Barrington Stage Presents Jeanne Sakata’s Award-winning play Hold These Truths starring Joel de la Fuente, May 22 – June 8

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

Barrington Stage’s 25th Anniversary Season kicks off with Jeanne Sakata’s Award-winning play Hold These Truths starring Joel de la Fuente (Amazon’s “The Man in the High Castle”) as “Gordon Hirabayashi” and directed by Lisa Rothe (Irish Repertory Theatre’s Wild Abandon). Hold These Truths begins previews May 22 and will open May 25 for a run through June 8 on the St Germain Stage at The Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, 36 Linden Street, Pittsfield, MA.

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

The design team includes Cat Tate Starmer (lights), Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams (sets), Daniel Kluger (sound) and Margaret Weedon (costumes), with stage manager Mary K. Botosan.

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

The play tells the story of unsung American hero Gordon Hirabayashi, who fought passionately for the Constitution against an unexpected adversary: his own country. During World War II, he refused to report to a detention center, launching a 50-year journey from college to courtroom and eventually a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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

During WWII in Seattle, University of Washington student Gordon Hirabayashi fights the US government’s orders to forcibly remove and mass incarcerate all people of Japanese ancestry on the West Coast. As he struggles to reconcile his country’s betrayal with his passionate belief in the US Constitution, Gordon begins a 50-year journey toward a greater understanding of America’s triumphs—and a confrontation with its failures.

Hold These Truths will have talkbacks following the performances on May 29 and June 5. There will be a Cafe Chat following the performance on May 31.

Both single tickets and 2019 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 $20 to $75.

Timothy Patterson, Jeanne Sakata and Jeffrey Lo.
Timothy Patterson, Jeanne Sakata and Jeffrey Lo show off the three 2018 Theatre Bay Area Awards for HOLD THESE TRUTHS.

Last year, Joel de la Fuente performed to rave reviews in Jeanne Sakata award-winning solo show Hold These Truths at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. The production scooped up three 2018 Theatre Bay Area Awards last year including Outstanding Production, Outstanding Direction for Lisa Rothe and Outstanding Principal Performance for Joel de la Fuente. Hold These Truths originally received its New York Premiere with Epic Theatre Ensemble in 2012 and Joel de la Fuente was nominated for the 2013 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance.

Joel de la Fuente (Gordon Hirabayashi) is honored to perform Hold These Truths for Barrington Stage Company. Most recently, the play was awarded three Theatre Bay Area Awards for its run in San Francisco, including Outstanding Principal Performance, as well as garnering a Drama Desk Nomination in New York City for Outstanding Solo Performance when it debuted in 2012. On television, Joel plays Chief Inspector Kido on “The Man in the High Castle,” one of Amazon Studios’ most watched original series. He also portrays Dr. Johann Pryce on Netflix’s second original series, “Hemlock Grove,” and can be seen in perpetual reruns on “Law & Order: SVU,” where he played TARU Tech Ruben Morales for 10 seasons. Currently, he appears as President Datu Andrada on “Madam Secretary” for CBS. Joel has performed in theatres all over the world, as both an avid classical theatre actor and as a developer of new work. He is an alumnus of Brown University and the Graduate Acting Program at NYU. For more info, please visit: joeldelafuente.com.

Jeanne Sakata’s acting and writing talents span across theater, film and television, with multiple productions of her acclaimed solo play Hold These Truths (2013 Drama Desk Nomination, Outstanding Solo Performance; 2019 Theatre Bay Awards, Outstanding Production, Direction and Principal Performance) recently produced at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Arena Stage, Hang A Tale, Lyric Stage Company, Pasadena Playhouse, the Guthrie, ACT Seattle, Portland Center Stage, Perseverance Theatre, and PlayMakers Repertory Company, among others. Premiering with the East West Players in Los Angeles, and then Off-Broadway with the Epic Theatre Ensemble, the play is inspired by the true story of Japanese American civil rights giant Gordon Hirabayashi, to whom President Obama posthumously awarded in 2012 a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

Called a “local treasure” by The Los Angeles Times, Jeanne’s screen credits include Jennifer Phang’s internationally acclaimed indie sci-fi film, Advantageous; on TV, guest/recurring roles on “Big Hero 6,” “Dr. Ken,” Bravo’s “True Fiction,” “NCIS Angeles,” “NUMB3RS,” Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Browns,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Presidio Med,” “ER,” “Threat Matrix,” “Line of Fire,” “American Family,” John Ridley’s “I Got You,” “Hiroshima,” and “Sex and Marriage,” a Justin Lin YOMYOMF YouTube webseries. Onstage, Jeanne has performed with the Public Theater, Lincoln Center Theater, Kennedy Center, Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Rep, Intiman Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, Portland Center Stage, People’s Light, Syracuse Stage and the Arizona Theatre Company.

Special honors: LA Ovation Award for Outstanding Lead Actress, Chay Yew’s REDEast West Players; 2016 Lee Melville Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Los Angeles Theatre Community, Playwrights’ Arena; Outstanding Artist Award, Los Angeles’ Pacific American Friends of Theatre. (www.jeannesakata.comwww.holdthesetruths.info)

Lisa Rothe is a NYC based freelance theater director, acting coach and educator. She was nominated for SDC’s Joe A. Callaway Award for Direction for Hold These Truths by Jeanne Sakata, produced by Epic Theatre Ensemble in NYC and the TheatreWorks production recently won 3 Theatre Bay Area Awards for Outstanding Direction, Outstanding Performer and Outstanding Production.

Lisa is currently the interim Director of New Works at Kansas City Repertory Theatre and recently produced the 4th annual Origins KC New Works Festival. Alongside Angel Desai and Grace Zandarski, she is a co-Artistic Director of The Actor’s Center in NYC. Lisa is also a former co-President of the League of Professional Theatre Women, on the Artistic Advisory Council of Epic Theatre Ensemble, on the Advisory Board of the Detroit Public Theatre, a Usual Suspect with New York Theatre Workshop, an Artistic Affiliate and Audrey Fellow with New Georges, a Drama League alum, a fox Fellow alum and a member of the National Theater Conference.

Recent directing work: Amber Waves by James Still at Indiana Repertory Theatre, In My Chair, written and performed by Eva DeVirgilis at Virginia Repertory Theatre/Cadence Theatre, Wild Abandon, written and performed by Leenya Rideout at the Irish Repertory Theatre, Sooner/Later by Allyson Currin at Cincinnati Playhouse, Confederates by Suzanne Bradbeer at Theatreworks (nominated for 8 Bay Area Critics Circle Awards). Future: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Kansas City Rep), Steel Magnolias (The Guthrie Theater), Fun Home (Kansas City Rep).

Lisa has workshopped, developed, and directed hundreds of new works with multiple award winning writers. As the Director of Global Exchange at The Lark in NYC for over five years, she provided expanded opportunities for playwrights, aimed at advancing new work to production, both nationally and globally (including facilitating reciprocal translation programs with China, Mexico, Romania & Russia).

MFA: NYU Graduate Acting Program and Director’s Lab. www.lisarothe.com

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
Lia Chang

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

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

HADESTOWN Wins 6 Outer Critics Circle Awards including Outstanding New Broadway Musical, André De Shields for Outstanding Featured Actor, Amber Gray for Outstanding Featured Actress, Anaïs Mitchell for Outstanding New Score, Rachel Chavkin for Outstanding Director of a Musical and Bradley King for Outstanding Lighting Design

Front Row: HADESTOWN Choreographer David Neumann, Director Rachel Chavkin and Creator Anaïs Mitchell with the company. Photo by Lia Chang
Front Row: HADESTOWN Choreographer David Neumann, Director Rachel Chavkin and Creator Anaïs Mitchell with the company. Photo by Lia Chang

Hadestown Wins 6 Outer Critics Circle Awards including Outstanding New Broadway Musical, André De Shields for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical, Amber Gray for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, Anaïs Mitchell for Outstanding New Score, Rachel Chavkin for Outstanding Director of a Musical and Bradley King for Outstanding Lighting Design. Hadestown received 12 nominations.

Amber Gray and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Other shows with multiple awards included All My Sons, The Cher Show, The Ferryman, King Kong, and Tootsie. King Kong also took home a special achievement award for its puppetry team.

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

Stage favorites Jenn Colella, Tina Fey, Hamish Linklater, Lindsay Mendez, and Lily Rabe will serve as gala award presenters at the upcoming 69th Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards ceremony on Thursday, May 23rd at 3:00 PM at the legendary Sardi’s Restaurant.

Check out the full list of winners below!

