Tony Nominee Eva Noblezada Talks HADESTOWN, YELLOW ROSE and Ballad of a Broadway Twenty-Something

Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang

Nobody rocks a leopard print jumpsuit like Tony nominee Eva Noblezada, who is living her best life with her return to Broadway, her solo concert residency at The Green Room 42, and her film debut at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF).

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

Fresh from starring as Eurydice in Anais Mitchell’s Hadestown under the direction of Rachel Chavkin at the National Theatre in London, Eva is currently reprising her role alongside Reeve Carney, Patrick Page, Amber Gray, and André De Shields at the Walter Kerr Theatre. The show is in previews and opens April 17th. Click here for tickets.

Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang

After a record-breaking sell out run of her first solo show Girl No More, she is back in a residency at The Green Room 42 with her new show, Ballad of a Broadway Twenty-Something, accompanied by music director Rodney Bush.

Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang

Eva has gathered quite a fan base over her 19 weeks of performing at The Green Room 42 and her new show, Ballad of a Twenty-Something, features a new selection of pop ballads, jazz standards and musical theater favorites.

Eva’s set varies from powerful covers of pop icons like Katy Perry (“Domino”), Broadway classics (“Bless The Lord My Soul”), soulful takes on Sinatra standards (“Fly Me to the Moon”), mash ups of Justin Timberlake (“Like I Love You”) and Ricky Martin (“Maria, Maria”), a powerfully gender-bending take on Hozier (“Take Me to Church”), to her Broadway D-Eva medley. But it’s when she delivers her rendition of “Dancing on My Own” (by Callum Scott as covered by Robyn) that Eva shows why she is one of the most gifted and important performers of our time.  Baring her soul, power and vulnerability throughout the number, her voice wails, dips, and soars creating a nuanced and devastating performance.  Getting to see her do this 8 times a week on Broadway is one thing, but to see this kind of performer in such an intimate setting is stunning.

Gold Mountain creator Jason Ma, who starred as Thuy opposite her aunt Annette Calud in the original Broadway production of Miss Saigon remarked, “Eva has an amazing vocal instrument and facility, but what marks her for greatness is this rare, wide-open channel from her primal gut straight to her voice.  The room vibrates with spontaneous, unedited emotion when she sings. It’s astounding to witness and I’m a big fan.”

Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang

Eva Noblezada starred on Broadway in the title role of Cameron Mackintosh’s epic revival of the musical Miss Saigon last season and received a Tony Award nomination at the age of 21 for this role in her Broadway debut. She previously starred in the long-running London revival of the show in 2014, for which she received the WhatsOnStage Award for “Best Actress in a Musical.” She also played Eponine in the West End revival of the legendary musical Les Miserables. Eva was a high school student in Charlotte, NC, when she was discovered by casting director Tara Rubin at the 2013 Jimmy Awards in New York City. Rubin introduced her to Mackintosh and director Laurence Connor, who chose her to star in their long-awaited hit 2014 West End revival of Miss Saigon.

Jon Jon Briones and Eva Noblezada at the opening night party of MISS SAIGON at Tavern on the Green in New York on March 23, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
Jon Jon Briones and Eva Noblezada at the opening night party of MISS SAIGON at Tavern on the Green in New York on March 23, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

During her set, Eva chose to tackle the dark side of the business, recounting an all too familiar story of being body shamed at her fitting by a costume designer for the London production of Miss Saigon.

Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang

“For a 17 year old who didn’t yet know who she was and had never thought that she wasn’t good enough in that way, down the slide we go,” she said. “I’m here to talk to any of you. Soul to soul. We’re all going through the same shit. When I developed bulimia in London, I wish I had the wisdom passed down to me about what was about to unfold to rock my world, and not in a good way.”

Rodney Bush and Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Rodney Bush and Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang

For her film debut, Eva stars as Rose Garcia in the world premiere of Diane Paragas’ Yellow Rose, opposite Tony Award winning actress and Grammy nominee Lea Salonga, country music star Dale Watson, Liam Booth, Gustavo Gomez (“The Walking Dead”), Libby Villari (“Boyhood”), and Princess Punzalan (“Mula Sa Puso”).

Still from "Yellow Rose" starring Eva Noblezada - photo by August Thurmer
Still from “Yellow Rose” starring Eva Noblezada – photo by August Thurmer

Yellow Rose tells the story of Rose Garcia, a 17-year-old Filipina American in Texas. When her mom is arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Rose undertakes a musical journey while facing deportation back to the Philippines.

"Yellow Rose" with Eva Noblezada and Dale Watson - Photo by August Thurmer
“Yellow Rose” with Eva Noblezada and Dale Watson – Photo by August Thurmer

“I am grateful that I am making my feature film debut with Lea, who plays my Auntie,” she said. “Yellow Rose is the first-ever Filipina-American film opening night presentation of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF). It addresses issues that people don’t really discuss that are specific to our current politics. I am grateful to play somebody that needs to be represented, a huge majority in the United States. And to represent our Pinoy community is special in itself.”

Yellow Rose is the opening film of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival (LAAPFF), presented annually by Visual Communications (VC), the nation’s premiere Asian Pacific American media arts center on Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 7PM at the Aratani Theatre at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC) in Little Tokyo, Downtown Los Angeles.

Eva Noblezada and Reeve Carney. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada and Reeve Carney. Photo by Lia Chang

Broadway is abuzz about Hadestown, the new Broadway musical by celebrated singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell, developed with and directed by Tony Award® nominee Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre, and The Great Come of 1812), which has been selling out in previews at the Walter Kerr Theatre (219 West 48th Street).

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

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 Rachel 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.

Below are excerpts from our interview during the Hadestown press day at the Walter Kerr Theatre.

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

Lia: How were you cast for Hadestown?
Eva: I don’t know why I was cast. I feel like a contest winner. I auditioned once. I waited and then I got the call and cried.

Patrick Page, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada and Reeve Carney. Photo by Lia Chang
Patrick Page, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada and Reeve Carney. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: What was it like to go back to London and perform this show for the first time?
Eva: It was very special. London was like my home. To come back with a show like this to show British audiences at the National Theatre, something that I didn’t expect the reaction to be. We got the exact opposite. It was beautiful. People were shocked. People were crying. It was an amazing thing to witness.

The company of HADESTOWN. Photo by Lia Chang
The company of HADESTOWN. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: What about the character of Eurydice speaks to you?
Eva: Pretty much everything. People judge her because she goes to the underground. But honestly, if you weren’t getting what you needed….

Eva Noblezada and the company of HADESTOWN. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada and the company of HADESTOWN. Photo by Lia Chang
The company of HADESTOWN. Photo by Lia Chang
The company of HADESTOWN. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: Who is your favorite cast member?
Eva: Andre De Shields. He’s a legend. He’s also hugely funny. He wears the coolest things and I am pretty sure they are from his personal closet.

André De Shields and Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields and Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: What is it like to be back in New York?
Eva: It’s special. I miss New York, I didn’t admit that.

Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: How are you balancing Hadestown and your solo show?
Eva: I think Hadestown feeds me and doing my solo show exhausts me because I am just Eva. It’s nice to have this beautiful show that I am so grateful to be in because all barriers of work just leave. I feel like it is the best thing in the world.

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

Check out www.TheGreenRoom42.com  for her residency schedule at The Green Room 42 (570 Tenth Avenue at 42nd Street, on the 4th Floor of Yotel).

Rodney Bush and Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Rodney Bush and Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang

Multimedia: André De Shields, Reeve Carney, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada, Patrick Page and More in Preview of Anaïs Mitchell’s HADESTOWN 

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

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