48 Hours with Three-Time Tony Nominee André De Shields at the Drama Desk Awards, Tony Honors Cocktail Party, HADESTOWN Original Broadway Cast Listening Party

Three-time Tony award nominee André De Shields is back on Broadway at the Walter Kerr Theatre as Hermes in Hadestown, the new musical by 2019 Tony award nominee Anaïs Mitchell, developed with and directed by 2019 Tony award nominee Rachel Chavkin.

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

André won the Drama Desk Award and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical. On June 11, he’ll receive the 2019 Richard Seff Award from the Actors’ Equity Foundation, which honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year.

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

Drama Desk winner André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Below is my 48 hours with André which includes a surprise guest after the Sunday matinee, the Drama Desk Awards, the Tony Honors cocktail reception and the listening party for the Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hadestown.

(June 2, 2019, 6:00 p.m.) A quick visit with the legendary Micki Grant and Lori Minor after the Sunday matinee.

André De Shields, Reeve Carney, Lori Minor and Micki Grant on the set of HADESTOWN at the Walter Kerr. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields, Micki Grant, Eva Noblezada, Reeve Carney, Lori Minor on the set of HADESTOWN at the Walter Kerr. Photo by Lia Chang
6:00 p.m. at the Walter Kerr Theatre – Lia Chang, André De Shields, Micki Grant, Eva Noblezada, Reeve Carney, Lori Minor and Amber Gray.

6:15 p.m. Scott Rudin’s Drama Desk Party at Aureole.

Drama Desk Winners and Tony Award nominees Santino Fontana (TOOTSIE), Celia Keenan-Bolger (TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD) and André De Shields (HADESTOWN). Photo by Lia Chang
Drama Desk winner André De Shields, Paige Davis and Patrick Page. Photo by Lia Chang
David Neumann, Drama Desk winners Rachel Chavkin and  André De Shields and Jake Heinrichs. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang, Jewelle Blackman, Drama Desk winner André De Shields, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer and Kay Trinidad attend the Drama Desk Awards.
Drama Desk winner André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

“Hadestown in the house,” said Mr. De Shields in his speech at the 64th Annual Drama Desk Awards at Town Hall in New York on June 2. “Thank you Drama Desk. It only took 9 nominations. As you all can see, I am dressed tonight incognegro in order not be confused with my co-star Patrick Page who 8 times a week teaches me new lessons in how to create a character. Thank you Patrick. Anaïs Mitchell, Rachel Chavkin, Dale Frazen, Mara Isaacs, I want to thank you for let me be myself again (he sang). Goodnight.”

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

Hadestown also won in the categories of Outstanding Director of a Musical for Rachel Chavkin, Outstanding Lighting Design for Bradley King and Outstanding Sound Design for Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz.

June 3, 2019,  6:00 p.m. – Tony Honors cocktail party at Sofitel New York.

Tony Honor and Special Tony recipients with American Theatre Wing President and CEO Heather Hitchens, American Theatre Wing Chairman David Henry Hwang, the Broadway League Chairman Thomas Schumacher, and The Broadway League President and CEO Charlotte St. Martin at the Tony Honors cocktail party at Sofitel New York. Photo by Lia Chang

On June 3rd, the brightest lights of Broadway gathered at the Sofitel New York for the 2019 Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre Awards presented to Broadway industry Broadway Inspirational Voices founded by Michael McElroy; Broadway musical director and arranger Jason Michael Webb (Choir Boy) the late Marin Mazzie (accepted by her husband, Jason Daniely), Sonny Tilders and Creative Technology Company (King Kong) Peter Entin, retired Vice President of Theatre Operations for The Shubert Organization; Joseph Blakely Forbes, Founder and President, Scenic Art Studios, Inc. and FDNY Engine 54, Ladder 4, Battalion 9.

