Daughters of a Chinese “paper son” and a Polish seamstress, the Kim Loo Sisters broke through the bamboo ceiling to perform in kiddie revues in the midwest, on vaudeville and Chop Suey circuits around the country, and finally on Broadway and the Hollywood screen where they shared top billing with Frank Sinatra, The Three Stooges, Ann Miller, and Jackie Gleason. When one of the sisters left the act, her sisters—dubbed “the Chinese Andrews Sisters”—continued to perform as a trio and joined the USO. This presentation tells the story of the “Kimmies” and extends our understanding of 20th-century Chinese American society beyond Chinatowns, bachelor societies, and exclusion.
Leslie Li is the producer/director of The Kim Loo Sisters, her début feature-length film. Daughter of one of the Kimmies and niece of the other three, she is the author of four books, two of which have been translated into five languages.
Eric Hung is executive director of the Music of Asian America Research Center. He has published in leading musicology journals, and performed in Germany, Austria, Thailand, Australia, and throughout North America.
This program is presented in partnership with the 1882 Foundation.