Mia Katigbak to Receive Actors’ Equity Foundation’s St. Clair Bayfield Award

NAATCO Associate Producer Peter Kim and Artistic Director Mia Katigbak. Photo by Lia Chang
NAATCO Associate Producer Peter Kim and Artistic Director Mia Katigbak. Photo by Lia Chang
NAATCO Associate Producer Peter Kim and Artistic Director Mia Katigbak. Photo by Lia Chang

Mia Katigbak has received the annual St. Clair Bayfield Award presented by the Actors’ Equity Foundation for her performance as The Duke of Gloucester in NAATCO’s production of Henry VI. The announcement was made by Judy Rice, President of the Foundation, and Joan Glazer, Managing Director.

Paul Juhn, David Huynh, Anna Ishida, Mia Katigbak, Michelangelo Hyeon, Vanessa Kai and John Haggerty. Photo by William P. Steele
Paul Juhn, David Huynh, Anna Ishida, Mia Katigbak, Michelangelo Hyeon, Vanessa Kai and John Haggerty. Photo by William P. Steele

The award will be presented at Actors’ Equity Association’s Eastern Regional Membership Meeting at 2 pm on Monday January 28, 2019 at the Equity offices, 165 West 46th Street, New York City.

The cast includes David Shih, Mahira Kakkar, Ron Domingo, Kim Wong, Wai Ching Ho, Sophia Skiles, James Seol, Rajesh Bose, Mia Katigbak, Jon Norman Schneider, Associate Producer Peter Kim, Vanessa Kai, David Huynh, Paul Junh, John D. Haggerty, Anna Ishida, Michelangelo Hyeon. Photo by Lia Chang
The cast includes David Shih, Mahira Kakkar, Ron Domingo, Kim Wong, Wai Ching Ho, Sophia Skiles, James Seol, Rajesh Bose, Mia Katigbak, Jon Norman Schneider, Associate Producer Peter Kim, Vanessa Kai, David Huynh, Paul Junh, John D. Haggerty, Anna Ishida, Michelangelo Hyeon. Photo by Lia Chang

Katigbak is co-founder and artistic producing director of the National Asian American Theater Company (NAATCO) where she has made it her mission to send Asian-American actors wherever the theatrical canon may lead, from “Our Town” to “Othello” to “Antigone.”

David Shih, Sophia Skiles, Vanessa Kai, Mia Katigbak, Mahira Kakkar, Wai Ching Ho, Ron Domingo and Michelangelo Hyeon. Photo by Lia Chang
David Shih, Sophia Skiles, Vanessa Kai, Mia Katigbak, Mahira Kakkar, Wai Ching Ho, Ron Domingo and Michelangelo Hyeon. Photo by Lia Chang

She is the recipient of an Obie Award for performance (2014), the 2012-13 Lucille Lortel and the 2008 Lee Reynolds Awards (League of Professional Theatre Women); the Actors Equity’s Rosetta LeNoire Award, in recognition of her “artistic contribution to the universality of the human experience in the American theater”; New Dramatists’ Charles Bowden Actor Award; Distinguished Award for Artistic Excellence from Ma-Yi Theater.

Katigbak will appear next in THE TRIAL OF THE CATONSVILLE NINE.

Mia Katigbak, Eunice Wong and David Huynh Set for THE TRIAL OF THE CATONSVILLE NINE, January 16- February 23

Established in 1973 in memory of Equity member St. Clair Bayfield, the award honors the best performance in a supporting role by an Actor in a Shakespearean play in the New York City metropolitan area. The recipient receives a $1,000 check and an engraved crystal plaque.

The Judges for the Bayfield Award are: Joe Dziemianowicz, Adam Feldman, Time Out New York; Susan Haskins, Theater Talk; Harry Haun, The Observer, and David Rosenberg, Hearst Media.

Previous recipients of the St. Clair Bayfield Award include: Carmen DeLavalade, Dana Ivey, Charles Kimbrough, Nathan Lane, Brian Murray, Bradley Whitford, and, in 2017, Peter Friedman.

The Actors Equity Foundation is a philanthropic and humanitarian nonprofit organization created in 1962 to aid and assist members of the acting profession and to promote the theatre arts. It is separate from Actors Equity Association and is funded by estate bequests and individual donations.

Partying with the cast of NAATCO’s HENRY VI; Performances through September 8

First Look: NAATCO’s HENRY VI 

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Mia Katigbak, Eunice Wong and David Huynh Set for THE TRIAL OF THE CATONSVILLE NINE, January 16- February 23

Transport Group and the National Asian American Theatre Company (NAATCO)  are co-presenting The Trial of the Catonsville Nine, written by Daniel Berrigan and directed by artistic director Jack Cummings III, includes Mia Katigbak (Awake and Sing!, I Remember Mama), Eunice Wong (Mourning Becomes Electra, Smart People) and David Huynh (Henry VI, A Midsummer Night’s Dream). The Trial of the Catonsville Nine runs Wednesday, January 16 through Sunday, February 23, 2019 at the Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand Street. The opening night is scheduled for Wednesday, February 6 at 7:30pm.

Based on the court transcripts of the trial of Vietnam War peace activists, The Trial of the Catonsville Nine tells the story of the nine people who broke into a Maryland draft office on May 17, 1968, and burned 378 draft cards with homemade napalm. Brothers Philip Berrigan and Daniel Berrigan-both Catholic priests-led the movement and are joined by seven church parishioners in their protest for peace. In sharp contrast to the wave of young, liberal extremists at the forefront of the resistance headlines, The Nine give a new face to activism and inspire hundreds of anti-war demonstrations that follow.

The Trial of the Catonsville Nine was produced on Broadway in 1971. The Transport Group revival is its first New York production in over 30 years and is produced by special arrangement with The Daniel Berrigan Literary Trust, Catalyst Literary Management, and Phil Sandhaus.

Daniel Berrigan (1921-2016) was one of the most influential peacemakers of the twentieth century. A Jesuit priest, award-winning poet, playwright, peace activist, convicted felon, and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, he inspired millions to pursue a vision of nonviolence. An award-winning writer, he published numerous poems, scripture studies, journals, essays, and books. He was arrested over two hundred times in nonviolent acts of protest against war, injustice and nuclear weapons. Berrigan’s lifelong example of nonviolent resistance to war continues to inspire people to carry on the hope that one day we will abolish war, learn to resolve our conflicts nonviolently, and live in peace.

The set and costume design for The Trial of the Catonsville Nine is by Peiyi Wong; lighting design is by R. Lee Kennedy; sound design is by Fan Zhang.

The National Asian American Theatre Company (NAATCO) asserts the presence and significance of Asian American theatre in the United States, demonstrating its vital contributions to the fabric of American culture. NAATCO puts into service its total commitment to Asian American theatre artists to more accurately represent onstage the multi- and intercultural dynamics of our society. We demonstrate a rich tapestry of cultural difference bound by the American experience. The enrichment accrues to each different culture as well as to America as a whole.

