André De Shields, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Sheila E., John Legend, Cassandra Wilson to Receive Honorary Doctorates on May 9

Mikhail Baryshnikov and André De Shields will receive honorary Doctor of Arts degrees from Boston Conservatory at Berklee, and Sheila E., John Legend, and Cassandra Wilson will receive honorary Doctor of Music degrees from Berklee College of Music. Images by Peter Baryshnikov and Lia Chang.
Mikhail Baryshnikov and André De Shields will receive honorary Doctor of Arts degrees from Boston Conservatory at Berklee, and Sheila E., John Legend, and Cassandra Wilson will receive honorary Doctor of Music degrees from Berklee College of Music. Images by Peter Baryshnikov and Lia Chang.

Five of the most influential artists in the performing arts will receive honorary doctorates from Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory at Berklee in virtual commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 9. Mikhail Baryshnikov and André De Shields will receive honorary Doctor of Arts degrees from the Conservatory, and Sheila E., John Legend, and Cassandra Wilson will receive honorary Doctor of Music degrees from the College.

This year’s honorary doctorate recipients will be recognized for their numerous achievements in the arts as well as their enduring contributions to the cultural fabric of America and the world. Past recipients from the College include Duke Ellington (the first, in 1971), Aretha Franklin, Quincy Jones ’51, Wang Leehom ’99, Juan Luis Guerra ’82, Missy Elliott, Esperanza Spalding B.M. ’05, Rita Moreno, Justin Timberlake, and A. R. Rahman. Past recipients from the Conservatory include Sutton Foster, Leontyne Price, Betty Buckley, Debbie Allen, Nicholas Paleologos, Barbara Cook, Billy Porter, Victoria Livengood (M.M. ’85, voice), and Mary Rogers.

From their remote locations around the world, a group of student performers representing the College and Conservatory class of 2020 will unite as a collaborative virtual ensemble to record a multigenre tribute to the honorees, with accompanying split-screen-style videos. The prerecorded tribute will air on Friday, May 8, on the Berklee YouTube channel, and the ceremonies will be streamed on Berklee social media channels the following day.

In addition, when circumstances allow, the institution will host in-person ceremonies and receptions on campus in the fall semester: one for each of the three college divisions, one for the conservatory, and one for Berklee Online graduates.

Tony Award Winner André De Shields, Boston Conservatory at Berklee honoree. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields is the triple-crown winner of the 2019 awards season, having won the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Tony awards for best featured actor in a musical for his critically acclaimed performance as Hermes in Hadestown. The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, honoring veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. Prior to his Tony Award win, De Shields was best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The WizAin’t Misbehavin’, Play On!, and The Full Monty. In a career spanning 50 years, he has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator, receiving in 2018 the eighth annual Off-Broadway Alliance Legend Award and the 33rd annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and a 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for sustained excellence of performance. In 2019, De Shields received the key to the city of his hometown, Baltimore, Maryland, from Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young; the inaugural Harlem Week Pride 50 Award; the Project1Voice Lifetime Achievement Award; the Joyce Warshow Lifetime Achievement Award from SAGE; the Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre; and an induction into the American Theater Hall of Fame. De Shields is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC.

Mikhail Baryshnikov, Boston Conservatory at Berklee honoree
Image by Peter Baryshnikov

Mikhail Baryshnikov is considered one of the greatest dancers of our time. After commencing a spectacular career with the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad, he settled in New York City in 1974 as principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre (ABT). In 1978, he joined New York City Ballet, where he worked with George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins. A year later he was appointed artistic director of ABT where, for the next decade, he introduced a new generation of dancers and choreographers. From 1990 to 2002, Baryshnikov was director and dancer of the White Oak Dance Project, which he and choreographer Mark Morris cofounded to expand the repertoire and visibility of American modern dance. As an actor he has performed widely on- and off-Broadway, as well as in television and film, receiving a Tony Award nomination and a Drama Desk Award nomination for Metamorphosis, and an Academy Award nomination for The Turning Point. He recently toured Brodsky/Baryshnikov, a theatrical solo work directed by Latvian director Alvis Hermanis. In 2005, he launched Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC) in New York City, a creative space designed to support multidisciplinary artists from around the globe. Among Baryshnikov’s many awards are the Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Arts, the Commonwealth Award, the Chubb Fellowship, the Jerome Robbins Award, and the Vilcek Award. In 2010, he was given the rank of Officer of the French Legion of Honor, and in 2017 he received Japan’s prestigious Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award in Theatre/Film. Current projects include NOT ONCE., a cinematic installation developed in collaboration with Jan Fabre and Phil Griffin, and a second theatrical production directed by Hermanis, The White Helicopter, which premiered November 2019 at the New Riga Theatre.

Sheila E., Berklee College of Music honoree Image courtesy of the artist

Guided by family, faith, and music, Sheila Escovedo has made a name for herself as one of the most talented artists over the past five decades. An acclaimed percussionist, singer, author, and actress, Escovedo has released eight studio albums, two of which reached RIAA gold status. She has received four Grammy Award nominations, an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Music Direction for the program In Performance at the White House: Fiesta Latina, and has reached no. 1 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart twice. Her producing, arranging, and performance talents can be seen from appearances on the Grammys, Academy Awards, Latin Grammys, BET Awards, Kennedy Center Honors, Summer Olympics, and NAACP Image Awards. Her collaborations with the likes of Prince, Hans Zimmer, John Rich, Gary Clark Jr., and the iconic E Family Band showcase her versatility, performing across a variety of musical genres. Escovedo’s eagerness to share her music, her openness as an author, and her fire for her ministry make her a relatable, inspirational figure for people of all ages.

John Legend, Berklee College of Music honoree Image courtesy of the artist

Multiplatinum artist and producer John Legend has garnered 11 Grammys, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a Tony Award, and an Emmy, making Legend the first African American man to earn the elusive EGOT status. Since 2004, Legend has released six acclaimed albums. Legend executive produced and starred in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar: Live in Concert in 2018, winning an Emmy for Outstanding Variety Special, and a nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series, Movie, or Variety Special. He joined NBC’s The Voice for season 16 in 2019, where he won with his mentee Maelyn Jarmon, and is currently a coach for season 18. Legend is a partner in Get Lifted Film Co., serving as an executive producer for Southern RitesUnited Skates, WGN America’s Underground, and films Southside with You and La La Land. As a philanthropist, Legend initiated the #FreeAmerica campaign in 2015 to change the national conversation surrounding the United States’s misguided criminal justice policies and to end mass incarceration.

Cassandra Wilson, Berklee College of Music honoree Image courtesy of the artist

Cassandra Wilson is an iconic jazz musician, vocalist, songwriter, and producer. She is heralded for incorporating blues, country, and folk music into her work, expanding the genre of jazz. In the 1980s, she met saxophonist Steve Coleman in New York and became one of the founding members of the M-Base Collective. She signed with Blue Note Records in 1992 and released the landmark album Blue Light ‘Til Dawn, paving the way for a new generation of jazz singers seeking an approach and repertoire that challenged the supremacy of the American standard songbook. Her accolades include two Grammy Awards, a Django d’Or, an Edison Jazz Award, and a marker on the Mississippi Blues Trail. She performed on Wynton Marsalis’s Blood on the Fields, the first jazz work to receive the Pulitzer Prize. In 2015, Wilson joined forces with the prestigious Legacy Recordings, a subsidiary of Sony Music. Her latest project, Coming Forth by Day, was released on the 100th anniversary of Billie Holiday’s birth, April 7, 2015. Wilson has launched the website Really Cassandra Radio to develop a more direct relationship with her audience; a section of the site, Secret Garden, is designed for listeners to access music from her published and unpublished catalogue, including selections from her upcoming work, Jupiter Rising.

East West Players and Pasadena Playhouse Co-production of Lauren Yee’s THE GREAT LEAP nominated for Two Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards Including Lead Performance for Grant Chang and Best Production; Full List of Nominees

Congratulations to the Pasadena Playhouse and East West Players’ co-production of Lauren Yee’s The Great Leap, helmed by Tony Award winner BD Wong, which has received two Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award nominations in the categories of Best Lead Performance for Grant Chang and Best Production.

James Eckhouse and Grant Chang in Pasadena Playhouse & East West Players’s production of The Great Leap. (Photo Credit: Jenny Graham)

The Great Leap is the story of an American basketball team in Beijing where the coaches find themselves in a conflict that runs deeper than the strain between the countries, and where a young player’s actions become the accidental focus of attention.

Tabitha Lee, Grant Chang (THE GREAT LEAP), Lauren Yee, BD Wong (THE GREAT LEAP) and Richert Schnorr. Photo by Lia Chang

Below is the full list of nominees for theatrical excellence for the year 2019. This year they are forgoing their annual event ceremony and will instead post the award recipients online in the upcoming weeks.

Production:
Gem of the Ocean, A Noise Within
How We’re Different From Animals, ÉLAN Ensemble
Indecent, Center Theatre Group and Huntington Theatre Company
The Great Leap, East West Players and Pasadena Playhouse
The Mother of Henry, Latino Theater Company
Witch, Geffen Playhouse

McCulloh Award for Revival
The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Antaeus Theatre Company
The Glass Menagerie, A Noise Within
The Skin of Our Teeth, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum
Two Trains Running, Sophina Brown

Lead Performance
Grant Chang, The Great Leap, Pasadena Playhouse
Willow Geer, The Skin of Our Teeth, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum
Rafael Goldstein, The Glass Menagerie, A Noise Within
Steve Hofvendahl, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Antaeus Theatre Company
Kate Huffman, Friends With Guns, The Road Theatre Company
Evan Jonigkeit, Witch, Geffen Playhouse
Michael Manuel, Frankenstein, A Noise Within
Rob Nagle, The Judas Kiss, Boston Court Pasadena
George Salazar, Little Shop of Horrors, Pasadena Playhouse
Liza Seneca, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Antaeus Theatre Company
Maura Tierney, Witch, Geffen Playhouse
Dianne Wiest, Happy Days, Center Theatre Group, Mark Taper Forum

Featured Performance
Eden Espinosa, Falsettos, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
Tyrin Niles, Scraps, The Matrix Theatre Company
Nija Okoro, Two Trains Running, Matrix Theatre
Arianna Ortiz, Friends With Guns, The Road Theatre Company
Adolphus Ward, Two Trains Running, Matrix Theatre
Denise Yolén, Scraps, The Matrix Theatre Company

Ensemble Performance
Indecent, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
Scraps, The Matrix Theatre Company
The Wolves, Echo Theater Company
Two Trains Running, Matrix Theatre
Uncle Vanya, The New American Theatre
Witch, Geffen Playhouse

Solo Performance
Deirdre O’Connell, Dana H., Center Theatre Group, Kirk Douglas Theatre

Writing
Sarah DeLappe, The Wolves, Echo Theater Company
Jen Silverman, Witch, Geffen Playhouse
Paula Vogel, Indecent, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre

Writing, Adaptation
Lucas Hnath, Dana H., Center Theatre Group, Kirk Douglas Theatre
Mary Zimmerman, Argonautika, A Noise Within

Musical Score
Mark Heard, Pat Terry, Randy VanWarmer, Tim Alderson, Salvage, Lounge Theatre
Bill Sims Jr, August Wilson’s Jitney, Center Theatre Group, Mark Taper Forum

Music Direction
Anthony Lucca, Bronco Billy – The Musical, Skylight Theatre
David O, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, South Coast Repertory
Stephan Terry, Salvage, Lounge Theatre

Choreography
Edgar Godineaux & Jared Grimes, Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole, Geffen Playhouse
Janet Roston, Bronco Billy – The Musical, Skylight Theatre
Stephanie Shroyer, Argonautika, A Noise Within

Direction
Marti Lyons, Witch, Geffen Playhouse
Stephanie Shroyer, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Antaeus Theatre Company
Jack Stehlin, Uncle Vanya, The New American Theatre
Rebecca Taichman, Indecent, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre
Stevie Walker-Webb, Scraps, The Matrix Theatre Company

Set Design
John Lee Beatty, Key Largo, Geffen Playhouse
John Iacovelli, Two Trains Running, Matrix Theatre
Izmir Ickbal, Happy Days, Center Theatre Group, Mark Taper Forum
Frederica Nascimento, Argonautika, A Noise Within