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY PLAY
The Ferryman *WINNER*
Ink
Network
To Kill a Mockingbird
What the Constitution Means to Me

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY MUSICAL
Be More Chill
Hadestown *WINNER*
Head Over Heels
The Prom
Tootsie

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY PLAY
Fairview
The House That Will Not Stand
Lewiston / Clarkston
The Light
White Noise *WINNER*

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL
The Beast in the Jungle
Black Light
Girl from the North Country *WINNER*
The Hello Girls
Midnight at the Never Get

OUTSTANDING BOOK OF A MUSICAL (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Robert Horn – Tootsie *WINNER*
Conor McPherson – Girl from the North Country
Peter Mills and Cara Reichel – The Hello Girls
Anaïs Mitchell – Hadestown
Jeff Whitty and James Magruder – Head Over Heels

OUTSTANDING NEW SCORE (THE MARJORIE GUNNER AWARD) (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin – The Prom
Joe Iconis – Be More Chill
Peter Mills – The Hello Girls
Anaïs Mitchell – Hadestown *WINNER*
David Yazbek – Tootsie

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A PLAY (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
All My Sons *WINNER*
By the Way, Meet Vera Stark
Juno and the Paycock
Our Lady of 121st Street
The Waverly Gallery

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Carmen Jones
Fiddler on the Roof (in Yiddish) *WINNER*
Kiss Me, Kate
Oklahoma!
Smokey Joe’s Café

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A PLAY (THE Lucille Lortel AWARD)
Rupert Goold – Ink
Sam Mendes – The Ferryman *WINNER*
Jack O’Brien – All My Sons
Bartlett Sher – To Kill a Mockingbird
Logan Vaughn – The Light

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL
Rachel Chavkin – Hadestown *WINNER*
Scott Ellis – Tootsie
Daniel Fish – Oklahoma!
Joel Grey – Fiddler on the Roof (in Yiddish)
Cara Reichel – The Hello Girls

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHER
Warren Carlyle – Kiss Me, Kate *WINNER*
Christopher Gattelli – The Cher Show
Denis Jones – Tootsie
David Neumann – Hadestown
Sergio Trujillo – Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations

OUTSTANDING SCENIC DESIGN (Play or Musical)
Beowulf Boritt – Bernhardt/Hamlet
Bunny Christie – Ink
Rachel Hauck – Hadestown
Rob Howell – The Ferryman
David Korins – Beetlejuice *WINNER*

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN (Play or Musical)
Rob Howell – The Ferryman
Bob Mackie – The Cher Show *WINNER*
William Ivey Long – Beetlejuice
William Ivey Long – Tootsie
Arianne Phillips – Head Over Heels

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN (Play or Musical)
Neil Austin – Ink
Stacey Derosier – Lewiston / Clarkston
Bradley King – Hadestown *WINNER*
Jason Lyons – Sugar in Our Wounds
Peter Mumford – King Kong

OUTSTANDING PROJECTION DESIGN (Play or Musical)
Peter England – King Kong *WINNER*
Alex Basco Koch – Be More Chill
Peter Nigrini – Beetlejuice
Jeff Sugg – All My Sons
Tal Yarden – Network

OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN (Play or Musical)
John Gromada – All My Sons
Peter Hylenski – King Kong *WINNER*
Drew Levy – Oklahoma!
Eric Sleichim – Network
Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz – Hadestown

OUTSTANDING ORCHESTRATIONS
Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose – Hadestown
Simon Hale – Girl from the North Country
Joseph Joubert – Carmen Jones
Daniel Kluger – Oklahoma! *WINNER*
Harold Wheeler – Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A PLAY
McKinley Belcher III – The Light
Bryan Cranston – Network *WINNER*
Daveed Diggs – White Noise
Bill Irwin – On Beckett
Jeremy Pope – Choir Boy

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Glenn Close – Mother of the Maid
Edie Falco – The True
Glenda Jackson – King Lear
Mandi Masden – The Light
Elaine May – The Waverly Gallery *WINNER*

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Brooks Ashmanskas – The Prom
Reeve Carney – Hadestown
Damon Daunno – Oklahoma!
Santino Fontana – Tootsie *WINNER*
Steven Skybell – Fiddler on the Roof (in Yiddish)

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Stephanie J. Block – The Cher Show *WINNER*
Kelli O’Hara – Kiss Me, Kate
Beth Leavel – The Prom
Anika Noni Rose – Carmen Jones
Mare Winningham – Girl from the North Country

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY
Bertie Carvel – Ink
John Clay III – Choir Boy
Hugh Dancy – Apologia
John Procaccino – Downstairs
Benjamin Walker – All My Sons *WINNER*

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Joan Allen – The Waverly Gallery
Stephanie Berry – Sugar in Our Wounds
Fionnula Flanagan – The Ferryman
Harriett D. Foy – The House That Will Not Stand
Celia Keenan-Bolger – To Kill a Mockingbird *WINNER*

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
John Behlmann – Tootsie
André De Shields – Hadestown *WINNER*
Reg Rogers – Tootsie
George Salazar – Be More Chill
Ephraim Sykes – Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Amber Gray – Hadestown *WINNER*
Leslie Kritzer – Beetlejuice
Bonnie Milligan – Head Over Heels
Sarah Stiles – Tootsie
Ali Stroker – Oklahoma!

OUTSTANDING SOLO PERFORMANCE
Mike Birbiglia – The New One *WINNER*
Maddie Corman – Accidentally Brave
Jake Gyllenhaal – A Life
Carey Mulligan – Girls & Boys
Renée Taylor – My Life on a Diet

John Gassner PLAYWRITING AWARD (Presented for an American play, preferably by a new playwright)
Jeremy O. Harris – Slave Play
Jeremy Kareken & David Murrell, and Gordon Farrell – The Lifespan of a Fact *WINNER*
Donja R. Love – Sugar in Our Wounds
Ming Peiffer – Usual Girls
Charly Evon Simpson – Behind the Sheet

SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS

The Executive Committee voted and decided upon the presentation of Special Achievement Awards to:

The Puppetry Team That Created and Operates King Kong

This award recognizes the artistry and technical achievement that brings a 2,000-pound gorilla to life:

Puppet designer and builder Sonny Tilders and the Creature Technology Company
Scenic designer Peter England, who collaborated on the aesthetics of the puppet
Aerial and movement director Gavin Robins
The members of the King’s Company, who move Kong on stage: Mike Baerga, Rhaamell Burke-Missouri, J?van Dansberry, Casey Garvin, Gabriel Hyman, Marty Lawson, Roberto Olvera, Khadija Tariyan, Lauren Yalango-Grant, David Yijae, Christopher Hampton Grant, Jena VanEslander, Scott Webber, Warren Yang, James Retter Duncan, Jonathan MacMillan, and Leigh-Ann Vizer.
Kong’s Voodoo Operators, who control his facial expressions: Jon Hoche, Danny Miller, and Jacob Williams.
The York Theatre Company
James Morgan, Producing Artistic Director
Evans Haile, Executive Director

This award is in recognition of 50 years of producing new musicals, as well as classics from the past.

André De Shields, Eva Noblezada, Amber Gray, Patrick Page and More Among 14 Tony Nominations for HADESTOWN including Best Musical; Full List of Nominees

HADESTOWN Star André De Shields to receive the 2019 Richard Seff Award from the Actors’ Equity Foundation on June 11 

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. Darren Lee, Joseph Steven Yang and More Open in Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN at Ogden Musical Theatre at the historic Peery’s Egyptian Theater

After two sold-out concert performances at the Regent Street Black Box at The Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City, Jason Ma’s new musical Gold Mountain celebrates opening night at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Ogden Musical Theatre at the historic Peery’s Egyptian Theater, 2415 Washington Blvd., Ogden, Utah  84401

The company of Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN. Photo by Lia Chang

Tickets are available for tonight and the Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. Click here for tickets.

Jonny Lee, Jr., Jason Ma and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee, Jr., Jason Ma and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast features Ali Ewoldt (The Phantom of the Opera), Jonny Lee Jr, Joseph Steven Yang (Aubergine at Playwrights Horizons), Darren Lee (Allegiance), Kiet Tai Cao, Lawrence-Michael C. Arias, Steven Eng (CSC’s Pacific Overtures), Eric Bondoc (Pacific Overtures, 2004 revival), Daniel May (Soft Power), Alex Hsu, Eric Elizaga, Viet Vo, joined by Utah actor Robert Scott Smith.

Alan Muraoka and Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang

Alan Muraoka is at the helm with choreography by Billy Bustamante and Darren Lee, and music direction by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld. The band features Nicole Elkins (Flute/Piccolo/Dizi), LeeAnn Morgan (Viola), Lauren Posey (Cello), Keming Zhou (Erhu).

