Francis Jue, Peter Kim, Michelle Krusiec, Jaygee Macapugay, Joél Pérez, Kendyl Ito, Lulu Fall and More Set for WILD GOOSE DREAMS at The Public, October 30 – December 9

The Public Theater is presenting the New York premiere of Wild Goose Dreams, written by Hansol Jung and directed by Tony Award nominee Leigh Silverman. After its initial run in Public Studio, and in a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse, this fascinating and unforgettable new play with music, will begin previews with a Free First Preview in The Public’s Martinson Hall on Tuesday, October 30. Wild Goose Dreams runs through Sunday, December 9, with an official press opening on Wednesday, November 14.

The complete cast of Wild Goose Dreams features Dan Domingues (Chorus), Lulu Fall (Digital Nanhee/Chorus), Kendyl Ito (Heejin/Chorus), Francis Jue (Father), Peter Kim (Guk Minsung), Michelle Krusiec (Yoo Nanhee), Jaygee Macapugay (Wife/Chorus), Joél Pérez (Digital Minsung/Chorus), Jamar Williams (Chorus), and Katrina Yaukey (Chorus).

Wild Goose Dreams returns to The Public after its initial run in Public Studio in a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse, where it had a critically-acclaimed run last season. Minsung is a “goose father,” a South Korean man whose wife and daughter have moved to America for a better life. Deeply lonely, he escapes onto the internet and meets Nanhee, a young defector forced to leave her family behind in North Korea. Amidst the endless noise of the modern world, where likes and shares have taken the place of love and touch, Minsung and Nanhee try their best to be real for each other. But after a lifetime of division and separation, is connection possible? Tony nominee Leigh Silverman directs this strikingly original play with music, about two people from two cultures forced to choose between family and freedom.

Wild Goose Dreams features scenic design by Clint Ramos, costume design by Linda Cho, lighting design by Keith Parham, sound design by Palmer Hefferan, composition by Paul Castles, Korean music composition by Jongbin Jung, movement direction by Yasmine Lee, and music supervision by Charity Wicks.

Hansol Jung (Playwright). Productions include Cardboard Piano (Actors Theater of Louisville), Among the Dead (Ma-Yi Theater), and No More Sad Things (Sideshow, Boise Contemporary). Commissions include National Theatre (UK); La Jolla Playhouse; Playwrights Horizons; Seattle Repertory; Ma-Yi Theater Company; Artists Repertory; and Play On! at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Fellowships and residencies include Royal Court, New York Theatre Workshop, Berkeley Repertory, MacDowell Colony, Hedgebrook, Sundance Theatre Lab, O’Neill Theater Center, Victory Gardens, and Page 73 Productions. Jung received a Whiting Award and Helen Merrill Award. Jung received her MFA from Yale School of Drama, and is a member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab and Usual Suspects at NYTW.

Leigh Silverman (Director). Public Theater credits include The Outer Space, No Place to Go, In the Wake (also CTG/Berkeley, Obie Award, Lortel nomination), Yellow Face, and Well. Silverman’s Broadway credits include Lifespan of a Fact (Studio 54), Violet (Roundabout, Tony nomination), Chinglish, and Well. Recent credits include Soft Power by Jeanine Tesori/David Henry Hwang (Ahmanson Theater/Curran Theater) and Harry Clarke (Vineyard Theatre/Minetta Lane, Lortel nomination). Other credits include Sweet Charity (New Group); On the Exhale (Roundabout); All The Ways to Say I Love You (MCC); The Way We Get By (Second Stage); Tumacho (Clubbed Thumb); American Hero (Williamstown Theater Festival/Second Stage); Kung Fu and Golden Child (Signature Theatre); The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence, The Call, and Go Back to Where You Are (Obie Award, Playwrights Horizons); and The Madrid (MTC). Encores credits include Really Rosie, The Wild Party, and Violet.

Dan Domingues (Chorus) has performed at The Public in Fidelis, The Great Immensity, and Let Me Ascertain You (Joe’s Pub). Off-Broadway credits include Rattlestick, Abingdon, BAM, 59E59, INTAR, Atlantic, and Cherry Lane. Select regional credits include Alley Theatre, Arena Stage, Guthrie, Goodman, NY Stage & Film, Hangar Theatre, Studio Theatre, Cape Playhouse, Kansas City Rep, Long Wharf, Florida Stage, Portland Stage, and George Street. His film credits include Run All Night, Future ’38, and In Stereo, and television credits include “West40s,” “Blacklist,” “Royal Pains,” and “Law & Order.” He received his MFA from A.R.T. and is an Associate Artist with The Civilians.

Lulu Fall (Digital Nanhee/Chorus). Broadway credits include Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 and Hair. Off-Broadway credits include Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812; Pretty Filthy; Hadestown; and This Ain’t No Disco. She appeared in the national tour of Hair. Regional credits include The Who’s Tommy, Acid Queen (Denver Center); Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Capital Repertory Theatre); and Passing Strange (Studio Theatre). Select workshops include August Rush, 15 Minutes, and Annie Golden Bounty Hunter. Television credits include “Random Acts of Flyness” (HBO). Her featured music performances include Jazz Re:freshed (London) and American Songbook Program.

Kendyl Ito (Heejin/Chorus) performed in the national tour of Matilda. Regional credits include Soft Power (world premiere), A Chorus Line, Grease, Rent, Seussical, American Idiot, and Oliver. His concerts include 54 Sings Little Women, Music and Laughter, Samantha Spade, and Hatched.

Francis Jue (Father) has performed at The Public in Yellow Face, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Hamlet, Timon of Athens, Pericles, King Lear, A Winter’s Tale, A Language of Their Own, and Richard II. Broadway credits include Pacific Overtures, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and M. Butterfly. Off-Broadway credits include Kung Fu, Coraline, and Falsettoland. Regional credits include Soft Power; In the Next Room (or the vibrator play); Cabaret; King of the Yees; Tiger Style!; Miss Saigon; and Amadeus. Film and television credits include Joyful Noise, “Madam Secretary,” “Good Wife,” and “Law & Order: SVU.” He has received Obie and Lucille Lortel Awards.

Peter Kim (Guk Minsung) has appeared at The Public in Yellow Face. Broadway credits include Thoroughly Modern Millie and Off-Broadway credits include Charles Francis Chan Jr.’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery (NAATCO), Kung Fu (Signature), The Golden Dragon (PlayCo), Maple and Vine (Playwrights Horizons), Year Zero (2ST), American Hwangap (PlayCo/Ma-Yi), and Sides (Ma-Yi). Film credits include Saturday Church, Margin Call, Sex and the City, and Hackers. Television credits include “After Forever,” “Chicago Med,” “Mercy,” and “Ugly Betty.” He is an associate producer at NAATCO and a lecturer at Princeton University. Kim is a recipient of the Lilah Kan Red Socks Award.

Michelle Krusiec (Yoo Nanhee). Regional credits include Chinglish (International Broadway tour, Berkeley Rep, South Coast Rep and Hong Kong Arts Festival). Krusiec wrote and performed the solo show Made in Taiwan (HBO Aspen Comedy Arts Festival, New York Asian American Theatre Festival, NY Fringe Festival, and Fringe Encores). Her workshop credits include King of Hell’s Palace (Goodman) and Kung Fu (Signature). Her selected film credits include The Invitation, Saving Face, and Far North, and selected television credits include “Supergirl,” “Hawaii-5-0,” and “Getting On.” She also wrote and directed Scenes from a Real Marriage. Krusiec received a Best Actress nomination for The Golden Horse Awards.

Jaygee Macapugay (Chorus/Wife) has appeared at The Public in Here Lies Love as Imelda Marcos and on Broadway in School of Rock. Her Off-Broadway credits include School of Rock (Gramercy); Hello, Dolly! (National Asian Artists Project); Imelda: A New Musical (Pan Asian Rep/East West Players); and Honor, The Rockae (Prospect Theatre). Regional credits include Soft Power (Ahmanson, Curran); The King and I (KC Starlight); Miss Saigon (MUNY, 5th Avenue, Casa Mañana); and Smokey Joe’s Café (Maltz Jupiter, Riverside). International credits include Where Elephants Weep. She is a USO singer.

JOÉL PÉREZ (Digital Minsung/Chorus) has appeared at The Public in Oedipus El Rey, As You Like It, and Fun Home (and Broadway). Off-Broadway credits include Sweet Charity (The New Group, Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical) and Raw Bacon from Poland (Abrons Art Center). Regional and tour credits include In the Heights (first national) and Stuck Elevator (A.C.T.). Pérez is an ensemble member of Broken Box Mime Theater. Television credits include “Jesus Christ Superstar Live!;” “Person of Interest;” “Odd Mom Out;” “The Big C;” and “The Outs.”

Jamar Williams (Chorus). Off-Broadway credits include The Hairy Ape (Park Ave Armory), The Death of The Last Black Man...(Signature Theater), and Invisible Thread (Second Stage). Regional credits include Passing Strange (Wilma Theatre); Burn All Night, Witness Uganda, The Black Clown (A.R.T.); The Cardboard Piano (Humana Fest); and Hairspray, The Piano Lesson (Santa Rosa Rep). Workshop and readings credits include Sundance Theater Lab (new musical by Jeanine Tesori, David Lindsay Abaire), Secret Soldiers (Marsha Norman/Zoe Sarnak, WTF), Director’s Lab 2016 (Lincoln Center), and tour credits include Theatre Works USA.

Katrina Yaukey (Chorus) has performed at The Public in Road Show. Her Broadway credits include Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812; Cabaret (2014); War Horse; Billy Elliot; Company; and Cabaret (1998). Her tour credits include Billy Elliot, Sweeney Todd, Cabaret, and Victor/Victoria.

Full price tickets, starting at $55, can be accessed by calling (212) 967-7555, visiting www.publictheater.org, or in person at the Taub Box Office at The Public Theater at 425 Lafayette Street.

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David Henry Hwang, James Houghton, Cicely Tyson, Maria Irene Fornes, Adrienne Kennedy and More Among 2018 Theater Hall of Fame Inductees

David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

The Theater Hall of Fame has announced its 2018 Inductees which include actors Rene Auberjonais, Christine Baranski, and Cicely Tyson; playwrights Maria Irene Fornes, David Henry Hwang, and Adrienne Kennedy; director Joe Mantello, and posthumously James Houghton.

David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

The 48th Annual Theater Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement in the American Theater will be presented on Monday evening, November 12 at the Gershwin Theatre. Three-time Tony Award nominee and Theater Hall of Fame inductee, Dana Ivey, will be the Mistress of Ceremonies.

Founded in 1971 by James M. Nederlander, Earl Blackwell and Gerard Oestriecher, the Theater Hall of Fame’s primary mission is to annually honor lifetime achievement in the American theatre. To be considered for the ballot, the theatre professional must have 25 years on Broadway and five major production credits or be an Off-Broadway or regional theatre founder or pioneer. The voters are United States theatre critics and drama editors.

Visit theaterhalloffame.org for more information.

BE MORE CHILL to Play The Lyceum Theatre on Broadway in 2019

Will Roland, Jason Tam and The company of Be More Chill. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova

Be More Chill will open on Broadway in 2019. After concluding its sold-out 10-week off-Broadway engagement on September 30, Be More Chill will begin performances at Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre (149 West 45th Street) on Wednesday, February 13 at 8PM. The official opening night is Sunday evening, March 10. Tickets are now on sale at Telecharge.com, (212) 239-6200 or (800) 447-7400, and at the Lyceum Theatre box office. Group Sales are available through Broadway Inbound, (866) 302-0995, groups@BroadwayInbound.com.

The company of Be More Chill. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Will Roland and The company of Be More Chill. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova

Be More Chill, features music and lyrics by Joe Iconis (NBC’s “Smash,” The Black Suits, Broadway Bounty Hunter) and a book by Joe Tracz (The Lightning Thief, Netflix’s “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events”) based on the cult sensation novel by Ned Vizzini. Stephen Brackett (Buyer & Cellar) directs and Chase Brock (HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark)choreographs.

Will Roland, Jason Tam and The company of Be More Chill. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Will Roland, Jason Tam and The company of Be More Chill. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova

“It’s impossible to remain chill as we announce our Broadway opening later this season,” says Be More Chill‘s Tony-nominated lead producer Gerald Goehring. “With audiences traveling from around the country and around the world, we could not have been more thrilled with the outpouring of love we received during our New York premiere engagement off-Broadway. Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz have created a beautiful and universal musical that has inspired audiences throughout the summer and now the entire company cannot wait to bring the production to an even greater audience at The Lyceum in the new year.”

The Company of Be More Chill. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
The Company of Be More Chill. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova

“Of course, a new musical is never done and a new production means another chance to upgrade,” say composer/lyricist Joe Iconis and book writer Joe Tracz. “Fans can expect that the show (like the Squip’s ever-changing wardrobe) will continue to evolve. This journey began at Two River Theatre in 2015 and we’re not done yet. So grab your Mountain Dew and your Player Two and come join us on Broadway. Everything about it is going to be wonderful.”

Will Roland, Stephanie Hsu, Tiffany Mann and the company of Be More Chill. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Will Roland, Stephanie Hsu, Tiffany Mann and the company of Be More Chill. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova

“There’s no feeling like watching audiences watch Be More Chill,” adds Joe Tracz. “Whether they come wearing a homemade Michael hoodie or knowing nothing but the title, whether they’ve discovered it via our cast album, Ned Vizzini’s brilliant novel, or word of mouth, I’ve been humbled to see the show bring so many people together to share in something deeply cathartic and cathartically joyful. Joe Iconis and I made this show for anyone who’s ever been a teenager, and it’s always been our dream to bring it to the widest audience possible. We’re thrilled that now means Broadway, and I personally can’t wait to watch many more audiences connect to Be More Chill.”

