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

Garth Kravits and Becca Kötte at The Belasco. Photo by Lia Chang

Broadway’s Gettin’ The Band Back Together, directed by Tony Award winner John Rando and choreographed by Chris Bailey, begins preview performances tonight at the Belasco Theatre (111 W 44th Street) with the official opening set for August 13.

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

During previews for Broadway’s Gettin’ The Band Back Together, 40 tickets per performance will be available at $40 each for people 40 years of age and older. This rush-offer is available now at the box office and online using the code: BT40440. Customers are able to select from seats in the front orchestra, including the front row, for all preview performances.

Garth Kravits and Becca Kötte at The Belasco. Photo by Lia Chang
Garth Kravits and Becca Kötte at The Belasco. Photo by Lia Chang

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

Brandon Williams, Garth Kravits, Ken Davenport, Marilu Henner, Jay Klaitz. Photo by Lia Chang
Brandon Williams, Garth Kravits, Ken Davenport, Marilu Henner, Jay Klaitz. Photo by Lia Chang

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

Producer Ken Davenport with cast members from his new show, GETTIN' THE BAND BACK TOGETHER, Garth Kravits and Jasmin Richardson. Photo by Lia Chang
Producer Ken Davenport with cast members from his new show, GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER, Garth Kravits and Jasmin Richardson. Photo by Lia Chang

Gettin’ The Band Back Together is produced by Ken Davenport, Hunter Arnold, Roy Putrino, Sandi Moran, Carl Daikeler, Broadway Strategic Return Fund, Rob Kolson, H. Richard Hopper, Richard Roth, Marie Barton Stevenson, Diego Kolankowsky, Marguerite Hoffman, Brian Cromwell Smith, Darrell Hankey, Trevor Coates, Wagstaffe Productions, Witzend Productions, David Bryant, Laura Z. Barket, Judith Manocherian, Mach 1 Partners, John McGrain, Steve Reynolds, and Ladybug Productions. The Associate Producers for the production are Kayla Greenspan and Valerie Novakoff.

Jay Klaitz, Sarah Saltzberg, Mitch Jarvis, Garth Kravits and Brandon Williams. Photo by Lia Chang
Jay Klaitz, Sarah Saltzberg, Mitch Jarvis, Garth Kravits and Brandon Williams. Photo by Lia Chang

Mitch Papadopolous always dreamed about being the next Bon Jovi, but he chose security over stardom and left those daydreams behind for a day job. For a while he thought he had everything – the high paying job, the high-rise apartment – until his 40th birthday when he got handed a pink slip and had to move back in with his mom in Sayreville, New Jersey.

Brandon Williams and Mitch Jarvis are rivals in GETTIN' THE BAND BACK TOGETHER. Photo by Lia Chang
Brandon Williams and Mitch Jarvis are rivals in GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER. Photo by Lia Chang

And when his high school arch nemesis threatens to foreclose on their house, this big-shot banker must save his small-town home the only way he can… by winning The Battle of the Bands. So he dusts off his guitar, gathers his old gang, and sets out to win the battle… and maybe even win back the high school sweetheart he left behind… proving it’s never too late to give your dreams one last shot.

GETTIN' THE BAND BACK TOGETHER cast members J. Elaine Marcos, Jasmine Richardson, Garth Kravits at the ONCE ON THIS ISLAND Tony Party at Vida Verde in New York on June 10, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang
GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER cast members J. Elaine Marcos, Jasmine Richardson, Garth Kravits at the ONCE ON THIS ISLAND Tony Party at Vida Verde in New York on June 10, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang

Tickets for Gettin’ The Band Back Together are on sale through www.Telecharge.com / (212) 239-6200. Group tickets are available at www.YourBroadwayGenius.com or by calling 855-329-2932.

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

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

Triple Threat Comedian J. Elaine Marcos Returns to Broadway in GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER and Debuts One Woman Show at Feinstein’s/54 Below 

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

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

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER Announces Rush For People 40 And Over

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

During previews for Broadway’s Gettin’ The Band Back Together, 40 tickets per performance will be available at $40 each for people 40 years of age and older. This rush-offer is available now at the box office and online using the code: BT40440. Customers are able to select from seats in the front orchestra, including the front row, for all preview performances.

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

The production, which is directed by Tony Award winner John Rando and choreographed by Chris Bailey, will begin preview performances on July 19 at the Belasco Theatre (111 W 44th Street) with the official opening set for August 13.

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

Brandon Williams, Garth Kravits, Ken Davenport, Marilu Henner, Jay Klaitz. Photo by Lia Chang
Brandon Williams, Garth Kravits, Ken Davenport, Marilu Henner, Jay Klaitz. Photo by Lia Chang

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

Producer Ken Davenport with cast members from his new show, GETTIN' THE BAND BACK TOGETHER, Garth Kravits and Jasmin Richardson. Photo by Lia Chang
Producer Ken Davenport with cast members from his new show, GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER, Garth Kravits and Jasmin Richardson. Photo by Lia Chang

Gettin’ The Band Back Together is produced by Ken Davenport, Hunter Arnold, Roy Putrino, Sandi Moran, Carl Daikeler, Broadway Strategic Return Fund, Rob Kolson, H. Richard Hopper, Richard Roth, Marie Barton Stevenson, Diego Kolankowsky, Marguerite Hoffman, Brian Cromwell Smith, Darrell Hankey, Trevor Coates, Wagstaffe Productions, Witzend Productions, David Bryant, Laura Z. Barket, Judith Manocherian, Mach 1 Partners, John McGrain, Steve Reynolds, and Ladybug Productions. The Associate Producers for the production are Kayla Greenspan and Valerie Novakoff.

Jay Klaitz, Sarah Saltzberg, Mitch Jarvis, Garth Kravits and Brandon Williams. Photo by Lia Chang
Jay Klaitz, Sarah Saltzberg, Mitch Jarvis, Garth Kravits and Brandon Williams. Photo by Lia Chang

Mitch Papadopolous always dreamed about being the next Bon Jovi, but he chose security over stardom and left those daydreams behind for a day job. For a while he thought he had everything – the high paying job, the high-rise apartment – until his 40th birthday when he got handed a pink slip and had to move back in with his mom in Sayreville, New Jersey.

Brandon Williams and Mitch Jarvis are rivals in GETTIN' THE BAND BACK TOGETHER. Photo by Lia Chang
Brandon Williams and Mitch Jarvis are rivals in GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER. Photo by Lia Chang

And when his high school arch nemesis threatens to foreclose on their house, this big-shot banker must save his small-town home the only way he can… by winning The Battle of the Bands. So he dusts off his guitar, gathers his old gang, and sets out to win the battle… and maybe even win back the high school sweetheart he left behind… proving it’s never too late to give your dreams one last shot.

Tickets for Gettin’ The Band Back Together are on sale through www.Telecharge.com / (212) 239-6200. Group tickets are available at www.YourBroadwayGenius.com or by calling 855-329-2932.

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

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

Triple Threat Comedian J. Elaine Marcos Returns to Broadway in GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER and Debuts One Woman Show at Feinstein’s/54 Below 

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

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

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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Q & A with Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo, Stars of Barrington Stage Company and Ma-Yi Theater Company’s World Premiere of Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY

Lloyd Suh, Ralph B. Peña, Shannon Tyo and Daniel K. Isaac on the set of THE CHINESE LADY.
Shannon Tyo and Daniel K. Isaac
Shannon Tyo and Daniel K. Isaac

The World Premiere of The Chinese Lady, starring Shannon Tyo (BSC’s Broadway Bounty Hunter) as “Afong Moy” and Daniel K. Isaac (“Billions”) as “Atung,” begins previews on Friday, July 20 on the St. Germain Stage, Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201.

Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Ralph B. Peña
Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Ralph B. Peña

Written by Lloyd Suh (Charles Francis Chan Jr.’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery), directed by Ralph Peña (Microcrisis, Ma-Yi Theater Company), and presented in a co-production between Barrington Stage Company (BSC)  and Ma-Yi Theater Company, performances will run through Saturday, August 11. Opening night is Wednesday, July 25.