Viet Vo, Darren Lee and Kiet Tai Cao. Photo by Lia Chang
Viet Vo, Darren Lee and Kiet Tai Cao. Photo by Lia Chang
Lawrence-Michael Arias, Daniel May, Viet Vo, Steven Eng, Darren Lee, Eric Bondoc, Eric Elizaga, Alex Hsu and Kiet Tai Cao. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel May, Lawrence-Michael Arias, Steven Eng, Viet Vo, Darren Lee, Eric Bondoc, Eric Elizaga, Kiet Tai Cao and Alex Hsu. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel May, Lawrence-Michael Arias, Steven Eng, Viet Vo, Darren Lee, Eric Bondoc, Eric Elizaga, Kiet Tai Cao and Alex Hsu. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel May, Steven Eng, Eric Elizaga, Eric Bondoc, Lawrence-Michael Arias and Kiet Tai Cao. Photo by Lia Chang
Lawrence-Michael Arias, Daniel May, Viet Vo, Steven Eng, Darren Lee, Eric Bondoc, Eric Elizaga, Alex Hsu and Kiet Tai Cao. Photo by Lia Chang
Robert Scott Smith and Kiet Tai Cao. Photo by Lia Chang
Darren Lee, Kiet Tai Cao, Joseph Steven Yang and Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Alex Hsu, Viet Vo and Lawrence Michael Arias. Photo by Lia Chang
Eric Elizaga, Jonny Lee, Jr., Daniel May and Lawrence Michael Arias. Photo by Lia Chang
Eric Elizaga, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Lawrence Michael Arias. Photo by Lia Chang
Lawrence-Michael Arias, Darren Lee, Steven Eng, Jonny Lee, Jr., Eric Bondoc and Joseph Steven Yang. Photo by Lia Chang
Kiet Tai Cao, Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee Jr. and Joseph Steven Yang. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Viet Vo and Eric Elizaga. Photo by Lia Chang
Eric Elizaga, Jonny Lee Jr., Daniel May, Lawrence-Michael Arias. Photo by Lia Chang
Keming Zhou, Nicole Elkins, LeeAnn Morgan, Lauren Posey, Music director Kristen Rosenfeld. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee, Jr. and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng, Darren Lee and Eric Bondoc. Photo by Lia Chang
Viet Vo, Eric Elizaga, Daniel May, Alex Hsu. Photo by Lia Chang
Viet Vo, Eric Elizaga, Daniel May, Alex Hsu and Lawrence-Michael Arias. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Joseph Steven Yang, Kiet Tai Cao, Ali Ewoldt, Robert Scott Smith. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee, Jr. and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
The Company of GOLD MOUNTAIN. Photo by Lia Chang

Lawrence-Michael Arias, Jonny Lee, Jr., Joseph Steven Yang and Darren Lee. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Joseph Steven Yang. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng and Eric Bondoc. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng and Eric Bondoc. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng and Eric Bondoc. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng and Eric Bondoc. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee, Jr. and Joseph Steven Yang. Photo by Lia Chang
The GOLD MOUNTAIN company. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee, Jr., Steven Eng, Eric Bondoc, Eric Elizaga and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee, Jr. and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang

Spike 150 is expecting around 600,000 people will attend the celebration events planned and that the activities planned will reach approximately 2.5 million people.

About Gold Mountain:

Gold Mountain, a new original musical, is a love story set against the backdrop of a pivotal event in America’s history: the construction of the first transcontinental railroad. It is a heartfelt, universal tale that celebrates the striving immigrant spirit, the redemptive power of love, and the ultimate nobility of self-sacrifice among a team of Chinese railroad workers.

Gold Mountain was most recently presented at TheTimesCenter in New York City by the National Asian Artists Project in partnership with Prospect Theater Company as a part of their 2017 IGNITE series. It was also selected for presentation at the 2016 ASCAP/DreamWorks Musical Theatre Workshop in Los Angeles, for development by Apples & Oranges Studios in their 2017 THEatre ACCELERATOR, for a staged reading at San Francisco LaborFest 2016 in The Aurora Theatre, and for a 2017 eStudio grant for a developmental workshop at The Masie Center.

About the Writer and Director:
Jason Ma (Writer) is a son of an immigrant family, and a grateful descendant of a long line of those who were able to persist, overcome and succeed on their way to becoming Americans. He wrote book, music and lyrics for Gold Mountain and is the 2017 recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Cole Porter Award for his work as a composer/lyricist. Along with writing, he is an actor who has been seen on Broadway and Off-Broadway stages, in regional theaters and many international venues. Please visit: www.goldmountainthemusical.com

About Production Partners:
Spike 150: Spike 150 is an initiative of Utah’s Transcontinental Railroad 150th Celebration Commission. The Utah State Legislature and Governor Gary Herbert established the Commission in 2017. Utah’s Transcontinental Railroad 150th Celebration Commission will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the “wedding of the rails” by the driving of the Golden Spike at Promontory Summit, Utah in 1869 on the weekend of May 10 – 11, 2019. The Commission is also engaged in promoting other commemorative events and activities that inspire, unify, educate and advance the legacy of this historic moment. More at: https://spike150.org

CRWDA: The Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association is a national, membership based, charitable organization which seeks to preserve, promote and protect the contributions made by Chinese railroad workers to the United States. Through our educational and philanthropic efforts, we support academic research, historic preservation and artistic projects that further the understanding and appreciation of the sacrifices, struggles, hardships and contributions made by generations of Chinese and Chinese Americans to the United States. Learn more at https://www.goldenspike150.org/

Delta Air Lines: What started as a humble, little aerial crop dusting operation called Huff Daland Dusters in 1924 has now grown into one of the world’s largest global airlines, helping more than 180 million travelers get to the places they want to go to each year.

Delta offers the world many ways to travel through their programs such as Skymiles, Delta One, Delta Comfort+, and more! Find out how you can book your next vacation or business trip at Delta.com.

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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

Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. Darren Lee, Joseph Steven Yang and More Open in Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN at Regent Street Black Box at The Eccles Theater

Jason Ma’s new musical Gold Mountain celebrates opening night at 8:00 p.m. tonight at Regent Street Black Box at The Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City with a sold-out engagement that also includes a performance on Thursday, May 9, both at 8:00 p.m

GOLD MOUNTAIN Company 1st Row: Viet Vo, Steven Eng, Jason Ma, Jonny Lee, Jr. , Ali Ewoldt. 2nd Row: Eric Elizaga, Darren Lee, Daniel May, Alan Muraoka, Joseph Steven Yang, Lawrence-Michael Arias, Eri Bondoc, Alex Hsu, Kiet Tai Cao, Robert Scott Smith. Photo by Lia Chang

Performances of the semi-staged concert in Ogden will take place in partnership with Ogden Musical Theatre at the historic Peery’s Egyptian Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 10 (sold-out) and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 11.

Jonny Lee, Jr., Jason Ma and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee, Jr., Jason Ma and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast features Ali Ewoldt (The Phantom of the Opera), Jonny Lee Jr, Joseph Steven Yang (Aubergine at Playwrights Horizons), Darren Lee (Allegiance), Kiet Tai Cao, Lawrence-Michael C. Arias, Steven Eng (CSC’s Pacific Overtures), Eric Bondoc (Pacific Overtures, 2004 revival), Daniel May (Soft Power), Alex Hsu, Eric Elizaga, Viet Vo, joined by Utah actor Robert Scott Smith.

Eric Elizaga, Jonny Lee, Jr. Daniel May, Alex Hsu, Lawrence-Michael Arias. Photo by Lia Chang

Alan Muraoka is at the helm with choreography by Billy Bustamante and Darren Lee, and music direction by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld.

Eric Elizaga, Darren Lee, Billy Bustamante, Jason Ma, Steven Eng and Viet Vo. Photo by Lia Chang

The company welcomed playwright David Henry Hwang and Max Chang, Spike 150 Board of Director, to their rehearsal this week. Hwang was in town for the Utah premiere of Hwang’s The Dance and the Railroad, directed by Billy Bustamante as part of the Spike 150 celebration of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. The reading on May 6th was followed by a panel discussion with Hwang, Ma and Paisley Rekdal, the poet laureate of Utah, Max Chang, Spike 150 board member Max Chang, and Judge Michael Kwan, President, Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association.

Lia Chang, Jason Ma, David Henry Hwang, Alan Muraoka, Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang

Spike 150 is expecting around 600,000 people will attend the celebration events planned and that the activities planned will reach approximately 2.5 million people.

