Back when it was called Social Grace, East Broadway, Fay Ann Lee’s debut future, was listed as the directorial debut of B. D. Wong. At some point very, very late in production, “artistic differences” grew up between Wong and the producers, and he was replaced as director by Lee, the film’s writer and star. Subsequently, Wong request that his name be completely removed from the movie’s credits, despite the fact that he plays a major supporting role. You could say, then, that it’s fair to describe East Broadway as a “troubled production.” It also fair to say that this minor controversy is by the far the most interesting thing about the film, a lightweight Cinderella story set in and around New York’s Chinatown.

In addition to writing and (sort of) directing East Broadway, Lee also stars in the film as Grace Tang, a single, 30-something Chinese-American woman who has spent most of her life trying to escape her poor, Chinatown past. Even as a financially secure, well-established adult, she still pursues her childhood dream of acceptance by those she considers her social superiors: her current dream is to be part of the unattainable Park Avenue elite, attending regular benefits, charity auctions, and opulent balls. To that end, she crams furiously on opera in order to be well-prepared for an opera-related benefit to which she’s wrangled an invitation.