Lighting Design
Ken Booth, Argonautika, A Noise Within
Elizabeth Harper, Mysterious Circumstances, Geffen Playhouse
Peter Kaczorowski, Key Largo, Geffen Playhouse
Jared A. Sayeg, Ragtime, Pasadena Playhouse

Costume Design
Linda Cho, Anastasia, Pantages Theatre
Jenny Foldenauer, Argonautika, A Noise Within
Danae Iris McQueen, Witch, Geffen Playhouse
Katherine O’Neill, Lights Out: Nat “King” Cole, Geffen Playhouse

Sound Design
Mikhail Fiksel, Dana H., Center Theatre Group, Kirk Douglas Theatre
Jeff Gardner, Scraps, The Matrix Theatre Company
Jeff Gardner, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Antaeus Theatre Company
Robert Oriol, Argonautika, A Noise Within

CGI/Video
Jared Mezzocchi, Poor Yella Rednecks, South Coast Repertory
Yee Eun Nam, The Mother of Henry, Latino Theater Company
Aaron Rhyne, Anastasia, Pantages Theatre

Specialty
Steve Cuiffo , Illusions & Lip Sync, Dana H., Center Theatre Group, Kirk Douglas Theatre
Dillon Nelson, Puppet Design, Argonautika, A Noise Within

SPECIAL AWARDS
The Margaret Harford Award for sustained excellence in theatre will be awarded to The Fountain Theatre.

The Polly Warfield Award for an excellent season in a small to mid-size theatre will be awarded to A Noise Within.

The Ted Schmitt Award for the world premiere of an outstanding new play goes to The Mother of Henry, written by Evelina Fernández, produced by the Latino Theater Company.

The Kinetic Lighting Award for distinguished achievement in theatrical design goes to projection and set designer Hana S. Kim.

The Joel Hirschhorn Award for distinguished achievement in musical theatre goes to Celebration Theatre.

The Milton Katselas Award for distinguished achievement in direction goes to Michael Michetti.

The Gordon Davidson Award for distinguished contribution to the Los Angeles theatrical community will be presented to the Ojai Playwrights Conference.

Every effort has been made to ascertain proper credits for our nominees. We regret any errors or omissions. Any that come to our attention will be corrected on our LADCC website and (when applicable) on a recipient’s award certificate.

The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle was founded in 1969. It is dedicated to excellence in theatrical criticism, and to the encouragement and improvement of theatre in Greater Los Angeles.

Mellon Foundation Joins Consortium Supporting Small and Mid-size Arts Organizations through $75-million NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund

New York, March 20, 2020–Bloomberg Philanthropies, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Fund, Joan Ganz Cooney & Holly Peterson Fund, The JPB Foundation, The Estée Lauder Companies Charitable Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The New York Community Trust, Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros, Jon Stryker and Slobodan Randjelović, Charles H. Revson Foundation, Robin Hood, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Laurie M Tisch Illumination Fund, UJA-Federation of New York, and Wells Fargo Foundation has announced the launch of the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund to support New York City-based social services and arts and cultural organizations that have been affected by the current coronavirus public health crisis. The new $75 million fund will provide grants and interest-free loans to small and mid-size nonprofits to help them respond to emerging needs, cover losses associated with the disruption of their operations, and help them continue their critical work. The founding member foundations, companies, and individuals are building on their prior experience in local disaster recovery and funding, including 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy.

New York City residents rely on a network of local nonprofit organizations to provide a wide range of important services. Social service organizations provide food, home healthcare, housing, childcare, afterschool services, and more. Arts and cultural organizations provide programs throughout our neighborhoods that contribute significantly to the City’s economy and quality of life. Now, thousands of these vital community organizations across New York’s five boroughs are being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, risking the continuity of their daily operations and challenging the stability of the critical services they provide. While many organizations are continuing to respond to the immediate needs of impacted, vulnerable community members, too many are struggling due to lost revenue that will diminish their ability to pay rent, make payroll, and continue to fulfill their public service missions. Most of the organizations facing business interruption are unlikely to collect insurance that would be available for other types of disasters.

“The coronavirus pandemic threatens to cripple New York City’s nonprofit organizations and the vitally important services they provide. This joint initiative with so many incredible philanthropic partners will help ensure that many of our city’s nonprofits can withstand this crisis and continue to serve all New Yorkers,” said Patricia E. Harris, CEO of Bloomberg Philanthropies. “In this crucial moment, thanks to Mike Bloomberg’s leadership, Bloomberg Philanthropies has also launched an effort to virtually convene U.S. local leaders to share knowledge and response strategies from experts at Johns Hopkins and Harvard. Additionally, we’ve begun an international effort with the WHO and Vital Strategies to stem the spread of coronavirus in low- and middle-income countries. In partnership with so many dedicated leaders and organizations on the front line, we can make a real difference and save lives.”

“We are grateful that once again the New York philanthropic community has come together to do its best in response to a catastrophe,” said Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation of New York. “The coronavirus pandemic is disruptive to our entire society, especially to our children, with the potential for lasting setbacks in their development. The Corporation is pleased to join peer institutions in assisting the City of New York with its many urgent needs, including services for the public school system, such as student meals and arts and cultural programs for 1.1 million children. In addition, our education grantees will have the flexibility needed to expand crucial services like online learning and teacher and parent resources to help communities nationwide.”

The NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund will be administered by the New York Community Trust and will provide grants and interest-free loans. Among social services groups, priority will be given to direct service providers, such as those supporting essential healthcare and food insecurity. In the arts and cultural sector, the Fund will provide support to small and mid-size organizations that work from and are attentive to their communities.

“We at the Mellon Foundation recognize the arts and humanities’ unique power to cultivate hope in the midst of challenges and uncertainty,” noted Elizabeth Alexander, President of the Mellon Foundation, whose commitment will go to arts support. “As artists and cultural institutions adjust to new fiscal realities, we call on funders, businesses, and individuals to join us in supporting the arts and the strength, inspiration, and perspective they bring—in New York City and around the world.”