Transport Group is the recipient of a special Drama Desk Award recognizing its “breadth of vision and presentation of challenging productions,” a Special Citation from the prestigious New York Critics’ Circle, and a Special Citation from the Obie Awards as well as numerous other awards and award nominations from the Outer Critics’ Circle, Lucille Lortel Awards, Obie Awards, Off-Broadway Alliance, Drama League, and others. Founded in 2001, Transport Group stages new works and re-imagined revivals-both plays and musicals-that explore the challenges of relationship and identity in modern America. Currently headed by founder Jack Cummings III (Artistic Director) and Lori Fineman (Executive Director), Transport Group most recently produced the world premiere musical, Renascence, by Dick Scanlan (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Everyday Rapture), music by Carmel Dean (Musical Director, If/Then, American Idiot) and lyrics from the poems of Edna St. Vincent Millay. Transport Group also recently produced a critically acclaimed revival of Tennessee Williams’ Summer and Smoke with Classic Stage Company starring Marin Ireland and Nathan Darrow, Eugene O’Neill’s Strange Interlude starring David Greenspan (Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance as well as an Obie Award for Greenspan, Cummings and Transport Group), and Picnic & Come Back, Little Sheba: William Inge in Rep, which received two Drama Desk nominations and three Obie Awards (Jack Cummings III for direction, HEATHER MAC RAE for performance, Dane Laffrey for scenic design). Additional recent productions include the first off-Broadway revival of Once Upon a Mattress, starring Jackie Hoffman and John “Lypsinka” Epperson; Three Days To See, a world premiere theatrical exploration of Helen Keller through her own writings; the critically acclaimed revival of John Cariani’s modern classic Almost, Maine; and a re-imagined revival of the John Van Druten classic I Remember Mama which was included in the New York Times’ Top Ten productions of 2014 and The New Yorker’s top cultural moments of 2014. In addition to mainstage productions, Transport Group also produces one-night-only, star-studded concert events, often featuring the productions’ original orchestrations performed by as many as 60 actors and musicians. Concert titles have included Baby (2012), Once Upon a Mattress (2013), The Music Man (2014), Peter Pan (2016), A Man of No Importance (2016), Man of La Mancha (2017) and Promises, Promises (2018).

The Trial of the Catonsville Nine runs Wednesday, January 16 through Sunday, February 23, 2019 at the Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand Street (F to Delancey Street; J or M to Essex Street; D or B to Grand Street). The playing schedule is Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 3pm. Tickets, which are $59-$79, and more information are available by visiting transportgroup.org or by phoning 866-811-4111.

Steven Fisher’s New Holiday Musical THE LITTLE DANCER at Theatre 71 through December 31

Laura Sky Herman, Jesse Dalton, Lisa Graye and Cat Grey. Photo by Lia Chang

The Little Dancer, a new holiday family musical written by Commonwealth Youthchoirs (CY)’s Founder and Artistic Director Steven Fisher, had its world premiere on December 1st at Theatre 71, off Broadway. Helmed by Richard Vida,The Little Dancer tells the heart-warming story of how fourteen-year-old Marie Van Goethem, the model for Edgar Degas’ one and only sculpture, became the most famous ballerina in the world.

Jesse Dalton, Cat Grey, Laura Sky Herman, Lisa Graye and Company. Photo by Lia Chang
Jesse Dalton, Cat Grey, Laura Sky Herman, Lisa Graye and Company. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast of The Little Dancer features Laura Sky Herman (Marie), Jesse Dalton (Ed/Degas), Heather Cadarette (Mama/Mistress de la Ballet), Lisa Graye (Charlotte), Cat Grey (Louise), Georgia Monroe, Raquel Kahn and Ben Schrager, as well as 32 talented children from Philadelphia who comprise the show’s “Musical Theatre Geek Chorus.”

Laura Sky Herman as Marie and Company. Photo by Lia Chang
Laura Sky Herman as Marie and Company. Photo by Lia Chang

In addition to Vida and Fisher, the creative team includes Lainie Sakakura (choreographer), W. Brent Sawyer (Music Director/Arrangements), Zach Hyams (Production Stage Manager), Jeremy Bailey-Smith (Sets, Costumes) and Taylor Frith-Brown (Lighting Designer).

Richard Vida (Director), W. Brent Sawyer (Musical Director), Steven Fisher (Writer and Musical Supervisor and Lainie Sakakura Choreographer. Photo by Lia Chang
Richard Vida (Director), W. Brent Sawyer (Musical Director), Steven Fisher (Writer and Musical Supervisor and Lainie Sakakura Choreographer. Photo by Lia Chang

The Musical Theatre Geek Chorus (MTGC) is made up of 32 theatrically talented singers selected by audition from the ranks of the Garden State Girlchoir, the Keystone State Boychoir, the New Jersey Boychoir, and the Pennsylvania Girlchoir. These young musical theatre thespians have been participating in a weekly workshop with Broadway veterans Richard Vida and Lainie Sakakura in Philadelphia. They are beyond thrilled to be making their professional NYC debut.

The Company of THE LITTLE DANCER. Photo by Lia Chang
The Company of THE LITTLE DANCER. Photo by Lia Chang

Fifteen performers from the ensemble appear in every performance. The members of MTGC are Charlotte Bazzle, Phoebe Bellagamba, Audim Brokenbough, Elizabeth Clancy, Chloe Clark, Carlie Cocco, Victoria Rose Conroy, Dominic Corcoran, Isaac Darga, Taylor Delli Carpini, Koby Fallon, Logan Ford, Jeremy Peyton Jones, Graham Kohn, Chloe Lee, Carly Levy, Grace Mazzola, Elizabeth Mun, Sade Mutua, Sydney Parson, Ani Peterson, Diya Ramesh, Max Ringold, Stefan Rogowski, Emma Shay, Christopher Simcox, Layla Singleton, Giuliana Stout, Sage Torrisi, and Sarah Wusinich.

The kids are all members of Commonwealth Youthchoirs (CY), an organization that serves over 700 young people in the Philadelphia area through the power of singing in a choir. CY’s founder and Artistic Director, Steve Fisher, wrote the musical. Half of the 700 children Fisher serves are underserved. Not only does The Little Dancer feature children, but it will benefit children as well. Every ticket sold will benefit CY’s program Find Your Instrument!, which partners with under-resourced schools that have no music in them. In Philadelphia, similar to many cities, the poverty rate for children stands at 37%, and 2 out of 3 attend elementary schools have no choral program.

