HADESTOWN Star Eva Noblezada Continues Solo Concert Residency at The Green Room 42 on March 17, March 31, April 7 and April 14  

Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang

Eva Noblezada, star of Hadestown on Broadway, and a Tony nominee for her star turn as Kim in the 2017 Miss Saigon revival, has returned to The Green Room 42 with her new show, Eva Noblezada: Ballad of a Broadway Twenty-Something.

Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang

Her show features a new selection of pop ballads, jazz standards and musical theater favorites. Rodney Bush serves as Music Director. After a record-breaking sell out run of her first solo show Girl No More, her current residency includes upcoming performances on Sunday, March 17, March 31, April 7 and April 14 at 7:00 P.M. Click here for tickets.

HADESTOWN stars Reeve Carney and Eva Noblezada begin previews at the Walter Kerr Theatre on March 22, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang
HADESTOWN stars Reeve Carney and Eva Noblezada begin previews at the Walter Kerr Theatre on March 22, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

Eva is in tech for Anais Mitchell’s Hadestown, directed by Rachel Chavkin. She recently starred as Eurydice alongside Reeve Carney, Patrick Page, Amber Gray, and André De Shields in Anais Mitchell’s Hadestown at the Royal National Theatre in London and will reprise her role when Hadestown begins previews at the Walter Kerr Theatre on March 22, 2019.

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

Eva starred on Broadway in the title role of Cameron Mackintosh’s epic revival of the musical Miss Saigon last season and received a Tony Award nomination at the age of 21 for this role in her Broadway debut. She previously starred in the long-running London revival of the show, for which she received the WhatsOnStage Award for “Best Actress in a Musical.” She also played Eponine in the West End revival of the legendary musical Les Miserables. Noblezada was a high school student in Charlotte, NC, when she was discovered by casting director Tara Rubin at the 2013 Jimmy Awards in New York City. Rubin introduced her to Mackintosh and director Laurence Connor, who chose her to star in their long-awaited hit 2014 West End revival of Miss Saigon.

Jude Obermuller and Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Jude Obermuller and Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Jude Obermuller. Photo by Lia Chang
Jude Obermuller. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang

Eva Noblezada performs at The Green Room 42 (570 Tenth Avenue at 42nd Street, on the 4th Floor of Yotel) on March 17, March 31, April 7 and April 14 at 7:00 PM. The cover changes is $35-$85. There is no food and drink minimum. For tickets, please visit www.TheGreenRoom42.com.

Daniel Dunlow and Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia chang
Daniel Dunlow and Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia chang
Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Claire Ortuzar, Jude Obermuller, Eva Noblezada and Leo Roberts. Photo by Lia Chang
Claire Ortuzar, Jude Obermuller, Eva Noblezada and Leo Roberts. Photo by Lia Chang
Reeve Carney, Leo Roberts, Eva Noblezada, Devin Ilaw, Jude Obermuller, and Claire Ortuzar. Photo by Lia Chang
Reeve Carney, Leo Roberts, Eva Noblezada, Devin Ilaw, Jude Obermuller, and Claire Ortuzar. Photo by Lia Chang

London’s National Theatre Cast of HADESTOWN including Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada, and Patrick Page to Reprise Roles on Broadway 

Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada, Patrick Page and More Celebrate HADESTOWN Opening Night at National Theatre

Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada, Patrick Page and more Open in HADESTOWN at National Theatre on November 13 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: Michael Kushner Photography

Multimedia: André De Shields Helmed SOPHISTICATED LADIES at NJPAC, March 21 – 24

Director André De Shields with his SOPHISTICATED LADIES cast (Seated) C.K. Edwards, Tommy Scrivens, Lamont Brown and Wesley J. Barnes. (Standing) Jenny Laroche, Johmaalya Adelekan, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Ken Ard, N’Kenge, Danielle Kelsey and Kaleigh Cronin. Photo by Lia Chang.
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Two-time Tony nominee and Emmy winner André De Shields, currently in rehearsal for the Broadway production of Anais Mitchell’s Hadestown, is simultaneously at the helm of Crossroads Theatre Company and New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC)’s co-production of Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies at NJPAC, 1 Center Street in Newark, Thursday, March 21 – Sunday, March 24, 2019. Click here to purchase tickets.

Costume Designer Gail Brassard, Director Andre De Shields, Choreographer Kimberly Schafer, Tommy Scrivens, Wesley Barnes, Lamont Brown, C.K. Edwards with Musical Director Nat Adderley, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Costume Designer Gail Brassard, Director Andre De Shields, Choreographer Kimberly Schafer, Tommy Scrivens, Wesley Barnes, Lamont Brown, C.K. Edwards with Musical Director Nat Adderley, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang

The high-style music of “The Duke” is the heart and soul of this 1981 Tony-winning Broadway hit, featuring choreography by Kimberly Schafer and musical direction by Nat Adderley, Jr.

Kimberly Schafer and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Kimberly Schafer and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Presented in the year marking the 120th anniversary of Ellington’s birth, Sophisticated Ladies is a first-class excursion back to the heyday of Harlem’s swanky Cotton Club. According to legend, the great bandleader and composer Duke Ellington once told his musicians that they had to play their best because they were about to open in Newark. All those glorious numbers – “Satin Doll,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” “Cotton Tail,” “Take the A Train” and “Mood Indigo” – return to the city in full swing with the arrival of Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies, a co-production of NJPAC and Crossroads Theatre Company.

(Seated) C.K. Edwards, Tommy Scrivens, Lamont Brown and Wesley J. Barnes. (Standing) Jenny Laroche, Johmaalya Adelekan, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Ken Ard, N’Kenge, Danielle Kelsey and Kaleigh Cronin. Photo by Lia Chang
(Seated) C.K. Edwards, Tommy Scrivens, Lamont Brown and Wesley J. Barnes. (Standing) Jenny Laroche, Johmaalya Adelekan, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Ken Ard, N’Kenge, Danielle Kelsey and Kaleigh Cronin. Photo by Lia Chang

A glamorous cast of Broadway veterans and bright young stars performs with an onstage band versed in the tradition of the orchestras of Duke Ellington and his son, Mercer. The cast features Johmaalya Adelekan, Ken Ard, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Wesley J. Barnes, Lamont Brown, Kaleigh Cronin, Lianne Marie Dobbs, C.K. Edwards, Danielle Kelsey, Jenny Laroche, N’Kenge, and Tommy Scrivens.

André De Shields in front of the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York, where HADESTOWN begins previews on March 22, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields in front of the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York, where HADESTOWN begins previews on March 22, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields made his NJPAC debut six years ago in Prudential Hall as Zeus during an orchestral performance of The Creatures of Prometheus. He returned in 2017 to direct and choreograph the first co-production between NJPAC and The Crossroads Theatre Company, the critically acclaimed Ain’t Misbehavin’. In his half-century artistic career, Mr. De Shields has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, choreographer and educator. His numerous accolades include an OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance, the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award, the Black Theatre Network’s 2016 Winona Lee Fletcher Award, and many more. His body of work includes Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional theatre, feature films, television, and cabaret. Mr. De Shields is best known for his show stopping performances in four legendary Broadway musicals: The Full Monty, Play On!, Ain’t Misbehavin’, and The Wiz (title role). De Shields heads back to Broadway in March as Hermes in Anais Mitchell’s Hadestown at the Walter Kerr.

Seated: Costume Designer Gail Brassard, Kayla Votapek, Production Stage Manager Rick Steiger. Standing: Choreographer Kimberly Schafer, Crossroads Producing Artistic Director Marshall Jones, III, Director André De Shields, Lighting and Set Designer Burke Wilmore and Chelsea. Photo by Lia Chang
Seated: Costume Designer Gail Brassard, Associate Producer Kayla Kim Votapek, Production Stage Manager Rick Steiger. Standing: Choreographer Kimberly Schafer, Crossroads Producing Artistic Director Marshall Jones, III, Director André De Shields, Lighting and Set Designer Burke J. Wilmore and Assistant Stage Manager Chelsea Olivia Friday. Photo by Lia Chang

Mr. De Shields’ creative team also includes Burke J. Wilmore (Set and Lighting Design), Gail Brassard (Costume Design), Production Stage Manager Rick Steiger and Assistant Stage Manager Chelsea Olivia Friday.

