John Douglas Thompson, Sean Carvajal, Jayne Houdyshell, Ruth Wilson and More Join Glenda Jackson in KING LEAR

Sean Carvajal and John Douglas Thompson. Photos by Lia Chang

This season’s new Broadway production of William Shakespeare’s King Lear, starring two-time Academy Award winner, two-time Emmy Award winner, and 2018 Tony Award winner Glenda Jackson in the title role, will also star Tony Award winner Jayne Houdyshell, three-time Obie Award winner Elizabeth Marvel, Aisling O’Sullivan, Pedro Pascal, Tony Award nominee and two-time Drama Desk Award winner John Douglas Thompson, and two-time Olivier Award winner and Golden Globe Award winner Ruth Wilson.

Tony winner Jayne Houdyshell will take on the traditionally male role of the Earl of Gloucester.

Pedro Pascal will play Edmund, while Lear’s scheming daughters Goneril and Regan will be played by Elizabeth Marvel and Aisling O’Sullivan.

John Douglas Thompson, will appear as the Earl of Kent, a role he played opposite Sam Waterston’s Lear in a 2011 Public Theater production.

The cast will also feature Sean Carvajal as Edgar, Dion Johnstone as the Duke of Albany, Matthew Maher as Oswald and Russell Harvard as the Duke of Cornwall.

The production, directed by Tony Award winner Sam Gold, will begin previews Thursday, February 28, 2019 and will open Thursday, April 4, 2019 at the Golden Theatre (252 West 45th Street). The production will play a strictly limited engagement through Sunday, July 7, 2019. Click here for tickets.

Academy Award nominated and Golden Globe and BAFTA Award-winning composer Philip Glass will provide an original score for the production.

The critically acclaimed creative team features scenic design by Miriam Buether, costume design by Ann Roth, lighting design by Jane Cox, and sound design by Scott Lehrer.

Up Close and Personal with Sean Carvajal, Award-Winning Star of JESUS HOPPED THE ‘A’ TRAIN 

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Interview with GOLD MOUNTAIN Creator Jason Ma; Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Alan Ariano to Perform Excerpts at MOCA Lunar Soirée on February 20

Renowned actors Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee Jr. in Gold Mountain at The TimesCenter in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is presenting the MOCA 2019 Lunar New Year Soirée at the famed Rice & Gold, a unique Asian Eatery in the Hotel 50 Bowery on Wednesday, February 20, 2019. The customized menu is curated by Executive Chef Jae Lee.

Excerpts from Jason Ma’s Gold Mountain The Musical, starring Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Alan Ariano will kick off the festive evening at 6:30pm, followed by dinner at 7:30pm and an after party at The Crown, Rooftop Bar at 9:30pm.

Black Tie or Festive Chinese Attire.

Reserve Lunar Soirée For This Performance

Renowned actors Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee Jr. in Gold Mountain at The TimesCenter in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang
Renowned actors Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee Jr. in Gold Mountain at The TimesCenter in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

Helmed by Alan Muraoka, Gold Mountain will feature choreography by Billy Bustamante and Music Direction by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld.

GOLD MOUNTAIN Director Alan Muraoka, Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Creator Jason Ma at TheTimesCenter in New York on October 21, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
GOLD MOUNTAIN Director Alan Muraoka, Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Creator Jason Ma at TheTimesCenter in New York on October 21, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

Gold Mountain is a love story set against the backdrop of a pivotal event in America’s history, the construction of the first transcontinental railroad. The original musical celebrates the striving immigrant spirit, the redemptive power of love and the ultimate nobility of self-sacrifice.

Renowned actors Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee Jr. in Gold Mountain at The TimesCenter in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang
Renowned actors Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee Jr. in Gold Mountain at The TimesCenter in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

Jason Ma is a son of an immigrant family, and a grateful descendant of a long line of those who were able to persist, overcome and succeed on their way to becoming Americans. He wrote the book, music and lyrics for Gold Mountain and is the 2017 recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Cole Porter Award, given to an emerging composer/lyricist “whose work shows promise.” Along with writing, he is an actor who has been seen on Broadway and Off-Broadway stages, in regional theaters and many international venues.

Jason Ma, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang
Jason Ma, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang

Over dinner at Landmarc, Jason shared his inspiration for creating Gold Mountain, the sneak peek presentation set for the MOCA Gala and the upcoming performances in May during the Golden Spike 150 celebrations in Utah.

Jason Ma
Jason Ma

Lia: Presenting excerpts of Gold Mountain at the MOCA Gala is ideal. What do you hope audiences will take away from it?
Jason: Gold Mountain is a story about the lives lived by those who built our first transcontinental railroad, and my hope for its audiences is a renewed understanding of an America that was and is a country built and made great by immigrants.

I hope they feel seen and celebrated. Institutions like the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) are necessary to fill in the gaps in historical and cultural documentation that mainstream institutions neglect or gloss over. (By the way, I love this museum, its mission and the Maya Lin designed space, so inspiring.) Those of us from the Asian American community that write musicals are likewise trying to fill a gap in the narratives and stories in the musical theater canon, especially when addressing the East vs. West dynamic and the perspective from which those stories are dramatized.  Something that excites me right now is that Timothy Huang’s new musical American Morning is being mounted by Prospect Theater Company this spring. Although we are very different writers, what strikes me is how both our shows explore the East vs. West dynamic and the damage and heartbreak that ensues when these worlds butt up against each other. Also, may I point out that neither of us chose to explore this dynamic through a romantic relationship or flirtation between members from either side of the divide.  That we are both getting to performance of our pieces is something to be celebrated!

Lia: What inspired you to create Gold Mountain?
Jason: I don’t know!

The initial impulse came at me from who knows where or what in the middle of a show, while I was waiting between scenes, and I wasn’t actually looking to write anything at the time.  A lyric/melody fragment started cycling in my head and then, the person singing this snippet began to let me know who he was. By the end of the next day, the first draft of what turned out to be a middle-of-the-show love duet was finished, and the world, the characters, the themes and the plot that surrounded this song all fell in line in the next months after that initial encounter.

