Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. Darren Lee, Joseph Steven Yang and More Open in Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN at Regent Street Black Box at The Eccles Theater

Jason Ma’s new musical Gold Mountain celebrates opening night at 8:00 p.m. tonight at Regent Street Black Box at The Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City with a sold-out engagement that also includes a performance on Thursday, May 9, both at 8:00 p.m

GOLD MOUNTAIN Company 1st Row: Viet Vo, Steven Eng, Jason Ma, Jonny Lee, Jr. , Ali Ewoldt. 2nd Row: Eric Elizaga, Darren Lee, Daniel May, Alan Muraoka, Joseph Steven Yang, Lawrence-Michael Arias, Eri Bondoc, Alex Hsu, Kiet Tai Cao, Robert Scott Smith. Photo by Lia Chang

Performances of the semi-staged concert in Ogden will take place in partnership with Ogden Musical Theatre at the historic Peery’s Egyptian Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 10 (sold-out) and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 11.

Jonny Lee, Jr., Jason Ma and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee, Jr., Jason Ma and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast features Ali Ewoldt (The Phantom of the Opera), Jonny Lee Jr, Joseph Steven Yang (Aubergine at Playwrights Horizons), Darren Lee (Allegiance), Kiet Tai Cao, Lawrence-Michael C. Arias, Steven Eng (CSC’s Pacific Overtures), Eric Bondoc (Pacific Overtures, 2004 revival), Daniel May (Soft Power), Alex Hsu, Eric Elizaga, Viet Vo, joined by Utah actor Robert Scott Smith.

Eric Elizaga, Jonny Lee, Jr. Daniel May, Alex Hsu, Lawrence-Michael Arias. Photo by Lia Chang

Alan Muraoka is at the helm with choreography by Billy Bustamante and Darren Lee, and music direction by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld.

Eric Elizaga, Darren Lee, Billy Bustamante, Jason Ma, Steven Eng and Viet Vo. Photo by Lia Chang

The company welcomed playwright David Henry Hwang and Max Chang, Spike 150 Board of Director, to their rehearsal this week. Hwang was in town for the Utah premiere of Hwang’s The Dance and the Railroad, directed by Billy Bustamante as part of the Spike 150 celebration of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. The reading on May 6th was followed by a panel discussion with Hwang, Ma and Paisley Rekdal, the poet laureate of Utah, Max Chang, Spike 150 board member Max Chang, and Judge Michael Kwan, President, Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association.

Lia Chang, Jason Ma, David Henry Hwang, Alan Muraoka, Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang

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.

1st Row: Viet Vo, Steven Eng, Jason Ma, Jonny Lee, Jr., Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Ali Ewoldt. 2nd Row: Eric Elizaga, Darren Lee, Alan Muraoka, Daniel May, David Henry Hwang, Joseph Steven Yang, Lawrence-Michael Arias, Eric Bondoc, Alex Hsu, Kiet Tai Cao, Robert Scott Smith, Max Chang, Spike 150 Board Member. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel May, Steven Eng, Viet Vo, Eric Bondoc, Darren Lee, Eric Elizaga, Alex Hsu, Kiet Tai Cao. Photo by Lia Chang
Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Alan MUraoka, Viet Vo, Lawrence-Michael Arias, Alex Hsu. Photo by Lia Chang
Daren Lee, Jonny Lee, Jr. and company. Photo by Lia Chang
The company of GOLD MOUNTAIN. Photo by Lia Chang
Joseph Steven Yang and Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel May, Alex Hsu, Viet Vo, Lawrence-Michael Arias, Darren Lee. Photo by Lia Chang
Jason Ma and Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Viet Vo and Eric Elizaga. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng and Eric Bondoc. Photo by Lia Chang
Darren Lee, Kiet Tai Cao, Joseph Steven Yang and Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang

Jason Ma, David Henry Hwang and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang

About Gold Mountain:

Gold Mountain, a new original musical, is a love story set against the backdrop of a pivotal event in America’s history: the construction of the first transcontinental railroad. It is a heartfelt, universal tale that celebrates the striving immigrant spirit, the redemptive power of love, and the ultimate nobility of self-sacrifice among a team of Chinese railroad workers.

Gold Mountain was most recently presented at TheTimesCenter in New York City by the National Asian Artists Project in partnership with Prospect Theater Company as a part of their 2017 IGNITE series. It was also selected for presentation at the 2016 ASCAP/DreamWorks Musical Theatre Workshop in Los Angeles, for development by Apples & Oranges Studios in their 2017 THEatre ACCELERATOR, for a staged reading at San Francisco LaborFest 2016 in The Aurora Theatre, and for a 2017 eStudio grant for a developmental workshop at The Masie Center.

About the Writer and Director:
Jason Ma (Writer) 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 book, music and lyrics for Gold Mountain and is the 2017 recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Cole Porter Award for his work as a composer/lyricist. 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

About Production Partners:
Spike 150: Spike 150 is an initiative of Utah’s Transcontinental Railroad 150th Celebration Commission. The Utah State Legislature and Governor Gary Herbert established the Commission in 2017. Utah’s Transcontinental Railroad 150th Celebration Commission will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the “wedding of the rails” by the driving of the Golden Spike at Promontory Summit, Utah in 1869 on the weekend of May 10 – 11, 2019. The Commission is also engaged in promoting other commemorative events and activities that inspire, unify, educate and advance the legacy of this historic moment. More at: https://spike150.org

CRWDA: The Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association is a national, membership based, charitable organization which seeks to preserve, promote and protect the contributions made by Chinese railroad workers to the United States. Through our educational and philanthropic efforts, we support academic research, historic preservation and artistic projects that further the understanding and appreciation of the sacrifices, struggles, hardships and contributions made by generations of Chinese and Chinese Americans to the United States. Learn more at https://www.goldenspike150.org/

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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.

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