Johmaalya Adelekan, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Ken Ard, N’Kenge. Photo by Lia Chang
Johmaalya Adelekan, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Ken Ard, N’Kenge. Photo by Lia Chang

Performances for Sophisticated Ladies are on Thursday, March 21st @ 7pm, Friday, March 22 @ 7pm, Saturday, March 23rd @ 2pm and 7pm and Sunday, March 24 @ 2pm. Click here to purchase tickets.

Seated: Wesley J. Barnes, Kaleigh Cronin, Ken Ard, Lamont Brown. Standing C.K. Edwards, Jenny Laroche, Danielle Kelsey and Tommy Scrivens. Photo by Lia Chang
(Seated) Wesley J. Barnes, Kaleigh Cronin, Ken Ard, Lamont Brown. (Standing) C.K. Edwards, Jenny Laroche, Danielle Kelsey and Tommy Scrivens. Photo by Lia Chang

Below De Shields reveals his vision for Sophisticated Ladies.

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Q: How was Sophisticated Ladies relevant in 1981?
In terms of cultural agency, the 1980s in America are remembered as The Golden Decade, when bigger was better: big television, big Rock & Roll, big Wall Street, big hair, big soul . . . big fame, big film and–yes– big Broadway musicals. Duke Ellington’sSophisticated Ladies was one of those opulent productions that ruled The Great White Way during the 80s. I still have vivid, visceral recollection of the spring of 1981. I was returning from having performed a six-month engagement of Ain’t Misbehavin’ in Paris. Once in New York, I discovered The Grapevine alight with rapturous acclaim for the lavish and glamorous Ellington revue. Inspired by the discography of Edward Kennedy Ellington–later to adopt the moniker “Duke”–Sophisticated Ladies played its first preview on February 16, 1981, at The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, opened on March 1, 1981, and closed on January 2, 1983, having run a total of 767 performances. Arguably the greatest American composer of the Twentieth century, Duke Ellington had finally become a player on America’s main stage for live theatre. Audiences and critics alike were hard-pressed to find the adjective that possessed just the right amount of panache and gravitas to describe the lavish production that was Sophisticated Ladies. The word “fabulous” would soon acquire an even more prodigious connotation.

N'Kenge, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Johmaalya Adelekan, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Jenny LaRoche, Danielle Kelsey and Kaleigh Cronin. Photo by Lia Chang
N’Kenge, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Johmaalya Adelekan, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Jenny Laroche, Danielle Kelsey and Kaleigh Cronin. Photo by Lia Chang
Johmaalya Adelekan, Lianne Marie Dobbs, N'Kenge and Jacqueline B. Arnold. Photo by Lia Chang
Johmaalya Adelekan, Lianne Marie Dobbs, N’Kenge and Jacqueline B. Arnold. Photo by Lia Chang
Johmaalya Adelekan, Lianne Marie Dobbs, N'Kenge and Jacqueline B. Arnold. Photo by Lia Chang
Johmaalya Adelekan, Lianne Marie Dobbs, N’Kenge and Jacqueline B. Arnold. Photo by Lia Chang
Lianne Marie Dobbs, Johmaalya Adelekan, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Jacqueline B. Arnold, and N'Kenge. Photo by Lia Chang
Lianne Marie Dobbs, Johmaalya Adelekan, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Jacqueline B. Arnold, and N’Kenge. Photo by Lia Chang

Q: And what is your vision for making it relevant to 2019?
Fast forward nearly another two decades to 2019, and the culture has gone through a tectonic shift. No longer made solely of the solidly impervious fabric of male dominance, contemporary American culture has been stretched to the point of porosity. And those porous imperfections are currently being mended by the stitch work of twenty-first century, self-empowered womanhood. Flipping the script has become a necessary tool of the postmodern female. And since it is the responsibility of my generation to explain to the prior and succeeding generations how we got from There to Here, I searched for a piece of entertainment that could be unpacked for its implicit information regarding the psychological, emotional and intellectual relationships between men and women. It occurred to me that Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies was ripe for the picking. The title alone begs to be parsed. For example, have we actually ever heard from the sophisticated ladies referenced in the title? Isn’t it about time that we get to better know the women that the Duke and his collaborators apotheosized in song for sixty years? One of the several definitions of “sophisticated” is “enlightened.” I suggest that we all lean forward, and open our eyes, ears, hearts and minds to the perspective of the enlightened woman, wherever she is encountered. I am convinced that we will find her revelations “beyond category.”

Ken Ard and N'Kenge. photo by Lia Chang
Ken Ard and N’Kenge. photo by Lia Chang

Q: What can the audience expect from this new production of Sophisticated Ladies?
From this new production of Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies, NJPAC audiences can expect dynamic entertainment, sparkling enlightenment and nuanced ecstasy. My creative team and I have not changed any lyric or adulterated any melody. We have great respect for the integrity of the original Broadway show. What we have done is made the choice of not drenching the production in luxury. A simple yet elegant set with Art Deco highlights has been designed by Burke J. Wilmore, who also serves as lighting designer. Our choreographer, Kimberly Schafer, has created a palette of dance genres, featuring tap, to keep the audience’s feet patting, fingers snapping and shoulders shaking. And costume designer Gail Brassard has taken the approach of not anchoring the production in a singular historical period, but rather to allow the costume design to subtly reflect the changing status of the female over various windows if time. The entire physical production is meant to reveal a minimalist set of core design values in order to emphasize our investigation into the seed of the seed: what the authentic sophisticated lady has to say about herself?

Jenny LaRoche, Kaleigh Cronin and Danielle Kelsey. Photo by Lia Chang
Jenny Laroche, Kaleigh Cronin and Danielle Kelsey. Photo by Lia Chang

Q: What are four words that best describe this newly conceptualized production?
The four words that best describe this newly conceptualized production are original, imaginative, unpredictable and inventive.

Wesley J. Barnes, C.K. Edwards and Kaleigh Cronin. Photo by Lia Chang
Wesley J. Barnes, C.K. Edwards and Kaleigh Cronin. Photo by Lia Chang
Lianne Marie Dobbs, Lamont Brown, C.K. Edwards, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Danielle Kelsey, Ken Ard and Kaleigh Cronin. Photo by Lia Chang
Lianne Marie Dobbs, Lamont Brown, C.K. Edwards, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Danielle Kelsey, Ken Ard and Kaleigh Cronin. Photo by Lia Chang
Jacqueline B. Arnold, Lamont Brown and Johmaalya Adelekan. Photo by Lia Chang
Jacqueline B. Arnold, Lamont Brown and Johmaalya Adelekan. Photo by Lia Chang
Jacqueline B. Arnold, Lamont Brown and Johmaalya Adelekan. Photo by Lia Chang
Jacqueline B. Arnold, Lamont Brown and Johmaalya Adelekan. Photo by Lia Chang
Jacqueline B. Arnold, Lamont Brown and Johmaalya Adelekan. Photo by Lia Chang
Jacqueline B. Arnold, Lamont Brown and Johmaalya Adelekan. Photo by Lia Chang

Q: What most excites you about returning to NJPAC following a successful run of Ain’t Misbehavin’ last season?
Following last season’s successful run of Ain’t Misbehavin’, that which most excites me about returning to NJPAC is the opportunity to continue expanding and solidifying the network of collaborators dedicated to the mission of Crossroads Theatre Company: To create and present professional theatre of the highest standards of artistic excellence that celebrates the culture, history, spirit and voices of the entire African Diaspora.

C.K. Edwards, Lamont Brown, Tomm Scrivens and Wesley J. Barnes. Photo by Lia Chang
C.K. Edwards, Lamont Brown, Tomm Scrivens and Wesley J. Barnes. Photo by Lia Chang
Wesley J. Barnes. Photo by Lia Chang
Wesley J. Barnes. Photo by Lia Chang

About Crossroads Theatre Company
Crossroads Theatre Company continues to lead the nation with its commitment to literary works that examine the African American experience so that it may be understood and appreciated by all people. When co-founders Ricardo Khan and L. Kenneth Richardson envisioned a space where, as actors, the two young men could work on substantive, non-stereotypical roles, little did they realize that their vision would grow into the major institution that it is today. Crossroads has filled an otherwise empty space on the cultural canvas of the country and the world, with a collective body of work that remains unparalleled by any other of culturally-specific theater in the nation by presenting over 50 world premieres. Crossroads forged its vision into reality through the development, production and touring of new works from throughout the African Diaspora where positive images of African American life, history and culture is celebrated. These honest theatrical portrayals helped move the consciousness of the nation forward. Crossroads continues to lead twenty-first century story-telling by building bridges of understanding and veracity between people of all backgrounds in this society and the world. Find out more at CrossroadsTheatreCompany.org.