Director Ralph B. Peña, Shannon Tyo and Daniel K. Isaac. Photo courtesy of Facebook/Barrington Stage Company
Director Ralph B. Peña, Shannon Tyo and Daniel K. Isaac. Photo courtesy of Facebook/Barrington Stage Company

In 1834, Afong Moy is brought to the United States from Beijing and put on display for the American public as the “Chinese Lady.” Over the next 45 years, she performs in a side show that both defines and challenges her own view of herself. Inspired by the true story of America’s first female Chinese immigrant, playwright Lloyd Suh spins a tale of dark poetic whimsy in this piercing portrait of America as seen through the eyes of a young Chinese woman.

From the source: "Afong Moy in her 'room'. She is surrounded with 'exotic' Chinese items. The Carne Brothers had similar reproduction items for sale at the exhibition for viewers to remember their visit to the Chinese Lady." Wikimedia Commons
From the source: “Afong Moy in her ‘room’. She is surrounded with ‘exotic’ Chinese items. The Carne Brothers had similar reproduction items for sale at the exhibition for viewers to remember their visit to the Chinese Lady.” Wikimedia Commons

Director Ralph B. Peña shared a few sneak peek snaps from tech and Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo answered a few questions via email. 

Lloyd Suh, Ralph B. Peña, Shannon Tyo and Daniel K. Isaac on the set of THE CHINESE LADY.
Playwright Lloyd Suh, Director Ralph B. Peña, Shannon Tyo and Daniel K. Isaac on the set of THE CHINESE LADY.

Lia: Where are you staying?
Daniel: We are staying in a beautiful newly renovated home right off the main strip of Pittsfield, MA.

Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: Please describe your characters.
Daniel: I like to joke that I play the title character but really that’s all Shannon.

Shannon: Afong Moy is “The Chinese Lady”, as she was billed, and so far as history can tell, the first woman of Chinese descent to arrive in America. Afong Moy wasn’t her real name, but rather a name given to her that was easier for western people to pronounce. She came to America as a sort of sideshow attraction, used as a prop in order to sell “exotic” goods from the Carne Brother’s Far East Oriental Import Company.

Shannon Tyo. Photo by Ralph B. Peña
Shannon Tyo as Afong Moy. Photo by Ralph B. Peña

Daniel: Atung is Afong Moy’s translator. There are accounts of a translator being a part of her act but Atung is from Lloyd’s imagination. In this play, he was first assigned to the Carne Brothers as a manservant and became Afong’s translator and perhaps sole companion. It’s a disturbing and little known piece of American history that Lloyd has expanded upon with beautiful poetry and dark imagination.

Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Ralph B. Peña
Daniel K. Isaac as Atung. Photo by Ralph B. Peña

Lia: Please describe your relationship to each other.
Daniel: If we describe it too much it’ll give away spoilers. For now, we’ll say that Atung is Afong Moy’s translator and go from there. Also, our director, Ralph B. Peña, would want us to say that our relationship is constantly with the audience. After our first run-thru, Shannon said, “it feels like us against the world.” It really feels like that sometimes.

Shannon: But on a real-life level, Daniel and I are very lucky that we get along well, professionally and personally.

Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: What kind of research did you do for your roles?
Shannon: For the last few years, I’ve been very invested in learning as much as possible about Asian American history. Specifically for this show, I took a deep dive into the effects of the Opium Wars on migration, along with footbinding, and also what little there is recorded about Afong Moy. Luckily, I love history, so it was more recreation than compulsory.
Daniel: Shannon wins.

Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: What are the challenges of performing in a two-hander?
Shannon: It’s exhausting! Once the last scene plays, I have a brief moment of adrenaline high, then I crash and want to lay flat on my back and drop french fries into my mouth.

Daniel: Lia, you know this is my second two-hander this year, so I will agree with the crash and french fries (extra crispy for me) sentiment. Also, bourbon. Lots of bourbon.

Shannon Tyo. Photo by Ralph B. Peña
Shannon Tyo as Afong Moy. Photo by Ralph B. Peña

Lia: What is the allure of performing at Barrington Stage?
Shannon: I always think it’s nice to be out of town in order to focus solely on work. It’s also nice to be close to nature when you’re cooped up inside a theatre all day, and the Berkshires are beautiful.

Daniel: I think it’s a privilege every time I get to work on a new play. And especially a world premiere!

Ralph B. Peña, Geoff Boronda, Shannon Tyo and Daniel K. Isaac before ziplining.
Ralph B. Peña, Geoff Boronda, Shannon Tyo and Daniel K. Isaac before ziplining.

Lia: Have you had the opportunity to do much exploring?
Daniel: We went zip-lining earlier this week and we have some hikes and whitewater rafting adventures planned!

Shannon: Besides our aforementioned zip-lining excursion, we have a lot of adventures in the works. Daniel is an Eagle Scout so I plan to put myself in as much danger as possible and I expect him to be ready to help me whenever possible. I’ll be like Inspector Gadget and Daniel will be Penny.

Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

Daniel K. Isaac (Atung) is an actor and writer born and raised in Southern California, currently based in New York City. You can currently see him on the small screen as ‘Ben Kim’ in Showtime’s “Billions.”

Isaac co-wrote and stars in the short film/pilot presentation, “According To My Mother.” The project was selected for IFP Film Week and the inaugural Sundance New Voices Lab and was an Official Selection at ITVFest, Newfest, Outfest Fusion, Outfest, CAAMfest, SeriesFest (where it was awarded Best Actress), and New York Television Festival (Best Drama and Best Actor). “According To My Mother” is currently in development to become a digital series on First Look Media’s new platform, TOPIC. Isaac is a member of Page 73’s 2018 Interstate 73 Writers Group, Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Youngblood, and a Lambda Literary Playwriting Fellow. Training: UCSD, BADA. www.AccordingToMyMother.com

He recently appeared as William Inge in the Off-Broadway production of Philip Dawkin’s The Gentleman Caller, produced by Abingdon Theatre at The Cherry Lane.  Select NYC: Sagittarius Ponderosa (NAATCO), Underland (59E59), La Divina Caricatura (La MaMa, Under the Radar & St. Ann’s Warehouse), Anna Nicole the Opera (BAM). Select Regional: The Ballad of Little Jo (Two River Theater), Miss Electricity (La Jolla Playhouse). Film/TV: MONEY MONSTER (dir. Jodie Foster), “The Jim Gaffigan Show” (TV LAND), “Search Party” (TBS), “Crashing” (HBO), “The Following” (FOX), “Person of Interest” (CBS), “Believe” (NBC, pilot), TOO BIG TO FAIL (HBO).  www.DanielKIsaac.com

Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang

Shannon Tyo (Afong Moy) Off-Broadway credits include Kentucky, Bikeman: A 9/11 Play, Dear Edwina. Favorite regional credits include The White Snake at the Old Globe, San Diego; Miss Saigon at the Pioneer Theatre Co, Music Theatre of Wichita and Cape Fear Regional; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Northern Stage, Tuacahn PAC and Pioneer Theatre Co.; and Broadway Bounty Hunter at Barrington Stage. BFA Syracuse University.

Set and Costumes designed by Junghyun Georgia Lee. Lighting design by Oliver Wason. Sound design by Fabian Obispo. Production Stage Manager is Geoff Boronda.

Playwright Lloyd Suh is the author of Charles Francis Chan Jr’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery, American Hwangap, The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!, Jesus in India, Great Wall Story, and others, produced with Ma-Yi, Magic Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Play Company, La Mama, Denver Center Theatre Company, ArtsEmerson, The Guthrie Theatre with Mu Performing Arts, East West Players, and internationally at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila, and with PCPA in Seoul, Korea. He has received support from the NEA Arena Stage New Play Development program, the Andrew W. Mellon Launching New Plays Into the Repertoire initiative via the Lark, NYFA, NYSCA, Jerome Foundation, TCG, and Dramatists Guild, and has been a recipient of the Roe Green Award from Cleveland Playhouse, the Lilah Kan Red Socks Award, and the Helen Merrill Award. His plays have been published by Samuel French, Playscripts, Smith & Kraus, Duke University Press and American Theater magazine. He is an alum of Youngblood and the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and from 2005-2010 served as Artistic Director of Second Generation and Co-Director of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. He currently serves on the Dramatists Guild Council and has since 2011 served as Director of Artistic Programs at The Lark.

