Jun. 7: AANHPI Affinity Night for Prospect Theater Company’s New York Premiere of Justin Huertas’ LIZARD BOY

Prospect Theater Company’s AANHPI Affinity Night for the New York premiere of the award-winning new indie-rock musical Lizard Boy, with book, music and lyrics by Justin Huertas (Marvel’s Squirrel Girl), direction by Brandon Ivie (Prospect’s Jasper in Deadland), and music direction by Steven Tran (Marvel’s Squirrel Girl) is set for Wednesday, June 7 at Theatre Row at 7:30pm.

William A. Williams, Justin Huertas, and Kiki deLohr. Photo by Lia Chang

I’ll be covering the post show Q & A with Justin Huertas, moderated by Jason Ma for my show BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, and there will also be a post show hangout in the Theatre Row lounge. Use the promo code AANHPI for 10% off the preview price ticket and a free drink voucher for the post show reception.

A recent hit at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Lizard Boy preview performances are set to begin on Thursday, June 1st at Theatre Row (410 West 42nd Street), with an opening night set for Wednesday, June 14th. The limited engagement is set to run through Saturday, July 1st, 2023. Check out photos from the first day of rehearsal below.

William A. Williams, Justin Huertas, and Kiki deLohr. Photo by Lia Chang

Joining the previously announced original actor-musician cast of Justin Huertas, Kiki deLohr, and William A. Williams are understudies Kai An Chee (Mr. Holland’s OpusMiss Saigon), Milo J. Marami (A Chorus LineDog Man: The Musical), and Jacob Ryan Smith (Disney+’s “Hamster & Gretel”).

Jacob Ryan Smith, William A. Williams, Justin Huertas, Milo J. Marami, Kiki deLohr, and Kai An Chee. Photo by Lia Chang

The design team for Lizard Boy will include Suzu Sakai (Scenic Adaptor / Environmental Design), 
Erik Andor (Costume Design), Brian Tovar (Lighting Design), Kevin Heard (Sound Design), and Katherine Freer (Projection Design), with L.B. Morse (Original Production Design). The Production Stage Manager is Victoria Whooper, and Assistant Stage Manager is Josh-Andrew Wisdom.

Michael Tang, Mickey Quadrino, Victoria Whooper, Josh-Andrew Wisdom, Kate Semmens, and Cara Reichel. Photo by Lia Chang

Cara Hinh is the Associate Director, and the Assistant Music Director is Keiji Ishiguri.

Cara Hinh, Justin Huertas, Brandon Ivie, Steven Tran, Suzu Sakai, and Keiji Ishiguri. Photo by Lia Chang

Lizard Boy tells the story of Trevor—a young man with green scaly skin. He feels like a monster, and rarely braves the city outside his apartment. But when a powerful voice calls to him in a dream, he impulsively finds a date (on Grindr) and begins an adventure beyond his wildest apocalyptic nightmares… Sparks fly in this queer-indie-rock-action-romance that pulses with fierce conflict and fiercer harmonies, and takes us on a heart-pounding ride of self-discovery that asks: If the world were against you… would you still save it?

William A. Williams, Kiki deLohr, Justin Huertas, and Brandon Ivie. Photo by Lia Chang

Equal parts comic book adventure and coming-of-age love story, Lizard Boy has been called “Ingenious” (San Francisco Chronicle), “Phenomenal” (San Jose News), “Ferocious & Funny” (Seattle Times), “Wildly Original” (The Guardian), and “Must-See Theater” (BroadwayWorld.com).

Justin Huertas, Kiki deLohr, and William A. Williams. Photo by Lia Chang

The Mercury News wrote, “Lizard Boy is an absolute delight, a humorous story that challenges comic book hero mythology and connects those objectives deeply through three performers who are big on talent and bold on ideas. Justin Huertas is the phenomenal mind behind the show, a multi-hyphenate who unleashes a character on the world who is the ultimate outsider. In addition to writing the book, music and lyrics, he portrays the reluctant hero Trevor, and plays guitar and cello.”