Tony Honor Recipient Michael McElroy, founder of Broadway Inspirational Voices, Tony nominee Dominique Morisseaui and Special Tony Award recipient Jason Michael Webb at the Tony Honors cocktail party at Sofitel New York. Photo by Lia Chang

As previously announced, Judith Light will receive this year’s Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award “for her impassioned advocacy to end HIV/AIDS and her support for LGBTQ+ and human rights.” Actress Rosemary Harris, playwright Terrence McNally and composer Harold Wheeler each will receive a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

Harold Wheeler, 2019 Tony Award Recipient for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, his wife, Hattie Winston Wheeler and Three-time Tony nominee André De Shields at the Tony Honors cocktail party at Sofitel New York. Photo by Lia Chang
HADESTOWN’s Mara Isaacs, Reeve Carney, Eva Noblezada, Rachel Chavkin, Rachel Hauck, Todd Sickafoose, Three-time Tony nominee André De Shields, Dale Franzen and Tom Kirdahy at the Tony Honors cocktail party at Sofitel New York. Photo by Lia Chang
Reeve Carney, Two-time Tony nominee Eva Noblezada and Three-time Tony nominee André De Shields at the Tony Honors cocktail party at Sofitel New York.

Hadestown has been nominated for 14 Tony awards including Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for De Shields and his co-star Patrick Page, Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score for Anaïs Mitchell, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for Eva Noblezada, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for Amber Gray, Best Scenic Design of a Musical for Rachel Hauck, Best Costume Design of a Musical for Michael Krass, Best Lighting Design of a Musical for Bradley King, Best Sound Design of a Musical for Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz, Best Direction of a Musical for Rachel Chavkin, Best Choreography for David Neumann and Best Orchestrations for Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose. The 2019 Tony Awards will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City, on Sunday, June 9th on CBS.

James Babcock, Telly Leung, Three-time Tony nominee André De Shields, Grace Hwang and American Theatre Wing Chairman David Henry Hwang at the Tony Honors cocktail party at Sofitel New York. Photo by Lia Chang

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

The Broadway League President and CEO Charlotte St. Martin, Kip Fagan, Tony nominee Heidi Schreck, Three-time Tony nominee André De Shields, Tony nominee Mara Isaacs at the Tony Honors cocktail party at Sofitel New York. Photo by Lia Chang

June 3, 2019, 7:45 p.m. The Hadestown Listening Party at The Royalton
The cast and creative team celebrated the Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hadestown at The Royalton on June 3rd, which is having a unique and unconventional release schedule. On Friday, June 7, 13 tracks from Hadestown, written by celebrated singer-songwriter and two-time 2019 Tony Award nominee Anaïs Mitchell, developed with innovative director and 2019 Tony Award nominee Rachel Chavkin, will be made available digitally. Three of those songs, “Way Down Hadestown,” “Our Lady of the Underground,” and “Wait for Me,” were released on June 4th 12:01 AM.

Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang

The rest of the double album which features 40 tracks spanning over two hours of music will be rolled out in three curated character-themed drops.

Anaïs Mitchell. Photo by Lia Chang

Anaïs Mitchell said, “A huge thanks to all of our friends for their patience as we take a little more time with our Original Broadway Cast Recording than originally anticipated! We got deep into editing and mixing these two-plus hours’ worth of beautiful performances and realized we didn’t have the heart to rush what feels like a very special recording that we hope will live for a long time! We’ve decided to release the entirety of the album in a few installments over the course of the next few weeks as ‘character drops.’ We hope this will give folks a chance to appreciate all over again the unique gifts of our unicorn company and give us the time we need to make sure we are creating the most magical recording possible!”

Schedule for the drops

Tuesday, June 4 at 12:01 AM

    • “Way Down Hadestown
    • “Wait For Me (“Hey, the big artiste…”) [Intro]”
    • “Wait For Me”
    • “Our Lady of the Underground”

Friday, June 7 – Additional highlights

    • “Livin’ It Up On Top”
    • “Hey, Little Songbird”
    • “When The Chips Are Down (“Songbird vs. rattlesnake…”) [Intro]”
    • “When The Chips Are Down”
    • “Gone, I’m Gone”
    • “Why We Build The Wall”
    • “Why We Build The Wall (“Behind closed doors…”) [Outro]”
    • “Flowers”
    • “Road to Hell (Reprise)”

Friday, June 28 – Character Drop 1: Hades and Persephone

Friday, July 12 – Character Drop 2: Hermes, the Fates, and the Workers Chorus

Friday, July 26 – Character Drop 3: Orpheus and Eurydice

Anaïs Mitchell, Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose. Photo by Lia Chang
Tom Kirdahy, Mara Isaacs, Dale Franzen and Hunter C. Arnold. Photo by Lia Chang

The Hadestown Original Broadway Cast Recording is produced by David Lai, Todd Sickafoose, and Mitchell, co-produced by Mara Isaacs and Hunter Arnold, and executive produced by Dale Franzen, Tom Kirdahy, Craig Balsam, and Thomas M. Neff. The album is distributed by ADA Worldwide in partnership with Arts Music.