About NJPAC
New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, N.J., is America’s most diverse performing arts center, and the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey, where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the state’s and the world’s best artists while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city. Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has attracted more than 9 million visitors (including over 1.7 million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents.

Director André De Shields with his SOPHISTICATED LADIES cast (Seated) C.K. Edwards, Tommy Scrivens, Lamont Brown and Wesley J. Barnes. (Standing) Jenny Laroche, Johmaalya Adelekan, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Ken Ard, N’Kenge, Danielle Kelsey and Kaleigh Cronin. Photo by Lia Chang.
Director André De Shields with his SOPHISTICATED LADIES cast (Seated) C.K. Edwards, Tommy Scrivens, Lamont Brown and Wesley J. Barnes. (Standing) Jenny Laroche, Johmaalya Adelekan, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Ken Ard, N’Kenge, Danielle Kelsey and Kaleigh Cronin. Photo by Lia Chang.
Jacqueline B. Arnold, Johmaalya Adelekan, Ken Ard, N'Kenge, Lianne Marie Dobbs. Photo by Lia Chang
Jacqueline B. Arnold, Johmaalya Adelekan, Ken Ard, N’Kenge, Lianne Marie Dobbs. Photo by Lia Chang
C.K. Edwards, Wesley J. Barnes, Lamont Brown and Tommy Scrivens. Photo by Lia Chang
C.K. Edwards, Wesley J. Barnes, Lamont Brown and Tommy Scrivens. Photo by Lia Chang
Lamont Brown, C.K. Edwards, Wesley J. Barnes and Tommy Scrivens. Photo by Lia Chang
Lamont Brown, C.K. Edwards, Wesley J. Barnes and Tommy Scrivens. Photo by Lia Chang

Location and Directions: NJPAC is located at 1 Center Street, Newark, New Jersey; a short walk from the Newark Penn Station stop by Newark-bound PATH Train or Amtrak.

Detailed instructions on approaching the venue by car, by bus, by foot or by rail:
NJPAC directions
NJPAC public transportation
NJOAC parking

C.K. Edwards, Lamont Brown, Wesley J. Barnes and Tommy Scrivens. Photo by Lia Chang
C.K. Edwards, Lamont Brown, Wesley J. Barnes and Tommy Scrivens. Photo by Lia Chang

Nat Adderley, Jr. Joins NJPAC and Crossroads Theatre Co-production of SOPHISTICATED LADIES as Musical Director 

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

Long Yu To Conduct U.S. Premiere of New York Philharmonic Co-commission of Zhao Lin’s A HAPPY EXCURSION, Concerto for Pipa and Cello, with Yo-Yo Ma and Wu Man, March 6-9

Yo-Yo Ma and Wu Man
Yo-Yo Ma and Wu Man
Yo-Yo Ma and Wu Man

Long Yu will return to the New York Philharmonic to conduct the US Premiere of Zhao Lin’s A Happy Excursion, Concerto for Pipa and Cello, with Yo-Yo Ma and Wu Man as soloists; the concerto is a New York Philharmonic co-commission with the Beijing Music Festival and Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra. The program will also include Musorgsky’s Prelude to Khovanshchina and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6, Pathétique, and will take place on Wednesday, March 6, 2019, at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, March 7 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, March 8 at 8:00 p.m.; and Saturday, March 9 at 8:00 p.m.

A Happy Excursion gets its name from the essay of the same name on inaction and self-enjoyment by Taoist philosopher Chuang Tzu. Wu Man initiated the commissioning of A Happy Excursion from Zhao Lin; Wu Man and Zhao Lin were classmates at the Beijing Conservatory, and she is a founding member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silkroad Ensemble. Yo-Yo Ma says that A Happy Excursion is “taking us on a whirlwind tour of our frenetic, out of control world of today, almost to the point of no return, but we are left with the possibility of redemption.”

Yo-Yo Ma and Wu Man appeared as soloists (along with Emanuel Ax and Wu Tong) in the World Premiere of Bright Sheng’s The Song and Dance of Tears, commissioned by the Philharmonic, in March 2003. Yo-Yo Ma also appeared with the New York Philharmonic, led by Long Yu, in the US Premiere of Zhao Lin’s Duo for Sheng, Cello, and Orchestra (alongside Wu Tong) at the 2015 Lunar New Year Concert.

The New York Philharmonic will offer an allotment of free tickets to young people ages 13–26 for the concert on Friday, March 8 as part of Philharmonic Free Fridays.

Tickets
Single tickets start at $66. Tickets are sold out; 2018–19 season subscribers can be placed on a purchase-only wait list by calling Customer Relations at (212) 875-5656. (Ticket prices subject to change.) The New York Philharmonic is offering an allotment of free tickets to young people ages 13–26 for the concert Friday, March 8 as part of Philharmonic Free Fridays; learn more at nyphil.org/freefridays.

Tickets may be purchased online at nyphil.org or by calling (212) 875-5656, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Saturday; and noon to 5:00 p.m. Sunday. Tickets may also be purchased at the David Geffen Hall Box Office. The Box Office opens at 10:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and at noon on Sunday. On performance evenings, the Box Office closes one-half hour after performance time; other evenings it closes at 6:00 p.m.

The commission and performance of Zhao Lin’s A Happy Excursion, Concerto for Pipa and Cello, is made possible with generous support from the Francis Goelet Charitable Lead Trusts.

HADESTOWN Star Reeve Carney Sings Queen at The Green Room 42 Tonight

Reeve Carney. Photo by Lia Chang
Reeve Carney. Photo by Lia Chang
Reeve Carney. Photo by Lia Chang

Hadestown Star Reeve Carney is at THE GREEN ROOM 42 tonight at 9:30 PM. His show will feature the music of the iconic rock band Queen, including such hits as “We Will Rock You,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” and “Under Pressure.” Reeve comments, “Queen is one of my favorite bands of all time. Freddie Mercury’s theatrical nature, and the theatricality of Queen in general, is part of why I’m so excited to present this show in New York after debuting it in Los Angeles last year.” Reeve is best known for his portrayal of Dorian Gray in Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful,” Riff Raff in Fox TV’s “Rocky Horror Picture Show” reimagining, as well as originating the role of Peter Parker in Julie Taymor and U2’s Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark.

Eva Noblezada and Reeve Carney in the National Theatre production of HADESTOWN. Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks
Eva Noblezada and Reeve Carney in the National Theatre production of HADESTOWN. Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks

Reeve Carney originated the role of Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the record-breaking Broadway musical, Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark. A lifelong musician, Reeve jumped at the opportunity to perform a score by U2’s Bono and The Edge-not to mention re-team with director Julie Taymor, who he’d worked with in her film, The Tempest. In 2013, however, Reeve finally hung up his Spidey suit and headed to Dublin for Showtime’s buzzed-about John Logan/Sam Mendes series, “Penny Dreadful,” in which he played reckless hedonist Dorian Gray.

Reeve’s latest album, Youth is Wasted, was recorded primarily in his New York apartment. During his demanding Spider-Man schedule, it was impossible to get back and forth to the studio, so Reeve decided to build his own studio-right in his living room. His bizarre Broadway hours also made teaming up with other musicians all but impossible, so Reeve took matters into his own hands, literally, playing every single instrument himself. Thus, the album has a homespun quality, a la Paul McCartney’s Ram-which just so happens to be Reeve’s all-time favorite album. In an upcoming Jeff Buckley biopic, Reeve will play the late singer, marrying his love of music and acting.

Reeve Carney and his mom, Marti Heil-Carney. Photo by Lia Chang
Reeve Carney and his mom, Marti Heil-Carney. Photo by Lia Chang

Reeve becoming a performer was all but a foregone conclusion: almost everybody in his family works in the arts. His great-uncle was actor Art Carney. His jewelry designer mother has a degree from Cincinnati College- Conservatory of Music, his father wrote jingles. From early childhood. Reeve sang on his father’s jingles. And at age 10, he was already recording with Michael Jackson on HIStory. Reeve spent much of his high school years hanging out at blues clubs around Los Angeles, playing with musicians over twice his age-and getting a better music education than any class could provide. His dedication paid off, and, after graduating from Hamilton High School Academy of Music, he got into USC’s Thornton School of Music, but left after a year to pursue his music in earnest.