Justin Huertas, William A. Williams, Kiki deLohr, and Brandon Ivie. Photo by Lia Chang

Lizard Boy is the winner of six 2021 San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards, including Best Entire Production, Best Stage Direction, and Best Ensemble. The original cast recording, which is available online, has been streamed over three million times on Spotify.

1st row: Keiji Ishiguri, William A. Williams, Kiki deLohr, Justin Huertas, Kate Semmens, Cara Reichel. 2nd row: Michael Tang, Mickey Quadrino, Cara Hinh, Brandon Ivie, Victoria Whooper, Steven Tran, Kai An Chee, Jacob Ryan Smith, Milo J. Marami, Suzu Sakai, Josh Andrew Wisdom. Photo by Lia Chang
1st row: Milo J. Marami, Jacob Ryan Smith, Kai An Chee, William A. Williams, Justin Huertas, Kiki deLohr, Cara Reichel. 2nd row: Brandon Ivie, Victoria Whooper, Cara Hinh, Josh Andrew Wisdom, Kate Semmens, Steven Tran, Keiji Ishiguri, Suzu Sakai, Mickey Quadrino, Michael Tang. Photo by Lia Chang

The show was originally commissioned, developed by, and received its world premiere at Seattle Repertory Theatre. It was presented in the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s 2020 Festival of New Musicals, further developed and produced by the 2019 TONY-winning TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, and most recently appeared at the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.Lizard Boy is presented by special arrangement with Creative Endeavor Office (Carolyn D. Miller & Matthew J. Schneider), Blair Russell, Dawn Smalberg, Bev Ragovoy, and Lynne Halliday.Lizard Boy is made possible in part by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. The production also receives support from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs through the Cultural Development Fund.Performances are June 1 – July 1, 2023 on the following performance schedule:
Tuesdays – Fridays at 7:30pm; Saturdays at 3pm and 7:30pm. 
Sunday performances are June 4 at 7:30p, June 11 at 3p, June 18 at 3p, and June 25 at 7:30p. 
On Friday, June 9 there is a special 5pm performance, and no 7:30p evening performance. 
Lizard Boy runs 90 minutes with no intermission.Tickets, starting at $27.50 for “first look” performances, are now on sale, and can be purchased by visiting www.ProspectTheater.org/lizardboy or by calling the Theatre Row Box Office at 212-714-2442 x45 (https://bfany.org/theatre-row/). Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street. The Box Office is available by phone Monday – Friday from 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm.For more information, please visit ProspectTheater.org.BIOGRAPHIESERIK ANDOR (Costume Design) is an artist, designer and fabricator whose collaboration with Lizard Boy made its world premiere in 2015 at the Seattle Repertory Theatre. ANDOR STUDIO makes custom and specialty items — costumes, accessories, puppets, props, surface treatments, and soft goods — for theatre, opera, dance, film, cabaret, installation, collaborating with dancers and artists of all disciplines. Some highlights: Alternative Miss World, Teatro Zinzanni, BenDeLaCreme, Jinkx Monsoon, ODESZA, Ezra Dickinson, Cabin Fever, Zoe|Juniper, Pacific Northwest Ballet, John Galliano, Opera National de Paris, Cirque du Soleil, Radio City Rockettes, Bob Mackie, Siegfried & Roy, and Dina Martina.KAI AN CHEE (Understudy, Siren) is a Malaysian-Chinese performer based in NYC. Tour: Kim Alternate, Gigi u/s in the Broadway Revival National Tour of Miss Saigon. Regional: Rowena Moraga in Mr. Holland’s Opus (Ogunquit Playhouse). Select workshops: American Eclipse, Farewell My Concubine. TV: “That Damn Michael Che” (HBO), “Olga Dies Dreaming” (Hulu).