Director Ralph B. Peña is the current Artistic Director of Ma-Yi Theater Company. Recent directing credits include Among the DeadHouse Rules (Ma-Yi) The Orphan of Zhao (Fordham Theatre), Macho Dancer: A Musical (Cultural Center of the Philippines), Livin’ La Vida Imelda (Ma-Yi), Lloyd Suh’s The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra GO! (Cultural Center of the Philippines, Children’s Theater Co. and Ma-Yi, Off Broadway Alliance Award), Julia Specht’s Down Cleghorn, Joshua Conkel’s Curmudgeons in Love (EST Marathon), Mike Lew’s microcrisis(Youngblood, Ma-Yi), and House/Boy (Dublin and Singapore Theater Festivals). His theater work has been seen at The NYSF/Public Theater, Long Wharf Theater, Laguna Playhouse, NAATCO, Second Generation, Victory Gardens, and LaMama ETC, among others. He received an Obie Award for his work on The Romance of Magno Rubio. Ralph is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theater. This is for Damien, always and forever.

THE CHINESE LADY starts off as a shipping container. Designed by Junghyun Georgia Lee. Lighting by Oliver Wason. Sound by Yngo Terra. Photo by Ralph B. Peña
THE CHINESE LADY starts off as a shipping container. Designed by Junghyun Georgia Lee. Lighting by Oliver Wason. Sound by Yngo Terra. Photo by Ralph B. Peña

Both single tickets and 2018 season passes are now on sale and available at www.barringtonstageco.org or by calling 413-236-8888 or visiting the Mainstage box office (30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201). Tickets range from $25 to $69.

In Rehearsal: Barrington Stage Company and Ma-Yi Theater Company’s World Premiere of Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY with Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo 

Barrington Stage and Ma-Yi Present Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo in World Premiere of Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY at Barrington Stage, July 20 – August 11

Inside THE GENTLEMAN CALLER’S Opening Night Party with Daniel K. Isaac and Juan Francisco Villa 

Up Close and Personal with Daniel K. Isaac – William Inge in Abingdon Theatre’s Production of THE GENTLEMAN CALLER by Philip Dawkins, May 5 – 26 

Jon Norman Schneider, Jiehae Park, Keelay Gipson, Julian Leong, Diana Oh, David Shih and Teal Wicks in Daniel K. Isaac’s OR OR OR &&& at The Actors Fund Arts Center 

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

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

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2018 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

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Rheaume Crenshaw, Aisha de Haas, Wayne Pretlow and More Set for Micki Grant and Vinnette Carroll’s DON’T BOTHER ME, I CAN’T COPE at New York City Center, July 25 – 28

Rheaume Crenshaw. Photo by Lia Chang
Rheaume Crenshaw. Photo by Lia Chang
Rheaume Crenshaw. Photo by Lia Chang

Rheaume Crenshaw, Dayna Dantzler, Aisha de Haas, James T. Lane, and Wayne Pretlow will star in Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope, the third production of the Encores! Off-Center season at New York City Center, July 25 – 28. Tony Award-winner Savion Glover (Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk) directs and choreographs the Off-Center revival, with music direction by Annastasia Victory.

The ensemble includes Alexandria Bradley, Marshall L. Davis Jr., CK Edwards, Jeffry Foote, Shonica Gooden, Nina Hudson, Marla McReynolds, and Amber Barbee Pickens.

Performances are Wednesday & Thursday at 7:30pm, Fri at 8pm, and Sat at 2 & 8pm at New York City Center,  131 W 55th St (between Sixth and Seventh Avenues) in New York.  Click here for tickets.

  • After the Saturday 2PM performance: Kirsten Childs will speak with Micki Grant about writing and composing for musical theater.
Micki Grant. Photo by Lia Chang
Micki Grant. Photo by Lia Chang

Micki Grant and Vinnette Carroll’s Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope (1971) is a radical and irreverent protest cycle that laid bare the political issues facing the African American community when it first premiered at the Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C. The show continued to raise voices for change in its Philadelphia and New York productions through a lively mix of song and dance, and a score by Grant that includes gospel, jazz, soul, calypso, and rock. It ran over 1,000 performances on Broadway, earning four Tony Award nominations, and winning an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, as well as a Grammy Award for Best Score from an Original Cast Show Album.

With five 1972 Tony Award nominations (including Best Musical) and an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Musical the same year, Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope also won Micki Grant a Grammy Award for best score-the first female to be so honored. Ms. Grant was also one of the stars of the show, which came to Broadway after successful runs in Washington DC, Detroit, and Philadelphia. The show ran for over two years on Broadway. Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope  is the first Broadway musical written entirely by a woman and the first Broadway production to be directed by a female African-American.

Ms. Grant has received many Grammy and Tony nominations for her various musicals, such as Your Arms Too Short To Box With GodIt’s So Nice To Be Civilized, J.E. Franklin’s Prodigal SisterEubie, and Sweet & Hot.  As an actress, Ms. Grant has performed on and Off-Broadway and in regional theatres around the country, having made her Broadway debut as the ingenue in Langston Hughes’ Tambourines To Glory. In the late nineties, a two-year tour of the play Having Our Say took her to more than 68 U.S. cities and to Johannesburg, South Africa, earning her the Helen Hayes Award for her performance as Sadie Delany. The first African ­American contract player on a daytime serial, she played the role of attorney Peggy Nolan on NBC’s “Another World” for seven years, and has had continuing roles on “Edge of Night” and “Guiding Light,” as well as guesting on “All My Children”. She is the recipient of multiple awards, including: Obie Award, NAACP Image, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Audelco’s Outstanding Pioneer, AEA’s Paul Robeson and the Nat’l Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend and Sidney Poitier Lifelong Achievement Awards.

NEW YORK City Center (Arlene Shuler, President & CEO) has played a defining role in the cultural life of the city since 1943. The landmark 75th Anniversary Season (2018 – 2019) pays tribute to this rich history and celebrates the institution’s singular role in the arts today. For 25 years, City Center’s Tony-honored Encores! series has been “an essential New York institution” (The New York Times), and since 2013, the Encores! Off-Center series has featured seminal Off-Broadway musicals filtered through the lens of today’s innovative artists. Dance has also been integral to the theater’s mission from the start and programs like the annual Fall for Dance Festival remain central to City Center’s identity. Home to a roster of renowned national and international companies including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (City Center’s Principal Dance Company) and Manhattan Theatre Club, New York City Center was Manhattan’s first performing arts center, founded with the mission of making the best in music, theater, and dance accessible to all audiences. That mission continues today through robust education and community engagement programs, which bring the performing arts to over 9,000 New York City students each year, and the expansion of the theatrical experience to include art exhibitions, pre-show talks, and master classes that offer an up-close look at the work of the great theater and dance artists of our time. NYCityCenter.org

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INTERSTATE at NYMF Adds Additional Performance on July 15

Additional Performance Added For INTERSTATE At The NYMF

Melissa Li’s and Kit Yan’s new musical Interstate, has been extended due to popular demand and will play an additional performance on Sunday, July 15 at 5:00 pm.

Interstate is one of 12 productions to take part in the 2018 New York Musical Festival Next Link Project. The workshop production features a diverse mix of talent and showcases the journey of Asian LGBTQ artists. Interstate is directed by Jessi D. Hill, choreographed by Jessica Chen, with music direction by Karen Dryer.

Interstate is an Asian-American pop-rock poetry musical that follows Dash, a transgender spoken word performer who becomes internet-famous along with his best friend Adrian, a lesbian singer-songwriter. Fueled by the allure of fame and a desire to connect with their community, the band embarks on a road trip across America for their first national tour. Their fiercely political and deeply personal music touches Henry, a transgender teenage boy living in small-town middle America, and he finds solace in their art as he struggles with his own identity and family. After blogging about the band and documenting his own gender journey, he decides to set out on a quest to meet his heroes in person, hoping to find answers to his own struggles. Interstate is a touching story about how two transgender people at different stages of their journey navigate love, family, masculinity, and finding a community in the era of social media.

The eclectic cast of Interstate stars Jon Viktor Corpuz (The King and I/Broadway), Sushma Saha (Cabaret/Ithaca College), Angel Lin (Once/National Tour), and an ensemble including, Kiet Tai Cao (Allegiance (Reading w/ George Takei),  Esco Jouley (Runaways/Public Theater), Allison Linker (Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame/Papermill Playhouse), Michelle Noh(“Grey’s Anatomy”), and Andreas Wyder (Titanic: The Musical/National Tour).

