Before Flower Drum Song exploded on the Broadway stage and silver screen, a golden age of Chinese American nightclubs and performers flourished from the 1930s–1960s. Cabarets with names like Forbidden City, Kublai Khan, Chinese Skyroom, China Doll, and the New Shanghai Terrace Bowl were venues, mostly in San Francisco, where Chinese American singers and dancers could finally perform regularly in routines that had previously been considered white forms of entertainment. Forbidden City, U.S.A.: Chinese American Nightclubs, 1936-1970 is a ground-breaking exhibition that chronicles the history, legacy, glitz and glamour of this little known Chinese American story.
Opening event: Sunday, April 13, Meet curator Arthur Dong with entertainment by the Grant Avenue Follies. Main Library, Koret auditorium, 1:00.
May 6: Author talk with Arthur Dong, Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 6:00 pm
May 10 Chinatown Walking Tour with City Guides, 11:00 am. Reservations required, email firstname.lastname@example.org.June 12: Open Books with Lisa See discussing her new book China Dolls, Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 6:30 pm
Sponsored by San Francisco History Center, the Chinese Center at the San Francisco Public Library, the California Historical Society,the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library The Asian American Studies Department at San Francisco State University, Chinese Historical Society of America, Museum of Performance + Design, City Guides, Center for Asian American Media