“The Ford Foundation believes we must respond immediately to the human services needs of  vulnerable New Yorkers and also support the arts and culture infrastructure across the five boroughs,” said Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation.

“This is an unprecedented situation, but the philanthropic community has had experience joining together to respond,” said Lorie Slutsky, President of The New York Community Trust. “The NYC Covid-19 Response & Impact Fund will provide critical funding to shore up the safety net provided by nonprofits across the city as they struggle to keep up with the increased demand for their services. We hope everyone who is passionate about our city and its people will join us.”

Recognizing best practice from past experience working through crises, this initiative will provide grants and no-interest loans for needs including:

●  Unrestricted, flexible funding to support new and emergency needs and meet community demands, particularly for service offerings outside normal operations required to respond to social distancing, isolation and quarantine.

● Technology to support remote work and services – laptops and remote calling capacity (ie. Zoom) for staff, securing staffing and training to fulfill their mission.

● Temporary staff support to cover for shortages caused by employees who are ill, may have to quarantine, or stay home to care for family members or children during school closures.

●   Equipment and supplies such as masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, and cleaning supplies.

● Additional cleaning services to augment in-house operations.

●  Support to aid the loss of operational revenue from facility closings, cancelled programs, events, etc.

To be eligible, an organization must meet the following criteria:

●        501(c)3 nonprofit organization

●        Based in New York City

●        Recipient of New York City and/or New York State government funding

●        Annual operating budget of up to $20M (excluding government contracts)

●        Track record of robust programming and services for New York residents

An advisory committee of leaders in public health, community development, and the arts will help guide the efforts of the new Fund. The New York Community Trust will continue to solicit donations from foundations, corporate partners, and individuals committed to the health and wellbeing of New York City.  The donors to the Fund are committed to an expedited process for decisions and payment of funds to recipient organizations.

The New York Community Trust is New York’s community foundation. It brings together individuals, families, foundations, and businesses to support nonprofits that make a difference. Since 1924, The Trust has been and continues to be a critical part of New York’s philanthropic response. The Trust co-created the September 11th Fund after the attack on the World Trade Center and has worked on issues affecting New Yorkers for decades.

Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), a nonprofit lender and consultant with 40 years of local and national experience, will administer NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund loans. NFF will offer implementation support and additional resources to organizations receiving loans through this initiative.

Interested organizations can get more information and apply here.

Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award Winner André De Shields Set for The Broadway Concert Series Presented by Vi at Aventura on March 11

André De Shields, Brad Jones. Photo by Lia Chang

Triple crown winner of the 2019 Broadway Awards Season André De Shields joins The Broadway Concert Series Presented by Vi at Aventura at Aventura Arts & Cultural Center on Wednesday, March 11 at 8 p.m.

André De Shields, Brad Jones. Photo by Lia Chang

Tickets are $50-$55, $75 VIP tickets include a post-show meet and greet. Buy tickets online at aventuracenter.org, by phone at 877.311.7469 or 954.462.0222, or in person at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center box office Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. and 90 minutes prior to each performance. For Group Sales, please call 954.660.6307. The Aventura Arts & Cultural Center is located at 3385 N.E. 188 Street in Aventura.

André De Shields, Brad Jones. Photo by Lia Chang

The Hadestown star will perform his theatrical concert, OLD DAWG: NEW TRICKS, which premiered in the Lincoln Center American Songbook Concert Series, and will be joined on stage by TheRhinestoneRockStarBoogieWoogieDollBabies: Freida Williams and Marlène Danielle on vocals, and the New Tricks: Music Director Liam Robinson (Piano, Conductor, Vocal Arrangements), Dan Rieser (Drums) Brad Jones (Bass). The show features two original compositions written by Mr. De Shields, Smile and L-O-V-E.

André De Shields, Brad Jones. Photo by Lia Chang

Mr. De Shields was the triple crown winner of the 2019 award season, having won the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk Award and Tony Awards as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his unanimously critically acclaimed performance as Hermes, Messenger to the Gods, in Hadestown. The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, which honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. Mr. De Shields recently received the 2020 Grammy Award for Musical Theater Album, 2019 Project1Voice Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2019 SAGE Joyce Warshow Lifetime Achievement Award, The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre, and was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. He received the Key to the City of Baltimore from Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young in August, 2019. Prior to his Tony Award win, Mr. De Shields was best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On! (Tony Nomination), and The Full Monty (Tony Nomination). In a career spanning fifty years, he has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator, receiving in 2018 the 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, and the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. De Shields can currently be seen on Netflix as the Algebra Tutor in John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch” and on The CW as Chubby in “Katy Keene.”

André De Shields, Brad Jones. Photo by Lia Chang

The Broward Center for the Performing Arts manages the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, a 14,864-square-foot, 330-seat waterfront complex that hosts performing arts, cultural and educational programming for all ages.

Freida Williams, André De Shields, Marlène Danielle. Photo by Lia Chang
Brad Jones, André De Shields, Freida Williams, Marlène Danielle, Dan Rieser. Photo by Lia Chang
Brad Jones, André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Freida Williams, André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Freida Williams, André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Freida Williams, André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields, Brad Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Liam Robinson, André De Shields, Brad Jones, Freida Williams, Marlène Danielle, Dan Rieser. Photo by Lia Chang
Liam Robinson, Dan Rieser, Freida Williams, André De Shields, Marlène Danielle, Brad Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Liam Robinson, Freida Williams, André De Shields, Brad Jones, Marlène Danielle, Dan Rieser. Photo by Lia Chang

Join the conversation, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram @aventuracenter or #aventuracenter

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 has appeared in the filmsWolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young which will be screened at the inaugural San Francisco Chinatown Community Film Festival at Clarion Performing Arts Center on March 22. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 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

Tony, Grammy and Emmy Winner André De Shields Brings OLD DAWG; NEW TRICKS to the Broadway Cabaret Series at Old School Square’s Crest Theatre

Old School Square’s Crest Theatre in Delray, Beach, Fl. Photo by Lia Chang

In its 24th season and presented in association with Mark Keller/Keller Monash Productions, the Broadway Cabaret series is presenting Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award Winner André De Shields on March 9th and 10th at Old School Square’s Crest Theatre in Delray Beach, Fl. Scroll down for photos from the first of two performances of Old Dawg; New Tricks, the Hadestown star’s autobiographical theatrical concert.