1st Row: Viet Vo, Steven Eng, Jason Ma, Jonny Lee, Jr., Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Ali Ewoldt. 2nd Row: Eric Elizaga, Darren Lee, Alan Muraoka, Daniel May, David Henry Hwang, Joseph Steven Yang, Lawrence-Michael Arias, Eric Bondoc, Alex Hsu, Kiet Tai Cao, Robert Scott Smith, Max Chang, Spike 150 Board Member. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel May, Steven Eng, Viet Vo, Eric Bondoc, Darren Lee, Eric Elizaga, Alex Hsu, Kiet Tai Cao. Photo by Lia Chang
Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Alan MUraoka, Viet Vo, Lawrence-Michael Arias, Alex Hsu. Photo by Lia Chang
Daren Lee, Jonny Lee, Jr. and company. Photo by Lia Chang
The company of GOLD MOUNTAIN. Photo by Lia Chang
Joseph Steven Yang and Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel May, Alex Hsu, Viet Vo, Lawrence-Michael Arias, Darren Lee. Photo by Lia Chang
Jason Ma and Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Viet Vo and Eric Elizaga. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng and Eric Bondoc. Photo by Lia Chang
Darren Lee, Kiet Tai Cao, Joseph Steven Yang and Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang

Jason Ma, David Henry Hwang and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang

About Gold Mountain:

Gold Mountain, a new original musical, is a love story set against the backdrop of a pivotal event in America’s history: the construction of the first transcontinental railroad. It is a heartfelt, universal tale that celebrates the striving immigrant spirit, the redemptive power of love, and the ultimate nobility of self-sacrifice among a team of Chinese railroad workers.

Gold Mountain was most recently presented at TheTimesCenter in New York City by the National Asian Artists Project in partnership with Prospect Theater Company as a part of their 2017 IGNITE series. It was also selected for presentation at the 2016 ASCAP/DreamWorks Musical Theatre Workshop in Los Angeles, for development by Apples & Oranges Studios in their 2017 THEatre ACCELERATOR, for a staged reading at San Francisco LaborFest 2016 in The Aurora Theatre, and for a 2017 eStudio grant for a developmental workshop at The Masie Center.

About the Writer and Director:
Jason Ma (Writer) is a son of an immigrant family, and a grateful descendant of a long line of those who were able to persist, overcome and succeed on their way to becoming Americans. He wrote book, music and lyrics for Gold Mountain and is the 2017 recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Cole Porter Award for his work as a composer/lyricist. Along with writing, he is an actor who has been seen on Broadway and Off-Broadway stages, in regional theaters and many international venues. Please visit: www.goldmountainthemusical.com

About Production Partners:
Spike 150: Spike 150 is an initiative of Utah’s Transcontinental Railroad 150th Celebration Commission. The Utah State Legislature and Governor Gary Herbert established the Commission in 2017. Utah’s Transcontinental Railroad 150th Celebration Commission will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the “wedding of the rails” by the driving of the Golden Spike at Promontory Summit, Utah in 1869 on the weekend of May 10 – 11, 2019. The Commission is also engaged in promoting other commemorative events and activities that inspire, unify, educate and advance the legacy of this historic moment. More at: https://spike150.org

CRWDA: The Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association is a national, membership based, charitable organization which seeks to preserve, promote and protect the contributions made by Chinese railroad workers to the United States. Through our educational and philanthropic efforts, we support academic research, historic preservation and artistic projects that further the understanding and appreciation of the sacrifices, struggles, hardships and contributions made by generations of Chinese and Chinese Americans to the United States. Learn more at https://www.goldenspike150.org/

Delta Air Lines: What started as a humble, little aerial crop dusting operation called Huff Daland Dusters in 1924 has now grown into one of the world’s largest global airlines, helping more than 180 million travelers get to the places they want to go to each year.

Delta offers the world many ways to travel through their programs such as Skymiles, Delta One, Delta Comfort+, and more! Find out how you can book your next vacation or business trip at Delta.com.

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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

Headed to Salt Lake City with Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN Musical as Part of the 2019 Golden Spike 150th Anniversary Celebration of the Completion of the Transcontinental Railroad

Jason Ma and Lia Chang

I am headed to Salt Lake City on Delta Airlines for my latest adventure with Jason Ma and his company of Asian American actors who will be performing semi-staged concert presentations of his new musical Gold Mountain, which has sold out its Salt Lake City run. Those hoping to catch one of the Spike 150 celebration performances can see this original musical in nearby Ogden.

The cast features Ali Ewoldt (The Phantom of the Opera), Jonny Lee Jr, Joseph Steven Yang (Aubergine at Playwrights Horizons), Darren Lee (Allegiance), Kiet Tai Cao, Lawrence-Michael C. Arias, Steven Eng (CSC’s Pacific Overtures), Eric Bondoc (Pacific Overtures, 2004 revival), Daniel May (Soft Power), Alex Hsu, Eric Elizaga, Viet Vo, joined by Utah actor Robert Scott Smith.

Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee Jr. in Gold Mountain at The TimesCenter in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee Jr. in Gold Mountain at The TimesCenter in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

Direction will be provided by Alan Muraoka, choreography by Billy Bustamante, and music direction by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld. Performances in Ogden will take place in partnership with Ogden Musical Theatre at the historic Peery’s Egyptian Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 10 and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 11. The sold out performances in Salt Lake City are set for the Regent Street Black Box at The Eccles Theater on Wednesday, May 8 and Thursday, May 9, both at 8:00 p.m

GOLD MOUNTAIN Director Alan Muraoka, Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Creator Jason Ma at TheTimesCenter in New York on October 21, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
GOLD MOUNTAIN Director Alan Muraoka, Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Creator Jason Ma at TheTimesCenter in New York on October 21, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

Other events that will be a part of the Spike 150 celebration of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad include two staged readings of David Henry Hwang’s The Dance and the Railroad, directed by Billy Bustamante for Salt Lake Acting Company on May 6 and 7, followed by a panel discussion with Hwang, Ma and Paisley Rekdal, the poet laureate of Utah on the 6th. Brian Stokes Mitchell and Megan Hilty will headline a concert with the Utah Symphony and The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square on Friday, May 10.

David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

Spike 150 is expecting around 600,000 people will attend the celebration events planned and that the activities planned will reach approximately 2.5 million people.

About Gold Mountain:

Gold Mountain, a new original musical, is a love story set against the backdrop of a pivotal event in America’s history: the construction of the first transcontinental railroad. It is a heartfelt, universal tale that celebrates the striving immigrant spirit, the redemptive power of love, and the ultimate nobility of self-sacrifice among a team of Chinese railroad workers.

Gold Mountain was most recently presented at TheTimesCenter in New York City by the National Asian Artists Project in partnership with Prospect Theater Company as a part of their 2017 IGNITE series. It was also selected for presentation at the 2016 ASCAP/DreamWorks Musical Theatre Workshop in Los Angeles, for development by Apples & Oranges Studios in their 2017 THEatre ACCELERATOR, for a staged reading at San Francisco LaborFest 2016 in The Aurora Theatre, and for a 2017 eStudio grant for a developmental workshop at The Masie Center.

About the Writer and Director:
Jason Ma (Writer) is a son of an immigrant family, and a grateful descendant of a long line of those who were able to persist, overcome and succeed on their way to becoming Americans. He wrote book, music and lyrics for Gold Mountain and is the 2017 recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Cole Porter Award for his work as a composer/lyricist. Along with writing, he is an actor who has been seen on Broadway and Off-Broadway stages, in regional theaters and many international venues. Please visit: www.goldmountainthemusical.com

Alan Muraoka (Director) NY directing credits: Avenue Q (Off-Broadway Resident Director), Telly Leung: Telly on a Sunday (Birdland-November 2018), The Report (NY Fringe), Kung Fu (Signature Theatre-AD), Ann Harada: American Songbook (Lincoln Center), Awesomer& Awesomer!!!(Triad Theatre), The King and I (Harbor Lights Theatre), Telly Leung: Playlist and What Makes a Man? (54 Below), Ali Ewoldt: From Phantom to Phantom (54 Below) Grand Hotel (NYU/Cap 21),Falsettoland(NAATCO), John Tartaglia AD-LIBerty(Joe’s Pub) & Christmas Eve With Christmas Eve (BC/EFA Benefits). Regionally: South Pacific &Once On This Island (Olney Theatre),The King and I, Xanadu, Disney’s High School Musicaland Disney’s High School Musical 2 (all at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma), Disney’s High School Musical(MUNY, Casa Manana), Urinetown(Trinity University), and Up In The Air(Kennedy Center-AD). Television:Sesame Street,Macy’sThanksgiving Day Parade. As an actor, Alan is most recognizable for his role in the Emmy Award winning series, “Sesame Street,” where he plays “Alan,” the proprietor of Hooper’s Store. He has appeared in 7 Broadway shows; “Aladdin”, “Pacific Overtures,” “Mail,” “Shogun, the Musical,” “My Favorite Year,” “The King and I”(with Lou Diamond Phillips and Donna Murphy), and most notably “Miss Saigon,” where he played the lead role of the Engineer. Member SSDC & DGA. Website: www.alanmuraoka.net Follow on Instagram: #alanathoopers

About Production Partners:
Spike 150: Spike 150 is an initiative of Utah’s Transcontinental Railroad 150th Celebration Commission. The Utah State Legislature and Governor Gary Herbert established the Commission in 2017. Utah’s Transcontinental Railroad 150th Celebration Commission will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the “wedding of the rails” by the driving of the Golden Spike at Promontory Summit, Utah in 1869 on the weekend of May 10 – 11, 2019. The Commission is also engaged in promoting other commemorative events and activities that inspire, unify, educate and advance the legacy of this historic moment. More at: https://spike150.org

CRWDA: The Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association is a national, membership based, charitable organization which seeks to preserve, promote and protect the contributions made by Chinese railroad workers to the United States. Through our educational and philanthropic efforts, we support academic research, historic preservation and artistic projects that further the understanding and appreciation of the sacrifices, struggles, hardships and contributions made by generations of Chinese and Chinese Americans to the United States. Learn more at https://www.goldenspike150.org/

Delta Air Lines: What started as a humble, little aerial crop dusting operation called Huff Daland Dusters in 1924 has now grown into one of the world’s largest global airlines, helping more than 180 million travelers get to the places they want to go to each year.

