HADESTOWN’s Malcolm Armwood, Afra Hines, Timothy Hughes, John Krause, Kimberly Marable, T. Oliver Reid, Jessie Shelton, Ahmad Simmons and Khaila Wilcoxon Receive 2019 ACCA Awards for Outstanding Broadway Chorus

Eva Noblezada and the company of HADESTOWN. Photo by Lia Chang
Ahmad Simmons, Afra Hines, John Krause, Eva Noblezada, Kimberly Marable, Timothy Hughes and Reeve Carney in HADESTOWN. Photo by Lia Chang

Actors’ Equity Association presented the ensemble of the 2019 Tony-winning musical Hadestown with the thirteenth annual ACCA Award for Outstanding Broadway Chorus on June 18, 2019 during Equity’s National Council meeting in New York.

2019 ACCA Award winners Malcolm Armwood, Afra Hines, John Hughes, Jessie Shelton Ahmad Simmons and Khailia Wilcoxon (not pictured – Timothy Hughes and T. Oliver Reid). Photo by Lia Chang

Presented by Equity’s Advisory Committee on Chorus Affairs (ACCA), the ACCA Award is the only industry accolade of its kind to honor the distinctive talents and contributions made by the original chorus members of a Broadway musical.

The nine individual recipients of the 2019 ACCA Award – all of whom were part of the Hadestown chorus on the musical’s April 17, 2019 Broadway opening night – are Malcolm Armwood, Afra Hines, Timothy Hughes, John Krause, Kimberly Marable, T. Oliver Reid, Jessie Shelton, Ahmad Simmons and Khaila Wilcoxon.

Reclining: 2019 Tony winner André De Shields. Row 1: Duncan Stewart, David Neumann, John Krause, Jessie Shelton, Benton Whitley. Row 2: Eva Noblezada, Kimberly Marable, Reeve Carney, Ahmad Simmons, Khaila Wilcoxon, Afra Hines, Malcolm Armwood, Kay Trinidad, 2019 Tony winner Mara Isaacs, Beverly, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer. Photo by Lia Chang

Hadestown was the big winner at The American Theatre Wing’s 73rd Annual Tony Awards taking home eight awards including Best Musical, Best Director for Rachel Chavkin, Best Score for Anais Mitchell, Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for André De Shields, Best Scenic Design for Rachel Hauck, Best Lighting Design for Bradley King, Best Sound Design for Jessica Paz and Nevin Steinberg, and Best Orchestrations for Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose.

Jennifer Cody, 2nd Vice President and ACCA Chair, Casting directors Benton Whitley and Duncan Stewart. Photo by Lia Chang

“When I saw Hadestown, I was transfixed by the chorus, said Jennifer Cody, 2nd Vice President and ACCA Chair.

Chorus members of HADESTOWN: (standing) Kimberly Marable, Ahmad Simmons, Khaila Wilcoxon, Afra Hines, Jessie Shelton & Malcolm Armwood; (kneeling) John Krause (not pictured Timothy Hughes and T. Oliver Reid). Photo by Lia Chang

“I believe they are pivotal to the storytelling. I think they are the emotional journey of Hadestown. How would the metaphor of Hell as a factory floor actually work without seeing the inhumanity of slave labor? What makes this ensemble so special is their ability to transform throughout the show. In some scenes, the chorus is asked to move as a unit, five actors representing a uniform emotion. And then the scene changes and this shadowy singular unit that we saw in the last scene becomes five completely individual performers, each with their own thoughts and back story and emotion. You basically tell the audience how we feel and how we got where we are.  They lead us from the highs of Persephone’s garden party to the lows and depths of hell. The costumes don’t change, the set doesn’t change. The only thing that changes is the ensemble’s perception. I was especially transfixed by the Tony performance. The simple fact that at the same time the ensemble acts as physical barriers that block the path to hell, they wear headlamps and literally light the way. They are the metaphor. They are the theme. They physicalize what happens when we give up our individuality to be taken care of. I think they are Hadestown. The casting directors called you unicorns. I think Hadestown found the perfect catch with their ensemble.”

Tony nominated choreographer David Neumann with his 2019 ACCA Award winning ensemble – counterclockwise: Afra Hines, John Krause, Malcolm Armwood, Ahmad Simmons, Kimberly Marable, Jessie Shelton and Khaila Wilcoxon. (not pictured: Timothy Hughes and T. Oliver Reid. Photo by Lia Chang

In reviewing the chorus of each Broadway musical that opened in the 2018-2019 theatrical season, ACCA considered the chorus requirements made by each production’s director, choreographer and musical director; the caliber of technical skill used to execute those requirements; and the unique contributions made by the entire chorus to the overall production. Members of the ACCA, all of whom have worked on a chorus contract and have seen all of the ACCA-nominated musicals during the season, cast their vote for the winning chorus.

David Neumann, Khaila Wilcoxon, Afra Hines, Ahmad Simmons, John Krause, Malcolm Armwood, Kimberly Marable, Jessie Shelton and 2019 Tony winner André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Past recipients of the ACCA award are the original chorus members of Legally Blonde (2007), In the Heights (2008), West Side Story (2009), Fela! (2010), The Scottsboro Boys (2011), Newsies (2012), Pippin (2013), Beautiful – The Carole King Musical (2014), An American in Paris (2015), Shuffle Along, Or The Making Of The Musical Sensation Of 1921 And All That Followed (2016), Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 (2017) and Once on This Island (2018).

2019 Tony winning Producer Mara Isaacs with casting directors Benton Whitley and Duncan Stewart. Photo by Lia Chang
David Neumann, Khaila Wilcoxon, Afra Hines, Ahmad Simmons, John Krause, Malcolm Armwood, Kimberly Marable, Jessie Shelton. Photo by Lia Chang
2019 Tony winner André De Shields and Tony nominee David Neumann. Photo by Lia Chang
Khaila Wilcoxon, Afra Hines, Ahmad Simmons, John Krause, Malcolm Armwood, Kimberly Marable, Jessie Shelton. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Multimedia: Tony Award Winner André De Shields Receives Actors’ Equity Foundation’s Richard Seff Award

Newly anointed Tony winner André De Shields culminated the 2019 theater award season by receiving the 2019 Richard Seff Award at Equity’s Eastern Regional Board meeting on June 11th at Equity’s office in New York.

2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

The Richard Seff award, administered by the Actors’ Equity Foundation, honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. Mr. De Shields was chosen to receive this year’s award by a panel of judges who were unanimous in their acclaim of his performance as Hermes in Hadestown.  The award consists of a check for $1,000 and a crystal trophy.

2019 Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin. Photo by Lia Chang

Rachel Chavkin, 2019 Tony winner for Best Director of a Musical, introduced Mr. De Shields. During her remarks, Ms. Chavkin donned a hat imprinted with the phrase, “André De Shields is My Stage Fave.”

2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields and his HADESTOWN family. Photo by Lia Chang

On cue, more than 20 members of the Hadestown company stood wearing the hats which were the brainchild of Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, who plays one of the Fates in Hadestown.

2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields and Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer. Photo by Lia Chang

In keeping with his flair for the dramatic, Mr. De Shields called out to his agent to bring his bag to the podium and pulled out his Tony Award.

2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields and 2019 Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin. Photo by Lia Chang
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields with Judith Rice, President, Actors’ Equity Foundation. Photo by Lia Chang
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields and his HADESTOWN family. Photo by Lia Chang
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields and his HADESTOWN family. Photo by Lia Chang

In a career spanning 50 years, Mr. De Shields has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator. He has intermittently portrayed Hermes in Hadestown since 2012, including the recent critically acclaimed production at London’s National Theatre. Mr. De Shields took home his first Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical on June 9th at Radio City Music Hall in New York and also received the 2019 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical, a 2019 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical and a 2019 Drama League Award nomination for Distinguished Performance for his role as Hermes.

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In 2018, Mr. De Shields was the recipient of the 8th Annual Off-Broadway Alliance Legend Award and the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award, and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. A three-time Tony Award nominee, he is best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The WizAin’t Misbehavin’  (Emmy Award), Play On!, and The Full Monty. Mr. De Shields is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC.  www.andredeshields.com

Anais Mitchell, Mara Isaacs, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, Kimberly Marable and Afra Hines. Photo by Lia Chang
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields

The Actors’ Equity Foundation also presented the Richard Seff Award to Marylouise Burke and the Clarence Derwent Award to Sarah Stiles and Ephraim Sykes.

2019 Clarence Derwent Award winners Ephraim Sykes and Sarah Stiles with 2019 Richard Seff Award winner Mary Louise Burke and 2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Actors’ Equity Foundation honorees Ephraim Sykes, Sarah Stiles, Tony winner André De Shields and Marylouise Burke with Tony winners Santino Fontana and Sergio Trujillo. Photo by Lia Chang

Pulitzer Prize winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire introduced Marylouise Burke who was honored for her role as Mom in True West. 

2019 Richard Seff Award winner Marylouise Burke with Playwright David Lindsay-Abaire. Photo by Lia Chang

Equity member Richard Seff, who was in the audience, established this award in 2003. It is considered a lifetime achievement award for an actor who is over the age of 50 and has been an Equity member for 25 years or more. Previous recipients include: Margo Martindale, Jayne Houdyshell, Dana Ivey, Kristine Nielsen, Patrick Page, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Bill Camp, and Michael Potts.

Richard Seff, Amber Gray, Rachel Chavkin and Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer. Photo by Lia Chang
Richard Seff, 2019 Richard Seff Award winner Marylouise Burke, 2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Julie Halston, Richard Seff, 2019 Richard Seff Award winner Marylouise Burke, Playwright David Lindsay-Abaire, 2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Santino Fontana, 2019 Tony winner for Best Leading Actor in a Musical, introduced Sarah Stiles who was honored for her role as Sandy in Tootsie. Sarah was a 2019 Tony nominee, Outer Critics Circle nominee and Drama desk nominee this year as well.

2019 Clarence Derwent Award winner Sarah Stiles and TOOTSIE co-star and Tony winner Santino Fontana. Photo by Lia Chang

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Sergio Trujillo, 2019 Tony winner for Choreography introduced Ephraim Sykes who was honored for his role as David Ruffin in Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations. Ephraim was a 2019 TONY nominee, and Outer Critics Circle nominee this year as well.

2019 Tony winner Sergio Trujillo, 2019 Clarence Derwent Award winner Ephraim Sykes and Judith Rice, President of Actors’ Equity Foundation. Photo by Lia Chang
2019 Clarence Derwent Award winner Ephraim Sykes with his mom. Photo by Lia Chang
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields, with the Sykes family- Martina Sykes, Ephraim Sykes and his mother. Photo by Lia Chang

Both Sykes and Stiles are recipients of the Clarence Derwent Award which is presented to an actor who has shown the most promise this season. Previous recipients of this award include George C. Scott, Ann Reinking, Morgan Freeman, Dianne Weist, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Santino Fontana who was introducing one of this year’s winners.

2019 Clarence Derwent Award winners Ephraim Sykes and Sarah Stiles. Photo by Lia Chang
2019 Clarence Derwent Award winn Ephraim Sykes, 2019 Tony Winner Santino Fontana, 2019 Clarence Derwent Award winner Sarah Stiles, 2019 Tony winner Sergio Trujillo. Photo by Lia Chang

The judges’ panel includes Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News; Adam Feldman, Time Out New York; Susan Haskins-Doloff, Theater Talk; Harry Haun, Playbill and David Rosenberg, The Hour Newspapers

2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields, Judith Rice, President, Actors’ Equity Foundation, Reeve Carney, Eva Noblezada and Kimberly Marable. Photo by Lia Chang

The Actors’ Equity Foundation, a philanthropic and humanitarian nonprofit organization, was created in 1962 to aid and assist the members of the acting profession and to promote the theatre arts. It is separate from Actors’ Equity Association and is funded by estate bequests and individual donations.

Broadwayworld.com: Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Receives 2019 Richard Seff Award

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Marva Hicks, Amber Iman, Stanley Wayne Mathis, Monica J. Palmer, Cedric Sanders, Stacey Sargeant, Allison Semmes, and Chesney Snow in Regina Taylor’s OO-BLA-DEE at Two River Theater

Two River Theater presents Oo-Bla-Dee, written by Regina Taylor, featuring original lyrics by Taylor and original music by composer/orchestrator Diedre L. Murray, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. The choreography is by Kenneth L. Roberson and the music direction is by George Caldwell, with vocal arrangements by Carol Maillard.

Oo-Bla-Dee opens on Friday, June 14 at 7pm and continues through Sunday, June 30 in Two River’s Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank, NJ. Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or tworivertheater.org.

Oo-Bla-Dee follows Evelyn Waters and the Diviners, an all-black, all-female jazz band, as they travel from St. Louis to Chicago in order to set up a record deal following the end of World War II. On this trip toward freedom the latest member of the group, sax player Gin Del Sol, must wrestle with the complex timing of the music as well as the complicated times in which she lives.

The company includes Marva Hicks as Evelyn Waters, Amber Iman as Luna C, Stanley Wayne Mathis as Shorty, Monica J. Palmer as Ruby, Cedric Sanders as Arthur/Soldier, Stacey Sargeant as Lulu, Allison Semmes as Gin Del Sol, and Chesney Snow as the Vocal Foley. The band consists of George Caldwell (conductor/piano), Corinthia Cromwell (saxophone), Eli Fountain (percussion) and Mimi Jones (bass).

The creative team includes scenic designer Michael Carnahan, costume designer Karen Perry, lighting designer Jane Cox, sound designer Jane Shaw, and projection designer Alex Basco Koch. The copyist is Kevin Massey and the wig designer is J. Jared Janas. The casting is by Binder Casting/Chad Eric Murnane, CSA. The assistant stage manager is Larry Copeland and the production stage manager is Mark Dobrow.

Stacey Sargeant and Monica J. Palmer. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson
Stacey Sargeant and Monica J. Palmer. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson
Marva Hicks and Allison Semmes. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson
Marva Hicks and Allison Semmes. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson
Marva Hicks, Cedric Sanders, Amber Iman, Allison Semmes, and Stacey Sargeant. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson
Marva Hicks, Cedric Sanders, Amber Iman, Allison Semmes, and Stacey Sargeant. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson
Stacey Sargeant, Marva Hicks, Allison Semmes, Stanley Wayne Mathis, and Monica J. Palmer. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson
Stacey Sargeant, Marva Hicks, Allison Semmes, Stanley Wayne Mathis, and Monica J. Palmer. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson
Stacey Sargeant, Marva Hicks, Allison Semmes, Stanley Wayne Mathis, and Monica J. Palmer. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson
Chesney Snow. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson
Chesney Snow. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson
Amber Iman. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson
Amber Iman. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson

Amber Iman. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson

The Company in Oo-Bla-Dee. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson
The Company in Oo-Bla-Dee. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson

Tony Award Winner André De Shields to Receive the 2019 Richard Seff Award from the Actors’ Equity Foundation on June 11

André De Shields won his 1st Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical on June 9, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

Three times the charm for André De Shields, who received his 1st Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical on June 9 at Radio City Music Hall in New York. He was previously nominated for Play On and The Full Monty.

Hadestown won eight awards including Best Musical,  Best Director for Rachel Chavkin, Best Score for Anais Mitchell, Best Scenic Design for Rachel Hauck, Best Light for Bradley King, Best Sound Design for Jessica Paz and Nevin Steinberg, and Best Orchestrations for Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose.

Mr. De Shields will receive the 2019 Richard Seff Award from the Actors’ Equity Foundation on Tuesday, June 11. The award honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year.

Mr. De Shields was chosen to receive this year’s award by a panel of judges who were unanimous in their acclaim of his performance as Hermes in Hadestown.  The award consists of a check for $1,000 and a crystal trophy.

The ceremony will take place on Tuesday June 11 at the Actors Equity Offices at 165 West 46th Street on the 14th floor in the Council Room at 2 pm. The awards will be given out at the beginning of the regularly scheduled Eastern Regional Board meeting and will run about 45 minutes.

In a career spanning 50 years, Mr. De Shields has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator. He has intermittently portrayed Hermes in Hadestown since 2012, including the recent critically acclaimed production at London’s National Theatre. Mr. De Shields also received the  2019 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical, a 2019 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical and a 2019 Drama League Award nomination for Distinguished Performance for his role as Hermes.

In 2018, Mr. De Shields was the recipient of the 8th Annual Off-Broadway Alliance Legend Award and the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award, and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. A three-time Tony Award nominee, he is best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The WizAin’t Misbehavin’  (Emmy Award), Play On!, and The Full Monty. De Shields is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC.  www.andredeshields.com

The judges’ panel includes Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News; Adam Feldman, Time Out New York; Susan Haskins-Doloff, Theater Talk; Harry Haun, Playbill and David Rosenberg, The Hour Newspapers.

In 2003 the Actors’ Equity Foundation established the Richard Seff Award, an annual award to be given to a male and female character actor who is 50 years old or older and who has been a member of Actors’ Equity for 25 years or longer, for the best performance in a featured or unfeatured supporting role in a Broadway or Off Broadway production. An actor may only be the recipient of this award one time.

48 Hours with Three-Time Tony Nominee André De Shields; HADESTOWN Awards Tally 

HADESTOWN Garners 12 Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations and Sets Release Date for Original Broadway Cast Recording 

Anaïs Mitchell’s HADESTOWN Nominated for 3 Drama League Awards, 7 Drama Desk Awards, 3 Chita Rivera Awards, 12 Outer Critics Circle Awards

Inside the Opening Night Afterparty of HADESTOWN with André De Shields 

André De Shields, Eva Noblezada, Amber Gray, Patrick Page and More Among 14 Tony Nominations for HADESTOWN including Best Musical; Full List of Nominees

Vinie Burrows, Tony Award winner André De Shields and Lia Chang at the 73rd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Musical Hall in New York on June 9, 2019. Photo by Lia Garth Kravits
Lia Chang
Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

48 Hours with Three-Time Tony Nominee André De Shields at the Drama Desk Awards, Tony Honors Cocktail Party, HADESTOWN Original Broadway Cast Listening Party

Three-time Tony award nominee André De Shields is back on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre as Hermes in Hadestown, the new musical by 2019 Tony award nominee Anaïs Mitchell, developed with and directed by 2019 Tony award nominee Rachel Chavkin.

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André won the Drama Desk Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical. On June 11, he’ll receive the 2019 Richard Seff Award from the Actors’ Equity Foundation, which honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year.

HADESTOWN Star André De Shields to receive the 2019 Richard Seff Award from the Actors’ Equity Foundation on June 11 

Drama Desk winner André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Below is my 48 hours with André which includes a surprise guest after the Sunday matinee, the Drama Desk Awards, the Tony Honors cocktail reception and the listening party for the Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hadestown.

(June 2, 2019, 6:00 p.m.) A quick visit with the legendary Micki Grant and Lori Minor after the Sunday matinee.

André De Shields, Reeve Carney, Lori Minor and Micki Grant on the set of HADESTOWN at the Walter Kerr. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields, Micki Grant, Eva Noblezada, Reeve Carney, Lori Minor on the set of HADESTOWN at the Walter Kerr. Photo by Lia Chang
6:00 p.m. at the Walter Kerr Theatre – Lia Chang, André De Shields, Micki Grant, Eva Noblezada, Reeve Carney, Lori Minor and Amber Gray.

6:15 p.m. Scott Rudin’s Drama Desk Party at Aureole.

Drama Desk Winners and Tony Award nominees Santino Fontana (TOOTSIE), Celia Keenan-Bolger (TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD) and André De Shields (HADESTOWN). Photo by Lia Chang
Drama Desk winner André De Shields, Paige Davis and Patrick Page. Photo by Lia Chang
David Neumann, Drama Desk winners Rachel Chavkin and  André De Shields and Jake Heinrichs. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang, Jewelle Blackman, Drama Desk winner André De Shields, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer and Kay Trinidad attend the Drama Desk Awards.
Drama Desk winner André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

“Hadestown in the house,” said Mr. De Shields in his speech at the 64th Annual Drama Desk Awards at Town Hall in New York on June 2. “Thank you Drama Desk. It only took 9 nominations. As you all can see, I am dressed tonight incognegro in order not be confused with my co-star Patrick Page who 8 times a week teaches me new lessons in how to create a character. Thank you Patrick. Anaïs Mitchell, Rachel Chavkin, Dale Frazen, Mara Isaacs, I want to thank you for let me be myself again (he sang). Goodnight.”

Co-Producer Mara Isaacs, Director Rachel Chavkin, André De Shields, Anais Mitchell and Co-Producer Dale Franzen at the opening party of HADESTOWN at the National Theatre in London on November 13, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang
Co-Producer Mara Isaacs, Director Rachel Chavkin, André De Shields, Anais Mitchell and Co-Producer Dale Franzen at the opening party of HADESTOWN at the National Theatre in London on November 13, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang

Hadestown also won in the categories of Outstanding Director of a Musical for Rachel Chavkin, Outstanding Lighting Design for Bradley King and Outstanding Sound Design for Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz.

June 3, 2019,  6:00 p.m. – Tony Honors cocktail party at Sofitel New York.

Tony Honor and Special Tony recipients with American Theatre Wing President and CEO Heather Hitchens, American Theatre Wing Chairman David Henry Hwang, the Broadway League Chairman Thomas Schumacher, and The Broadway League President and CEO Charlotte St. Martin at the Tony Honors cocktail party at Sofitel New York. Photo by Lia Chang

On June 3rd, the brightest lights of Broadway gathered at the Sofitel New York for the 2019 Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre Awards presented to Broadway industry Broadway Inspirational Voices founded by Michael McElroy; Broadway musical director and arranger Jason Michael Webb (Choir Boy) the late Marin Mazzie (accepted by her husband, Jason Daniely), Sonny Tilders and Creative Technology Company (King Kong) Peter Entin, retired Vice President of Theatre Operations for The Shubert Organization; Joseph Blakely Forbes, Founder and President, Scenic Art Studios, Inc. and FDNY Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9.

Tony Honor Recipient Michael McElroy, founder of Broadway Inspirational Voices, Tony nominee Dominique Morisseaui and Special Tony Award recipient Jason Michael Webb at the Tony Honors cocktail party at Sofitel New York. Photo by Lia Chang

As previously announced, Judith Light will receive this year’s Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award “for her impassioned advocacy to end HIV/AIDS and her support for LGBTQ+ and human rights.” Actress Rosemary Harris, playwright Terrence McNally and composer Harold Wheeler each will receive a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

Harold Wheeler, 2019 Tony Award Recipient for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, his wife, Hattie Winston Wheeler and Three-time Tony nominee André De Shields at the Tony Honors cocktail party at Sofitel New York. Photo by Lia Chang
HADESTOWN’s Mara Isaacs, Reeve Carney, Eva Noblezada, Rachel Chavkin, Rachel Hauck, Todd Sickafoose, Three-time Tony nominee André De Shields, Dale Franzen and Tom Kirdahy at the Tony Honors cocktail party at Sofitel New York. Photo by Lia Chang
Reeve Carney, Two-time Tony nominee Eva Noblezada and Three-time Tony nominee André De Shields at the Tony Honors cocktail party at Sofitel New York.

Hadestown has been nominated for 14 Tony awards including Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for De Shields and his co-star Patrick Page, Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score for Anaïs Mitchell, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for Eva Noblezada, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for Amber Gray, Best Scenic Design of a Musical for Rachel Hauck, Best Costume Design of a Musical for Michael Krass, Best Lighting Design of a Musical for Bradley King, Best Sound Design of a Musical for Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz, Best Direction of a Musical for Rachel Chavkin, Best Choreography for David Neumann and Best Orchestrations for Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose. The 2019 Tony Awards will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City, on Sunday, June 9th on CBS.

James Babcock, Telly Leung, Three-time Tony nominee André De Shields, Grace Hwang and American Theatre Wing Chairman David Henry Hwang at the Tony Honors cocktail party at Sofitel New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Hadestown marks the first time in over a decade that a woman has been the solo author of a musical: writing the music, lyrics, and book, and is the fourth time in Broadway history a woman has accomplished this creative feat. The show originated as Mitchell’s indie theater project that toured Vermont which she then turned into an acclaimed album. With Chavkin, her artistic collaborator, Hadestown has been transformed into a genre-defying new musical that blends modern American folk music with New Orleans-inspired jazz to reimagine a sweeping ancient tale.

The Broadway League President and CEO Charlotte St. Martin, Kip Fagan, Tony nominee Heidi Schreck, Three-time Tony nominee André De Shields, Tony nominee Mara Isaacs at the Tony Honors cocktail party at Sofitel New York. Photo by Lia Chang

June 3, 2019, 7:45 p.m. The Hadestown Listening Party at The Royalton
The cast and creative team celebrated the Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hadestown at The Royalton on June 3rd, which is having a unique and unconventional release schedule. On Friday, June 7, 13 tracks from Hadestown, written by celebrated singer-songwriter and two-time 2019 Tony Award nominee Anaïs Mitchell, developed with innovative director and 2019 Tony Award nominee Rachel Chavkin, will be made available digitally. Three of those songs, “Way Down Hadestown,” “Our Lady of the Underground,” and “Wait for Me,” were released on June 4th 12:01 AM.

Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang

The rest of the double album which features 40 tracks spanning over two hours of music will be rolled out in three curated character-themed drops.

Anaïs Mitchell. Photo by Lia Chang

Anaïs Mitchell said, “A huge thanks to all of our friends for their patience as we take a little more time with our Original Broadway Cast Recording than originally anticipated! We got deep into editing and mixing these two-plus hours’ worth of beautiful performances and realized we didn’t have the heart to rush what feels like a very special recording that we hope will live for a long time! We’ve decided to release the entirety of the album in a few installments over the course of the next few weeks as ‘character drops.’ We hope this will give folks a chance to appreciate all over again the unique gifts of our unicorn company and give us the time we need to make sure we are creating the most magical recording possible!”

Schedule for the drops

Tuesday, June 4 at 12:01 AM

    • “Way Down Hadestown
    • “Wait For Me (“Hey, the big artiste…”) [Intro]”
    • “Wait For Me”
    • “Our Lady of the Underground”

Friday, June 7 – Additional highlights

    • “Livin’ It Up On Top”
    • “Hey, Little Songbird”
    • “When The Chips Are Down (“Songbird vs. rattlesnake…”) [Intro]”
    • “When The Chips Are Down”
    • “Gone, I’m Gone”
    • “Why We Build The Wall”
    • “Why We Build The Wall (“Behind closed doors…”) [Outro]”
    • “Flowers”
    • “Road to Hell (Reprise)”

Friday, June 28 – Character Drop 1: Hades and Persephone

Friday, July 12 – Character Drop 2: Hermes, the Fates, and the Workers Chorus

Friday, July 26 – Character Drop 3: Orpheus and Eurydice

Anaïs Mitchell, Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose. Photo by Lia Chang
Tom Kirdahy, Mara Isaacs, Dale Franzen and Hunter C. Arnold. Photo by Lia Chang

The Hadestown Original Broadway Cast Recording is produced by David Lai, Todd Sickafoose, and Mitchell, co-produced by Mara Isaacs and Hunter Arnold, and executive produced by Dale Franzen, Tom Kirdahy, Craig Balsam, and Thomas M. Neff. The album is distributed by ADA Worldwide in partnership with Arts Music.