The company of Be More Chill. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
The company of Be More Chill. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova

“The fact that I get to make my Broadway debut as a writer surrounded by so many long-time collaborators and beloved friends both on stage and behind the scenes is a literal dream come true,” says Joe Iconis. “Be More Chill has surprised me and Joe Tracz every step of the way and we can’t believe that our celebration of misfits, losers, and underdogs gets to take up residence on 45th Street.”

Will Roland and the Cast of Be More Chill. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Will Roland and the Cast of Be More Chill. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova

The New York premiere production of Be More Chill currently features Gerard Canonico (Spring Awakening, Groundhog Day) as Rich, Katlyn Carlson (Dirty Dancing, The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin) as Chloe, Stephanie Hsu (SpongeBob SquarePants) as Christine,Tiffany Mann (Waitress, Jerry Springer the Opera) as Jenna, Lauren Marcus (The Humans at St. Louis Rep, Company at Barrington Stage) as Brooke, Will Roland (Dear Evan Hansen, The Black Suits) as Jeremy, George Salazar (tick tick BOOM!, Godspell, The Lightning Thief) as Michael, Britton Smith (Shuffle Along, After Midnight) as Jake, Jason Tam (NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert,” KPOP) as The Squip, and Jason SweetTooth Williams (Freaky Friday, Benny and Joon, Bloodsong of Love) as Jeremy’s Dad/Mr. Reyes. Cameron Bond (Finding Neverland), Troy Iwata (The Boy Who Danced on Air), and Talia Suskauer (Love in Hate Nation) are the company swings.

Tiffany Mann, Katlyn Carlson, Lauren Marcus, Britton Smith, and Will Roland. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Tiffany Mann, Katlyn Carlson, Lauren Marcus, Britton Smith, and Will Roland. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova

Be More Chill features scenic design by Tony Award-winner Beowulf Boritt (Come From Away), costume design by Bobby Frederick Tilley II (Lizzie Borden, Top Girls); lighting design by Tony Award-winner Tyler Micoleau (The Band’s Visit); sound design by Ryan Rumery (Fool For Love); projection design by Alex Basco Koch (Buyer & Cellar); wig and hair design by Dave Bova; musical direction by Emily Marshall; orchestrations by Charlie Rosen (Prince of Broadway, Honeymoon in Vegas); casting by Telsey + Company / Adam Caldwell, CSA & Rebecca Scholl, CSA; production stage management by Amanda Michaels (The Children, The Ballad of Little Jo). John Corker and Lisa Dozier King will serve as general managers for the Broadway run of Be More Chill.

Tiffany Mann, Katlyn Carlson, Lauren Marcus. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Tiffany Mann, Katlyn Carlson, Lauren Marcus. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova

The New York premiere production of Be More Chill currently plays through September 30 at The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street, NYC), presented by Gerald Goehring, Michael F. Mitri, Jennifer Ashley Tepper, Marc David Levine, Marlene and Gary Cohen, 42nd.club, The Baruch Frankel Viertel Group, Alisa and Charlie Thorne, Jenny Niederhoffer, Chris Blasting/Simpson & Longthorne, Brad Blume/Gemini Theatrical, Jonathan Demar/Kim Vasquez, Ben Holtzman and Sammy Lopez, Koenigsberg/Federman/Adler, Ashlee Latimer and Jenna Ushkowitz, Jenn Maley and Cori Stolbun, Robert and Joan Rechnitz, Fred and Randi Sternfeld, YesBroadway Productions, in association with Two River Theater, Red Bank, NJ, which originally commissioned and produced the musical.

Stephanie Hsu and Will Roland, Jason SweetTooth Williams, Katlyn Carlson, Lauren Marcus. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova 
Stephanie Hsu and Will Roland, Jason SweetTooth Williams, Katlyn Carlson, Lauren Marcus. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova

A hit with audiences and critics alike, The New York Times writes “Be More Chill is one of the most popular musicals in America.” The Wall Street Journal raves “you don’t have to be a millennial to revel in the spunky charms of Be More Chill. See it now if you can wrangle a ticket, because it’s going to hit big – deservedly so.” The New Yorker says “if you fed Dear Evan Hansen and Mean Girls to the Little Shop of Horrors plant, with a few Xbox games as a digestif, Be More Chill is probably what you would get. …Dynamic, jouncy, and as infectious as malware.” The Hollywood Reporter says “uproarious laughter …enjoyable, catchy, up-tempo numbers, so winning that it’s hard to resist,” and Vox calls Be More Chill “a sensation. … wildly adored …universal. … The audience was screaming at every song.”Variety writes “It’s one thing to be told that Be More Chill is a viral hit on the internet. It’s quite another to experience the hype live and in the room, where the audience explodes like it’s at a rock concert. …People have come from all around the country, if not all around the world to see it.”

Tiffany Mann, Jason Tam, Will Roland. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Tiffany Mann, Jason Tam, Will Roland. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova

What if popularity came in a pill? Would you take it, no questions asked? In Be More Chill, achieving that elusive “perfect life” is now possible thanks to some mysterious new technology-but it comes at a cost that’s not as easy to swallow. What could possibly go wrong? Blending the contemporary with retro sci-fi, this thrillingly exciting, comically subversive, and deeply felt new musical takes on the competing voices in all of our heads. And ultimately proves, there’s never been a better time in history to be yourself-especially if you’re a loser…geek…or whatever.

Katlyn Carlson, Lauren Mann. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Katlyn Carlson, Lauren Mann. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova

Before arriving in New York, Be More Chill had already amassed an unprecedented following across various online platforms, with millions of fans from Brazil to Japan to New Jersey sharing fan art, streaming the album (over 170 million streams to date), and talking about the show. In 2017, Tumblr ranked Be More Chill as the #2 most talked-about musical on their platform, following Hamilton.

Jason Tam, Will Roland. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Jason Tam, Will Roland. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova

Following up on the success of The 2015 Two River Theater cast recording, available from Ghostlight Records, the special edition Be More Chill original cast recording on vinyl is now available. The 2-disc package features new illustrative designs, green and red colored discs, and a 16-page, 12 x 12 booklet with lyrics, production photos and a new liner note from Joe Iconis.

Will Roland, George Salazar. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Will Roland, George Salazar. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova

Performance rights for Be More Chill are licensed by R&H Theatricals.

