Snapshots: Jeanne Sakata and Aaron Takahashi Honored by East West Players

Actor and playwright Jeanne Sakata and actor Aaron Takahashi were honored at the East West Players (EWP) Night Market fall event on Saturday, September 14, 2019.

Below is a selection of Jeanne’s snapshots of the night and her acceptance speech for  receiving the 2019 East West Players Trailblazer Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement & Raising the Visibility of the API Community.

Emily Kuroda, Jeanne Sakata and Gedde Watanabe. Photo by Steven Lam

“When I first encountered East West Players in the 1970’s, it was a magical and life-changing moment. I was an undergrad at UCLA, on my way to a career in Library and Information Science, when I saw a flyer for Wakako Yamauchi’s gorgeous play, AND THE SOUL SHALL DANCE. Intrigued, I went down to see it– and it unexpectedly changed my life. I had no idea there were plays about families like mine, Japanese American farming families. I had no idea there was such a thing Asian American theatre. And yet here was a play that shared the hope, humor, and heartbreak of the struggles of Issei like my immigrant grandparents Kyusaburo and Tomiye, and Nisei like my father and mother Tommy and Lily–struggles that, despite this country’s harsh and racist treatment of them, nevertheless did not diminish their dream to be recognized and accepted as true Americans.

Over the years, East West Players has given so many of us life-changing moments like that. It gave me my start as an actor in the 1980’s. And over 20 years later, it gave me another beginning. When I first discovered Gordon Hirabayashi’s amazing story of his defiance and legal challenge of a racist curfew and Executive Order 9066, it became an obsession and a personal quest, which turned into a play, and that play ended up having its world premiere with my dear friends Jessica Kubzansky and Ryun Yu here on this stage in 2007, which has since gone on to productions across the country.

Jason Ma, Honorees Aaron Takahashi and Jeanne Sakata, Snehal Desai, Dana Lee and Rodney To.
David Okuji, Cindy Okuji, Jeanne Sakata and Timothy Patterson

So thank you, East West Players. And thanks to all of you over the years for your friendship and support and love and encouragement. To Snehal Desai, to Tim Dang, to the memory of Nobu McCarthy and Mako. To Daniel Mayeda, Randy Tamura and all of you on the Board. To my husband Tim, my sister Cindy and brother-in-law Dave, and all my dear friends who are here tonight. We salute you, East West Players. We know that here on this stage, we are not limited, but limitless in our humanity. We know that those of you who keep this theatre going are also fighting the larger battle of representation onstage, onscreen, every day. We know that here, we have a family that will always ensure our Asian American stories are told with passion and fire and heart — and in so doing, say to the world, we are here.

Jeanne Sakata and Daniel Mayeda

And we are here to stay.”

Suzy Nakamura, June Angela, Jeanne Sakata, Dana Lee and Krysta Marie Yu

Jeanne Sakata’s nationally acclaimed solo play Hold These Truths (2013 Drama Desk Nomination, Outstanding Solo Performance; 2019 Theatre Bay Awards, Outstanding Production, Direction and Principal Performance), has had over twenty productions since its world premiere with East West Players in 2007. Earning rave reviews at such theaters as Barrington Stage Company, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Arena Stage, Pasadena Playhouse, Guthrie Theater, ACT Seattle, Portland Center Stage, Perseverance Theatre, PlayMakers Repertory Company, and Epic Theatre Ensemble, the play will be presented in 2019-20 at Vancouver’s Cultch Theatre, San Diego Repertory, and Pennsylvania’s People’s Light. It is inspired by the true story of Japanese American civil rights giant Gordon Hirabayashi, to whom President Barack Obama posthumously awarded in 2012 a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Jake Choi, Jeanne Sakata and Rodney To

Called a “local treasure” by the Los Angeles Times, Jeanne has enjoyed onscreen recurring/guest star roles on Disney Plus’ upcoming “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” Disney’s “Big Hero 6,” indie films Advantageous by Jennifer Phang and Find Me by Tom Huang, “Dr. Ken,” Bravo’s “True Fiction,” “NCIS Los Angeles,” “NUMB3RS,” Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Browns,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Presidio Med,” “ER,” “Threat Matrix,” “Line of Fire,” “American Family,” John Ridley’s “I Got You,” “Hiroshima,” and “Sex and Marriage,” a Justin Lin YOMYOMF YouTube webseries. Onstage, Jeanne has performed with the Vineyard Theatre, Public Theater, Lincoln Center Theater, Kennedy Center, Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Rep, Intiman Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, Portland Center Stage, People’s Light, Syracuse Stage and the Arizona Theatre Company.

Emily Kuroda, Sada Thompson, Joy.

Special honors: LA Ovation Award for Outstanding Lead Actress, Chay Yew’s Red, East West Players; Lee Melville Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Los Angeles Theatre Community, Playwrights’ Arena; Outstanding Artist Award, Los Angeles’ Pacific American Friends of Theatre.

Aaron Takahashi. Photo by Steven Lam

Aaron Takahashi has appeared in nearly 100 commercials, with multiple spots for Toyota, Dunkin’ Donuts, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Snapple, State Farm, Esurance, and Ebates. He is a former instructor and core performing member of Cold Tofu, the nation’s longest-running Asian American improv and sketch comedy troupe. He also was a Main Company member at ACME Comedy Theatre in Hollywood for sketch and improv.

Along with his numerous appearances as a featured player on Conan O’Brien’s late-night shows, Aaron has amassed several co-starring, guest starring and recurring roles on popular shows for CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, Comedy Central, Netflix, TBS, and IFC, including a recurring role on the critically acclaimed USA Network series “Mr. Robot”. He has been featured as a supporting lead actor in comedy blockbusters such as “Yes Man” opposite Jim Carrey, “Welcome to the Jungle” opposite Jean-Claude Van Damme, and “The Wedding Ringer” opposite Kevin Hart.

Snehal Desai and Aaron Takahashi. Photo by Steven Lam

Aaron’s long-lasting relationship with East West Players includes an 8-year run in the Theatre for Youth touring program, starring opposite Gedde Watanabe in the main stage production of Ixnay, teaching his commercial acting workshop as part of the Actors’ Conservatory, countless volunteer hours, and emceeing numerous events for the theatre.

