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Chinatown Senior Burlesque Troupe Bashing Back On AAPI Hate Crimes

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Image: GrantAvenueFollies.com

Remember the 76 year-old Asian grandma who whacked her attacker with a wooden board in March? Get ready to multiply her fury times ten, as KPIX reports that the legacy, Chinatown senior citizen burlesque troupe Grant Avenue Follies is preparing a burlesque number that prepares Asian seniors to fight back amidst the recent rash of attacks on elders in the AAPI community.

When we last saw the Grant Avenue Follies, it was right before shit went sideways when they performed at the February 2020 Hubba Hubba Revue (as seen above). That’s not their usual type of venue, the Chinatown nightclub-era homage troupe typically performs at retirement homes and veterans hospitals, taking their elder audiences back to the days of the 1950s Chinatown burlesque scene and vaudeville shows.

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As that population is now seeing more frequent hate crimes and attacks, their new number is a routine showing how to fight back with the “guy mo so,” in a song whose title translates to “Beware the chicken feather duster.”

“Using the guy mo so — this chicken feather duster. It had a hard base so, when you are naughty and getting out of line, the parents would go after you with that,” explained dancer Emily Chin.

Clarion Performing Arts Center director Clara Hsu has been choreographing the number. “Seniors are not just old people on the street, you know? We are powerful and we want to show that and to show it in an entertaining way,” Hsu told KPIX. “We are the authority. Don’t mess with us.”  

The number is still in the works, and will premiere via online video. The Grant Avenue Follies also hopes to perform the number at gatherings and festivals, once we’re doing that kind of thing again.

 

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Joe Kukura is a two-bit marketing writer who excels at the homoerotic double-entendre. He is training to run a full marathon completely drunk and high, and his work has appeared in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal on days when their editors made particularly curious decisions.

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