Reeve Carney will perform at The Green Room 42 (570 Tenth Avenue at 42nd Street, on the 4th Floor of Yotel) on Sunday, March 3 at 9:30 PM. The cover charge is $30-$75. There is no food and drink minimum. For tickets, please visit www.TheGreenRoom42.com.

Anaïs Mitchell’s HADESTOWN Set for Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre This Spring

Puttin’ On the Ritz with HADESTOWN’s Star André De Shields

Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada, Patrick Page and More Celebrate HADESTOWN Opening Night at National Theatre 

Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada, Patrick Page and more Open in HADESTOWN at National Theatre on November 13 

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

In the Rehearsal Room and an Interview with André De Shields, Director of Crossroads Theatre Company and NJPAC’s Co-Production of Duke Ellington’s SOPHISTICATED LADIES

Tommy Scrivens, N'Kenge, C.K. Edwards, Ken Ard, Johmaalya Adelekan, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Kimberly Schafer, André De Shields, Lamont Brown, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Kaleigh Cronin, Danielle Kelsey, Wesley J. Barnes and Jenny LaRoche. Photo by Lia Chang

Photos by Lia Chang

Crossroads Theatre Company and New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) are presenting a co-production of Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies at NJPAC, 1 Center Street in Newark, Thursday, March 21 – Sunday, March 24, 2019. Click here to purchase tickets.

Johmaalya Adelekan, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Ken Ard, N’Kenge. Photo by Lia Chang
Johmaalya Adelekan, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Ken Ard, N’Kenge. Photo by Lia Chang

The high-style music of “The Duke” is the heart and soul of this 1981 Tony-winning Broadway hit, directed with dazzle by two-time Tony nominee and Emmy winner André De Shields (The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Play On, The Full Monty) and choreographed by Kimberly Schafer.

Kimberly Schafer and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Kimberly Schafer and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Presented in the year marking the 120th anniversary of Ellington’s birth, Sophisticated Ladies is a first-class excursion back to the heyday of Harlem’s swanky Cotton Club. According to legend, the great bandleader and composer Duke Ellington once told his musicians that they had to play their best because they were about to open in Newark. All those glorious numbers – “Satin Doll,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing),” “Cotton Tail,” “Take the A Train” and “Mood Indigo” – return to the city in full swing with the arrival of Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies, a co-production of NJPAC and Crossroads Theatre Company.

(Seated) C.K. Edwards, Tommy Scrivens, Lamont Brown and Wesley J. Barnes. (Standing) Jenny Laroche, Johmaalya Adelekan, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Ken Ard, N’Kenge, Danielle Kelsey and Kaleigh Cronin. Photo by Lia Chang
(Seated) C.K. Edwards, Tommy Scrivens, Lamont Brown and Wesley J. Barnes. (Standing) Jenny Laroche, Johmaalya Adelekan, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Ken Ard, N’Kenge, Danielle Kelsey and Kaleigh Cronin. Photo by Lia Chang

A glamorous cast of Broadway veterans and bright young stars performs with an onstage band versed in the tradition of the orchestras of Duke Ellington and his son, Mercer. Talents from some of Broadway’s hottest shows are featured including Johmaalya Adelekan (Ain’t Misbehavin’, Ragtime); Ken Ard (Smokey Joe’s Café); Kaleigh Cronin (Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, A Bronx Tale); Jenny Laroche (Summer: The Donna Summer Musical); and N’Kenge (Motown). The cast also includes Jacqueline B. Arnold (Moulin Rouge!), Wesley J. Barnes (Pamela’s First Musical), Lamont Brown (42nd Street), Lianne Marie Dobbs (Himself & Nora), C.K. Edwards (Shuffle Along, Or The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, After Midnight, Bill Elliot: The Musical), Danielle Kelsey (Village Theatre’s The Noteworthy Life of Howard Barnes) and Tommy Scrivens (Muny’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum).

Seated: Wesley J. Barnes, Kaleigh Cronin, Ken Ard, Lamont Brown. Standing C.K. Edwards, Jenny Laroche, Danielle Kelsey and Tommy Scrivens. Photo by Lia Chang
(Seated) Wesley J. Barnes, Kaleigh Cronin, Ken Ard, Lamont Brown. (Standing) C.K. Edwards, Jenny Laroche, Danielle Kelsey and Tommy Scrivens. Photo by Lia Chang

The New York Times described the original Sophisticated Ladies as “the only Broadway revue of recent vintage that operates on a truly grand scale.”

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields made his NJPAC debut six years ago in Prudential Hall as Zeus during an orchestral performance of The Creatures of Prometheus. He returned in 2017 to direct and choreograph the first co-production between NJPAC and The Crossroads Theatre Company, the critically acclaimed Ain’t Misbehavin’. In his half-century artistic career, Mr. De Shields has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, choreographer and educator. His numerous accolades include an OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance, the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award, the Black Theatre Network’s 2016 Winona Lee Fletcher Award, and many more. His body of work includes Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional theatre, feature films, television, and cabaret. Mr. De Shields is best known for his show stopping performances in four legendary Broadway musicals: The Full Monty, Play On!, Ain’t Misbehavin’, and The Wiz (title role). De Shields heads back to Broadway in March as Hermes in Anais Mitchell’s Hadestown at the Walter Kerr.

Seated: Costume Designer Gail Brassard, Kayla Votapek, Production Stage Manager Rick Steiger. Standing: Choreographer Kimberly Schafer, Crossroads Producing Artistic Director Marshall Jones, III, Director André De Shields, Lighting and Set Designer Burke Wilmore and Chelsea. Photo by Lia Chang
Seated: Costume Designer Gail Brassard, Associate Producer Kayla Kim Votapek, Production Stage Manager Rick Steiger. Standing: Choreographer Kimberly Schafer, Crossroads Producing Artistic Director Marshall Jones, III, Director André De Shields, Lighting and Set Designer Burke J. Wilmore and Assistant Stage Manager Chelsea Olivia Friday. Photo by Lia Chang

Mr. De Shields’ creative team includes Burke J. Wilmore (Set and Lighting Design), Kimberly Schafer (Choreography), Gail Brassard (Costume Design), Musical Director Nat Adderley, Jr.,  Production Stage Manager Rick Steiger and Assistant Stage Manager Chelsea Olivia Friday.

Tommy Scrivens, N'Kenge, C.K. Edwards, Ken Ard, Johmaalya Adelekan, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Kimberly Schafer, André De Shields, Lamont Brown, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Kaleigh Cronin, Danielle Kelsey, Wesley J. Barnes and Jenny LaRoche. Photo by Lia Chang
Tommy Scrivens, N’Kenge, C.K. Edwards, Ken Ard, Johmaalya Adelekan, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Kimberly Schafer, André De Shields, Lamont Brown, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Kaleigh Cronin, Danielle Kelsey, Wesley J. Barnes and Jenny Laroche. Photo by Lia Chang

Performances for Sophisticated Ladies are on Thursday, March 21st @ 7pm, Friday, March 22 @ 7pm, Saturday, March 23rd @ 2pm and 7pm and Sunday, March 24 @ 2pm. Click here to purchase tickets.

Below De Shields reveals his vision for Sophisticated Ladies.

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Q: How was Sophisticated Ladies relevant in 1981?
In terms of cultural agency, the 1980s in America are remembered as The Golden Decade, when bigger was better: big television, big Rock & Roll, big Wall Street, big hair, big soul . . . big fame, big film and–yes– big Broadway musicals. Duke Ellington’sSophisticated Ladies was one of those opulent productions that ruled The Great White Way during the 80s. I still have vivid, visceral recollection of the spring of 1981. I was returning from having performed a six-month engagement of Ain’t Misbehavin’ in Paris. Once in New York, I discovered The Grapevine alight with rapturous acclaim for the lavish and glamorous Ellington revue. Inspired by the discography of Edward Kennedy Ellington–later to adopt the moniker “Duke”–Sophisticated Ladies played its first preview on February 16, 1981, at The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, opened on March 1, 1981, and closed on January 2, 1983, having run a total of 767 performances. Arguably the greatest American composer of the Twentieth century, Duke Ellington had finally become a player on America’s main stage for live theatre. Audiences and critics alike were hard-pressed to find the adjective that possessed just the right amount of panache and gravitas to describe the lavish production that was Sophisticated Ladies. The word “fabulous” would soon acquire an even more prodigious connotation.