Delta offers the world many ways to travel through their programs such as Skymiles, Delta One, Delta Comfort+, and more! Find out how you can book your next vacation or business trip at Delta.com.

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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

Up Close and Personal with HAMILTON’s Marc delaCruz

Marc delaCruz at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

On April 7, my pal Jason Ma, the creator of Gold Mountain, invited me to see Marc delaCruz star as Alexander Hamilton in the Broadway production of Hamilton. Marc joined the Broadway company in October and had his first performance as an onstage cover in the Man 5 ensemble track playing Philip Schuyler/James Reynolds/Doctor on December 1st. He made history on January 18th when he became the first Asian American to star as Alexander Hamilton on Broadway. In addition to the title role, Marc understudies  Philip Hamilton, John Laurens and King George.

Lia Chang and Jason Ma at the April 7, 2019 matinee of HAMILTON on Broadway.

In 2014-15, Marc made his Broadway debut in If/Then by Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt, directed by Michael Greif. He played David in the National tour opposite Idina Menzel and Anthony Rapp.

Anthony Rapp, left, and Marc delaCruz in "If/Then." Photo by Joan Marcus
(2015) Anthony Rapp, left, and Marc delaCruz in “If/Then.” Photo by Joan Marcus

Last year, Marc’s leading man status was on full display as Quang in Qui Nguyen’s Vietgone  at Studio Theatre in Washington D.C.; as Dan in Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey’s Next to Normal at Tantrum Theater in Dublin, Ohio; and as Jason in Keen Company’s Off-Broadway revival of the fan favorite musical Ordinary Days by Adam Gwon, which recently received a Drama League Award nomination for Outstanding Revival of a Broadway or Off-Broadway musical.

Marc delaCruz, Lia Chang and Jason Ma. Photo by Garth Kravits

Marc was gracious enough to pose for a few photos prior to his star turn and we visited onstage after the show. Below is our interview.

Marc delaCruz at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: What did the audition process entail?
Marc: The audition process for me took place over a period of a few months. My first audition was for the casting directors at Telsey where I was given a couple of songs cuts to prepare. Over the course of my next appointments I was given more and more material to learn and perform since I was being considered as a principal cover. I eventually had a work session with Patrick Vassel (associate and supervising director) and Matt Gallagher (associate music supervisor) and then a final audition with Tommy Kail and Alex Lacamoire. By the end of the process I had learned all of the audition material for Hamilton, Burr and King George. Those last two auditions probably lasted about a half an hour to forty-five minutes each.

Marc delaCruz at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: How did you prepare?
Marc: Once I received the audition music I spent every spare minute I had learning and drilling the songs. With regard to the Hamilton music—since I didn’t have a lot of experience rapping—I wanted to know it inside out so that I could feel comfortable and spontaneous in the audition room. The more repetition I gave myself with the music the more relaxed I felt and open to exploring different choices. I also coached with my friend Jasper Grant who is incredible. He knows this music well and opened me up to many different ways of approaching the music and characters so that I could find something unique and personal in my interpretations of these well known songs.

Lia: Are you a history buff?
Marc: I am not a huge history buff but working on the show certainly has me curious about the inner lives of all kinds of historical figures.

Lia: What did it feel like to lead the cast and make history as the first Asian American Alexander Hamilton on Broadway?
Marc: The role of Hamilton is so epic so I was daunted by the task of performing the role as an understudy. How do I step in and do justice to this character and incredible company of performers? But the first time I went on as Hamilton, I received such support and care from the cast and crew—there was no judgement, it was clear we were all doing this together. As one of the Hamilton understudies I get to perform the role every now and then and every time I do I can feel the same kind of support from everybody in the building. The first time I went on, the fact that I was the first Asian American to play the role on Broadway wasn’t even on my mind. I was so focused on trying to get everything right. But afterward when people started posting things on social media and there was all kinds of celebration I realized what this meant for Asian and minority communities. I received many kind messages and shout outs. It touched me deeply that people felt empowered and proud knowing that an Asian man played this role on Broadway. The whole experience was very humbling and I was deeply touched by the reactions.

Marc delaCruz at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: What is your biggest challenge in performing the character?
Marc: I think my biggest challenge is to stay grounded. I can easily get swept up in the fast pace of the show and athleticism of rapping that I lose touch with my body and breath. I have to constantly remind myself to stay relaxed. You might find me actually squatting backstage between scenes just to get closer to the ground!

HAMILTON cast members Marc delaCruz and Eddy Lee at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: How many other Asian Americans in the company?
Marc: There are five cast members, two musicians and one crew member currently in the Broadway company who are Asian American. The cast members are Eddy Lee, Karla Garcia, Christina Glur, Sabrina Imamura and myself; our musicians are Robin Macatangay (guitar) and Mario Gotoh (violin); and on crew we have Anna Lee Craig, one of team sound’s original A2’s. Besides us there is tons of Asian representation in all of the Hamilton companies. Look up the casts online, past and present, and you’ll see that Asian representation in Hamilton is not a new phenomenon—starting with Philippa Soo!

Lia: Over the last year, you have had the opportunity to shine in leading roles inVietgone, Next to Normal and Ordinary Days. I had the opportunity to witness your extraordinary performance in Ordinary Days. After the show you mentioned that it was the “biggest” role that you played to date. Please share something about each character, and what you enjoyed most about playing each role.

Eileen Rivera, Joe Ngo, Marc Delacruz, and Jacob Yeh in Vietgone. Photo: Teresa Wood.
Eileen Rivera, Joe Ngo, Marc Delacruz, and Jacob Yeh in “Vietgone” at Studio Theatre in Washington D.C. Photo: Teresa Wood.

Marc: Each of these roles taught me something new and challenged me in a different way. The role of Quang in Vietgone is so epic and required me to bring everything I had to the table physically, vocally and emotionally. The character goes through such a roller coaster of emotions and experiences—there are humorous as well as dramatic moments, a huge fight sequence, singing (the production we did replaced the rap sequences from the original production with 70’s style rock songs written by Jeff Song), not to mention playing an older version of the character in the end. This production, directed by Natsu Onoda Power was beautifully kinetic. I also loved that the play, written by Qui Nguyen and featuring an all Asian cast, is so unapologetic. There are no model minorities here. The characters swear, get horny, get angry, get high. It was also gratifying and empowering to play an Asian man who is allowed to be sexy and the romantic lead of a story. Qui’s play flips the script for us Asian Americans in so many ways and the fact that it was popular shows that audiences are eager to see Asians in a different kind of light.

Regina Aquino and Marc Delacruz in Vietgone. Photo: Teresa Wood
Regina Aquino and Marc Delacruz in “Vietgone”. Photo: Teresa Wood

Dan in Next to Normal was a different kind of stretch. The role of a suburban professional husband father of a teenager is not something I’d normally gravitate toward. It was fun to imagine this life which is so far from what I know as an actor living in New York City. Plumbing the emotional depths of the show and character were also a wonderful challenge and we were gifted with an amazing cast and creative team who were willing, trusting and eager to go as deeply as possible in our work. I loved the process of considering what is “normal” in this country and challenging these presumptions from all angles. It also meant a lot to me that I as a person of color, specifically Asian American, could be considered as the father/husband figure of an ostensibly normal American family. I appreciate Tantrum Theater and our director Robert Barry Fleming for casting Dan and Diana as an interracial couple. I think it further broadened the scope of the conversation about normalcy that the show presents.

From left, Kelsey Venter, Marc delaCruz, Riley McFarland and Bradley McKelvey-Askin in Tantrum Theater’s production of “Next to Normal”. Photo by Daniel Winters.
From left, Kelsey Venter, Marc delaCruz, Riley McFarland and Bradley McKelvey-Askin in Tantrum Theater’s production of “Next to Normal”. Photo by Daniel Winters.