Kay Trinidad, Rachel Chavkin, Jordan Roth, a guest, Michael Krass, Anais Mitchell and Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer at the Drama League Awards. Photo by Lia Chang

The current awards tally for Hadestown includes the 2019 Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical, the 2019 Chita Rivera Award for Outstanding Choreography in a Broadway Show for David Neumann, and 6 Outer Critics Circle Awards in the categories of Outstanding New Broadway Musical, André De Shields for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical, Amber Gray for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical, Anaïs Mitchell for Outstanding New Score, Rachel Chavkin for Outstanding Director of a Musical and Bradley King for Outstanding Lighting Design.

Team HADESTOWN: Danielle Long King, Dale Franzen, André De Shields, Montego Glover, Mara Isaacs, Noah Hahn, Bradley King, Rachel Chavkin, Tom Kirdahy, Anaïs Mitchell and Hunter C. Arnold. Photo by Lia Chang

Inside the 2019 Outer Critics Circle Awards with HADESTOWN’s André De Shields, Amber Gray, Anaïs Mitchell and Rachel Chavkin 

 

HADESTOWN’s Reeve Carney Returns to The Green Room 42 on June 30 

Diane Paragas’ YELLOW ROSE Starring Eva Noblezada, Lea Salonga to Open Asian American International Film Festival on July 25 

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

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

Inside the Opening Night Afterparty of HADESTOWN with André De Shields 

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

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

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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

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

The Cast of HADESTOWN Will Perform Tonight on The 73rd Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Musical Hall

Awards season has been a whirlwind for the company of Hadestown, who have been nominated for 14 Tony Awards, the most this season.

The company of HADESTOWN. Photo by Lia Chang

The categories Hadestown has been nominated include Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for André De Shields and his co-star Patrick Page, Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score for Anaïs Mitchell, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for Eva Noblezada, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical for Amber Gray, Best Scenic Design of a Musical for Rachel Hauck, Best Costume Design of a Musical for Michael Krass, Best Lighting Design of a Musical for Bradley King, Best Sound Design of a Musical for Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz, Best Direction of a Musical for Rachel Chavkin, Best Choreography for David Neumann and Best Orchestrations for Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose. The 2019 Tony Awards will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City, tonight on CBS. and hosted by James Cordon featuring an incredible line up of celebrity presenters and musical performances for Broadway’s biggest night.

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

In addition to Hadestown, the Tony Awards telecast will feature performances by the casts of Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations; Beetlejuice; The Cher Show; Choir Boy; Kiss Me, Kate; Oklahoma!; The Prom and Tootsie. The evening will also feature a special performance by Tony Award winning-actress Cynthia Erivo.

Celebrity Presenters

The evening will feature appearances by Sara Bareilles, Laura Benanti, Abigail Breslin, David Byrne, Vanessa Carlton, Kristin Chenoweth, Darren Criss, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Tina Fey, Sutton Foster, Josh Groban, Danai Gurira, Jake Gyllenhaal, Christopher Jackson, Samuel L. Jackson, Shirley Jones, Regina King, Jane Krakowski, Isabelle Stevenson Award recipient Judith Light, Laura Linney, Lucy Liu, Aasif Mandvi, Audra McDonald, Sienna Miller, Catherine O’Hara, Tony Nominee Kelli O’Hara, Ben Platt, Billy Porter, Anthony Ramos, Andrew Rannells, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Michael Shannon, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Marisa Tomei, Samira Wiley and BeBe Winans.

Karen Olivo, Aaron Tveit and Danny Burstein will co-host the pre-telecast Creative Arts Awards, sponsored by City National Bank.

