Yes, there are casinos that specifically target Asian Pacific Americans.

Vegas’s California Club has been pretty much the stop for many Hawai’ians; from what I’ve been told by my relatives, the casino even used to offer free plane fare for islanders.  The buffet diner hosts island favorites and conference rooms sport Hawai’ian monikers.

But this Saturday, you don’t have to board a bus in Chinatown to go to Vegas. Vegas will be coming to Los Angeles’s Little Tokyo neighborhood.  You may not finish the day rich in money but definitely in holiday cheer.

As we told you about last month, A Little Tokyo Christmas returns for the second year to the David Henry Hwang Theater with a bevy of talent as well as an arts and crafts fair.  This year the show has a Vegas theme.

Producers Michael Hagiwara (this year’s East West Players’ Founder’s Award honoree), Sharon Omi, and Emily Kuroda bring over 60 performers together including the Obon Jivers, members of Cold Tofu, hereandnow, Dan Taguchi and his Little Tokyo Band, Amy Hill, Tamlyn Tomita, Rodney Kageyama, and Francois Chau.

Hagiwara says that the show is a “way of cementing our bond with each other and our community.”

Mixed in with the Vegas-style performances, which include comedy, dance, singing, and even a little bit of circus, will be some holiday sketches “to remind us all what the holidays are about,” says producer Emily Kuroda.

In the spirit of giving, net proceeds from the event will go towards the Japanese American Community Services, which has celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011, and traces its history back to the Shonien, a children’s orphanage founded in 1912 — so 2012 will be Shonien’s 100th anniversary.

A Little Tokyo Christmas Goes to Vegas will have two performances on December 17, at 2 and 7pm.  General admission for the performance is $25; seniors, students, and children are $20.  Tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets at (800) 838-3006 or online at

For group sales and more information, please call (310) 739-2808.

–Ken Choy

Related posts: