MCC Theater’s critically-acclaimed World Premiere of School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play, written by 2017-18 Tow Playwright-in-Residence Jocelyn Bioh, and directed by Tony winner Rebecca Taichman, has extended through December 31, 2017 at The Lucille Lortel Theatre, 121 Christopher. Click here for tickets.
The cast features Nabiyah Be (Black Panther, Hadestown), MaameYaa Boafo (Untamed), Paige Gilbert (Street Children), Obie Award winner Zainab Jah (Eclipsed), Nike Kadri (The Death of the Last Black Man…), Abena Mensah-Bonsu (Ragtime on Ellis Island), Mirirai Sithole (The Death of the Last Black Man…), and Lortel Award nominee Myra Lucretia Taylor (Familiar).
In School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play, Paulina, the reigning Queen Bee at Ghana’s most exclusive boarding school, has her sights set on the Miss Universe pageant. But the mid-year arrival of Ericka, a new student with undeniable talent and beauty, captures the attention of the pageant recruiter–and Paulina’s hive-minded friends. This buoyant and biting comedy explores the universal similarities (and glaring differences) facing teenage girls across the globe. How far would you go to be queen bee?
Page Seventy-Three Productions (Page 73) is presenting the world premiere of TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY, a new play by Susan Soon He Stanton.
Directed by Kip Fagan (The Profane), TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY has a limited run through Saturday, December 23, 2017 at The New Ohio Theatre (154 Christopher Street).
The cast includes Jennifer Ikeda (Vietgone) as Emily, and features Jonathan Brooks (Neil Young’s Greendale), Ugo Chukwu (Ripcord), Ron Domingo (“The Blacklist”), Emily Kuroda (“Gilmore Girls”), and Nadine Malouf (Ultimate Beauty Bible).
Emily, a would-be writer, retreats home to O’ahu after Manhattan finally gets the best of her. Trading one island for another doesn’t help, though, and when she stumbles into a gig as an actor on a shock-jock radio dating show, she finds herself strangely determined to turn fantasy into reality. Told through a playful mixture of phone calls, voicemails, and live radio spots, TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY is a comedy about loneliness in the age of connection.
TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY features scenic design by Dane Laffrey (Once on This Island), costume design by Jessica Pabst (Marvin’s Room), lighting design by Jennifer Schriever (Eclipsed), sound design by Palmer Hefferan (Charm) and props by Alison Mantilla (Oedipus El Rey). Kara Kaufman will serve as Production Stage Manager, with Justin Myhre as the Assistant Stage Manager. Intuitive Production Management will serve as Production Manager.
Tickets range from $20 to $40 and can be purchased in advance at www.page73.org or by calling 866-811-4111. General admission tickets are $30, with $40 reserved seats available for all performances. The box office for TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY opens thirty minutes prior to every performance.
The performance schedule is as follows: Tuesday through Sunday at 7:30pm. Exceptions: There will be additional 3pm performances on Friday, December 15; Saturday, December 16 and Saturday, December 23. There will be an additional 7:30pm performance on Monday, December 18. There will be no evening performance on Saturday, December 23.
Ron Domingo Photo by Jeremy Daniel Photography
Emily Kuroda Photo by Jeremy Daniel Photography
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.
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 filmsWolf, 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.
The World Premiere of Zhu Yi’s A Deal, directed by John Giampietro, ends its limited engagement at Urban Stages (259 West 30th Street) on December 10, 2017. Click here for tickets.
Like many new upper-middle-class Chinese families, Mr. and Mrs. Li are proud to give their only daughter a life they could only dream of (an Ivy League degree in art and an apartment in Manhattan), until they realize she’s turning into a dangerous stranger. A Deal is a dark comedy that features a Chinese family’s home buying journey in New York in winter 2015, a time of increased real estate property ownership by overseas Chinese and a sharp decline in the value of the RMB against the US dollar. It reveals the ideological conflicts between the East and the West in contemporary society by tracking a little stream of the global cash flow.
International known playwright Zhu Yi has had her work presented by theaters in Canada, Norway, China, Mexico, Italy, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and the United States. A Deal at Urban Stages will be her first Off Broadway production, and will be simultaneously touring China in Mandarin.
Cast includes: Alan Ariano (Broadway: The King and I; Miss Saigon), Pun Bandhu (Broadway: Wit. NY: The Treasurer), Helen Coxe (Film: Julie & Julia Broadway: Side Man. NY: Tail! Spin!), Lydia Gaston (Broadway: The King and I; Miss Saigon), Wei Yi Lin (Gable Stage: 4000 Miles. TV: “Zero Hour”) and Seth Moore (NY: Agnes!).