How to Watch

James Corden will return to host the American Theatre Wing’s 2019 Tony Awards, which will be broadcast live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City on CBS. The three-hour program will air on Sunday, June 9th 8:00 – 11:00 p.m. (ET/PT time delay). The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

The 2019 Tony Awards Live from the Red Carpet will be hosted by Montego Glover and Denny Directo on Sunday, June 9th, beginning at 5:00 PM ET, LIVE on Twitter at @CBS and on ET LIVE at ETonline.com/live.

You can also watch the Tony Awards online with CBS All Access. More info at cbs.com/all-access.

View the database of past Tony Awards ceremonies to learn more about each year’s ceremony, from 1947 to the present.

Diane Paragas’ YELLOW ROSE Starring Eva Noblezada, Lea Salonga to Open Asian American International Film Festival on July 25

The 42nd Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF42), presented by Asian CineVision, will open with the timely immigration drama YELLOW ROSE on Thursday, July 25, 2019 at Asia Society (725 Park Ave, New York, NY 10021), with Director Diane Paragas and other members of the cast and crew scheduled to attend.

Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang

YELLOW ROSE is the deeply personal narrative feature debut from Filipina American writer and director Diane Paragas. Rose, played by Two-time Tony Award Nominee Eva Noblezada (Hadestown, Miss Saigon), an undocumented Filipino girl, dreams of one day leaving her small Texas town to pursue her country music dreams. Her world is shattered when her mom (Princess Punzalan) is suddenly detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Rose, facing this new realty, is forced to flee the scene, leaving behind the only life she knows, and embarks on a journey of self-discovery as she searches for a new home in the honky-tonk world of Austin, Texas. Also featured in the film are Tony Award-winning actress Lea Salonga and country music star Dale Watson. Set to a poignant soundtrack featuring original songs by Paragas, Noblezada, Watson and the cast, this coming-of-age story brings forth the power of music and art to provide strength in the face of the harsh plight confronting countless immigrant families across the country.

Director of "Yellow Rose"  Diane Paragas  - Photo courtesy of Yellow Rose
Director of “Yellow Rose”  Diane Paragas  – Photo courtesy of Yellow Rose

“This film is about home – the home you build for yourself and the people you welcome into it,” says Paragas. “Yellow Rose is a story for everyone trying to find their place in this world and we’re honored to share it at New York City at AAIFF.”

Yellow Rose has its world premiere at the 35th Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and won the Grand Jury award for outstanding North American narrative feature and a special jury award for actress Eva Noblezada for her breakthrough performance. Other awards include the Comcast narrative award at the 37th center for Asian American Media Festival, also known as CAAMFest and the Best Narrative film at the Bentonville Film Festival.

Asian CineVision is a fiscal sponsor for the film and is proud to celebrate its New York premiere at this year’s edition of Asian American International Film Festival. “Having been a partner on this project for the last 6 years, ACV has watched the film evolve with the times and is excited to finally bring it to our hometown audience,” says John Woo, ACV Executive Director.

Gold Passes, which grant priority admission to all screenings, panels, workshops, and special events, including Opening, Centerpiece, and Closing, are currently on sale at goelevent.com/AAIFF/Package/Sale/. The 42nd Asian American International Film Festival will run July 25 – August 3 with full lineup for sale on Wednesday, June 26, 2019.

Daniel K. Isaac, Julyana Soelistyo, Jennifer Lim, John D. Haggerty and More Celebrate YOU NEVER TOUCHED THE DIRT Opening Night

Daniel K. Isaac, Julyana Soelistyo, John D. Haggerty, Jennifer Lim, Kenneth Lee and Holly Chou. Photo by Lia Chang

Zhu Yi’s YOU NEVER TOUCHED THE DIRT opened at The Wild Project (195 E 3rd Street) in Manhattan on June 6 as part of SUMMERWORKS, Clubbed Thumb’s annual series of new plays. The limited run ends on Thursday, June 13 and due to popular demand, an additional 3:00 p.m. matinee has been added on June 13. Single tickets are on sale for $25 ($20 for students) here.

Playwright Zhu Yi and Director Ken Rus Schmoll. Photo by Lia Chang

Helmed by Ken Rus Schmoll, YOU NEVER TOUCHED THE DIRT features Holly Chou, John D. Haggerty (“Gotham,” NAATCO’s Henry VI), Daniel K. Isaac (“Billions,” The Chinese Lady), Kenneth Lee (“Search Party”, The Machine), Jennifer Lim (Chinglish, Clubbed Thumb’s Tumacho), Julyana Soelistyo (Tony Award Nominee, Golden Child).

