Second Stage to Honor 40 Alums Including Thom Sesma, Liza Colón-Zayas, Charlayne Woodard, Celia Keenan-Bolger and More on May 6

Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang
Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang
Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang

Second Stage Theater will host its 40th Birthday Gala on Monday, May 6 at Hammerstein Ballroom (311 W 34th Street). In celebration of this milestone, Second Stage will honor 40 actors for their continued collaboration with the institution – from its first productions to today.

The honorees, all of whom have appeared in at least two Second Stage productions, include Brooke Adams, Kevin Bacon, David Aaron Baker, David Wilson Barnes, Derrick Baskin, Annette Bening, Emily Bergl, Reed Birney, Stephanie J. Block, Tracee Chimo, Liza Colón-Zayas, Quincy Dunn-Baker, Frankie R. Faison, Halley Feiffer, Daniel Gerroll, John Glover, Daniel Eric Gold, Tony Goldwyn, Robyn Goodman, Ari Graynor, Judith Ivey, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Brian Kerwin, Christine Lahti, Kristolyn Lloyd, Marsha Mason, James McDaniel, Lindsay Mendez, Kathy Najimy, Manu Narayan, Cynthia Nixon, Rory O’Malley, Kellie Overbey, Annie Parisse, Susan Pourfar, Katharine Powell, Maria Elena Ramirez, Armando Riesco, Thomas Sadoski, Sherie Rene Scott, Thom Sesma, Jennifer Laura Thompson, Julie White, Betsy Wolfe and Charlayne Woodard.

The evening will include a one-night only show and the event will be Co-Chaired by Second Stage Theater’s Board of Trustees.

The gala begins at 6:30pm with cocktails and party games, followed by dinner at 7:30pm and a 9:00pm performance. Tickets for cocktails, dinner and the performance are priced from $1,500 – $5,000 and tables are available for $15,000 – $40,000. All funds raised support and sustain Second Stage Theater’s artistic programs.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.2st.com/support-us/gala.

Hazel Anne Raymundo Featured in Developmental Lab Presentations of Jamie Jackson and SoHee Youn’s I SPY A SPY

Hazel Anne Raymundo
Hazel Anne Raymundo
Hazel Anne Raymundo

Producer Eric Krebs, in association with Harriet Spalding & Michael Planit, are  presenting developmental lab presentations of I Spy A Spy, a new (declassified) musical comedy, with book and lyrics by Jamie Jackson and music & lyrics by SoHee Youn, on Thursday, March 21st at 3:00pm and Friday, March 22nd at 11:00am & 3:00pm at The Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street – between Dyer & 10th Avenue). For reservations, please email ispyaspyrsvp@gmail.com.

José Rodriguez, a Mexican immigrant in New York City, has an American Dream – to become “a someone”. But, as an undocumented delivery guy, he feels practically invisible. Alina Orlova also has an American Dream – to undermine America. But as she’s Russia’s worst spy, she can’t take a step outside without being noticed by everyone. When Jose and Alina meet, they realize they’re yin to each other’s yang and they hatch a scheme to crack the Mayor of New York’s Annual Gala to fulfill their dreams. But suddenly when figures from their past crash the party, Jose and Alina are dragged onto a crazy roller coaster ride with the Mexican Mafia, the Russian Secret Service, a Pakistani pizza proprietor, a Korean deli owner and the Department of Homeland Security– all before finding out who will be crowned International Spy of the Year.

I Spy A Spy is a timely comedy of immigration, espionage and the best chicken tikka pizza in Hell’s Kitchen. It explores the undying magnetism of the American Dream, which continues to attract dreamers, big and small, from all across the world.

Directed by Bill Castellino (Cagney, Desperate Measures), with Music Direction by Doug Oberhamer, the cast features Matt Ban (Rock of Ages), Amie Bermowitz (Goldstein), Grace Choi (Avenue Q), James Donegan (Forbidden Broadway), Sevan Greene (Dead Are My People), Tauren Hagans (In The Heights), Charissa Abigail Hogeland (Kinky Boots, Heathers), Jonathan Kirkland (Hamilton), Andrew Mayer (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812), Victoria Price (How The Grinch Stole Christmas), Hazel Anne Raymundo (Avenue Q, Pacific Overtures), Tracey Stephens (The Capitol Steps), Bruce Warren (The Road To Qatar!), John Wascavage (Murder For Two). Christine Viega is Stage Manager, Michael Cassarra, CSA is Casting Director and Maria Di Dia serves as Management Consultant.