Kay Trinidad, Rachel Chavkin, Jordan Roth, a guest, Michael Krass, Anais Mitchell and Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer at the Drama League Awards. Photo by Lia Chang

The current awards tally for Hadestown includes the 2019 Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical, the 2019 Chita Rivera Award for Outstanding Choreography in a Broadway Show for David Neumann, and 6 Outer Critics Circle Awards in the categories of Outstanding New Broadway Musical, André De Shields for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical, Amber Gray for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, Anaïs Mitchell for Outstanding New Score, Rachel Chavkin for Outstanding Director of a Musical and Bradley King for Outstanding Lighting Design.

Team HADESTOWN: Danielle Long King, Dale Franzen, André De Shields, Montego Glover, Mara Isaacs, Noah Hahn, Bradley King, Rachel Chavkin, Tom Kirdahy, Anaïs Mitchell and Hunter C. Arnold. Photo by Lia Chang

Inside the 2019 Outer Critics Circle Awards with HADESTOWN’s André De Shields, Amber Gray, Anaïs Mitchell and Rachel Chavkin 

 

HADESTOWN’s Reeve Carney Returns to The Green Room 42 on June 30 

Diane Paragas’ YELLOW ROSE Starring Eva Noblezada, Lea Salonga to Open Asian American International Film Festival on July 25 

HADESTOWN Garners 12 Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations and Sets Release Date for Original Broadway Cast Recording 

Anaïs Mitchell’s HADESTOWN Nominated for 3 Drama League Awards, 7 Drama Desk Awards, 3 Chita Rivera Awards, 12 Outer Critics Circle Awards

Inside the Opening Night Afterparty of HADESTOWN with André De Shields 

André De Shields, Eva Noblezada, Amber Gray, Patrick Page and More Among 14 Tony Nominations for HADESTOWN including Best Musical; Full List of Nominees

HADESTOWN Star André De Shields to receive the 2019 Richard Seff Award from the Actors’ Equity Foundation on June 11 

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

The Cast of HADESTOWN Will Perform Tonight on The 73rd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Musical Hall

Awards season has been a whirlwind for the company of Hadestown, who have been nominated for 14 Tony Awards, the most this season.

The company of HADESTOWN. Photo by Lia Chang

The categories Hadestown has been nominated include Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for André De Shields and his co-star Patrick Page, Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score for Anaïs Mitchell, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for Eva Noblezada, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for Amber Gray, Best Scenic Design of a Musical for Rachel Hauck, Best Costume Design of a Musical for Michael Krass, Best Lighting Design of a Musical for Bradley King, Best Sound Design of a Musical for Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz, Best Direction of a Musical for Rachel Chavkin, Best Choreography for David Neumann and Best Orchestrations for Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose. The 2019 Tony Awards will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City, tonight on CBS. and hosted by James Cordon featuring an incredible line up of celebrity presenters and musical performances for Broadway’s biggest night.

Eva Noblezada, André De Shields, Reeve Carney, Patrick Page, Amber Gray and Company. Photo by Lia Chang

In addition to Hadestown, the Tony Awards telecast will feature performances by the casts of Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations; Beetlejuice; The Cher Show; Choir Boy; Kiss Me, Kate; Oklahoma!; The Prom and Tootsie. The evening will also feature a special performance by Tony Award winning-actress Cynthia Erivo.

Celebrity Presenters

The evening will feature appearances by Sara Bareilles, Laura Benanti, Abigail Breslin, David Byrne, Vanessa Carlton, Kristin Chenoweth, Darren Criss, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Tina Fey, Sutton Foster, Josh Groban, Danai Gurira, Jake Gyllenhaal, Christopher Jackson, Samuel L. Jackson, Shirley Jones, Regina King, Jane Krakowski, Isabelle Stevenson Award recipient Judith Light, Laura Linney, Lucy Liu, Aasif Mandvi, Audra McDonald, Sienna Miller, Catherine O’Hara, Tony Nominee Kelli O’Hara, Ben Platt, Billy Porter, Anthony Ramos, Andrew Rannells, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Michael Shannon, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Marisa Tomei, Samira Wiley and BeBe Winans.

Karen Olivo, Aaron Tveit and Danny Burstein will co-host the pre-telecast Creative Arts Awards, sponsored by City National Bank.

How to Watch

James Corden will return to host the American Theatre Wing’s 2019 Tony Awards, which will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City on CBS. The three-hour program will air on Sunday, June 9th 8:00 – 11:00 p.m. (ET/PT time delay). The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

The 2019 Tony Awards Live from the Red Carpet will be hosted by Montego Glover and Denny Directo on Sunday, June 9th, beginning at 5:00 PM ET, LIVE on Twitter at @CBS and on ET LIVE at ETonline.com/live.

You can also watch the Tony Awards online with CBS All Access. More info at cbs.com/all-access.

View the database of past Tony Awards ceremonies to learn more about each year’s ceremony, from 1947 to the present.

