Kenita R. Miller, Phillip Boykin, Alysha Deslorieux and More to Lead Broadway’s ONCE ON THIS ISLAND

Tony Award nominee Phillip Boykin, Alysha Deslorieux, Kenita R. Miller, and Isaac Powell are joining the new Broadway production of Once On This Island, which will play the Circle in the Square Theatre (235 W. 50th Street, NYC) this fall.

Kenita Miller, backstage at New York City Center after a performance of Kirsten Childs' THE BUBBLY BLACK GIRL SHEDS HER CHAMELEON SKIN on July 27, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
Kenita Miller, backstage at New York City Center after a performance of Kirsten Childs’ THE BUBBLY BLACK GIRL SHEDS HER CHAMELEON SKIN on July 27, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

The revival of the Olivier Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated Best Musical will be directed by Tony nominee Michael Arden, and choreographed by the critically-acclaimed Camille A. Brown. The production will begin preview performances on Thursday, November 9, 2017 and officially open on Sunday, December 3.

Also joining the cast as Storytellers are Darlesia Cearcy, Rodrick Covington, Cassondra James, David Jennings, Grasan Kingsberry, Tyler Hardwick, Loren Lott, T. Oliver Reid, and AureLia Williams.

Additional casting will be announced at a later date.

Once On This Island is written by the Tony Award-winning team of Lynn Ahrens (Book and Lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (Music), and based on the novel “My Love, My Love” by Rosa Guy. This production will feature new orchestrations by original orchestrator Michael Starobin who is joined by AnnMarie Milazzo.

The creative team also includes Dane Laffrey (Scenic Design), Clint Ramos (Costume Design), Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (Lighting Designers), Peter Hylenski (Sound Designer), Chris Fenwick (Music Supervisor), Alvin Hough, Jr (Music Director), David Perlow (Associate Director), Nikki M. James (Assistant Director), and Telsey + Co / Craig Burns, CSA (Casting Agent).

Additional producers include Carl Daikeler, Richard Hopper & Witzend Productions. The associate producers are Kayla Greenspan and Valerie Novakoff.

Once On This Island is the Broadway musical celebration that sweeps us across the sea to a small village-where, in the aftermath of a great storm, a joyous new life begins. It 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 threaten to keep them apart, Ti Moune, guided by the island gods, sets out on a remarkable quest to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.

Bursting with Caribbean colors, rhythms and dance, the story comes to vibrant life through the score by Tony Award winners Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens (Anastasia, Ragtime). The striking production by Tony Award-nominated director Michael Arden (Spring Awakening revival) transforms the reality of a tropical village devastated by a storm into a fantastical world alive with hope.

Once On This Island premiered at Playwrights Horizons in May of 1990. The Broadway production opened in October of that year and ran for 469 performances garnering eight Tony nominations including Best Featured Actress (LaChanze), Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical and Best Musical. The 1994 West End production won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Phillip Boykin (Tonton Julian) is a Bass-Baritone from Greenville, SC. He is a TONY, Drama Desk, Outer Critic Circle, Awards nominee, winner Theater World Award and I.R.N.E. for “Crown” in Porgy and Bess. He’s a graduate of The Hartt School. Performances include: “A Boatman” Sunday In The Park With George, “TW” Sondheim on Sondheim LA Philharmonic/Boston Pops, “Booker T. Washington” Ragtime, “Jim” Big River, “Pirate King/Samuel” Pirates of Penzance, On The Town, “Joe” Show Boat, “Ken” Ain’t Misbehavin’, Caiaphas in Jesus Christ Superstar, and JCS Gospel. He Directs THE NYGOSPEL BROTHERS. Movies: Top Five, Freedom, & Easter Mysteries. For more information, visit www.PhillipBoykin.com.

Darlesia Cearcy (Storyteller) Recently appeared as Simone Murphy on S5 of “House of Cards;” S5 of “Elementary” on CBS. Broadway: Lottie Gee in Shuffle Along; The Book of Mormon; Nettie in The Color Purple, Sarah in Ragtime for which she received a Helen Hayes nomination, and The Goodbye Girl! Her single release “Everlasting” appeared on MTV’s Most Wanted, VH1, Top of the Pops in London, and was nominated for a Viva Award. Television: “Law and Order SVU,” Ms. Berg in “Rescue Me,” “Nurse Jackie” and Mercy as “Adrienne Mercer” on NBC. Film Credits: Sharla in The Challenger and Rush.

Rodrick Covington (Storyteller). Broadway: The Lion King. Off-Broadway: Joan of Arc, Invisible Thread, Drumstruck, Central Avenue Breakdown. Regional: Witness Uganda, Miss Saigon (Best Actor Nomination), The Brothers/Sister Plays (Best Actor Nomination); Venice, Pippin, Jelly’s Last Jam (Best Actor Nomination), In the Red and Brown Water. National Tour: Fosse. Other tours include South Africa at the renowned Baxter and Market Theatre as the lead in The Brother Size. TV: “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” and “Chappelle’s Show.” Nutrition and Fitness at Corerhythmfitness.net. Grateful to God, family and friends. Ephesians 3:20

Alysha Deslorieux (Andrea) comes directly from the Broadway company of Hamilton where she was playing the roles of Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds. She was a member of the original company both at The Public Theater and on Broadway, where she stood by for Eliza Hamilton, Angelica Schuyler and Peggy. Other Broadway credits include Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Original Broadway Company) and Sister Act (Deloris u/s). She traveled with the national tour of Sister Act (Deloris standby). Regionally she was seen in Found (Denise) at the Philadelphia Theatre Company, also the St. Louis MUNY and Marriott Lincolnshire in Chicago. IG @alysha_des Twitter @alysha_d.

Tyler Hardwick (Storyteller) is thrilled be a part of Once On This Island! Broadway: Motown the Musical (Eddie Kendricks, Smokey Robinson u.s.); Tours: Dreamgirls (C.C. White); Motown the Musical (Norman Whitfield); New York: ACAPPELLA, the Musical (Jeremiah); Little Dancer (Gilbert); Popstar (Robby); Regional: RENT (Angel); You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown (Snoopy); Shrek the Musical; Hairspray. All of my love to my family and friends for your endless support! Instagram: @tylerhar Twitter: @tylerhardwick1

CASSONDRA JAMES (Storyteller) is delighted to be making her Broadway debut in Once On This Island. Recent credits include The First Noel with the Classical Theatre of Harlem. As a background vocalist, she has performed alongside a wide range of artists including Christina Aguilera, Wynton Marsalis, Cory Henry and the Funk Apostles, Kim Burrell, Laura Izibor, Ledisi, and Gladys Knight. She is currently finishing a PhD at the Graduate Center (CUNY). Website: www.CassondraJames.com

David Jennings (Armand) is thrilled to return to Broadway in this iconic production and once again work with Lynn and Stephen. Broadway: After Midnight, Hands On A Hardbody, Genius of Ray Charles (West End). Tours/Regional: Ragtime (Coalhouse), Dreamgirls (Curtis), Kinky Boots (Simon Sr.), Sister Act (Eddie), Waitress w/Sara Bareilles, Disney’s Freaky Friday (Mike), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Grammy Nom. for 30th Anniversary Recording). Television: “Blue Bloods,” “The Shield,” “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.” Follow me on Instagram @djmusicbiz.

