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TOKYO FISH STORY Gets Northern California Premiere at TheatreWorks This Spring

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley continues its 2015/2016 season with the Northern California Premiere of TOKYO FISH STORY by Kimber Lee.

Generations, genders, and traditions collide in this comic drama, as a revered Sushi Master struggles to preserve ancient artistry in a society obsessed with change. In pursuit of perfection, Koji inspires a brilliant protégé, intimidates a parade of young apprentices, and discovers that in today's world, even a three-star chef has much to learn. Set in a legendary sushi bar, this warm-hearted tale was a highlight of TheatreWorks' 2014 New Works Festival.

This production will be directed by Kristen Brandt with performances March 9 - April 3 (press opening: March 12) at the Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. For tickets ($19-$80) and information the public may visit www.TheatreWorks.org or call (650) 463-1960.

Sushi Master Koji's restaurant falls into decline as the trendy new spot down the street packs in customers. His brilliant protégé Takashi could be the key to bringing glory back to the older restaurant, but out of respect, Takashi unwaveringly follows Koji's instruction-despite the urgings of Nobu, his hip-hop obsessed assistant and Ama, a punked-out sushi chef trying to make her way in a man's world. Ambition and tradition come to a head as they attempt to keep the restaurant open, fill their kitchen staff, and strike a balance between art and commerce.

TOKYO FISH STORY was originally developed at the TheatreWorks 2014 New Works Festival and received its World Premiere at South Coast Repertory Theatre in March of 2015.

TheatreWorks has assembled a stellar cast including acclaimed Broadway and television actor Francis Jue as sushi master Koji, James Seol as Koji's protégé Takashi, Linden Tailor as the young apprentice Nobu, Arthur Keng as Oishi, and Nicole Javier as Ama.

Francis Jue returns to TheatreWorks where he has starred in many productions, including M. Butterfly (Soong), Cabaret (Emcee), Kiss of the Spiderwoman (Molina), Amadeus (Mozart), and Peter Pan (Peter Pan). He is familiar to television audiences for his current recurring roles as Chinese Foreign Minister Chen on CBS's popular Madam Secretary and as Medical Examiner Tom Li on The Good Wife. He has appeared in numerous Broadway and Off-Broadway productions, including Pacific Overtures, Thoroughly Modern Millie, M. Butterfly, My Favorite Year, Coraline, Hamlet, King Lear, Falsettoland, Yellow Face, Richard II, and many more, appearing frequently at The Public Theatre, as well as regionally at St. Louis MUNY, ACT in San Francisco, Arizona Theatre Company, and others.

James Seol has worked on and off-Broadway in productions including Around the World in 80 Days, A Naked Girl on the Appian Way, Stuck Elevator, Ten and others. He has appeared at regional theatres including The Woolly Mammoth, Hartford Stage, Paper Mill Playhouse, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, and ACT in San Francisco. Linden Tailor has been seen across the country at regional theatres including Kennedy Center, Round House Theatre in Maryland, Synthetic Theatre in Virginia, and many others. He has also performed extensively in theatre for a young audience with Adventure Theatre, Imagination Stage, Discovery Theatre, and at the Folger Shakespeare Library.

Arthur Keng can be seen in a recurring role on the hit HBO series Silicon Valley, as well as co-starring on CBS' Criminal Minds and voicing a principal role on The Eric Andre Show on Cartoon Network. Theatre appearances include California Shakespeare Theater, Center REPeratory Company, SF Playhouse, New Conservatory Theatre Company, and many others. Nicole Javier has appeared regionally at Crowded Fire Theatre, Aurora Theatre, Dragon Productions Theatre, New Conservatory Theatre Company, and many others.

Playwright Kimber Lee's other plays including fight, different words for the same thing (2014 World Premiere CTG/Kirk Douglas Theatre, dir. Neel Keller), and brownsville song (b-side for tray) which premiered at the 2014 Humana Festival. She has also debuted works at LCT3, Long Wharf, and other theatres around the country, and is the recipient of the 2014 Ruby Prize, 2013/14 PoNY Fellowship, and 2014/15 Aetna New Voices Fellowship. In February of 2015 she was named the first TheatreWorks Leading Ladies Laureate in a special ceremony during the Leading Ladies festivities.

Director Kristen Brandt is an award-winning playwright, director, and producer. She served for six seasons as Artistic Director of Sledgehammer Theatre where she directed over a dozen plays and wrote Berzerkergang, The Frankenstein Project, and Nu. She was the Associate Artistic Director of San Jose Repertory Theatre, where she directed Dr. Faustus, Next Fall, The Big Meal, Legacy of Light, and Groundswell, among others. As a director, Ms. Brandt's work has been seen at San Jose Repertory Theatre, The Old Globe, TheatreWorks, La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego Repertory, Santa Cruz Shakespeare, North Coast Repertory, and Arizona Theatre Company. She co-adapted a revised version of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, which had its world premiere at the Old Globe Theatre.

With some 100,000 patrons per year, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley has captured a national reputation for artistic innovation and integrity, often presenting Bay Area theatregoers with their first look at acclaimed musicals, comedies, and dramas, directed by award-winning local and guest directors, and performed by professional actors cast locally and from across the country. A home for artists developing new works, it was at TheatreWorks that Memphis, the 2010 Tony Award-winning musical that played on Broadway for three years before embarking on a 19 month national tour, was first workshopped and received its world premiere. It is currently enjoying an extended run on London's West End, where it recently captured two Olivier Awards.


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