Lia: What are the themes of the excerpts that you will be presenting?
Jason: I thought it would be appropriate to focus on some of the family and inter-personal relationships in choosing the excerpts for our MOCA performance.  One of the themes that we cycle back to a lot in Gold Mountain is that of filial duty, the primacy of family and community, that beautiful collectivism in East Asian culture, which is often misunderstood and misrepresented, . We individualistic Americans can often dismiss this worldview out of hand, but it is a valid lens through to look at life, family and society that has worked for many, many centuries. I love that the characters in Gold Mountain come from this world and how it colors everything they do.

Lia: What excites you about the performances that are scheduled in May during the Golden Spike 150 celebration and how did the production first come to the attention of the organizers?
Jason: Baayork Lee, our community fairy godmother, diva, and fierce activist, brought the show to Prospect Theater and they co-produced a semi-staged concert performance with National Asian Artists Project at TheTimesCenter in 2017.  Shortly after that, we began to get emails from Utah, basically saying that they’d heard about the performance and wanted to meet. (Thank you, Baayork and Prospect!)

GOLD MOUNTAIN choreographer Billy Bustamante, Creator Jason Ma, NAAP Co-founder Baayork Lee, Musical Director Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Director Alan Muraoka, NAAP Co-founder Steven Eng and Prospect Theater Company Artistic Director Cara Reichel. Photo by Lia Chang
GOLD MOUNTAIN choreographer Billy Bustamante, Creator Jason Ma, NAAP Co-founder Baayork Lee, Musical Director Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Director Alan Muraoka, NAAP Co-founder Steven Eng and Prospect Theater Company Artistic Director Cara Reichel. Photo by Lia Chang

The Spike 150 performances are going to be so exciting. We’ve got Ali Ewoldt along with some of the best Asian American actors that I know flying to Utah in May to do this. Among our producing partners is the Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association, so the pressure is on. We want to honor and do justice to their ancestors with our portrayals of these Chinese men who built the railroad.  The level of support from local theaters, arts organizations, non-profits, the cities, the counties, the state, businesses and especially private citizens is overwhelming. I think that’s the most exciting thing of all, the level of engagement and local excitement makes us feel so welcomed. It’s going to be an awesome experience and I’m so grateful.

Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee Jr., Alan Ariano, Daniel J. Edwards, Lawrence-Michael Arias, Steven Eng and Eric Bondoc Set for Alan Muraoka Helmed GOLD MOUNTAIN by Jason Ma in Utah for 2019 Golden Spike 150th Anniversary 

Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN Concert and AfterParty 

Ali Ewoldt (Yook Mei in Gold Mountain)
Ali Ewoldt (Yook Mei in Gold Mountain)

Born outside Chicago and raised 45 minutes north of New York City in the small town of Pleasantville, Ali Ewoldt has loved performing for as long as she can remember. She made her Broadway debut as Cosette in the 1st Broadway Revival of Les Miserables and is currently starring as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway.

Ali has starred as Maria in the 1st National Tour of West Side Story directed by Arthur Laurents and David Saint and played Luisa in the The Fantasticks Off-Broadway, the world’s longest running musical. She has been featured on The Michael J. Fox Show, the short film Yield and DRAMA: The Webseries and has performed at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall and Town Hall, and across the country and world.

Jonny Lee Jr. (Lit Ning in Gold Mountain)
Jonny Lee Jr. (Lit Ning in Gold Mountain)

Jonny Lee Jr. is an actor, singer, writer, and photographer. As an actor, Jonny’s past credits include Gold Mountain at the Times Center, Ito in Mame, Ching Ho inThoroughly Modern Millie, Henry in Next to Normal, and Thuy in Miss Saigon. As a writer, Jonny co-wrote the music, lyrics, and book to the new musical Welcome To Shoofly. He also co-wrote and starred in the musical web-series, City of Dreams, which has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, Stage17.tv, Playbill and BroadwayWorld. Other works include a song for the CBS Diversity Showcase,Take Out (AAFL Top 10), and Benjamin Franklin and the Legend of the Vajra.

Alan Ariano (Ba in Gold Mountain)
Alan Ariano (Ba in Gold Mountain)

Broadway: The King and I (Lincoln Center), M. ButterflyJerome Robbins’ BroadwayShogun: The MusicalMiss Saigon (Original Company) & Flower Drum Song (Tour). Off-Broadway:Shanghai Moon (opposite Charles Bush), Prospect Theater’s Honor, Urban StagesA Deal. World Premiers include: The Geffen Playhouse Extraordinary Chambers and Portland Center Stage’sSnow Falling On Cedars. Reginals include: Kennedy Center, MUNY, Dallas Summer Musicals, Walnut Street, Pioneer Theater, The Fifth Ave, TUTS Houston, Music Theatre of Wichita, California Music Circus, Lyric Opera Chicago. Televison include: The PathGotham, HBO’s TreméLeverageHarry’s LawLaw & Order and SVU recurring as Judge Lee Wong.

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

Pioneer Theatre Company Presents ONCE at Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre through March 2

The cast of Pioneer Theatre Company's "Once," running from Feb. 15-March 2. Photo by BW Productions

Pioneer Theatre Company is presenting the romantic, Tony Award-winning musical Once, with music and lyrics by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová and book by Enda Walsh, February 15 through March 2, 2019 at Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, 300 South 1400 East in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The cast of Pioneer Theatre Company's "Once," running from Feb. 15-March 2. Photo by BW Productions
The cast of Pioneer Theatre Company’s “Once,” running from Feb. 15-March 2. Photo by BW Productions

Based on the motion picture written and directed by John Carney, the Sundance film-turned-Broadway-hit won eight Tonys, including Best Musical. The touching love ballad, “Falling Slowly,” also won the Oscar for Best Song. Helmed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh, the production features choreography by Lainie Sakakura and music direction by Tom Griffin.

From left to right: Cody Craven (Andrej), Hillary Porter (Girl), EJ Zimmerman (Reza), Mary Fanning Driggs (Baruska), Hailey Burnham (Ivonka) and Zander Meisner (Švec) in Pioneer Theatre Company's "Once." Photo by BW Productions
From left to right: Cody Craven (Andrej), Hillary Porter (Girl), EJ Zimmerman (Reza), Mary Fanning Driggs (Baruska), Hailey Burnham (Ivonka) and Zander Meisner (Švec) in Pioneer Theatre Company’s “Once.” Photo by BW Productions

Set in Dublin, Ireland, the play follows two aspiring musicians as they encourage and discover each other’s talent and love. Displaying the quadruple talents of the actors, the performers will not only sing, dance and act in the show, but will play the musical instruments as well.

