Photos: The 5th Avenue Theatre, Abingdon Theatre Company and Ann Ramsay-Jenkins Presented Industry Reading of Lainie Sakakura and Paul Fujimoto’s CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET Musical 

The 5th Avenue Theatre, Abingdon Theatre Company and Ann Ramsay-Jenkins presented a 29 Hour industry reading of Corner of Bitter and Sweet featuring a book by Lainie Sakakura, music & lyrics by Paul Fujimoto on October 23 at Theatre 71 in New York.  Lainie Sakakura directs.

CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET Company on stage

Based on the New York Times bestseller, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, Corner of Bitter and Sweet tells a stunning multigenerational story about a boy’s coming of age during WWII Seattle, and the depths and longing of deep-heart love. The Seattle Times called it “A Chinese-Japanese variation on Romeo and Juliet, (that is) so revealing and so well rendered.”

Paul Fujimoto, Jamie Ford and Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast includes Jane Bernhard as Samantha, Darius de Haas as Sheldon, Carly Gendell as Carol, Rick Faugno as Agent Ray Conroy, Kenny Ingram as Oscar Holden/Bud, Sala Iwamatsu as Mrs. Okabe/Palmyra, Spencer Jones as Teen Henry, Kathleen Kwan as Mrs. Lee, Darren Lee as Mr. Okabe/Dr. Chang, Jonny Lee Jr. as Marty, Fenton Li as Mr. Lee, Jason Ma as Henry, Zach Mackiewicz as Chaz, Mary Beth Purdy as Mrs. Beatty, Alex Sanchez as Charles Preston, Avelina Sanchez as Teen Keiko, Isabela Sanchez as Young Keiko, Ian Saraceni as Denny, Virginia Woodruff as Maybelle Jackson/Druggist, and Timothy Yang as Young Henry.

Full Company of CORNER AND BITTER AND SWEET. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team includes Cantonese Consultant Fenton Li, Music Supervisor and Dance Arrangements by Sam Davis, Music Director Evan Alparone, Kory Grossman on Percussion and Stage Managers Anita Shastri and Nicole Marconi.

Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang
Timothy Yang. Photo by Lia Chang
Darius de Haas, Timothy Yang. Photo by Lia Chang
Fenton Li, Kathleen Kwan, Timothy Yang, Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang
Alex Sanchez, Rick Faugno, Carly Gendell. Photo by Lia Chang
Carly Gendell, Ian Saraceni, Zach Mackiewicz, Timothy Yang. Photo by Lia Chang
Timothy Yang, Isabela Sanchez. Photo by Lia Chang
Isabela Sanchez. Photo by Lia Chang
Timothy Yang, Isabela Sanchez. Photo by Lia Chang
Spencer Jones, Avelina Sanchez. Photo by Lia Chang
Virginia Woodruff. Photo by Lia Chang
Spencer Jones, Rick Faugno, Avelina Sanchez. Photo by Lia Chang
Jason Ma, Jonny Lee, Jr., Jane Bernard. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee, Jr., Jane Bernard. Photo by Lia Chang
Darren Lee, Sala Iwamatsu. Photo by Lia Chang
Fenton Li, Spencer Jones, Kathleen Kwan. Photo by Lia Chang
Spencer Jones, Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang
Mary Beth Purdy, Spencer Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Avelina Sanchez, Sala Iwamatsu. Photo by Lia Chang
Avelina Sanchez. Photo by Lia Chang
Jason Ma, Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Fenton Li, Kathleen Kwan, Timothy Yang, Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang
Spencer Jones, Darius de Haas. Photo by Lia Chang
Spencer Jones, Avelina Sanchez, Virginia Woodruff. Photo by Lia Chang
Darius de Haas, Spencer Jones, Avelina Sanchez, Kenny Ingram. Photo by Lia Chang
Kenny Ingram. Photo by Lia Chang
Spencer Jones, Alex Sanchez. Photo by Lia Chang
Jason Ma, Sala Iwamatsu. Photo by Lia Chang
Spencer Jones, Avelina Sanchez. Photo by Lia Chang
Spencer Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Spencer Jones, Avelina Sanchez. Photo by Lia Chang
Kathleen Kwan, Spencer Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Paul Fujimoto, Sam Davis, Evan Alparone and Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang

BIOS
Lainie Sakakura (Book) is a Japanese America writer/director/choreographer. Recipient of the 2015 Joe A. Callaway Award Outstanding Choreography and 2002 Joseph Jefferson Award Best Choreography. Daughter of Japanese American WWII concentration camp survivor, William Norio Sakakura, and granddaughter to his mother, Kiyome who did not survive the medical conditions caused by her imprisonment there. LainieSakakura.com

Paul Fujimoto (Music and Lyrics) is a composer/lyricist, 4th-generation Japanese-American, born and raised in Seattle, now based in NYC. His songs have been recorded by Tony-winners and nominees and have been showcased in many concert venues around the world. Paul also dabbles in jazz composition and an award-winning trumpet player. Dedicated to his grandfather, Tak Akiyama, who was interned in Minidoka. Training: University of Washington, BMI Musical Theatre Workshop Paulfujimoto.bandcamp.com

Abingdon Theatre Company (Chad Austin, Artistic Director) is dedicated to developing and producing brave, new American work by emerging and established artists. The company provides a safe home where playwrights, directors and actors can collaborate within a supportive and nurturing environment. We search for stories about the human experience that reflect our social, political, historical and cultural diversity. We are acutely aware of the theatre’s power to unite disparate population groups through stories about common human interests, and we strive to shed light on a variety of perspectives.

