Utah Shakespeare Festival’s World Premiere of Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN Starring Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee Jr. Ends Limited Run on November 20

West Valley Performing Arts Center. Photo by Lia Chang

The Utah Shakespeare Festival is presenting the world premiere production of Gold Mountain, an original musical by Jason Ma, in November of 2021. Alan Muraoka is  directing, having been at the helm for multiple workshops, presentations, and concert versions of the piece since 2015. This marks a return to Utah for Gold Mountain. A staged concert, starring Broadway’s Ali Ewoldt(Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables), was performed as a key commemorative event for Utah’s 2019 Spike 150 anniversary celebrations in Salt Lake City and Ogden with a New York based cast of Asian American actors. Ewoldt reprises her starring role as Yook Mei in the upcoming production opposite Jonny Lee Jr. as Lit Ning. The cast also features Lawrence-Michael C. Arias as Wong, Kiet Tai Cao as Chu, Michael Ching as Ba, Steven Eng as Loong, Kennedy Kanagawa as Lo, Darren Lee as Jiang, and Robert Scott Smith as Hagan. Eymard Cabling, Kelvin Moon Loh, Jimmy Nguyen, and Viet Vo round out the cast.  Emily Song Tyler is the understudy for Yook Mei.

1st row: Jennifer Jackson, Amanda Morton, Alan Muraoka, Jason Ma, Billy Bustamante, Darren Lee. 2nd Row: Viet Vo, Kiet Tai Cao, Jimmy Nguyen, Kelvin Moon Loh, Steven Eng, Emily Song Tyler. 3rd Row: Eymard Cabling, Robert Scott Smith, Lawrence-Michael C. Arias, Ali Ewoldt, Michael Ching, Kennedy Kanagawa, Jamyi Smith and Joanna Li. Photo by Lia Chang


The Gold Mountain creative team is entirely comprised of women and artists of color. In addition to Muraoka, the team includes music director Amanda Morton, orchestrations by Steven Cuevas, choreographer Billy Bustamante, associate director/ choreographer Darren Lee, associate music director Joanna Li, costume design by Helen Q. Huang, sets by Jo Winiarski, lighting design by Jaymi Lee Smith, and sound design by Jennifer Jackson. Derek Charles Livingston, Utah Shakespeare Festival’s director of new play development/artistic associate, provides Dramaturgy.

Jason Ma, Amanda Morton, Alan Muraoka and Billy Bustmante. Photo by Lia Chang
GOLD MOUNTAIN Artistic Staff – 1st row: Associate Music Director/Conductior Joanna Li, Choreographer Billy Bustamante, Scenic Designer Jo Winiarski, Assistant Choreographer/Assistant Director Darren Lee. 2nd Row: Playwright/Composer Jason Ma, Music Director Amanda Morton, Sound Designer Jennifer Jackson, Director Alan Muraoka, Lighting Designer Jaymi Lee Smith. (not pictured Orchestrator Steven Cuevas and Costume Designer Helen Q. Huang). Photo by Lia Chang

The run of Gold Mountain is from Thursday, November 4th to Saturday, November 20th at the West Valley Performing Arts Center in the Salt Lake City Area. The theater is located at 3333 Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City, Utah. Tickets are available at the West Valley Arts website at wvcarts.org/gold-mountain.html at any time, by calling 801-965-5140, or by visiting the Ticket Office in person at 3333 Decker Lake Drive, West Valley City, Utah. Ticket Office hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays.

West Valley Performing Arts Center. Photo by Lia Chang
Remaining performances:
Nov 19, 7:30 p.m., Friday
Nov 20, 2:00 p.m., Saturday
Nov 20, 7:30 p.m., Saturday
 

Darren Lee, Kelvin Moon Loh, Lawrence Michael C. Arias. Photo by Lia Chang

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

The Company. Photo by Lia Chang

In 2019 Governor Herbert’s Spike150 commission, in partnership with the Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association, brought Gold Mountain to Utah as a special cultural event to celebrate the landmark 150th Anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad.

Kiet Tai Cao, Kelvin Moon Loh, Eymard Cabling,Kennedy Kanagawa, Steven Eng, Lawrence Michael C. Arias, Darren Lee, Jimmy Nguyen and Viet Vo. Photo by Lia Chang

Gold Mountain has also been presented at TheTimesCenter in New York City by Baayork Lee’s National Asian Artists Project in partnership with Prospect Theater Company as a part of their 2017 IGNITE series. The original musical 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.