Grasan Kingsberry (Storyteller) Emmy Award winner and eleventh Broadway production. Recently appeared in the Grammy and Tony Award winning Best Revival The Color Purple. Favorite Broadway credits include: Motown, Leap of Faith, Catch Me If You Can, Finian’s Rainbow, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Aida. Regional: One Night In Miami (Sam Cooke, Center Stage), Dreamgirls (Curtis, North Shore). TV/film: “Mozart In The Jungle,” “Royal Pains,” “Smash,” I Am Legend. BFA, Juilliard. Thanks: creator, family, FSE, and KBK. Follow: @gray_sandy.

Loren Lott (Storyteller) San Diego native. Clark Atlanta University alumna (BA, Mass Media Arts). “American Idol Top 16 in 2015. TV/FILM credits include “Tales,” “The Quad,” “Greenleaf” (Season 2 Soundtrack), “Powers,” “The Game, Fatal Attraction, Tag. BROADWAY AND REGIONAL THEATRE: Motown the Musical Broadway and National Tour (Diana Ross u/s, Gladys Knight, Esther), Ragtime (Sarah), Shrek the Musical (Fiona u/s), Once On This Island (Erzulie), Sweet Charity (Ursula/Carmen), The Princess and the Black-eyed Pea. @LorenSharice

Kenita R. Miller (Mama Euralie) Bway: The Color Purple (Celie), Xanadu (Erato/Kira understudy) Off B’way: Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin (Granny) Encores!, Bella: an American Tall Tale (Miss Cabbagestalk/Mama), Merrily We Roll Along (Encores!), Wild Party (Encores!), Langston In Harlem (Zora Neale Hurston -Drama Desk Nom./ Audelco Award), Working (Drama Desk Award), Avenue Q. Regional: Parade (Minnie McKnight, Angela/2014 Barrymore Award Outstanding Featured Actress), Once On This Island (Timoune/ Mama Euralie), Ragtime (Sarah) Film/TV: “Sesame Street,” “Hostages,” “Blacklist.” Follow me on Twitter! @miller_kenita

ISAAC POWELL (Daniel) is a 2017 graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. A native of Greensboro, North Carolina, he recently originated the title role of Nikola Tesla in Nikola Tesla Drops The Beat by Nikko Benson and Benjamin Halstead at the Adirondack Theatre Festival. @isaaccolepowell

T. Oliver Reid (Storyteller) is honored to celebrate show #12 with OOTI. BROADWAY: Sunset Boulevard, After Midnight, Sister Act, Mary Poppins, The Wedding Singer, La Cage Aux Folles, Chicago, Never Gonna Dance,Thoroughly Modern Millie, Follies, Kiss Me Kate. FILM/TV: “Sex & The City,” “Girls,” “Mercy.” “All things come of thee, O Lord…” Thanks to JLF, CTG, CLA. Proud AEA Member and prouder #OneOfMildredsKids www.Toliverreid.com

AureLia Williams (Storyteller). Past credits include B’way: In Transit; Off B’way: Sistas the Musical, They Wrote That; Nat’l Tours: All Shook Up, Ain’t Misbehavin’; Regional: Dreamgirls (Effie White ), Once On This Island (Asaka), Hairspray (Motormouth Maybelle), Kiss Me Kate (Hattie), Ragtime (Sarah’s Friend), Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (Jewel). Aurelia would like to thank her incredible family for their love and endless support!

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 award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. 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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2017 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at lia@liachang.com

Broadway To Dim Its Lights In Memory Of Award Winning Playwright Sam Shepard

CHICAGO cast on the set with Sam Shepard at the Public Theater in New York in 1996. Photo courtesy of Lia Chang
CHICAGO cast on the set with Sam Shepard at the Public Theater in New York in 1996. Photo courtesy of Lia Chang
CHICAGO cast on the set with Sam Shepard at the Public Theater in New York in 1996. Photo courtesy of Lia Chang

The Broadway community mourns the loss of celebrated playwright, actor and novelist Sam Shepard, who passed away on Thursday, July 27th at age 73. The marquees of Broadway theatres in New York will be dimmed in his memory on Wednesday, August 2nd, at exactly 7:45pm for one minute.

On Broadway, Sam Shepard debuted with his contribution to the musical revue Oh! Calcutta! (1969) followed by Operation Sidewinder (1970), a revival of Oh! Calcutta! (1976), Buried Child (1996), True West (2000), and Fool for Love (2015). He received Tony Award®nominations in 2000 for True West and 1996 for Buried Child, for which he also received the Pulitzer Prize.

“Sam Shepard was a prolific storyteller who created provocative, thoughtful, and exciting work for Broadway, off-Broadway, and film. His original voice was a definite draw for audiences and had an undeniable influence on other artists,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League. “He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and colleagues.”

Beyond his Tony Award nominations and additional Pulitzer Prize nominations for True West and Fool For Love, Mr. Shepard was the recipient of many distinguished honors including induction into the Theater Hall of Fame and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was awarded The PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award as a master American dramatist in 2009.

His screenwriting credits include Zabriskie Point; Paris, Texas; and Fool for Love; he wrote and directed the films Far North and Silent Tongue. His first novel “The One Inside” was published in February of 2017.

Mr. Shepard appeared in numerous films, including The Right Stuff (Academy Award nomination, Best Actor in a Supporting Role), Fool for Love, Crimes of the Heart, Baby Boom, Steel Magnolias, Bright Angel, The Notebook, Black Hawk Down, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Brothers, Safe House, and August: Osage County among many others. In 1999 he received Emmy and Golden Globe Award nominations for his performance in the TV movie “Dash and Lilly.” Most recently Mr. Shepard appeared in The Netflix original series “Bloodline.”

He is survived by his children, Jesse, Hannah, and Walker and his sisters, Sandy and Roxanne Rogers.

Louis Gossett, Jr., Ed Wheeler, Timothy Douglas, Dominique Morisseau, Ron Himes, Ron Simons, Thelma Pollard, Mabel Robinson, Gregory Horton, Allie Woods, Antoinette Tynes, Ed De Shae, Stephen Byrd, Alia Jones-Harvey, Corey Mitchell, Cleopatra Solomon, Wilbert T. Jenkins and More to be honored at the Opening Night Gala of the 2017 National Black Theatre Festival on July 31

Opening Night Gala

Purchase tickets through NCBRC office.