KIKI deLOHR (Siren) is an award-winning Seattle-based performer and collaborator. deLohr created the role of Siren in Lizard Boy’s first workshop in 2013. Since then, she has originated the role in every regional premiere, receiving numerous accolades along the way including Theatre Puget Sound’s Gregory Award, Seattle Theater Writers’ Gypsy Rose Lee Award, the BroadwayWorld Seattle Critics Choice Award, and the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award. Other US Regional: Afterwords (World Premiere), The Sound of Music (Maria), Grease (Rizzo), Oklahoma! (Ado Annie), Elf (Jovie), Les Misérables (Eponine), American Idiot (Whatsername), Rent. Film: Laggies. Co-author of The Lamplighter (with Justin Huertas and Sara Porkalob).KATHERINE FREER (Projection Design) is a multimedia artist, filmmaker, organizer, and educator whose artistic practice lives at the intersection of storytelling, technology, and civic engagement. Frequent collaborators include Ping Chong, Ty Defoe, Kamilah Forbes, Steve H. Broadnax III, Lux Haac, Porsche McGovern, Liza Jessie Peterson, Talvin Wilks, and Tamilla Woodard. She is a proud member of Wingspace Theatrical Design and United Scenic Artists, Local USA 829. Katherine is a core collaborator in All My Relations Collective and Director of the MFA in Integrated Media at University of Texas at Austin.KEVIN HEARD (Sound Design) is a sound designer and producer of theatre and live experiences. Previously for ProspectEinstein’s Dreams, The Hello Girls, Long Story Short, and The Underclassman. Broadway (as associate): Good Night Oscar, The Minutes, The Country House, All The Way. Recent Off-Broadway designs: Judy Gold’s Yes, I Can Say That!, ¡Americano!, In & Of Itself, Midnight at The Never Get,  #DateMe. Along with dozens of regional productions, Kevin designed the sound for the international premieres of Fun Home, Kinky Boots, and Matilda in Manila, Philippines. Kevin is a producer of The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Show starring BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon.CARA HINH (Associate Director) (they/she) is an Indiana-born queer, fat, mixed Viet theatre maker currently based in Brooklyn. They rejoice in work that speaks to the messy intersectionalities of holding multiple identities. Recent select credits include Little Women at Perseverance Theatre, Buried Ruins with the Sống Collective, love you long time (already) at Atlantic MixFest and Transfer direction of Sanctuary City at Arena Stage and Berkeley Rep. Cara has been a Drama League Hangar Fellow, part of the Roundabout Directors Group, a Directing Apprentice at Actors Theatre of Louisville, SDC Observer on Hadestown and a Fellow at Baltimore Center Stage.JUSTIN HUERTAS (Author/Trevor) is an award-winning playwright, composer, lyricist, actor, and musician best known for his original musical Lizard Boy (Seattle Rep, Diversionary Theatre, NAMT Festival of New Musicals, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Original Cast Album streaming on all platforms). His performance as Trevor has earned him regional theatre awards in every city Lizard Boy has performed. Justin and collaborator Steven Tran composed original music for Marvel’s Squirrel Girl: The Unbeatable Radio Show! podcast. Other works include The Last World Octopus Wrestling Champion, Howl’s Moving Castle, The Lamplighter, and We’ve Battled Monsters Before. Justin will also premiere two new musicals next spring: The Mortification of Fovea Munson (adapted from the novel by Mary Winn Heider) at the Kennedy Center and