The radiant Ali Ewoldt can be seen on three different stages in New York this month.
In addition to starring as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, Ewoldt and Jonny Lee Jr. will star in the one- night only concert of GOLD MOUNTAIN, featuring book, music, and lyrics by 2017 ASCAP Foundation Cole Porter Award winner Jason Ma, on Saturday, October 21st at 8pm at The TimesCenter (242 West 41st Street, NYC).
Ma’s original musical spins an epic love story, set against the backdrop of the 1860s construction of The Central Pacific Railroad is being presented as part of Prospect Theater Company’s 2017-18 IGNITE Series in partnership with National Asian Artists Project (NAAP founders: Baayork Lee, Steven Eng and Nina Zoie Lam). www.NAAProject.org
The cast also includes Alan Ariano (Lincoln Center’s The King & I), Lawrence-Michael Arias, Eric Badique, Eric Bondoc, Tyler Bunch, Marc Dela Cruz, Dan Edwards, Steven Eng (CSC’s Pacific Overtures), Alex Hsu, Brian Kim, and Daniel May. Also featured are members of the NAAP Broadway Community Chorus: Ben Bartels, Eric Elizaga, David Eng, Alphonse Gonzales, Andrew Sakaguchi, and Viet Vo.
The evening will be directed by Alan Muraoka, with choreography by Billy Bustamante. Music direction is by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, who will lead an ensemble of three musicians: Todd Low, playing erhu and viola (Dear Evan Hansen), Steven Lyon on dizi, flute, and piccolo (Pacific Overtures revival at CSC), and Leigh Stuart on cello (Chamber Orchestra of New York). Orchestrations are by Jason Ma. The concert is line produced by Julie L. Miller.
It is 1866 and the Central Pacific Railroad is being built by the thousands of Chinese men who comprise the majority of laborers employed in the dangerous, backbreaking work. As blasting and tunneling begins at the granite base of the Sierra Nevada, new workers arrive: Guan Ming Chong and his son, Lit Ning. They find the work camp populated with an eclectic cross-section of their countrymen. To his father’s dismay, Lit Ning is persuaded to accept the lucrative but extremely risky job of “fuse runner,” the man who lights the fuses of explosives in the tunnels and then runs to safety.
Lit meets and falls in love with a Chinese woman, Yook Mei, shunned because she works in a brothel patronized by “white demons.” Amidst the railroad workers’ strike, Lit tries to rescue the woman he loves from her degradation, but fate intervenes and the lovers must find their own way to salvation and peace.
GOLD MOUNTAIN melds the sound and form of American musical theater with elements of Chinese opera, Far Eastern mythology, Confucian ideology and Chinese language idioms, as well as dramatizing the Chinese railroad workers’ strike and a freezing, deadly winter living in the tunnels as the workers continued their labors in the Sierra Nevada.
Single tickets are $25, $35 and $45, and may be obtained through online purchase at www.NAAProject.org or www.ProspectTheater.org or by calling 212-352-3101. Prospect members save 40% on ticket prices. Tickets may also be purchased at the door, beginning at 7pm on the night of the concert.
On Friday, October 27th, Ewoldt and Matt Doyle (The Book of Mormon, War Horse, Spring Awakening, Bye, Bye Birdie) will perform with The New York Pops, led by Music Director Steven Reineke, at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, with a concert celebrating the centennial of the birth of the orchestra’s founder, Skitch Henderson (1918-2018). The concert will feature the full 78-piece New York Pops orchestra performing some of the greatest hits of popular song, from Tin Pan Alley to today.
Ali Ewoldt’s other credits include: Lincoln Center’s Broadway revival of The King and I, the first Broadway revival and National Tour of Les Misérables (Cosette), The Fantasticks Off-Broadway (Luisa), West Side Story (Broadway 1st National Tour, PCLO, The MUNY, MTWichita: Maria), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (The MUNY), The King and I (Lyric Opera of Chicago: Tuptim), Carnival (Musicals Tonight: Lili), A Christmas Carol (McCarter Theatre: Fan), The Secret Garden (FITC: Rose) and concerts at Alice Tully Hall, The Town Hall, and Feinstein’s/54 Below. TV and film credits include “The Michael J. Fox Show”, Yield (Leviathan Lab), and “DRAMA” (webseries). She received a BA in Psychology from Yale University. www.aliewoldt.com
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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.
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