John D. Haggerty, Daniel K. Isaac, Holly Chou, Kenneth Lee, Julyana Soelistyo, Jennifer Lim. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team includes Andrew Moerdyk (scenic design), Heather McDevitt Barton (costume design), Jiyoun Chang (lighting design), Brendan Aanes (sound design), Raphael Mishler (prop design), Melanie Aponte (stage manager).

John Haggerty, Daniel K. Isaac, Director Ken Rus Schmoll, Holly Chou, Kenneth Lee, Julyana Soelistyo, Producing Artistic Director Maria Striar, Playwright Zhu Yi and Jennifer Lim. Photo by Lia Chang

The Li family would be enjoying their new lake-view luxury villa outside of the city, were they not surrounded by the gardeners, maids, and security guards who had once owned the land–not to mention the Gods, ghosts and unnamed spirits there for thousands of years before them. A play about economic transformation, the dreams it enables and those it crushes.

YOU NEVER TOUCHED THE DIRT features set design by Andrew Moerdyk, costume design by Heather McDevitt Barton, lighting design by Jiyoun Chang and sound design by Brendan Aanes. Melanie Aponte is the production stage manager.

This play was developed as part of a long term project for playwrights in China with the Royal Court Theatre and the British Council from 2016-2018.

Playwright Zhu Yi. Photo by Lia Chang
Playwright Zhu Yi. Photo by Lia Chang
Playwright Zhu Yi. Photo by Lia Chang
Ida Chavoshan, Daniel K. Isaac, Esther Lee and Chad Reed .Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel K. Isaac and his mother, Esther Lee. Photo by Lia Chang
Clubbed Thumb Producing Artistic Director Maria Striar, Associate Artistic Director Michael Bulger and Advancement Director Quinn Metal Corbin. Photo by Lia Chang
John D. Haggerty, Playwright Zhu Yi, Kenneth Lee and Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Zhu Yi, Daniel K. Isaac, Lia Chang and Esther Lee. Photo by Sarah Einspanier
Sarah Einspanier and Daniel K. Isaac. Photo by Lia Chang
Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, Kenneth Lee and Jennifer Lim. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Lim, Gary Wilmes and Ed Sylvanus Iskandar. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Lim and Gary Wilmes. Photo by Lia Chang
Ed Sylvanus Iskandar and Daniel K. Isaac. 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

Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER Set for New York Premiere at The Public, September 24 – November 3 

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

The Public Theater is presenting the New York premiere of Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang (Book and Lyrics) and Jeanine Tesori’s (Music and Additional Lyrics) SOFT POWER, September 24 – November 3 in a co-commission and co-production with Center Theatre Group.

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

Helmed by Leigh Silverman and featuring choreography by Sam Pinkleton, initial casting includes Billy Bustamante (Xue Xing Standby), Kendyl Ito (Jing/Ensemble), Francis Jue (DHH), Austin Ku (Bobby Bob), Raymond J. Lee (Randy Ray/VEEP/Ensemble), Alyse Alan Louis (Zoe/Hillary), Jaygee Macapugay (Campaign Manager/Ensemble), Daniel May (Ensemble), Paul HeeSang Miller (Ensemble), Geena Quintos (Ensemble), Conrad Ricamora (Xue Xing), Trevor Salter (Ensemble), Kyra Smith (Ensemble), Emily Stillings (Female Swing), Emily Trumble (Zoe/Hillary Understudy), and John Yi (Male Swing).

Hwang and Tesori’s groundbreaking new musical-within-a-play, SOFT POWER, one of the most exciting theatrical collaborations in recent memory, is an exploration of America’s current place in the world, told through an East-West musical from China’s point of view, in which a theater producer from Shanghai forges a powerful bond with Hillary Clinton. SOFT POWER is a fever dream of modern American politics amidst global conversations, asking us all-why do we love democracy? And should we?