The band features Karen Dryer (Musical Direction, 1st Keyboard,) Allison Kelly(Guitar/Bassist), Tidtaya Sinutoke (2nd Keyboard), and Ashley Baier (Drummer).

Interstates features Music, Book & Lyrics by Melissa Li, Book & Lyrics by Kit Yan, and Interstate is led by acclaimed director Jessi D. Hill. The creative team also features the talent of Jessica Chen (Choreography), Edward Morris (Scenic Design), Deepsikha Chatterjee (Costume Design), Jennifer J. Fok (Lighting Design), Fan Zhang (Sound Design), Janelle Lawrence (Properties Design), Natasha Sinha (Dramaturg), Macy Schmidt (Orchestrations & Arrangement), Nic Cory (Assistant Director), Anton Volovsek (Co-Scenic Design), and Joyce Lim (Costume Assistant). General Management, Dailey-Monda Management. Produced by Nicole Kwan, Mark Gagliardi, and Theresa Perkins in association with The Musical Theatre Factory.

Performances take place at Theatre Row’s Acorn Theatre, 410 West 42nd Street, (between 9th and 10th Avenues). Tickets are $31.75 and can be purchased at www.NYMF.org. The show’s running time is 120 minutes with intermission.

Remaining Performance dates:
Saturday, July 14 @ 9:00 pm
Sunday, July 15 @ 1:00 pm
Sunday, July 15 @ 5:00 pm (Added performance)

For more info: www.interstatemusical.com – www.nymf.org/interstate.

Kit Yan (Book, Music, Lyrics) is an award-winning Yellow American New York based artist, born in Enping, China, and raised in the Kingdom of Hawaii. Kit’s work has been produced by the American Repertory Theater, the Smithsonian, and Dixon Place among many others. They have been a Civilians resident, WP/Public theater Trans Lab fellow, and resident with Musical Theatre Factory and the Village Theatre. www.kityanpoet.com

Melissa Li (Book, Music, Lyrics) is a composer, performer, and writer. She is a recipient of the Jonathan Larson Award and a Queer|Art|Mentorship fellow. Musicals include Surviving the Nian (The Theater Offensive, IRNE Award for Best New Play 2007), 99% Stone (The Theater Offensive), and Interstate (New York Musical Festival). Her works have received support from the National Performance Network, New England Foundation for the Arts, Dixon Place, terraNOVA Collective, and Musical Theater Factory, among others. www.melissali.com

Jessi D. Hill (Director) credits include: new work at New York Theatre Workshop, The Public Theater/Joe’s Pub, The Playwrights’ Center, Primary Stages, Labyrinth, The Women’s Project, 59E59, P73, The New Group, Rattlestick, Ensemble Studio Theatre, HERE Arts Center, terraNOVA Collective, Culture Project, Musical Theatre Factory, The Barrow Group, PS122, New Dramatists, The Lark, The Playwrights Realm, New Georges, The Wild Project, and others. She has been a director and teacher in professional training programs at Yale School of Drama, Juilliard, The Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center/NTI, The Atlantic School, Playwrights Horizons and others. Her work has been seen internationally in Edinburgh, London, New Zealand, Berlin and Hamburg. MFA: Yale. Member SDC. www.jessidhill.com

For more information on Interstate and their journey to NYMF, or how to get involved, you can visit the show’s Kickstarter page.

The New York Musical Festival nurtures the creation, production, and public presentation of stylistically, thematically, and culturally diverse new musicals to ensure the future vitality of musical theater.

Now in its fifteenth year, the Festival is the premier musical theater event in the world. The preeminent site for launching new musicals and discovering new talent, the Festival provides an affordable platform for artists to mount professional productions that reach their peers, industry leaders, and musical theater fans. More than 90 Festival shows have gone on to productions on and Off-Broadway, in regional theaters in all 50 states, and in more than 24 countries worldwide. Festival alumni have received a wide array of awards including the Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize. In 2013, NYMF received a special Drama Desk Award in recognition of its work “creating and nurturing new musical theater, ensuring the future of this essential art form.”

NYMF is the flagship program of National Music Theater Network, Inc., a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization. 2018 NYMF is sponsored by The City of New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, PRG, TheaterMania, Clear Channel Outdoor, Tinc Productions and Fox Stage Productions and is supported, in part, by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

The 2018 New York Musical Festival will take place July 9th – August 5th. For more information, please visit: www.nymf.org.

Don’t Miss Jeanne Sakata’s HOLD THESE TRUTHS Starring Joel de la Fuente at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley through August 5

Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley kicks off its 2018/19 season with Hold These Truths by Jeanne Sakata, an inspiring true story following Gordon Hirabayashi, a Japanese-American student who fought internment to a relocation camp during World War II. This Northern California premiere celebrates the human spirit as it chronicles Hirabayashi’s journey from college in Seattle all the way to the Supreme Court, and eventually to a Congressional Medal of Freedom. Directed by Lisa Rothe, with Joel de la Fuente starring as Hirabayashi, Hold These Truths shares the story of a young man who passionately defends his Constitutional rights against an unexpected adversary: his own country. The play began previews on July 11 and will continue through August 5 at the Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto. Opening night is tonight. For tickets ($40-$100) and more information the public may visit TheatreWorks.org or call (650) 463-1960.

Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang

Hold These Truths made its world premiere in 2007 at East West Players in Los Angeles. In 2012, the solo play made its Off Broadway premiere at Epic Theatre Company starring Joel de la Fuente, and received a 2013 Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance. Since its world premiere, it has gone on to play throughout the nation including theatres in Boston, Honolulu, Washington, D.C., Portland, and many others. Critics have lauded the period piece as “a top-notch production” (The New York Times), “particularly impactful” (TheaterMania), and a show which “gives hope that the arc of the moral universe does indeed eventually bend toward justice” (Los Angeles Times).

The production team includes Sound Designer/Composer Daniel Kluger, Scenic Designer Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams, Scenic Design Assistant Joo Hyun Kim, Costume Designer:Margaret E. Weedon, Lighting Designer: Cat Tate Starmer, Casting Director Jeffrey Lo and Stage Manager Randall K. Lum.

Lisa Rothe, Jeanne Sakata_Joel de la Fuente_photo by Lia Chang (153)

Joel de la Fuente makes his TheatreWorks debut as Gordon Hirabayashi. He has been seen in movies and on many television shows and such as “The Man in the High Castle,” “Madam Secretary,” “Hemlock Grove,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Hawaii 5-O,” “ER,” Red Sparrow, The Adjustment Bureau, and more. De la Fuente has also performed throughout the United States at theatres including New York Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, The Public Theater, and others.

Lisa Rothe (Director), who last helmed Confederates at TheatreWorks, is returning to direct Hold These Truths. For her work on the Off-Broadway premiere of Hold These Truths, she earned a nomination for SDC’s Joe A. Callaway Award for Direction, with The New York Times noting the production was “elegantly directed.” Rothe has worked with New York Theatre Workshop, is an Artistic Affiliate with New Georges, a Drama League alum, a Women’s Project Director’s Lab member, a Fox Fellow recipient, a member of The Actor’s Center, a recent board member of the League of Professional Theatre Women as the VP of Membership, and a new member of the National Theater Conference. She received her MFA from New York University’s Graduate Acting Program before being invited by mentor Zelda Fichandler to be a part of the inaugural class of the Directing program. Rothe has workshopped, developed, and directed a multitude of new works with award winning writers and presented work across New York, including HERE, NYTW, New Georges, The Lark, The Culture Project, The Foundry, Ensemble Studio Theater, The 52nd Street Project, Naked Angels, Epic Theater Ensemble, Summer Play Festival, among others. As the Director of Global Exchange at The Lark in NYC, she expanded opportunities for playwrights to advance new works to production, both nationally and globally (connected to programs with Mexico, Russia, Romania, and China).