The Book of Jelly. Photo by Lia Chang

He was joined on stage by TheRhinestoneRockStarBoogieWoogieDollBabies: Freida Williams and Marlène Danielle on vocals, and the New Tricks: Music Director Liam Robinson (Piano, Conductor, Vocal Arrangements), Dan Rieser (Drums) Brad Jones (Bass). Larry Spivack and Todd Sickafoose served as Orchestrators. The show features two original compositions written by Mr. De Shields, Smile and L-O-V-E.

André De Shields, Brad Jones. Photo by Lia Chang

Mr. De Shields was the triple crown winner of the 2019 award season, having won the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk Award and Tony Awards as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his unanimously critically acclaimed performance as Hermes, Messenger to the Gods, in Hadestown. The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, which honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. Mr. De Shields recently received the 2020 Grammy Award for Musical Theater Album, 2019 Project1Voice Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2019 SAGE Joyce Warshow Lifetime Achievement Award, The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre, and was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. He received the Key to the City of Baltimore from Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young in August, 2019. Prior to his Tony Award win, Mr. De Shields was best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On! (Tony Nomination), and The Full Monty (Tony Nomination). In a career spanning fifty years, he has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator, receiving in 2018 the 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, and the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. De Shields can currently be seen on Netflix as the Algebra Tutor in John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch” and on The CW as Chubby in “Katy Keene.”

André De Shields, Brad Jones. Photo by Lia Chang

Tickets can be purchased through the Crest Theatre Box Office by calling 561.243.7922, ext. 1, emailing mail to: BoxOffice@oldschool.org or stopping by in person at 51 N. Swinton Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33444. VIP & Premium tickets include post-show reception with performers; VIP Table siting also includes 1 complimentary drink and table service. The Box Office is open Monday – Friday from 10AM – 5PM. Click here for tickets.

André De Shields, Brad Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Liam Robinson, André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Brad Jones, Freida Williams, André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Freida Williams, Brad Jones, André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Freida Williams, Brad Jones, André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Brad Jones, André De Shields, Freida Williams, Marlène Danielle. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields, Brad Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields, Freida Williams, Marlène Danielle, Dan Rieser. Photo by Lia Chang
Liam Robinson, André De Shields, Brad Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields, Freida Williams, Marlène Danielle, Dan Rieser. Photo by Lia Chang
Freida Williams, André De Shields, Marlène Danielle. Photo by Lia Chang
Liam Robinson, André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Liam Robinson, André De Shields, Brad Jones, Freida Williams, Marlène Danielle, Dan Rieser. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields, Brad Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
Liam Robinson, Freida Williams, André De Shields, Brad Jones, Marlène Danielle, Dan Rieser. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Mark Keller and André De Shields Photo by Lia Chang
Marlène Danielle, André De Shields, Freida Williams. Photo by Lia Chang
Mark Keller, Freida Williams, André De Shields, Avery Sommers, Marlène Danielle, Dan Rieser, Brad Jones. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields, Lia Chang. Photo by Marlene Bernouy-Knight

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 has appeared in the filmsWolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young which will be screened at the inaugural San Francisco Chinatown Community Film Festival at Clarion Performing Arts Center on March 22. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 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

 Jon Norman Schneider and Shannon Tyo Set for Long Wharf Theatre’s Production of THE CHINESE LADY by Lloyd Suh, March 18 – April 12

Shannon Tyo. Photo by Lia Chang

Long Wharf Theatre (Jacob G. Padrón, Artistic Director; Kit Ingui, Managing Director), the non-profit theatre with a mission to present radically inclusive works that galvanize the community of New Haven, is presenting The Chinese Lady, written by Lloyd Suh and directed by Ralph B. Peña.

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

Performances begin on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 for a limited run through April 12, 2020. Opening night is set for Wednesday, March 25, 7:30 PM on Stage II (222 Sargent Drive, New Haven, CT). The Chinese Lady exemplifies the theater’s mission by offering audiences the opportunity to explore their collective humanity.

Inspired by the true story of America’s first female Chinese “immigrant,” The Chinese Lady introduces audiences to Afong Moy, a 14-year-old girl who traveled the United States, first with the Carne Brothers and then with P.T. Barnum. Her “performance” was to educate others about life in her native China. To Afong, she is an ambassador; to her owners, a sideshow. As these dual truths become irreconcilable, Afong must reckon with herself and the history of her new home with startling discoveries in Lloyd Suh’s deeply poetic and subversively comedic tale. The Chinese Lady is produced in partnership with Yale-China Association.

The cast will feature Jon Norman Schneider (Atung) and Shannon Tyo (Afong Moy).

The creative team includes Junghyun Georgia Lee (Set Design), Linda Cho (Costume Design), Jiyoun Chang (Lighting Design), Fan Zhang (Composition & Sound Design), and Alex H. Hajjar (Production Stage Manager). Casting is by Calleri Casting.

Tickets start at $32 and can be purchased online at longwharf.org, by calling 203.787.4282, or by visiting the box office located at 222 Sargent Drive in New Haven. AnyTime Passes may be purchased online starting at $200 for four tickets. $10 student tickets are available for every Thursday and Friday performance (student ID required). For group ticket sales, contact groups@longwharf.org or call 203.772.8259. The Friday, March 27 performance will offer open captioning, making the show accessible to individuals with hearing loss. Post-show conversations will be held after all performances (except opening and closing nights) and we will host a post-show symposium featuring local guest speakers on Sunday, April 5, 2020. Please check longwharf.org/the-chinese-lady for updates on additional programming surrounding the show.

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 has appeared in the filmsWolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young which will be screened at the inaugural San Francisco Chinatown Community Film Festival at Clarion Performing Arts Center on March 22. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 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

Brian Kim, Kai Alexander Judd, Rose Van Dyne, Lily Tung Crystal, Tom Reed, Zeniba Now, Oriana Lada and Sushma Saha Set for Mixed Blood Theatre’s Premiere of Kit Yan and Melissa Li’s New Musical INTERSTATE

Mixed Blood Theatre is premiering Kit Yan and Melissa Li’s new musical Interstate as the headliner of its 44th season, March 5 – March 29, 2020. All Performances in Mixed Blood Theatre’s Alan Page Auditorium, 1501 S. 4th St., Minneapolis, MN 55454. Jesca Prudencio directs.