Esther Chae von Zielbauer and Jeanne Sakata
Jeanne Sakata and Alice Tuan
Jeanne Sakata, Miya Cech, Emerson Min, Jake Choi, Araceli Prasarttongosoth, Hudson Yang
Ron Thompson, Jeanne Sakata, Sada Thompson, Takayo Fisher, June Angela, Kiyomi Emi.
Brian M. Chae, Jeanne Sakata and Esther Chae von Zielbauer.
Jake Choi and Jeanne Sakata
Karen Huie and Jeanne Sakata
Jeanne Sakata, Albert E. Aubin, Takayo Fischer. Photo by Steven Lam
Amy Lew, Takayo Fischer, Jeanne Sakata, Randy Tamura. Photo by Steven Lam
Jeanne Sakata and Emily Kuroda
Marilyn Tokuda, Suzy Nakamura, Takayo Fischer and Jeanne Sakata
Jane Kawahara, Alan and Sheila Lamson, Harry Kawahara

EWP Night Market featured tasting stations hosted by local restaurants, followed by an evening of performances at East West Players’ David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center of the Arts at 120 Judge John Aiso Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Proceeds of EWP Night Market support EWP’s artistic and educational programs.

Cindy Okuji, June Angela, Ron Thompson, Timothy Patterson, Emily Kuroda, Sada Thompson, Joy, David Okuji.

For more information about East West Players, please visit www.eastwestplayers.org.

Jeanne Sakata and Kurt Kanazawa. Photo by Steven Lam

Click here for the Facebook album of photos from the performances.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by 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 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

Production Photos: David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER at The Public, Opens October 15

The Public Theater’s production of Soft Power, with play and lyrics by Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang, music and additional lyrics by Tony Award winner Jeanine Tesori, choreography by Tony nominee Sam Pinkleton, and direction by Tony nominee Leigh Silverman began performances on Tuesday, September 24 in The Public’s Newman Theater and will run through Sunday, November 10. Opening night is October 15.

Francis Jue and Company. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Paul HeeSang Miller, Daniel May, Raymond J. Lee, Francis Jue and Austin Ku. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The complete cast of Soft Power includes Billy Bustamante (Xue Xing Standby), Jon Hoche (Chief Justice/Hālǐ Aòhālā/Ensemble), Kendyl Ito (Jīng/Prof. Lǐ Bìyù/Ensemble), Francis Jue (DHH), Austin Ku (Bobby Bob/Jū Míng), Raymond J. Lee (Randy Ray/Yáo Tuō/Veep/Ensemble), Alyse Alan Louis (Zoe/Hillary), Jaygee Macapugay (Betsy/Lóng Lín Kūn/Ensemble), Daniel May (Ensemble), Paul HeeSang Miller (Ensemble), Kristen Faith Oei (Ensemble), Geena Quintos (Airport Greeter/Ensemble), Conrad Ricamora (Xue Xing), Trevor Salter (Ensemble), Kyra Smith (Ensemble), Emily Stillings (Swing), Emily Trumble (Zoe/Hillary Standby), and John Yi (Swing).

Conrad Ricamora and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

SOFT POWER features orchestrations by Danny Troob; music direction and supervision by Chris Fenwick; dance arrangements by John Clancy; scenic design by Clint Ramos; costume design by Anita Yavich; lighting design by Mark Barton; sound design by Kai Harada; sound effects design by Bart Fasbender; video design by Bryce Cutler; hair, wig, and makeup design by Tom Watson; special effects by Lillis Meeh; music contracting by Antoine Silverman; and additional orchestrations by Larry Hochman and John Clancy.

The cast of SOFT POWER. Photo by Joan Marcus
Kristen Faith Oei, Trevor Salter, Raymond J. Lee, Geena Quintos, Kyra Smith, Jaygee Macapugay, Jon Hoche and Daniel May. Photo by Joan Marcus

Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori bring their groundbreaking new musical-within-a-play to The Public for its New York premiere. One of the most exciting theatrical collaborations in recent memory, Soft Power is an exploration of America’s current place in the world, told through an East-West musical from China’s point of view, in which a theater producer from Shanghai forges a powerful bond with Hillary Clinton. Soft Power is a fever dream of modern American politics amidst global conversations, asking us all-why do we love democracy? And should we?

Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Alyse Alan Louis and Company. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Kyra Smith, Geena Quintos, Trevor Salter, Raymond J. Lee, Francis Jue, Alyse Alan Louis, Jaygee Macapugay, Kristen Faith Oei, Kendyl Ito and Paul HeeSang Miller. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Kristen Faith Oei, Raymond J. Lee, Kendyl Ito, Geena Quintos, Austin Ku, Daniel May, Conrad Ricamora, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Kyra Smith, Trevor Salter, Francis Jue. Photo by Joan Marcus

Tickets start at $95 and can be purchased online at www.publictheater.org, by phone 212-967-7555 and in person at the Taub Box Office, located at 425 Lafayette Street.

Elizabeth Ward Land Celebrates Linda Ronstadt in Concert at The Green Room 42

Elizabeth Ward Land. Photo by Lia Chang

Elizabeth Ward Land returned to The Green Room 42 for her sold-out engagement of her show, STILL WITHIN THE SOUND OF MY VOICE: THE SONGS OF LINDA RONSTADT on Friday night, with Alan Muraoka (“Sesame Street”) at the helm.

Daniel Dunlow, Elizabeth Ward Land and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang

Ms. Ward Land’s salute to the great Linda Ronstadt, one of this year’s Kennedy Center honorees, includes genres ranging from rock, country, folk, light opera, big band and mariachi. Ms. Ward Land played guitar, oboe and piano, while tracing her life to the songs from the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s vast catalogue.

Elizabeth Ward Land, Joel Waggoner, Catherine Porter. Photo by Lia Chang

She was accompanied by special guests Catherine Porter (NEXT TO NORMAL) and Joel Waggoner (BE MORE CHILL), with music supervision and arrangements by Andrew David Sotomayor (CURVY WIDOW) and vocal arrangements by Joel Waggoner.

Set List
Heat Wave
Different Drum
When Will I Be Loved/That’ll Be The Day/It’s So Easy/Just One Look/Shoop Shoop (medley)
Heart Like a Wheel/Faithless Love
You’re No Good
Frenesi
Some to Lay Down Beside Me
Blue Bayou
Falling in Love Again
Feels Like Home
Pain of Love You/Somewhere Out There/All My Life/Pirates (Collaborators Medley)
Long Long Time
Still Within The Sound of My Voice
Desperado

Andrew David Sotomayor, Arei Sekiguchi, Kevin Kuhn, Elizabeth Ward Land and Noah Jackson. Photo by Lia Chang

The band featured Andrew David Sotomayor on the keys, Arei Sekiguchi on drums, Joel Waggoner on violin, Kevin Kuhn on guitar, Noah Jackson on cello and bass.