“How rare it is these days to work on a brand-new musical not based on a film, book, play, or a performer’s life,” states Producer Eric Krebs. “But, 8 years ago, ten Russians were revealed to be spies, living in the New York area, the 25-year old Ana Chapman, who was too charismatic to disappear, became the inspiration of the musical I Spy A Spy. The plot thickened to include Jose Rodriguez, an undocumented Mexican immigrant who wants to be an actor but has Alina’s problem in reverse. He seems to be invisible. After extensive developmental work, this Hell’s Kitchen New York, Russian spy, Mexican immigrant, romantic musical comedy is ready for a full production. It is my expectation that _I Spy A Spy_, after an initial Off-Broadway run, will find its place on Broadway. In order to make that happen, I’m looking for co-producers who may wish to participate and institutional theaters which may want to partner in the first full production.”

BIOS
Hazel Anne Raymundo is thrilled to reprise the role of Sunny Park in this latest incarnation of I Spy a Spy. She recently returned from doing the role of Bloody Mary in South Pacific In Concert with both the Omaha and Wichita Symphonies. Broadway: Pacific Overtures (Shogun’s Wife); Avenue Q (Christmas Eve); National/European Tours: Miss Saigon (Kim); Jesus Christ Superstar (Mary Magdalene). Regional/Off-Broadway: Avenue Q (Christmas Eve); The King & I (Tuptim); pre-Broadway workshops of Stu for Silverton, Aida, Flower Drum Song, Clear Day, and Heading East. Film/Television: Set It Up, Madam Secretary, Odd Mom Out, Divorce, VEEP, Bull, The Family, Blacklist, Blue Bloods, The View. Concerts: Screaming Like a Fool, Asian Americans on Broadway, Once on this Island (all Asian cast). She thanks God for His blessings, her family and friends for their support.   Favorite roles: Wife to Daniel whose love makes everything possible and Mom to Zachary and Owen whose smiles light up her life.

Jamie Jackson (Book & Lyrics) trained as an actor at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney, Australia and worked there for over 10 years as an actor/writer. In 1999 he gained an MFA from NYU’s Graduate Music Theatre Writing program where he met SoHee Youn. The two have since collaborated on several projects including their one-man musical, Love: A Multiple Choice Question. Their songs have been heard with Laughing Liberally at New York Town Hall and around the country. As an actor, Jamie has several Broadway and off-Broadway credits including Dr. Zhivago, The Last Ship, Soul Doctor, The 39 Steps and Judge Turpin in the acclaimed Barrow St. production of Sweeney Todd. He’s appeared on TV in “Madam Secretary,” “Quantico,” “Elementary,” “The Get Down,” “Chicago Fire,” “Person of Interest,” “Blindspot,” “Unforgettable,” “The Mysteries of Laura,” “Flight of the Conchords” and the pilot of “The Blacklist.” He played Hugh Jackman’s boss in The Greatest Showman.

SoHee Youn (Book & Music) studied classical composition at Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea, received a B.A. from Berklee College of Music in Boston and an MFA from NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. She is also a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. She has worked on several projects with Jamie Jackson, including Love: A Multiple Choice Question (New York International Fringe Festival, York Theatre, Melbourne and Sydney–Best Composer Nomination for Green Room Awards), Dick & Condi: The Lounge Act (45th St. Theatre & Ignite Festival, Ohio Theatre). Other works and songs of hers have been performed in venues throughout NYC including Laughing Liberally concerts in New York and across the country.