Rebecca Kane (Stage Manager), Rachel Kartiganer (Assistant Stage Manager), Frank Oliva (Set Designer), John Salutz (Lighting and Sound Designer), Audrey Nauman(Costume Designer), Ryan Belock (Projection Designer) and Kim Sharp (Technical Director), Peter Napolitano (Associate Producer), Antoinette Mullins (Development & Literary Director), Olga Devyatisilnaya (Company Manager/Financial Administrator), and Ilanna Saltzman (Program Director).
TONGUES Reading Series presents a Staged Reading of AFTERMATH, a play created through the #Pages4PuertoRico collaboration to benefit the INDESTRUCTIBLE Campaign for Hurricane Maria relief efforts on Sunday, December 17, 2017 at 6:00PM at Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce Street in New York.
Last month, #Pages4PuertoRico enlisted the help of 30 writers, who contributed 3 pages each to building a full-length play titled AFTERMATH, helmed by Lainie Sakakura with dramaturg Alex Sanchez.
Written by Lawrence Feeney, Craig Pospisil, David Hilder, Ashlie Atkinson, Tony Pennino, Robin Rothstein, Joanna Parson, Ryan Duncan, Katharine Clark Gray, Tanya Perez, Renee Flemings, Jonathan Marc Sherman, P. Seth Bauer, Jonathan Tipton Meyers, Maria Deasy, Liz Duffy Adams, Jessica Fleitman, Migdalia Cruz, Candido Tirado, Carmen Rivera Tirado, Ana Maria Jomolca, Adriana Santos, Marco Antonio Rodriguez, Analisa Velez, Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Jorge Perez, Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas, Andrew Rincón, Angelo Parra, and Raquel Almazan.
All proceeds go to Puerto Rico hurricane relief through Co-Artistic Director Janio Marrero’s ongoing campaign INDESTRUCTIBLE.
This reading is free and open to the public. CLICK HERE TO RESERVE YOUR SEAT. Then, click CHECKOUT to add your donation.
Leviathan Lab (Artistic Director, Flordelino Lagundino) is presented a reading of INTO THE NUMBERS by Christopher Chen on Wednesday, December 13th at 6:30pm at the Museum of Chinese in America. The reading commemorates the 80th anniversary of The Nanking Massacre and is co-produced by Leviathan Lab and Museum of Chinese in America. INTO THE NUMBERS is directed by Mo Zou.
A dream play about Rape of Nanking author Iris Chang, INTO THE NUMBERS is a meditation on the philosophical and psychological implications of researching genocide, as well as the toll media saturation plays in the process.
The cast of INTO THE NUMBERS features Judy Chen (Iris Chang), Matt Russell (Interviewer), Rebecca Street (Minnie Vautrin), Joe Ngo (Nanking Victim), and Daniel K. Isaac (Japanese Deputy Ambassador). Lighting design is by Marie Yokoyama and sound design by Matt Otto.
Christopher Chen’s plays include The Hundred Flowers Project, The Late Wedding, Mutt,Caught, and You Mean To Do Me Harm. Honors include The Obie Award and The Barrymore Award for Caught; The Glickman Award and Rella Lossy Award for The Hundred Flowers Project; the Lanford Wilson Award; The Sundance Institute/Time Warner Fellowship; and the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, through which he was playwright in residence at The Vineyard. Commissions include American Conservatory Theatre, The Aurora, LCT3, Manhattan Theatre Club, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Playwrights Horizons. A San Francisco native, Chris is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, and holds an M.F.A. in playwriting from S.F. State.
Founded in 2009, Leviathan Lab is an award-winning not-for-profit creative studio whose mission is the advancement of Asian and Asian American (A/AA) performing artists and their work. www.leviathanlab.com.
Founded in 1980, the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is dedicated to preserving and presenting the history, heritage, culture and diverse experiences of people of Chinese descent in the United States. The greatly expanded MOCA at 215 Centre Street is a national home for the precious narratives of diverse Chinese American communities, and strives to be a model among interactive museums. www.mocanyc.org
Tickets are available through the Museum of Chinese in America website or by calling 855-955-MOCA.
Tickets prices (includes museum admission): $10/non-Members; $5/Student or Senior; Free for MOCA members.
Primitive Grace is presenting their second full length production with Access Theater, Divine Horsemen, written and directed by Paul Calderon at Access Theater – Black Box (380 Broadway @ White Street, 4th Fl), from January 10th-27th.
The cast features David Zayas, Paul Calderon, Robert Leng, David Deblinger and Jonny Rios.
First seen in a LAByrinth workshop production 22 years ago (featuring David Zayas, Paul Calderon, John Ortiz, Johnny Sanchez & Philip Seymour Hoffman). This will be the world premier of a full production by Primitive Grace Ensemble
Performances are Wednesday-Saturday at 8:00 PM. Early bird tickets $18 tickets are available through December 10th. Click here for tickets.