Jason Tam, Will Roland. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Jason Tam, Will Roland. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Will Roland. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Will Roland. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Will Roland. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Will Roland. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Stephanie Hsu. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Stephanie Hsu. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
George Salazar. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
George Salazar. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Tiffany Mann. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Tiffany Mann. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Britton Smith, Stephanie Hsu. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Britton Smith, Stephanie Hsu. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Jason SweetTooth Williams. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Jason SweetTooth Williams. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Gerard Canonico. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Gerard Canonico. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova

 

Lauren Yee’s CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND and Jaclyn Backhaus’s INDIA PALE ALE are 2018 Recipients of the Horton Foote Prize

Lauren Yee. Photo by Lia Chang

Mari Marchbanks announced today the 2018 recipients of the biennial Horton Foote Prize, named in honor of the late playwright, which recognizes excellence in American theater. The 2018 Prize for Outstanding New American Play, presented to a work produced in the 2016-17 or 2017-18 seasons, is awarded to Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee. The 2018 Prize for Promising New American Play, presented to a previously unproduced work, is awarded to India Pale Ale by Jaclyn Backhaus.

Lauren Yee. Photo by Lia Chang
Lauren Yee. Photo by Lia Chang

Their achievements will be celebrated at a private reception on Monday, October 15th at The Lotos Club (5 East 66th Street, New York City). Ms. Yee and Ms. Backhaus will each be presented with $25,000 and a limited edition of Keith Carter’s iconic photograph of Horton Foote, which is found in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

The four judges of the 2018 Horton Foote Prize are two-time Tony Award-winning actress Judith Ivey, serving as Chair; New Georges Artistic Director and playwright Susan Bernfield (Sizzle Sizzle Fly, Tania in the Getaway Van, My Last Car); Two River Theater Artistic Director John Dias; and Ensemble Studio Theatre Director of New Play Development and Associate Director of the EST/Sloan Project Linsay Firman.

On behalf of her fellow judges, Chair Judith Ivey said, “The playwright is the beginning for all other theatre artists. The story, the characters, and the words give the rest of us the opportunity to share that story. It is truly an honor to have been part of this year’s Horton Foote Prize committee. We four all expressed our joy and passion for all six of the final choices. The playwrights all explored the human condition and social circumstances in such creative ways, always with a solid truth and desire to share the inhumanity each character was experiencing. Each one beautifully wrote of the challenges of todays’ world. Making a decision was very difficult for all four of us.”

Abraham Kim, Daisuke Tsuji, Joe Ngo, Brooke Ishibashi, Raymond Lee and Jane Lui in South Coast Repertory's world premiere production of Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee. Photo by Danielle Bliss/SCR.
Abraham Kim, Daisuke Tsuji, Joe Ngo, Brooke Ishibashi, Raymond Lee and Jane Lui in South Coast Repertory’s world premiere production of Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee. Photo by Danielle Bliss/SCR.

Ms. Ivey continued, “Stylistically daring, Cambodian Rock Band deftly juxtaposes humor and rock music against the terrible truth of genocide. It is a beautiful story of love, forgiveness, and survival. Lauren Yee is a remarkable writer and Cambodian Rock Band is our choice for the 2018 Horton Foote Prize Award for Outstanding New American Play.”

Brooke Ishibashi, Joe Ngo, Jane Lui, Raymond Lee and Abraham Kim in South Coast Repertory's world premiere production of Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee. Photo by Tania Thompson/SCR.
Brooke Ishibashi, Joe Ngo, Jane Lui, Raymond Lee and Abraham Kim in South Coast Repertory’s world premiere production of Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee. Photo by Tania Thompson/SCR.

Cambodian Rock Band, with music by Dengue Fever, premiered in March 2018 at South Coast Repertory and will open at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Victory Gardens in 2019. Part comedy, part mystery, part rock concert, Cambodian Rock Band is a thrilling story that toggles back and forth in time, as father and daughter face the music of the past. Neary, a young Cambodian American has found evidence that could finally put away the Khmer Rouge’s chief henchman. But her work is hardly done. When Dad shows up unannounced – his first return trip to Cambodia since fleeing 30 years ago – it’s clear this isn’t just a pleasure trip.

Joe Ngo and Brooke Ishibashi in South Coast Repertory's world premiere production of Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee. Photo by Tania Thompson/SCR.
Joe Ngo and Brooke Ishibashi in South Coast Repertory’s world premiere production of Cambodian Rock Band by Lauren Yee. Photo by Tania Thompson/SCR.

India Pale Ale explores what it means to be a Sikh American in this day of racism and fear”, commented Ms. Ivey. “Gorgeously told through a Sikh family’s myth of a family member a century ago being a pirate and what that means in today’s world, framed the play as a modern-day fable rooted in stark reality at the same time. Jaclyn Backhaus has given us a story so richly poetic; it is ambitious and full of life. We are delighted to announce India Pale Ale as our selection for the 2018 Horton Foote Prize award for Promising New American Play.”

The world premiere of India Pale Ale at Manhattan Theatre Club will begin previews October 2, 2018 with opening night set for October 23, 2018 at New York City Center’s Stage I. In Ms. Backhaus’s poignant and smartly funny new play about legacy, life and longing, a tight-knit Punjabi community in a small Wisconsin town gathers to celebrate the wedding of a traditional family’s only son, just as their strong-willed daughter announces her plans to move away and open a bar. As they come together for feasts filled with singing and dancing, one generation’s cherished customs clash with another’s modern-day aspirations, and ghosts and pirates from the family’s past linger in everyone’s thoughts – until one sudden event changes everything.

Ms. Yee and Ms. Backhaus were nominated by South Coast Repertory and Manhattan Theatre Club, respectively. After a national reading committee narrowed the field of entries, ensuring that each script received multiple blind readings, a selection committee including Dramaturg, Tofte Lake Center Director, and University of Texas – Austin professor Liz Engelman, serving as Chair; Seattle-based stage director, producer, and educator Rosa Joshi; award-winning Seattle-based stage director Allison Narver; and American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) Director of Dramaturgy and New Works Joy Meads; selected the top finalists to be presented to the judges.

Previous recipients of the Horton Foote Prize include Lynn Nottage for Ruined, Will Eno for Middletown, David Lindsay-Abaire for Good People, Naomi Wallace for The Liquid Plain, Dan O’Brien for The Body of an American, Suzan-Lori Parks for Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2, & 3), Jordan Harrison for Marjorie Prime, and Zayd Dohrn for The Profane.

The Horton Foote Prize is funded by the Greg and Mari Marchbanks Family Foundation of Austin, Texas.