Roderick Lawrence (left) as Guy, Chris Mixon (center) as Da and Hillary Porter (right) as Girl in Pioneer Theatre Company's "Once." Photo by BW Productions
Roderick Lawrence (left) as Guy, Chris Mixon (center) as Da and Hillary Porter (right) as Girl in Pioneer Theatre Company’s “Once.” Photo by BW Productions

The production features Roderick Lawrence (Guy), Hilary Porter (Girl), Scott Anthony (Eamon), Maya Bhagwat Bassuk (Ex-Girlfriend), Chris Blisset (Billy), Cody Craven (Andrej), Hailey Burnham (Ivonka), Mary Fanning Driggs (Baruska), Riley French (Emcee “MC”), Zander Meisner (Svec), Chris Mixon (Da), Kristopher Saint-Louis (Bank Manager), EJ Zimmerman (Réza) and Britton Gardner (Ensemble).

EJ Zimmerman (left) plays Reza and Chris Blisset (right) plays Billy in "Once," their debuts at Pioneer Theatre. Photo by BW Productions
EJ Zimmerman (left) plays Reza and Chris Blisset (right) plays Billy in “Once,” their debuts at Pioneer Theatre. Photo by BW Productions

The artistic team includes Scenic Design by Yoon Bae, Costume Design by Gregory Gale, Lighting Design by Kirk Bookman, Sound Design by Allan Branson, Hair and Makeup Design by Amanda French, Dialect Coaching by Sarah Shippobotham, with Production Stage Manager Mary P. Costello, Stage Manager Becky Lynn Dawson, 1st Assistant Stage Manager Kallie Erickson, 2nd Assistant Stage Manager Dee Dee Palmer.

Performances are Mondays – Thursdays at 7:00 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday matinees at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $44 – $66 in advance, and $5 more when purchased on the day of the show Kids in grades K-12 are half-price on Mondays and Tuesdays. Click on www.pioneertheatre.org for more information and to purchase tickets.

Pirronne Yousefzadeh directs the musical. She serves as the Associate Artistic Director and Director of Engagement at Geva Theatre Center. She has directed and developed new work at The Public/Joe’s Pub, New York Theatre Workshop, Atlantic Theater Company, Ars Nova, Soho Rep, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, La Jolla Playhouse, Huntington Theatre Company, Cleveland Playhouse, Geva Theatre Center, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, InterAct Theatre Company and Hangar Theatre, among others. This is her first PTC production.

Tom Griffin returns to PTC as the guest musical director after Newsies last season. Other recent PTC productions include Oliver!, It Happened One Christmas, Peter and the Starcatcher, Elf-The Musical and A Christmas Carol: The Musical. He also musically directed the west coast and Los Angeles premieres of The Last Five Years, Sweet Charity, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and The Music Man; the west coast premiere of Spitfire Grill; Annie; West Side Story; The Scarlet Pimpernel and Bye Bye Birdie.

Lainie Sakakura is an award-winning Choreographer, receiving the Joe A. Callaway Award for Outstanding Choreography for Red Eye of Love and a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Choreography for Damn Yankees. She has performed in the original casts of six Broadway shows, including the Tony Award-winning revival of The King and I.

Pioneer Theatre Company operates under an agreement between the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) and Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States. Pioneer Theatre Company, Utah’s only fully professional theatre, performs at Roy W. and Elizabeth E. Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre, located on the University of Utah campus at 300 South and 1400 East in Salt Lake City, easily accessible by TRAX light rail. Free parking is also available and the theatre is equipped with an elevator, handicap parking, hearing assistance devices and other easy-access features.

Kahchun Wong, Bomsori Kim and So Young Park Celebrate New York Philharmonic Debuts in Lunar New Year Concert

Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong and the New York Philharmonic musicians. Photo by Lia Chang

The New York Philharmonic welcomed the Year of the Vermillion Pig at the eighth annual Lunar New Year Concert and Gala, a festive fire-themed evening — representing warmth, light, energy, and prosperity — presented by Starr International Foundation on February 6th.

Gala Co-chairs Oscar Tang and his wife Agnes Hsu-Tang with Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong. Photo by Lia Chang
Gala Co-chairs Oscar Tang and his wife Agnes Hsu-Tang with Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong. Photo by Lia Chang

Kahchun Wong, 32, Chief Conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra and first prize winner of the 2016 Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition, made his New York Philharmonic debut conducting the orchestra’s annual Lunar New Year Concert at David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center in New York. A native of Singapore, Wong is only the second conductor-following Long Yu-given the honor to lead the Philharmonic’s annual concert celebration of Asian culture and heritage. This concert also marks Wong’s New York conducting debut.

Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong and the New York Philharmonic musicians. Photo by Lia Chang
Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong and the New York Philharmonic musicians. Photo by Lia Chang
Frank Huang, New York Philharmonic concertmaster and Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong. Photo by Lia Chang
Frank Huang, New York Philharmonic concertmaster and Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong. Photo by Lia Chang
Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong and the New York Philharmonic musicians. Photo by Lia Chang
Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong and the New York Philharmonic musicians. Photo by Lia Chang

The program included the U.S. premiere of Tan Dun’s Violin Concerto: Fire Ritual (performed by Bomsori Kim in her Philharmonic debut); Shin Arirang, Dong-Jin Kim’s version of the iconic Korean folk song “Arirang,” and Mozart’s “Der Hölle Rache” from The Magic Flute, both performed by soprano So Young Park in her Philharmonic debut; Liu Yuan’s Train Toccata; and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite (1919 version). Continuing the annual tradition, the concert featured the Spring Festival Overture by composer Li Huanzhi, recognizing the composer’s centenary in 1919.

Gala Co-chairs Oscar Tang and his wife Agnes Hsu-Tang, Soprano So Young Park and her sister Jihyang Park. Photo by Lia Chang
Gala Co-chairs Oscar Tang and his wife Agnes Hsu-Tang, Soprano So Young Park and her sister Jihyang Park. Photo by Lia Chang

Honorary Gala Chairs included Mr. and Mrs. Maurice R. Greenberg and Gala Co-Chairs included Angela Chen, Guoqing Chen and Ming Liu,  Misook Doolittle, Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar L. Tang, Sharon Wee and Tracy Fu and Shirley Young.

