Catch Nisei Widows Club at East West Players starting on November 7th!


The Japanese American National Museum is pleased to support East West Players as a community partner for The Nisei Widows Club: How Tomi Got her Groove Back.

The third installment of The Nisei Widows Club comic trilogy follows the lives of a group of widowed Nisei (second generation) women who only have each other in the face of loss and the search for love in their golden years. Tomi loses her only son to a heart attack at the early age of 45, and the other widows gather around her during this time of grief. Hilarity ensues when they embark on an unforgettable trip to Hawaii, which unleashes the cougar in all of them at a hula retreat.

“The ‘Nisei Widows Club’ have really struck a humorous chord with the community, even though the story centers around loss,” says Tim Dang, Producing Artistic Director of East West Players. “This newest story will feature even more laughter demonstrating the strength of these senior citizen women in times of adversity.”

The production brings back the original four “Nisei Widows”—Takayo Fischer as Sumi, Emily Kuroda as Hana, June Kyoko Lu as Betty, Jeanne Sakata as Tomi. EWP introduces Tui Asau as the object of their desire—Kimo the hula teacher.

Traci Kato-Kiriyama and Johnny Kwon give powerful performances in the Gallery Performance, Our American Voice
Traci Kato-Kiriyama and Johnny Kwon give powerful performances in “Our American Voice”

JANM has a long history of partnership with East West Players—from hosting play readings presented by EWP, to our current collaboration, Our American Voice, a two-person show exploring six diverse stories of Asian Pacific Americans that is performed inside the exhibition gallery in conjunction with the I Want the Wide American Earth: An Asian Pacific American Story exhibition which was created by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center.

This dynamic gallery performance stars Traci Kato-Kiriyama and Johnny Kwon portraying both historic and fictional characters, including Gordon Hirabayashi, Katherine Cheung (the first licensed Asian American female aviator), and poet Carlos Bulosan.

If you haven’t seen it already, you have one last chance to see Our American Voice this Saturday, October 26 at 1PM! Be sure to check out the exhibition, I Want the Wide American Earth, before it closes on Sunday, October 27.


The Nisei Widows Club: How Tomi Got Her Groove Back
By Betty Tokudani
Directed by Amy Hill

November 7 – December 8, 2013

Preview Performances:
Thursday, November 7 – November 9 at 8pm
Sunday, November 10 at 2pm
All preview seats are $21, $16 for students.

Regular Performances:
November 14 – November 29: Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8pm, Sundays at 2pm
November 30 – December 8: Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm, Saturdays & Sundays at 2pm

David Henry Hwang Theater
at the Union Center of the Arts
120 Judge John Aiso Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012.

For more information please visit