Playing Jason in Ordinary Days with Keen Company (directed by Jonathan Silverstein) was an awesome challenge in song interpretation. With a cast of four, the show is incredibly intimate and we each spent a lot of time singing alone onstage. I also loved the character of Jason described only as a guy in his 30’s. The relationship of Jason and Clair (played by the luminous Whitney Bashor) was one of the arcs of the show. Very simply, I was playing “the guy”, not “the Asian guy” or the sidekick or another predicable role for an Asian actor. I was simply a guy in love with a girl. The show itself was so simple and beautiful and Adam’s music and lyrics seem to go straight to the heart. I loved singing these songs and hanging out with our small cast, crew and musicians. There was a gentle magic about this show I’ll never forget. I’m also happy to report that the production just received a Drama League Award nomination for Outstanding Revival of a Broadway or Off-Broadway musical!

Marc delaCruz, Kyle Sherman, Sarah Lynn Marion and Whitney Bashor in "Ordinary Days". Photo by Carol Rosegg
Marc delaCruz, Kyle Sherman, Sarah Lynn Marion and Whitney Bashor in “Ordinary Days”. Photo by Carol Rosegg

Being able to do these three shows in a row was a real gift, mostly because everybody working on these productions was so passionate, intelligent and generous of spirit. I learned so much. It was an embarrassment of riches to get to spend time in a rehearsal room and onstage with such ridiculously talented artists on important, impactful, and beautifully crafted pieces.

An impromptu GOLD MOUNTAIN reunion onstage at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York with Brian Kim, Jason Ma, Eddy Lee, Eric Elizaga, Marc delaCruz and Lia Chang.
Marc delaCruz at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: As an Asian American actor, do you feel a responsibility to represent?
Marc: Yes I do feel a sense of responsibility. Asian and Asian American communities are desperate for representation and I try to embrace what it might mean for other Asians whenever I have the opportunity to step onstage. While on tour with If/Then, a young Asian American man stopped me at the stage door after the show, almost with tears in his eyes, shook my hand and thanked me for my performance. It meant so much to him to see an Asian actor playing a role with no ethnic designation (as is the case with all the roles in If/Then). Seeing Asian actors and actresses in multidimensional roles on stage or screen is a huge deal for Asian people. I grew up thinking I was at a disadvantage because I was Asian in this country and that was largely due to the fact that I never saw people who looked like me in movies, TV or on stage. I felt inferior because of my ethnicity and I was resentful of it. Now, whenever I get the chance to perform it gives me an opportunity to heal that resentment and pain. I’m happy for anything I can do to help others feel empowered and proud of who they are or just simply feel seen. I’d venture to say that there’s a particular excitement about an Asian man playing Alexander Hamilton because Asian men still struggle to be seen as sexy, powerful, romantic or as an engine of change in this country. The landscape is shifting no doubt, but these changes have been a long time coming and I don’t think we’re there yet. I’m excited by this blossoming and more vocal sense of pride in being Asian that we are experiencing (cue Sandra Oh: “It’s an honor just to be Asian.”) It feels like a reclamation of our identity and sense of self-assertion in response to centuries of being identified by others. Because of this, the accomplishments of any one Asian person is celebrated by the community at large. It’s not just about representing, it is about lifting each other up.

Marc delaCruz at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: Where did you go to school?
Marc: I went to the University of Washington in Seattle and received a B.A. in International Studies with a minor in Japanese.

Lia: When did you move to New York?
Marc: The fall of 2006.

Lia: What would you consider were your formative years as an artist?
Marc: It’s hard to say because I feel like I’m still in them! I hope I never reach a point where I feel completely formed as an artist. You could point to any period of time since I started doing this and I can easily tell you how I grew artistically during that time. But, there are two time periods when I think my understanding of myself as an artist accelerated. The first period is the time I spent working in theater in Seattle. I consider this the time I cut my teeth in the theater profession. I performed in a wide variety of shows both golden age and contemporary, musical and non-musical. I did school touring productions, new works, readings and I worked with incredible and passionate artists in all departments who taught me an appreciation and respect for the art form. The second period is the last three or so years when I received opportunities to play more complex roles. I’ve spent more time these past years better understanding and accepting myself as a person and this has helped me grow as an artist.

Lia: Has your family also been supportive of your chosen profession?
Marc: My family has always been very supportive. Anytime I get cast in a show my favorite part is calling my parents to tell them. My parents have flown to New York all the way from Hawai’i twice to see me perform. My siblings, nephews and niece are always cheering me on, celebrating when I get cast in something and propping me up in the midst of countless rejections.

January 20, 2019 Marc delaCruz with his parents Roy delaCruz and Rochelle delaCruz at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York. Photos courtesy of Olivia Oguma
(January 20, 2019) Marc delaCruz with his parents Roy delaCruz and Rochelle delaCruz at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York. Photos courtesy of Olivia Oguma

Lia: Who inspires you?
Marc: How much space do I have! I am constantly inspired by other people—fellow artists, old friends, my family. A few people who come to mind today are Jordan Peele, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, the Standing Rock protesters, the Parkland students, sci-if writer Kim Stanley Robinson, Sandra Oh, George Takei, my mom, dad, brother and sister, Lin-Manuel Miranda. The list really goes on.

Lia: Any directors, shows, composers that you would like to work with/in?
Marc: I’d love to do more Sondheim shows. I admire the work of Ivan Van Hove, Rachel Chavkin, John Chu, Ang Lee, Leigh Silverman, May Adrales, John Doyle, Bartlett Sher, Ma-Yi Theater and NAATCO to name only a few.

Lia: If you were not performing, what would you be doing?
Marc: I think I’d be working in international relations, maybe in diplomacy or journalism, or teaching yoga.

Lia: What drives you?
Marc: The necessity of storytelling; representation of Asians in the arts and media; relieving the burden of my own internalized shame and inferiority; connecting with other humans; beauty in all its infinite forms; the desire to understand human nature; learning new skills; creating a just and equitable society; seeking the truth.

Telly Leung as Sammy Kimura (center) with (from left) Jon Jon Briones, Scott Watanabe, Karl Josef Co and Marc de la Cruz in the World Premiere of Allegiance - A New American Musical, with music and lyrics by Jay Kuo and book by Marc Acito, Kuo and Lorenzo Thione, directed by Stafford Arima, Sept. 7 - Oct. 21, 2012 at The Old Globe. Photo by Henry DiRocco.
(September, 2012) Telly Leung as Sammy Kimura (center) with (from left) Jon Jon Briones, Scott Watanabe, Karl Josef Co and Marc delaCruz in the World Premiere of “Allegiance – A New American Musical,” with music and lyrics by Jay Kuo and book by Marc Acito, Kuo and Lorenzo Thione, directed by Stafford Arima at The Old Globe. Photo by Henry DiRocco.

Broadway: Hamilton (Ensemble, u/s Alexander Hamilton, Laurens/Philip, King George), If/Then (OBC, swing, u/s David). Off-Broadway: Ordinary Days (revival, Jason, Keen Company), Three Days to See (Transport Group), Pacific Overtures (standby, Classic Stage Company), Prison Dancer (Hookaps, NYMF). National Tours/International: If/Then (David), Disney’s High School Musical, Where Elephants Weep (Cambodian Living Arts, Cambodia). Regional: Vietgone (Quang, Studio Theatre), Next to Normal (Dan, Tantrum Theatre), Allegiance (Old Globe Theatre), work with the 5th Avenue Theatre, Village Theatre, ReAct, San Jose Rep, North Carolina Theatre, Casa Manana.

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Thom Sesma, Jeffrey Omura, Kimiye Corwin, Emma Kikue and More Celebrate World Premiere of Sam Chanse’s FRUITING BODIES

Playwright Sam Chanse and director Shelley Butler. Photo by Lia Chang

Ma-Yi Theater Company is presenting the Off-Broadway world premiere of FRUITING BODIES by Asian-American playwright Sam Chanse, with Shelley Butler at the helm. The cast of FRUITING BODIES features Kimiye Corwin (Noises Off, Henry VI), Emma Kikue (God Said This, Up the Hill), Jeffrey Omura (House Rules, Hamlet) and Thom Sesma (Superhero, Sweeney Todd).

FRUITING BODIES cast members Thom Sesma, Emma Kikue, Kimiye Corwin and Jeffrey Omura during their opening night curtain call. Photo by Lia Chang

FRUITING BODIES opened last night, April 28, at the Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row (410 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036) for a limited run through May 19. Scroll down for coverage of the opening night curtain call and photos from the opening night party at The Brazen Tavern.

FRUITING BODIES cast members Jeffrey Omura, Emma Kikue, Kimiye Corwin and Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang

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

Jeffrey Omura, playwright Sam Chanse, Emma Kikue, director Shelley Butler, Thom Sesma and Kimiye Corwin. Photo by Lia Chang

The design team includes set design by Reid Thompson, costume design by Sara Ryung Clement, lighting design by Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew, and sound design and original music by Kate Marvin.

