Killer Comedy, political sketches, and rock n’ roll spoken word “medit-Asians” — from one of New York’s most celebrated solo artists. Meet a 40 year old Asian American cheerleading novice, a 10000 year old performance artist, a race-ambiguous / age-unknown human blowtorch to the glass ceiling, a young violinist with big dreams. The music is by the fierce electric violin fueled “Slanty Eyed Mama”. The duo (Kate Rigg and Lyris Hung) met while studying at Juilliard and, upon graduation unleashed their street savvy, comedic, Amerasian hip hop/ rock n roll around the world! Following residences at the Smithsonian Institute, The Comedy Central Theater, L.A. Grand Performances, the Vancouver Comedy festival and more, this kick-ass Nuyorasian phenomenon returns home to NYC for an exotic erotic quixotic night of yum yum fun.
Slanty Eyed Mama is a music and spoken word duo featuring electric violin, samples and beats by Juilliard virtuoso slash rocker Lyris Hung and the comedic, political, lyrical words of actor-comedian (and fellow Juilliard graduate) Kate Rigg. They are two good Asian girls gone rock n’ roll wild. Together they’ve created an original “Nuyorasian” voice, blending classical training, a variety of musical styles and an edgy street infused perspective on pop culture, politics, race and representation.
Originally from Canada and Australia, but a New Yorker at heart, KATE RIGG’s performance career began the second she graduated with a degree in acting from New York’s prestigious Juilliard school. A notorious culture and subculture vulture, the allure of the club scene in New York drew her to Caroline’s Comedy Club where she quickly caught the attention of the New Talent Booker who slotted her for a series of appearances and features showcasing her particular brand of character based comedy, edgy socio-political commentary, Asian-American slanted jokes, and in-ya-face dirty girl talk. From there she developed edgy, musical one person shows which have toured internationally. Kate’s career includes FOUR MAJOR ELEMENTS: acting, comedy, music, writing/producing original works. Thematically these elements are linked by a hunger for new ideas, iconoclastic imagery, a love of language, challenging ideas about cultural stereotyping and a quest for expanding form and content to open up discussions about pop culture, race, comedy, media tropes, tolerance and linking diverse communities through art. Kate has brought this literate urban multidisciplinary sensibility to work in corporate brand creation and consuting, performances at venues as diverse as The Kennedy Center, The Smithsonian Institute, Chicago’s Museum of Modern Art, NYC’s Public Theater and countless clubs, colleges and festivals internationally.
Lyris Hung began her violin studies at the age of 3 in the exotic wilds of Fairfield County, Connecticut. At 11, she was accepted into the Juilliard Pre-College Division and at 17, she started a double-degree program between the Juilliard School and Columbia University where she earned a B.A. in Anthropology and Music from Columbia and an M.M. in Violin Performance from Juilliard.Since then, Lyris has become an active session violinist in NYC, performing and recording with artists from many genres. She has been heard on Bryan Adams’ MTV Unplugged, live with Bono and Quincy Jones at the 1999 NetAid concert, live with the 2003 Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and has toured Europe and America with RCA recording artist Ke. She has also played with hip-hop giant Jay-Z and Beyoncé with ?Love of the Roots, Dan Zanes, Ornette Coleman, Toshi Reagon, and many others. She tours regularly with the Indigo Girls.
Find out more about Slanty Eyed Mama on their website!
Leah Ryan was a playwright, essayist, writer of post-modern greeting cards, and a general woman of letters. She collaborated with Kate Rigg on jokes, characters, plays, songs and general linguistic trickery from their time together at Juilliard in the late 90s until she passed from Leukemia in 2008. Her plays have been performed all over the United States. Ms. Ryan’s play Bleach, a dark comedy about the legacy of the Armenian genocide, received the Maibaum Award for plays dealing with issues of social justice. In addition to her Diploma from Juilliard’s playwriting program, Ms. Ryan graduated with honors from Smith College as an Ada Comstock Scholar, winning the Denis Johnston prize for excellence in playwriting three times and the Jill Cummins MacLean Prize once. She received her MFA from the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop, where she won the Distinguished Teaching award and was twice chosen to take part in the annual Iowa Playwrights Festival. She was fiction editor and a regular columnist at Punk Planet magazine.