Jeanne Sakata (Playwright) is an actor and playwright whose work spans across theatre, film, television, and voiceover. She has been seen on television shows and movies such as Big Hero 6, “Dr. Ken,” “NCIS Los Angeles,” “NUMB3RS”, Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Browns,” “Desperate Housewives,” “ER,” and John Ridley’s I Got You. Sakata has performed throughout the nation at theatres including The Public Theater, South Coast Repertory, Lincoln Center Theater, Kennedy Center, A Contemporary Theatre, American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Syracuse Stage, Arizona Theatre Company, and TheatreWorks Silicon Valley where she starred in the 2017 production of Calligraphy. Her script for Hold These Truths was published in 2010 by the Japan Studies Association Journal, and is currently on display at the Library of Congress Playwrights Archive in the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection in Washington D.C., where the Jeanne Sakata Collection was established in 2011. She is a recipient of the LA Ovation Award for Best Lead Actress, the 2016 lee Melville Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Los Angeles Theatre Community, Los Angeles’ Pacific American Friends of Theatre Outstanding Artist Award, Best Actress Award Entertainment Today Best Supporting Actress Award, and the Drama-Logue Outstanding Performance Award. Sakata resides in Los Angeles and is a member of the city’s acclaimed classical group the Antaeus Company.

Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang

With some 100,000 patrons per year, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley has captured a national reputation for artistic innovation and integrity, often presenting Bay Area theatregoers with their first look at acclaimed musicals, comedies, and dramas, directed by award-winning local and guest directors, and performed by professional actors cast locally and from across the country.

Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang
Joel de la Fuente as Gordon Hirabayashi. Photo by Lia Chang

kqed.org: ‘Hold These Truths’ Remembers One Man’s Refusal to Cede His Civil Rights During WWII

The Rafu Shimpo: ‘HOLD THESE TRUTHS’ AT LUCIE STERN THEATRE

sfexaminer.com: July 11-12: Hold These Truths

mercurynews.com: Now playing on SF Bay Area stage: 1 man’s fight against the Japanese internment camps

metroactive.com: ‘Hold These Truths’ Remembers Japanese Internment

register-pajaronian: Watsonville native celebrates Bay Area premiere of play

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

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

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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 liachangpr@gmail.com

David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER at San Francisco’s Curran Ends Limited Run

Daniel May, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos, Austin Ku, Kristen Faith Oei, Lia Chang, Emily Stillings, Kara Guy, Jon Hoche, Raymond J. Lee and Billy Bustamante.
Daniel May, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos, Austin Ku, Kristen Faith Oei, Lia Chang, Emily Stillings, Kara Guy, Jon Hoche, Raymond J. Lee and Billy Bustamante.
Daniel May, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos, Austin Ku, Kristen Faith Oei, Lia Chang, Emily Stillings, Kara Guy, Jon Hoche, Raymond J. Lee and Billy Bustamante.

David Henry Hwang (play and lyrics) and Jeanine Tesori’s genre defying play with a musical, which ends its Bay Area premiere at San Francisco’s Curran (445 Geary Street) tonight, is must see theater. SOFT POWER is a Center Theatre Group co-commission with The Public Theater and had its world premiere at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. Tickets for SOFT POWER range in price from $29-$175 and are available by calling 415-358-1220 or visiting SFCURRAN.com/soft-power.

Sam Pinkleton, Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Leigh Silverman, David Henry Hwang, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis. Photo by Lia Chang
Sam Pinkleton, Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Leigh Silverman, David Henry Hwang, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis. Photo by Lia Chang

Directed by Leigh Silverman (Violet) and choreographed by Sam Pinkleton (Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812), SOFT POWER rewinds our recent political history and plays it back, a century later, through the Chinese lens of a future, beloved East-meets-West musical. In the musical, a Chinese executive who is visiting America finds himself falling in love with a good-hearted U.S. leader as the power balance between their two countries shifts following the 2016 election.

Kara Guy, Raymond J. Lee, Emily Stillings, Kendyl Ito, Billy Bustamante, Geena Quinto, Daniel May, Kristen Faith Oei, Jaygee Macapugay and Austin Ku. Photo by Lia Chang
Kara Guy, Raymond J. Lee, Emily Stillings, Kendyl Ito, Billy Bustamante, Geena Quinto, Daniel May, Kristen Faith Oei, Jaygee Macapugay and Austin Ku. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast of SOFT POWER features Billy Bustamante (Miss Saigon), Kara Guy, Jon Hoche (War Horse tour), Kendyl Ito (Matilda tour), Francis Jue (M. Butterfly), Austin Ku (Chinglish tour), Raymond J. Lee (Groundhog Day), Alyse Alan Louis (Amélie), Jaygee Macapugay (School of Rock), Daniel May (Thoroughly Modern Millie tour), Paul HeeSang Miller (Miss Saigon), Kristen Faith Oei (M. Butterfly), Maria-Christina Oliveras (Amélie), Geena Quintos (Miss Saigon), Conrad Ricamora (The King and I, “How to Get Away with Murder”), Trevor Salter (Here Lies Love) and Emily Stillings (The King and I).

Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

I flew to San Francisco to catch SOFT POWER and visited with some of the cast post-show. Also in the house that night – Joel de la Fuente and director Lisa Rothe – who are currently in rehearsal for Jeanne Sakata’s Hold These Truths at Theaterworks SV.

Conrad Ricamora, Austin Ku, Francis Jue, Geena Quintos, Billy Bustamante and Raymond J. Lee. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Conrad Ricamora, Austin Ku, Francis Jue, Geena Quintos, Billy Bustamante and Raymond J. Lee. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

I am proud of the Asian American representation and overwhelmed by the level of humanity portrayed onstage. Thank you to the cast for your brave, brilliant and vulnerable performances and to the creative team for their powerful storytelling.

Maria-Christina Oliveras (obscured), Geena Quintos, Billy Bustamante, Conrad Ricamora, Jaygee Macapugay, Jon Hoche and Daniel May. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Maria-Christina Oliveras (obscured), Geena Quintos, Billy Bustamante, Conrad Ricamora, Jaygee Macapugay, Jon Hoche and Daniel May. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

The creative team includes scenic design by Tony Award winner David Zinn, costume design by Drama Desk Award winner Anita Yavich, lighting design by Mark Barton, sound design by Tony Award nominee Kai Harada, orchestrations by Drama Desk Award winner and Tony Award nominee Danny Troob, dance arrangements by John Clancy, music supervision by Chris Fenwick, music direction by David O, hair and wig design by Tom Watson, make-up design by Angelina Avallone and casting by Heidi Griffiths, CSAand Kate Murray, CSA. The dramaturg is Oskar Eustis. The production stage manager is David Lurie-Perret.

Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

As original as it is topical, SOFT POWER overflows with the romance, laughter and cultural confusions of the golden age of Broadway. SOFT POWER is inspired by the legacy of classic American musicals such as The King and I as well as China’s current quest for international cultural influence, also known as SOFT POWER.

Jeanine Tesori and David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
Jeanine Tesori and David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

Hwang is a playwright, screenwriter, television writer, and librettist, whose stage works includes the plays M. Butterfly, Chinglish, Yellow Face, Kung Fu, Golden Child, The Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, as well as the Broadway musicals Elton John & Tim Rice’s Aida (co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 revival) and Disney’s Tarzan. He is also America’s most-produced living opera librettist, whose works have been honored with two Grammy Awards, and he co-wrote the Gold Record “Solo” with the late pop star Prince. Hwang is currently a Writer/Consulting Producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series “The Affair,” and his screenplays include Possession, M. Butterfly, and Golden Gate. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Hwang is a Tony Award winner (M. Butterfly) and three-time nominee, a three-time Obie Award winner and a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Recent honors include the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master American Dramatist, the 2012 Inge Award, the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright “Mimi” Award, a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award and the 2015 IPSA Distinguished Artist Award. He is Chair of the American Theatre Wing and sits on the boards of Young Playwrights Inc. and the Lark Play Development Center. Hwang was recently the Residency One Playwright at New York’s Signature Theatre and currently serves as head of playwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts. In 1998, East West Players named its new mainstage the David Henry Hwang Theater.