Lydia & the Troll (directed by co-creator Ameenah Kaplan) at Seattle Rep.BRANDON IVIE (Director) has directed the world premieres of Lizard Boy (Justin Huertas), The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes (Michael Kooman, Chris Dimond), Jasper in Deadland (Ryan Scott Oliver, Hunter Foster), String (Adam Gwon, Sarah Hammond), The Hinterlands (Michelle Elliott, Danny Larsen). Broadway assisting: Next to Normal, A Christmas Story, First Date, Catch Me if You Can. Other directing credits: The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Hope Mill Theatre (UK), The Public Theater/Joe’s Pub, HERE Arts Center, Paper Mill, Signature Theatre, Barrington Stage, Goodspeed, Ford’s Theatre, Kennedy Center, Seattle Rep, The 5th Avenue Theatre, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Diversionary Theatre. Drama League Directing Fellow, Charles Abbott Directing Fellowship, LCT Directors Lab. He is Associate Artistic Director of Village Theatre and the Gregory Award-winning Artistic Director of Contemporary Classics.MILO MARAMI (Understudy, Trevor) is returning to NYC after two years of living off-the-grid (suburban PA, corporate setting). Happy to be back, especially with this show. Credits include: A Chorus Line (Nat’l Tour & China Premiere), Dog Man: The Musical (Off-Broadway & 1st Nat’l Tour), and Comfort Women (Off-Broadway). Pace MT alum. Thanks to Brandon, Steven, Justin & Cara. Love to Mom, Dad, & Christine. Be silly. Be honest. Be kind.SUZU SAKAI (Scenic Adaptor / Environmental Design) is a NYC & Tokyo based freelance stage & production designer. She has a passion for all aspects of artistic development and collaboration, as well as storytelling through new mediums in digital art & media. Recent productions include: Constellations (Forestburgh Playhouse, NY), more, more, more (Yale Cabaret, CT), and Straight White Men (Southwark Playhouse, UK), including festival shows in New York as well as working in production management at PARCO Inc. and installation space design in the digital art & media industry in Tokyo. She has assisted Broadway designer Anna Louizos, as well as other off-broadway designers in both set & lighting. 2024 MFA candidate in Theater Design at the School of Drama at Yale.JACOB RYAN SMITH (Understudy, Cary) is thrilled to make his Off-Broadway debut with Lizard Boy! Most recently he was seen as Gabe in Next To Normal in his hometown of Atlanta, GA. Along with being a performer, Jacob is a composer and lyricist. He’s written multiple full length musicals (currently developing Like Father), songs for television (“Hamster & Gretel” on Disney+), and stand-alone pop music (most recently “In My Head” (Performed by Andrew Barth Feldman & Joe Serafini)). Big thanks to his amazing parents, Wilson (because he feels obligated), and Dave! UMich MT class of 2020 GO BLUE!STEVEN TRAN (Music Director) (he/him) is a music director, composer, and music producer. Original music for Marvel’s Squirrel Girl: The Unbeatable Radio Show and California Love: K-Pop Dreaming (The LAist). Recent stage credits include: MD/music producer for The Mortification of Fovea Munson (The Kennedy Center), MD/orchestrator for And So That Happened… (5th Avenue Theatre), MD for Lizard Boy (Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester, UK), and arranger/orchestrator for The Winter’s Tale (Seattle Rep Public Works). His solo show, The Sonata Years, was a semifinalist for the 2021 National Playwrights Conference at the O’Neill. Upcoming: music supervision/music production for Lydia and the Troll (Seattle Rep).