Kevin Kuhn, Elizabeth Ward Land. Photo by Lia Chang
Elizabeth Ward Land, Kevin Kuhn. Photo by Lia Chang
Elizabeth Ward Land. Photo by Lia Chang
Director Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang
Elizabeth Ward Land. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel Waggoner, Elizabeth Ward Land and Catherine Porter. Photo by Lia Chang
Elizabeth Ward Land. Photo by Lia Chang
Catherine Porter, Elizabeth Ward Land and Joel Waggoner. Photo by Lia Chang
Elizabeth Ward Land and Joel Waggoner. Photo by Lia Chang
Elizabeth Ward Land. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel Waggoner, Elizabeth Ward Land and Catherine Porter. Photo by Lia Chang
Kevin Kuhn, Elizabeth Ward Land. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel Waggoner, Elizabeth Ward Land and Catherine Porter. Photo by Lia Chang
Elizabeth Ward Land. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel Waggoner, Elizabeth Ward Land and Catherine Porter. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel Waggoner, Elizabeth Ward Land and Catherine Porter, Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang
Ken Land and Elizabeth Ward Land. Photo by Lia Chang
Elizabeth Ward Land and Michael Gaston. Photo by Lia Chang
Elizabeth Ward Land, Mark Deklin, Jamie Karen. Photo by Lia Chang
Elizabeth Ward Land, Richard Kline and Beverly Kline. Photo by Lia Chang
Erin Spears, Gabe Belyeu, Elizabeth Ward Land, John A. Saunders, James Benjamin Rodgers. Photo by Lia Chang
Elizabeth Ward Land and Robin Skye. Photo by Lia Chang
CURVY WIDOW reunion: Arei Sekiguchi, Andrew David Sotomayor, Mathew Shepard, Alan Muraoka, Ken Land, Elizabeth Ward Land, Aisha de Haas, Nicole Powell. Photo by Lia Chang
J.P. Almon, Jenny Larges, Elizabeth Ward Land, Rebecca Eichenberger. Photo by Lia Chang
Elizabeth Ward Land and Donna Murphy. Photo by Lia Chang
Donna Murphy, Alan Muraoka, Elizabeth Ward Land, Jeff McCarthy and Douglas Sills. Photo by Lia Chang
Elizabeth Ward Land and Donna Murphy. Photo by Lia Chang
Jason Ma, Hazel Anne Raymundo, Elizabeth Ward Land, Ann Harada, Alan Muraoka, Darren Lee and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Catherine Porter, Anne L. Nathan, Elizabeth Ward Land, Adam Heller. Photo by Lia Chang
The Ward Family. Photo by Lia Chang

Broadwayworld.com: Photo Flash: Elizabeth Ward Land Stars In STILL WITHIN THE SOUND OF MY VOICE: THE SONGS OF LINDA RONSTADT At The Green Room 42

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by 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 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

HADESTOWN Star Reeve Carney Extends Residency at The Green Room 42 through December 2019

THE GREEN ROOM 42 has announced that their sold-out residency for Reeve Carney, star of Broadway’s Hadestown, has been extended through December 2019. His upcoming concerts will take place October 6, October 20, November 17, and December 29, all Sundays at 9:30 PM. All shows will highlight original songs from Carney’s five-time Independent Music Award-winning album, Youth Is Wasted, but select performances will include special musical tributes to David Bowie (October 6), Billy Joel (October 20), and Elton John (November 17).

Reeve Carney. Photo by Lia Chang

Hadestown – Anaïs Mitchell’s new musical directed by Rachel Chavkin, currently in performance at the Walter Kerr Theatre – is now the winner of 8 Tony Awards, including “Best Musical.” Carney himself was nominated for the Outer Critics Circle Award for “Outstanding Actor in a Musical” and two Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards, including “Favorite Leading Actor in a Musical.” Carney’s performance in Hadestown has garnered stellar reviews. Rolling Stone hailed him as “angel-voiced,” The Hollywood Reporter called him a “dreamy delicacy,” Time Out New York praised his “otherworldly high-tenor,” and WFUV Radio raved about his “gorgeous, gentle voice.” According to New York Stage Review, his “keening tenor reaches to a startlingly clear, pure falsetto.”

Reeve Carney and the company of HADESTOWN. Photo by Lia Chang
Reeve Carney and the company of HADESTOWN. Photo by Lia Chang

Reeve Carney originated the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the record-breaking Broadway musical, Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. A lifelong musician, Reeve jumped at the opportunity to perform a score by U2’s Bono and The Edge-not to mention re-team with director Julie Taymor, who he’d worked with in her film, The Tempest. In 2013, however, Carney finally hung up his Spidey suit and headed to Dublin for Showtime’s buzzed-about John Logan/Sam Mendes series, “Penny Dreadful,” in which he played reckless hedonist Dorian Gray. Carney’s latest album, Youth is Wasted, was recorded primarily in his New York apartment. In an upcoming Jeff Buckley biopic, Carney will play the late singer, marrying his love of music and acting. Reeve becoming a performer was all but a foregone conclusion: almost everybody in his family works in the arts. His great-uncle was actor Art Carney. His jewelry designer mother has a degree from Cincinnati College- Conservatory of Music, his father wrote jingles.

Reeve Carney, Paris Carney and Zane Carney in concert at The Green Room 42 on August 25, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

Reeve Carney will perform at The Green Room 42 (570 Tenth Avenue at 42nd Street, on the 4th Floor of Yotel) on October 6, October 20, November 17, and December 29, all Sundays at 9:30 PM. The cover charge ranges from $35-$75. There is no food and drink minimum. For tickets, please visit www.TheGreenRoom42.com.