Diane Paragas’ YELLOW ROSE Starring Eva Noblezada, Lea Salonga to Open Asian American International Film Festival on July 25

The 42nd Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF42), presented by Asian CineVision, will open with the timely immigration drama YELLOW ROSE on Thursday, July 25, 2019 at Asia Society (725 Park Ave, New York, NY 10021), with Director Diane Paragas and other members of the cast and crew scheduled to attend.

Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang

YELLOW ROSE is the deeply personal narrative feature debut from Filipina American writer and director Diane Paragas. Rose, played by Two-time Tony Award Nominee Eva Noblezada (Hadestown, Miss Saigon), an undocumented Filipino girl, dreams of one day leaving her small Texas town to pursue her country music dreams. Her world is shattered when her mom (Princess Punzalan) is suddenly detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Rose, facing this new realty, is forced to flee the scene, leaving behind the only life she knows, and embarks on a journey of self-discovery as she searches for a new home in the honky-tonk world of Austin, Texas. Also featured in the film are Tony Award-winning actress Lea Salonga and country music star Dale Watson. Set to a poignant soundtrack featuring original songs by Paragas, Noblezada, Watson and the cast, this coming-of-age story brings forth the power of music and art to provide strength in the face of the harsh plight confronting countless immigrant families across the country.

Director of "Yellow Rose"  Diane Paragas  - Photo courtesy of Yellow Rose
Director of “Yellow Rose”  Diane Paragas  – Photo courtesy of Yellow Rose

“This film is about home – the home you build for yourself and the people you welcome into it,” says Paragas. “Yellow Rose is a story for everyone trying to find their place in this world and we’re honored to share it at New York City at AAIFF.”

Yellow Rose has its world premiere at the 35th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and won the Grand Jury award for outstanding North American narrative feature and a special jury award for actress Eva Noblezada for her breakthrough performance. Other awards include the Comcast narrative award at the 37th center for Asian American Media Festival, also known as CAAMFest and the Best Narrative film at the Bentonville Film Festival.

Asian CineVision is a fiscal sponsor for the film and is proud to celebrate its New York premiere at this year’s edition of Asian American International Film Festival. “Having been a partner on this project for the last 6 years, ACV has watched the film evolve with the times and is excited to finally bring it to our hometown audience,” says John Woo, ACV Executive Director.

Gold Passes, which grant priority admission to all screenings, panels, workshops, and special events, including Opening, Centerpiece, and Closing, are currently on sale at goelevent.com/AAIFF/Package/Sale/. The 42nd Asian American International Film Festival will run July 25 – August 3 with full lineup for sale on Wednesday, June 26, 2019.

Daniel K. Isaac, Julyana Soelistyo, Jennifer Lim, John D. Haggerty and More Celebrate YOU NEVER TOUCHED THE DIRT Opening Night

Daniel K. Isaac, Julyana Soelistyo, John D. Haggerty, Jennifer Lim, Kenneth Lee and Holly Chou. Photo by Lia Chang

Zhu Yi’s YOU NEVER TOUCHED THE DIRT opened at The Wild Project (195 E 3rd Street) in Manhattan on June 6 as part of SUMMERWORKS, Clubbed Thumb’s annual series of new plays. The limited run ends on Thursday, June 13 and due to popular demand, an additional 3:00 p.m. matinee has been added on June 13. Single tickets are on sale for $25 ($20 for students) here.

Playwright Zhu Yi and Director Ken Rus Schmoll. Photo by Lia Chang

Helmed by Ken Rus Schmoll, YOU NEVER TOUCHED THE DIRT features Holly Chou, John D. Haggerty (“Gotham,” NAATCO’s Henry VI), Daniel K. Isaac (“Billions,” The Chinese Lady), Kenneth Lee (“Search Party”, The Machine), Jennifer Lim (Chinglish, Clubbed Thumb’s Tumacho), Julyana Soelistyo (Tony Award Nominee, Golden Child).

John D. Haggerty, Daniel K. Isaac, Holly Chou, Kenneth Lee, Julyana Soelistyo, Jennifer Lim. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team includes Andrew Moerdyk (scenic design), Heather McDevitt Barton (costume design), Jiyoun Chang (lighting design), Brendan Aanes (sound design), Raphael Mishler (prop design), Melanie Aponte (stage manager).

John Haggerty, Daniel K. Isaac, Director Ken Rus Schmoll, Holly Chou, Kenneth Lee, Julyana Soelistyo, Producing Artistic Director Maria Striar, Playwright Zhu Yi and Jennifer Lim. Photo by Lia Chang

The Li family would be enjoying their new lake-view luxury villa outside of the city, were they not surrounded by the gardeners, maids, and security guards who had once owned the land–not to mention the Gods, ghosts and unnamed spirits there for thousands of years before them. A play about economic transformation, the dreams it enables and those it crushes.

YOU NEVER TOUCHED THE DIRT features set design by Andrew Moerdyk, costume design by Heather McDevitt Barton, lighting design by Jiyoun Chang and sound design by Brendan Aanes. Melanie Aponte is the production stage manager.

This play was developed as part of a long term project for playwrights in China with the Royal Court Theatre and the British Council from 2016-2018.