The Opening Night Gala of the 2017 Black National Theatre Festival takes place at  the Salem Ballroom – The Benton Convention Center 301 West Fifth Street, Winston Salem, NC. 

Please contact the NCBRC office to purchase ticket(s) for this event.

5:30 pm Opening Night Gala $265 (#1)
Tickets $265 per person, $2,650 per table seating (10)
6:30 pm Celebrity Procession
with NBTF Co-Chairs, Obba Babatunde and Anna Maria Horsford
6:45 pm Awards Presentation

2017 NATIONAL BLACK THEATRE FESTIVAL® HONOREES

Sidney Poitier Lifelong Achievement Award
Louis Gossett, Jr.

Larry Leon Hamlin Producer Award
Ron Himes

Emerging Producer Award
Ron Simons

August Wilson Playwright Award
Dominique Morisseau

Lloyd Richards Director Award
Timothy Douglas

Living Legend Award
Thelma Pollard • Mabel Robinson
Ed Wheeler • Allie Woods

Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design
Gregory Horton

Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design
Antoinette Tynes

Outstanding Achievement in Scenic Design
Chris Cumberbatch

Outstanding Achievement in Stage Management
Ed De Shae

Theatre Longevity Award
Paul Robeson Theatre, Buffalo, NY

Special Recognition Award
Stephen Byrd • Alia Jones-Harvey
Corey Mitchell • Cleopatra Solomon
The Negro Ensemble Company
The Late Walter Marshall (In Memoriam)

Marvtastic Philanthrophy Award
Wells Fargo

Theatre Arts & Humanitarian Award
Wilbert T. Jenkins

9:00 pm Five Guys Named Moe

An exuberant musical tribute celebrating “The King of the Jukebox,” singer and bandleader Louis Jordan. This exhilarating musical, set to Jordan’s iconic jump blues/jazz score is sure to “Let the good times roll!”

Location:  Steven Center at University of North Carolina School of the Arts

10:00 pm Celebrity Reception

Mix and mingle with the honorees, celebrity guests and other theatre patrons

Location:  Marriott Hotel

Festival History
Founded in Winston-Salem by the late Larry Leon Hamlin in 1989 and hosted by the North Carolina Black Repertory Company (NCBRC), NBTF is a biennial event with a purpose of uniting black theatre companies from around the world and ensuring the presence of this phenomenal genre. Mr. Leon Hamlin described the experience as “MARVTASTIC,” a combination of marvelous and fantastic! With the support of Dr. Maya Angelou, who served as the Festival’s first Chairperson, the National Black Theatre Festival was born. The ’89 Festival offered 30 performances by 17 of America’s best professional black theatre companies. It attracted national and international media coverage. According to The New York Times, “The 1989 National Black Theatre Festival was one of the most historic and culturally significant events in the history of black theatre and American theatre in general.” Over 10,000 people attended. Today that number reaches well over 65,000 attendees.

Ten years prior to starting the National Black Theatre Festival, Larry Leon Hamlin founded another black theater movement in Winston-Salem that is still present today. The North Carolina Black Repertory Company is the state’s first professional Black theater company. NCBRC is committed to introducing diverse audiences to Black classics, the development and production of new works, improving artistic quality, and sustaining Black theatre internationally. NCBRC was founded with the purpose of providing theatre professionals the opportunity to earn a living through their craft.

NCBRC presents three to four productions annually featuring members of its ensemble or through collaborations with other theatre companies from around the country. The annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration and the holiday presentation of Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity have become two of the Company’s staples. The critically acclaimed NCBRC production, Mahalia, Queen of Gospel (written and directed by Mabel Robinson, the company’s Artistic Director) was a National Black Theatre Festival showcase performance.

Garth Kravits, Meredith Inglesby, Farah Alvin, Jenny Lee Stern and More Set for Scott Siegel’s BROADWAY BY THE TEAR at Feinstein’s/54 Below on July 29

Garth Kravits Photo by Lia Chang
Garth Kravits Photo by Lia Chang
Garth Kravits
Photo by Lia Chang

Broadway by the Tear featuring Garth Kravits (The Drowsy Chaperone),  Farah Alvin (Nine, Saturday Night Fever, It Shoulda Been You), Mia Gerachis, Hunter Ryan Herdlicka (A Little Night Music), Meredith Inglesby (Beauty and the Beast), Philippa Lynas (Australian singing star), Pepe Nufrio (54 Sings Broadway’s Greatest Hits!).
Jenny Lee Stern (Forbidden Broadway, Rocky: The Musical, Spamilton),
Morissa Trunzo (Occasion for Sin) at Feinstein’s/54 Below on Saturday, July 29th at 9:30 PM is produced, written, and hosted by NY’s critically acclaimed impressario, Scott Siegel, who has created more than 300 major concerts around the world, including Town Hall’s signature series, Broadway by the Year. Siegel has also written, directed, and produced concerts for Michael Feinstein. Siegel is the creator of the long-running smash hit series, 54 Sings Broadway’s Greatest Hits.

Click hear for more about the cast.

There is nothing like a great torch song. The reason: we’ve all been there! We know what those emotions feel like and Broadway’s great composers take you back to that volcanic emotional moment when life and love combine in a tear-jerking chord that resonates with your soul. And we’ve got a whole show of those sensational songs! You’ll hear songs like Gershwin’s “But Not for Me,” Irving Berlin’s “What’ll I Do?, Jerry Herman’s “I Won’t Send Roses,” Stephen Sondheim’s “Losing My Mind,” and so many others from across the history of Broadway. And what great torch songs require are equally great performers and they will be drawn from the first ranks of our Broadway and nightclub stars.

Feinstein’s/54 Below is located at 254 W 54th St. Cellar, NYC 10019

Click here for tickets.

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 award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. 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.

Photos: Jeffrey Schecter, Ali Ewoldt, Mark Linn-Baker, John Tartaglia, Marcus Choi, Lainie Sakakura and More in A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM at The Muny 

The cast in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is currently playing at The Muny through July 11th. Supported by a sensational company of Muny and Broadway stars, Jeffrey Schecter (Pseudolus), gave an awe-inspiring performance after stepping into the lead role just 3 days before opening.

Jeffrey Schecter in A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM
Jeffrey Schecter in A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM

Considered one of Broadway’s greatest farces, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum follows Pseudolus, a crafty slave, as he aids his master in winning the hand of Philia, a slow-witted, but sweet courtesan, in exchange for his freedom. This musical romp through Rome includes scheming neighbors, secrets behind every toga and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

Justin Keyes, Tommy Scrivens, Marcus Choi and Jeffrey Schecter in A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Justin Keyes, Tommy Scrivens, Marcus Choi and Jeffrey Schecter in A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.

