Rent A White Guy, a new multilingual musical fable about life for laowai (foreigners) living in China, will get its New York premiere at the Secret Theatre in Long Island City this September. Rent A White Guy chronicles firsthand fish-out-of-water experiences through scenes and songs in English and Chinese (with English supertitles) and will be presented by Fish Out of Water Productions, which features works from Americans living abroad. Written by Anna Grace Carter (Prom Night of the Living Dead) who spent nearly half a decade living and working in China, Rent A White Guy will run from tonight, 9/19-9/30 and will be directed by Elizabeth Murray.
Based on actual experiences of expats living in Beijing, Rent A White Guy is a full-length musical about Charlie (from Anytown, USA) who dreams of becoming a famous writer. But, when a magical fortune cookie leads him to get a job as an English teacher in China, he encounters a strange new world that he doesn't understand and that doesn't understand him. Unhappy with his new position as an English teacher (the "fast-food worker" job for foreigners in China) he meets an agent who offers him the opportunity to pose as a fake businessman and make a lot of cash. After taking the offer, his dreams of completing his novel begin to vanish as he gets sucked deeper into the world of corporate impersonation and fame. Song titles include “Rent A White Guy,” “The Lonely Laowai Ladies,” “Who is Hu?” and “I Love China (The White Guy Song).”
The cast will include Simon Pearl, Danielle Beckmann, Clara Wong, Carl Hsu, Ariel Marcus, German Rodriguez, Helene Ellford, Holly Chou (These Seven Sicknesses, Future Anxiety at The Flea), Mara Measor (Bluebird at Atlantic Theatre Co.), Noah Brendemuehl, Paul T. Falzone, Ray Sheen, Ryun Hobbs, Shawna Shin, Ya Han Chang and Zilong pU.
The production will also feature scenic design by Joseph Croghan, costumes by Mike Kaukl, lighting design by Sarah Abigail Hoke-Brady, projections/graphic design by John Wyffels and choreography by Dustin Cross. Musical arrangements are by Jeremy Robin Lyons and Rebecca Perlman, the latter of whom also is music director. Associate Producer Ashley Timm, Assistant Director Logan Reed, Translator Dennis Yueh-Yeh Li, and General Manager Kevin Lambert round out the team presenting this new musical.
Rent A White Guy will have performances from tonight, September 19-30, Wednesday through Saturday at 8pm and Sundays at 7pm at the Secret Theatre (44 02 23rd St, Long Island City). Tickets priced at $18 are available online at www.secrettheatre.com. For more information, visit www.rentawhiteguythemusical.com.