Kristen Faith Oei, Raymond J. Lee (obscured), Austin Ku, Daniel May, Geena Quintos, Jon Hoche, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Billy Bustamante (obscured), Maria-Christina Oliveras and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Kristen Faith Oei, Raymond J. Lee (obscured), Austin Ku, Daniel May, Geena Quintos, Jon Hoche, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Billy Bustamante (obscured), Maria-Christina Oliveras and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

Tesori returns to Curran, where in January 2017, Fun Home was the first performance following the theater’s extensive renovation. Broadway credits include Fun Home (2015 Tony Award winner), Violet, Caroline, or Change, Shrek The Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Twelfth Night (Lincoln Center Theater) and John Guare’s A Free Man of Color. Tesori also collaborated with Tony Kushner on Mother Courage starring Meryl Streep at the Delacorte. Her opera credits include A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck (libretto, Tony Kushner; Glimmerglass) and The Lion, the Unicorn and Me (libretto, J. D. McClatchy; Washington National Opera). Her songs are featured in the Netflix revival of “Gilmore Girls.” She is the artistic director/co-founder of A Broader Way, an arts empowerment program for girls from underserved communities; the founding artistic director of Encores! Off-Center; and a lecturer in music at Yale University and Columbia University. Tesori is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Conrad Ricamora and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Conrad Ricamora and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Jon Hoche; Daniel May (facing away); Kendyl Ito; Kristen Faith Oei; Maria-Christina Oliveras (obscured); Raymond J. Lee; Jaygee Macapugay and Geena Quintos. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Jon Hoche; Daniel May (facing away); Kendyl Ito; Kristen Faith Oei; Maria-Christina Oliveras (obscured); Raymond J. Lee; Jaygee Macapugay and Geena Quintos. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

Chatting with Raymond J. Lee about SOFT POWER, GROUNDHOG DAY and his Feinstein’s/54 Below Show with Sharone Sayegh on July 26

Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

Award-winning Broadway Vet Francis Jue Talks about SOFT POWER, KING OF THE YEES, WILD GOOSE DREAMS, “Madam Secretary” and Getting Married 

Francis Jue, Conrad Ricamora, Austin Ku, Raymond J. Lee, Jaygee Macapugay, Billy Bustamante, Alyse Alan Louis (center), Maria-Christina Oliveras, Geena Quintos, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jon Hoche, Kristen Faith Oei, Daniel May and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Francis Jue, Conrad Ricamora, Austin Ku, Raymond J. Lee, Jaygee Macapugay, Billy Bustamante, Alyse Alan Louis (center), Maria-Christina Oliveras, Geena Quintos, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jon Hoche, Kristen Faith Oei, Daniel May and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Raymond J. Lee, Jaygee Macapugay, Austin Ku, Kendyl Ito and Jon Hoche. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Raymond J. Lee, Jaygee Macapugay, Austin Ku, Kendyl Ito and Jon Hoche. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
The cast. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
The cast. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Seated: Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Kendyl Ito, Daniel May. Standing: Trevor Salter, Sam Pinkleton, Emily Stillings, Billy Bustamante, Kristen Faith Oei, Jon Hoche, Leigh Silverman, Austin Ku, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis, Raymond J. Lee, Maria-Christina Oliveras, David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
Seated: Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Kendyl Ito, Daniel May. Standing: Trevor Salter, Sam Pinkleton, Emily Stillings, Billy Bustamante, Kristen Faith Oei, Jon Hoche, Leigh Silverman, Austin Ku, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis, Raymond J. Lee, Maria-Christina Oliveras, David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

Billy Bustamante, Jon Hoche, Kendyl Ito, Francis Jue, Austin Ku, Raymond J. Lee, Alyse Alan Louis, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May, Paul HeeSang Miller, Kristen Faith Oei, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Geena Quintos, Conrad Ricamora,Trevor Salter and Emily Stillings Set for World Premiere of David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER 

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

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

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2018 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

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Final Week to see Billy Bustamante, Kara Guy, Jon Hoche, Kendyl Ito, Francis Jue, Austin Ku, Raymond J. Lee, Alyse Alan Louis, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May, Paul HeeSang Miller, Kristen Faith Oei, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Geena Quintos, Conrad Ricamora, Trevor Salter and Emily Stillings in David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER at San Francisco’s Curran through July 8

Conrad Ricamora, Austin Ku, Francis Jue, Geena Quintos, Billy Bustamante and Raymond J. Lee. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

SOFT POWER, the play featuring a musical by David Henry Hwang (play and lyrics) and Jeanine Tesori (music and additional lyrics), has performances at San Francisco’s Curran (445 Geary Street) through July 8, 2018. SOFT POWER is a Center Theatre Group co-commission with The Public Theater and had its world premiere at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. Tickets for SOFT POWER range in price from $29-$175 and are available by calling 415-358-1220 or visiting SFCURRAN.com/soft-power.

David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly, Flower Drum Song) and Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home). Directed by Leigh Silverman (Violet) and choreographed by Sam Pinkleton (Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812), SOFT POWER rewinds our recent political history and plays it back, a century later, through the Chinese lens of a future, beloved East-meets-West musical. In the musical, a Chinese executive who is visiting America finds himself falling in love with a good-hearted U.S. leader as the power balance between their two countries shifts following the 2016 election.

Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

The cast of SOFT POWER features Billy Bustamante (Miss Saigon), Kara Guy, Jon Hoche (War Horse tour), Kendyl Ito (Matilda tour), Francis Jue (M. Butterfly), Austin Ku (Chinglish tour), Raymond J. Lee (Groundhog Day), Alyse Alan Louis (Amélie), Jaygee Macapugay (School of Rock), Daniel May (Thoroughly Modern Millie tour), Paul HeeSang Miller (Miss Saigon), Kristen Faith Oei (M. Butterfly), Maria-Christina Oliveras (Amélie), Geena Quintos (Miss Saigon), Conrad Ricamora (The King and I, “How to Get Away with Murder”), Trevor Salter (Here Lies Love) and Emily Stillings (The King and I).

Conrad Ricamora, Austin Ku, Francis Jue, Geena Quintos, Billy Bustamante and Raymond J. Lee. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Conrad Ricamora, Austin Ku, Francis Jue, Geena Quintos, Billy Bustamante and Raymond J. Lee. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

The creative team includes scenic design by Tony Award winner David Zinn, costume design by Drama Desk Award winner Anita Yavich, lighting design by Mark Barton, sound design by Tony Award nominee Kai Harada, orchestrations by Drama Desk Award winner and Tony Award nominee Danny Troob, dance arrangements by John Clancy, music supervision by Chris Fenwick, music direction by David O, hair and wig design by Tom Watson, make-up design by Angelina Avallone and casting by Heidi Griffiths, CSAand Kate Murray, CSA. The dramaturg is Oskar Eustis. The production stage manager is David Lurie-Perret.

Maria-Christina Oliveras (obscured), Geena Quintos, Billy Bustamante, Conrad Ricamora, Jaygee Macapugay, Jon Hoche and Daniel May. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Maria-Christina Oliveras (obscured), Geena Quintos, Billy Bustamante, Conrad Ricamora, Jaygee Macapugay, Jon Hoche and Daniel May. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

As original as it is topical, SOFT POWER overflows with the romance, laughter and cultural confusions of the golden age of Broadway. SOFT POWER is inspired by the legacy of classic American musicals such as The King and I as well as China’s current quest for international cultural influence, also known as SOFT POWER.

Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Sam Pinkleton, Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Leigh Silverman, David Henry Hwang, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis. Photo by Lia Chang
Sam Pinkleton, Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Leigh Silverman, David Henry Hwang, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis. Photo by Lia Chang

Hwang is a playwright, screenwriter, television writer, and librettist, whose stage works includes the plays M. Butterfly, Chinglish, Yellow Face, Kung Fu, Golden Child, The Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, as well as the Broadway musicals Elton John & Tim Rice’s Aida (co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 revival) and Disney’s Tarzan. He is also America’s most-produced living opera librettist, whose works have been honored with two Grammy Awards, and he co-wrote the Gold Record “Solo” with the late pop star Prince. Hwang is currently a Writer/Consulting Producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series “The Affair,” and his screenplays include Possession, M. Butterfly, and Golden Gate. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Hwang is a Tony Award winner (M. Butterfly) and three-time nominee, a three-time Obie Award winner and a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Recent honors include the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master American Dramatist, the 2012 Inge Award, the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright “Mimi” Award, a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award and the 2015 IPSA Distinguished Artist Award. He is Chair of the American Theatre Wing and sits on the boards of Young Playwrights Inc. and the Lark Play Development Center. Hwang was recently the Residency One Playwright at New York’s Signature Theatre and currently serves as head of playwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts. In 1998, East West Players named its new mainstage the David Henry Hwang Theater.