Lauren Yee’s Cambodian Rock Band, with music by Dengue Fever, premiered in March 2018 at South Coast Rep and will open at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Victory Gardens in 2019. Her play The Great Leap premiered this past season at Denver Center, Seattle Repertory, and Atlantic Theater with 2019 productions slated for the Guthrie, American Conservatory Theater, Arts Club, and InterAct Theatre. Also upcoming for 2018-19: King of the Yees at Baltimore Center Stage and San Francisco Playhouse, and The Song of Summer at Trinity Rep. Recent honors include the Kesselring Prize, Primus Prize, an upcoming Hodder Fellowship at Princeton, the #1 and #2 plays on the 2017 Kilroys List, as well as a finalist of both the ATCA/Steinberg Award and the Edward M. Kennedy Prize. She is a Ma-Yi Writers’ Lab member and an alumni playwright of Playwrights Realm. She received her BA from Yale University, and her MFA in playwriting from UCSD. Current commissions include Geffen Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Lincoln Center/LCT3, Mixed Blood, Portland Center Stage, Second Stage, South Coast Repertory, and Trinity Repertory Company. www.laurenyee.com

Jaclyn Backhaus is a playwright of Punjabi, German, and desert botanical descent. Her play India Pale Ale will receive its world premiere at Manhattan Theatre Club in Fall of 2018 after development at Powerhouse with New York Stage & Film. Select plays: Men on Boats (NYT Critics’ Pick, Clubbed Thumb & Playwrights Horizons, Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Playwriting Award Finalist, published by Dramatists Play Service, Kilroys List 2015), Folk Wandering (Pipeline Theatre Company), You Across From Me (Humana Festival of New Plays), People Doing Math Live! (Under The Radar Festival), and You on the Moors Now (Theater Reconstruction Ensemble, The Hypocrites in Chicago). Jaclyn was the 2016 Tow Foundation Playwright-in-Residence at Clubbed Thumb and is currently a playwright-in-residence at Lincoln Center. BFA: NYU, where she now teaches. She is co-founder of FRESH GROUND PEPPER, a New York-based arts incubator established in 2009. She lives in Queens with her husband, theater director Andrew Scoville, and their son Ernie.

Horton Foote won the Pulitzer Prize for his play The Young Man From Atlanta and received two Academy Awards for his screenplays for the films To Kill A Mockingbird and Tender Mercies. His work has also been produced on Broadway, off-Broadway as well as in theaters throughout the United States. His many honors, in addition to the Pulitzer and Academy Awards, include Drama Desk, Obie, Outer Critics Circle and Lortel Awards, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Drama and the 2000 National Medal of Arts Award from President Bill Clinton. He is also a member of The Theatre Hall of Fame. In 2008, his play Dividing the Estate won the Obie and Outer Critics Circle Best Play Awards for its Off-Broadway premiere by Primary Stages. In 2008, the play transferred to Broadway under the auspices of Lincoln Center Theater, earning Foote his second Best Play Tony nomination. In 2009-2010, his epic masterwork, The Orphans’ Home Cycle was co-produced by Hartford Stage Company and Signature Theatre Company, and received the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, Drama Desk Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award, and the Lucille Lortel Award. In 2013, The Trip to Bountiful was revived on Broadway (winning a Best Actress Tony Award for Cecily Tyson), and premiered in 2014 as a new Lifetime film, earning two Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Movie. His memoirs, Farewell and Beginnings, are published by Scribner.

Dominique Morisseau’s AIN’T TOO PROUD Set for Broadway’s Imperial Theatre in Spring 2019

The cast of Berkeley Repertory Theatre's production of "Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations". (© Kevin Berne/Berkeley Repertory Theatre)
The cast of Berkeley Repertory Theatre's production of "Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations". (© Kevin Berne/Berkeley Repertory Theatre)
The cast of Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s production of “Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations”. (© Kevin Berne/Berkeley Repertory Theatre)

Dominique Morisseau’s Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations,  the incredible true story of the greatest R&B group of all time, will come to Broadway in Spring 2019 at the legendary Imperial Theatre (249 West 45th Street).

Dominique Morisseau at The Drama Bookshop in New York on May 7, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang
Dominique Morisseau at The Drama Bookshop in New York on May 7, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang

With a book by Kennedy Prize-winning playwright Dominique Morisseau, Ain’t Too Proud features an iconic score made up of The Temptations’ legendary songs. Two-time Tony Award® winner Des McAnuff directs, with choreography by Olivier Award winner Sergio Trujillo.

Ain’t Too Proud recently opened at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles, where performances continue through September 30, before heading to Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre October 11-November 17, 2018.

Leading this production as The Temptations is Derrick Baskin as Otis Williams, James Harkness as Paul Williams, Jawan M. Jackson as Melvin Franklin, Jeremy Pope as Eddie Kendricks, and Ephraim Sykes as David Ruffin. Ain’t Too Proud also features Esther Antoine, Saint Aubyn, Shawn Bowers, E. Clayton Cornelious, Rodney Earl Jackson Jr., Taylor Symone Jackson, Jahi Kearse, Jarvis B. Manning Jr., Joshua Morgan, Rashidra Scott, Nasia Thomas, Christian Thompson, Curtis Wiley, and Candice Marie Woods.

Ain’t Too Proud broke records in its World Premiere run at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, where it became the highest grossing production in that theater’s nearly 50- year history. The musical went on to play Washington D.C.’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where the show broke the all-time single-week box office record for the Eisenhower Theater.

Ain’t Too Proud is the electrifying new musical that follows The Temptations’ extraordinary journey from the streets of Detroit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. With their signature dance moves and unmistakable harmonies, they rose to the top of the charts creating an amazing 42 Top Ten Hits with 14 reaching number one. The rest is history – how they met, how they rose, the groundbreaking heights they hit, and how personal and political conflicts threatened to tear the group apart as the United States fell into civil unrest. This thrilling story of brotherhood, family, loyalty, and betrayal is set to the beat of the group’s treasured hits, including “My Girl,” “Just My Imagination,” “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” and so many more.

The creative team includes Tony Award nominee Robert Brill (scenic design), Tony Award winner Paul Tazewell (costume design), Tony Award winner Howell Binkley (lighting design), Tony Award winner Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design), Drama Desk Award winner Peter Nigrini (projection design), Charles G. LaPointe (hair and wig design), Edgar Godineaux (associate choreographer), and Steve Rankin (fight direction). Orchestrations are by Drama Desk Award winner Harold Wheeler with Music Direction and Arrangements by Kenny Seymour.

Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations is produced on Broadway by Ira Pittelman, Tom Hulce, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, EMI Entertainment World, Inc., Josh Berger, Ken Schur, Ron Simons, Stephen Byrd, Alia Jones, Ruth & Stephen Hendel, Cheryl Wiesenfeld, Harriet Newman Leve, Jeffrey Finn, Stephen & Nancy Gabriel, Darren Bagert, David Binder, FedermanRyan Productions, Susan Gallin, Mickey Liddell, Robert Ahrens, Christopher Maring, Marianne Mills, Loraine Boyle, Sharon Karmazin, Koenigsberg/Krauss, Winkler/de Roy, Zell/Kierstead, Deborah Taylor, Robyn & Larry Gottesdiener, The Araca Group, Rashad V. Chambers, Mike Evans, Hani Farsi, Willette & Manny Klausner, Gabrielle Palitz, No Guarantees, Sheldon Stone, and Stuart Weitzman.