Laura Sky Herman as Marie and Company. Photo by Lia Chang
Laura Sky Herman as Marie and Company. Photo by Lia Chang

“I can’t believe I get to be on a NYC stage!” says Isaac Darga, a 10-year old MTGC member. “Music is such an important part of my life, it makes me happy to know that my performance will benefit other kids who don’t have music in their lives.”

Laura Sky Herman as Marie and Company. Photo by Lia Chang
Laura Sky Herman as Marie and Company. Photo by Lia Chang

This one hour show has a delightful story, toe tapping songs and an uplifting holiday ending.

Heather Cadarette as Mama and Laura Sky Herman as Marie. Photo by Lia Chang
Heather Cadarette as Mama and Laura Sky Herman as Marie. Photo by Lia Chang

Performances every Saturday and Sunday in December at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.

Cat Grey, Laura Sky Herman and Heather Cadarette. Photo by Lia Chang
Cat Grey, Laura Sky Herman and Heather Cadarette. Photo by Lia Chang

Starting December 26th to December 31st, performances every day at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.

Laura Sky Herman, Jesse Dalton, Lisa Graye and Cat Grey. Photo by Lia Chang
Laura Sky Herman, Jesse Dalton, Lisa Graye and Cat Grey. Photo by Lia Chang

For more information and to purchase tickets online, visit www.thelittledancermusical.org. Tickets can also be purchased 30 minutes before curtain at the venue. Theatre 71 at Blessed Sacrament, 152 W. 71st Street, New York, NY 10023, right off Broadway).

Jesse Dalton and Laura Sky Herman. Photo by Lia Chang
Jesse Dalton and Laura Sky Herman. Photo by Lia Chang

BC/EFA’s RED BUCKET FOLLIES Celebrates Asian Americans on Broadway and the 60th Anniversary of FLOWER DRUM SONG

The company on the stage of The New Amsterdam Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Six weeks of fundraising culminates in an extravaganza of Broadway stars, extraordinary ensembles and one-of-a-kind performances at Red Bucket Follies at 4:30 pm on Monday, December 3, and at 2 pm on Tuesday, December 4 at the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York. The show is produced by and benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

The company on the stage of The New Amsterdam Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
The company on the stage of The New Amsterdam Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

The opening number of BC/EFA’s Red Bucket Follies will celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Flower Drum Song and will honor the legacy of Asian-Americans on Broadway.

Telly Leung, Alvin Ing and Jose Llana. Photo by Lia Chang
Telly Leung, Alvin Ing and Jose Llana. Photo by Lia Chang

Paying tribute to the trailblazing productions of Flower Drum Song, the number will feature members of the original 1958 cast as well as Asians currently on Broadway. The piece will celebrate Broadway’s diversity and the diversity within the Asian-American experience. The number was conceived by Lainie Sakakura and Telly Leung, and written by Lainie Sakakura, cast members from the 2002 David Henry Hwang revisal of Flower Drum Song. Alex Sanchez will direct and choreograph.

The Elders - Left to right Paula Chin, Victoria Racimo, Kumiko Nakagawa, Alvin Ing, Mae Wong, Carol Gordon Moora, Virginia Wing. Photo by Lia Chang
The Elders – Left to right Paula Chin, Victoria Racimo, Kumiko Nakagawa, Alvin Ing, Mae Wong, Carol Gordon Moora, Virginia Wing. Photo by Lia Chang

Flower Drum Song features Music by Richard Rodgers, Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, Original Broadway Revival Choreography by Robert Longbottom , Music Direction by Ted Arthur, Additional Lyrics by Vanessa Brown, Lainie Sakakura, Orchestrations by Adam Kaufman and Costume Design by Jeremy Bailey-Smith.

Telly Leung, Alvin Ing, Jodi Long and Jose Llana. Photo by Lia Chang
Telly Leung, Alvin Ing, Jodi Long and Jose Llana. Photo by Lia Chang

Performers: Aaron J. Albano, Sandra Allen, Susan Ancheta, Alan Ariano, Paula Chin, Marcus Choi, Adrianne Chu, Ma-Anne Dionisio, Ali Ewoldt, Takayo Fischer, Lydia Gaston, Sally Hong, Joomin Hwang, Jason Garcia Ignacio, Sabrina Imamura, Miho Imoto, Alvin Ing, Nina Zoie Lam, Telly Leung, Jose Llana, Baayork Lee, Jodi Long, J. Elaine Marcos, Paul HeeSang Miller, Carol Gordon Morra, Kumiko Nakagawa, Ashley Park, Vicki Racimo, Catherine Ricafort, Lainie Sakakura, Rommy Sandhu, Herman Sebek, Shawnee Smith, Riza Takahashi, Yuka Takara, Robert Tatad, Virginia Wing, Mae Wong, Ericka Yang, Warren Yang, Kelli Youngman, Lisa Yuen and Minami Yusui.

Downstage right and clockwise) - Aaron J. Albano, Minami Yusui, Yuka Takara, Jason Ignacio Garcia, Riza Takahashi, Joomin Hwang, Warren Yang, Kelli Youngman, Paul HeeSang Miller, Adrianne Chu, Sabrina Imamura, Telly Leung, Center - Ericka Hunter. Photo by Lia Chang
Downstage right and clockwise – Aaron J. Albano, Minami Yusui, Yuka Takara, Jason Garcia Ignacio, Riza Takahashi, Joomin Hwang, Warren Yang, Kelli Youngman, Paul HeeSang Miller, Adrianne Chu, Sabrina Imamura, Telly Leung, Center – Ericka Hunter. Photo by Lia Chang

Red Bucket Follies (#redbucketfollies) will feature guest appearances by Mike Birbiglia (Mike Birbiglia’s The New One); Norbert Leo Butz and Harry Hadden-Paton (My Fair Lady); Kevin Chamberlin (Wicked); Noma Dumezweni, Poppy Miller and Paul Thornley (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child); Erika Henningsen, Ashley Park, Kate Rockwell, Kyle Selig and Jennifer Simard (Mean Girls); Cherry Jones (The Lifespan of a Fact); and Michael Urie (Torch Song).

Legacy Robe recipients: Aaron J. Albano, Nina Zoie Lam, Lydia Gaston, Catherine Ricafort, J. Elaine Marcos, Lainie Sakakura, Alan Ariano, (not pictured: Baayork Lee) Rommy Sandhu. Photo by Lia Chang
Legacy Robe recipients: Aaron J. Albano, Nina Zoie Lam, Lydia Gaston, Catherine Ricafort, J. Elaine Marcos, Lainie Sakakura, Rommy Sandhu, Alan Ariano, (not pictured: Baayork Lee). Photo by Lia Chang

This year’s songs, skits and dances will feature more than 150 singers and dancers. Broadway shows scheduled to perform include Chicago, Frozen, Hamilton, Kinky Boots, The Lion King, and Wicked, as well as Off-Broadway’s Avenue Q, Fiddler on the Roof – in Yiddish and NEWSical The Musical. Representing Dancers Responding to AIDS, a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, choreographer Billy Griffin will share an original piece created for this year’s Hudson Valley Dance Festival.