Gala Co-Chairs Agnes Hsu-Tang, Oscar Tang and Shirley Young. Photo by Lia Chang
Gala Co-Chairs Agnes Hsu-Tang, Oscar Tang and Shirley Young. Photo by Lia Chang

The elegant affair started with a champagne reception on David Geffen Hall’s Grand Promenade, and the seated dinner for 300 following the concert featured a Singaporean cuisine themed menu curated by Gala Co-Chairs Agnes Hsu-Tang and Sharon Wee. The evening raised $1,135,000 to support the Orchestra’s activities.

Gary Parr, Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong and President and CEO Deborah Borda. Photo by Lia Chang
Gary Parr, Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong and President and CEO Deborah Borda. Photo by Lia Chang

Wong’s remarkable last-minute debut with the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra in October 2016 led to his appointment as Chief Conductor. In September 2018, Wong began his tenure as Chief Conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, leading the orchestra’s season opening concert in a program that included the world premiere of Kah Hoe Yii’s Concerto 4 Orchestra, Brahms’ Violin Concerto in N*E*R*D Major with soloist Midori, and Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra. In October, Wong led the orchestra on a tour to Milan, Italy and Kepmten & Unterföhring, Germany.

Gala Co-Chairs Oscar Tang and Sharon Wee, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations Burhan Gafoor and his wife, Zarina Varukatty, Gala Co-Chair Agnes Hsu-Tang and Henry Tang. Photo by Lia Chang
Gala Co-Chairs Oscar Tang and Sharon Wee, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations Burhan Gafoor and his wife, Zarina Varukatty, Gala Co-Chair Agnes Hsu-Tang and Henry Tang. Photo by Lia Chang

Wong conducted the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra’s New Year’s Gala on January 5 and 6, 2019 featuring works by Oscar Straus and Richard Strauss; and will lead Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with mezzo-soprano Marina Prudenskaya in March 2019. Wong concludes the first season of his tenure as the orchestra’s Chief Conductor on May 11 conducting Puccini’s Preludio sinfonico and Capriccio sinfonico, Lalo’s Cello Concerto in N*E*R*D minor, and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4,”Italienische.”

A guest, Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong, Zarina Varukatty and her husband Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations Burhan Gafoor, a guest and Gala Co-Chair Oscar Tang. Photo by Lia Chang
A guest, Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong, Zarina Varukatty and her husband Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations Burhan Gafoor, a guest and Gala Co-Chair Oscar Tang. Photo by Lia Chang

In December 2018, Wong made his debut with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, in a program that featured Dukas’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with Denis Kozhukhin, Barber’s Adagio for Strings, and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite (1945). Bachtrack raved about the performance, writing “There was an obvious warmth between Wong and the players. He had a vision, taking the audience on the most extraordinary music journey.”

Later this season, Wong will be a guest conductor with the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra (March 30), the Tonküstler Orchestra in Baden, Austria (April 5) and Wiener Neustadt (April 6), the Kyoto Symphony (May 18 and 19), and Nagoya Symphony(May 24 and 25).

George Sycip, Ambassador Nicholas Platt, Lucia Hwong-Gordon, Angela Chen. Photo by Lia Chang
George Sycip, Ambassador Nicholas Platt, Lucia Hwong-Gordon, Angela Chen. Photo by Lia Chang

A passionate advocate for access to arts education and the belief that music education has the power to inspire, Wong co-foundedProject Infinitude, an inclusive arts initiative embracing children from diverse backgrounds. Recent initiatives have included immersive and sensory-friendly performances with young audiences sitting amongst the musicians and receiving red bean soup in Singapore, and cross-cultural collaborations involving the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra and the Singapore-based Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music. Wong and his co-founder Marina Mahler, granddaughter of the composer Gustav Mahler, aim to expand the project in a sustainable and thoughtful way.

The New York Philharmonic plays a leading cultural role in New York City, the United States, and the world. Each season the Orchestra connects with up to 50 million music lovers through live concerts in New York and around the world, international broadcasts, recordings, and education programs. In 2018–19 Jaap van Zweden begins his tenure as Music Director, and the Orchestra expands its connection to New York City. Maestro van Zweden leads five World Premieres — by Ashley Fure, Conrad Tao, Louis Andriessen, Julia Wolfe, and David Lang — and core symphonic masterworks; presides over Music of Conscience, New York Stories: Threads of Our City, and The Art of Andriessen; and welcomes New York’s community and service professionals to Phil the Hall.

The New York Philharmonic has commissioned and / or premiered works by leading composers from every era since its founding in 1842. Highlights include Dvořák’s New World Symphony; John Adams’s Pulitzer Prize–winning On the Transmigration of Souls, dedicated to the victims of 9/11; Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Piano Concerto; Wynton Marsalis’s The Jungle (Symphony No. 4); and Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s Metacosmos. The Philharmonic introduces two new-music series in the 2018–19 season.

Gala co-chair Sharon Wee and guests. Photo by Lia Chang
Gala co-chair Sharon Wee and guests. Photo by Lia Chang
A resource for its community and the world, the New York Philharmonic complements its annual free citywide Concerts in the Parks, Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer, with Philharmonic Free Fridays, its famed Young People’s Concerts, the Shanghai Orchestra Academy and Residency Partnership, and a residency partnership with the University Musical Society of the University of Michigan. The Orchestra has appeared in 432 cities in 63 countries.
The oldest American symphony orchestra and one of the oldest in the world, the Philharmonic has made more than 2,000 recordings since 1917 and produced its first-ever Facebook Live concert broadcast in 2016. Jaap van Zweden becomes Music Director in 2018–19, succeeding musical leaders including Alan Gilbert, Maazel, Masur, Zubin Mehta, Boulez, Bernstein, Toscanini, and Mahler.
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

Rehearsals Kick Off for Complete Cast of HADESTOWN

André De Shields as Hermes in HADESTOWN. Photo by Helen Maybanks

Today, producers Mara Isaacs, Dale Franzen, Hunter Arnold, and Tom Kirdahy announced complete casting for Hadestown, the new musical by celebrated singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell, developed with innovative director and Tony Award nominee Rachel Chavkin.