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

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, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. 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.

GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER Opens on Broadway Tonight

Mitchell Jarvis, Garth Kravits and Brandon Williams. Photos by Robert Ascroft

Gettin’ The Band Back Together began previews on July 19 at The Belasco Theatre (111 W 44th Street). The production, which is directed by Tony Award winner John Rando and choreographed by Chris Bailey, will officially open on August 13. Click here for tickets.

Gettin’ The Band Back Together has original music and lyrics by Mark Allen and a book by Ken Davenport and The Grundleshotz with additional material by Sarah Saltzberg. The creative team includes Tony Award winners Derek McLane (Scenic Design), Emily Rebholz (Costume Design), Ken Billington (Lighting Design), John Shivers (Sound Design) in addition to Music Direction by Sonny Paladino and Casting by Eisenberg/Beans Casting.

The cast of Gettin’ The Band Back Together features Mitchell Jarvis (Mitch Papadopoulos), Jay Klaitz (Bart Vickers), Manu Narayan (Dr. Rummesh “Robbie” Patel), Paul Whitty (Michael “Sully” Sullivan), Sawyer Nunes (Ricky “Bling” Goldstein), Marilu Henner (“Mitch’s Mom,” aka Sharon Papadopoulos), Kelli Barrett (Dani), Becca Kötte (Tawney), Garth Kravits (Ritchie), Tamika Lawrence (Roxanne Velasco), Noa Solorio (Billie), and Brandon Williams (Tygen Billows). The cast also includes Lindsey Brett Carothers, Ryan Duncan, Scott Richard Foster, Jenny Hill, Nehal Joshi, J. Elaine Marcos, Rob Marnell, Jasmin Richardson, Ian Ward, and Tad Wilson.

Mitch Papadopoulos always wanted to be the next Bruce Springsteen, but he left those daydreams behind for a day job. When this big-shot banker is handed a pink slip on his 40th birthday, he’s forced to move back in with his mom in New Jersey.

A run-in with his former music rival leads to a threat of foreclosure on Mitch’s family home, unless he can win The Battle of the Bands-a rematch over 25 years in the making. So he dusts off his guitar, gathers his old gang, and sets out to win back his house, his pride-and maybe even the high school sweetheart he left behind-proving it’s never too late to give your dreams one last shot.

Gettin’ The Band Back Together is produced by Ken Davenport, Hunter Arnold, Roy Putrino, Scott Abrams, Sandi Moran, Carl Daikeler, Broadway Strategic Return Fund, Rob Kolson, Marie Barton Stevenson, H. Richard Hopper, Richard Roth, Marguerite Hoffman, Diego Kolankowsky, Gary Nelson, Brian Cromwell Smith, Witzend Productions, David Bryant, Darrell Hankey, Trevor Coates, Ladybug Productions, Jim Wagstaffe, Laura Z. Barket, Judith Manocherian, John McGrain, Steve Reynolds, Sal Buscemi, Douglas K. Atamian, Rich Battista, Frederic J. Siegel, BF Investments, and Sean Attebury. The Associate Producers for the production are Kayla Greenspan and Valerie Novakoff.

Free original cast recording available at: www.GettinTheBandBackTogether.com

Town of Sayreville, NJ Becomes Co-Producer on GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER

Mitchell Jarvis, Garth Kravits, Marilu Henner, Jay Klaitz, Brandon Williams and More Kick Off Previews of GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER 

Garth Kravits Returns to Broadway in John Rando Helmed GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER

Jessica Ko, Amy Kim Waschke, Daisuke Tsuji, Will Dao, Cristofer Jean, James Ryen, Moses Villarama, Román Zaragoza, Olivia Pham, Monique Holt and Natsuko Ohama Set for U.S. Premiere of Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s SNOW IN MIDSUMMER at The Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Román Zaragoza, Jessica Ko, Olivia Pham, Amy Kim Waschke, Moses Villarama. Photo by Jenny Graham.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival will open the U.S. premiere of Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s Snow in Midsummer, directed by Justin Audibert, on August 5 in the Angus Bowmer Theatre. Preview performances began on August 2 and the play runs through Oct. 27, 2018.

Román Zaragoza, Jessica Ko, Olivia Pham, Amy Kim Waschke, Moses Villarama. Photo by Jenny Graham.
Román Zaragoza, Jessica Ko, Olivia Pham, Amy Kim Waschke, Moses Villarama. Photo by Jenny Graham.

Cowhig’s thriller, based on the classical Chinese drama The Injustice to Dou Yi That Moved Heaven and Earth by Guan Hanqing but set in contemporary China, explores the legacy of trauma, the heart of injustice and the lengths to which we go for love. Sentenced to death for a murder, a woman swears vengeance before her execution-cursing her city from beyond the grave to a catastrophic drought. Three years later, a wealthy businesswoman visits the parched, locust-plagued city to take over an ailing factory. When her young daughter is tormented by a mysterious apparition, locals are forced to face a past that no one wants to remember.

“If the central character of the original play, a young impoverished widow, had died three years ago in today’s China,” Cowhig asks, “what might her life have been like? If she had been executed by the State, what might have happened to her body? And, to make the ghost of this woman a protagonist, who truly guides the story, what might she want and to what end might she go to get what she wants?”

Snow in Midsummer, the first production in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Chinese Translations Project, had its world premiere at the RSC in 2017. The Evening Standard praised the production as “a beguiling and unexpected evening” that has “an unusual and most particular sense of grace and beauty.”

Director Justin Audibert, who also helmed the world premiere in Stratford-upon-Avon, says this adaptation “comes to the heart of what I think a play is. It should be a living, breathing, changing work of art. It shouldn’t be an ossified or fossilized text that has a kind of sacredness about it. That doesn’t mean that thematically you shouldn’t be trying to wrestle with the amazing themes that the original had, which include oppression and justice and virtue. As we look around in the world in the year 2018 in this incredible moment of change to do with the #MeToo movement, it is an absolute honor and privilege to be exploring and examining those themes and sharing this story with an audience today.”

Audibert adds, “And amidst all of the gore and tragedy, there are plenty of laughs in the play.”

The cast of Snow in Midsummer features Jessica Ko as Dou Yi, Amy Kim Waschke as Tianyun, Daisuke Tsuji as Handsome Zhang, Will Dao as Rocket Wu, Cristofer Jean as Dr. Lu and Judge Wu, James Ryen as Master Zhang, Worker Huang and People’s Liberation Officer 1, Moses Villarama as Worker Fang, People’s Liberation Officer and Horse-Face, Román Zaragoza as Worker Zhou, People’s Liberation Officer 3 and Ox-Head, Olivia Pham as Fei-fei, Monique Holt as Worker Chen and Natsuko Ohama as Mother Cai and Nurse Wong.