N'Kenge, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Johmaalya Adelekan, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Jenny LaRoche, Danielle Kelsey and Kaleigh Cronin. Photo by Lia Chang
N’Kenge, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Johmaalya Adelekan, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Jenny Laroche, Danielle Kelsey and Kaleigh Cronin. Photo by Lia Chang
Johmaalya Adelekan, Lianne Marie Dobbs, N'Kenge and Jacqueline B. Arnold. Photo by Lia Chang
Johmaalya Adelekan, Lianne Marie Dobbs, N’Kenge and Jacqueline B. Arnold. Photo by Lia Chang
Johmaalya Adelekan, Lianne Marie Dobbs, N'Kenge and Jacqueline B. Arnold. Photo by Lia Chang
Johmaalya Adelekan, Lianne Marie Dobbs, N’Kenge and Jacqueline B. Arnold. Photo by Lia Chang
Lianne Marie Dobbs, Johmaalya Adelekan, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Jacqueline B. Arnold, and N'Kenge. Photo by Lia Chang
Lianne Marie Dobbs, Johmaalya Adelekan, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Jacqueline B. Arnold, and N’Kenge. Photo by Lia Chang

Q: And what is your vision for making it relevant to 2019?
Fast forward nearly another two decades to 2019, and the culture has gone through a tectonic shift. No longer made solely of the solidly impervious fabric of male dominance, contemporary American culture has been stretched to the point of porosity. And those porous imperfections are currently being mended by the stitch work of twenty-first century, self-empowered womanhood. Flipping the script has become a necessary tool of the postmodern female. And since it is the responsibility of my generation to explain to the prior and succeeding generations how we got from There to Here, I searched for a piece of entertainment that could be unpacked for its implicit information regarding the psychological, emotional and intellectual relationships between men and women. It occurred to me that Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies was ripe for the picking. The title alone begs to be parsed. For example, have we actually ever heard from the sophisticated ladies referenced in the title? Isn’t it about time that we get to better know the women that the Duke and his collaborators apotheosized in song for sixty years? One of the several definitions of “sophisticated” is “enlightened.” I suggest that we all lean forward, and open our eyes, ears, hearts and minds to the perspective of the enlightened woman, wherever she is encountered. I am convinced that we will find her revelations “beyond category.”

Ken Ard and N'Kenge. photo by Lia Chang
Ken Ard and N’Kenge. photo by Lia Chang

Q: What can the audience expect from this new production of Sophisticated Ladies?
From this new production of Duke Ellington’s Sophisticated Ladies, NJPAC audiences can expect dynamic entertainment, sparkling enlightenment and nuanced ecstasy. My creative team and I have not changed any lyric or adulterated any melody. We have great respect for the integrity of the original Broadway show. What we have done is made the choice of not drenching the production in luxury. A simple yet elegant set with Art Deco highlights has been designed by Burke J. Wilmore, who also serves as lighting designer. Our choreographer, Kimberly Schafer, has created a palette of dance genres, featuring tap, to keep the audience’s feet patting, fingers snapping and shoulders shaking. And costume designer Gail Brassard has taken the approach of not anchoring the production in a singular historical period, but rather to allow the costume design to subtly reflect the changing status of the female over various windows if time. The entire physical production is meant to reveal a minimalist set of core design values in order to emphasize our investigation into the seed of the seed: what the authentic sophisticated lady has to say about herself?

Jenny LaRoche, Kaleigh Cronin and Danielle Kelsey. Photo by Lia Chang
Jenny Laroche, Kaleigh Cronin and Danielle Kelsey. Photo by Lia Chang

Q: What are four words that best describe this newly conceptualized production?
The four words that best describe this newly conceptualized production are original, imaginative, unpredictable and inventive.

Wesley J. Barnes, C.K. Edwards and Kaleigh Cronin. Photo by Lia Chang
Wesley J. Barnes, C.K. Edwards and Kaleigh Cronin. Photo by Lia Chang
Lianne Marie Dobbs, Lamont Brown, C.K. Edwards, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Danielle Kelsey, Ken Ard and Kaleigh Cronin. Photo by Lia Chang
Lianne Marie Dobbs, Lamont Brown, C.K. Edwards, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Danielle Kelsey, Ken Ard and Kaleigh Cronin. Photo by Lia Chang
Jacqueline B. Arnold, Lamont Brown and Johmaalya Adelekan. Photo by Lia Chang
Jacqueline B. Arnold, Lamont Brown and Johmaalya Adelekan. Photo by Lia Chang
Jacqueline B. Arnold, Lamont Brown and Johmaalya Adelekan. Photo by Lia Chang
Jacqueline B. Arnold, Lamont Brown and Johmaalya Adelekan. Photo by Lia Chang
Jacqueline B. Arnold, Lamont Brown and Johmaalya Adelekan. Photo by Lia Chang
Jacqueline B. Arnold, Lamont Brown and Johmaalya Adelekan. Photo by Lia Chang

Q: What most excites you about returning to NJPAC following a successful run of Ain’t Misbehavin’ last season?
Following last season’s successful run of Ain’t Misbehavin’, that which most excites me about returning to NJPAC is the opportunity to continue expanding and solidifying the network of collaborators dedicated to the mission of Crossroads Theatre Company: To create and present professional theatre of the highest standards of artistic excellence that celebrates the culture, history, spirit and voices of the entire African Diaspora.

C.K. Edwards, Lamont Brown, Tomm Scrivens and Wesley J. Barnes. Photo by Lia Chang
C.K. Edwards, Lamont Brown, Tomm Scrivens and Wesley J. Barnes. Photo by Lia Chang
Wesley J. Barnes. Photo by Lia Chang
Wesley J. Barnes. Photo by Lia Chang

About Crossroads Theatre Company
Crossroads Theatre Company continues to lead the nation with its commitment to literary works that examine the African American experience so that it may be understood and appreciated by all people. When co-founders Ricardo Khan and L. Kenneth Richardson envisioned a space where, as actors, the two young men could work on substantive, non-stereotypical roles, little did they realize that their vision would grow into the major institution that it is today. Crossroads has filled an otherwise empty space on the cultural canvas of the country and the world, with a collective body of work that remains unparalleled by any other of culturally-specific theater in the nation by presenting over 50 world premieres. Crossroads forged its vision into reality through the development, production and touring of new works from throughout the African Diaspora where positive images of African American life, history and culture is celebrated. These honest theatrical portrayals helped move the consciousness of the nation forward. Crossroads continues to lead twenty-first century story-telling by building bridges of understanding and veracity between people of all backgrounds in this society and the world. Find out more at CrossroadsTheatreCompany.org.

About NJPAC
New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in downtown Newark, N.J., is America’s most diverse performing arts center, and the artistic, cultural, educational and civic center of New Jersey, where great performances and events enhance and transform lives every day. NJPAC brings diverse communities together, providing access to all and showcasing the state’s and the world’s best artists while acting as a leading catalyst in the revitalization of its home city. Through its extensive Arts Education programs, NJPAC is shaping the next generation of artists and arts enthusiasts. NJPAC has attracted more than 9 million visitors (including over 1.7 million children) since opening its doors in 1997, and nurtures meaningful and lasting relationships with each of its constituents.

Director André De Shields with his SOPHISTICATED LADIES cast (Seated) C.K. Edwards, Tommy Scrivens, Lamont Brown and Wesley J. Barnes. (Standing) Jenny Laroche, Johmaalya Adelekan, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Ken Ard, N’Kenge, Danielle Kelsey and Kaleigh Cronin. Photo by Lia Chang.
Director André De Shields with his SOPHISTICATED LADIES cast (Seated) C.K. Edwards, Tommy Scrivens, Lamont Brown and Wesley J. Barnes. (Standing) Jenny Laroche, Johmaalya Adelekan, Jacqueline B. Arnold, Lianne Marie Dobbs, Ken Ard, N’Kenge, Danielle Kelsey and Kaleigh Cronin. Photo by Lia Chang.
Jacqueline B. Arnold, Johmaalya Adelekan, Ken Ard, N'Kenge, Lianne Marie Dobbs. Photo by Lia Chang
Jacqueline B. Arnold, Johmaalya Adelekan, Ken Ard, N’Kenge, Lianne Marie Dobbs. Photo by Lia Chang
C.K. Edwards, Wesley J. Barnes, Lamont Brown and Tommy Scrivens. Photo by Lia Chang
C.K. Edwards, Wesley J. Barnes, Lamont Brown and Tommy Scrivens. Photo by Lia Chang
Lamont Brown, C.K. Edwards, Wesley J. Barnes and Tommy Scrivens. Photo by Lia Chang
Lamont Brown, C.K. Edwards, Wesley J. Barnes and Tommy Scrivens. Photo by Lia Chang

Location and Directions: NJPAC is located at 1 Center Street, Newark, New Jersey; a short walk from the Newark Penn Station stop by Newark-bound PATH Train or Amtrak.

