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Just Like White People 

Thursday, Aug 14 2008
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This world premiere from 18 Mighty Mountain Warriors, the curiously named but well-established Asian-American improv troupe, is an eclectic collection satirizing stereotypes, with Eastern twists on Western paradigms, and some plain old zany antics. Most sketches are written by founding member Michael Chih Ming Hornbuckle, with a few contributed by long-standing members Peter J. Wong and Greg Watanabe, who are joined by guest stars Junko Goda, Kennedy Kabasares and Jully Lee. Highlights include “Louie’s American-Style Chinese Restaurant,” which skewers Chinese restaurants that sell out to American clientele; “21: The Movie,” a clever and necessary satire of Hollywood’s whitewashed casting practices; and “Asian-Pacific Heritage Month,” a mockumentary that pulls no punches in labeling the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans and Filipinos as, respectively, the “Jews, Germans, Irish and Blacks of the East.” Other sketches, like “Sammo Hung Pitch” and “Letter To A Friend,” rely on base humor but produced some of the biggest laughs of the evening. The troupe weaves in music and dance with “Jabbawabbee,” “Korean BBQ” and “Tech Support Musical.” These topical and creative sketches are, at times, uneven, but when they find their target, they are incisive and hilarious. The talented cast deftly executes numerous quick changes and even throws in a couple of barbs directed at the L.A. Weekly, making this reviewer wonder if his presence in the audience was acknowledged in true improv style.
Thursdays-Sundays, 8 p.m. Starts: Aug. 1. Continues through Aug. 24, 2008

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