THE GREEN ROOM 42 recently celebrated its two-year anniversary as the theater district’s premiere destination for live music, nightclub performances and special events. The space lets audiences experience shows featuring Broadway’s biggest names and emerging talent up close and personal like no other space in the world. During the shows, guests can enjoy Mediterranean-inspired dishes alongside signature cocktails, craft beer and curated wine lists with no food/drink minimum. Tickets can be purchased at www.TheGreenRoom42.com. The Green Room 42 is located at 570 Tenth Avenue inside YOTEL in New York City; @TheGreenRoom42

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by 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 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

Emmy Award Winner and 2019 Tony Award Winner André De Shields to Be Honored at THE THEATERMAKERS – A Black Theater Preview: Fall Edition at The Schomburg Center on October 7

AUDELCO (Audience Development Committee) President Jackie Jeffries, Project1Voice Founder and CEO Erich McMillan-McCall, Marcia Pendelton, President of Walk Tall Girl Productions/Black Theater Online, and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (Kevin Young, Director, Schomburg Center) are presenting THE THEATERMAKERS – A Black Theater Preview: Fall Edition at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (515 Malcolm X Blvd) on Monday, October 7, 2019 at 6:30 p.m. Four-time Tony Award®-winning producer Ron Simons of SimonSays Entertainment (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Porgy & Bess, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Jitney) will return as host. Black Theater Preview, now in its second year, brings attention to and celebrates the presence of black artists on stage: Broadway, Off-Broadway, and beyond.

THE THEATERMAKERS – A Black Theater Preview: Fall Edition, will feature presentations from a diverse theatrical roster including Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, Ta-Nehesi Coates’ Between Me and the World at The Apollo Theatre, and the Broadway-bound Thoughts of a Colored Man (Baltimore Center Stage). The evening will also present conversations with playwrights Jeremy O. Harris (Slave Play on Broadway), and Donja R. Love (one in two ), directors Saheem Ali (Fires in the Mirror, The New Englanders), and Michele Shay (Reparations), leaders of black theater institutions such as Dr. Indira Etwaroo (The Billie Holiday Theatre) and Kamilah Forbes (Apollo Theatre), and much more. Additionally, the program will dedicate the time to speak with and to honor Emmy Award-winner and 2019 Tony Award-winner André De Shields (Hadestown). Those attending the event will have access to a theater marketplace that will offer production details, discounts, and information from Black Theater service organizations.

A number of theater companies will participate in this evening of conversation, commentary and performance. They are:

runboyrun & IN OLD AGE
by Mfoniso Udofia
directed by Loretta Greco & Awoye Timpo
New York Theatre Workshop
September 4 – October 13

Slave Play —
by Jeremy O. Harris
directed by Robert O’Hara
Golden Theatre
September 10 – January 5

The New Englanders
by Jeff Augustin
directed by Saheem Ali
Stage II at New York City Center | Manhattan Theater Club
September 17 – October 20

(A)loft Modulation
A play with jazz
by Jaymes Jorsling
directed by Christopher McElroen
The American Vicarious | Mezzanine Theatre at A.R.T./New York
September 26 – October 27

for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
by Ntozake Shange
directed by Leah Gardiner
choreographed by Camille A. Brown
The Public Theater
October 8 – November 24

Thoughts of a Colored Man
by Keenan Scott II
directed by Steven H. Broadnax III
Baltimore Center Stage
October 10 – November 10

Sassy Mamas
by Celeste Bedford Walker
directed by Lorna Little Way
Black Spectrum Theatre Company
October 11 – 27

Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
by Katori Hall
directed by Phyllida Lloyd
choreographed by Anthony Van Laast
Lunt-Fontanne Theatre
October 12 –

for all the women who thought they were MAD
by Zawe Ashton
directed by Whitney White
Soho Rep
October 14 – November 17

American Slavery Project’s Unheard Voices
Conceived and Directed by Judy Tate
American Slavery Project and Sheen Center
October 15 – 16

Fires in the Mirror
conceived, written and originally performed by Anna Deveare Smith
directed by Saheem Ali
Signature Theatre
October 22 – November 24

Between The World And Me
Book by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Developed and Directed by Kamilah Forbes
Apollo Theatre
October 25, 26. 28

Reparations
by James Sheldon
directed by Michele Shay
The Billie Holiday Theatre
October 25 – November 24

Broadbend, Arkansas – A new musical
by Ellen Fitzhugh & Harrison David Rivers
directed by Jack Cummings III
music by Ted Shen
The Transport Group in Association with The Public Theater
The Duke on 42nd Street
October 25 – November 23

The Black History Museum…
According to the United States of America
by Zoey Martinson
HERE
November 1 – 24

one in two
by Donja R. Love
directed by Stevie Walker-Webb
The New Group at Pershing Square Signature Center
November 19 – December 29

The Dark Star of Harlem: The Spectacular Rise of Josephine Baker
by Glynn Borders & Mario E. Sprouse
The La Mama Experimental Theatre
November 21 – December 1

Live Radio Play – The Renaissance EP: A Theatrical Mixtape
by Nsangou Njikam
directed by Adesola Osakalumi
Harlem Stage
November 21-22

A Christmas Carol In Harlem
written by Charles Dickens
adaptation by Shawn René Graham
directed by Carl Coffield
choreographed by Tiffany Rea-Fisher
Classical Theatre of Harlem
December 4 – 21

Special Appearances:
Jay Delise – Spoken word artist
Girl Be Heard

André De Shields
Emmy Award and Tony Award winner

Participants and program subject to change.

THE THEATERMAKERS – A Black Theater Preview: Fall Edition is free. Seating is limited. RSVPs are required. For reservations visit www.Schomburg.org.

#BlackTheaterFallPreview2019

WHO’S WHO

André De Shields is the triple-crown winner of the 2019 theater awards season, having won the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Tony Awards as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his unanimously critically acclaimed performance as Hermes, Messenger to the Gods, in Hadestown. The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, which honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. Mr. De Shields will receive The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre on November 11 and will be inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame on November 18. He recently received the Key to the City of Baltimore from Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young. Prior to his Tony Award win, Mr. De Shields was best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On! (Tony Nomination), and The Full Monty (Tony Nomination). In a career spanning fifty years, he has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator, receiving in 2018 the 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, and the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. www.andredeshields.com

AUDELCO, the Audience Development Committee, Inc., was established in 1973 by Vivian Robinson to honor excellence in African-American theatre in New York City. AUDELCO presents the Vivian Robinson/AUDELCO Recognition Awards (also known as Viv awards) annually. The awards were created to promote “recognition, understanding and awareness of the arts in the African-American community.” Upon the death of Robinson, Grace L. Jones carried on the organization’s vision and mission for 13 years until she passed in 2018. The legacy continues with Jackie Jeffries, a 32-year veteran of theater.