Bill Castellino (Director) has directed these World Premieres: Cagney, Soulmates, Great Divorce, Grumpy Old Men, Christmas In Hell, Jolson, Dr. Radio, Lizzie Borden, Heartbeats, Miklat, Fishwrap, House Divided, Singing Weatherman, Happy Holidays, Presidents, others. Also: Desperate Measures, Marry Harry, Storyville, Ionescopade, Tarzan, Rent, Gypsy, Rocky Horror, Carousel, Godspell, Music Man, West Side, Joseph, Tommy, Little Shop, Evita, Hair, Fame, Chess, others. In development: Lulu, Rhapsody In Red, and Twist Of Fate. He has directed, written and produced events all over the world. Awards: NY Outer Critics, Jefferson, Telly, 4 LA Weekly, 11 Drama-Logue and numerous nominations including the Lucille Lortel, Audelco, Carbonelle, San Diego and LA Theatre Critics, others

www.ispyaspythemusical.com

AVENUE Q/Sesame Street’s Jennifer Barnhart Makes Cabaret Debut At The Laurie Beechman on March 31 and April 7

Jennifer Barnhart. Photo: Marissa Kohn
Jennifer Barnhart. Photo: Marissa Kohn
Jennifer Barnhart. Photo: Marissa Kohn

After years of playing well with others – whether singing backup for friends’ shows, or crooning alongside a cast of puppet characters – Jennifer Barnhart finally steps into the spotlight in her first solo cabaret, fittingly titled, “It’s About Time!” Alan Muraoka will direct two evenings of stories, silliness and song as Jennifer shares the journey that led her to two of the most famous streets in the world: Broadway and “Sesame Street”.

Performances will be on two consecutive Sunday evenings at 7:00 pm, March 31st and April 7th, at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, downstairs at the Westbank Cafe on 42nd Street. Jennifer will be accompanied by music director Gary Adler, bassist Mary AnnMcSweeney, and percussionist Michael Croiter, all of whom were in the original Avenue Q orchestra. There will be special appearances by some other Avenue Q residents as well.

Click here for tickets.

Jennifer Barnhart, Alan Muraoka and Pam Arciero at The Met's Lunar New Year Festival: Year of the Rooster. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart, Alan Muraoka and Pam Arciero at The Met’s Lunar New Year Festival: Year of the Rooster. Photo by Lia Chang

Jennifer Barnhart (Performer) was an Original Broadway Company member (Outer Critics Circle Award) of the smash Tony Award-winning hit Avenue Q, and she remained with the show in the role she created for its entire six-year run on Broadway. As a puppeteer, Jennifer has performed on numerous children’s television shows, most notably “Between the Lions,” “Bear in the Big Blue House,” “Johnny & the Sprites,” “Julie’s Greenroom” (with Julie Andrews, for Netflix), and “Sesame Street”, where she plays Zoe. Some favorite ‘human’ roles include: Lady Macbeth, Goneril and Veronica in God of Carnage (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), and Officer Randy in Superior Donuts (The Arden Theatre). She has also appeared on “Law & Order: SVU” (once as a puppeteer) and was the Speaker of the House on Season 5 of House of Cards. Jennifer’s voice can be heard on various educational apps, and as a narrator for the YA novel The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle (Penguin/Random House). Website: www.jenniferbarnhart.com Follow on Instagram: #iamjenbarnhart

Telly Leung in Concert at Vitello’s Supper Club in “Sing Happy” on March 18

Telly Leung. Photo Credit: Michael Kushner Photography
Telly Leung. Photo Credit: Michael Kushner Photography
Telly Leung. Photo Credit: Michael Kushner Photography

Beloved Broadway (Aladdin, In Transit, Allegiance, Godspell, Rent, Wicked, Pacific Overtures, Flower Drum Song) and television star (“Glee”), Telly Leung, is coming to Los Angeles to present a brand-new show, “Sing Happy” on March 18th at Vitello’s Supper Club. The eclectic evening of music takes an intimate and revealing look at the ups and downs of what it takes to be a professional singer, from joyful Broadway openings to a career-threatening event that almost ended it all. For additional information, and to purchase tickets, please visit: HERE.

“Sing Happy” is directed by Alan Muraoka (“Sesame Street,” Pacific Overtures, Miss Saigon). The concert will include Broadway standards from shows including Aladdin, If/Then and Rent, and recognizable songs from recording artists Whitney Houston, Kelly Clarkson, John Denver, and Florence and the Machine.