Kristen Faith Oei, Raymond J. Lee (obscured), Austin Ku, Daniel May, Geena Quintos, Jon Hoche, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Billy Bustamante (obscured), Maria-Christina Oliveras and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Kristen Faith Oei, Raymond J. Lee (obscured), Austin Ku, Daniel May, Geena Quintos, Jon Hoche, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Billy Bustamante (obscured), Maria-Christina Oliveras and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

Tesori returns to Curran, where in January 2017, Fun Home was the first performance following the theater’s extensive renovation. Broadway credits include Fun Home (2015 Tony Award winner), Violet, Caroline, or Change, Shrek The Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Twelfth Night (Lincoln Center Theater) and John Guare’s A Free Man of Color. Tesori also collaborated with Tony Kushner on Mother Courage starring Meryl Streep at the Delacorte. Her opera credits include A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck (libretto, Tony Kushner; Glimmerglass) and The Lion, the Unicorn and Me (libretto, J. D. McClatchy; Washington National Opera). Her songs are featured in the Netflix revival of “Gilmore Girls.” She is the artistic director/co-founder of A Broader Way, an arts empowerment program for girls from underserved communities; the founding artistic director of Encores! Off-Center; and a lecturer in music at Yale University and Columbia University. Tesori is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Conrad Ricamora and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Conrad Ricamora and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Conrad Ricamora and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Conrad Ricamora and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Jon Hoche; Daniel May (facing away); Kendyl Ito; Kristen Faith Oei; Maria-Christina Oliveras (obscured); Raymond J. Lee; Jaygee Macapugay and Geena Quintos. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Jon Hoche; Daniel May (facing away); Kendyl Ito; Kristen Faith Oei; Maria-Christina Oliveras (obscured); Raymond J. Lee; Jaygee Macapugay and Geena Quintos. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

Chatting with Raymond J. Lee about SOFT POWER, GROUNDHOG DAY and his Feinstein’s/54 Below Show with Sharone Sayegh on July 26 Conrad Ricamora. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

Conrad Ricamora. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

Award-winning Broadway Vet Francis Jue Talks about SOFT POWER, KING OF THE YEES, WILD GOOSE DREAMS, “Madam Secretary” and Getting Married 

Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Francis Jue, Conrad Ricamora, Austin Ku, Raymond J. Lee, Jaygee Macapugay, Billy Bustamante, Alyse Alan Louis (center), Maria-Christina Oliveras, Geena Quintos, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jon Hoche, Kristen Faith Oei, Daniel May and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Francis Jue, Conrad Ricamora, Austin Ku, Raymond J. Lee, Jaygee Macapugay, Billy Bustamante, Alyse Alan Louis (center), Maria-Christina Oliveras, Geena Quintos, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jon Hoche, Kristen Faith Oei, Daniel May and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Raymond J. Lee, Jaygee Macapugay, Austin Ku, Kendyl Ito and Jon Hoche. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Raymond J. Lee, Jaygee Macapugay, Austin Ku, Kendyl Ito and Jon Hoche. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
The cast. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
The cast. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Seated: Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Kendyl Ito, Daniel May. Standing: Trevor Salter, Sam Pinkleton, Emily Stillings, Billy Bustamante, Kristen Faith Oei, Jon Hoche, Leigh Silverman, Austin Ku, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis, Raymond J. Lee, Maria-Christina Oliveras, David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
Seated: Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Kendyl Ito, Daniel May. Standing: Trevor Salter, Sam Pinkleton, Emily Stillings, Billy Bustamante, Kristen Faith Oei, Jon Hoche, Leigh Silverman, Austin Ku, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis, Raymond J. Lee, Maria-Christina Oliveras, David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

Billy Bustamante, Jon Hoche, Kendyl Ito, Francis Jue, Austin Ku, Raymond J. Lee, Alyse Alan Louis, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May, Paul HeeSang Miller, Kristen Faith Oei, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Geena Quintos, Conrad Ricamora,Trevor Salter and Emily Stillings Set for World Premiere of David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER 

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

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

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2018 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

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James Monroe Iglehart, Garth Kravits and Jessie Mueller Visit ONCE ON THIS ISLAND

Merle Dandridge, Jessie Mueller, Kenita R. MIller, Alex Newell and Lea Salonga. Photo by Lia Chang
Alex Newell, Lea Salonga, Merle Dandridge and Quentin Earl Darrington. Photo by Lia Chang
Alex Newell, Lea Salonga, Merle Dandridge and Quentin Earl Darrington. Photo by Lia Chang

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house at the evening performance of the Tony Award-winning Revival of a Musical Once On This Island, as Tony Award-winner Lea Salonga, played her final performance as Erzulie on June 24, before heading out to the Hollywood Bowl to star as Grace Farrell in the Michael Arden helmed production of Annie, July 27 – 29.

Merle Dandridge, Jessie Mueller, Kenita R. MIller, Alex Newell and Lea Salonga. Photo by Lia Chang
Merle Dandridge, Jessie Mueller, Kenita R. MIller, Alex Newell and Lea Salonga. Photo by Lia Chang

“Greenleaf” star Merle Dandridge, who originated the role of Papa Ge in the current revival, has returned for a limited run through August 19.

Garth Kravits, Kenita R. Miller and Jessie Mueller. Photo by Lia Chang
Garth Kravits, Kenita R. Miller and Jessie Mueller. Photo by Lia Chang

 Carousel‘s Jessie Mueller, Hamiton‘s James Monroe Iglehart and Gettin’ The Band Back Together‘s Garth Kravits visited with cast after the show.

Phillip Boykin, Emerson Davis, James M. Iglehart. Photo by Lia Chang
Phillip Boykin, Emerson Davis, James M. Iglehart. Photo by Lia Chang

The production opened to rave reviews on December 3 at The Circle in the Square Theatre and received eight Tony Award® nominations including Best Musical Revival, seven Drama Desk Award nominations, six Outer Critics Circle nominations and three Chita Rivera Award nominations. In addition to Best Musical Revival, the other Tony nominations included Best Leading Actress in a Musical – Hailey Kilgore, Best Scenic Design of a Musical – Dane Laffrey, Best Costume Design of a Musical – Clint Ramos, Best Lighting Design of a Musical – Jules Fisher + Peggy Eisenhauer, Best Sound Design of a Musical – Peter Hylenski, Best Direction of a Musical – Michael Arden, and Best Orchestrations – AnnMarie Milazzo & Michael Starobin.

Deonté Lamont, James Monroe Iglehart, Lea Salonga, Juwan Alan Crawley and Anthony Murphy. Photo by Lia Chang
Deonté Lamont, James Monroe Iglehart, Lea Salonga, Juwan Alan Crawley and Anthony Murphy. Photo by Lia Chang

The current cast stars Darlesia Cearcy as Erzulie, Merle Dandridge as Papa Ge, Quentin Earl Darrington as Agwe, Alex Newell as Asaka and Tony Award nominee Hailey Kilgore as Ti Moune. The cast also features Kenita R. Miller (Mama Euralie) Phillip Boykin (Tonton Julian), Courtnee Carter (Storyteller), Rodrick Covington (Storyteller), Cicily Daniels (Storyteller), Emerson Davis (Little Girl) Alysha Deslorieux (Andrea), Tyler Hardwick (Storyteller), Cassondra James (Storyteller), David Jennings (Armand), Grasan Kingsberry (Storyteller), Isaac Powell (Daniel), T. Oliver Reid (Storyteller), Anna Uzele (Storyteller), Ximone Rose (Storyteller), Anthony Wayne (Storyteller, Aurelia Williams (Storyteller), Mia Williamson (Little Girl) and Daniel Yearwood (Storyteller).

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Kenita R. Miller and Merle Dandridge. Photo by Lia Chang
Kenita R. Miller and Merle Dandridge. Photo by Lia Chang

The new production is directed by Tony nominee Michael Arden, and choreographed by the critically-acclaimed Camille A. Brown.

Quentin Earl Darrington and Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Quentin Earl Darrington and Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang

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

Alex Newell, Lea Salonga, Merle Dandridge and Quentin Earl Darrington. Photo by Lia Chang
Alex Newell, Lea Salonga, Merle Dandridge and Quentin Earl Darrington. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team also includes Dane Laffrey (Scenic Design), Clint Ramos (Costume Design), Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (Lighting Designers), Peter Hylenski (Sound Designer), John Bertles/Bash The Trash (Unusual Instruments), Cookie Jordan (Hair/Wig & Makeup Designer), Chris Fenwick (Music Supervisor), Alvin Hough, Jr. (Music Director), David Perlow (Associate Director), Nikki M. James (Assistant Director), Rickey Tripp (Associate Choreographer) and Telsey + Co / Craig Burns, CSA (Casting Agent).

