Broadway Barkada Celebrated Philippine Independence Day with “Broadway Stripped”, A Benefit Concert Featuring Ali Ewoldt, Billy Bustamante, Jaygee Macapugay, Aaron J. Albano, Steven Cuevas, Liz Casasola and Brian Jose at The Space LV
Broadway Barkada celebrated Philippine Independence Day with “Broadway Stripped”, an intimate show of Broadway songs and stories featuring Filipino American stars of Broadway – Ali Ewoldt (The Phantom of the Opera), Aaron J. Albano (Hamilton), Jaygee Macapugay (School of Rock), Billy Bustamante, Brian Jose (Miss Saigon), and Liz Casasola (Imelda) on June 11 at The Space LV in Las Vegas.
Music Director Steve Cuevas was featured on the keys, with Tyler Williams on Bass, Alex Stopa on Drums, John Wedemeyer on Guitar and Mariko Muranaka on Cello.
For many of the performers, it was their first return to the stage and performing in front of a live audience in over 15 months due to the Pandemic. The joy was on full display. The concert was also live-streamed for those not at the live show at The Space LV.
Shut Up and Raise Your Glass from Moulin Rouge!-Full Company
Straight up/You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To-Brian Jose
Think of Me from Phantom of the Opera– Ali Ewoldt
Found/Tonight – Billy Bustamante & Aaron Albano
At The Ballet from A Chorus Line– Liz Casasola, Jaygee Macapugay and Ali Ewoldt
Stories Like Air by Paulo K Tiról-Full Company
Yaya Song by Paulo K Tiról – Jaygee Macapugay
God Draws Straight from Here Lies Love – Aaron Albano with Jaygee Macapugay and Billy Bustamante
Getting Married Today from Company – Billy Bustamante, Ali Ewoldt, Brian Jose
Suddenly Seymour from Little Shop of Horrors – Jaygee Macapugay and Aaron J. Albano
Disney MENdley-Billy Bustamante (Go The Distance), Aaron Albano (Santa Fe), Brian Jose (Out There)
Come Down From The Tree from Once on This Island – Liz Casasola
Somewhere from West Side Story – Ali Ewoldt
You’ll Be Back from Hamilton– Aaron Albano
For Good from Wicked – Jaygee Macapugay and Liz Casasola
Light – Full Company
Encore-Seasons of Love from RENT – Full Company, & Las Vegas Locals Waverly Jade, Jenelle Catherina, Cheryl Daro, DonMike H. Mendoza, Jourdan Ibe and Charlene Carabeo
Broadway Barkada was founded in 2009 by Liz Casasola, Brian Jose, and Billy Bustamante. What started as a small group of Filipino performers has turned into an organization comprised of nearly one hundred active members. Broadway Barkada aims to nurture and support Filipino artists who believe in the importance of cultural awareness. Through art and education we aim to bring the Filipino experience to a diverse audience and to give them a deeper understanding of our culture and our artists.
In a Facebook post, Broadway Barkada co-founder Brian Jose writes, “A week ago, Broadway Barkada made our Las Vegas debut at @thespacelv with our show Broadway Stripped. It was months in the planning with our producers @seedaro, @donmikemendoza , @sharon.delpilar, & @summerislive_ . It was weeks in rehearsals in NYC under the direction of the irreplaceable @stevenmcuevas . It was to be the first public, in person performance for Barkada in over a year and a half, in front of a sold out audience.
It was EVERYTHING.
Little did I know how desperately I needed this after this past year… the simple act of gathering together as artists, and friends, to create and sing and laugh and stress out and EAT. It has healed my soul and has been a symbol of hope during these tumultuous times our industry and nation are going through.
There was a moment that I will never forget from this evening. It wan’t during the show. It was actually at a post reception following the performance. We were blessed to have some very special audience members in the house that evening: @goldmountainthemusical , @alanariano, Charlene Carabeo, @deedeemagnohallofficial , & @seahaul … members of the original Miss Saigon B’way production. They were on stage taking a picture together as the Barkada were watching our idols in awe and with gratitude. Behind us were our new Las Vegas theatre friends @waverly__tea , @jencattv , and @jourdan.ibe lovingly questioning what their lives were at that moment. The fact is we all were. There was so much love flowing in that room at that moment. We all felt seen. We all felt proud. We all are Filipino.
At a time when Asian hate crimes have risen and diversity in the theatre continues to be sorely lacking, it’s nights like these that remind me that we have a right to be here. We deserve a seat at the table. And if there is resistance, we just build our own damn table… and chairs!
This was a special one. Intermission is over. Get ready for what’s next!”
MISS SAIGON Broadway veterans Alan Ariano and Jason Ma flew in from LA to see the concert. Ma shared, We thought we were going to Vegas to support friends, who were performing in a benefit, but instead we arrived at a convergence of generations past, present, and future joined to celebrate community and family. My favorite moments were watching my amazingly talented friends interacting with young, talented Filipino American performers much as I had interacted with those same friends many years ago. Being Asian rocks.”
Jaygee Macapugay, Liz Casasola, DonMike H. Mendoza, Billy Bustamante and Brian Jose. Photo courtesy of DonMike H. Mendoza/Facebook
Liz Casasola, Jaygee Macapugay and Ali Ewoldt. Photo courtesy of Liz Casasola/Facebook
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. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young (2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative). She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.