LEUNG is a New York City native who was recently named one of the “Out 100” by Out Magazine and “Faces To Watch” by The Los Angeles Times. His Broadway and national touring credits include Aladdin, In Transit, Allegiance (with George Takei and Lea Salonga), Godspell, Rent (final Broadway company), Wicked (Boq, original Chicago company), Pacific Overtures, and Flower Drum Song. In 2010, he starred as Angel in Rent at the Hollywood Bowl opposite Wayne Brady, directed by Neil Patrick Harris. Television audiences will remember him as Wes the Warbler on “Glee,” as well as his guest star appearances on “Instinct,” “Odd Mom Out,” “Deadbeat,” and “Law and Order: Criminal Intent.” Leung is featured on many original Broadway cast recordings and he has released two solo albums, I’ll Cover You (2012) and Songs for You (2016) on Yellow Sound Label. For more information, please visit www.TellyLeung.com.

Photo Credit: Michael Kushner Photography

Art Acuna, Pinky Amador, Angeli Bayani, Topper Fabregas, Cherie Gil, Nelsito Gomez, Andoy Ranay, and Markki Stroem in Bobby Garcia Helmed ANGELS IN AMERICA: MILLENNIUM APPROACHES, March 22 to April 7

Art Acuna. Photo credit: Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group

To kick off its 20th anniversary, Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group is presenting the Manila production of Tony Kushner’s ANGELS IN AMERICA: MILLENNIUM APPROACHES with some of the most critically-acclaimed Filipino actors: Art Acuna as Roy Cohn, Pinky Amador as the Angel, Angeli Bayani as Harper Pitt, Topper Fabregas as Prior Walter, Cherie Gil as Hannah Pitt, Nelsito Gomez as Louis Ironson, Andoy Ranay as Belize, and Markki Stroem as Joe Pitt.

Pinky Amador. Photo credit: Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group
Pinky Amador. Photo credit: Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group

The first part of Kushner’s epic, set in 1980s New York City, zooms in on the lives of two couples: Prior Walter is abandoned by his lover, Louis, as he contracts the AIDS virus, while a closeted gay lawyer named Joe Pitt struggles in his marriage to his pill-popping wife, Harper. Their fates intertwine as they explore the questions of love, justice, identity, and change.

Andoy Ranay. Photo credit: Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group
Andoy Ranay. Photo credit: Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group

Among the 20th century’s defining works of dramatic art, ANGELS IN AMERICA is the most Tony Award-nominated play, breaking records in Broadway’s history with 10 Tony Awards including Best Play and Best Revival of a Play. It has also won a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, proving Kushner’s work remains as transcendent and as potent and timely in its concerns as when it premiered on Broadway over 25 years ago.

Art Acuna. Photo credit: Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group
Art Acuna. Photo credit: Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group

Having worked on the play before, Director Bobby Garcia says, “We have what is really a dream cast for ANGELS IN AMERICA. It’s a cast I would not have thought I could assemble in the same room.

Markki Stroem, Cherie Gil. Photo credit: Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group
Markki Stroem, Cherie Gil. Photo credit: Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group

ANGELS IN AMERICA: MILLENNIUM APPROACHES runs from March 22 to April 7, 2019, at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati. For tickets, visitTicketWorld.com.ph.

Nelsito Gomez, Topper Fabregas. Photo credit: Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group
Nelsito Gomez, Topper Fabregas. Photo credit: Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group

The show contains strong language and mature content; it is strongly recommended to ages 17 years old and above.

Angeli Bayani, Markki Stroem. Photo credit: Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group
Angeli Bayani, Markki Stroem. Photo credit: Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group
Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 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 liachangpr@gmail.com

Producer Tom Kirdahy to Receive 2019 Robert Whitehead Award on May 22

Multiple Tony Award-nominated Broadway producer Tom Kirdahy will be presented The Commercial Theater Institute’s Robert Whitehead Award for “Outstanding Achievement In Commercial Theater Producing” at a reception at Sardi’s on Wednesday, May 22, 2019.

Terrence McNally and Tom Kirdahy. Photo by Lia Chang
Terrence McNally and Tom Kirdahy. Photo by Lia Chang

The award is inspired by the five-decade-long career of Tony Award-winning Broadway producer Robert Whitehead, who died in 2002. The Commercial Theater Institute (CTI) is the nation’s only formal program that professionally trains commercial theatre producers. The award honors a graduate of CTI for Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Theater Producing.

“Tom Kirdahy is just what a producer should be- passionate, smart, considerate, and persistent. His professionalism and kindness put him squarely in the footsteps of the legendary Robert Whitehead,” said Tom Viertel, Executive Director of CTI. “Tom’s explosive output in the last few years speaks to his vision and energy and make him a particularly worthy recipient of the Robert Whitehead Award.”