Erich McMillan-McCall is the Founder and CEO of Project1VOICE, Inc. (P1V) a 501(c)(3), nonprofit performing arts service organization based in New York City. Its mission is to support and promote the American theater specifically the narrative of and by people of African descent. Through its innovative programs and partnerships, P1V works to provide significant support, accessibility and adequate representation for African American theater. P1V’s core activity is the coordination of an international, same-day staged reading series that revives and re-introduces forgotten seminal works by playwrights from the African Diaspora—a critical thread in the tapestry of the American theater—called One Play One Day. It takes place on the third Monday in June, each year.

Marcia Pendelton is the Founder and President of Walk Tall Girl Productions/Black Theater Online. The company, founded in 2000, is a New York-based boutique marketing, audience development and group sales agency for the performing arts, with a special emphasis placed on the theater. The company has provided its expertise in creating diverse audiences for over 25 Broadway shows including the Tony winning productions of Jitney, Fences, and FELA! and numerous Off-Broadway for productions for clients such as The Public Theater, Signature Theatre, Manhattan Theater Club, and many more. Follow the company on Twitter @blktheatronline and Instagram @walktallgirl.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (Kevin Young, Director, Schomburg Center) Founded in 1925 and named a National Historic Landmark in 2017, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture is one of the world’s leading cultural institutions devoted to the research, preservation, and exhibition of materials focused on African American, African Diaspora, and African experiences. As a research division of The New York Public Library, the Schomburg Center features diverse programming and collections spanning over 11 million items that illuminate the richness of global black history, arts, and culture.

Established with the collections of Arturo Alfonso Schomburg 93 years ago, the Schomburg has collected, preserved, and provided access to materials documenting black life in America and worldwide. It has also promoted the study and interpretation of the history and culture of people of African descent. In 2015, the Schomburg won the National Medal for Museum and Library Service and in January 2017, the Schomburg Center was named a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service, recognizing its vast collection of materials that represent the history and culture of people of African descent through a global, transnational perspective. Today, the Schomburg continues to serve the community not just as a center and a library, but also as a space that encourages lifelong education and exploration.

The Schomburg Center is committed to providing accessible programs and services for patrons with disabilities. All facilities and entrances are wheelchair accessible. American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation is available for most events with at least two weeks advance notice.

Follow the Schomburg Center on Instagram and Twitter @schomburgcenter

Ron Simons is a four-time Tony Award-winning producer, four-time Sundance Film Festival selected producer and actor of stage, film and television. He is the Founder and CEO of SimonSays Entertainment. Simons recently won his 4th Tony Award for the August Wilson hit Broadway show Jitney, under the category “Best Revival of a Play,” making him the highest African-American Tony Award winning producer of all time, and cementing him as the leading Broadway producer working today bringing diversity to the stage.

As CEO/President of SimonSays Entertainment, Ron Simons leads the strategic planning and development of theatre and film projects including the critically acclaimed films “Night Catches Us,” “Gun Hill Road,” “Blue Caprice” and “Mother of George” (all of which premiered at Sundance). His first documentary “25 to Life” premiered at the American Black Film Festival where it won Best Documentary. He also produced the Broadway productions of Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (Tony Award for Best Musical), Porgy & Bess (Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical), Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Tony Award for Best Play, Drama Desk, New Drama Critics and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Play, Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play),and A Streetcar Named Desire (AEA’s Extraordinary Excellence in Diversity on Broadway Award). Off-Broadway projects include Turn Me Loose, Bedlam’s St. Joan and Bedlam’s Hamlet Awards Off-Broadway Alliance Award – Best Revival (for Saint Joan) and the Chicago production of 5 Lesbians Eating Quiche which received the FringeNYC Outstanding Production Award. He most recently received the Emerging Producer Award at the 2017 National Black Theatre Festival Opening Gala. Follow Ron Simos on Instagram @therealronsimons

David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER Begins Previews at The Public

The Public Theater presents Soft Power, with play and lyrics by Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly), music and additional lyrics by Tony Award winner Jeanine Tesori (Caroline, or Change), choreography by Tony nominee Sam Pinkleton (Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812), and is directed by Tony nominee Leigh Silverman (Violet). Soft Power is a co-commission and co-production with Center Theatre Group.

CTG’s SOFT POWER Receives 2019 LA Ovation Award for Best Production of a Musical and Wins for David Henry Hwang, Jeanine Tesori, Alyse Alan Louis, Anita Yavich and David O 

Soft Power begins with a Joseph Papp Free Preview performance tonight in The Public’s Newman Theater and will run through Sunday, November 10. Opening night is set for October 15.

Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

Soft Power stars Francis Jue (M. Butterfly, Thoroughly Modern Millie) as DHH, Conrad Ricamora (The King and I, “How to Get Away with Murder”) as Xue Xing and Alyse Alan Louis as Zoe/Hillary (Amélie, Mama Mia). The cast features Jon Hoche (King Kong) as Chief Justice/Hālǐ Aòhālā/Ensemble, Kendyl Ito (Wild Goose Dreams) as Jing, Austin Ku (Pacific Overtures-Off-Broadway) as Bobby Bob/Ju Ming, Raymond J. Lee (Groundhog Day, Honeymoon in Vegas, Anything Goes, Mama Mia) as Randy Ray/Yáo Tuō/Veep, Jaygee Macapugay (School of Rock) as Betsy/Lóng Lín Kūn, Billy Bustamante (The King and I, Miss Saigon) as Xue Xing Standby and Emily Trumble as Zoe/Hillary standby.  Daniel May(Flower Drum Song), Paul HeeSang Miller (Miss Saigon, The King and I, Mama Mia), Kristen Faith Oei (King Kong, M. Butterfly, The King and I), Geena Quintos (Miss Saigon), Trevor Salter (Here Lies Love), Kyra Smith round out the ensemble with swings Emily Stillings (The King and I) and John Yi.

L-R: Kristen Faith Oei, Raymond J. Lee (obscured), Austin Ku, Daniel May, Geena Quintos, Jon Hoche, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Billy Bustamante (obscured), Maria-Christina Oliveras and Kendyl Ito. Photo by Craig Schwartz

Soft Power features orchestrations by Danny Troob; music direction and supervision by Chris Fenwick; dance arrangements by John Clancy; scenic design by Clint Ramos; costume design by Anita Yavich; lighting design by Mark Barton; sound design by Kai Harada; sound effects design by Bart Fassbender; video design by Bryce Cutler; hair, wig, and makeup design by Tom Watson; special effects by Lillis Meeh; music contracting by Antoine Silverman; and additional orchestrations by Larry Hochman and John Clancy.