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

Daniel K. Isaac, John D. Haggerty, Kenneth Lee, Jennifer Lim, Julyana Soelistyo and Holly Chou Open in Clubbed Thumb’s Production of YOU NEVER TOUCHED THE DIRT by Zhu Yi at The Wild Project; Performances through June 13

SUMMERWORKS, Clubbed Thumb’s annual series of new plays is presenting YOU NEVER TOUCHED THE DIRT by Zhu Yi at The Wild Project (195 E 3rd Street) in Manhattan, June 3 through June 13.Opening night is tonight at 8:00 p.m.

John D. Haggerty, Kenneth Lee, Daniel K. Isaac, Jennifer Lim, Holly Chou and Julyana Soelistyo. Photo by Lia Chang

Helmed by Ken Rus Schmoll, YOU NEVER TOUCHED THE DIRT features Holly Chou, John D. Haggerty (“Gotham,” NAATCO’s Henry VI), Daniel K. Isaac (“Billions,” The Chinese Lady), Kenneth Lee (“Search Party”, The Machine), Jennifer Lim (Chinglish, Clubbed Thumb’s Tumacho), Julyana Soelistyo (Tony Award Nominee, Golden Child).

John D. Haggerty, Daniel K. Isaac, Holly Chou, Kenneth Lee, Playwright Zhu Yi, Jennifer Lim and Julyana Soelistyo. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team includes Andrew Moerdyk (scenic design), Heather McDevitt Barton (costume design), Jiyoun Chang (lighting design), Brendan Aanes (sound design), Raphael Mishler (prop design), Melanie Aponte (stage manager).

Lia Chang, John D. Haggerty, Rajesh Bose, Zhu Yi, Mahira Kakkar, Julyana Soelistyo, Kenneth Lee, Jennifer Lim, Cindy Cheung, Jon Norman Schneider, Daniel K. Isaac, Vanessa Kai and Holly Chou. Photo by Garth Kravits

The Li family would be enjoying their new lake-view luxury villa outside of the city, were they not surrounded by the gardeners, maids, and security guards who had once owned the land–not to mention the Gods, ghosts and unnamed spirits there for thousands of years before them. A play about economic transformation, the dreams it enables and those it crushes.

YOU NEVER TOUCHED THE DIRT features set design by Andrew Moerdyk, costume design by Heather McDevitt Barton, lighting design by Jiyoun Chang and sound design by Brendan Aanes. Melanie Aponte is the production stage manager.

Festival passes are on sale now for $65, with discounted preview passes on sale for $55, at https://www.artful.ly/clubbedthumb/store/passes. Single tickets are on sale for $25 ($20 for students) here.

This play was developed as part of a long term project for playwrights in China with the Royal Court Theatre and the British Council from 2016-2018.

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

Christopher Larkin, Andrew Pang, Ian Duff, Molly Griggs and Samantha Mathis Celebrate Opening Night of Carla Ching’s NOMAD MOTEL at Atlantic Theater

Atlantic Theater Company is presenting the New York premiere of Nomad Motel, written by Carla Ching (Fast Company, Atlantic/Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation commissionee) and directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar (The Mysteries).

Playwright Carla Ching and Director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar. Photo by Lia Chang

Nomad Motel opened Off-Broadway at Atlantic Stage 2 (330 West 16th Street) on June 3rd for a limited engagement through Sunday, June 23rd, 2019. The cast and creative celebrated at the afterparty at Jake’s Saloon.

Jeffory Lawson. Christopher Larkin, Neil Pepe, Molly Griggs, Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, Samantha Mathis, Ian Duff, Carla Ching and Andrew Pang. photo by Lia hang

Nomad Motel features Ian Duff (Dutch Masters) as Oscar, Molly Griggs (Hello, Dolly!) as Alix, Christopher Larkin (Fast Company) as Mason, Samantha Mathis (“Billions”) as Fiona and Andrew Pang (after the quake) as James.

Christopher Larkin, Molly Griggs, Director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, Samantha Mathis, Ian Duff, Playwright Carla Ching and Andrew Pang. Photo by Lia Chang

In the not-so-sunny side of California, Alix bounces between motel rooms, taking care of her brothers for her mostly MIA mother. Her classmate Mason is a budding songwriter trying to keep off the radar of his absent father in Hong Kong. Together, they must learn to scrape by without giving up their dreams. This New York Premiere is a surprising tale of kids raising themselves and making something out of nothing in the land of plenty.