Detailed instructions on approaching the venue by car, by bus, by foot or by rail:
NJPAC directions
NJPAC public transportation
NJOAC parking

C.K. Edwards, Lamont Brown, Wesley J. Barnes and Tommy Scrivens. Photo by Lia Chang
C.K. Edwards, Lamont Brown, Wesley J. Barnes and Tommy Scrivens. Photo by Lia Chang
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 Eva Noblezada Returns in Concert to The Green Room 42 on February 25, March 10 and March 17

Eva Noblezada. Photo: Facebook
Eva Noblezada. Photo: Facebook
Eva Noblezada. Photo: Facebook

Eva Noblezada, star of Hadestown on Broadway, and a Tony nominee for her star turn as Kim in the 2017 Miss Saigon revival, returns to The Green Room 42 in Eva Noblezada: Ballad of a Broadway Twenty-Something. After a record-breaking sell out run of her first solo show, and much anticipation, Eva returns with an all new show, back my public demand on Monday, February 25, Sunday, March 10 and Sunday, March 17. Click here for tickets.

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

Eva recently starred as Eurydice alongside Reeve Carney, Patrick Page, Amber Gray, and André De Shields in Anais Mitchell’s Hadestown at the Royal National Theatre in London and will reprise her role when Hadestown begins previews on March 22, 2019.

London’s National Theatre Cast of HADESTOWN including Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada, and Patrick Page to Reprise Roles on Broadway 

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

She starred on Broadway in the title role of Cameron Mackintosh’s epic revival of the musical Miss Saigon last season and received a Tony Award nomination at the age of 21 for this role in her Broadway debut. She previously starred in the long-running London revival of the show, for which she received the WhatsOnStage Award for “Best Actress in a Musical.” She also played Eponine in the West End revival of the legendary musical Les Miserables. Noblezada was a high school student in Charlotte, NC, when she was discovered by casting director Tara Rubin at the 2013 Jimmy Awards in New York City. Rubin introduced her to Mackintosh and director Laurence Connor, who chose her to star in their long-awaited hit 2014 West End revival of Miss Saigon.

Reeve Carney as Orpheus and Eva Noblezada as Eurydice. Photo by Lia Chang
Reeve Carney as Orpheus and Eva Noblezada as Eurydice. Photo by Lia Chang
Reeve Carney, Eva Noblezada and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Reeve Carney, Eva Noblezada and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

She starred on Broadway in the title role of Cameron Mackintosh’s epic revival of the musical Miss Saigon last season and received a Tony Award nomination at the age of 21 for this role in her Broadway debut. She previously starred in the long-running London revival of the show, for which she received the WhatsOnStage Award for “Best Actress in a Musical.” She also played Eponine in the West End revival of the legendary musical Les Miserables. Noblezada was a high school student in Charlotte, NC, when she was discovered by casting director Tara Rubin at the 2013 Jimmy Awards in New York City. Rubin introduced her to Mackintosh and director Laurence Connor, who chose her to star in their long-awaited hit 2014 West End revival of Miss Saigon.

London’s National Theatre Cast of HADESTOWN including Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada, and Patrick Page to Reprise Roles on Broadway 

Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada, Patrick Page and More Celebrate HADESTOWN Opening Night at National Theatre

Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada, Patrick Page and more Open in HADESTOWN at National Theatre on November 13 

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, Alan Muraoka, Alice Ripley, Melissa Errico, Constantine Maroulis and More Set for INTO THE WOODS Concert at Patchogue Theatre, March 8-9

Ali Ewoldt and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang

Grammy and Emmy Award winner John McDaniel will direct and conduct Patchogue Theatre’s “INTO THE WOODS IN CONCERT” for three performances, March 8 at 8 p.m. and March 9 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Ticket prices range between $39 – $69, plus applicable fees, and are available online, by phone or at the box office. For more information, visit PatchogueTheatre.org, call the Patchogue Theatre Box Office at 631-207-1313, or stop by 71 East Main Street, Patchogue, NY.

Ali Ewoldt and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang

The production will feature 14 actors backed by a full 15-piece orchestra. The cast stars Tony Award winner Alice RipleyTony nominee Melissa Errico as the Baker’s Wife, Tony nominee Constantine Maroulis as Cinderella’s Prince and the Wolf, Ali Ewoldt as Cinderella, Alan Muraoka as the Narrator and Mysterious Man, Ayla Schwartz as Little Red Riding Hood, Tyler Jones as Jack, and Darren Ritchie as Rapunzel’s Prince.

Non-Equity cast members include: Alexandra Imbrosci as a Step Sister; Megan Gallagher as a Step Sister; Julia Bain as the Step Mother; Jonathan Fluck as the Cinderella’s Father; Amy Jane Finnerty as Jack’s Mother; James Schultz as the Steward; and Madison Wyatt as Rapunzel. The roles of the Baker and the Witch are to be announced.

Actress and soprano Ali Ewoldt, who recently completed more than two years as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, has been cast as Cinderella. She made her Broadway debut as Cosette in the 1st Broadway Revival of Les Miserables, has starred as Maria in the 1st National Tour of West Side Story, and played Luisa in the The Fantasticks Off-Broadway, the world’s longest running musical.

Long-time “Sesame Street” actor and accomplished director Alan Muraoka has been cast as the Narrator and Mysterious Man. Alan is most recognized for his role “Alan,” the proprietor of Hooper’s Store for the past 18 seasons of the Emmy Award winning series “Sesame Street”. He has also appeared on Broadway in Aladdin, the Tony-winning revival of The King and I, and most notably Miss Saigon, among others.

Two-time TONY-nominated actor and singer Constantine Maroulis who has been cast as both Cinderella’s Prince and The Wolf. An accomplished actor, producer, singer, and songwriter, Constantine is best known for his Tony-nominated performance in Rock of Ages and his epic run as a finalist during the heyday of “American Idol.”

TONY-nominated actress and newly established writer Melissa Errico has been cast as the Baker’s Wife. She is best known for her starring roles on Broadway in Anna Karenina, My Fair Lady, High Society, Dracula, White Christmas and Amour, which earned her a Tony nomination for “Best Actress.” More recently, Melissa performed her solo concert “Melissa Sings Sondheim” celebrating the music of Stephen Sondheim in New York City and London. Currently, Melissa is starring as Daisy Gamble in the New York Irish Repertory Off-Broadway revival of On A Clear Day You Can See Forever.

The original Young Elsa from Disney’s Frozen The Musical on Broadway, Ayla Schwartz, has been cast as Little Red. She can still be seen playing Young Elsa on Broadway at the St. James Theatre. Ayla has performed on Off-Broadway as well as some of the most famous New York City stages.

Tyler Jones has been cast as Jack. His credits include Elder Davis in the first national tour of The Book Of Mormon, Jack in Into The Woods at TUTS, and Bix in the world premiere of David Shire and Adam Gopnik’s The Most Beautiful Room In New York, at the Long Wharf Theatre. He’s also appeared on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” and can be seen lip-syncing on social media @tylermacjones.

Broadway actor and singer Darren Ritchie has been cast as Rapunzel’s Prince. Darren’s Broadway credits include Les Misérables, Bells Are Ringing, Little Shop of Horrors, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Dracula, and Wonderland. He’s also been seen on TV’s “Days Of Our Lives” and “Law & Order SVU”.

Patchogue Theatre’s “In Concert” series is a branch of its Broadway series and is comprised of concert versions of classic Broadway musicals; these performances only run for a limited time and showcase all the music from the show with dialogue in between, a few set pieces, and some scripts in-hand!

The second production in the series is a concert version of the Broadway musical “INTO THE WOODS.” With music and lyrics written by Stephen Sondheim and book written by James Lapine, “INTO THE WOODS” has earned numerous awards, including Tony Awards, Drama Desk Awards, and Olivier Awards, as well as having numerous revivals and a film version made in 2014. The musical plays with storylines from The Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault fairy tales with characters from other classics such as “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, and “Rapunzel”.

Casting is by Stephen DeAngelis.