Jon Hoche; Daniel May (facing away); Kendyl Ito; Kristen Faith Oei; Maria-Christina Oliveras (obscured); Raymond J. Lee; Jaygee Macapugay and Geena Quintos. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

Hwang and Tesori’s groundbreaking new musical-within-a-play, SOFT POWER, one of the most exciting theatrical collaborations in recent memory, is an exploration of America’s current place in the world, told through an East-West musical from China’s point of view, in which a theater producer from Shanghai forges a powerful bond with Hillary Clinton. SOFT POWER is a fever dream of modern American politics amidst global conversations, asking us all-why do we love democracy? And should we?

Conrad Ricamora, Austin Ku, Francis Jue, Geena Quintos, Billy Bustamante and Raymond J. Lee. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Conrad Ricamora, Austin Ku, Francis Jue, Geena Quintos, Billy Bustamante and Raymond J. Lee. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

Tickets start at $95 and can be purchased online at www.publictheater.org, by phone 212-967-7555 and in person at the Taub Box Office, located at 425 Lafayette Street.

Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

Conrad Ricamora and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
L-R: Raymond J. Lee, Jaygee Macapugay, Austin Ku, Kendyl Ito and Jon Hoche in the world premiere of David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s “Soft Power” at Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre. Photo by Craig Schwartz
Francis Jue in SOFT POWER. Photo by Craig Schwartz
Francis Jue in SOFT POWER. Photo by Craig Schwartz

KING KONG’s Jon Hoche Joins David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER at The Public, September 24 – November 3

Award-winning Broadway Vet Francis Jue Talks about SOFT POWER, KING OF THE YEES, WILD GOOSE DREAMS, “Madam Secretary” and Getting Married

Chatting with Raymond J. Lee about SOFT POWER, GROUNDHOG DAY

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by 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 and a multi-platform journalist. 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

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook Goes Way Down to HADESTOWN

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook recently stopped by HADESTOWN at the Walter Kerr and visited with Tony Award winners André De Shields, Anais Mitchell, Rachel Chavkin, Rachel Hauck and cast members Patrick Page, Reeve Carney, Eva Noblezada and more backstage, and posed for photos after the performance.

Tim Cook, Anais Mitchell and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

HADESTOWN is the most honored show of the 2018-2019 Broadway season. In addition to the show’s eight Tony Awards, it has been honored with four Drama Desk Awards, six Outer Critics Circle Awards including Outstanding New Broadway Musical and the Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical.

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

The acclaimed new musical is by celebrated singer-songwriter and Tony Award winner Anaïs Mitchell and developed with innovative director and Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin. 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 time in Broadway history a woman has accomplished this creative feat.

Rachel Chavkin, Tim Cook, Anais Mitchell, André De Shields, Brian Brown Bartholomew, Chad, Lisa P. Jackson. Photo by Lia Chang

HADESTOWN is already the highest-grossing musical in the history of the Walter Kerr Theatre on Broadway (219 West 48th Street, New York) and continues to sell out nightly with a cast led by Outer Critics Circle Award nominee Reeve Carney, Tony Award winner André De Shields, Tony Award nominee Amber Gray, two-time Tony Award nominee Eva Noblezada, Tony Award nominee Patrick Page, along with Jewelle Blackman, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, and Kay Trinidad as the Fates. The chorus of Workers is played by Afra Hines, Timothy Hughes, John Krause, Kimberly Marable, and Ahmad Simmons. The full company also includes swings Malcolm Armwood, T. Oliver Reid, Jessie Shelton, Damani Van Rensalier and Khaila Wilcoxon.

Lisa P. Jackson, Kenneth Jackson, Tim Cook, Anais Mitchell, Rachel Chavkin, Rachel Hauck. Photo by Lia Chang

The show originated as Mitchell’s indie theater project that toured Vermont which she then turned into an acclaimed album. With 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.

Anais Mitchell, Tim Cook and Rachel Chavkin. Photo by Lia Chang

Following two intertwining love stories – that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone -Hadestown invites audiences on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back. Mitchell’s beguiling melodies and Chavkin’s poetic imagination pit industry against nature, doubt against faith, and fear against love.

Patrick Page, Tim Cook, Paige Davis Kenneth Jackson, André De Shields, Lisa P. Jackson, Brian Brown Bartholomew. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team for features Tony Award winner Rachel Hauck (set design); four-time Tony Award nominee Michael Krass (costume design); two-time Tony Award winner Bradley King (lighting design); Tony Award winners Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz (sound design); Chita Rivera Award® winner and three-time Bessie Award® winner David Neumann (choreography); Liam Robinson (music direction and vocal arrangements); Tony Award winners Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose (arrangements and orchestrations); Ken Cerniglia (dramaturgy); and Stewart/Whitley (casting).

Patrick Page, Tim Cook and Reeve Carney. Photo by Lia Chang

A National Tour of HADESTOWN will launch beginning in the Fall of 2020. In its first year, the tour will visit more than 30 cities coast to coast, including (alphabetically) Denver; Houston; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; New Orleans; Philadelphia; Tempe; and Washington, DC; with more to be announced shortly.

Tim Cook and Reeve Carney. Photo by Lia Chang
Patrick Page and Tim Cook. Photo by Lia Chang
Kay Trinidad, Tim Cook, Jewelle Blackman, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Kay Trinidad, Tim Cook, Jewelle Blackman and Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer. Photo by Lia Chang
John Krause and Tim Cook. Photo by Lia Chang
Tim Cook and Ahmad Simmons. Photo by Lia Chang
Tim Cook and Liam Robinson. Photo by Lia Chang
Cherie B. Tay and Tim Cook. Photo by Lia Chang
Lisa P. Jackson, Beverly Jenkins and Tim Cook. Photo by Lia Chang
Lisa P. Jackson, Malcolm Armwood, Beverly Jenkins and Rachel Hauck. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields, Lisa P. Jackson and Malcolm Armwood. Photo by Lia Chang
Brian Brown Bartholomew and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Anais Mitchell, Chad and Rachel Chavkin. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by 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 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

Mark Linn-Baker, Mark Blum, Jill Eikenberry, John Glover, Jodi Long, and Ellen Parker Celebrate Opening Night of Michael Tucker’s FERN HILL

59E59 Theaters is presenting the NYC premiere of FERN HILL, written by Michael Tucker and directed by Nadia Tass. Produced by Mary J. Davis and MBL Productions, Inc., FERN HILL began preview performances on Tuesday, September 10 for a limited engagement through Sunday, October 20. The production opened on September 19. Scroll down for photos from the opening night party at The Bar Room.