The Company. Photo by Lia Chang
Viet Vo, Lawrence Michael C. Arias, Jimmy Nguyen, Kelvin Moon Loh, Kennedy Kanagawa, Darren Lee, Steven Eng, Eymard Cabling and Kiet Tai Cao. Photo by Lia Chang
Robert Scott Smith and Darren Lee. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee Jr., Michael Ching and Company. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee Jr., Lawrence Michael C. Arias and Kiet Tai Cao. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee Jr. and Company. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Robert Scott Smith and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
The Company. Photo by Lia Chang
Darren Lee and Company. Photo by Lia Chang
Darren Lee and Kennedy Kanagawa and The Company. Photo by Lia Chang
The Company. Photo by Lia Chang
Kelvin Moon Loh, Viet Vo, Kiet Tai Cao, Lawrence Michael C. Arias, Eymard Cabling, Steven Eng, Jimmy Nguyen, Kennedy Kanagawa and Darren Lee. Photo by Lia Chang
Darren Lee, Kelvin Moon Loh and The Company. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Lawrence Michael C. Arias, Viet Vo, Steven Eng and Company. Photo by Lia Chang
Jimmy Nguyen, Kelvin Moon Loh, Eymard Cabling and Viet Vo. Photo by Lia Chang
Jimmy Nguyễn, Darren Lee, Kiet Tai Cao, Kelvin Moon Loh, Eymard Cabling, Kennedy Kanagawa, Viet Vo and Steven Eng. Photo by Lia Chang
Lawrence Michael C. Arias (on the floor), Steven Eng, Jimmy Nguyen, Kiet Tai Cao, Darren Lee, Jonny Lee Jr., Kelvin Moon Loh, Viet Vo, Eymard Cabling and Kennedy Kanagawa. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee Jr.. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee Jr.. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee Jr.. Photo by Lia Chang
Darren Lee. Photo by Lia Chang
Viet Vo, Darren Lee, Jonny Lee Jr., Lawrence Michael C. Arias. Photo by Lia Chang
Viet Vo, Darren Lee, Jonny Lee Jr., Lawrence Michael C. Arias and Michael Ching. Photo by Lia Chang
Michael Ching. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee Jr.(center) and the Company. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng, Kennedy Kanagawa, Viet Vo, Darren Lee, Lawrence Michael C. Arias. Photo by Lia Chang
Eymard Cabling, Jimmy Nguyen, Viet Vo, Darren Lee, Lawrence Michael C. Arias, Kelvin Moon Loh, Kiet Tai Cao. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee Jr., Jimmy Nguyen, Lawrence Michael C. Arias, Viet Vo, Darren Lee, Eymard Cabling, Kiet Tai Cao. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee Jr. and Company. Photo by Lia Chang
Robert Scott Smith. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Darren Lee, Lawrence Michael C. Arias and Kiet Tai Cao. Photo by Lia Chang
Michael Ching. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng and Kennedy Kanagawa. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng and Kennedy Kanagawa. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng and Company. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng. Photo by Lia Chang
Kennedy Kanagawa. Photo by Lia Chang
Kelvin Moon Loh and Kennedy Kanagawa. Photo by Lia Chang
Kennedy Kanagawa. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng and Kennedy Kanagawa. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng and Kennedy Kanagawa. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng and Kennedy Kanagawa. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng and Kennedy Kanagawa. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng and Kennedy Kanagawa. Photo by Lia Chang
Kennedy Kanagawa. Photo by Lia hang
Kennedy Kanagawa. Photo by Lia Chang
Kennedy Kanagawa. Photo by Lia hang
Kennedy Kanagawa. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng and Kennedy Kanagawa. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee Jr. and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee Jr. Photo by Lia Chang and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee Jr. Photo by Lia Chang and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee Jr. Photo by Lia Chang and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee Jr. Photo by Lia Chang and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee Jr. Photo by Lia Chang and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee Jr. Photo by Lia Chang and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee Jr. Photo by Lia Chang and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang

Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang
Jason Ma and Max Chang. Photo by Lia Chang
Jason Ma, Lia Chang and Max Chang. Photo by Lia Chang
Director Alan Muraoka, Music Director Amanda Morton, Assistant Director/Assistant Choreographer Darren Lee, Archivist/Photographer Lia Chang, Choregrapher Billy Bustamante and Playwright/Composer Jason Ma. Photo by Jo Winiarski
Lia Chang

SLtrib.com: After 24 years, musical love story ‘Gold Mountain’ will have its world debut in West Valley City

StGeorgeUtah.com: Utah Shakespeare Festival premieres musical in northern Utah based on Transcontinental Railroad workers

Saltlakecityweekly.com: THE ESSENTIAL A&E PICKS FOR NOV 4 – 10 

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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2021 Lia Chang Multimedia, unless otherwise indicated. 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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