East is West

   Samuel Shipman and John B. Hymer's three-act comedy with prologue opened on 25 December 1918 at the Astor Theatre for a remarkable 680 performances despite critical derision. Fay Bainter starred as Ming Toy, a Chinese girl who resides in San Francisco's Chinatown. She falls in love with Billy Benson, an American boy. However, she has been sold to Charlie Yang, a cynical Chinese-American wastrel. When it is revealed that Ming Toy is, in fact, Spanish-born, Yang is foiled and Ming Toy and Billy are united and will face together the era's laws and beliefs that make their interracial union difficult. Bainter's performance was highly praised, as were the lavish settings by Livingston Platt. A popular 1922 silent motion picture version starred Constance Talmadge, and Lupe Velez took the role in a 1930 "talkie."

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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