Alex Newell, Garth Kravits, Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Alex Newell, Garth Kravits, Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang

Once On This Island is the tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl who falls in love with a wealthy boy from the other side of the island. When their divided cultures keep them apart, Ti Moune is guided by the powerful island gods, Erzulie, Asaka, Papa Ge, and Agwe, on a remarkable quest to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.

Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang

Bursting with Caribbean colors, rhythms and dance, the story comes to vibrant life in a striking production by Tony Award®-nominated director Michael Arden (Spring Awakening revival) and acclaimed choreographer Camille A. Brown. This production 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.

Tickets for Once On This Island are on sale through Telecharge.

Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang

Tony Award Winner Lea Salonga to Star as Grace Farrell in ANNIE at the Hollywood Bowl, July 27 – 29 

Casts of “The Band’s Visit,” “Carousel,” “Frozen,” “Mean Girls,” “My Fair Lady,” “Once on This Island,” “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical,” “SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical,” and “Dear Evan Hansen” to Perform on 2018 Tony Awards 

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

Kenita R. Miller and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Kenita R. Miller and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2018 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

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In Rehearsal: Barrington Stage Company and Ma-Yi Theater Company’s World Premiere of Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY with Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo

Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang

Barrington Stage Company (BSC), the award-winning theatre in the Berkshires (Pittsfield, MA) under the leadership of Artistic Director Julianne Boyd, is presenting the World Premiere of The Chinese Lady starring Shannon Tyo (BSC’s Broadway Bounty Hunter) as “Afong Moy” and Daniel K. Isaac (“Billions”) as “Atung.”

Daniel K. Isaac, Ralph Peña and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac, Ralph Peña and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang

Written by Lloyd Suh (Charles Francis Chan Jr.’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery), directed by Ralph Peña (Microcrisis, Ma-Yi Theater Company), and presented in a co-production with the Ma-Yi Theater Company, The Chinese Lady begins previews Friday, July 20 on the St. Germain Stage, Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, 30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201. Opening night is Wednesday, July 25, and performances will run through Saturday, August 11.

Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang

In 1834, Afong Moy is brought to the United States from Beijing and put on display for the American public as the “Chinese Lady.” Over the next 45 years, she performs in a side show that both defines and challenges her own view of herself. Inspired by the true story of America’s first female Chinese immigrant, playwright Lloyd Suh spins a tale of dark poetic whimsy in this piercing  portrait of America as seen through the eyes of a young Chinese woman.

Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang

Daniel K. Isaac (Atung) is an actor and writer born and raised in Southern California, currently based in New York City. You can currently see him on the small screen as ‘Ben Kim’ in Showtime’s “Billions.”

Isaac co-wrote and stars in the short film/pilot presentation, “According To My Mother.” The project was selected for IFP Film Week and the inaugural Sundance New Voices Lab and was an Official Selection at ITVFest, Newfest, Outfest Fusion, Outfest, CAAMfest, SeriesFest (where it was awarded Best Actress), and New York Television Festival (Best Drama and Best Actor). “According To My Mother” is currently in development to become a digital series on First Look Media’s new platform, TOPIC. Isaac is a member of Page 73’s 2018 Interstate 73 Writers Group, Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Youngblood, and a Lambda Literary Playwriting Fellow. Training: UCSD, BADA. www.AccordingToMyMother.com

He recently appeared as William Inge in the Off-Broadway production of Philip Dawkin’s The Gentleman Caller, produced by Abingdon Theatre at The Cherry Lane.  Select NYC: Sagittarius Ponderosa (NAATCO), Underland (59E59), La Divina Caricatura (La MaMa, Under the Radar & St. Ann’s Warehouse), Anna Nicole the Opera (BAM). Select Regional: The Ballad of Little Jo (Two River Theater), Miss Electricity (La Jolla Playhouse). Film/TV: MONEY MONSTER (dir. Jodie Foster), “The Jim Gaffigan Show” (TV LAND), “Search Party” (TBS), “Crashing” (HBO), “The Following” (FOX), “Person of Interest” (CBS), “Believe” (NBC, pilot), TOO BIG TO FAIL (HBO).  www.DanielKIsaac.com

Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang
Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang

Shannon Tyo (Afong Moy) Off-Broadway credits include Kentucky, Bikeman: A 9/11 Play, Dear Edwina. Favorite regional credits include The White Snake at the Old Globe, San Diego; Miss Saigon at the Pioneer Theatre Co, Music Theatre of Wichita and Cape Fear Regional; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Northern Stage, Tuacahn PAC and Pioneer Theatre Co.; and Broadway Bounty Hunter at Barrington Stage. BFA Syracuse University.

Set and Costumes designed by Junghyun Georgia Lee. Lighting design by Oliver Wason. Sound design by Fabian Obispo. Production Stage Manager is Geoff Boronda.

Playwright Lloyd Suh is the author of Charles Francis Chan Jr’s Exotic Oriental Murder Mystery, American Hwangap, The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra Go!, Jesus in India, Great Wall Story, and others, produced with Ma-Yi, Magic Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Play Company, La Mama, Denver Center Theatre Company, ArtsEmerson, The Guthrie Theatre with Mu Performing Arts, East West Players, and internationally at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila, and with PCPA in Seoul, Korea. He has received support from the NEA Arena Stage New Play Development program, the Andrew W. Mellon Launching New Plays Into the Repertoire initiative via the Lark, NYFA, NYSCA, Jerome Foundation, TCG, and Dramatists Guild, and has been a recipient of the Roe Green Award from Cleveland Playhouse, the Lilah Kan Red Socks Award, and the Helen Merrill Award. His plays have been published by Samuel French, Playscripts, Smith & Kraus, Duke University Press and American Theater magazine. He is an alum of Youngblood and the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and from 2005-2010 served as Artistic Director of Second Generation and Co-Director of the Ma-Yi Writers Lab. He currently serves on the Dramatists Guild Council and has since 2011 served as Director of Artistic Programs at The Lark.

Playwright Lloyd Suh and Director Ralph Pena
Playwright Lloyd Suh and Director Ralph Peña

Director Ralph B. Peña is the current Artistic Director of Ma-Yi Theater Company. Recent directing credits include Among the DeadHouse Rules (Ma-Yi) The Orphan of Zhao (Fordham Theatre), Macho Dancer: A Musical (Cultural Center of the Philippines), Livin’ La Vida Imelda (Ma-Yi), Lloyd Suh’s The Wong Kids in the Secret of the Space Chupacabra GO! (Cultural Center of the Philippines, Children’s Theater Co. and Ma-Yi, Off Broadway Alliance Award), Julia Specht’s Down Cleghorn, Joshua Conkel’s Curmudgeons in Love (EST Marathon), Mike Lew’s microcrisis(Youngblood, Ma-Yi), and House/Boy (Dublin and Singapore Theater Festivals). His theater work has been seen at The NYSF/Public Theater, Long Wharf Theater, Laguna Playhouse, NAATCO, Second Generation, Victory Gardens, and LaMama ETC, among others. He received an Obie Award for his work on The Romance of Magno Rubio. Ralph is a member of the Ensemble Studio Theater. This is for Damien, always and forever.

Performance schedules for all productions are available by visiting www.barringtonstageco.org.

Both single tickets and 2018 season passes are now on sale and available at www.barringtonstageco.org or by calling 413-236-8888 or visiting the Mainstage box office (30 Union Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201). Tickets range from $25 to $69.

THE CHINESE LADY set. Photo by Lia Chang
THE CHINESE LADY set. Photo by Lia Chang

Barrington Stage and Ma-Yi Present Daniel K. Isaac and Shannon Tyo in World Premiere of Lloyd Suh’s THE CHINESE LADY at Barrington Stage, July 20 – August 11

Inside THE GENTLEMAN CALLER’S Opening Night Party with Daniel K. Isaac and Juan Francisco Villa 

Up Close and Personal with Daniel K. Isaac – William Inge in Abingdon Theatre’s Production of THE GENTLEMAN CALLER by Philip Dawkins, May 5 – 26 

Jon Norman Schneider, Jiehae Park, Keelay Gipson, Julian Leong, Diana Oh, David Shih and Teal Wicks in Daniel K. Isaac’s OR OR OR &&& at The Actors Fund Arts Center 

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

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

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2018 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

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