a little pricey. I don't like their dessert menu either as it has no options for people with nut allergies other than the fruit plate. (And who wants fruit for dessert!?) They have a great pizza and pitcher deal on Sundays and Mondays where you get a flatbread pizza and a pitcher of whatever you like for $150HKD. Can't beat that price!

Pizza was a little bit of a surprise at a tiny, hole in the wall place in TST called Mosaic. Great food, but I didn't particularly care for the service. They seemed more interested in watching the football match then taking orders or bringing menus. Cheap and tasty, you still can't go wrong. But you can smoke inside this restaurant so don't come if you have smoke allergies!

Pie was a delicious treat from The Real Bread Cafe. You must have dessert at this place! Super yummy options and BIG coffee cups! Lemon Meringue was excellent! Eric had the apple pie on a previous date here and also loved it. Carrot Cake is nut free here! (BONUS!)

For brunch this week we tried a new place in Sheung Wan on Hollywood Rd called Serendipity. It had plenty of veggie options and healthy options. So we went vegetarian in hopes of knocking one off this list. Food portions are TINY here! I left feeling hungry! But the food is healthier than your usual brunch and the coffee is good. (Although the cups are dollhouse small!)

Due to our slow pace this week we're really going to have to step it up next week! Hopefully the Asian countries will be much easier and cheaper to hit then all the European fare. We are still looking for great recommendations from readers!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Percentage of Local Artists Hired by Big Local Companies Prt. 1

While attending the preview for Turandot I was taking a look at the program and noticed a lack of Chinese names. I found this a little puzzling, why would such an important company hire out so much of it's conception and design team to foreign designers when there are plenty of local designers just as good. I know it may sound a little hypocritical coming from a "foreign" designer who was brought in by a local theatre company, but I couldn't help but wonder what percent of locally trained artists are actually being hired by local theatre/dance companies?

I decided to email 5 large employers of singers/dancers/thespians and write them a simple email. "Hello, I'm a local blogger. I'm doing an article on percentages of local artists hired by the big theatre/dance companies in HK. I was wondering what your percentage was and if you do hire foreign directors/designers/performers what is the reasoning behind it?"

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Preview- Turandot- Hong Kong Ballet

"I really want to see this one!"- Matthew, ageless

I was a very lucky blogger to receive an invite to the preview of HK Ballet's next project, Turandot. I wish more companies had the resources to perform previews as they are a great opportunity to learn about the process behind the piece. Turandot is a restaging of the award winning ballet that was commissioned by the HK Ballet back in 2003. Choreographed and conceived by Natalie Weir, she strived to bring Puccini's last masterpiece to life in a modern way!
All photos in this article are thanks to HK Ballet!
Turandot will perform March 16-18th at 7:30pm and the 17th-18th at 2:30pm at the TST Cultural Center. Tickets range anywhere from 580-100HKD for adults but there are also special ticket prices for seniors and students. A "starving artist" discount has yet to be seen by any of the major companies in Hong Kong. I hope it will come soon! I'm having trouble explaining to my mother the necessity to spent so much on theatre tickets each month!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Wanted- Cantonese Speaking Reviewer

HK_Arts has been voted one of the Top 10 blogs of Hong Kong this year! Hooray! We feel it time to take the next step and start seeing more local theatre.

At this time all our reviewers are English speakers. We would love to have a Hong Kong Reviewer who can give a better understanding to the Cantonese pieces than our English speakers.

Reviewers are not compensated but are sometimes rewarded with preview tickets. Must have a love of theatre and some English writing ability as we would love to have your reviews in both languages.


Sunday, March 4, 2012

80 Days Around the World- Week Two

Week two has been a relative success! We had a few snafoos in our original plan/budget with the Gaga ticket escapade but thankfully have been able to sort things out. It has been a relatively slow week for eating but we were able to mark off a few more countries! For Vietnam, Matt went to one of our favorite places the Bao Bao King in Jordan. They have cheap but good food and options for both the meat eaters and vegetarians in our group. Friendly staff and FYI, ask for the secret sandwhich menu.

On Monday we had German food at a resteraunt called the Berliner. We ate at the one in Olympic. I would recommend lunch time for this place as it is pricey but the food was good and you get large portions. LOVED the dessert that came with our lunch set! Scotland was handled by the Canny Man in Wanchai. Good selection including a vegetarian haggis. Very warm and comfy bar. They also are a big supporter of local theatre. Support a restaurant that supports local artists! The salmon is REALLY good!

We had brunch at Lotus. The food was ok and the service ok. I did not enjoy my laksa as it was not laksa; more like spaghetti with chili pepper sauce. There was no broth and everyone knows the best part of laksa is the broth! Matt loved his Eggs Nordic!

Matty also took a couple other establishments off the list with a visit to Dimpal Fusion in Jordan to mark off Middle Eastern. They have good food but terrible service. Food had to sent back and by the time it was ready he had to take it to go! We recommend this place for off hours rather than the lunch rush. Also, be careful with special requests. This place gave me peanuts once in my food despite being told to keep them away and often messes up orders. He also went to Cafe Bistro which is a tiny Christian establishment in Jordan with two locations. Ran by very nice people the food is getting better. They had great food when they first opened but had an unfortunate chef switch a couple months ago. Their food is now back on track although it leaves something to be desired in the veggie category. The infamous cum baby picture can only be seen at the Shanghai St. branch on the 2nd floor.

With 65 days left and a lot more countries to hit we have a lot more work to do! If you have any restaurant recommendations leave it in the comments!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Anonymous Comments

Anonymous Comments have been added to the blog for those of you who wish to share your opinions without being known.
I believe there should be an open dialogue between the theatre artists and the community without fear of having your career/friendships compromised.
Open Conversations about the good, bad and ugly can only make us better as artists.
Please don't be assholes and spam this page or I'll be forced to remove it.

Thanks for your time,

Review- Menstruation Twitters- Jockey Club

No audience quotes as I was the only English speaker in the audience! 
(Enjoy the super creepy Disney Short about our bodies and ourselves!)
Menstruation Twitters
HK Jockey Club Creative Arts Center
30 Pak Tin St. Shek Kip Mei
Tickets through URBTIX
March 1st- 4th, 8pm and 3pm on Sunday, 100HKD

Friday, March 2, 2012

Artist of the Month- March- Daniel Garcia

 Daniel Garcia is not new to the theatre scene in Hong Kong but he has been flying under the radar.
Becoming a big wig in HK's voice acting scene over the past year with his big break in the cartoon series, "Dream Defenders", Daniel hasn't hit the stage too often. Recently he was cast in California Suite! We thought this a great opportunity to highlight the talents of a fellow Southern American Thespian who makes us laugh every time we hang out with him! Born and raised in the great state of Texas, Daniel is an actor we hope to see lighting up the "Great White Way" in the future!

You can catch him in California Suite when it performs with Sweet (Suite? haha!) and Sour Productions in May!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Backlash

The past week has been an interesting week for me as the Blog Master of Hk_Arts. Most of the community has had a polarizing reaction to the review I gave to Private Lives. I think it a little odd that I gave another review the same week to another company for their production of Fool La La and no one said anything despite it being one of the best shows of the year, in my opinion.

Most of the writing/blogger community has praised me for being honest and shared with me some "not so nice" feelings about the English speaking theatre community in Hong Kong. Some people jump to the defense of the companies and declare that the productions are "amateur" and therefore shouldn't be held to such a high standard. Here is my official statement about this past weeks' hoop lah.