Joan Alperin

Writer, Registered Critic

I saw this beautifully sad, poignant, dark play last Saturday evening and I’m still thinking about it. Thanks to the wonderful writing, acting and directing this two-person outing based on a true story is that memorable.

In 1834 a 14-year-old Chinese girl, Afong Moy (the excellent Amy Shu), arrived in New York from Canton. Supposedly Afong was the first Chinese woman to ever set foot on American soil. She was brought here after some American importers struck a deal with her parents for her to stay in this country for two years and then they would arrange for her passage home. However that was not the case.

Joan was born in Brooklyn and spent many years working as an actress in New York City. Even though she traveled extensively, Joan couldn't imagine living anywhere else.. Well one day, she met someone at a party who regaled her with stories about living in L. A. specifically Topanga Canyon. A few weeks later she found herself on an airplane bound for Los Angeles. Joan immediately fell in love with the town and has been living here for the last twenty years and yes, she even made it to Topanga Canyon, where she now resides, surrounded by nature, deer, owls and all kinds of extraordinary alien creatures.. Joan continued acting, but for the last several years (besides reviewing plays and film) she has been writing screenplays. Joan was married to a filmmaker who created the cult classic films, (way before she knew him) Faces of Death.