Interview with GOLD MOUNTAIN Creator Jason Ma; Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Alan Ariano to Perform Excerpts at MOCA Lunar Soirée on February 20

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

Interview with GOLD MOUNTAIN Creator Jason Ma; Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Alan Ariano to Perform Excerpts at MOCA Lunar Soirée on February 20

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

Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is presenting the MOCA 2019 Lunar New Year Soirée at the famed Rice & Gold, a unique Asian Eatery in the Hotel 50 Bowery on Wednesday, February 20, 2019. The customized menu is curated by Executive Chef Jae Lee.

Excerpts from Jason Ma’s Gold Mountain The Musical, starring Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Alan Ariano will kick off the festive evening at 6:30pm, followed by dinner at 7:30pm and an after party at The Crown, Rooftop Bar at 9:30pm.

Black Tie or Festive Chinese Attire.

Reserve Lunar Soirée For This Performance

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

Helmed by Alan Muraoka, Gold Mountain will feature choreography by Billy Bustamante and Music Direction by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld.

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

Gold Mountain is a love story set against the backdrop of a pivotal event in America’s history, the construction of the first transcontinental railroad. The original musical celebrates the striving immigrant spirit, the redemptive power of love and the ultimate nobility of self-sacrifice.

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

Jason Ma 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 the book, music and lyrics for Gold Mountain and is the 2017 recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Cole Porter Award, given to an emerging composer/lyricist “whose work shows promise.” Along with writing, he is an actor who has been seen on Broadway and Off-Broadway stages, in regional theaters and many international venues.

Jason Ma, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang
Jason Ma, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang

Over dinner at Landmarc, Jason shared his inspiration for creating Gold Mountain, the sneak peek presentation set for the MOCA Gala and the upcoming performances in May during the Golden Spike 150 celebrations in Utah.

Jason Ma
Jason Ma

Lia: Presenting excerpts of Gold Mountain at the MOCA Gala is ideal. What do you hope audiences will take away from it?
Jason: Gold Mountain is a story about the lives lived by those who built our first transcontinental railroad, and my hope for its audiences is a renewed understanding of an America that was and is a country built and made great by immigrants.

I hope they feel seen and celebrated. Institutions like the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) are necessary to fill in the gaps in historical and cultural documentation that mainstream institutions neglect or gloss over. (By the way, I love this museum, its mission and the Maya Lin designed space, so inspiring.) Those of us from the Asian American community that write musicals are likewise trying to fill a gap in the narratives and stories in the musical theater canon, especially when addressing the East vs. West dynamic and the perspective from which those stories are dramatized.  Something that excites me right now is that Timothy Huang’s new musical American Morning is being mounted by Prospect Theater Company this spring. Although we are very different writers, what strikes me is how both our shows explore the East vs. West dynamic and the damage and heartbreak that ensues when these worlds butt up against each other. Also, may I point out that neither of us chose to explore this dynamic through a romantic relationship or flirtation between members from either side of the divide.  That we are both getting to performance of our pieces is something to be celebrated!

Lia: What inspired you to create Gold Mountain?
Jason: I don’t know!

The initial impulse came at me from who knows where or what in the middle of a show, while I was waiting between scenes, and I wasn’t actually looking to write anything at the time.  A lyric/melody fragment started cycling in my head and then, the person singing this snippet began to let me know who he was. By the end of the next day, the first draft of what turned out to be a middle-of-the-show love duet was finished, and the world, the characters, the themes and the plot that surrounded this song all fell in line in the next months after that initial encounter.

Lia: What are the themes of the excerpts that you will be presenting?
Jason: I thought it would be appropriate to focus on some of the family and inter-personal relationships in choosing the excerpts for our MOCA performance.  One of the themes that we cycle back to a lot in Gold Mountain is that of filial duty, the primacy of family and community, that beautiful collectivism in East Asian culture, which is often misunderstood and misrepresented, . We individualistic Americans can often dismiss this worldview out of hand, but it is a valid lens through to look at life, family and society that has worked for many, many centuries. I love that the characters in Gold Mountain come from this world and how it colors everything they do.

Lia: What excites you about the performances that are scheduled in May during the Golden Spike 150 celebration and how did the production first come to the attention of the organizers?
Jason: Baayork Lee, our community fairy godmother, diva, and fierce activist, brought the show to Prospect Theater and they co-produced a semi-staged concert performance with National Asian Artists Project at TheTimesCenter in 2017.  Shortly after that, we began to get emails from Utah, basically saying that they’d heard about the performance and wanted to meet. (Thank you, Baayork and Prospect!)

GOLD MOUNTAIN choreographer Billy Bustamante, Creator Jason Ma, NAAP Co-founder Baayork Lee, Musical Director Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Director Alan Muraoka, NAAP Co-founder Steven Eng and Prospect Theater Company Artistic Director Cara Reichel. Photo by Lia Chang
GOLD MOUNTAIN choreographer Billy Bustamante, Creator Jason Ma, NAAP Co-founder Baayork Lee, Musical Director Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Director Alan Muraoka, NAAP Co-founder Steven Eng and Prospect Theater Company Artistic Director Cara Reichel. Photo by Lia Chang

The Spike 150 performances are going to be so exciting. We’ve got Ali Ewoldt along with some of the best Asian American actors that I know flying to Utah in May to do this. Among our producing partners is the Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association, so the pressure is on. We want to honor and do justice to their ancestors with our portrayals of these Chinese men who built the railroad.  The level of support from local theaters, arts organizations, non-profits, the cities, the counties, the state, businesses and especially private citizens is overwhelming. I think that’s the most exciting thing of all, the level of engagement and local excitement makes us feel so welcomed. It’s going to be an awesome experience and I’m so grateful.

Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee Jr., Alan Ariano, Daniel J. Edwards, Lawrence-Michael Arias, Steven Eng and Eric Bondoc Set for Alan Muraoka Helmed GOLD MOUNTAIN by Jason Ma in Utah for 2019 Golden Spike 150th Anniversary 

Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN Concert and AfterParty 

Ali Ewoldt (Yook Mei in Gold Mountain)
Ali Ewoldt (Yook Mei in Gold Mountain)

Born outside Chicago and raised 45 minutes north of New York City in the small town of Pleasantville, Ali Ewoldt has loved performing for as long as she can remember. She made her Broadway debut as Cosette in the 1st Broadway Revival of Les Miserables and is currently starring as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway.

Ali has starred as Maria in the 1st National Tour of West Side Story directed by Arthur Laurents and David Saint and played Luisa in the The Fantasticks Off-Broadway, the world’s longest running musical. She has been featured on The Michael J. Fox Show, the short film Yield and DRAMA: The Webseries and has performed at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall and Town Hall, and across the country and world.

Jonny Lee Jr. (Lit Ning in Gold Mountain)
Jonny Lee Jr. (Lit Ning in Gold Mountain)

Jonny Lee Jr. is an actor, singer, writer, and photographer. As an actor, Jonny’s past credits include Gold Mountain at the Times Center, Ito in Mame, Ching Ho inThoroughly Modern Millie, Henry in Next to Normal, and Thuy in Miss Saigon. As a writer, Jonny co-wrote the music, lyrics, and book to the new musical Welcome To Shoofly. He also co-wrote and starred in the musical web-series, City of Dreams, which has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, Stage17.tv, Playbill and BroadwayWorld. Other works include a song for the CBS Diversity Showcase,Take Out (AAFL Top 10), and Benjamin Franklin and the Legend of the Vajra.

Alan Ariano (Ba in Gold Mountain)
Alan Ariano (Ba in Gold Mountain)

Broadway: The King and I (Lincoln Center), M. ButterflyJerome Robbins’ BroadwayShogun: The MusicalMiss Saigon (Original Company) & Flower Drum Song (Tour). Off-Broadway:Shanghai Moon (opposite Charles Bush), Prospect Theater’s Honor, Urban StagesA Deal. World Premiers include: The Geffen Playhouse Extraordinary Chambers and Portland Center Stage’sSnow Falling On Cedars. Reginals include: Kennedy Center, MUNY, Dallas Summer Musicals, Walnut Street, Pioneer Theater, The Fifth Ave, TUTS Houston, Music Theatre of Wichita, California Music Circus, Lyric Opera Chicago. Televison include: The PathGotham, HBO’s TreméLeverageHarry’s LawLaw & Order and SVU recurring as Judge Lee Wong.

