Puro Arte: Filipinos on the Stages of Empire

By Lucy Mae San Pablo Burns | Go to book overview

Coda: Culture Shack

It seems only fitting that I close my discussion of puro arte with a focus on the world premiere staging of Rolling the Rs, R. Zamora Linmark’s highly acclaimed novel, produced by Honolulu’s Kumu Kahua Theater in November 2008. The play and its consequent production in Hawaii deftly weave together questions of race, performance, imperial relations, and Filipino subjectivity, providing continuities and interruptions to the sites on which I have discussed the Filipino performing body. The Hawaii setting of Rolling the Rs begs an overdetermined invocation of U.S. offshore imperial beginnings and continuing colonial practices. Like Dogeaters, the novel Rolling the Rs is a self-consciously performative text. Within the novel form, Linmark packs multiple literary and performance genres, ranging from poetry, book reports (written by a fourth grader), and reenactments of Charlie’s Angels episodes and Donna Summer concerts to the lyrics (or poetic interpretations of lyrics) and sounds of late 1970s and early 1980s disco hits.

Linmark’s multiethnic Hawaii is far from its popular depiction as an island of paradise and a haven of interethnic relations. It is complex, dark,

-139-

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Puro Arte: Filipinos on the Stages of Empire
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Introduction - Putting on a Show 1
  • 1 - "Which Way to the Philippines?"- United Stages of Empire 21
  • 2 - "Splendid Dancing"- Of Filipinos and Taxi Dance Halls 49
  • 3 - Coup de Théâtre- The Drama of Martial Law 75
  • 4 - "How in the Light of One Night Did We Come So Far?"- Working Miss Saigon 107
  • Coda- Culture Shack 139
  • Notes 147
  • Bibliography 167
  • Index 185
  • About the Author 192
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