Access is located in Tribeca. Take the ACENQR6 to Canal or the 1 to Franklin.
There is access to an elevator, however you MUST CALL IN ADVANCE if you need to use it (it is a freight elevator). A phone number will be given to call prior to your performance.
For any inquiries, call Access Theater at 212-966-1047
The annual star-studded holiday event SPARKLE: An All-Star Holiday Concert returns to New York City on Sunday, December 3rd for its 6th consecutive year, once again benefiting the programs and services of The Actors Fund. This one-night-only extravaganza, produced and hosted by TV personality Scott Nevins (Bravo’s “The People’s Couch”), will take place at The Cutting Room (44 E 32nd St.) at 7:30pm.
The all-star cast is lead by four Tony Award nominees: Constantine Maroulis (“American Idol,” ), Max von Essen (An American in Paris, Evita, Les Miserables), Saycon Sengbloh (ABC’s “Scandal,” Eclipsed) and Charl Brown (Motown: the musical), plus Drama League Award nominee Eden Espinosa (Brooklyn, Wicked), one of the stars of CBS’ hit show “Madam Secretary” and the Jersey Boys film, Erich Bergen, two-time Drama Desk Award nominee, celebrity vocal impressionist and YouTube sensation Christina Bianco (“The Ellen Degeneres Show,” Forbidden Broadway), from NBC’s “The Voice,” Katrina Rose (Hairspray), original cast member of the TONY Award winning musical Jersey Boys, Daniel Reichard (The Midtown Men), Recording artist Shayna Steele (Hairspray, RENT, Jesus Christ Superstar), Broadway’s Nick Adams (Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, Wicked, A Chorus Line), Kevin Smith Kirkwood (Kinky Boots), Marty Thomas (Wicked, Xanadu), and Erin Quill (Avenue Q – Original Broadway Company), a special performance by The Doo Wop Project, and more! The evening will once again be produced and hosted by TV personality Scott Nevins (Bravo’s “The People’s Couch,” “truTV Presents: World’s Dumbest…”) with Benjamin Rauhala serving as Music Director and Arranger. *Cast is subject to change without notice.
General Admission Tickets for the show are $65 each; VIP Tickets (which include premium seating and a post-show VIP Meet & Greet) are $100 each.
Doors open at 6:30pm. There is a $20 min per person as a full dinner and bar menu will be available. To purchase tickets or to get more information about the evening, please visit www.purplepass.com/SparkleNYC.
The new Broadway production of Once On This Island, helmed by Tony nominee Michael Arden, opens on Sunday, December 3rd at the Circle in the Square Theatre (235 W. 50th street, NYC). Click here for tickets.
Tony Award winner Lea Salonga (Erzulie), Alex Newell (Asaka), Merle Dandridge (Papa Ge), and Quentin Earl Darrington (Agwe) are joined by newcomer, Hailey Kilgore (Ti Moune) with Phillip Boykin (Tonton Julian), Darlesia Cearcy (Storyteller), Rodrick Covington (Storyteller), Emerson Davis (Little Girl) Alysha Deslorieux (Andrea), Tyler Hardwick (Storyteller), Cassondra James (Storyteller), David Jennings (Armand), Grasan Kingsberry (Storyteller), Loren Lott (Storyteller), Kenita R. Miller (Mama Euralie), Isaac Powell (Daniel), T. Oliver Reid (Storyteller), Aurelia Williams (Storyteller), and Mia Williamson (Little Girl).
Once On This Island is written by the Tony Award-winning team Lynn Ahrens (Book and Lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (Music), and based on the novel “My Love, My Love” by Rosa Guy. This production features new orchestrations by original orchestrator Michael Starobin who is joined by AnnMarie Milazzo.
The creative team also includes choreography by the critically-acclaimed Camille A. Brown, Dane Laffrey (Scenic Design), Clint Ramos (Costume Design), Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (Lighting Designers), Peter Hylenski (Sound Designer), John Bertles/Bash The Trash (Unusual Instruments), Cookie Jordan (Hair/Wig & Makeup Designer), Chris Fenwick (Music Supervisor), Alvin Hough, Jr. (Music Director), David Perlow (Associate Director), Nikki M. James (Assistant Director), Rickey Tripp (Associate Choreographer) and Telsey + Co / Craig Burns, CSA (Casting Agent).
Once On This Island is the tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl who falls in love with a wealthy boy from the other side of the island. When their divided cultures keep them apart, Ti Moune is guided by the powerful island gods, Erzulie, Asaka, Papa Ge, and Agwe, on a remarkable quest to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts launches the inaugural season of Broadway Center Stage with CHESS, the epic rock opera about love and political intrigue set against the backdrop of the Cold War as two superpowers attempt to manipulate an international chess championship for political ends.