Producer Mary J. Davis, Jill Eikenberry, Playwright Michael Tucker and Producer Judith Manocherian. Photo by Lia Chang

The performance schedule is Tuesday – Friday at 7 PM; Saturday at 2 PM & 7 PM; and Sunday at 2 PM. Performances are at 59E59 Theaters (59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison). Single tickets are $25 – $70 ($49 for 59E59 Members). To purchase tickets, call the 59E59 Box Office at 646-892-7999 or visit www.59e59.org. The running time is 120 minutes, including intermission.

Opening night curtain call of Michael Tucker’s FERN HILL with Mark Linn-Baker, Jodi Long, Mark Blum, Jill Eikenberry, John Glover and Ellen Parker on September 19, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

Three couples in their golden years, thick as thieves, are gathered at Sunny and Jer’s farmhouse to celebrate milestone birthdays that span three decades. The foundation of their long friendship is honesty and support-as well as a commitment to the enjoyment of food, wine, and laughter. They’re so close that Sunny suggests that they all move in together-to live and work and assist one another as they grow older.

Mark Blum, Ellen Parker, Mark Linn-Baker, Jill Eikenberry, John Glover, Jodi Long, Philip Hoffman and Pilar Witherspoon. Photo by Lia Chang

Their companionship is put to the test, however, when a marital betrayal is discovered. The bonds of loyalty and truth are explored in this mature comedy.

Jill Eikenberry and Michael Tucker. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast features a noteworthy company of Broadway and NYC stage veterans, including Mark Linn-Baker, Mark Blum, Jill Eikenberry, John Glover, Jodi Long, and Ellen Parker. Philip Hoffman and Pilar Witherspoon are the understudies.

Michael Tucker. Photo by Lia Chang

The design team includes Jessica Parks (scenic design); Kate McGee (lighting design); Patricia Doherty (costume design); Kenneth Goodwin (sound design); and Addison Heeren (prop master). The Production Stage Manager is Stephanie Clark.

Playwright Michael Tucker, Jill Eikenberry and Ellen Parker. Photo by Lia Chang
Mark Linn-Baker, Playwright Michael Tucker, Jill Eikenberry and Ellen Parker. Photo by Lia Chang
Jill Eikenberry. Photo by Lia Chang
Jill Eikenberry. Photo by Lia Chang
Ellen Parker. Photo by Lia Chang
Mark Blum. Photo by Lia Chang
Jodi Long. Photo by Lia Chang
Jodi Long. Photo by Lia Chang
Playwright Michael Tucker, Jill Eikenberry and Jodi Long. Photo by Lia Chang
John Glover. Photo by Lia Chang
Ellen Parker. Photo by Lia Chang
John Glover and Kelley Curran. Photo by Lia Chang
Victoria Clark, Dee Hoty. Photo by Lia Chang
Victoria Clark, Jamie deRoy, Dee Hoty. Photo by Lia Chang
Producers Judith Manocherian and Mary J. Davis. Photo by Lia Chang
Lynne Meadow and Jill Eikenberry. Photo by Lia Chang
Producers Judith Manocherian and Mary J. Davis, Director Nadia Tass, Mark Blum, Mark Linn-Baker, Jill Eikenberry, Playwright Michael Tucker, John Glover, Ellen Parker, Philip Hoffman and Pilar Witherspoon. Photo by Lia Chang
Ellen Parker, Lynne Meadow and Mark Blum. Photo by Lia Chang
Director Nadia Tass, Jill Eikenberry and Playwright Michael Tucker. Photo by Lia Chang
Director Nadia Tass, Producers Joey Monda and Mary J. Davis, Jill Eikenberry, Playwright Michael Tucker and Producer Judith Manocherian. Photo by Lia Chang
Playwright Michael Tucker and Jamie deRoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Playwrights Michael Weller, Michael Tucker and Ayad Akhtar. Photo by Lia Chang
Tom Viertel, Jill Eikenberry and Playwright Michael Tucker. Photo by Lia Chang
Playwright Michael Tucker and John Glover. Photo by Lia Chang
Victoria Clark and Tom Viertel. Photo by Lia Chang
Mark Blum, Nadia Tass and Mark Linn-Baker. Photo by Lia Chang
John Glover and Mark Linn-Baker. Photo by Lia Chang
Jacob Schott, Joey Monda, Mary J. Davis, Frankie Dailey and Hamish Davies. Photo by Lia Chang
Jodi Long and Dee Hoty. Photo by Lia Chang
Mark Linn-Baker, Christa Justus, John Glover. Photo by Lia Chang
Jamie deRoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Playwright Michael Tucker and Jodi Long. Photo by Lia Chang
Director Nadia Tass and Jodi Long. Photo by Lia Chang
Playwright Michael Tucker and Director Nadia Tass. Photo by Lia Chang
Producer Judith Manocherian, Jodi Long and Producer Mary J. Davis. Photo by Lia Chang
Jodi Long and John Glover. Photo by Lia Chang
Michael Weller, John Glover and a guest. Photo by Lia Chang
Kelly Kirby, Stephanie Clark, Jaclyn Lusardi. Photo by Lia Chang

Broadwayworld: Michael Tucker’s FERN HILL Celebrates Opening Night 

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by 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 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

Multimedia: Memoji Karaoke with HADESTOWN Star and 2019 Tony Award Winner André De Shields at Reopening of Apple Fifth Avenue

Hadestown star and 2019 Tony Award Winner André De Shields attended the grand reopening of Apple’s newly revamped Fifth Avenue store in New York on September 20.

HADESTOWN star and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields at the grand reopening of Apple Fifth Avenue in New York on September 20, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

Lines streamed around the block of the iconic cube for the launch day of the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max and Apple Watch Series 5.

Grand reopening of Apple Fifth Avenue in New York on September 20, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

The first set of shoppers were treated to Memoji Karaoke with Mr. De Shields, who is currently starring as Hermes in Hadestown at the Walter Kerr Theatre, and is best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On! (Tony Nomination), The Full Monty (Tony Nomination), and as the Wiz in The Wiz.