Scenic design for Snow in Midsummer is by Laura Jellinek, costumes are by Helen Q. Huang and lighting is by Jane Cox. Paul James Prendergast and Tei Blow are composers and sound designers. Choreography is by Maija García, Amrita Ramanan and Christine Mok are production dramaturgs and David Carey and Rebecca Clark Carey are voice and text directors. Shishir Kurup is Associate Director. Kalen Feeney is Sign Coach/VGC Adapter and U. Jonathan Toppo is fight director. Jeremy Eisen is production stage manager and Peter Royston and Emily Robinson are assistant stage managers.

Snow in Midsummer runs through Oct. 27, 2018, in the Angus Bowmer Theatre. Tickets are available at the OSF Box Office, via phone at 800-219-8161, or online at www.osfashland.org and osfashland.org/SnowInMidsummer.

Upcoming engagement programming related to Snow in Midsummer includes a Festival Noons Talk on “The Ghost on Stage: Snow in Midsummer’s Dou Yi Battling Across Time, Space and Culture” with Jo Palazuelos-Krukowski on Sept. 1. Tickets and information are available at osfashland.org/FestivalNoons. A weekend class on “Unfolding Snow in Midsummer” will be offered Sept. 1-Sept. 2. Information and registration is available online and by contacting Group Sales, Monday-Friday, at 866-545-6337.

A sign-interpreted performance is scheduled for Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. Contact the Box Office at 800-219-8161 or email boxoffice@osfashland.org to purchase tickets in the Deaf Community section; these tickets not available online. Information on additional accessibility accommodations is at www.osfashland.org/Accessibility/.

Lead Sponsor of Snow in Midsummer is Yogen and Peggy Dalal. Producing Sponsor is Charlotte Lin and Robert P. Porter. Partners are The Kinsman Foundation and Anonymous. OSF’s 2018 season is sponsored by U.S. Bank.

OSF’s full 2018 playbill includes Othello, Sense and Sensibility, Destiny of Desire, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! and Snow in Midsummer in the Angus Bowmer Theatre; Henry V, Manahatta and The Way the Mountain Moved in the intimate Thomas Theatre; and Romeo and Juliet, The Book of Will and Love’s Labor’s Lost in the outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre.

Founded by Angus Bowmer in 1935, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) has grown from a three-day festival of two plays to a nationally renowned theatre arts organization that presents an eight-month season of up to 11 plays that include works by Shakespeare as well as a mix of classics, musicals and world-premiere plays. OSF’s play commissioning programs, which include American Revolutions: the United States History Cycle, have generated works that have been produced on Broadway, throughout the American regional theatre, and in high schools and community theatres across the country. The Festival draws attendance of more than 400,000 to approximately 800 performances every year and employs approximately 575 theatre professionals.

OSF invites and welcomes everyone, and believes the inclusion of diverse people, ideas, cultures and traditions enriches both our insights into the work we present on stage and our relationships with each other. OSF is committed to equity and diversity in all areas of our work and in our audiences.

OSF’s mission statement: “Inspired by Shakespeare’s work and the cultural richness of the United States, we reveal our collective humanity through illuminating interpretations of new and classic plays, deepened by the kaleidoscope of rotating repertory.”

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Original Cast Members Jake Boyd, Betsy Morgan & Joseph Taylor Return to SWEENEY TODD for Final Weeks

Thom Sesma as Sweeney Todd and Sally Ann Triplett as Mrs. Lovett. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The Tooting Arts Club award-winning production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, which recently became the longest running production of Sweeney Todd on record, runs through August 26th at the Barrow Street Theatre. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.SweeneyToddNYC.com.

Thom Sesma as Sweeney Todd and Sally Ann Triplett as Mrs. Lovett. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Thom Sesma as Sweeney Todd and Sally Ann Triplett as Mrs. Lovett. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Beginning Tuesday, July 31st, returning cast member Jake Boyd (as “Anthony”) and original cast members Betsy Morgan (as “Pirelli & Beggar Woman”) and Joseph Taylor (as “Tobias” – also original Tooting production cast member) join current cast members Thom Sesma (as “Sweeney Todd”), Sally Ann Triplett (as “Mrs. Lovett”), Michael James Leslie (as “Judge Turpin”), John Rapson (as “The Beadle”), and DeLaney Westfall (as “Johanna”). The cast also includes Daniel Berryman, Laura Darrell, Matt Leisy, Liz Pearce, Monet Sabel, Drew Seigla and Haley Swindal.

Tooting Arts Club production of Sweeney Todd, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Hugh Wheeler from an adaptation by Christopher Bond, and directed by Bill Buckhurst, is the winner of the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Revival, the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Musical Revival and the Best Off-Broadway Musical, Theater Fans’ Choice Award. It was named “Best of the Year!” by Time, Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Huffington Post, Variety, Forbes, BuzzFeed and The Daily Beast.

Michael James Leslie as Judge Turpin and Thom Sesma as Sweeney Todd. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Michael James Leslie as Judge Turpin and Thom Sesma as Sweeney Todd. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Sweeney Todd features set and costume designs by Simon Kenny, music supervision and arrangements by Benjamin Cox, music direction by Matt Aument, choreography by Georgina Lamb, lighting design by Amy Mae, sound design by Matt Stine, casting by Telsey + Company / Cesar A. Rocha, CSA and production stage management by Joanna Muhlfelder.

Immersing audiences in a completely new theatrical experience, this production of the classic tale of blood thirsty barber Sweeney Todd and resourceful pie shop proprietress Mrs. Lovett comes to New York City following sold-out runs in London. Tooting Arts Club first mounted this Sweeney Todd in the winter of 2014 in Harrington’s Pie and Mash Shop, one of the oldest continuously operating pie shops in London, seating only 35 people at each performance. In 2015, the production made the leap to the West End where Tooting Arts Club recreated Harrington’s in a 69 seat Shaftesbury Avenue venue provided by producer Cameron Mackintosh. The Harrington’s shop environment has once again been brought to life for its US debut in the 130 seat Barrow Street Theatre.

Sweeney Todd is produced by Rachel Edwards, Jenny Gersten, Seaview Productions, Fiona Rudin, Barrow Street Theatre, Jean Doumanian, Rebecca Gold and Nate Koch (Executive Producer).

Based on a Victorian horror story, Sweeney Todd is often considered Sondheim’s greatest masterpiece. It first premiered on Broadway in 1979 at the Uris Theatre (now the Gershwin) and went on to make its West End debut in 1980. The original Broadway production won 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score. The 2007 Tim Burton film adaptation earned one Academy Award and two Golden Globe Awards.