“Tom Kirdahy, like TDF’s founders, has a great interest in the production of new plays. He has a proven track record of first-rate productions of new plays and revivals,” said Victoria Bailey, TDF’s Executive Director. “Like Bob Whitehead, he is a gentleman with great taste, intelligence and empathy, not to mention that he possesses a keen business sense.”

“Tom Kirdahy is a dedicated and passionate producer who brings works to the stage that can move, entertain and connect with audiences. His ability to push the boundaries of live theatre in all its forms and produce plays and musicals that really have an impact on people makes him so deserving of the Robert Whitehead Award,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League. “Beyond the stage, too, he is also a vital member of the theatre community and brings his insight and tireless commitment to ensuring the future success of the industry.”

Tom Kirdahy is currently producing Anastasia and the upcoming productions of Hadestown and Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune on Broadway. In 2018 he produced The Jungle and The Inheritance in the West End. In 2017, Kirdahy produced Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia? in the West End. He was the lead producer of the 2015 Broadway hit It’s Only a Play starring Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, and the Tony Award nominated Kander and Ebb musical The Visit starring Chita Rivera. Off-Broadway he produced the NY Times Critic’s Pick White Rabbit Red Rabbit. Additional Tony nominations: Mothers and Sons, After Midnight, Ragtime and Master Class. He is a founding director of Berwin Lee London New York Playwrights, Inc.

As an attorney, Kirdahy spent nearly two decades providing free legal services to people living with HIV/AIDS and served for many years on the Executive Committee of the NYC LGBT Center. He currently serves as the Chairperson of the Broadway League Government Relations Committee. Upcoming Projects: The White Chip and Hood.

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 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 liachangpr@gmail.com

Thom Sesma, Kimiye Corwin, Emma Kikue and Jeffrey Omura Set for Ma-Yi’s World Premiere of Sam Chanse’s FRUITING BODIES, April 23 through May 19

Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang

Ma-Yi Theater Company is presenting the Off-Broadway world premiere of FRUITING BODIES by Asian-American playwright Sam Chanse featuring Kimiye Corwin (Noises Off, Henry VI), Emma Kikue (God Said This, Up the Hill), Jeffrey Omura (House Rules, Hamlet) and Thom Sesma (Superhero, Sweeney Todd), with previews beginning on April 23 prior to its official press opening on April 28 at Theatre Row (410 W. 42nd Street) in Manhattan. Shelley Butler directs.

Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang
Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang

FRUITING BODIES is the story of two sisters in a Northern California forest which seems to keep shape-shifting around them, as they go looking for their father who has gotten lost on a routine mushroom-hunting expedition. After encountering a mysterious young boy who bears a striking resemblance to their absent brother, the family searches for the road back, tackling limited visibility and the interfamilial politics of race and gender, pushed to extremes.

ABOUT THE CAST:
Kimiye Corwin (Mush): New York Theater: The Changeling (Red Bull), Martyrs (La Mama), Wasted: An Historical Burlesque (Ars Nova), Fire Throws (Ripe Time), Kate’s Chink-O-Rama (Joe’s Pub). TV/Film: “The Blacklist,” “The Family,” “The Following,” “The Michael J. Fox Show,” “One Life to Live,”Five Dances (film by Alan Brown). Training: BFA Juilliard, MFA Brown/Trinity. www.kimiyecorwin.com

Emma Kikue (Vicky) recently made her Off Broadway debut as SOPHIE in the premiere of God Said This, produced by Primary Stages at the historic Cherry Lane Theater. Previously, Emma had a recurring role in USA’s THE SINNER, appeared on “Madame Secretary” and will guest star in the upcoming season of “Elementary”.