The full cast includes: Jeffrey Schecter (Pseudolus), John Tartaglia (Hysterium), Ali Ewoldt (Philia), Mark Linn-Baker (Senex), E. Faye Butler (Domina), Jason Kravits (Lycus), Marrick Smith (Hero), Nathaniel Hackmann (Miles Gloriosus), Whit Reichert (Erronius) and Marcus Choi, Justin Keyes and Tommy Scrivens (Proteans) joined by a comedic ensemble that includes Justina Aveyard, Molly Callinan, Emily Hsu, Khori Michelle Petinaud, Katelyn Prominski and Lainie Sakakura.

E. Faye Butler, MarRick Smith and John Tartaglia
E. Faye Butler, Marrick Smith and John Tartaglia in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.

A noteworthy design team spearheads this production with direction by Gary Griffin, choreography by Alex Sanchez, music direction by Brad Haak, scenic design by Timothy R. Mackabee, costume design by Mara Blumenfeld, lighting design by Rob Denton, sound design by John Shivers and David Patridge, wig design by John Metzner, with production stage manager Cody Renard Richard.

The company in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
The company in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.

Tickets are now available at The Muny Box Office, or online at muny.org.

Katelyn Prominski, Jeffrey Schecter and Tommy Scrivens in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Katelyn Prominski, Jeffrey Schecter and Tommy Scrivens in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Molly Callinan and Jeffrey Schecter in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Molly Callinan and Jeffrey Schecter in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
The cast of The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
The cast of The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Jason Kravits, Jeffrey Schecter and Marrick Smith in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Jason Kravits, Jeffrey Schecter and Marrick Smith in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Mark Linn-Baker and Ali Ewoldt in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Mark Linn-Baker and Ali Ewoldt in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
John Tartaglia, Mark Linn-Baker and Jeffrey Schecter in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
John Tartaglia, Mark Linn-Baker and Jeffrey Schecter in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
The cast in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
The cast in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Tommy Scrivens, Jeffrey Schecter and Nathaniel Hackmann in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Tommy Scrivens, Jeffrey Schecter and Nathaniel Hackmann in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Whit Reichert, Nathaniel Hackmann and Jeffrey Schecter in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Whit Reichert, Nathaniel Hackmann and Jeffrey Schecter in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Marrick Smith and Ali Ewoldt in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Marrick Smith and Ali Ewoldt in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Marrick Smith and Ali Ewoldt in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Marrick Smith and Ali Ewoldt in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
The cast in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
The cast in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Jeffrey Schecter and the cast in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Jeffrey Schecter and the cast in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.

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 award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. 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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2017 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at lia@liachang.com

Jeffrey Schecter Joins A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM at The Muny, July 5 – 11

Ali Ewoldt, Emily Hsu, Lainie Sakakura, Marcus Choi and Justina Aveyard. Photo courtesy of Marcus Choi

Jeffrey Schecter will star as Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at The Muny, the third production of its 99th season, which plays July 5-11. Schecter replaces Peter Scolari, who struggled with allergies during rehearsals that resulted in extreme vocal stress and a severe sinus infection.

Jeffrey Schecter
Jeffrey Schecter

Schecter, who thrilled Muny audiences as the hilariously entertaining Scuttle in last week’s production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, steps into the role of Pseudolus. He also has had featured roles in the Broadway productions of A Chorus Line, Fiddler on the Roof, and Nice Work if You Can Get It, as well as the current hit CBS series “The Good Fight.”

Ali Ewoldt, Emily Hsu, Lainie Sakakura, Marcus Choi and Justina Aveyard. Photo courtesy of Marcus Choi
Ali Ewoldt, Emily Hsu, Lainie Sakakura, Marcus Choi and Justina Aveyard. Photo courtesy of Marcus Choi

Schecter joins the previously announced John Tartaglia (Hysterium), Ali Ewoldt (Philia), Mark Linn-Baker (Senex), E. Faye Butler (Domina), Jason Kravits (Lycus), MarRick Smith(Hero), Nathaniel Hackmann (Miles Gloriosus), Whit Reichert (Erronius) and Marcus Choi, Justin Keyes and Tommy Scrivens (Proteans). This comic ensemble includes Justina Aveyard, Molly Callinan, Emily Hsu, Khori Michelle Petinaud, Katelyn Prominski and Lainie Sakakura.

Forum is directed by Gary Griffin, with choreography by Alex Sanchez, music direction by Brad Haak, scenic design by Timothy R. Mackabee, costume design by Mara Blumenfeld, lighting design by Rob Denton, sound design by John Shivers and David Patridge, wig design by John Metzner, with production stage manager Cody Renard Richard.

The Muny is located at 1 Theatre Dr, St. Louis, MO 63112. Click here to purchase tickets.

Peter Scolari, Ali Ewoldt, John Tartaglia, Mark Linn-Baker, Marcus Choi, Lainie Sakakura, Justina Aveyard, Emily Hsu and More set for The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, July 5-11 

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Ann Harada, Devin Ilaw, Daniel Marcus, Deb Radloff and Rachel Hardin Set for Concert Reading of THE NEW PEGGY at the Green Room 42 on July 16

Ann Harada and Devin Ilaw.

THE NEW PEGGY, the new musical by Drew Larimore (Book & Lyrics) and Jonathan Larson Award Winner J. Oconer Navarro (Music & Lyrics) will be performed at Manhattan’s Green Room 42 during a July 16 concert reading.

Ann Harada, (AVENUE Q, CINDERELLA, PACIFIC OVERTURES) takes on the title role and leads the cast which also includes Daniel Marcus (URINETOWN, ADDING MACHINE), Devin Ilaw (MISS SAIGON, LES MISERABLES), Deb Radloff and Rachel Hardin.

Based on the original play by Larimore, 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, Harry. This particular Monday starts as any other … but something is wrong: Harry is running away with Velna, the gold-digging Latvian vamp from Accounting. With the assistance of her best friends — Rita, a manila envelope, and Eugene, a rusty stapler — and armed with her daily, frozen baked potato, Peggy decides to take matters into her own hands. But at what cost?

The evening is directed by Helen Hayes Award Winner Jessica Beth Redish. Composer/Lyricist Navarro, well known for his music direction (FIRST DAUGHTER SUITE, IOWA), will be behind the piano leading the cast and small ensemble which includes instrumentalists E. Zoe Hassman (Cello) and Justin Vance (Reeds).

Tickets, priced at $15, are available here. The Green Room 42 is located on the fourth floor of the Yotel Hotel (570 10th Avenue). More information on THE NEW PEGGY can be found at thenewpeggy.com.