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

Kahchun Wong, Bomsori Kim and So Young Park Celebrate New York Philharmonic Debuts in Lunar New Year Concert

Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong and the New York Philharmonic musicians. Photo by Lia Chang

The New York Philharmonic welcomed the Year of the Vermillion Pig at the eighth annual Lunar New Year Concert and Gala, a festive fire-themed evening — representing warmth, light, energy, and prosperity — presented by Starr International Foundation on February 6th.

Gala Co-chairs Oscar Tang and his wife Agnes Hsu-Tang with Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong. Photo by Lia Chang
Gala Co-chairs Oscar Tang and his wife Agnes Hsu-Tang with Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong. Photo by Lia Chang

Kahchun Wong, 32, Chief Conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra and first prize winner of the 2016 Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition, made his New York Philharmonic debut conducting the orchestra’s annual Lunar New Year Concert at David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center in New York. A native of Singapore, Wong is only the second conductor-following Long Yu-given the honor to lead the Philharmonic’s annual concert celebration of Asian culture and heritage. This concert also marks Wong’s New York conducting debut.

Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong and the New York Philharmonic musicians. Photo by Lia Chang
Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong and the New York Philharmonic musicians. Photo by Lia Chang
Frank Huang, New York Philharmonic concertmaster and Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong. Photo by Lia Chang
Frank Huang, New York Philharmonic concertmaster and Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong. Photo by Lia Chang
Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong and the New York Philharmonic musicians. Photo by Lia Chang
Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong and the New York Philharmonic musicians. Photo by Lia Chang

The program included the U.S. premiere of Tan Dun’s Violin Concerto: Fire Ritual (performed by Bomsori Kim in her Philharmonic debut); Shin Arirang, Dong-Jin Kim’s version of the iconic Korean folk song “Arirang,” and Mozart’s “Der Hölle Rache” from The Magic Flute, both performed by soprano So Young Park in her Philharmonic debut; Liu Yuan’s Train Toccata; and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite (1919 version). Continuing the annual tradition, the concert featured the Spring Festival Overture by composer Li Huanzhi, recognizing the composer’s centenary in 1919.

Gala Co-chairs Oscar Tang and his wife Agnes Hsu-Tang, Soprano So Young Park and her sister Jihyang Park. Photo by Lia Chang
Gala Co-chairs Oscar Tang and his wife Agnes Hsu-Tang, Soprano So Young Park and her sister Jihyang Park. Photo by Lia Chang

Honorary Gala Chairs included Mr. and Mrs. Maurice R. Greenberg and Gala Co-Chairs included Angela Chen, Guoqing Chen and Ming Liu,  Misook Doolittle, Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar L. Tang, Sharon Wee and Tracy Fu and Shirley Young.

Gala Co-Chairs Agnes Hsu-Tang, Oscar Tang and Shirley Young. Photo by Lia Chang
Gala Co-Chairs Agnes Hsu-Tang, Oscar Tang and Shirley Young. Photo by Lia Chang

The elegant affair started with a champagne reception on David Geffen Hall’s Grand Promenade, and the seated dinner for 300 following the concert featured a Singaporean cuisine themed menu curated by Gala Co-Chairs Agnes Hsu-Tang and Sharon Wee. The evening raised $1,135,000 to support the Orchestra’s activities.

Gary Parr, Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong and President and CEO Deborah Borda. Photo by Lia Chang
Gary Parr, Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong and President and CEO Deborah Borda. Photo by Lia Chang

Wong’s remarkable last-minute debut with the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra in October 2016 led to his appointment as Chief Conductor. In September 2018, Wong began his tenure as Chief Conductor of the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra, leading the orchestra’s season opening concert in a program that included the world premiere of Kah Hoe Yii’s Concerto 4 Orchestra, Brahms’ Violin Concerto in N*E*R*D Major with soloist Midori, and Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra. In October, Wong led the orchestra on a tour to Milan, Italy and Kepmten & Unterföhring, Germany.

Gala Co-Chairs Oscar Tang and Sharon Wee, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations Burhan Gafoor and his wife, Zarina Varukatty, Gala Co-Chair Agnes Hsu-Tang and Henry Tang. Photo by Lia Chang
Gala Co-Chairs Oscar Tang and Sharon Wee, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations Burhan Gafoor and his wife, Zarina Varukatty, Gala Co-Chair Agnes Hsu-Tang and Henry Tang. Photo by Lia Chang

Wong conducted the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra’s New Year’s Gala on January 5 and 6, 2019 featuring works by Oscar Straus and Richard Strauss; and will lead Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with mezzo-soprano Marina Prudenskaya in March 2019. Wong concludes the first season of his tenure as the orchestra’s Chief Conductor on May 11 conducting Puccini’s Preludio sinfonico and Capriccio sinfonico, Lalo’s Cello Concerto in N*E*R*D minor, and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4,”Italienische.”

A guest, Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong, Zarina Varukatty and her husband Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations Burhan Gafoor, a guest and Gala Co-Chair Oscar Tang. Photo by Lia Chang
A guest, Singaporean conductor Kahchun Wong, Zarina Varukatty and her husband Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Singapore to the United Nations Burhan Gafoor, a guest and Gala Co-Chair Oscar Tang. Photo by Lia Chang

In December 2018, Wong made his debut with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, in a program that featured Dukas’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Bartók’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with Denis Kozhukhin, Barber’s Adagio for Strings, and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite (1945). Bachtrack raved about the performance, writing “There was an obvious warmth between Wong and the players. He had a vision, taking the audience on the most extraordinary music journey.”

Later this season, Wong will be a guest conductor with the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra (March 30), the Tonküstler Orchestra in Baden, Austria (April 5) and Wiener Neustadt (April 6), the Kyoto Symphony (May 18 and 19), and Nagoya Symphony(May 24 and 25).

George Sycip, Ambassador Nicholas Platt, Lucia Hwong-Gordon, Angela Chen. Photo by Lia Chang
George Sycip, Ambassador Nicholas Platt, Lucia Hwong-Gordon, Angela Chen. Photo by Lia Chang

A passionate advocate for access to arts education and the belief that music education has the power to inspire, Wong co-foundedProject Infinitude, an inclusive arts initiative embracing children from diverse backgrounds. Recent initiatives have included immersive and sensory-friendly performances with young audiences sitting amongst the musicians and receiving red bean soup in Singapore, and cross-cultural collaborations involving the Nuremberg Symphony Orchestra and the Singapore-based Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music. Wong and his co-founder Marina Mahler, granddaughter of the composer Gustav Mahler, aim to expand the project in a sustainable and thoughtful way.

The New York Philharmonic plays a leading cultural role in New York City, the United States, and the world. Each season the Orchestra connects with up to 50 million music lovers through live concerts in New York and around the world, international broadcasts, recordings, and education programs. In 2018–19 Jaap van Zweden begins his tenure as Music Director, and the Orchestra expands its connection to New York City. Maestro van Zweden leads five World Premieres — by Ashley Fure, Conrad Tao, Louis Andriessen, Julia Wolfe, and David Lang — and core symphonic masterworks; presides over Music of Conscience, New York Stories: Threads of Our City, and The Art of Andriessen; and welcomes New York’s community and service professionals to Phil the Hall.

The New York Philharmonic has commissioned and / or premiered works by leading composers from every era since its founding in 1842. Highlights include Dvořák’s New World Symphony; John Adams’s Pulitzer Prize–winning On the Transmigration of Souls, dedicated to the victims of 9/11; Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Piano Concerto; Wynton Marsalis’s The Jungle (Symphony No. 4); and Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s Metacosmos. The Philharmonic introduces two new-music series in the 2018–19 season.

Gala co-chair Sharon Wee and guests. Photo by Lia Chang
Gala co-chair Sharon Wee and guests. Photo by Lia Chang
A resource for its community and the world, the New York Philharmonic complements its annual free citywide Concerts in the Parks, Presented by Didi and Oscar Schafer, with Philharmonic Free Fridays, its famed Young People’s Concerts, the Shanghai Orchestra Academy and Residency Partnership, and a residency partnership with the University Musical Society of the University of Michigan. The Orchestra has appeared in 432 cities in 63 countries.
The oldest American symphony orchestra and one of the oldest in the world, the Philharmonic has made more than 2,000 recordings since 1917 and produced its first-ever Facebook Live concert broadcast in 2016. Jaap van Zweden becomes Music Director in 2018–19, succeeding musical leaders including Alan Gilbert, Maazel, Masur, Zubin Mehta, Boulez, Bernstein, Toscanini, and Mahler.
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