Jeffrey Omura (Boy) returns to Ma-Yi Theater having previously appeared in House Rules by A. Rey Pamatmat. Select credits also include: Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet (Public/NYSF); Macbeth (Hartford Stage). Film: Sex & the City 2. TV: “Gossip Girl”; “White Collar”; “Damages”; “Blue Bloods”; “High Maintenance”; “Limitless”; “The Blacklist”; “Gone”; “Elementary.” Voice Over work: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2. Proud graduate of Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. Jeffreyomura.com

Thom Sesma (Ben) is currently featured in the new Tom Kitt & John Logan musical, SUPERHERO at 2nd Stage. Select stage credits also include Broadway: The Times They Are A-Changin’, Man of La Mancha, Search & Destroy, Nick & Nora. National Tours: Lion King, Miss Saigon, Titanic. TV credits include: “Instinct'” “Madam Secretary,” “Jessica Jones,” “Gotham,” “The Good Wife,” “Person of Interest.” Thomsesma.com

Sam Chanse (Playwright). TRIGGER, THE OPPORTUNITIES OF EXTINCTION, and WHAT ARE YOU NOW. Her work has also been developed with the Lark, Cherry Lane, Leviathan, Ars Nova, and EST/Sloan, and is published by Kaya Press (LYDIA’S FUNERAL VIDEO) and TCG (The Kilroys List). A former fellow at MacDowell, Cherry Lane Mentor Project, Sundance, and Playwrights Realm, she has also received residencies from Djerassi, Tofte Lake Center, and SPACE at Ryder Farm. She is a Lark Venturous Fellow, a resident playwright of New Dramatists, and a member of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab.

Shelley Butler (Director). Recent credits include the world premieres of Lucas Hnath’s A DOLL’S HOUSE, PART 2 at South Coast Repertory, THE MAGICIAN’S DAUGHTER by Lila Rose Kaplan for Geva and HUMAN ERROR by Eric Pfeffinger for the Denver Center Theatre Company. She has developed plays and musicals with Ars Nova, Primary Stages, Yale Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage, South Coast Repertory, Denver Center Theatre Company, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, New York Stage and Film, PlayPenn, Playwright’s Realm, New Dramatists and the Lark.

Design credits for FRUITING BODIES include: Reid Thompson (Set Designer), Sara Ryung Clement (Costume Designer), and Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew (Lighting Designer). Kate Marvin (Sound Designer and Original Music).

Tickets to FRUITING BODIES at Theatre Row are on sale now. Tickets range in price from $32.25 to $42.25 and can be purchased by calling the Telecharge phone number 212-239-6200 or online at www.telecharge.com. Please also check out Theatre Row’s website, www.theatrerow.org, and The Ma-Yi Theater Company website for additional information, www.ma-yitheatre.org.

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 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 liachangpr@gmail.com

Wai Ching Ho, Emily Kuroda, Jiehae Park, Jo Yang and More Set for Celine Song’s ENDLINGS AT A.R.T. throughout March 17

American Repertory Theater (A.R.T) is presenting Celine Song’s Endlings, directed by Sammi Cannold and featuring Wai Ching Ho, Emily Kuroda, Jiehae Park, and Jo Yang, Endlings begins previews Tuesday, February 26; opens Friday, March 1; and closes Sunday, March 17, 2019 at the Loeb Drama Center in Cambridge, MA.

On the Korean island of Man-Jae, three elderly “haenyeos”-sea women-spend their dying days diving into the ocean to harvest seafood. They have no heirs to their millennia-old way of life. Across the globe on the island of Manhattan, a Korean-Canadian playwright, twice an immigrant, spends her days wrestling with the expectation that she write “authentic” stories about her identity. But what, exactly, is her identity? And how can she write about it without selling her own skin? This daring new play by Celine Song (Amazon’s “The Wheel of Time,” Public Theater’s 2016-2017 Emerging Writers Group) journeys beneath the waves under the direction of Sammi Cannold (Violet at A.R.T., Forbes 30 Under 30).

“I wrote Endlings thinking it was going to be the last play I’d write,” said Song. “Theater had broken my heart so many times, so this time I wrote whatever I wanted, even if it was unproducible. When the A.R.T. said it would take a risk on this play, it restored whatever faith I had in theater.”

“When I first read Endlings, I fell in love instantaneously with its audacity and knew it would require a fearless theater to realize Celine’s thrilling vision for this story,” said Cannold. “I’ve had the good fortune of working on nine productions at the A.R.T. and have seen time and again the theater’s undying commitment to audacious, boundary-breaking work, so I can’t imagine a more perfect home for Endlings’ premiere.”