Daniel May, Alan Ariano, Telly Leung, Yuka Takara, Robert Longbottom and Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel May, Alan Ariano, Telly Leung, Yuka Takara, Robert Longbottom and Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang

A panel of distinguished judges will award best presentation honors at Tuesday’s performance. This year’s judges are music supervisor Mary-Mitchell Campbell (Mean Girls, The Prom); Ali Ewoldt and Jay Armstrong Johnson (The Phantom of the Opera); the legendary Rosemary Harris (My Fair Lady); Andy Karl and Orfeh (Pretty Woman); Caitlin Kinnunen and Isabelle McCalla (The Prom); Peppermint (Head Over Heels) and Nicolette Robinson(Waitress). Also joining the panel are Nathan Noh and Peg Wendlandt, who won their judging spots by bidding on exclusive VIP packages at the 32nd Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction in September.

Ultimate Broadway buff Seth Rudetsky, host of SiriusXM’s “On Broadway” channel, returns to lead the festivities for the 11th year. The show also will include a number, directed and choreographed by Karla Puno Garcia, honoring the national touring shows that participated in the fall fundraising, and a tribute to Broadway Cares’ iconic red buckets, directed and choreographed by Chaz Wolcott.

Red Bucket Follies builds on the 29-year legacy of the Gypsy of the Year Competition. The show will continue to showcase ensemble members and special guests sharing original performances, with awards given to the best presentation and for the top fundraising Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring shows for the six weeks’ efforts.

A limited number of tickets, starting at $30, are available. They can be purchased at broadwaycares.org.

Red Bucket Follies will be directed by Jason Trubitt with Matthew Kurtis Lutz serving as production stage manager and Ted Arthur as music director.

Since 1989, the 29 editions of Gypsy of the Year raised $76 million to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Red Bucket Follies will build on that tradition.

Photo Flash: BC/EFA’s RED BUCKET FOLLIES Celebrates Asian Americans On Broadway And The 60th Anniversary Of FLOWER DRUM SONG

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

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

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

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

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

Producers Mara Isaacs, Dale Franzen, Hunter Arnold, and Tom Kirdahy announced today that Hadestown, the new musical by celebrated singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell, developed with visionary director and Tony Award® nominee Rachel Chavkin, will transfer this spring to Broadway’s Walter Kerr Theatre (219 West 48th Street).

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

Preview performances for Hadestown will begin Friday, March 22 ahead of a Wednesday, April 17 official opening night. Casting and ticketing information for the Broadway production will be announced shortly.

“The genius of Anaïs Mitchell’s work in Hadestown is that she takes a myth as old as time and gives it a new life so vibrant and relevant that audiences hold their breath, waiting to see how this timeless tale will unfold,” producer Mara Isaacs said. “Rachel Chavkin and the entire creative team have created a pulse-racing world for Anaïs’ joyous and haunting score to live. As we prepare for Broadway, I’m thrilled for New York audiences to see this entirely new production, a raucous and electrifying celebration that is truly a show for our times.”

Hadestown originated in 2006 as Mitchell’s community theater project that traveled Vermont before gaining a cult following when she turned the songs into an acclaimed album which was called “far and away one of the best records of 2010” (Sunday Times of London). In 2013, Mitchell saw Chavkin’s celebrated Off-Broadway production of Natasha, Pierre, and The Great Comet of 1812, and knew she had found her artistic partner. Together, the two women have transformed Hadestown into a genre-defying new musical that blends modern American folk music with New Orleans-inspired jazz to reimagine a sweeping ancient tale.

Hadestown electrified audiences with its 2016 world premiere at New York Theatre Workshop before receiving its Canadian premiere at Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre in 2017. The National Theatre provided further development to Hadestown in London and the show is currently playing at the National’s Olivier Theatre through Saturday, January 26, 2019, before it’s eagerly anticipated Broadway debut.

Reeve Carney and Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Reeve Carney and Eva Noblezada at the opening party of HADESTOWN at the National Theatre in London on November 13, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang

The London cast stars Reeve Carney (Orpheus), André De Shields (Hermes), Amber Gray (Persephone), Eva Noblezada (Eurydice) and Patrick Page (Hades). The cast also features Sharif Afifi (Worker), Rosie Fletcher (Lachesis), Beth Hinton-Lever (Worker), Carly Mercedes Dyer (Atropos), Seyi Omooba (Worker), Gloria Onitiri (Clotho), Aiesha Pease (Worker), Joseph Prouse (Worker), Jordan Shaw (Worker) and Shaq Taylor (Worker).

Musical Director and Vocal Arranger Liam Robinson, André De Shields, Patrick Page, Eva Noblezada, Reeve Carney. Photo by Lia Chang
Musical Director and Vocal Arranger Liam Robinson, André De Shields, Patrick Page, Eva Noblezada, Reeve Carney at the opening party of HADESTOWN at the National Theatre in London on November 13, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang

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

Patrick Page, Rachel Chavkin and Amber Gray. Photo by Lia Chang
Patrick Page, Rachel Chavkin and Amber Gray at the opening party of HADESTOWN at the National Theatre in London on November 13, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang

Welcome to the intriguing and beautiful world of “your next musical theater obsession” (Vogue).

The creative team for Broadway will feature 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), Bessie Award® winner David Neumann (choreography), Liam Robinson (music direction and vocal arrangements), Michael Chorney, Todd Sickafoose (arrangements and orchestrations), Ken Cerniglia (dramaturgy), and Stewart/Whitley (casting).

Hadestown was developed with funding from the Eli and Edythe Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center and was further developed by The Ground Floor at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Hadestown was co-conceived by Ben t. Matchstick.

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

Francis Jue, Peter Kim, Michelle Krusiec, Jaygee Macapugay, Joél Pérez, Kendyl Ito, Lulu Fall and More in WILD GOOSE DREAMS at The Public through December 16

Lulu Fall, Michelle Krusiec, Francis Jue, Peter Kim, and Joel Perez. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The New York premiere of Wild Goose Dreams, written by Hansol Jung and directed by Leigh Silverman has an extended run through Sunday, December 16 at The Public. Click here for tickets.

Michelle Krusiec and Peter Kim.  Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Michelle Krusiec and Peter Kim.  Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The complete cast of Wild Goose Dreams features Dan Domingues (Chorus), Lulu Fall (Woman/Chorus), Kendyl Ito (Heejin/Chorus),Francis Jue (Father), Peter Kim (Guk Minsung), Michelle Krusiec (Yoo Nanhee), Jaygee Macapugay(Wife/Chorus), Joél Pérez (Man/Chorus), Jamar Williams (Chorus), and Katrina Yaukey (Chorus).