André De Shields as Hermes in HADESTOWN. Photo by Helen Maybanks
André De Shields as Hermes in HADESTOWN. Photo by Helen Maybanks

Joining the previously announced principal cast of Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada, and Patrick Page will be Jewelle Blackman, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, and Kay Trinidad as the Fates. The chorus of Workers will be played by Afra Hines, Timothy Hughes, John Krause, Kimberly Marable, and Ahmad Simmons. The full cast will also include swings Malcolm Armwood, T. Oliver Reid, Jessie Shelton, and Khaila Wilcoxon.

Patrick Page, Amber Gray, André De Shields, Eva Noblezada, Reeve Carney. Photo by Bronwen Sharp
Patrick Page, Amber Gray, André De Shields, Eva Noblezada, Reeve Carney. Photo by Bronwen Sharp

Preview performances for Hadestown begin Friday, March 22 ahead of a Wednesday, April 17 official opening night at the Walter Kerr Theatre (219 West 48th Street). Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com or by calling (877) 250-2929 with the Walter Kerr box office opening on Tuesday, February 19.

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 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 woman in Broadway history to accomplish 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.

Reeve Carney as Orpheus and Eva Noblezada as Eurydice. Photo by Lia Chang
Reeve Carney as Orpheus and Eva Noblezada as Eurydice. Photo by Lia Chang

Following two intertwining love stories – that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone –Hadestown invites audiences on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back. Mitchell’s beguiling melodies and Chavkin’s poetic imagination pit industry against nature, doubt against faith, and fear against love. Performed by a vibrant ensemble of actors, dancers, and singers, Hadestown delivers a deeply resonant and defiantly hopeful theatrical experience.

Patrick Page, Rachel Chavkin and Amber Gray. Photo by Lia Chang
Patrick Page, Rachel Chavkin and Amber Gray. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team for Broadway features Drama Desk Award nominee Rachel Hauck (set design), three-time Tony Award nominee Michael Krass (costume design), Tony Award winner Bradley King (lighting design), Tony Award nominee Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz (sound design), three-time Bessie Award® winner David Neumann (choreography), Liam Robinson (music direction and vocal arrangements), Michael Chorney, Todd Sickafoose (arrangements and orchestrations), Ken Cerniglia (dramaturgy), and Stewart/Whitley (casting).

Hadestown electrified audiences with its 2016 world premiere at New York Theatre Workshop before receiving its Canadian premiere at Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre in 2017. This winter’s sold-out engagement at the National Theatre in London recently ended its run at the Olivier Theatre. Hadestown was developed with funding from the Eli and Edythe Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center and was further developed by The Ground Floor at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Hadestown was co-conceived by Ben t. Matchstick.

The Hadestown live original cast recording is available in stores and digitally. For more information on where to get the album and to sign up for email updates for Hadestown, please visit www.hadestown.com.

André De Shields to Helm Duke Ellington’s SOPHISTICATED LADIES at NJPAC, March 21 – 24 

David Henry Hwang and Bartlett Sher discuss the American musical theatre, through the lens of Asian and Asian American representation at Asia Society

David Henry Hwang, Bartlett Sher and Karen Shimakawa discuss a scene from SOFT POWER. Photo by Lia Chang
David Henry Hwang, Bartlett Sher and Karen Shimakawa discuss a scene from SOFT POWER. Photo by Lia Chang
David Henry Hwang, Bartlett Sher and Karen Shimakawa discuss a scene from SOFT POWER. Photo by Lia Chang

Award-winning theatre artists David Henry Hwang and Bartlett Sher engaged in a conversation about the current state of American musical theatre, through the lens of Asian and Asian American representation on Broadway  at the Asia Society in New York on February 5th.

 David Henry Hwang, Bartlett Sher and Karen Shimakawa discuss a scene from SOFT POWER featuring Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo by Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang, Bartlett Sher and Karen Shimakawa discuss a scene from SOFT POWER featuring Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo by Lia Chang

The Lunar New Year discussion was framed in the context of two recent productions, David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s Soft Power and the Bartlett Sher helmed revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I. They discussed how Asian representation throughout the history of musical theatre informs our present understanding of the art form, race relations, the current state of representation on- and backstage on Broadway, and more. Hwang and Sher shared their distinctive approaches with a segue of how to improve upon the status quo.

David Henry Hwang, Bartlett Sher and Karen Shimakawa discuss a scene from SOFT POWER featuring Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo by Lia Chang
David Henry Hwang, Bartlett Sher and Karen Shimakawa discuss a scene from SOFT POWER featuring Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo by Lia Chang
David Henry Hwang, Bartlett Sher and Karen Shimakawa discuss a scene from SOFT POWER featuring Jon Hoche and the company. Photo by Lia Chang
David Henry Hwang, Bartlett Sher and Karen Shimakawa discuss a scene from SOFT POWER featuring Jon Hoche and the company. Photo by Lia Chang

The conversation was moderated by Karen Shimakawa, associate professor of performance studies at the Tisch School of Art, New York University.

Soft Power cast members Jaygee Macapugay, Alyse Alan Louis, Austin Ku and Daniel May, Hwang’s Soft Power collaborator Jeanine Tesori, Tina Chen, Jim Dale, Nadine Wong, Alberta Arthurs, consultant in Arts and Humanities  and Jacqueline Davis ( Executive Director of NY Performing Arts Library) were among the audience members.

David Henry Hwang, Jeanine Tesori and Bartlett Sher. Photo by Lia Chang
David Henry Hwang, Jeanine Tesori and Bartlett Sher. Photo by Lia Chang
Alyse Alan Louis, Austin Ku, Rachel Cooper, Asia Society Director for Performing Arts and Cultural Programs, Shawn Duan, David Henry Hwang, Jaygee Macapugay and Daniel May. Photo by Lia Chang
Alyse Alan Louis, Austin Ku, Rachel Cooper, Asia Society Director for Performing Arts and Cultural Programs, Shawn Duan, David Henry Hwang, Jaygee Macapugay and Daniel May. Photo by Lia Chang

Center Theatre Group’s world premiere production of Soft Power recently received six LA Ovation Awards – Best Production of a Musical (Large Theatre), Alyse Alan Louis won for Lead Actress in a Musical,  Anita Yavich for Costume Design (Large Theatre), David O for Music Direction, David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori for Lyrics/Composition of an Original Musical and David Henry Hwang for Book for an Original Musical.