The Endlings cast features: Wai Ching Ho as haenyeo Han Sol (Madam Gao from the Marvel TV universe, “Fresh Off the Boat,” and Henry VI with the National Asian American Theatre Company); Emily Kuroda as haenyeo Go Min (“Gilmore Girls” and Tiger Style! at the Huntington Theater Company); Jiehae Park as playwright Ha Young (Haruki Murakami’s SLEEP at BAM Next Wave Festival and others, Every Angel is Brutal at Clubbed Thumb, and the author of peerless, which premiered at Yale Rep and was recently produced at Boston’s Company One Theatre); Jo Yang as haenyeo Sook Ja (Comfort Women at Urban Stages and “The Affair”) and Miles G. Jackson as White Husband (Hand to God at TheatreWorks Hartford and Typhoid Mary at Barrington Stage Company)

The Endlings cast also includes Matt DaSilva, Mark Mauriello, Andy Paterson, and Keith Michael Pinault. Kate Pak is the understudy for the roles of Han Sol, Go Min, and Sook Ja.

ENDLINGS CREATIVE TEAM
Celine Song, Playwright (Tom & Eliza-semifinalist for the American Playwriting Foundation’s 2016 Relentless Award, The Feast, and Family; 2017/18 Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow; Member of The Public Theater’s 2016/17 Emerging Writers Group and Ars Nova’s 2014/15 Play Group);
Sammi Cannold, Director (Violet at American Repertory Theater, Ragtime on Ellis Island, associate director of Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 and In the Body of the World at the A.R.T. and beyond; one of Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 in Hollywood & Entertainment, Class of 2019)
Jason Sherwood, Scenic Designer (ExtraOrdinary at the A.R.T.; “Rent: Live” on FOX, musician Sam Smith’s world tour); Linda Cho, Costume Designer (Anastasia, A Gentlemen’s Guide to Love and Murder-Tony Award, and Lifespan of a Fact on Broadway); Bradley King, Lighting Designer (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 at the A.R.T. and on Broadway, for which he received the Tony Award; O.P.C. at the A.R.T.); Elisheba Ittoop, Sound Designer (Eve’s Song at The Public Theater and The Niceties at the Huntington Theatre Company, MTC, and the McCarter Theatre Center).

Tickets start at $25 and are available now online at americanrepertorytheater.org, by phone at 617.547.8300, and in person at the Loeb Drama Center Ticket Services Offices (64 Brattle Street, Cambridge). Discounts are available to Subscribers, Members, groups, students, seniors, Blue Star families, EBT card holders, and others.

John Douglas Thompson, Sean Carvajal, Jayne Houdyshell, Ruth Wilson and More Join Glenda Jackson in KING LEAR

Sean Carvajal and John Douglas Thompson. Photos by Lia Chang

This season’s new Broadway production of William Shakespeare’s King Lear, starring two-time Academy Award winner, two-time Emmy Award winner, and 2018 Tony Award winner Glenda Jackson in the title role, will also star Tony Award winner Jayne Houdyshell, three-time Obie Award winner Elizabeth Marvel, Aisling O’Sullivan, Pedro Pascal, Tony Award nominee and two-time Drama Desk Award winner John Douglas Thompson, and two-time Olivier Award winner and Golden Globe Award winner Ruth Wilson.

Tony winner Jayne Houdyshell will take on the traditionally male role of the Earl of Gloucester.

Pedro Pascal will play Edmund, while Lear’s scheming daughters Goneril and Regan will be played by Elizabeth Marvel and Aisling O’Sullivan.

John Douglas Thompson, will appear as the Earl of Kent, a role he played opposite Sam Waterston’s Lear in a 2011 Public Theater production.

The cast will also feature Sean Carvajal as Edgar, Dion Johnstone as the Duke of Albany, Matthew Maher as Oswald and Russell Harvard as the Duke of Cornwall.

The production, directed by Tony Award winner Sam Gold, will begin previews Thursday, February 28, 2019 and will open Thursday, April 4, 2019 at the Golden Theatre (252 West 45th Street). The production will play a strictly limited engagement through Sunday, July 7, 2019. Click here for tickets.

Academy Award nominated and Golden Globe and BAFTA Award-winning composer Philip Glass will provide an original score for the production.

The critically acclaimed creative team features scenic design by Miriam Buether, costume design by Ann Roth, lighting design by Jane Cox, and sound design by Scott Lehrer.