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 award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. 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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2017 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at lia@liachang.com

HAMLET, Starring Oscar Isaac, Keegan-Michael Key, Roberta Colindrez, Peter Friedman, Gayle Rankin, Matthew Saldívar and Anatol Yusef,  Kicks off Previews at The Public Theater tonight

Oscar Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

The Public Theater’s production of Hamlet featuring Golden Globe Award winner Oscar Isaac as the tormented Danish Prince, begins previews tonight, June 20, and runs through Sunday, September 3 in the Anspacher Theater, with an official press opening on Thursday, July 13.Tony Award winner Sam Gold directs.

Oscar Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Oscar Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast of Hamlet features Roberta Colindrez (Rosencrantz); Peter Friedman (Polonius); Oscar Isaac (Hamlet); Keegan-Michael Key (Horatio); Gayle Rankin (Ophelia, Second Gravedigger); Matthew Saldívar (Guildenstern); and Anatol Yusef (Laertes). Complete casting will be announced at a later date.

“Oscar Isaac starred in the first show I produced at the Delacorte, Two Gents in the summer of 2005. His Romeo two years later was more proof of his brilliance,” said Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. “Sam Gold’s production of Fun Home was one of the most extraordinary directorial feats I’ve ever produced. The prospect of the two of them collaborating on what is arguably the greatest play ever written is joyous.”

Oscar Isaac returns to The Public in this electrifyingly intimate new production of Shakespeare’s eternal drama. Isaac is the prince caught between thought and action, anger and anguish as his uncle assumes the throne left vacant by his murdered father. As the dead king calls to him from the grave, demanding to be avenged, Hamlet is forced to choose between bearing the oppressor’s wrong or taking arms against a sea of troubles. Tony Award winner Sam Gold directs theater’s most powerful tragedy about life and death, madness and conscience, and corruption-of the state and of the soul.

Hamlet features scenic design by David Zinn; costume design by Kaye Voyce; lighting design by Mark Barton; sound design by Bray Poor; and musical direction, composition, and performance by cellist Ernst Reijseger.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Sam Gold (Director) directed Fun Home for The Public, as well as the Broadway transfer, earning him a Tony Award. Fun Home is currently on its national tour. His recent credits include Othello (NYTW); The Flick (Barrow Street, Playwrights Horizons, Royal National Theater London, Lortel nomination); The Glass Menagerie (Toneelgroepe Amsterdam); John (Signature Theater; Obie Award, Drama Desk Nomination); The Mystery of Love & Sex (Lincoln Center Theater); The Village Bike (MCC); The Realistic Joneses (Broadway, Yale Rep, CT Critics Circle Award); Uncle Vanya (Soho Rep, Drama Desk nomination); Cradle Will Rock (Encores! Off-Center); Kin (Playwrights Horizons); The Big Meal (Playwrights Horizons, Lortel Award); Look Back in Anger (Roundabout, Lortel nomination); Seminar (Broadway, Ahmanson LA); Circle Mirror Transformation (Playwrights Horizons; Drama Desk nomination, Obie Award); The Aliens(Rattlestick, Obie Award). He is a resident director at Roundabout Theatre Company. Training: Juilliard.

Roberta Colindrez (Rosencrantz) recently appeared at The Public in Fun Home, as well as on Broadway, in the Public Lab production, and at the Sundance Lab. Her theater credits include Mala Hierba at Second Stage Uptown; and she is a writer, performer, and director for New York Neo-Futurists. Her film and television credits include Birdman, Devon in “I Love Dick” on Amazon, Tako in “Girls,” “Boardwalk Empire,” and “Gotham.”

Peter Friedman (Polonius). His New York Theater credits include Her Requiem, The Nether, Jacuzzi, Fly By Night, The Open House, The Hatmaker’s Wife, End Days, Circle Mirror Transformation, Body Awareness, Uncle Vanya, The Shaggs, After the Revolution, The Great God Pan, The Slug Bearers of Kayrol Island, The Heidi Chronicles, Ragtime, The Common Pursuit, A Soldier’s Play, and a Nightingale Sang…, The Loman Family Picnic, Twelve Angry Men. His film and television credits include The Savages, Safe, Single White Female, The Messenger, Breaking Upwards, Love and Other Drugs, “The Muppet Show,” “Brooklyn Bridge,” “The Affair,” “High Maintenance,” and “The Path.”

Oscar Isaac (Hamlet) appeared at The Public as Romeo in the Shakespeare in the Park production of Romeo and Juliet and as Proteus in Two Gentleman of Verona. Additionally, he has appeared on the stage in Grace at MCC, directed by Joe Hardy; Beauty of the Father at MTC, directed by Michael Greif; and We Live Here at MTC, directed by Sam Gold. He gained critical acclaim, a Golden Globe nomination, and an Independent Spirit Award for “Best Male Lead” for Inside Llewyn Davis. Isaac went on to receive a Golden Globe Award for “Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film” and a Critics’ Choice Television Award nomination for “Best Actor in a Movie or Miniseries” for his role in HBO’s “Show Me A Hero.” Most recently he starred as Poe Dameron in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and can be seen in the next episode, Star Wars: The Last Jedi. His additional recent credits include A Most Violent Year, for which he earned the National Board of Review Award for “Best Actor”; Ex Machina; X-Men: Apocalyse. He recently finished filming The Promise with Christian Bale and Annihilation with Natalie Portman.

Keegan-Michael Key (Horatio) is an Emmy and Peabody-Award winning actor, writer, and creator best known for his role as co-creator and co-star of Comedy Central’s “Key and Peele.” He is making his New York Theater debut with Hamlet at The Public. He was recently seen on film in Mike Birbiglia’s Don’t Think Twice and in 20th Century Fox’s holiday comedy Why Him? opposite Bryan Cranston and James Franco. Key is currently in production on Shane Black’s The Predator. He will next be seen in Joe Swanberg’s film Win It All, premiering on Netflix on March 24. He has also lent his vocal talents to such films as Storks and Angry Birds and will be heard in the upcoming Sony Pictures Animation’s The Star. His additional upcoming roles include Nick Stoller’s Netflix series “Friends from College,” and his other TV credits include six seasons on “MadTV,” “Playing House,” “Children’s Hospital,” “Parks and Recreation,” and “Gary Unmarried.” Key was named among Time Magazine’s “Most Influential People of 2014” and Entertainment Weekly’s “Entertainers of the Year of 2012.” He is a veteran of Detroit and Chicago’s The Second City Theater, and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Detroit-Mercy, and his Master of Fine Arts in Theater from Pennsylvania State University.

