Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) presented the MOCA 2019 Lunar New Year Soirée at the famed Rice & Gold, a unique Asian Eatery in the Hotel 50 Bowery on February 20, 2019.
Excerpts from Jason Ma’s Gold Mountain The Musical, starring Ali Ewoldt (Phantom of the Opera), Jonny Lee Jr. and Alan Ariano (LCT’s The King and I) kicked off the festive evening with musical director Kristen Lee Rosenfeld on the keys.
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.
The MOCA 2019 Lunar New Year Soirée was the culminating event of MOCA’s 8-week Lunar New Year Festival. The Gold Mountain performance during the champagne cocktail reception was followed by a delicious Asian fusion inspired menu and an after party at The Crown, Rooftop Bar.
“We wanted to do something nuanced and complex to celebrate the Lunar New Year. We wanted to move away from cliché, since the lion dance, the red and gold and the stereotypical things that a lot of Chinese Americans end of defaulting to and non-Chinese Americans expect,” shared MOCA President Nancy Yao Maasbach. “For the soirée, we chose to mix it up and chart a journey for the whole night focusing on the past, present and future – from the gold mountain, from the railroads, bringing it all into present day, ending it with the energy of our Junior Board and the after party at The Crown upstairs. It’s the best view of New York City and provides perspective.”
In May, Ali Ewoldt will star in concert presentations of Jason Ma’s musical, Gold Mountain, with a cast that includes Jonny Lee Jr., Alan Ariano, Raymond J. Lee (Groundhog Day), Daniel J. Edwards (Anything Goes, 2011 revival), Lawrence-Michael Arias, Steven Eng (CSC’s Pacific Overtures), Eric Bondoc (Pacific Overtures, 2004 revival), Daniel May (Soft Power), Alex Hsu, Eric Elizaga and Viet Vo, as part of the Spike 150 celebration of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. Direction will be provided by Alan Muraoka, choreography by Billy Bustamante, and music direction by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld. Performances in Salt Lake City are currently set for the Regent Street Black Box at The Eccles Theater on Wednesday, May 8 and Thursday, May 9, both at 8:00 p.m. Performances in Ogden will take place in partnership with Ogden Musical Theatre at Peery’s Egyptian Theater. at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 10 and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 11.
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. Please visit: www.goldmountainthemusical.com
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. 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.
Broadway: The King and I (Lincoln Center), M. Butterfly, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, Shogun: The Musical, Miss 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 Path, Gotham, HBO’s Tremé, Leverage, Harry’s Law, Law & Order and SVU recurring as Judge Lee Wong.
Spike 150 is expecting around 600,000 people will attend the celebration events planned and that the activities planned will reach approximately 2.5 million people.
linkedin.com: The USA Celebrates its Transcontinental Railroad’s 150th
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
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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