André De Shields meets his André Memoji custom created by Music Experiences Lead for Today at Apple Ron Ubaldo at the Grand reopening of Apple Fifth Avenue in New York on September 20, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang
HADESTOWN star and Tony Award winner André De Shields at the grand reopening of Apple Fifth Avenue in New York on September 20, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

With a new iPhone 11 Pro in hand, Mr. De Shields sang his iconic number, “So You Wanted to Meet the Wizard,” with his André memoji, custom created by Music Experiences Lead for Today at Apple Ron Ubaldo for the Memoji Karaoke performance.

HADESTOWN star and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields performs Memoji Karaoke at Apple Fifth Avenue in New York on September 20, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang
Grand reopening of Apple Fifth Avenue in New York on September 20, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang
HADESTOWN star and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields performs Memoji Karaoke at Apple Fifth Avenue in New York on September 20, 2019. Photo courtesy of Apple

After the performance, Mr. De Shields visited with Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, Senior Vice President of Retail + People Deirdre O’Brien and Senior Director of Worldwide Buzz Marketing at Apple Brian Brown Bartholomew.

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook and HADESTOWN star and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields at the grand reopening of Apple Fifth Avenue in New York on September 20, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang
Apple’s Senior Vice President of Retail + People Deirdre O’Brien and HADESTOWN star and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields at the grand reopening of Apple Fifth Avenue in New York on September 20, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang
Senior Director of Worldwide Buzz Marketing at Apple Brian Brown Bartholomew and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Senior Director of Worldwide Buzz Marketing at Apple Brian Brown Bartholomew and HADESTOWN star and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields is the triple-crown winner of the 2019 theater awards season, having won the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Tony Awards as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his unanimously critically acclaimed performance as Hermes, Messenger to the Gods, in Hadestown. The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, which honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. In November, Mr. De Shields will be inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame and will receive The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre. In a career spanning fifty years, he has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator, receiving in 2018 the 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, and the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. www.andredeshields.com

HADESTOWN star and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields at the grand reopening of Apple Fifth Avenue in New York on September 20, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

Now nearly double the size of its original with a higher ceiling and more natural light, Apple Fifth Avenue is a brighter, more expansive space, and the perfect stage for customers to discover and try Apple’s newest products. A new Forum will be home to free, daily Today at Apple programming, which kicks off Saturday with a special series that captures the creative spirit of New York. The area dedicated to Geniuses has also doubled, allowing the team to dramatically increase service capacity. The Apple Fifth Avenue store is the only Apple retail location open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Click here for Today at Apple events running from September 21-29.

Grand reopening of Apple Fifth Avenue in New York on September 20, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

The redesigned plaza is lined by 28 honey locust trees bordered with linear fountains providing a welcome and quiet setting to gather and sit. At the center stands the dramatic glass cube flanked by 18 mirror-glass Skylenses and 62 skylights that flood natural light into the expanded store below. Visitors enter by descending the new stainless steel spiral staircase, or by riding the dynamic circular elevator into the grand hall. The staircase is a remarkable design achievement with 43 cantilevered stair treads that support a floating cylinder of glass. Above is a back-lit, cloud-like ceiling made from curved fabric that combines artificial and natural light to match the real-time tones of sunlight throughout the day.

HADESTOWN star and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields and Lia Chang at the Grand reopening of Apple Fifth Avenue in New York on September 20, 2019. Photo by Brian Brown Bartholomew

Steve Jobs opened the store in 2006 and personally welcomed the first customers to enter the cube. Since then, Apple Fifth Avenue has had over 57 million visitors, more annually than the Statue of Liberty or Empire State Building. The glass cube has been a beacon and an important focal point for product launches starting with the first iPhone in 2007.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by 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 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

Taiko Master Kenny Endo Performs with Keiko Fujii Dance Co. at The Theater at Gibney through September 21

The KEIKO FUJII DANCE COMPANY of Osaka, Japan, returns to New York with the US premiere of Ms. Fujii’s “Tamashii No Tibiki II” (Soul Vibrations), an ensemble work that looks into peoples’ minds to explore the vibrations in the silent inner sanctuary of the body.

Taiko Master Kenny Endo and Keiko Fujii. Photo by Lia Chang

Performances began on September 19 and will continue through September 21 at 8:00 pm at The Theater at Gibney, Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center, 280 Broadway (entrance at 53A Chambers St.). Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Reservations: 646.837.6809 or click on GibneyDance.org/Performances

Keiko Fujii and Taiko Master Kenny Endo. Photo by Lia Chang

The concert features Keiko Fujii joined by an ensemble of New York dancers- Danielle Cortier, Meaghan Maxwell, Erke Roosen, Cassandra Glaser, Valerie Cortier, Kayla Radomski, Caitlin Maxwell, Marisa Post, Jillian Rosner and Faustine Lavie – dancing to vibrant music by renowned Taiko Drummer KENNY ENDO, performing live. There will also be some taped music by Hiroshi Kubo, Tsugaru Shamisen player and composer. The production is part of Gibney’s POP series

The KEIKO FUJII DANCE COMPANY was formed in Osaka in 1983, and has presented a large repertory of productions by director Fujii. The Company made its U.S. debut over thirty years ago and has returned for performances at Lincoln Center, City Center, and the Kaye Playhouse. Other U.S. appearances have taken place in Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Hawaii, where Ms. Fujii is a frequent guest teacher at the University in Honolulu.

For 40 years, KENNY ENDO has been at the vanguard of the taiko world. Born in Los Angeles, Endo was the first non-Japanese national to be honored with a “natori,” a professional stage name. In addition to CDs and live appearances, his music is featured on the soundtracks for several movies, including Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” and James Cameron’s “Avatar.”

Endo has had a day named for him by the Mayor of Honolulu and was honored by the National Endowment for the Arts for American Masterpieces. The consummate artist is one of the most versatile musicians in the genre, blending taiko and rhythms from around the world with original melodies.

POP: PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITY PROJECT
POP provides the dance community with increased support for showings and performances.

POP enables dance artists to self-produce performances and showings at Gibney through a curated rental process. Artists can participate in POP through Performances, Showings, or Open Rehearsals. POP Performances offer a three-night run in The Theater (Studio H) at 280 Broadway. POP Showings & Open Rehearsals are more informal showings in our studios.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by 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 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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