Gayle Rankin (Ophelia, Second Gravedigger) has previously appeared in The Public’s Shakespeare in the Park production of The Taming of the Shrew directed by Phyllida Lloyd. She will soon be seen in the highly anticipated Netflix original series “Glow,” created by Jenji Kohan of “Orange Is the New Black” and the Noah Baumbach film Yeh Din Ka Kissa. New York Theatre credits include Fraulein Cost in Cabaret on Broadway, directed by Sam Mendes; Tribes at the Barrow Street Theatre, directed by David Cromer; and The Mystery of Love & Sex at Lincoln Center Theater, directed by Sam Gold. Rankin is a graduate of Juilliard, Group 40.

MATTHEW SALDÍVAR (Guildenstern) is currently playing Tony Cavendish in Rachel Chavkin’s production of The Royal Family. He played Hermes in Ms. Chavkin’s production of Hadestown at New York Theater Workshop. Other recent credits include Daphne’s Dive at Signature Theater directed by Thomas Kail and MTC’s Important Hats of the 20th Century directed by Moritz Von Stulpnagel. Broadway credits include Black Stache in Peter and the Starcatcher, Act One, Honeymoon In Vegas, Streetcar…, Grease, and The Wedding Singer.

Anatol Yusef (Laertes). His stage work encompasses a range of productions both in the U.K. and U.S. Shakespeare roles include extensive work with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet, and the titular role in Richard III. Best known for playing Meyer Lansky on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” and the U.K.’s acclaimed Channel 4 mini-series “Southcliffe,” Yusef most recently appeared on AMC’s “Preacher” and the film Bastille Day. He trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

The Public Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director Oskar Eustis and Executive Director Patrick Willingham, is the only theater in New York that produces Shakespeare, the classics, musicals, contemporary and experimental pieces in equal measure. In over 10 years at The Public, Eustis has created new community-based initiatives designed to engage audiences like Public Lab, Public Studio, Public Forum, Public Works, and a remount of the Mobile Unit. The Public continues the work of its visionary founder, Joe Papp, by acting as an advocate for the theater as an essential cultural force, and by leading and framing dialogue on some of the most important issues of our day. Creating theater for one of the largest and most diverse audience bases in New York City for nearly 60 years, today the Company engages audiences in a variety of venues-including its landmark downtown home at Astor Place, which houses five theaters and Joe’s Pub; the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, home to Free Shakespeare in the Park; and the Mobile Unit, which tours Shakespearean productions for underserved audiences throughout New York City’s five boroughs. The Public’s wide range of programming includes Free Shakespeare in the Park, the bedrock of the Company’s dedication to making theater accessible to all; Public Works, an expanding initiative that is designed to cultivate new connections and new models of engagement with artists, audiences, and the community each year; and audience and artist development initiatives that range from the Emerging Writers Group to the Public Forum series. The Public’s work is also seen on tour throughout the U.S. and internationally and in collaborations and co-productions with regional and international theaters. The Public is located on property owned by the City of New York and receives annual support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. In October 2012 the landmark building downtown at Astor Place was revitalized to physically manifest the Company’s core mission of sparking new dialogues and increasing accessibility for artists and audiences, by dramatically opening up the building to the street and community, and transforming the lobby into a public piazza for artists, students, and audiences. The Public is currently represented on Broadway by the Tony Award-winning acclaimed American musical Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda and in spring 2017, Lynn Nottage’s acclaimed new play Sweat. The Public has received 59 Tony Awards, 168 Obie Awards, 53 Drama Desk Awards, 54 Lortel Awards, 32 Outer Critics Circle Awards, 13 New York Drama Critics Awards, and five Pulitzer Prizes. Visit http://www.publictheater.org.

Dramatists Guild to Present Paula Vogel with 2016 Hull-Warriner Award

Paula Vogel
Paula Vogel
Paula Vogel

The Dramatists Guild of America Council has selected Paula Vogel as the recipient of the 2016 Hull-Warriner Award, for her play Indecent which garnered two 2017 Tony Awards this year -Rebecca Taichman for Best Director of a Play and Christopher Akerlind for Best Lighting Design of a Play. Indecent was also nominated for Best Play.

Paula Vogel’s Tony-Winning INDECENT Ends Broadway Run on June 25; Set for Theaters in the U.S. and Internationally

The other finalists for the Hull-Warriner Award, were Itamar Moses and David Yazbek for The Band’s Visit; Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul for Dear Evan Hansen; J.T. Rogers for Oslo; George C. Wolfe for Shuffle Along, or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed; and Lynn Nottage for Sweat. This is Paula Vogel’s second Hull-Warriner Award – her first was for the Pulitzer Prize-winning How I Learned to Drive in 1997.

The Hull-Warriner Award is the only award given by playwrights to playwrights, and is presented annually to an American author or authors selected by the Dramatists Guild of America Council honoring a work or works dealing with social, political or religious mores of the time. The award will be presented to Paula Vogel at a Guild celebration in October.

“We are thrilled to present the Hull-Warriner Award to Paula Vogel and her stirring and brilliant work, Indecent. The award is a testament to her power and is a celebration of her gifts by some of her biggest supporters – fellow artists, craftsmen, and colleagues,” said Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, DG Council member and Awards Committee chair.

Elizabeth Hull, a playwright and former production associate of the Theatre Guild and the Federal Theatre, established the award through her will. Kate Warriner, an actress, was a long-time friend and associate of Ms. Hull. The award has been given since 1971.

Past Hull-Warriner winners include Stephen Adly Guirgis, Edward Albee, David Auburn, Annie Baker, Philip Hayes Dean, Christopher Durang, Margaret Edson, Harvey Fierstein, John Guare, Adam Guettel & Craig Lucas, David Ives, John Kander & David Thompson, Stephen Karam, Larry Kramer, Tony Kushner, Shirley Lauro, John Leguizamo, Tracy Letts, David Mamet, Emily Mann, Donald Margulies, Terrence McNally, Scott McPherson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Marsha Norman, Bruce Norris, Lynn Nottage, Dael Orlandersmith, Miguel Pinero, David Rabe, Ronald Ribman, Steven Sater & Duncan Sheik, John Patrick Shanley, Martin Sherman, Stephen Sondheim & Hugh Wheeler, Joseph A. Walker, Wendy Wasserstein, August Wilson, George C. Wolfe and Doug Wright.

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. 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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2017 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at lia@liachang.com

CURVY WIDOW, Starring Nancy Opel, Alan Muraoka, Andrea Bianchi and More, Set for Off-Broadway Run at Westside Theatre 

Aisha de Haas, Chris Shyer, Nancy Opel, Alan Muraoka, Andrea Bianchi and Elizabeth Ward Land. Photo by T. Charles Erickson

Curvy Widow, a new musical comedy with a book by Bobby Goldman, music and lyrics by Drew Brody (Broadway: Oh Hello; Cutman), and directed by Peter Flynn (Rhapsody in Seth; Two Rooms), will play an open-ended engagement at the Westside Theatre (407 West 43rd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues), beginning July 20. Opening night is set for August 3.