Kit Yan and Melissa Li. Photo by Lia Chang

Interstate previews March 5 and opens March 6, with performances Wednesday-Friday at 7:30, Saturdays at 4:00 and 7:30, and Sundays at 2:00.

Interstate is a Queer Asian-American pop-rock musical about two trans people at different stages of their journeys, navigating love, family, masculinity, and finding community in the era of social media. It charts Dash, a transgender spoken word performer as he goes on a cross-country tour with Adrian, a lesbian singer-songwriter, as the activist band, Queer Malady, fueled by the allure of fame and a desire to connect with the Queer Asian community. The band’s fiercely political and deeply personal music touches Henry, a transgender teenage blogger living in middle America, who finds solace in their art as he struggles with his own identity and family.

Written by Kit Yan and Melissa Li, its development history has included residency at Musical Theater Factory, the 2018 New York Musical Festival, Dramatists Guild, Goodspeed Musicals Residency, and the MacDowell Colony Residency. Interstate won 5 awards at NYMF including Best Lyrics and was presented at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals in October 2019. Critically acclaimed Jesca Prudencio (How To Use A Knife at Mixed Blood in 2017) will direct Mixed Blood’s production and Natasha Sinha is the dramaturg.

The cast includes Kai Alexander Judd, Rose Van Dyne, Lily Tung Crystal, Brian Kim, Tom Reed, Zeniba Now, Oriana Lada, and Sushma Saha.

Musical Direction by Raymond Berg and choreography by Brian Bose. Designers include Genoveva Castaneda (props), Paul Whitaker (lighting), Justin Humphries (scenic and media), Amber Brown (costumes), and Scott Edwards (sound).

“Mixed Blood, at its core, is about cultural collisions and is predicated on the premise that people like to see themselves reflected on stage in important ways. So when Interstate was presented to us for consideration, it felt as though it had been crafted for this organization. A ‘road show,’ it traverses the country geographically, but also along lines of race, culture, gender, generation, musical styles, and art forms. It is personal, professional, and political. Its remarkable creators – Kit Yan and Melissa Li – and its development pedigrees ready it for its Mixed Blood world premiere, and we can’t wait to share it!” says Artistic Director Jack Reuler.

Performance schedule:
March 5 7:30 Preview
March 6 7:30 Open
March 7 4:00 & 7:30
March 8 2:00
March 11 7:30
March 12 7:30
March 13 7:30
March 14 4:00 & 7:30
March 15 2:00
March 18 7:30
March 19 7:30
March 20 7:30
March 21 4:00 & 7:30
March 22 2:00
March 25 7:30
March 26 7:30
March 27 7:30
March 28 4:00 & 7:30
March 29 2:00

Tickets can be obtained in two ways: 1) Through Radical Hospitality, admission is FREE on a first come/first served basis starting two hours before every show, or 2) Advanced reservations are available online or by phone for $35 per person. Visit www.mixedblood.com or call 612- 338-6131 or boxoffice@mixedblood.com for more information

Kit Yan (he/she/they) is a Yellow American New York based artist, born in Enping, China, and raised in the Kingdom of Hawaii. Kit is a 2019 Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow, 2019 Lincoln Center Writer in residence, a 2019 MacDowell Colony Fellow, 2019-2020 Musical Theater Factory Makers Fellow, and 2019-2020 Playwright’s Center Many Voices Fellow. Their work has been produced by the American Repertory Theater, the Smithsonian, Musical Theater Factory, the New York Musical Festival, Diversionary Theater, and Dixon Place. They have been a resident with the Civilians, Mitten Lab, 5th Avenue Theater, and the Village Theater. In 2018 Kit founded Translab, an incubator for Transgender and Non-binary voices in the American Theater, along with MJ Kaufman and supported by WP Theater and the Public Theater.

Melissa Li (she/her/her’s) is a composer, lyricist, performer, and writer based in New York and Baltimore. She is a recipient of the Jonathan Larson Award, a Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow, a 2019 Lincoln Center Theater Writer-in-Residence, a 2019 Musical Theater Factory Maker, a 2019 MacDowell Colony Fellow, and a former Queer|Art|Mentorship Fellow. Musicals include Interstate (New York Musical Festival, Winner “Outstanding Lyrics”), Surviving the Nian (The Theater Offensive, IRNE Award Winner for “Best New Play” 2007), and 99% Stone (The Theater Offensive). Her works have received support from The 5th Avenue Theatre, The Village Theater, Musical Theater Factory, National Performance Network, New England Foundation for the Arts, Dixon Place, and others.

Jesca Prudencio (she/her/her’s) is a director and choreographer focused on creating highly physical productions of new plays, musicals, and documentary theater nationally, and internationally. Directing credits include Will Snider’s How To Use a Knife (Mixed Blood), Calling (La MaMa ETC), Anna Moench’s Man of God (East West Players), Lauren Yee’s The Great Leap (Steppenwolf), PDA (La Jolla Playhouse’s WoW Festival), A&Q (Philippines), and FAN: stories from the brothels of Bangkok (Thailand). Her critically acclaimed productions of Qui Nguyen’s Vietgone and Anna Ziegler’s Actually at San Diego Repertory Theatre received multiple Craig Noel nominations including Outstanding Director. She is a recipient of The Old Vic’s T.S. Eliot US/UK Exchange Fellowship, The Drama League Fellowship, and the inaugural Julie Taymor World Theater Fellowship. Jesca is Artistic Director/Founder of People Of Interest, dedicated to creating community specific documentary theater works. She is currently Head of Directing at San Diego State University. BFA Drama: NYU Tisch, MFA Directing: UC San Diego.

Mixed Blood aspires to be the destination for people with disabilities. Patrons with disabilities are eligible for free advanced reservations and free transportation to the theatre. All performances are captioned in English with projected supertitles for patrons with hearing loss. For people with vision loss, audio description is available for most performances. Lobby, auditorium, and restrooms are fully accessible.