Up Close and Personal with Sean Carvajal, Award-Winning Star of JESUS HOPPED THE ‘A’ TRAIN 

Rehearsals Kick Off for Complete Cast of HADESTOWN

André De Shields as Hermes in HADESTOWN. Photo by Helen Maybanks

Today, producers Mara Isaacs, Dale Franzen, Hunter Arnold, and Tom Kirdahy announced complete casting for Hadestown, the new musical by celebrated singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell, developed with innovative director and Tony Award nominee Rachel Chavkin.

André De Shields as Hermes in HADESTOWN. Photo by Helen Maybanks
André De Shields as Hermes in HADESTOWN. Photo by Helen Maybanks

Joining the previously announced principal cast of Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada, and Patrick Page will be Jewelle Blackman, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, and Kay Trinidad as the Fates. The chorus of Workers will be played by Afra Hines, Timothy Hughes, John Krause, Kimberly Marable, and Ahmad Simmons. The full cast will also include swings Malcolm Armwood, T. Oliver Reid, Jessie Shelton, and Khaila Wilcoxon.

Patrick Page, Amber Gray, André De Shields, Eva Noblezada, Reeve Carney. Photo by Bronwen Sharp
Patrick Page, Amber Gray, André De Shields, Eva Noblezada, Reeve Carney. Photo by Bronwen Sharp

Preview performances for Hadestown begin Friday, March 22 ahead of a Wednesday, April 17 official opening night at the Walter Kerr Theatre (219 West 48th Street). Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster.com or by calling (877) 250-2929 with the Walter Kerr box office opening on Tuesday, February 19.

Co-Producer Mara Isaacs, Director Rachel Chavkin, André De Shields, Anais Mitchell and Co-Producer Dale Franzen at the opening party of HADESTOWN at the National Theatre in London on November 13, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang
Co-Producer Mara Isaacs, Director Rachel Chavkin, André De Shields, Anais Mitchell and Co-Producer Dale Franzen at the opening party of HADESTOWN at the National Theatre in London on November 13, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang

Hadestown marks the first time in over a decade that a woman has been the solo author of a musical: writing the music, lyrics, and book, and is the fourth woman in Broadway history to accomplish this creative feat. The show originated as Mitchell’s indie theater project that toured Vermont which she then turned into an acclaimed album. With Chavkin, her artistic collaborator, Hadestown has been transformed into a genre-defying new musical that blends modern American folk music with New Orleans-inspired jazz to reimagine a sweeping ancient tale.

Reeve Carney as Orpheus and Eva Noblezada as Eurydice. Photo by Lia Chang
Reeve Carney as Orpheus and Eva Noblezada as Eurydice. Photo by Lia Chang

Following two intertwining love stories – that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone –Hadestown invites audiences on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back. Mitchell’s beguiling melodies and Chavkin’s poetic imagination pit industry against nature, doubt against faith, and fear against love. Performed by a vibrant ensemble of actors, dancers, and singers, Hadestown delivers a deeply resonant and defiantly hopeful theatrical experience.

Patrick Page, Rachel Chavkin and Amber Gray. Photo by Lia Chang
Patrick Page, Rachel Chavkin and Amber Gray. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team for Broadway features Drama Desk Award nominee Rachel Hauck (set design), three-time Tony Award nominee Michael Krass (costume design), Tony Award winner Bradley King (lighting design), Tony Award nominee Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz (sound design), three-time Bessie Award® winner David Neumann (choreography), Liam Robinson (music direction and vocal arrangements), Michael Chorney, Todd Sickafoose (arrangements and orchestrations), Ken Cerniglia (dramaturgy), and Stewart/Whitley (casting).

Hadestown electrified audiences with its 2016 world premiere at New York Theatre Workshop before receiving its Canadian premiere at Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre in 2017. This winter’s sold-out engagement at the National Theatre in London recently ended its run at the Olivier Theatre. Hadestown was developed with funding from the Eli and Edythe Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center and was further developed by The Ground Floor at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Hadestown was co-conceived by Ben t. Matchstick.

The Hadestown live original cast recording is available in stores and digitally. For more information on where to get the album and to sign up for email updates for Hadestown, please visit www.hadestown.com.

André De Shields to Helm Duke Ellington’s SOPHISTICATED LADIES at NJPAC, March 21 – 24