Yellow Fever (play)

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Yellow Fever
Written by R. A. Shiomi
Characters Sam Shikaze
Date premiered 1 December 1982[1]
Place premiered Pan Asian Repertory
New York, New York[1]
Original language English
Subject Japanese Canadian Culture
Genre Comedy, Mystery, Parody
Setting Powell Street in Vancouver, CAN in the early 1970s

Yellow Fever is a play by R. A. Shiomi which takes place on Powell Street in Japantown, Vancouver, a gathering place for the local Japanese-Canadian culture. Set in the 1970s, the Sam Spade-like main character, Sam Shikaze, must work to unravel the mysteries that surround him.[2] First produced by the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre in 1982, it received positive reviews[2] and had a successful run off-Broadway.

Plot summary[edit]

Sam Shikaze, a smooth private-eye, narrates his own story about what happened when he was hired to find the missing Cherry Blossom Queen. He is soon trapped in a web of racism and political intrigue that seems to lead back to the Hong Kong tongs. Chuck Chan is a lawyer who tried to help solve the case, while Nancy Wing is a beautiful reporter who is searching for a story. Captain Kadota, an old friend of Sam's, offers his aid as a member of the police force; although, he and Sam don't see eye to eye on politics.

Characters and actors in premier production[1]
  • Sam Shikaze (Donald Li)
  • Rosie (Carol Honda)
  • Goldberg (James Jenner)
  • Chuck Chan (Henry Yuk)
  • Nancy Wing (Freda Foh Shen)
  • Sergeant Mackenzie (Jeffrey Spolan)
  • Capt. Kenji Kadota (Ernest Abuba)
  • Superintendent Jameson (James Jenner)

Presented by the Pan Asian Repertory Theater,

  • Raul Aranasm, Stage Director
  • Tisa Chang, Artistic Director
  • Susan Socolowski, Administrative Director

Awards and honors[edit]

  • 1982: Bay Area Theater Circle Critics Award
  • 1982: "Bernie" for new play from the San Francisco Chronicle
  • 1983: Obie Award to Ernest Abuba for performance[3]


  1. ^ a b c Gussow, Mel. "Yellow fever." The New York Times 132 (2 December 1982): 24(N) pC21(L). General Reference Center Gold. Gale.
  2. ^ a b Oliver, Edith. "Rosie's cafe." The New Yorker 63.n36 (26 October 1987): 130(1). General Reference Center Gold. Gale.
  3. ^ "Obie Awards Presented". The New York Times, 24 May 1983

External links[edit]