Club Diamond

Club Diamond

In 1937 Tokyo, a celebrated Benshi finds his livelihood as a silent film narrator threatened by the "talkies." Meanwhile, against all odds, a Japanese film star pursues her fortune in Hollywood.

In Club Diamond, performer Saori Tsukada interweaves these stories, transforming from a modern New Yorker into the aspiring star of the '20s, and to the Benshi as he struggles to survive as a street performer a decade later under the U.S. occupation of Japan. With hand-crafted illustrations, black and white film, and a lush score composed and performed by Tim Fain, Club Diamond is a wholly original, multi-layered take on the modern immigration tale.

Showtimes at Asia Society

Friday, April 10, 2020
8 p.m. Performance

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Saturday, April 11, 2020
8 p.m. Performance

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"...a work of genius conceived of by Tsukada and Nikki Appino, with exquisite violin music performed by Tim Fain, measures the multi-layered experience of the immigrant's being and feeling 'the other' in a culture that is intimately unfamiliar and isolating." — Theater Pizzazz

About Saori Tsukada

Saori Tsukada was born in America and raised in Japan. Her “astoundingly precise movements” (Irish Times) and “carefree charisma” (VillageVoice) made her a “virtuoso” (TimeOut NY) performer in the New York downtown dance and theater scene. She has generated original roles for performance works by composer and theater artist John Moran, choreographers Yoshiko Chuma and Catherine Galasso, playwright and director Aya Ogawa, theater companies Hoi Polloi and Witness Relocation, and composer Joe Diebes. In addition to her favorite NY venues La MaMa, The Kitchen, and PS 122, Tsukada has performed in London, Amsterdam, Glasgow, Düsseldorf, Warsaw, Skopje, Bucharest, Tokyo, and others. Her choreography works for video artist Katja Loher have been exhibited/performed live at C24 Gallery (NYC), Figge Art Museum (Iowa), and Contemporary Istanbul Art Fair. Tsukada was nominated for Best Actress at Dublin Fringe Festival in 2005 and 2008 for her acclaimed collaborative projects with John Moran.

About Nikki Appino

Nikki Appino is a theatre and filmmaker. She trained at the Experimental Theatre Wing at NYU and has received numerous awards including the National Endowment for the Arts/TCG Directing Fellowship. She founded a nonprofit arts company in Seattle in the 90’s and has generated original works for stage and screen including Subrosa (with Kristen Newbom), The American Rimpoche, Fires, In, Lazarus, Djinn, Dark Night of Souls, Invisible Ink, Threshold, Rain City Rollers, and Before the Comet Comes. In addition, Nikki directed Robin Holcomb’s Silent Spring (Walker, DTW, Wexner, Flynn Center) and has worked at A.C.T., the Milwaukee Rep, Portland Rep, McCarter Theatre, Perseverance Theatre, the Empty Space, On the Boards, PS 122, and the Berkeley Rep. Now located in Philadelphia, she runs Appino Productions and theGlassFactory.

About Tim Fain

Award-winning violinist Tim Fain was featured in films Black Swan and 12 Years a Slave, electrifying audiences with his “honeyed tone, spectacular technique and engrossing musicality” (The Los Angeles Times). Past solo appearances include Baltimore Symphony, Buffalo, and Hague Philharmonics; Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Concertgebouw; and touring with Philip Glass. Collaborations include Pinchas Zukerman, Benjamin Millepied, acclaimed multi-media evening Portals, and virtual reality film Resonance with Google.

Performing Arts and Culture programs are presented by Wells Fargo. The Japan Series at Asia Society Texas Center is presented by Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas). Major support for Performing Arts programs comes from Nancy C. Allen, Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, Ellen Gritz and Milton Rosenau, the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance, Houston Endowment, The Hearst Foundation Inc., The Brown Foundation Inc., Mary Lawrence Porter, and the Anchorage Foundation of Texas. Generous funding also provided by AARP, The Clayton Fund, The Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts, Miller Theatre Advisory Board. Additional support provided by the Wortham Foundation, Texas Commission on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, United Airlines, The Southmore, and through contributions from the Friends of Asia Society, a dedicated group of individuals and organizations committed to bringing exceptional programming and exhibitions to Asia Society Texas Center.

Presenting Sponsor

Wells Fargo

Japan Series Program Sponsor

Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas)

Official Airline Sponsor

United Airlines Logo

Program Sponsors