BRIAN TOVAR (Lighting Design) is a Drama Desk nominated (Tamar Of The River) lighting designer who has created original work for major Off-Broadway and regional theaters, everywhere. His body of work spans theater, music, dance, installations and live events. Brian has developed and collaborated on multiple groundbreaking and award-winning live experiences, earning multiple Clio Awards. Brian is a frequent collaborator with the City of New York and has created and designed multiple art installations in New York City.VICTORIA WHOOPER (Production Stage Manager) (she/her). Credits include BROADWAY- A Strange Loop (ASM/Intimacy Liaison), Eclipsed (Production Assistant). REGIONAL- Wolly Mammoth Theater: A Strange Loop (ASM); Hangar Theatre: Sweeney Todd (Deck SM), Into the Woods (ASM); Elm Shakespeare Company: Romeo and Juliet (PSM); Connecticut Repertory Theater: Noises Off (PSM) & Peter and the Starcatcher (PSM); Chicago Shakespeare Theater: Loves Labors Lost (ASM), Northern Stage: Macbeth (PSM), and Yale Repertory Theater: Peerless (PSM). VIRTUAL PRODUCTIONS: Bard at the Gate: Origin Story (PSM); Hangar Theatre: The Skin of Our Teeth (PSM). Victoria holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama and the Head of Management training at NYU Tisch Drama.WILLIAM A. WILLIAMS (Cary) is a musician/actor based in New York City. He originated the role of Cary in Lizard Boy at Seattle Rep going on to win a Theatre Puget Sound’s Gregory Award for his performance. He was also most recently recognized by the SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle for his portrayal of Cary in 2021. Other regional credits include: Of Mice and Men (Seattle Rep); Zanna, Don’t!, …Spelling Bee (Contemporary Classics); Beauty and the BeastShowboatThe Gypsy King (Village Theatre); Romeo and JulietComedy of Errors (Seattle Shakespeare Company). William played guitar in productions of Spring Awakening (Balagan), Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (ArtsWest), and took on the bass guitar for The Iceman Lab at Target Margin in NYC. He received his BFA from Cornish College of the Arts.ABOUT PROSPECT THEATER COMPANYProspect Theater Company is dedicated to fostering and showcasing today’s new voices shaping tomorrow’s musicals. Over two decades, the company has premiered more than 35 musicals in New York City, in addition to new plays and numerous re-inventions of classic works. Reflecting its investment in the future of the field, Prospect leads a variety of developmental initiatives: including an annual Musical Theater Lab for emerging writers, and the IGNITE Series of new musical theater in concert. In 2020, Prospect launched the VISION Series of original music-theater works on film, created for online streaming. In recognition of its enterprising and risk-taking new musical theater, the company has received an OBIE Award grant, and its role as a community anchor for emerging artists that strengthens the quality, diversity, and dynamism of American theater was honored by the American Theatre Wing.Recently, Prospect produced the musical song-cycle Notes From Now – Songs of Resilience & Renewal (2022) featuring a lineup of newly-commissioned original songs created by 21 of today’s brightest musical theater writers. Previously, Prospect produced the Drama Desk Award-nominated Einstein’s Dreams (2019) by Joanne Sydney Lessner & Joshua Rosenblum, adapted from the novel by Alan Lightman, and the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award-nominated The Hello Girls (2018), by company founding artists Peter Mills & Cara Reichel. Both of these shows ran Off-Broadway at 59E59 Theaters and have original cast albums available from Broadway Records. Other notable productions include: Kerrigan & Lowdermilk’s The Mad Ones (2017); Milburn & Vigoda’s Long Story Short (2015); Ryan Scott Oliver and Hunter Foster’s Jasper in Deadland (2014); the Drama Desk nominated Tamar of the River (2013) by Joshua H. Cohen and Marisa Michelson; Carner & Gregor’s Unlock’d (2013); Gordon Greenberg’s revisal of Working (Drama Desk Award, Outstanding Ensemble, 2012) including new songs by Lin Manuel Miranda; Elizabeth Lucas’ re-imagining of Guettel’s Myths and Hymns (2012); and John Gregor’s With Glee (2010).ProspectTheater.org
Facebook: @ProspectTheaterInstagram: @ProspectTheaterCo
Twitter: @ProspectTheater
YouTube: @ProspectTheaterCoABOUT THEATRE ROW
Theatre Row is an Off-Broadway multi-theater complex in the heart of NYC’s Theater District that serves as an affordable home for performing artist organizations, and a lively, accessible venue for diverse audiences. Located just two blocks from Times Square, Theatre Row offers theater rentals, rehearsal studio rentals, office space, ticketing and box office, as well as tech support to actors, producers, dancers, and musicians. Theatre Row encourages its varied mix of nonprofit theater companies to share ideas and resources as they work in its intimate spaces. Over 160,000 patrons come to Theatre Row each year.

Lia Chang. Photo by Kalin Ivanov

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, activist, documentarian and an Award winning filmmaker and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia is also the host and Executive Producer of BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG, an Arts and Entertainment and Lifestyle program that airs on Sundays at 1:30pm and 6:30pm on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996 and streams on MNN2. Lia was recently profiled on Asian American Life. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. www.liachang.com www.liachangphotography.com

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