Photo Flash: First Look at Nancy Opel and More in CURVY WIDOW at George Street Playhouse
Aisha de Haas, Chris Shyer, Ken LandNancy Opel and Alan Muraoka. Photo by  T. Charles Erickson

Following critical and audience acclaim at North Carolina Stage Company, Curvy Widow recently played a limited engagement at the George Street Playhouse.

Photo Flash: First Look at Nancy Opel and More in CURVY WIDOW at George Street Playhouse
Nancy Opel. Photo by T. Charles Erickson

Starring Tony Award nominee Nancy Opel (Broadway: Honeymoon In Vegas, Urinetown; The Toxic Avenger) as Curvy Widow, this sassy, frank and witty new musical comedy takes us through the semi-autobiographical adventures of a gutsy, recently widowed 50-something woman as she immerses herself in the modern dating scene. From exploring internet personal ads and surviving hilarious first dates, to weighing the pros and cons of married vs unmarried men, this widowromps her way through it all with humor and perseverance, and discovers unexpected truths about love, life and sex. Featuring a brilliant cast of best friends, a dead husband, and a myriad of potential suitors – Curvy learns the hard way what it means to start life over in the modern age.

Elizabeth Ward Land, Andrea Bianchi, Aisha de Haas, Chris Shyer and Nancy Opel. Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Elizabeth Ward Land, Andrea Bianchi, Aisha de Haas, Chris Shyer and Nancy Opel. Photo by T. Charles Erickson

Joining Opel in Curvy Widow will be Andrea Bianchi (TV’s “As The World Turns”), Aisha de Haas (Broadway: Rent; Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk), Elizabeth Ward Land (Broadway: The Scarlet Pimpernel, Memphis), Ken Land (Broadway: The Scarlet Pimpernel; Promises, Promises), Alan Muraoka (TV’s “Sesame Street,” Broadway: Miss Saigon) and Chris Shyer (Broadway: Mamma Mia!, National Tour: The Book of Mormon).

Aisha de Haas, Chris Shyer, Nancy Opel, Alan Muraoka, Andrea Bianchi and Elizabeth Ward Land. Photo by T. Charles Erickson
Aisha de Haas, Chris Shyer, Nancy Opel, Alan Muraoka, Andrea Bianchi and Elizabeth Ward Land. Photo by T. Charles Erickson

Curvy Widow features choreography by Marcos Santana (On Your Feet – Assoc. Choreographer/Tony Nomination, Rocky – Assoc. Choreographer/Tony Nomination), scenic design by Rob Bissinger (Broadway: Kristin Chenoweth: My Love Letter To Broadway, Spiderman Turn off the Dark – Assoc, Scenic Designer), costume design by Brian Hemesath (Broadway: Honeymoon In Vegas, “Sesame Street”), lighting design by Matthew Richards (Twelth Night, Ann) and sound design by Ryan Rumery and M. Florian Staab (Broadway: Fool For Love). Andrew Sotomayor (Cutman, This is 30) serves as musical director with orchestrations, arrangements and Music Supervision by Wayne Barker(Broadway: Peter and the Starcatcher, Dame Edna: Back with a Vengeance). Casting is by Stewart/Whitley.

Curvy Widow is produced by Jayne Baron Sherman, Trish Santini/Jennifer Melin Miller and Allen & Marie Wolpert by arrangement with Raoulfilm. Aaron Lustbader/Foresight Theatrical serves as Executive Producer.

For more information about the show, visit www.CurvyWidow.com.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS:

Bobby Goldman (book) given this show is Bobby’s story, she believes no bio is required. But, this is her off-Broadway debut, so she has to have one! Beyond her acumen in the dating scene, she is a world-class chef, interior designer & contractor, and boxer. Her other theatrical projects in development include: Wilshire, another collaboration with composer/lyricist, Drew Brody and Speed Trap with Nashville-based composer/lyricist, Michael Webb. Bobby is the widow of Academy Award winning screenwriter/playwright, James Goldman.

Drew Brody (music and lyrics) is a New York City-based songwriter who brings his experience in the rock, pop, and folk music world to his musical theater sensibility. His unique background allows him to work comfortably across many genres, and his songs have been sung by Broadway stars including Alan Cumming, Beth Malone, Robert Cuccioli, Sally Mayes, Lilli Cooper, Justin Sargent, Adrienne Warren, and many more. Drew wrote music for the comedy Oh, Hello, starring Nick Kroll and John Mulaney and directed by Alex Timbers, which opened on Broadway October 2016; music and lyrics for Cutman, produced by Goodspeed Theaters in the spring of 2011; Derma, which ran at the Piccolo Spoleto festival in 2013; Wilshire, book by Bobby Goldman; Mudge Boy, an adaptation of the Showtime movie, adapted by Brett Smock; and two other new musicals currently in development. Drew wrote and recorded two albums with Richard Rodgers award-winning composer Derek Gregor as the rock band M-LAB, with which Drew performed as lead singer and toured during the 2000s. Drew also released two solo albums on Baskethouse Records and co-produced two albums for songwriter Jay Brannan. Recently, Drew composed the score for the acclaimed film, Stephen Winter’s Jason and Shirley, and released an EP, A Little Single, in collaboration with fellow singer-songwriter Lance Horne.

Peter Flynn (Director) has recent credits including the off-Broadway premiere of Marcy Heisler’s & Zina Goldrich’s Junie B’s Essential Survival Guide to School; the world premiere of Willy Holtzman’s new play, Smart Blonde at Pittsburgh’s City Theatre starring Andréa Burns; and the upcoming production of Ragtime at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. where he is an Associate Artist. New York credits include On the 20th Century with Douglas Sills & Marin Mazzie; Chess with Josh Groban, Adam Pascal, Sutton Foster & Julia Murney; Funny Girl with Whoopi Goldberg, & Andrea Martin; Skippyjon Jones, & Junie B. Jones (nominated for two Lucille Lortel Awards including Best Musical), Rhapsody in Seth – Actors’ Playhouse starring Seth Rudetsky. Regional credits include Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop; Gypsy at the St. Louis MUNY; Kiss Me, Kate for the Maltz-Jupiter Theatre where he has directed productions of Man of LaMancha (Carbonell Award, Best Director & Best Musical), & Other Desert Cities; and 1776 & The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee for Ford’s Theatre. Peter is the director of Musical Theatre for the Stella Adler Studio for Acting & is on the faculty of Adler’s NYU Tisch Division. He is also a graduate of Northwestern University.