David Henry Hwang, Jeanine Tesori and Bartlett Sher. Photo by Lia Chang
David Henry Hwang, Jeanine Tesori and Bartlett Sher. Photo by Lia Chang

Check out the video of their compelling and fascinating conversation below.

Karen Shimakawa, Rachel Cooper, Bartlett Sher, Marina Chan and David Henry Hwang
Karen Shimakawa, Rachel Cooper, Bartlett Sher, Marina Chan and David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
Bartlett Sher, Lia Chang, David Henry Hwang and Rachel Cooper, Asia Society Director for Performing Arts and Cultural Programs. Photo by Garth Kravits
Bartlett Sher, Lia Chang, David Henry Hwang and Rachel Cooper, Asia Society Director for Performing Arts and Cultural Programs. Photo by Garth Kravits

The cast includes, in alphabetical order, Billy Bustamante, Kara Guy, Jon Hoche, Kendyl Ito, Francis Jue, Austin Ku, Raymond J. Lee, Alyse Alan Louis, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May, Paul HeeSang Miller, Kristen Faith Oei, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Geena Quintos, Conrad Ricamora, Trevor Salter and Emily Stillings.

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

A contemporary comedy explodes into a musical fantasia in the first collaboration between two of America’s great theatre artists: Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang (“M. Butterfly”) and Jeanine Tesori (“Fun Home”). “Soft Power” rewinds our recent political history and plays it back, a century later, through the Chinese lens of a future, beloved East-meets-West musical. In the musical, a Chinese executive who is visiting America finds himself falling in love with a good-hearted U.S. leader – Hillary Clinton – as the power balance between their two countries shifts following the 2016 election.

Francis Jue, Conrad Ricamora, Austin Ku, Raymond J. Lee, Jaygee Macapugay, Billy Bustamante, Alyse Alan Louis (center), Maria-Christina Oliveras, Geena Quintos, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jon Hoche, Kristen Faith Oei, Daniel May and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Francis Jue, Conrad Ricamora, Austin Ku, Raymond J. Lee, Jaygee Macapugay, Billy Bustamante, Alyse Alan Louis (center), Maria-Christina Oliveras, Geena Quintos, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jon Hoche, Kristen Faith Oei, Daniel May and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

Broadwayworld.com Photo Flash: SOFT POWER Meets THE KING AND I With David Henry Hwang And Bartlett Sher At Asia Society

CTG’s SOFT POWER Receives 2019 LA Ovation Award for Best Production of a Musical and Wins for David Henry Hwang, Jeanine Tesori, Alyse Alan Louis, Anita Yavich and David O

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

Jeanne Sakata’s HOLD THESE TRUTHS, a special theater reading by Joel de la Fuente at The Presidio on February 9

Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang

Last year, Joel de la Fuente performed to rave reviews in Jeanne Sakata award-winning solo show Hold These Truths at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. The production scooped up three 2018 Theatre Bay Area Awards last year including Outstanding Production, Outstanding Direction for Lisa Rothe and Outstanding Principal Performance for Joel de la Fuente.

Timothy Patterson, Jeanne Sakata and Jeffrey Lo.
Timothy Patterson, Jeanne Sakata and Jeffrey Lo show off the three 2018 Theatre Bay Area Awards for HOLD THESE TRUTHS.

The Drama Desk nominated actor is currently starring in Amazon’s hit show “The Man in the High Castle,”  and tonight, he will reprise his 30 + roles in free concert reading at the Presidio in San Francisco at 7pm.

Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang

The play tells the story of unsung American hero Gordon Hirabayashi, who fought passionately for the Constitution against an unexpected adversary: his own country. During World War II, he refused to report to a detention center, launching a 50-year journey from college to courtroom and eventually a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang

Admission is FREE (suggested donation $10-$20 accepted at door) – but an RSVP is strongly encouraged, as they are expecting a full house. No one turned away for lack of funds. Click here to RSVP.

The performance is held in conjunction with “Then They Came For Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans During WWII and the Demise of Civil Liberties”, a special multimedia exhibit featuring imagery by noted photographers commissioned by the U.S. government’s War Relocation Authority, including Dorthea Lange, Clem Alberts, along with photographers Ansel Adams, Toyo Miyatake and Paul Kitagaki, Jr. Open Wed-Sun, 10 am to 6 pm. www.thentheycame.org

Getting to Then They Came for Me:
The PresidiGo Downtown Shuttle provides FREE roundtrip service to the Presidio. The shuttle picks up at the Transbay Terminal or Embarcadero BART.

The Presidio is located at Futures Without Violence, 100 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94129 (If you are driving, be sure that your are driving to the Presidio (zip code 94129) not 100 Montgomery that is downtown. If you enter “Futures Without Violence” in any driving apps, it will take you directly to the exhibition).

Presented by the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation in partnership with the National Japanese American Historical Society and J-Sei, the exhibition tells the story of the forced removal of 120,000 Japanese American citizens and legal residents from their homes on the West Coast during World War II without due process or other constitutional protections to which they were entitled.

View Map

The Rafu Shimpo: ‘HOLD THESE TRUTHS’ AT LUCIE STERN THEATRE

sfexaminer.com: July 11-12: Hold These Truths

mercurynews.com: Now playing on SF Bay Area stage: 1 man’s fight against the Japanese internment camps

metroactive.com: ‘Hold These Truths’ Remembers Japanese Internment

register-pajaronian: Watsonville native celebrates Bay Area premiere of play

Click here  for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

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

André De Shields to Helm Duke Ellington’s SOPHISTICATED LADIES at NJPAC, March 21 – 24

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Crossroads Theatre Company and New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) are presenting a co-production of Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies at NJPAC, 1 Center Street in Newark, Thursday, March 21 – Sunday, March 24, 2019. Click here to purchase tickets.

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

The high-style music of “The Duke” is the heart and soul of this 1981 Tony-winning Broadway hit, directed with dazzle by André De Shields (The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Play On, The Full Monty) and choreographed by Kimberly Schafer.

