National Asian Artists Project will hold its 2018 Gala entitled “The Corner of Chinatown and Broadway” a celebration of the 60th Anniversary of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song, featuring Broadway’s Jose Llana (The King and I) and Yuka Takara (A Chorus Line), the award-winning Theatre Club from P.S. 124, alumni and NAAP kids, the NAAP Broadway Community Chorus, members from the original casts of the Broadway and 2002 revival productions of Flower Drum Song, as well as honorees Alvin Ing and Yuriko Kikuchi, on Sunday, December 2nd at The Golden Unicorn (18 East Broadway @ Catherine Street).
The evening will begin at 5:30pm with cocktails, followed at 6:30pm with dinner, a traditional 8-course Chinese Banquet. Throughout the evening will be entertainment informed by the rich history of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song. Pros and “up and comers” will perform and some illustrious people will be recognized and honored. Viet Vo, a longtime NAAP member and the President of the NAAP Community Chorus, will serve as the emcee for the evening and Yan Li is the Musical Director. Möet-Hennessy is the Official Sponsor of the Gala. Tony Award winning playwright David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly) is the Honorary Chairman.
“I am excited to welcome everyone to NAAP’s first Banquet fundraiser, celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song,” stated Executive Artistic Director and Co-Director of the event, Baayork Lee. “As a kid performing in this production on Broadway and now being able to honor Yuriko Kikuchi with a Life Time Achievement Award makes my heart swell with such love for her. She was my inspiration to become a dancer. I watched her dance Eliza in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” in The King and I and again in the “Flower Boat” in Flower Drum Song and knew I wanted to be just like her – a dancer. This Banquet brings together everyone who believe in NAAP and our mission.”
“I am very excited about this year’s fund-raising gala,” exclaims Co-Director Richard Jay-Alexander. “It was a brilliant idea on Baayork’s part and I’ve worked in venues all over the world, but NEVER in a Chinese restaurant! Well, there’s a first time for everything. NAAP does great work and it needs our support – both in constituents and fiscally. Audiences and families need to know about them! The organization serves a “gap” in the community and that is why I happily “sign-on” when asked. Baayork is Broadway royalty, but a reluctant hero in the important work that she is doing here. Her recent Tony Award and other accolades are well deserved. She devotes herself to this organization and these young people 1000%! I’m proud to stand by her side and put on the best show possible, in addition to raising as much money and awareness as we can.”
Tickets are $150 and are available for purchase online here.
National Asian Artists Project (NAAP) is a community of artists, educators, administrators, community leaders, and professionals. It is a not-for-profit organization that recognizes the need to build bridges between the work of artists of Asian descent, and the many communities that the work can serve, from underserved primary school students to seasoned arts patrons.