Lainie Sakakura, Paul Fujimoto, Bill Berry and Jamie Ford. Photo by Lia Chang

The 5th Avenue Theatre (Bill Berry, Producing Artistic Director; Bernie Griffin, Managing Director) is one of America’s leading musical theater companies. We enrich the community we love with the art form we love—giving the Pacific Northwest a front-row seat to original powerhouse productions that go on to light up marquees and audiences all the way to Broadway. From the page to the stage, we bring passion and epic scale to every musical we create. With big talent. Bigger-than-life productions. And did we mention dazzle? As a nonprofit theater company and our region’s largest performing arts employer, we spread the joy of great musicals with people of all ages across our region and state. Each year, we reach more than 75,000 young people through our nationally acclaimed education programs. Programs designed to develop new musicals ensure that the next generation of great musicals will be there to tell the stories that captivate tomorrow’s audiences. On the national stage, we are a leading voice for the power of this American art form to lift the human spirit.

Jamie Ford and Ann Ramsay-Jenkins. Photo by Lia Chang

Broadwayworld.com: Photo Flash: Jason Ma, Darius De Haas And More In Industry Reading Of Lainie Sakakura And Paul Fujimoto’s CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET Musical 

The 5th Avenue Theatre, Abingdon Theatre Company and Ann Ramsay-Jenkins Will Present Lainie Sakakura and Paul Fujimoto’s New Musical, CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET as 29 Hour Industry Reading on October 23 

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

Encore Ovation to Honor André De Shields and Philip Pearlstein at Sardi’s on November 18

Encore Community Services will host Encore Ovation – A Celebration of Aging Through Art on Monday, November 18, 2019 at Sardi’s from 5:30 pm – 8:00pm (234 West 44th Street, New York, NY).

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

This inaugural event’s honorary chairs include Philip J. Smith, Chairman, and Robert E. Wankel, President, of The Shubert Organization. The co-chairs are producer and Encore Board Chair Lori Raimondo, artist Kendall Messick and playwright/producer Paul Lucas.

This very special evening will include cocktails and hors d’ oeuvres and will feature artwork and entertainment by talented aging New Yorkers who are members of Encore’s community. The highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the Father George Moore Artistic Impact Awards. Encore will honor several New Yorkers whose illustrious careers in the arts have already spanned decades even as they continue to reach new artistic heights, push boundaries and inspire others.

This year’s honorees include: Actor André De Shields, who celebrated the 50th year of his acting career in 2019 by scoring his first Tony Award, for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for his role as Hermes in Hadestown. He is also an Emmy and Obie Award-winner, singer, director, dancer, choreographer, lyricist, composer, novelist and college professor; renowned artist Philip Pearlstein, an American painter widely regarded as one the greatest figurative artists of the last century. His work is displayed in over 70 museums around in the world and at age 95, he still paints in his studio regularly; and Creative Director Sandra DiPasqua, who has also been volunteering her time and talents to the Encore Senior Center for over 10 years, leading its successful and therapeutic Writer’s Group.

Encore’s goal is to deepen and expand its arts programming to combat social isolation and other risks that cause serious health problems, which can land seniors in the hospital or in long-term care facilities, deterring them from aging successfully in place. Research shows that music, theater, dance, visual arts, creative writing and other participatory arts improve older adults’ quality of life and well-being.

Father George Moore Artistic Impact Awards
Encore was founded in 1977 by Father George Moore, the pastor of St. Malachy’s Church. He, along with Sisters Elizabeth Hasslet and Lillian McNamara, and members of the Broadway community (including The Shubert Organization, Sardi’s and the theatrical unions) turned the old Actor’s Chapel in the basement of St. Malachy’s into the Encore Senior Center, where it still thrives today.

Father Moore was a dynamic and charismatic leader, a tireless champion for the homeless and elderly, as well as an integral part of the Broadway community. He received an honorary Tony-Award posthumously (in 1991), for his visionary work, his dedication to the arts and his commitment to the people of the Times Square, Hell’s Kitchen and Broadway communities.

Tickets
Individual tickets, starting at $200, can be purchased by calling (646) 726-4299 x1106, or online.

Encore Community Services
Since 1977, Encore has provided seniors in the midtown Times Square/Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen communities of New York City with a range of caring and quality services to help them live independent and dignified lives. For this reason, Encore has earned the reputation as “Broadway’s Longest Running Act of Loving Care.”

The mission of Encore Community Services is to provide care and service to any elderly person who needs us; to assist those who are vulnerable and frail, poor and homeless, homebound and lonely, frequently-desperate, most-often ignored; to help them with their daily needs so that they might live as independently as possible, with dignity and decency, in a non-institutional manner, in a safe and caring environment. We believe we are all part of the human family and have an obligation to love one another. By nurturing, respecting and enabling, Encore hopes to improve the quality of an older person’s life, using an approach that emanates from the core of Encore’s commitment: We believe that what we do comes from the heart, and the heart is the center of all. www.encorenyc.org