About Mixed Blood Theatre:
Mixed Blood Theatre has invited the global village into its audience and onto its stage for its unique brand of provocative, inclusive, and predictably unpredictable theater since 1976. Using theater to illustrate and animate, Mixed Blood models pluralism in pursuit of interconnections, shared humanity, and engaged citizenry.

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 has appeared in the filmsWolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young which will be screened at the inaugural San Francisco Chinatown Community Film Festival at Clarion Performing Arts Center on March 22. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 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

HEART OF THE CITY: An Evening of Songs by Mother/Daughter Team Kristen Rosenfeld and Luanne Rosenfeld Featuring Ali Ewoldt, Marc delaCruz, Garth Kravits, Billy Bustamante, Kimberly Marable, L. Steven Taylor, Christina DeCicco, Cicily Daniels, Jamison Scott, Bart Shatto, Barbara McCulloh, Cynthia Nesbit, Virginia Wing at Feinstein’s/54 Below on March 30

Feinstein’s/54 Below, Broadway’s Supper Club presents HEART OF THE CITY, the songs of mother/daughter writing team Kristen Rosenfeld and Luanne Rosenfeld on March 30. Their songs run the gamut from traditional musical theatre to contemporary, gospel, honky tonk, and ragtime. Click here to buy tickets.

Marc delaCruz, the first Filipino American actor to portray Alexander Hamilton will join a host of Broadway performers including Ali Ewoldt (Phantom of the Opera), Garth Kravits (Drowsy Chaperone, Gettin’ The Band Back Together),  Billy Bustamante (Miss Saigon, Here Lies Love), Kimberly Marable (Hadestown, Lion King, Sister Act); Christina DeCicco (Evita, Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark, Wicked); Cicily Daniels (Little Mermaid, Once on this Island) Bart Shatto (War Paint, Hands on a Hardbody, The Civil War), Jamison Scott (Memphis, Spiderman:Turn Off the Dark, Grease), L. Steven Taylor (The Lion King), Barbara McCulloh (Peter Pan, The King and I),
Cynthia Nesbit (She Persisted: The Musical), Virginia Wing and more to sing the Rosenfeld Songbook. The concert will feature songs from Divided, Cardboard Castles and premier music from the Rosenfelds’ newest collaboration The Top of the World.

HEART OF THE CITY plays Feinstein’s/54 Below (254 West 54th Street) on March 30th at 9:30 pm. There is a $25-35 cover charge and $25 food and beverage minimum. Tickets and information are available at www.54Below.com. Tickets on the day of performance after 4:00 are only available by calling (646) 476-3551.

MORE ABOUT KRISTEN LEE ROSENFELD
KRISTEN LEE ROSENFELD is a New York City based music director and composer who collaborates with her mother, LUANNE ARONEN ROSENFELD, a Seattle based playwright and lyricist. Kristen’s songs have been heard at many NYC venues including Joe’s Pub, Feinstein’s/54 Below, the Triad, the Metropolitan Room and the Laurie Beechman. Her music direction credits include the First National Tour of the Broadway musical Spring Awakening; Band of Angels with Colman Domingo; and the recent OffBroadway hit, Friends! The Musical Parody.

MORE ABOUT FEINSTEIN’S/54 BELOW Feinstein’s/54 Below, Broadway’s Supper Club &Private Event Destination, is a performance venue in the grand tradition of New York City nightlife. A few blocks from the heart of times square and just below the legendary Studio 54, Feinstein’s/54 Below is a classically designed state-of-the-art nightclub in the theatre district that hosts audiences with warmth and style. Feinstein’s/54 Below presents iconic and rising stars from the worlds of Broadway and popular music and has set a new standard for culinary excellence worthy of the world-class entertainment on the stage.

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 has appeared in the filmsWolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young which will be screened at the inaugural San Francisco Chinatown Community Film Festival at Clarion Performing Arts Center on March 22. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 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

Paco Tolson, Tim Chiou, Samantha Quan, Maureen Sebastian and Eugene Young Set for MTC’s POOR YELLA REDNECKS by Qui Nguyen, Previews Begin May 12

The Manhattan Theatre Club (Lynne Meadow, Artistic Director; Barry Grove, Executive Producer) is presenting the co-world premiere of Poor Yella Rednecks, written by Qui Nguyen (Vietgone) and directed by May Adrales (Vietgone).

Eugene Young, Samantha Quan, Paco Tolson, Tim Chiou and ​​Maureen Sebastian in South Coast Repertory’s 201​9 world premiere production of ​Poor Yella Rednecks by ​Qui Nguyen. Photo by ​Jordan Kubat/S​outh Coast Repertory.

The cast of Poor Yella Rednecks includes Tim Chiou (“Chicago PD”), Samantha Quan (“Elementary”), Maureen Sebastian (“Revolution”), Paco Tolson (Vietgone), Eugene Young (Revenge Song).

The show begins previews Tuesday, May 12 prior to a Tuesday, June 2 opening night at MTC at New York City Center – Stage I (131 West 55th Street).

Poor Yella Rednecks is co-commissioned and co-produced by South Coast Repertory and Manhattan Theatre Club.

The author of the acclaimed Vietgone returns to MTC with the second play of his autobiographical trilogy about an immigrant family’s bumpy road to the American dream. Told from the mother’s perspective, Poor Yella Rednecks is the story of a young family’s attempt to put down roots in Arkansas, a place as different from Vietnam as it gets. The production, filled with infectious music and unexpected humor, will reunite Qui Nguyen with director May Adrales for the next chapter in this highly entertaining and moving tale.

The creative team for Poor Yella Rednecks will include Arnulfo Maldonado (scenic design), Valérie Thérèse Bart (costume design), Lap Chi Chu (lighting design), Shane Rettig (original music & sound design), Jared Mezzocchi (projection design), Sean Cawelti (puppet designer/puppet director) and Kenny Seymour (music director and arranger).

New and renewing subscribers can join MTC’s 2020-2020 season now by calling The MTC Clubline at 212-399-3050. For more information, please visit www.manhattantheatreclub.com.