According to legend, the great bandleader and composer Duke Ellington once told his musicians that they had to play their best because they were about to open in Newark. All those glorious numbers – “Satin Doll,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” “Cotton Tail,” “Take the A Train” and “Mood Indigo” – return to the city in full swing with the arrival of Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies, a co-production of NJPAC and Crossroads Theatre Company.

Presented in the year marking the 120th anniversary of Ellington’s birth, Sophisticated Ladies is a first-class excursion back to the heyday of Harlem’s swanky Cotton Club. For this revival, a glamorous cast of singers and dancers performs with an onstage band versed in the tradition of the orchestras of Duke Ellington and his son, Mercer.

The New York Times described the original Sophisticated Ladies as “the only Broadway revue of recent vintage that operates on a truly grand scale.”

Actor and director André De Shields, an Emmy winner and two-time Tony Award nominee, returns to NJPAC, where he directed the successful Ain’t Misbehavin’ in February 2018. In the past, he directed Play On!, another musical celebration of Ellingtonia, at Crossroads Theatre Company. De Shields heads back to Broadway in March as Hermes in Anais Mitchell’s Hadestown at the Walter Kerr.

Performances for Sophisticated Ladies are on Thursday, March 21st @ 7pm, Friday, March 22 @ 7pm, Saturday, March 23rd @ 2pm and 7pm and Sunday, March 24 @ 2pm. Click here to purchase tickets.

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

Jenni Barber, Jessica Frances Dukes, Manoel Felciano, Warner Miller, Carra Patterson, Heather Alicia Simms and David Turner in Signature Theatre’s revival of Lynn Nottage’s BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK 

Jessica Frances Dukes and Jenni Barber. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Signature Theatre’s revival of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner and Residency 1 playwright Lynn Nottage began previews on January 29 and has been extended through March 10 in The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues). Opening night is February 19.

Warner Miller and Jessica Frances Dukes. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Warner Miller and Jessica Frances Dukes. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Helmed by Obie Award-winner Kamilah Forbes, the cast of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark includes Jenni Barber (Sunday in the Park with George) as Gloria, Jessica Frances Dukes (Yellowman) as Vera, Tony Award nominee Manoel Felciano (Amélie, Sweeney Todd) as Max/Peter, Warner Miller (Netflix’s “Luke Cage”) as Leroy/Herb, Carra Patterson (Jitney) as Anna Mae/Afua, Heather Alicia Simms (Signature’s Fabulation, or The Re-Education of Undine) as Lottie/Carmen and David Turner (The Boys in the Band) as Brad/Slavick.

Heather Alicia Simms and Jessica Frances Dukes. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Heather Alicia Simms and Jessica Frances Dukes. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The creative team includes Clint Ramos (Scenic Design), Dede M. Ayite (Costume Design), Matt Frey (Lighting Design), Mikaal Sulaiman (Sound Design), Katherine Freer (Projection Design) and Daniel Kluger (Composition). The Production Stage Manager is Laura Wilson and Casting is by Caparelliotis Casting.

Jessica Frances Dukes. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Jessica Frances Dukes. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

It’s the Golden Age of Hollywood, and aspiring starlet Vera Stark works as a maid to Gloria Mitchell, an aging star grasping at her fading career. Worlds collide when Vera lands a trailblazing role in an antebellum epic starring…her boss. While Vera’s portrayal of a slave turns out to be groundbreaking, decades later scholars and film buffs still grapple with the actress’ legacy in Hollywood and the impact that race had on her controversial career.

Jessica Frances Dukes, Jenni Barber and Heather Alicia Simms. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Jessica Frances Dukes, Jenni Barber and Heather Alicia Simms. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

All tickets for the initial run of the production are $35 as part of the Signature Ticket Initiative: A Generation of Access. For more information, please visit www.SignatureTheatre.org.

Jessica Frances Dukes and Heather Alicia Simms. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Jessica Frances Dukes and Heather Alicia Simms. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The groundbreaking Signature Ticket Initiative: A Generation of Access is a program that guarantees affordable tickets to every Signature production through 2031. Serving as a model for theatres and performing arts organizations across the country, the Initiative was founded in 2005 and is made possible by lead partner The Pershing Square Foundation with additional support provided by the Jerome L. Greene Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, Margot Adams, The SHS Foundation, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Unlikely Collaborators, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

David Turner, Jessica Frances Dukes and Manoel Felciano. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
David Turner, Jessica Frances Dukes and Manoel Felciano. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Carra Patterson, Heather Alicia Simms and Warner Miller. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Carra Patterson, Heather Alicia Simms and Warner Miller. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Jessica Frances Dukes and Jenni Barber. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Jessica Frances Dukes and Jenni Barber. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Alan Muraoka and Sesame Street Muppeteers Pam Arciero and Leslie Carrara-Rudolph Perform at The Met’s Annual Lunar New Year Festival on Feb. 9

Alan Muraoka and muppeteer Pam Arciero at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is hosting its annual Lunar New Year festival on Saturday, February 9, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lunar New Year Festival: Year of the Pig will feature dozens of programs—for visitors of all ages—that reflect traditions from across Asia. Dance and music performances, artist-led workshops, and interactive gallery activities will take place throughout The Met Fifth Avenue as part of the festival celebration. All Lunar New Year Festival programming is free with Museum admission. The Met Fifth Avenue is located at 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street in New York.

Alan Muraoka and muppeteer Pam Arciero at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

May art bring you good fortune! Mark the Year of the Pig, one of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac, with performances, interactive gallery activities, and artist-led workshops for all ages.

Performances

Space is limited; first come, first served.

Lunar New Year Parade

11–11:30 am

Ring in a prosperous New Year with the Chinese Center on Long Island Lion Troupe.

Floor 1, Great Hall

Alan Muraoka and Sesame Street Muppeteers Pam Arciero and Leslie Carrara-Rudolph 

11:30 am–12 pm

Tickets distributed 15 minutes prior at event location.

Discover the traditions of Lunar New Year with Sesame Street puppeteers.

Floor 1, The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Photo Op with Sesame Street Muppeteers

12:30–1:30 pm

Snap a pic and meet some friendly Sesame Street characters.

Ground floor, Carson Family Hall East, Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education

Lunar New Year Performances

Tickets distributed 15 minutes prior to each session at event location.