Former White House Executive Pastry Chef William “Bill” Yosses (dubbed “the Crust Master” by President Barack Obama) serves as the production’s official pie maker. In keeping with the original Tooting production and the West End transfer, “pie and mash” is available for purchase by audience members prior to every performance, served communally in the pie shop where the production is set. An authentic slice of Victorian London, the traditional “pie and mash” dish consists of a meat pie, a generous helping of mashed potato and hot parsley sauce – otherwise known as “liquor” – which is an optional extra. Both meat veg pie options are available.

TICKETING & SCHEDULE

Tickets can be purchased online at www.SweeneyToddNYC.com, at the Barrow Street Theatre, 27 Barrow Street at 7th Ave South (Box Office open 1pm daily), or by calling OvationTix at 866-811-4111. Tickets for performances range in price from $55 to $150. Premium seating is available.

When purchasing tickets, patrons can select an option to add the pie and mash meal to their order for an additional $22.50 ($29 for beef wellington). The meal also includes a beer, glass of wine, or non-alcoholic beverage to be enjoyed in the pie-shop starting 1 hour and 15 minutes prior to each performance. Please note that this option can only be purchased in advance with tickets.

A limited number of $39 tickets will be made available to every performance of Sweeney Todd via the TodayTix app. The entry period for all performances will begin each performance day at 12:01am EST and continue until winners are notified via email and push notification 2-4 hours before the selected performance begins. Limit one entry per person and two tickets per winner. A photo ID is required for pickup and lottery tickets and seat locations are subject to availability.

Performance Schedule: Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday @ 7:30pm; Friday @ 8:00pm; Saturday @ 2:30pm & 8:00pm; Sunday @2:00pm & 7:30pm

Lucille Lortel Nominee Thom Sesma Talks Asian American Representation in the Performing Arts and all things Sondheim 

The Micro-Musical Theatre Show Hosts 2018 Launch Party For THE NEW PEGGY

Devin Ilaw, Deb Radloff, Ann Harada, Rachel Hardin and Daniel Marcus. Photo by Lia Chang

The Micro-Musical Theatre Show is presenting its inaugural season of mico-musicals, featuring Drew Larimore & J. Oconer Navarro’s dark musical comedy, THE NEW PEGGY set to premiere August 1st.

Devin Ilaw, Deb Radloff, Ann Harada, Rachel Hardin and Daniel Marcus. Photo by Lia Chang
Devin Ilaw, Deb Radloff, Ann Harada, Rachel Hardin and Daniel Marcus. Photo by Lia Chang

The Micro-Musical Theatre Show is a series of new and original Broadway-style musical productions. It’s a front-row seat experience delivered every month to subscribers through an audio podcast.

With book and lyrics By Drew Larimore and music and lyrics by Larson Grant Recipient J. Oconer Navarro, THE NEW PEGGY chronicles Peggy, a very ordinary secretary, who has been stuck at her desk for the past 25 years, pining after her very ordinary boss. But at what cost? The consequences are bloody. Ann Harada, (Avenue Q, Cinderella, Pacific Overtures) takes on the title role. Includes Daniel Marcus (Urinetown, Adding Machine), Devin Ilaw (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables), Deb Radloff and Rachel Hardin.

Also featured in the summer 2018 Micro Musical season is TRAPPED IN THE CLOSET with book and lyrics by Sarah Naughton and music and lyrics by Jake Weinstein, as well as CRAYOLA IN LOVE by Kyle Robert Carter.

The Micro-Musical Theatre Show was created by Emmy Award-winning executive producer Alton Christensen. The co-producers are broadcaster, and resident composer of NY’s acclaimed Signature Theatre Company, Loren Toolajian. Multi-instrumentalist, composer, award-winning, and Emmy nominated sound designer, Ralph Kelsey. Both are co-owners of award-winning Sandblast Productions. The production was recorded at Bunker Studio in Brooklyn. It’s hosted by Julian Fleischer.

Arena Stage’s World Premiere of DAVE opens July 27

The company of DAVE. Photo Credit: Margot Schulman

Arena Stage is presenting the world premiere of Dave by Thomas Meehan, Nell Benjamin and Tom Kitt through August 19, 2018 in the Kreeger Theater. Opening night is July 27. Click here for tickets.

Drew Gehling. Photo Credit: Margot Schulman
Drew Gehling and the company of DAVE. Photo Credit: Margot Schulman

Dave is inspired by the Academy Award-nominated American political comedy film. Helmed by Tony Award nominee Tina Landau, Dave features choreography by Tony Award nominee Sam Pinkleton and music direction by Rob Berman. Dave tells the story of high school teacher (and presidential lookalike) Dave Kovic, who is hired by the Secret Service as a stand-in for the Commander-in-Chief. When the President falls ill under less than “presidential” circumstances, Dave is thrust into the Oval Office to avoid a national scandal, and must find a way to gain the trust and love of the American people…and the First Lady.

Drew Gehling. Photo Credit: Margot Schulman
Drew Gehling. Photo Credit: Margot Schulman

Drew Gehling stars as President Bill Mitchell and the title role of Dave with Mamie Parris (Broadway’s Cats, School of Rock) as First Lady Ellen Mitchell, Douglas Sills as Chief of Staff Bob Alexander, Josh Breckenridge (Broadway’s Come From Away), Rachel Flynn (Off-Broadway’s Heathers the Musical), Bryonha Marie Parham (Broadway’s Prince of Broadway) and Jonathan Rayson (Broadway’s Little Shop of Horrors).

Drew Gehling, Bryonha Marie Parham, and Douglas Sills. Photo Credit: Margot Schulman
Drew Gehling, Bryonha Marie Parham, and Douglas Sills. Photo Credit: Margot Schulman

While Mr. Sills recovers from minor unexpected surgery, Dave cast member Jared Bradshaw will step into the role of Bob Alexander.

Mamie Parris and Drew Gehling. Photo Credit: Margot Schulman
Mamie Parris and Drew Gehling. Photo Credit: Margot Schulman

Rounding out the company are Jenny Ashman (Kansas City Repertory’s Evita), Jared Bradshaw (Broadway’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Dana Costello (Jekyll and Hyde national tour), Trista Dollison (Broadway’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Sherri L. Edelen (Arena Stage’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike), Kevin R. Free (The Neo-Futurists’ Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind), Erin Quill (Broadway’s Avenue Q), Jamison Scott (Broadway’s Motown the Musical), Thomas Adrian Simpson (Arena Stage’s A Raisin in the Sun and Carousel)  and Vishal Vaidya (Broadway’s Groundhog Day).

The company of DAVE. Photo Credit: Margot Schulman
The company of DAVE. Photo Credit: Margot Schulman

The creative team for Dave also includes scenic design by Tony Award nominee Dane Laffrey; costume design by two-time Tony Award nominee Toni-Leslie James; lighting design by five-time Tony Award nominee Japhy Weideman; sound design by Tony Award nominee Walter Trarbach; projection design by Drama Desk Award winner Peter Nigrini; and casting by Telsey + Company/Patrick Goodwin, CSA.

Click here for full company bios.

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