Playwright Zhu Yi. Photo by Lia Chang
Playwright Zhu Yi. Photo by Lia Chang
Playwright Zhu Yi. Photo by Lia Chang
Ida Chavoshan, Daniel K. Isaac, Esther Lee and Chad Reed .Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac and his mother, Esther Lee. Photo by Lia Chang
Clubbed Thumb Producing Artistic Director Maria Striar, Associate Artistic Director Michael Bulger and Advancement Director Quinn Metal Corbin. Photo by Lia Chang
John D. Haggerty, Playwright Zhu Yi, Kenneth Lee and Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Zhu Yi, Daniel K. Isaac, Lia Chang and Esther Lee. Photo by Sarah Einspanier
Sarah Einspanier and Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, Kenneth Lee and Jennifer Lim. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Lim, Gary Wilmes and Ed Sylvanus Iskandar. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Lim and Gary Wilmes. Photo by Lia Chang
Ed Sylvanus Iskandar and Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang
Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER Set for New York Premiere at The Public, September 24 – November 3 

Sam Pinkleton, Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Leigh Silverman, David Henry Hwang, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis. Photo by Lia Chang
Jeanine Tesori and David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
Jeanine Tesori and David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

The Public Theater is presenting the New York premiere of Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang (Book and Lyrics) and Jeanine Tesori’s (Music and Additional Lyrics) SOFT POWER, September 24 – November 3 in a co-commission and co-production with Center Theatre Group.

Sam Pinkleton, Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Leigh Silverman, David Henry Hwang, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis. Photo by Lia Chang
Sam Pinkleton, Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Leigh Silverman, David Henry Hwang, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis. Photo by Lia Chang

Helmed by Leigh Silverman and featuring choreography by Sam Pinkleton, initial casting includes Billy Bustamante (Xue Xing Standby), Kendyl Ito (Jing/Ensemble), Francis Jue (DHH), Austin Ku (Bobby Bob), Raymond J. Lee (Randy Ray/VEEP/Ensemble), Alyse Alan Louis (Zoe/Hillary), Jaygee Macapugay (Campaign Manager/Ensemble), Daniel May (Ensemble), Paul HeeSang Miller (Ensemble), Geena Quintos (Ensemble), Conrad Ricamora (Xue Xing), Trevor Salter (Ensemble), Kyra Smith (Ensemble), Emily Stillings (Female Swing), Emily Trumble (Zoe/Hillary Understudy), and John Yi (Male Swing).

Hwang and Tesori’s groundbreaking new musical-within-a-play, SOFT POWER, one of the most exciting theatrical collaborations in recent memory, is an exploration of America’s current place in the world, told through an East-West musical from China’s point of view, in which a theater producer from Shanghai forges a powerful bond with Hillary Clinton. SOFT POWER is a fever dream of modern American politics amidst global conversations, asking us all-why do we love democracy? And should we?

Conrad Ricamora, Austin Ku, Francis Jue, Geena Quintos, Billy Bustamante and Raymond J. Lee. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Conrad Ricamora, Austin Ku, Francis Jue, Geena Quintos, Billy Bustamante and Raymond J. Lee. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Lia Chang
Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Daniel K. Isaac, John D. Haggerty, Kenneth Lee, Jennifer Lim, Julyana Soelistyo and Holly Chou Open in Clubbed Thumb’s Production of YOU NEVER TOUCHED THE DIRT by Zhu Yi at The Wild Project; Performances through June 13

SUMMERWORKS, Clubbed Thumb’s annual series of new plays is presenting YOU NEVER TOUCHED THE DIRT by Zhu Yi at The Wild Project (195 E 3rd Street) in Manhattan, June 3 through June 13.Opening night is tonight at 8:00 p.m.

John D. Haggerty, Kenneth Lee, Daniel K. Isaac, Jennifer Lim, Holly Chou and Julyana Soelistyo. Photo by Lia Chang

Helmed by Ken Rus Schmoll, YOU NEVER TOUCHED THE DIRT features Holly Chou, John D. Haggerty (“Gotham,” NAATCO’s Henry VI), Daniel K. Isaac (“Billions,” The Chinese Lady), Kenneth Lee (“Search Party”, The Machine), Jennifer Lim (Chinglish, Clubbed Thumb’s Tumacho), Julyana Soelistyo (Tony Award Nominee, Golden Child).

John D. Haggerty, Daniel K. Isaac, Holly Chou, Kenneth Lee, Playwright Zhu Yi, Jennifer Lim and Julyana Soelistyo. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team includes Andrew Moerdyk (scenic design), Heather McDevitt Barton (costume design), Jiyoun Chang (lighting design), Brendan Aanes (sound design), Raphael Mishler (prop design), Melanie Aponte (stage manager).

Lia Chang, John D. Haggerty, Rajesh Bose, Zhu Yi, Mahira Kakkar, Julyana Soelistyo, Kenneth Lee, Jennifer Lim, Cindy Cheung, Jon Norman Schneider, Daniel K. Isaac, Vanessa Kai and Holly Chou. Photo by Garth Kravits

The Li family would be enjoying their new lake-view luxury villa outside of the city, were they not surrounded by the gardeners, maids, and security guards who had once owned the land–not to mention the Gods, ghosts and unnamed spirits there for thousands of years before them. A play about economic transformation, the dreams it enables and those it crushes.

YOU NEVER TOUCHED THE DIRT features set design by Andrew Moerdyk, costume design by Heather McDevitt Barton, lighting design by Jiyoun Chang and sound design by Brendan Aanes. Melanie Aponte is the production stage manager.

Festival passes are on sale now for $65, with discounted preview passes on sale for $55, at https://www.artful.ly/clubbedthumb/store/passes. Single tickets are on sale for $25 ($20 for students) here.

This play was developed as part of a long term project for playwrights in China with the Royal Court Theatre and the British Council from 2016-2018.

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com