Michelle Krusiec, Peter Kim, and Joel Perez. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Michelle Krusiec, Peter Kim, and Joel Perez. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Wild Goose Dreams returns to The Public after its initial run in Public Studio in a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse, where it had a critically-acclaimed run last season. Minsung is a “goose father,” a South Korean man whose wife and daughter have moved to America for a better life. Deeply lonely, he escapes onto the internet and meets Nanhee, a young defector forced to leave her family behind in North Korea. Amidst the endless noise of the modern world, where likes and shares have taken the place of love and touch, Minsung and Nanhee try their best to be real for each other. But after a lifetime of division and separation, is connection possible?

Michelle Krusiec and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Michelle Krusiec and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Wild Goose Dreams features scenic design by Clint Ramos, costume design by Linda Cho, lighting design by Keith Parham, sound design by Palmer Hefferan, composition by Paul Castles, Korean music composition by Jongbin Jung, movement direction by Yasmine Lee, and music supervision by Charity Wicks.

Lulu Fall, Michelle Krusiec, Francis Jue, Peter Kim, and Joel Perez. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Lulu Fall, Michelle Krusiec, Francis Jue, Peter Kim, and Joel Perez. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Lulu Fall, Michelle Krusiec, and Francis Jue.  Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Lulu Fall, Michelle Krusiec, and Francis Jue.  Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Peter Kim.  Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Peter Kim.  Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
The company of WILD GOOSE DREAMS. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
The company of WILD GOOSE DREAMS. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Peter Kim and Michelle Krusiec. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Peter Kim and Michelle Krusiec. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Peter Kim and Joel Perez, with Kendyl Ito.  Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Peter Kim and Joel Perez, with Kendyl Ito.  Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Peter Kim and Michelle Krusiec. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Peter Kim and Michelle Krusiec. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Becky Gulsvig, Christine Toy Johnson, Andrew Samonsky, Megan McGinnis, Kevin Carolan and More in COME FROM AWAY Tour at Ahmanson Theatre, November 28-January 6  

The First North American Tour Company of COME FROM AWAY. Photo by Matthew Murphy

The touring production of Come From Away will play the Ahmanson Theatre from November 28 – January 6, 2019. Come From Away stars Kevin Carolan (Disney’s Newsies), Harter Clingman (Peter and The Starcatcher), Nick Duckart (In the Heights), Chamblee Ferguson, Becky Gulsvig (School of Rock the Musical), Julie Johnson (Memphis), Christine Toy Johnson (The Music Man), James Earl Jones II (The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess), Megan McGinnis (Les Misérables), Andrew Samonsky (South Pacific), Danielle K. Thomas (Avenue Q), Emily Walton (August Osage County), Marika Aubrey, Jane Bunting, Michael Brian Dunn, Julie Garnyé, Adam Halpin, Aaron Michael Ray.

Megan McGinnis, Emily Walton, Becky Gulsvig, Christine Toy Johnson, Julie Johnson and Danielle K. Thomas in The First North American Tour Company of COME FROM AWAY. Photo by Matthew Murphy
Megan McGinnis, Emily Walton, Becky Gulsvig, Christine Toy Johnson, Julie Johnson and Danielle K. Thomas in The First North American Tour Company of COME FROM AWAY. Photo by Matthew Murphy

For tickets and information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org or call (213) 972-4400. Media Contact: CTGMedia@CTGLA.org / (213) 972-7376.

With a book, music and lyrics by Tony and Grammy Award nominees Irene Sankoff & David Hein, Come From Away is directed by Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley (Come From Away), musical staging by two-time Tony nominee Kelly Devine (Come From Away, Rocky), with music supervision by Grammy nominee Ian Eisendrath (Come From Away), scenic design by Tony Award winner Beowulf Boritt (Act One), costume design by Tony Award nominee Toni-Leslie James (Jelly’s Last Jam), lighting design by two-time Tony Award winner Howell Binkley (Hamilton), sound design by Tony Award nominee Gareth Owen (End of the Rainbow), orchestrations by Tony nominee August Eriksmoen (Bright Star), music arrangements by Grammy nominee Ian Eisendrath and casting by Telsey + Company.

The First North American Tour Company of COME FROM AWAY. Photo by Matthew Murphy
The First North American Tour Company of COME FROM AWAY. Photo by Matthew Murphy

Come From Away tells the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships.

Nick Duckart, Kevin Carolan, Andrew Samonsky and Company in the First North American Tour of COME FROM AWAY. Photo by Matthew Murphy
Nick Duckart, Kevin Carolan, Andrew Samonsky and Company in the First North American Tour of COME FROM AWAY. Photo by Matthew Murphy

On September 11, 2001 the world stopped. On September 12, their stories moved us all.

The First North American Tour Company of COME FROM AWAY. Photo by Matthew Murphy
The First North American Tour Company of COME FROM AWAY. Photo by Matthew Murphy

Following sold-out, record-breaking, critically acclaimed world premiere engagements at La Jolla Playhouse and Seattle Repertory Theatre, Come From Away landed on the “Best Theater of 2015” lists in the Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times, San Diego Union Tribune, and Times of San Diego. Charles McNulty of the Los Angeles Times called the show “An affecting, stirring and unpretentious new musical. Christopher Ashley’s production lets the simple goodness of ordinary people outshine sensational evil,” and Bob Verini of Variety raved, “Superb! Canadians Irene Sankoff and David Hein have forged a moving, thoroughly entertaining tribute to international amity and the indomitable human spirit.”