To sign up for MTC’s “30 Under 35” program, offering $30 tickets for theatregoers age 35 and under, visit www.manhattantheatreclub.com/30under35/.

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 has appeared in the filmsWolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young which will be screened at the inaugural San Francisco Chinatown Community Film Festival at Clarion Performing Arts Center on March 22. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 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

Darren Lee Joins UK Tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s THE KING AND I

Broadway veteran Darren Lee has joined the UK Tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I, reprising his critically acclaimed USA national performance as The King. He stars opposite Annalene Beechey, fresh from her West End success as Anna. The pair have been wowing audiences as the multi-award winning musical embarked on its international tour earlier this year and now the acting and dancing tour de force are currently performing at the Milton Keynes Theatre, 500 Marlborough Gate, Central Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, MK9 3NZ. Click here for tickets. Scroll down for a list of cities on the UK tour schedule.

Acclaimed Tony Award-winning Bartlett Sher – fresh from his huge Broadway success of To Kill A Mockingbird – is at the helm of this production and reunites with his celebrated creative team that brought The King and I to life in London last year.

This unmissable production of The King and I follows a critically acclaimed Broadway smash hit run and a sell-out record breaking season at both the world famous London Palladium and Tokyo Theatre Orb. After the Milton Keynes, the international tour will also play in Liverpool, Bristol, Woking,  Southampton and Wimbleton.

Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children.

Featuring a company of over 50 world-class performers, a full scale orchestra and classic songs such as I Whistle a Happy Tune, Getting to Know You and Shall We Dance, The King and I is a testament to the lavish heritage of gloriously romantic musical theatre.

The King and I 2020 UK tour cast features Ethan Le Phong and Jessica Gomes-Ng in the roles of the young lovers Lun Tha and Tuptim, Cezarah Bonner as Lady Thiang, Kok-Hwa Lie as Kralahome, Aaron Teoh Guan Ti as Prince Chulalongkorn, Philip Bulcock in the dual roles of Captain Orton and Sir Edward Ramsay and William M Lee as Phra Alack. The female ensemble includes Yuki Abe, Miiya Alexandra, Aiko Kato, Misa Koide, Ela Lisondra, Yuki Ozeki, Ena Yamaguchi and Sian Yeo, Sunny Yeo. The male ensemble includes Iroy Abesamis, Cletus Chan, Steven Hardcastle, Eu Jin Hwang, Jesse Milligan, Prem Rai and Joaquin Pedro Valdes. The Swings are Rachel Jayne Picar, Nick Len, Jasmine Leung and Samuel How. Click here for bios of the cast.

Darren Lee as The King. Photo by Pamela Raith Photography

A native of Southern CA, Darren Lee began his career in the entertainment industry at age 11 as a contestant on Jr. Star Search. Shortly thereafter he became a series regular on Kids Incorporated, a Disney Channel favourite.

Darren Lee as The King. Photo by Pamela Raith Photography
Darren Lee as The King. Photo by Pamela Raith Photo graph

Broadway credits include: Chicago; Guys and Dolls; original companies of Allegiance; Shogun the Musical; Miss Saigon; Victor/Victoria with Julie Andrews; Kiss Me, Kate; On the Town; Seussical the Musical; Pacific Overtures and Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Other Broadway work includes: Associate Choreographer on Pacific Overtures.

New York theatre credits include: 24 Hour Musicals (Orchard Project); History of War (NYMF); Heading East starring B.D. Wong (Asia Society); The Report and Bronx Express (Fringe Festival); Hair (Wagner College); Andy Warhol Was Right (NYMF); Hidden Sky (Prospect Theatre) and Stephen Sondheim’s 75th Birthday Celebration (New Amsterdam).

Other US theatre credits include: Victor/Victoria (Ogunquit); The Music Man (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Once on This Island and South Pacific (Olney Theatre Center); Miss Saigon (St. Louis MUNY, Paper Mill Playhouse, Music Theatre of Wichita); Smokey Joe’s Café and Jesus Christ Superstar (Music Theatre of Wichita); Kiss Me Kate (Glimmerglass Opera Festival); Herringbone starring B.D. Wong (La Jolla Playhouse, McCarter Theatre, Williamstown Shakespeare Festival); Up in the Air (Japan Festival, Kennedy Center); Thoroughly Modern Millie (Diamond Head Theatre, Hawaii); Chicago (Little Theatre on the Square, Riverside Theatre, Vero Beach, Florida); Carnival (UNLV); Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Westchester Broadway, New York); Pacific Overtures (North Shore, Cincinnati Playhouse, Atlanta Alliance); Jesus Christ Superstar, Aida, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Fantasticks, Little Shop of Horrors and Godspell (MUNY); Guys and Dolls (Trinity University, Texas); High School Musical (Lyric Theatre, La Comedia, Casa Manana); High School Musical 2 (Lyric Theatre); Christmas with the Symphony 2007-2009 (Omaha Symphony) and Tis The Season 2017-2018 (South Dakota Symphony); Tableau, Playback, Ever After, Sound Stage and All For Love (Holland America Cruise Line); Disney Wishes (Disney Cruise Line).

Film credits include: Razor in Hackers, opposite Angelina Jolie; Sisters with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler; featured dancer in Chicago alongside Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Lee recently served as the director and choreographer in the development of the world premiere of a new musical, The Remarkable Journey of Prince Chen.

UK & IRELAND TOUR DATES

MILTON KEYNES

25 FEB 2020 – 07 MAR 2020
BOOK NOW

LIVERPOOL

10 MAR 2020 – 21 MAR 2020
BOOK NOW

BRISTOL

24 MAR 2020 – 04 APR 2020
BOOK NOW

WOKING

07 APR 2020 – 18 APR 2020
BOOK NOW

SOUTHAMPTON

21 APR 2020 – 02 MAY 2020
BOOK NOW

WIMBLEDON

05 MAY 2020 – 17 MAY 2020
BOOK NOW

Twitter: @KingandIMusicalUK

Facebook: @KingandIMusicalUK

Instagram: @KingandIMusicalUK

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 has appeared in the filmsWolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young which will be screened at the inaugural San Francisco Chinatown Community Film Festival at Clarion Performing Arts Center on March 22. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 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