FRUITING BODIES cast members Jeffrey Omura and Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang
Playwright Sam Chanse and director Shelley Butler. Photo by Lia Chang
Lighting Designer Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew, Sound Designer Kate Marvin and Set Designer Reid Thompson. Photo by Lia Chang
Jeffrey Omura. Photo by Lia Chang
NOMAD MOTEL Playwright Carla Ching, actor Christopher Larkin and director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar. Photo by Lia Chang
Sam Chanse and Jessica Hagedorn. Photo by Lia Chang
Ching Valdes-Aran and Jessica Hagedorn. Photo by Lia Chang
Ben Pesner and Sam Chanse. Photo by Lia Chang
Jeffrey Omura and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Stephen Brown-Fried, Kimiyi Corwin, Rajesh Bose and Orlando Pabotoy. Photo by Lia Chang
Playwright Sam Chanse (center) celebrates her opening night of FRUITING BODIES with her pals including San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim (far left). Photo by Lia Chang

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

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

André De Shields, Eva Noblezada, Amber Gray, Patrick Page and More Among 14 Tony Nominations for HADESTOWN including Best Musical; Full List of Nominees

The cast and creative team of Hadestown is livin’ it up! Last night, they recorded the original cast recording set for digital release on June 7th.

Patrick Page, Eva Noblezada, Reeve Carney, Amber Gray and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

This morning, they woke up to 14 Tony nominations including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score for Anais Mitchell, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for Eva Noblezada, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for André De Shields and Patrick Page, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for Amber Gray, Best Scenic Design of a Musical for Rachel Hauck, Best Costume Design of a Musical for Michael Krass, Best Lighting Design of a Musical for Bradley King, Best Sound Design of a Musical for Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz, Best Direction of a Musical for Rachel Chavkin, Best Choreography for David Neumann and Best Orchestrations for Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose.

David Neumann, Anaïs Mitchell and Rachel Chavkin. Photo by Lia Chang
David Neumann, Anaïs Mitchell and Rachel Chavkin. Photo by Lia Chang

This season featured 37 productions, including 21 plays and 13 musicals and 3 special performances. The 2019 Tony Awards will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City, on Sunday, June 9th on CBS.

Hadestown, the new musical by Anaïs Mitchell, developed with Rachel Chavkin, opened to rave reviews at the Walter Kerr Theatre (219 W 48th St) on April 17, after a critically acclaimed run in London at the National Theatre. Click here for tickets.

Hadestown is led by Reeve Carney as Orpheus, André De Shields as Hermes, Amber Gray as Persephone, Eva Noblezada and Eurydice and Patrick Page as Hermes. They are joined by Jewelle Blackman, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, and Kay Trinidad as the Fates. The Workers Chorus is played by Afra Hines, Timothy Hughes, John Krause, Kimberly Marable, and Ahmad Simmons. The full cast includes swings Malcolm Armwood, T. Oliver Reid, Jessie Shelton, and Khaila Wilcoxon.

Tune in at 8:00 A.M. to see the company of Hadestown perform on The Today Show on Wednesday, May 1, 2019.

André De Shields will receive the 2019 Richard Seff Award from the Actors’ Equity Foundation, which honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year.

HADESTOWN Star André De Shields to receive the 2019 Richard Seff Award from the Actors’ Equity Foundation on June 11 

Below is the current award nominations for Hadestown and the full list of Tony nominees:

Hadestown was nominated in 3 categories for 2019 Chita Rivera Awards including Outstanding Choreography in a Broadway Show for David Neumann, Outstanding Female Dancer in a Broadway Show for Amber Gray and Outstanding Ensemble in a Broadway Show.

Eva Noblezada and the company of HADESTOWN. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada and the company of HADESTOWN. Photo by Lia Chang

The Chita Rivera Awards nominees reception will take place Monday, April 29, 2019 at Bond 45 (221 W. 46th Street). The 2019 Chita Rivera Awards will be presented on May 19, 2019 at 7:30pm at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts (566 LaGuardia Place off Washington Square Park), and produced by Joe Lanteri, Founder and Executive Director of the New York City Dance Alliance Foundation, Inc. in conjunction with Patricia Watt. www.ChitaRiveraAwards.com

Anaïs Mitchell’s HADESTOWN Nominated for 3 Drama League Awards, 7 Drama Desk Awards, 3 Chita Rivera Awards, 12 Outer Critics Circle Awards

Front Row: HADESTOWN Choreographer David Neumann, Director Rachel Chavkin and Creator Anaïs Mitchell with the company. Photo by Lia Chang
The company of HADESTOWN. Photo by Lia Chang

Following the 2017 nomination for Best Musical for the original Off-Broadway production, Hadestown has been nominated for 7 2019 Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical for André De Shields, Outstanding Director of a Musical for Rachel Chavkin, Outstanding Choreography for David Neumann, Outstanding Set Design for a Musical for Rachel Hauck, Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical for Michael Krass,
Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical for Bradley King, and Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical for Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz.

Michael Urie will host the 64th Annual Drama Desk Awards on Sunday, June 2 at 8 PM at The Town Hall. Tickets are available at DramaDeskAwards.com.

Hadestown received 12 Outer Critics Circle Award nominations, more than any other show this season. Hadestown garnered nominations for Outstanding New Broadway Musical, Outstanding Actor in a Musical for Reeve Carney, Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical for Amber Gray, Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical for André De Shields, Outstanding Book of a Musical and Outstanding New Score for Anaïs Mitchell, Outstanding Director of a Musical for Rachel Chavkin, Outstanding Choreographer David Neumann, Outstanding Scenic Design for Rachel Hauck, Outstanding Lighting Design for Bradley King and Outstanding Sound Design for Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz, Outstanding Orchestrations for Michael Chorney, Todd Sickafoose.

The winners will be announced on Monday, May 13th. The annual Gala Awards Dinner and presentation of awards to the winners will be held on Thursday, May 23rd (3 PM) at the legendary Sardi’s Restaurant.

HADESTOWN Garners 12 Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations and Sets Release Date for Original Broadway Cast Recording 

Amber Gray and André De Shields have been nominated for 2019 Drama League Awards. Photo by Lia Chang

Hadestown has also received 3 Drama League nominations for Outstanding Production of a Play, while Amber Gray and André De Shields have been nominated for Distinguished Performance Awards.

The 85th Annual Drama League Awards Ceremony and Luncheon will be held on Friday, May 17 at the Marriott Marquis Times Square (1535 Broadway at 46th St) from 11:30am – 3:00pm.

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

Rachel Chavkin and Anaïs Mitchell. Photo by Lia Chang

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

Todd Sickafoose, Liam Robinson, Rachel Hauck, David Neumann, Erica Sweany, Rachel Chavkin and Cody Owen Stine. Photo by Lia Chang

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

Inside the Opening Night Afterparty of HADESTOWN with André De Shields 

Congratulations to all the 2019 Tony nominees.

Best Play
Choir Boy Author: Tarell Alvin McCraney
The Ferryman Author: Jez Butterworth
Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus Author: Taylor Mac
Ink Author: James Graham
What the Constitution Means to Me Author: Heidi Schreck

Best Musical
Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations
Beetlejuice
Hadestown
The Prom
Tootsie

Best Revival of a Play
Arthur Miller’s All My Sons
The Boys in the Band Author: Mart Crowley
Burn This
Torch Song Author: Harvey Fierstein
The Waverly Gallery Author: Kenneth Lonergan

Best Revival of a Musical
Kiss Me, Kate
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

Best Book of a Musical
Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations Dominique Morisseau
Beetlejuice Scott Brown & Anthony King
Hadestown Anaïs Mitchell
The Prom Bob Martin Chad Beguelin
Tootsie Robert Horn

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Be More Chill – Music & Lyrics: Joe Iconis
Beetlejuice – Music & Lyrics: Eddie Perfect
Hadestown – Music & Lyrics: Anaïs Mitchell
The Prom – Music: Matthew Sklar, Lyrics: Chad Beguelin
To Kill a Mockingbird – Music: Adam Guettel
Tootsie – Music & Lyrics: David Yazbek

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Paddy Considine, The Ferryman
Bryan Cranston, Network
Jeff Daniels, To Kill a Mockingbird
Adam Driver, Burn This
Jeremy Pope, Choir Boy

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Annette Bening, Arthur Miller’s All My Sons
Laura Donnelly, The Ferryman
Elaine May, The Waverly Gallery
Janet McTeer, Bernhardt/Hamlet
Laurie Metcalf, Hillary and Clinton
Heidi Schreck, What the Constitution Means to Me

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Brooks Ashmanskas, The Prom
Derrick Baskin, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations
Alex Brightman, Beetlejuice
Damon Daunno, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
Santino Fontana, Tootsie