The First North American Tour Company of COME FROM AWAY. Photo by Matthew Murphy
The First North American Tour Company of COME FROM AWAY. Photo by Matthew Murphy
Los Angeles, CA USA
Nov 28 – Jan 6, 2019
Ahmanson Theatre
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San Francisco, CA USA
Jan 8, 2019 – Feb 3, 2019
Golden Gate Theatre
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Costa Mesa, CA USA
Feb 5, 2019 – Feb 17, 2019
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
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Las Vegas, NV USA
Feb 19, 2019 – Feb 24, 2019
The Smith Center
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Portland, OR USA
Feb 26, 2019 – Mar 3, 2019
Keller Auditorium
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Vancouver, BC Canada
Mar 5, 2019 – Mar 10, 2019
Queen Elizabeth Theatre
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Edmonton, AB Canada
Mar 12, 2019 – Mar 17, 2019
Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
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Calgary, AB Canada
Mar 19, 2019 – Mar 24, 2019
Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium
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Omaha, NE USA
Mar 27, 2019 – Mar 31, 2019
Orpheum Theater – Omaha
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Appleton, WI USA
Apr 2, 2019 – Apr 7, 2019
Fox Cities Performing Arts Center
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Pittsburgh, PA USA
Apr 9, 2019 – Apr 14, 2019
Benedum Center
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Greenville, SC USA
Apr 16, 2019 – Apr 21, 2019
Peace Center For The Performing Arts
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Baltimore, MD USA
Apr 23, 2019 – Apr 28, 2019
Hippodrome Theatre
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Hartford, CT USA
Apr 30, 2019 – May 5, 2019
Bushnell
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Milwaukee, WI USA
May 7, 2019 – May 12, 2019
Uihlein Hall At Marcus Center
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St. Louis, MO USA
May 14, 2019 – May 26, 2019
Fox Theatre – St. Louis
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New Orleans, LA USA
May 28, 2019 – Jun 2, 2019
Saenger Theatre (LA)
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Tampa, FL USA
Jun 4, 2019 – Jun 9, 2019
David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts
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Orlando, FL USA
Jun 11, 2019 – Jun 16, 2019
Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
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Atlanta, GA USA
Jun 25, 2019 – Jun 30, 2019
Fox Theatre
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Cleveland, OH USA
Jul 9, 2019 – Jul 28, 2019
Connor Palace
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Ottawa, ON Canada
Aug 20, 2019 – Sep 1, 2019
National Arts Centre: Opera Stage
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Come From Away began performances on Broadway on February 18, 2017 and officially opened to critical acclaim on March 12, 2017 at Broadway’s Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre (236 West 45th Street), and continues to play to standing-room- only audiences.

The Tony Award-winning musical launched a Second Company in Canada with a sold out four-week engagement in Winnipeg and is currently playing to standing-room-only audiences in Toronto at the Royal Alexandra Theatre.

The Mark Gordon Company will produce and finance a feature film adaptation of Come From Away. Two-time Tony Award nominees, Grammy nominees and Outer Critics Circle Award and Drama Desk Award winners Irene Sankoff and David Hein, who wrote the book, music and lyrics, will adapt the feature screenplay for the project and Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley will direct. MGC’s Mark Gordon will produce.

A “Best Musical” winner all across North America, the smash hit musical has won the Tony Award for “Best Direction of a Musical” (Christopher Ashley), 5 Outer Critics Circle Awards (NYC) including “Outstanding New Broadway Musical,” 3 Drama Desk Awards (NYC) including “Outstanding Musical,” 4 Helen Hayes Awards (D.C.) including “Outstanding Production of a Musical,” 4 Gypsy Rose Lee Awards (Seattle) including “Excellence in Production of a Musical,” 6 San Diego Critics Circle Awards including “Outstanding New Musical,” 3 Toronto Theatre Critics Awards including “Best New Musical,” 3 Dora Awards (Toronto) including “Outstanding New Musical/Opera” and “Outstanding Production,” and the 2017 Jon Kaplan Audience Choice Award (Toronto).

Come From Away is produced by Junkyard Dog Productions (Randy Adams, Marleen and Kenny Alhadeff and Sue Frost), Jerry Frankel, Latitude Link, Smith & Brant Theatricals, Steve & Paula Reynolds, David Mirvish, Michael Rubinoff, Alhadeff Productions, Michael Alden & Nancy Nagel Gibbs, Sam Levy, Rodney Rigby, Spencer Ross, Richard Winkler, Yonge Street Theatricals, Sheridan College, Michael & Ellise Coit, Ronald Frankel, Sheri & Les Biller, Richard Belkin, Gary &Marlene Cohen, Allan Detsky & Rena Mendelson, Lauren Doll, Barbara H. Freitag, Wendy Gillespie, Laura Little Theatricals, Carl & Jennifer Pasbjerg, Radio Mouse Entertainment, The Shubert Organization, Cynthia Stroum, Tulchin Bartner Productions, Gwen Arment/Molly Morris& Terry McNicholas, Maureen & Joel Benoliel/Marjorie & Ron Danz, Pamela Cooper/Corey Brunish, Demos Bizar/Square 1 Theatrics, Joshua Goodman/Lauren Stevens, Just for Laughs Theatricals/Judith Ann Abrams Productions, Bill & Linda Potter/Rosemary & Kenneth Willman, and La Jolla Playhouse and Seattle Repertory Theatre.

Come From Away was originally co-produced in 2015 by La Jolla Playhouse and Seattle Repertory Theater. Come From Away (NAMT Festival 2013) was originally developed at the Canadian Music Theatre Project, Michael Rubinoff Producer, Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, Canada and was further developed at Goodspeed Musicals’ Festival of New Artists, in East Haddam, CT. The Canada Council for the Arts, The Ontario Arts Council, Steve and Paula Reynolds and The 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle WA also provided development support.

 

 

Production Photos: Paige Faure, Jordon Gelber, Ann Harada, Jeff Kready, Hayley Podschun, Nicholas Rodriguez and More in HOLIDAY INN At Paper Mill Playhouse through December 30

Ann Harada and Nicholas Rodriguez. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia

Paper Mill Playhouse is presenting Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn, based on the film from Universal Pictures, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, and book by Gordon Greenberg and Chad Hodge. Performances began on Wednesday, November 21, 2018, and will continue through Sunday, December 30, 2018, at Paper Mill Playhouse (22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, NJ).

Jeff Kready and Paige Faure. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia
Jeff Kready and Paige Faure. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia

Directed by Mr. Greenberg (The Baker’s Wife, 1776 – Paper Mill), and with choreography by Denis Jones (Mary Poppins – Paper Mill, Holiday Inn – Broadway, Tony nomination), music direction by Shawn Gough (Annie, Paper Mill), the principal cast features Paige Faure (Honeymoon in Vegas – Paper Mill) as Lila Dixon, Jordon Gelber (Avenue Q) as Danny, Ann Harada (Avenue Q) as Louise, Jeff Kready (Thoroughly Modern Millie – Paper Mill) as Ted Hanover, Hayley Podschun (Peter Pan – Paper Mill) as Linda Mason, Nicholas Rodriguez (Tarzan) as Jim Hardy with Jian Harrell and Aidan Alberto alternating in the role of Charlie Winslow.

Jeff Kready, Hayley Podschun, Nicholas Rodriguez. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia
Jeff Kready, Hayley Podschun, Nicholas Rodriguez. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia

The cast also features Jordon Beall, Gene Biscontini, Colin Bradbury, Tricia Desario, Taylor Fields, Kelly Gleason, Juliane Godfrey, Berklea Going,Joshua Israel, Julie Kavanagh, Mallory Nolting, Clifton Samuels, JT Teeling, Karl Skylar Urban, Amy Van Norstrand, Scarlett Walker, Travis Ward-Osborne, and John T. Wolfe.