Written in 1984 by songwriters Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus (Mamma Mia!) and lyricist Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar, The Lion King, Evita), CHESS has been seen in numerous productions around the world. The original concept album spawned two international hit singles, “I Know Him So Well” and “One Night in Bangkok.”
Presented as a part of Broadway Center Stage, a Kennedy Center-produced series of musicals in semi-staged concerts, CHESS will run February 14-18, 2018 in the Eisenhower Theater.
CHESS, which enjoyed a three-year run in London’s West End in 1986 and played Broadway in 1988, has been revised with a new book by Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning writer Danny Strong (“Empire,” The Butler, Game Change).
“I have always been enormously proud of CHESS,” said Tim Rice. “Revisiting this show with a new book by Danny Strong is an exciting opportunity. I am delighted that CHESS will have a new world premiere at the Kennedy Center.”
Directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Spring Awakening), CHESS stars Raúl Esparza (Company, the Kennedy Center’s Sunday in the Park with George and Merrily We Roll Along) as American chess champion Freddie Trumper; Ramin Karimloo (Anastasia) as rival Russian chess star Anatoly Sergievsky; Tony Award winner Ruthie Ann Miles (The King and I, Here Lies Love) as Anatoly’s wife, Svetlana Sergievsky; and Tony Award winner Karen Olivo (West Side Story, In the Heights) as Florence Vassy, a remarkable Hungarian refugee who becomes the center of the emotional triangle. Joining them are Bradley Dean (Dear Evan Hansen) as Ivan Molokov, Sean Allan Krill (Honeymoon in Vegas) as Walter Anderson, and Bryce Pinkham (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder) as the Arbiter.
The CHESS ensemble includes Paige Faure, Nkrumah Gatling, Casey Garvin, Adam Halpin, Ericka Hunter, Sean MacLaughlin, Morgan Marcell, Marissa McGowan, Chelsea Turbin, Christopher Vo, Minami Yusui, and Ricardo Zayas. Additional casting, creative team, and designers will be announced shortly.
Broadway Center Stage: CHESS will be performed Wednesday, February 14-Sunday, February 18, 2018 at 8 p.m. with matinees at 2 p.m. on Saturday, February 17 and Sunday, February 18. Tickets from $49 are currently on sale. For more information visit the Kennedy Center website, in-person at the Kennedy Center box office, or call (202) 467-4600 or (800) 444-1324.
Atlantic Theater Company (Neil Pepe, Artistic Director; Jeffory Lawson, Managing Director) is presenting the New York premiere of Pulitzer Prize finalist and Lortel and Obie Award winner Rajiv Joseph’s (Guards at the Taj) play Describe the Night, directed by Giovanna Sardelli (Animals Out of Paper).
Describe the Night began previews on Friday, November 10, will officially open Tuesday, December 5 and is set for a limited engagement through Sunday, December 24, 2017, Off-Broadway at Atlantic Theater Company’s Linda Gross Theater (336 West 20 Street).
Describe the Night features Tina Benko (The Crucible), Nadia Bowers (The Farnsworth Invention), six-time Tony Award nominee Danny Burstein (Fiddler on the Roof, Cabaret), Rebecca Naomi Jones (Significant Other, Marie and Rosetta), Max Gordon Moore (Indecent) and Stephen Stocking (Off-Broadway debut).
In 1920, the Russian writer Isaac Babel (Burstein) wanders the countryside with the Red Cavalry. Seventy years later, a mysterious KGB agent spies on a woman in Dresden and falls in love. In 2010, an aircraft carrying most of the Polish government crashes in the Russian city of Smolensk.
Set in Russia over the course of 90 years, this thrilling and epic new play traces the stories of seven men and women connected by history, myth and conspiracy theories.
Rajiv Joseph returns to Atlantic following the critically acclaimed production of his Lortel and Obie Award-winning play Guards at the Taj. His plays include Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (Pulitzer Prize finalist), The North Pool, Gruesome Playground Injuries and Animals Out of Paper. He has been awarded artistic grants from the Laurents/Hatcher Foundation, the Whiting Foundation, United States Artists and The Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.
Director Giovanna Sardelli has staged Rajiv Joseph’s Off-Broadway world premieres of Huck & Holden, Animals Out of Paper, All This Intimacy and The Leopard and The Fox, as well as the world premiere of Archduke at The Mark Taper Forum and the West Coast premiere of Guards at the Taj at The Geffen Playhouse, which received the 2017 Ovation Award for Best Production of a Play.