Marcos Santana (Choreographer) is a New York based choreographer, director, performer and educator. Broadway: On Your Feet (Assoc. Choreographer/Tony Nomination), Rocky (Assoc. Choreographer/Tony Nomination), Guys & Dolls (Assoc. Choreographer). Off-Broadway: Brazil Brazil (New Victory Theater), Randy Newman’s Faust (City Center Encores), Mr. Magoo’s A Christmas Carol (BCEFA), Fortress Of Solitude (Public Theater, Assoc. Choreographer), Paul Simon’s Capeman (Delacorte Theater, Assoc. Choreographer). Other: Pirates Of Penzance (Stratford Shakespeare Festival), Much Ado About Nothing, My Fair Lady, Guys & Dolls, In The Heights (2009 Gypsy of the Year), A Christmas Carol (Arkansas Rep), Rock Of Ages National Tour/West End/Vegas (Assoc. Choreographer) and Man Of La Mancha (STC).

Nancy Opel (Bobby Goldman). Broadway: Beautiful, Honeymoon in Vegas, Memphis, Gypsy, Fiddler on the Roof, Urinetown (Tony Award nomination), Triumph of Love, Anything Goes, Sunday in the Park with George , Evita, and others. Recent: Curvy Window, Prince of Broadway (Japan), Follies (St.Louis Rep). Off-Broadway: Toxic Avenger, My Deah, Polish Joke at MTC; Mere Mortals, All in the Timing, and others. National Tour: The Drowsy Chaperone. TV: “The Big C” and various” Law & Order(s)”. www.nancyopel.com

Andrea Bianchi (Caroline & others) is so pleased to be making her GSP debut in Curvy Widow having recently returned from its run at North Carolina Stage. New York: Being Audrey (Transport Group), Italian-American Reconciliation (Manhattan Theatre Club), Lusting After Pipino’s Wife (Primary Stages) and Cocoanuts (American Place Theatre). Regional: Guthrie Theatre (Babes in Arms), Berkshire Theatre Festival (High Spirits), Eugene O’Neill Theater Center (Bubbly Black Girl), as well as productions at Barter Theatre, Riverside Theater, Syracuse Stage, Maltz Jupiter, Premiere Stages, Stamford Center for the Arts, etc. TV: Several appearances on “Law & Order” and “Law & Order: SVU,” “Here & Now” (NBC), and shows for TruTV, Disney, Nickelodeon and “As The World Turns” (recurring). Thanks to this amazing team, particularly Peter, Bobby and Drew for bringing me on board. Thank you Renee and Joe. www.Andrea-Bianchi.com

Aisha de Haas (Joan & others) has most recently been seen as Medda Larkin in the first National Tour of Disney’s Newsies and is featured in the “live-capture” movie (2017). Broadway: Caroline Or Change, Rent, Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk, and off-Broadway in Nora Ephron’s Love, Loss And What I Wore and Stephen Sondheim’s Road Show. TV and film appearances include “Shades Of Blue,” “Blue Bloods,” “Law and Order,” “Law and Order: SVU,” “Third Watch,” “Ed,” “The Today Show,” Across The Universe, Rent the Film, The Secret Lives Of Dentists, Marci X. She’s toured the United States and Europe in Dreamgirls, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Little Shop Of Horrors and as a backing vocalist for Patti Austin and Oleta Adams. Other appearances include her own jazz/cabaret show performed at Birdland Jazz Club, Town Hall (New York and Chicago), The Green Mill and jazz clubs and festivals around the country.

Elizabeth Ward Land (Heidi & others). Broadway: original cast of Amazing Grace, Scandalous, and The Scarlet Pimpernel (all three versions); Memphis, Passion, City of Angels. Tours: The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Les Miserables, Prisoner of Second Avenue, Singin’ in the Rain. Off-Broadway: Southern Comfort, The Green Heart, Hello Again, Chess. Regional: The Old Globe, Goodspeed, TheatreWorks, Alliance, Sacramento Music Circus, Pasadena Playhouse, Asolo Rep, Musical Theatre West, Barrington Stage. Film/TV: “Young Adult,” “Boy Meets Girl,” “Bride Tribe,” “Elementary,” “The Blacklist,” “Madam Secretary,’ “Law & Order: SVU,” “Boardwalk Empire,” “The Amanda Show”. Debut CD, First Harvest, available on iTunes. www.ElizabethWardLand.com

Ken Land (Jim & others). Broadway: Promises, Promises; The Scarlet Pimpernel (all three versions), Victor/Victoria and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Off-Broadway: The Gig, Little Shop of Horrors and The Death of Von Richthofen as Witnessed from Earth. National Tours: Legally Blonde, Sweet Charity (directed by Bob Fosse), The Secret Garden, Evita (directed by Harold Prince). Regional Theatre: The Old Globe, Goodspeed, Portland Center Stage, Matrix Theatre, Pittsburgh CLO, The MUNY, Merrimack Repertory, Indiana Repertory, Passage Theatre. TV: “The Good Wife,” “Boston Legal,” “Six Feet Under,” “Law & Order(s),” “Malcolm in the Middle,” “Strong Medicine,” “Back to Me and You,” “Judging Amy,” “The District,” “Crossing Jordan” and “Star Trek: Voyager”.

Alan Muraoka (The Shrink & others). Broadway: Aladdin, Pacific Overtures, The King and I, Miss Saigon, My Favorite Year, Shogun, Mail. Tours and Regional: M. Butterfly, Anything Goes, Kennedy Center, Cincinnati Playhouse, ALLIANCE THEATRE, North Shore, Olney Theatre, MUNY, Human Race Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Festival, & Lyric Theatre OKC. Television: “Sesame Street” (18 seasons), “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Louie,” “30 Rock,” “Brotherhood,” “Late Night with David Letterman”. Film: It Could Happen To You. Concerts: Hollywood Bowl (w/Pink Martini), Carnegie Hall (Celebration of Jim Henson), Sesame Street w/ The Boston Pops. Graduate of UCLA. Thank you Peter, Bobby and the Curvy Family. For Herb. Website: www.alanmuraoka.tv. Instagram: @alanathoopers

Chris Shyer (Per Se & others) is a Canadian-born actor and dual citizen making his GSP debut. Broadway: Mamma Mia (Winter Garden Theatre). His off-Broadway/regional credits include Going Down Swingin’ (NYMF), Lend Me a Tenor (Hangar Theatre), The Good Life (NoHo Arts Center). He’s also appeared in the national tours of The Book of Mormon and Les Miserables. Selected Canadian Theatre: Night of the Iguana (Playwright’s Theatre Centre), El Salvador (The Cultch), Sunset Boulevard (The Ford Centre for the Performing Arts). Film and television credits include The Hermit (soon to be released), J.Edgar, Fierce People, Awkward (Short), “Those Damn Canadians” (award-winning web series), “Good God,” “The Good Wife,” “ABC’s V” and “Lights Out,” and “Tin Star” for Sky Atlantic/British TV.

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. 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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2017 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at lia@liachang.com

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