1–1:45 pm, 2:30–3:15 pm, 4–4:45 pm

Be entertained by the Chinese Center on Long Island Lion Troupe, New York Chinese Cultural Center dancers, drummers from New York Korean Performing Arts Center, and Chinese yo-yo tricks from the Valley Stream South High School Cultural Society.

Floor 1, The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Art Activities and Demonstrations

Meet artists and make art together inspired by The Met collection! Unless otherwise noted, activities are best for ages 3 and up.

Hands-on opportunities available.

Zodiac Zone

Discover more about your sign. Proudly wear your zodiac animal sticker to meet others who share the same characteristics.

Ground floor, Carson Family Hall West, Uris Center for Education 

Golden Piggy Bank

Create a year of good fortune! Design your own boarish bank.

Ground floor, Carson Family Hall West, Uris Center for Education

Wishful Fish with the Museum of Chinese in America

Fish symbolize abundance in the New Year. Using traditional Chinese paper cuts as inspiration, fold and cut a moveable paper fish to usher in a year of plenty.

Ground floor, Carson Family Hall West, Uris Center for Education

When Pigs Fly Scrolls

Put your imagination to the test to create your own scroll story inspired by flying pigs using sumi ink.

Ground floor, Carroll Classroom, Uris Center for Education

Wu-Wo Tea Ceremony & Bubble Tea Gatherings (Best for ages 6 and up)

12–3 pm

Cheer the New Year with freshly made bubble tea from Ten Ren Tea and Ginseng Co., then join a demonstration by tea masters at 1 pm and 3 pm.

Ground floor, Bonnie J. Sacerdote Lecture Hall, Uris Center for Education

Hand-Pulled Noodle Demonstration with Chef Zhang

1:30–2 pm, 2:30–3 pm, 3:30–4 pm

Tickets distributed 15 minutes prior to each session at event location.

The longer the noodles, the longer and happier the life!

Ground floor, Studio, Uris Center for Education

Mud Play!

Stimulate your senses by contributing to our textured mud painting, inspired by the Buddha of Medicine Bhaishajyaguru mural in Gallery 206, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

Ground floor, North Classroom, Uris Center for Education

Celestial Drawing Stations

11:30 am–4:30 pm

Explore and sketch animals depicted in the lunar zodiac across cultures.

Floor 1, Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, Gallery 350

Hide and Seek with The Sheep’s Meow

11 am–5 pm

Blend into your surroundings with EXPOSURE by game designers GJ Lee and Brian S. Chung. Create your own digital camouflage to hide from predators.

Floor 1, The American Wing, The Charles Engelhard Court, Gallery 700

Korean Paper Doll Making

Dress your own paper doll pig in the finest hanbok, Korean traditional clothing, to celebrate the New Year with the Korea Society.

Floor 2, Asian Art, Gallery 209, The Astor Forecourt

Ring in the New Year: Jewelry Making

Start your New Year with a bit of luck. Design jewelry inspired by Chinese fortune coins.

Floor 2, Asian Art, Gallery 209, The Astor Forecourt

Collaborative Village

Around the world, families return home to celebrate the New Year. Design your own magical home to add to our growing village.

Floor 2, Asian Art, Gallery 217, The Astor Court

Storytelling and Quiet Spaces

Piglet’s Play Pen (Best for ages 0–5)

Play and learn with books, blocks, and more just for early learners.

Ground floor, Nolen Library, Uris Center for Education 

Bilingual Storytime (Best for ages 3 and up)

1–1:30 pm, 2–2:30 pm

Enjoy quiet time with stories in English and Mandarin.

Ground floor, Nolen Library, Uris Center for Education

Kamishibai Storytelling with CMOM

1–1:20 pm, 1:30–1:50 pm, 2–2:20 pm, 2:30–2:50 pm

Join Children’s Museum of Manhattan educators for an interactive form of Japanese storytelling that mixes traditional and modern kawaii-inspired stories.

Floor 2, Asian Art, Gallery 206, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery 

Quiet Spaces

11:30 am–4:30 pm

Stop by these quiet spaces for time with art and books.

Floor 1, Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, Gallery 353

Floor 2, Asian Art, Gallery 238, South Asian Hindu-Buddhist and Jain Sculpture

For Adults

Collection Chats with New New Yorkers

(Best for ages 13 and up)

Join recent immigrants in exploring great works of Asian art. In Partnership with the Queens Library and The New New Yorkers Program at the Queens Museum.

Daoist Immortals with Chuankui Jiang

1–1:20 pm, 1:30–1:50 pm in English

2–2:20 pm in Mandarin

Floor 2, Asian Art, Gallery 222, Chinese Decorative Arts

Chinese Jade with Tsae Jiaug Su 

1–1:20 pm, 1:30–1:50 pm in English

2–2:20 pm in Mandarin

Floor 2, Asian Art, Gallery 207, The Charlotte C. Weber Galleries

Chinese Painting with Olivia (ChiMing) Hsieh

2:30–2:50 pm, 3–3:20 pm in English

3:30–3:50 pm in Mandarin

Floor 2, Asian Art, Gallery 210

Wu Na + Chang Jing: Sound and View

12–12:45 pm, 2–2:45 pm

Hailing from China, master musicians Wu Na and Chang Jing elicit the sounds of nature—mountains, water, wind, and moon—from traditional Chinese zithers. Celebrate the Lunar New Year with the feeling of sonic scenery.

Ground floor, Robert Lehman Wing, Gallery 963

ETHEL and Friends: Erhu-Cello Duo

5–5:30 pm, 6–6:30 pm, 7–7:30 pm

Go on a musical journey with acclaimed string quartet ETHEL.

Floor 2, Great Hall Balcony, Gallery 204

This event is made possible in part by the Tiger Baron Foundation.

More about the event and directions to programming throughout the Museum will be available at the information desk inside the main entrance at Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street and in the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education, located near the ground-floor entrance at Fifth Avenue and 81st Street. All Lunar New Year Festival programs are free with Museum admission. Recommended Museum admission is $25 for adults, $17 for seniors (65 and over), and $12 for students. Children under 12 who are accompanied by an adult are free.

A full list of festival programming, along with further details and a schedule of events, is available on The Met website.

Lunar New Year Festival: Year of the Rooster will also be featured on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using the hashtag #MetFest.

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