Ann Harada and Nicholas Rodriguez. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia
Ann Harada and Nicholas Rodriguez. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia

In this musical based on the beloved Bing Crosby/Fred Astaire film, Jim Hardy leaves behind the hustle and bustle of showbiz for a quiet life on a Connecticut farm. Jim’s agrarian efforts are a flop, but things start looking up when he falls for a talented schoolteacher, and together they infuse their sleepy rural setting with some Broadway razzle-dazzle. Fresh from a Broadway run, this heartwarming, toe-tapping production features more than 20 classic songs from the Berlin catalog, including “Easter Parade,” “Cheek to Cheek,” “Steppin’ Out with My Baby,” and “White Christmas.”

Hayley Podschun, Karl Skyler Urban, Jordan Beall, and Julie Kavanagh. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia
Hayley Podschun, Karl Skyler Urban, Jordan Beall, and Julie Kavanagh. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia

The production team includes set design by Anna Louizos, costume design by Alejo Vietti, lighting design by Jeff Croiter, sound design by Matt Kraus, hair and wig design by Charles G. LaPointe. The production stage manager is Victoria Navarro. Casting is by Telsey + Company, Laura Wade, CSA.

Hayley Podschun and Nicholas Rodriguez. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia
Hayley Podschun and Nicholas Rodriguez. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia

Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn will be performed at Paper Mill Playhouse eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Performance schedule: Wednesday at 7:00pm, Thursday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm, Friday at 7:00pm, Saturday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm and Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm. Please note: There are no performances on December 24 (Christmas Eve) and December 25 (Christmas Day). Tickets are on sale now starting at $34. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.PaperMill.org.

Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn at Paper Mill Playhouse. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia 
Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn at Paper Mill Playhouse. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia
Jeff Kready, Hayley Podschun, Nicholas Rodriguez. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia
Jeff Kready, Hayley Podschun, Nicholas Rodriguez. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia
Nicholas Rodriguez and company. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia
Nicholas Rodriguez and company. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia
Nicholas Rodriguez, Ann Harada, and company. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia
Nicholas Rodriguez, Ann Harada, and company. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia
Nicholas Rodriguez and company. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia
Nicholas Rodriguez and company. Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia

ALLEGIANCE Stars Eymard Cabling, Elena Wang Nominated for LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards

Eymard Cabling, Elena Wang, and George Takei. Photo by Michael Lamont

East West Players (EWP) and Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC)’s  Los Angeles premiere of the Broadway musical Allegiance has been nominated for 4 LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards including Lead Actress in a Musical for Elena Wang, Featured Actor in a Musical for Eymard Cabling, Sound Design (Large Theater) for Cricket Myers and Video/Project Design (Large Theater) for Adam Flemming.

The Cast of ALLEGIANCE. Photo by Michael Lamont
The Cast of ALLEGIANCE. Photo by Michael Lamont

The Ovation Awards are the only peer-judged theatre awards in Los Angeles, created to recognize excellence in theatrical performance, production, and design in the Greater Los Angeles area.

Eymard Cabling, Elena Wang, and George Takei. Photo by Michael Lamont
Eymard Cabling, Elena Wang, and George Takei. Photo by Michael Lamont

This year, the ceremony will be held at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on Monday, January 28th. Tickets go on sale Monday, November 26th, and full information can be found on OvationAwards.com.

George Takei. Photo by Michael Lamont
George Takei. Photo by Michael Lamont

Broadway cast members included George Takei,  Elena Wang as Kei Kimura, Greg Watanabe as Mike Masaoka, Scott Watanabe as Tatsuo Kimura, and Janelle Dote as Hanako.

Elena Wang. Photo by Michael Lamont
Elena Wang. Photo by Michael Lamont

The cast also featured Ethan Le Phong as Sammy Kimura, Eymard Cabling as Frankie Suzuki, and Natalie Holt MacDonald as Hannah Campbell. The ensemble includes Cesar Cipriano, Jordan Goodsell, Sharline Liu, Miyuki Miyagi, Glenn Shiroma, Chad Takeda, and Grace Yoo.

Elena Wang and Ethan Le Phong. Photo by Michael Lamont
Elena Wang and Ethan Le Phong. Photo by Michael Lamont

With music and lyrics by Jay Kuo and a book by Marc Acito, Jay Kuo, and Lorenzo Thione, Allegiance tells the story of the Kimura family, whose lives are upended when they and 120,000 other Japanese-Americans are forced to leave their homes following the events of Pearl Harbor. Sam Kimura seeks to prove his patriotism by fighting for his country in the war, but his sister, Kei, fiercely protests the government’s treatment of her people. An uplifting testament to the power of the human spirit, Allegiance follows the Kimuras as they fight between duty and defiance, custom and change, family bonds and forbidden loves. Allegiance had its 2012 world premiere in a record-breaking engagement at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego and played on Broadway from 2015-16 at The Shubert Organization’s Longacre Theatre.

George Takei, Lorenzo Thione, Jay Kuo and Marc Acito celebrate the release of the ALLEGIANCE Original Cast recording at the Barnes and Noble CD Signing event in New York on Feb. 5, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang
George Takei, Lorenzo Thione, Jay Kuo and Marc Acito celebrate the release of the ALLEGIANCE Original Cast recording at the Barnes and Noble CD Signing event in New York on Feb. 5, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang
Ethan Le Phong, George Takei, and Elena Wang. Photo by Michael Lamont
Ethan Le Phong, George Takei, and Elena Wang. Photo by Michael Lamont

With a career spanning six decades, George Takei is known around the world for his founding role in the acclaimed television series “Star Trek,” in which he played Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the Starship Enterprise. But Takei’s story goes where few stories have gone before. From a childhood spent with his family wrongfully imprisoned in a Japanese American internment camp during World War II to becoming one of the country’s leading figures in the fight for social justice, LGBTQ rights, and marriage equality-Takei remains a powerful voice on issues ranging from politics to pop culture. Takei made his Broadway debut in the musical Allegiance, which ran in New York in 2015 and 2016. The musical is inspired by Takei’s true-life experience as a Japanese American who-from age 5 to 9-was unjustly imprisoned in two US internment camps during World War II. In 2017, Takei returned to the New York stage, starring in a revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures, directed by John Doyle at Classic Stage Company. Mashable.com named Takei the #1 most-influential person on Facebook, currently with nearly 10.3 million likes and 2.3 million followers on Twitter. Takei lives in Los Angeles with his husband Brad Takei.