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Stephanie J. Block, The Cher Show
Caitlin Kinnunen, The Prom
Beth Leavel, The Prom
Eva Noblezada, Hadestown
Kelli O’Hara, Kiss Me, Kate

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Bertie Carvel, Ink
Robin De Jesús, The Boys in the Band
Gideon Glick, To Kill a Mockingbird
Brandon Uranowitz, Burn This
Benjamin Walker, Arthur Miller’s All My Sons

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play

Fionnula Flanagan, The Ferryman
Celia Keenan-Bolger, To Kill a Mockingbird
Kristine Nielsen, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Julie White, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Ruth Wilson, King Lear

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
André De Shields, Hadestown
Andy Grotelueschen, Tootsie
Patrick Page, Hadestown
Jeremy Pope, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations
Ephraim Sykes, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Lilli Cooper, Tootsie
Amber Gray, Hadestown
Sarah Stiles, Tootsie
Ali Stroker, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
Mary Testa, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Miriam Buether, To Kill a Mockingbird
Bunny Christie, Ink
Rob Howell, The Ferryman
Santo Loquasto, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Jan Versweyveld, Network

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Robert Brill and Peter Nigrini, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations
Peter England, King Kong
Rachel Hauck, Hadestown
Laura Jellinek, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
David Korins, Beetlejuice

Best Costume Design of a Play
Rob Howell, The Ferryman
Toni-Leslie James, Bernhardt/Hamlet
Clint Ramos, Torch Song
Ann Roth, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Ann Roth, To Kill a Mockingbird

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Michael Krass, Hadestown
William Ivey Long, Beetlejuice
William Ivey Long, Tootsie
Bob Mackie, The Cher Show
Paul Tazewell, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Neil Austin, Ink
Jules Fisher + Peggy Eisenhauer, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Peter Mumford, The Ferryman
Jennifer Tipton, To Kill a Mockingbird
Jan Versweyveld and Tal Yarden, Network

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Kevin Adams, The Cher Show
Howell Binkley, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations
Bradley King, Hadestown
Peter Mumford, King Kong
Kenneth Posner and Peter Nigrini, Beetlejuice

Best Sound Design of a Play
Adam Cork, Ink
Scott Lehrer, To Kill a Mockingbird
Fitz Patton, Choir Boy
Nick Powell, The Ferryman
Eric Sleichim, Network

Best Sound Design of a Musical
Peter Hylenski, Beetlejuice
Peter Hylenski, King Kong
Steve Canyon Kennedy, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations
Drew Levy, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz, Hadestown

Best Direction of a Play
Rupert Goold, Ink
Sam Mendes, The Ferryman
Bartlett Sher, To Kill a Mockingbird
Ivo van Hove, Network
George C. Wolfe, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus

Best Direction of a Musical
Rachel Chavkin, Hadestown
Scott Ellis, Tootsie
Daniel Fish, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
Des McAnuff, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations
Casey Nicholaw, The Prom

Best Choreography
Camille A. Brown, Choir Boy
Warren Carlyle, Kiss Me, Kate
Denis Jones, Tootsie
David Neumann, Hadestown
Sergio Trujillo, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations

Best Orchestrations
Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose, Hadestown
Simon Hale, Tootsie
Larry Hochman, Kiss Me, Kate
Daniel Kluger, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
Harold Wheeler, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations

Recipients of Awards and Honors in Non-competitive Categories
Special Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Rosemary Harris
Terrence McNally
Harold Wheeler

Special Tony Awards
Marin Mazzie
Sonny Tilders and Creature Technology Company
Jason Michael Webb

Regional Theatre Tony Award
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley Palo Alto, CA

Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award
Judith Light

Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre
Broadway Inspirational Voices – Michael McElroy, Founder
Peter Entin
FDNY Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9
Joseph Blakely Forbes

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

HADESTOWN Star André De Shields to Receive the 2019 Richard Seff Award from the Actors’ Equity Foundation on June 11

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Two-time Tony nominee and Emmy Award winner André De Shields will receive the 2019 Richard Seff Award from the Actors’ Equity Foundation, which honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year.

Mr. De Shields was chosen to receive this year’s award by a panel of judges who were unanimous in their acclaim of his performance in as Hermes in Hadestown.  The award consists of a check for $1,000 and a crystal trophy.

The ceremony will take place on Tuesday June 11 at the Actors Equity Offices at 165 West 46th Street on the 14th floor in the Council Room at 2 pm. The awards will be given out at the beginning of the regularly scheduled Eastern Regional Board meeting and will run about 45 minutes.

In a career spanning 50 years, Mr. De Shields has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator. He has intermittently portrayed Hermes in Hadestown since 2012, including the recent critically acclaimed production at London’s National Theatre. Mr. De Shields has been nominated for a 2019 Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance, a 2019 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical and a 2019 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical for his role as Hermes.

In 2018, Mr. De Shields was the recipient of 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. A multiple Tony Award nominee, he is best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The WizAin’t Misbehavin’  (Emmy Award), Play On!, and The Full Monty. De Shields is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC.  www.andredeshields.com

The judges’ panel includes Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News; Adam Feldman, Time Out New York; Susan Haskins-Doloff, Theater Talk; Harry Haun, Playbill and David Rosenberg, The Hour Newspapers.

In 2003 the Actors’ Equity Foundation established the Richard Seff Award, an annual award to be given to a male and female character actor who is 50 years old or older and who has been a member of Actors’ Equity for 25 years or longer, for the best performance in a featured or unfeatured supporting role in a Broadway or Off Broadway production. An actor may only be the recipient of this award one time.

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Jodi Long Stars in Self-Penned SURFING MY DNA at NJ Rep, May 2-26

New Jersey Repertory Company is presenting Surfing My DNA, written and performed by Ovation Award winning actress/playwright Jodi Long, for a limited engagement from Thursday, May 2 through Sunday, May 26, 2019. NJ Rep is located at 179 Broadway in Long Branch, NJ.

Eric Rosen directs the solo show, which also features composer/musician Yukio Tsuji.

Surfing My DNA is the true story of a popular husband and wife nightclub act of the ’40s and ’50s narrated and framed by the experiences of their daughter, Jodi. Combining a family’s journey, show business history and the ravages of racism, it is a tale of humor, passion, and perseverance against insurmountable odds.

Jodi Long made her Broadway debut at age 7 in Nowhere To Go But Up directed by Sidney Lumet, the first of 5 Broadway shows: Loose Ends with Kevin Kline, The Bacchae with Irene Papas, Stephen Sondheim’s Getting Away With Murder and the revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song, for which she won an Ovation Award at The Mark Taper Forum. Lincoln Center, Public Theater, Roundabout, MTC, ranging from Wasserstein to Shakespeare to originating 5 David Hwang plays. Film: Beginners with Ewan McGregor, Patty Hearst, Sour Sweet, The Hot Chick, Striking Distance and Rollover with Jane Fonda. TV: Okcha in “Sullivan And Son,” Margaret Cho’s mother in “All American Girl,” “Cafe American,” “Falling Water”. Ms. Long wrote and co-produced the award winning documentary Long Story Short about her vaudevillian parents. Her one woman show, Surfing My DNA, garnered her an Ovation Nomination for Best Solo Performance.

YUKIO TSUJI (Composer and PerformerYukio Tsuji (shakuhachi, percussion) has collaborated on more than 200 productions over the years. Throughout his career, he has worked with many major theater directors including Estelle Parsons, Ellen Stewart, Jerome RoBbins, Julie Taymor, Sir Peter Hall, John Dexter, Andre Serban, and Elizabeth Swados. Yukio’s Broadway credits are extensive,(featuring Al Pacino): OEDIPUS, FATHER, and SALOME (directed by Estelle Parsons). A frequent collaborator with Estelle Parsons, he also composed and performed music for her productions of MACBETH, NIGHT OVER TAOS and LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT. Yukio was a co-arranger and performer on the Broadway production of M.BUTERFLY. He also created original music for TRANSPOSED HEAD (directed by Julie Taymor), “Window of The City” for the Shanghai Expo. 9 Acts production of TANTALAS (directed by Sir Peter Hall with The Royal Shakespeare Company), the New York City Ballet production of WATERMIL (directed by Jerome Robins). He composed and performed the title music for the film YEAR OF THE DRAGON, and created more than twenty-five hours of music for Kei Takei’s Moving Earth Dance Company. Yukio is also a founding member of the New York-based Sara Galas Band with Sara Galassini.

Performances are Thursdays, Fridays at 8pm; Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm; Sundays at 2pm. A special talk-back with Ms. Long will be presented on Thursday, May 2 following the performance. A meet-and-greet with reception will follow the Saturday, May 4th evening performance.

Tickets are $30-$60 plus service fee and may be purchased by calling 732-229-3166 or online at www.njrep.org

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com