Scott Watanabe, George Takei, Jordan Goodsell, Elena Wang, and Ethan Le Phong. Photo by Michael Lamont
Scott Watanabe, George Takei, Jordan Goodsell, Elena Wang, and Ethan Le Phong. Photo by Michael Lamont
The Los Angeles premiere of ALLEGIANCE at the Aratani Theatre. Photo by Michael Lamont
The Los Angeles premiere of ALLEGIANCE at the Aratani Theatre. Photo by Michael Lamont

East West Players (EWP), the nation’s longest-running professional theatre of color and the largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work, was founded in 1965, at a time when Asian Pacific Islanders (APIs) faced limited or no opportunities to see their experiences reflected outside of stereotypical and demeaning caricatures in the American landscape. EWP not only ensures that API stories are told, but works to increase access, inclusion, and representation in the economy.

Founded in 1971, Japanese American Cultural & Community Center is one of the largest ethnic arts and cultural centers of its kind in the United States. A hub for Japanese and Japanese American arts and culture and a community gathering place for the diverse voices it inspires-JACCC connects traditional and contemporary; community participants and creative professionals; Southern California and the world beyond. JACCC also provides office space in its five-story complex to a wide variety of nonprofit cultural, educational, and community-based organizations in Los Angeles.

The original Broadway production of Allegiance opened on November 8, 2015 at the Longacre Theater in New York City and was produced by Sing Out, Louise! Productions and ATA with Mark Mugiishi/Hawaii HUI, Hunter Arnold, Ken Davenport, Elliott Masie, Sandi Moran, Mabuhay Productions, Barbara Freitag; Marsi Gardiner, Valiant Ventures, Wendy Gillespie, David Hiatt Kraft, Diane Blumenthal, M. Bradley Calobrace, Karen Tanz, Gregory Rae, Mike Karns, in association with Jas Grewal, Peter Landin, and Ron Polson.

For more information, visit allegiancemusical.com/LA

Ethan Le Phong, Kristian Lei, Kathleen Stuart and More Set for Manoa Valley Theatre’s Production of ALLEGIANCE, March 28 – April 7

Ethan Le Phong
Ethan Le Phong
Ethan Le Phong

Manoa Valley Theatre is thrilled to announce a star-studded cast for Allegiance, the headliner of its 50th Anniversary season, presented at the Hawaii Theatre March 28th – April 7th, 2019. Allegiance, a musical drama by Marc Acito, Jay Kuo, and Lorenzo Thione, is about the Japanese American internment during WWII and one family’s extraordinarily divisive experience, was inspired by the true-life experience of its original star, George Takei. It tells the story of one family’s extraordinary experience suffering the wrongful imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II, creating familial turmoil in a troubling time of a nation at war.

George Takei, Lorenzo Thione, Jay Kuo and Marc Acito celebrate the release of the ALLEGIANCE Original Cast recording at the Barnes and Noble CD Signing event in New York on Feb. 5, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang
George Takei, Lorenzo Thione, Jay Kuo and Marc Acito celebrate the release of the ALLEGIANCE Original Cast recording at the Barnes and Noble CD Signing event in New York on Feb. 5, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Ticket buyers for Allegiance will be treated to a Black Friday offer as a celebration of the amazing cast. Customers who purchase tickets via any portal from November 23rd through November 26th will receive 5% off the price of admission for the Tuesday, April 2nd and Wednesday, April 3rd performances.

Broadway star Ethan Le Phong headlines the MVT cast in the role of Young Sammy. Most recently a company member of Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway and understudy for the title character, Ethan played Young Sammy in the highly celebrated East-West Players production of Allegiance last spring with George Takei. He has extensive credits from New York’s Broadway, London’s West End, U.S. Regional Theatres, national tours, film and television.

The role of Kei Kimura will be performed by Hawaii music composer, vocalist and producer, Kristian Lei. She has played the lead role of Kim in Miss Saigon in Germany, performed in Hong Kong Disneyland’s Festival of The Lion King, and starred in the Kristian Lei Show with Walt Disney Theatre on Disney Cruise Lines.

Nurse Hannah will be portrayed by Hawaii native daughter Kathleen Stuart who currently works professionally in New York theatre. She has had co-starring and lead roles in television and film such as “C’est Tout” and “Inside Llewyn Davis,” as well as lead roles on stage in The King & I and Evita.

MVT’s talent-packed cast also includes Dann Seki as Sam Kimura/Ojii-Chan, Brad Yamamoto as Tatsuo Kimura, Devon Nekoba as Mike Masaoka, Miguel Cadoy III as Frankie Suzuki, KoDee Martin as Dr. Hideo Tanaka/Ben Masaoka/Johnny Goto, Sharline Liu as Mrs. Natsumi Tanaka, Charles Mukaida as Mr. Masato Maruyama, Melani Carrié as Mrs. Kaori Maruyama/Sansei Woman, Austin Yoshida as Tom Muruyama, Shayna Yasunaga as Peggy Maruyama, Lauren Cabrera as Nan Goto, Kyle McNamara, and Dwayne Sakaguchi and Kailee Brandt as ensemble.

Guest directing the production is Paul Mitri. Guest musical director is Kip Wilborn. Guest choreographer is Christine Yasunaga. Assistant director is Ron Heller. The design team includes Michelle Bisbee as set designer, Janine Myers as lighting designer, Jennifer Hart and Trudy Hodnefield as co-costume designers, Lisa Ponce de Leon as hair/makeup designer, and Sara Ward as props designer.

The production will run March 28th – April 7th at the Hawaii Theatre. Show times are Thursday, March 28, 7:00 p.m., Friday, March 29 at 7:00 p.m., Saturday, March 30 at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, March 31 at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 02 at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday April 03 at 7:00 p.m., Thursday April 04 at 7:00 p.m., Friday, April 05 at 7:00 p.m., Saturday, April 06 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 07 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $75, $55, $35. Minimum age is 4. For more information call 988-6131 or visit manoavalleytheatre.com. Tickets can be purchased at the Hawaii Theatre Box Office by calling 528-0506 or at hawaiitheatre.com. The doors will open for seating 30 minutes prior to each performance. Beverages will be available for purchase on site. No outside food or drinks are allowed. The play is performed in 2 acts with one intermission. The running time is approximately 2hrs 45 min.

Play sponsors are ABC Stores, Alexander & Baldwin, Inc., First Hawaii Bank Foundation, HEMIC, HMSA, iHeart Media, Tom and Sally Ishii, Island Insurance, JACL, John and Kalowena Komeiji, Mary and Dexter Kubota, Edison Miyawaki, Jerry and Jane Mount, Mark Mugiishi, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Jeffrey S. Portnoy in memory of Sandi Portnoy, Bob and Corinne Taylor and Territorial Savings Bank. The Golden Anniversary Season Sponsor is D. Suehiro Electric, Inc. The Season Benefactor Sponsor is Cades Schutte and the Cades Foundation. Season Presenter Sponsors are First Insurance Company of Hawaii Charitable Foundation, Honolulu Star-Advertiser and `Iolani School. Season Sponsors are Alexander & Baldwin, Inc. and Ramona Sayre In Memory of Jeff Sayre.