Nomad Motel features scenic design by Yu-Hsuan Chen, costume design by Loren Shaw, lighting design by Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew, sound design and original compositions by Emily Gardner Xu Hall, fight direction by Ryan-James Hatanaka, dialect coaching by Joy Lanceta Coronel, and casting by TBD Casting: Stephanie Yankwitt, CSA; Margaret Dunn.

Andrew Pang. Photo by Lia Chang
Andrew Pang. Photo by Lia Chang
Ian Duff. Photo by Lia Chang
Ian Duff. Photo by Lia Chang
Samantha Mathis. Photo by Lia Chang
Samantha Mathis. Photo by Lia Chang
Molly Griggs. Photo by Lia Chang
Molly Griggs. Photo by Lia Chang
Director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar. Photo by Lia Chang
Director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar. Photo by Lia Chang
Christopher Larkin. Photo by Lia Chang
Christopher Larkin. Photo by Lia Chang
Neil Pepe, Jeffory Lawson. and Ed Sylvanus Iskandar. Photo by Lia Chang
Garth Kravits and Claire Graves. Photo by Lia Chang
Managing Director Jeffory Lawson, Playwright Carla Ching, Director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar and Artistic Director Neil Pepe. Photo by Lia Chang
Andrew Pang and Artistic Director Neil Pepe. Photo by Lia Chang
Andrew Pang and Director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar. Photo by Lia Chang
Director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Enrico De Trizio, Director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Costume Designer Loren Shaw, Director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar. Photo by Lia Chang
Andrew Pang, Jennifer Cato, Carla Ching. Photo by Lia Chang
Samantha Mathis, Jennifer Cato, Andrew Pang and Carla Ching. Photo by Lia Chang
Assistant Director Annika Boras, Director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang, Christopher Larkin and Dustin Chinn. Photo by Garth Kravits
Jennifer Cato, Andrew Pang, Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
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

Jake Manabat, Lucas Verbrugghe, Aaron Blakely, Melody Butiu, Stephen Caffrey, Nike Doukas, Juliana Hansen and More in David Henry Hwang’s M. BUTTERFLY at South Coast Rep through June 8

South Coast Repertory is presenting David Henry Hwang’s M. Butterfly, a tale of obsession, perception and the allure of fantasy. Hwang’s break-out hit-a Tony Award-winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist-is about more than steamy seduction and fantasy; inspired by a true account, it’s a compelling story of espionage, East-West relations and betrayal. Desdemona Chiang, in her SCR debut, directs the show on the Segerstrom Stage through June 8. Tickets are available online at www.scr.org.

Lucas Verbrugghe and Jake Manabat in South Coast Repertory’s 2019 production of M. Butterflyby David Henry Hwang. Photo by Jordan Kubat/SCR.

The story starts in 1986, with René Gallimard in prison, where he’s serving a sentence for treason. Through a series of flashbacks, his tale unfolds beginning with his time as a member of the French embassy in China during the Cultural Revolution when he fell in love with Song Liling, a Chinese opera star. A longtime fan of Puccini’s opera, Madame Butterfly, Gallimard considers Song to be the perfect woman. But Song is not who she claims to be.


Jake Manabat and Lucas Verbrugghe, center, in South Coast Repertory’s 2019 production of M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang. Photo by Jordan Kubat/SCR.

M. Butterfly is a play about the allure of exceptionalism and the lengths a person will go to achieve and preserve it,” said Chiang. “Gallimard is a man who was unremarkable and inconsequential his entire life, until he met Song, a woman who made him feel like the most important person in the world; that feeling of exceptionalism-of uniqueness, of rare singularity-is very hard to let go of. Sometimes we’d rather persist in a fantasy where we focus on perfection and beauty rather than face the fact that the world is messy and a place where suffering is actually more painful than romantic, and where we are merely average.”

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

Hwang has had a nearly three-decade relationship with SCR, which premiered his Golden Child (1997) and produced Chinglish (2013, with Berkeley Repertory Theatre). His other stage works include the plays Yellow Face, Kung Fu, The Dance and the Railroad and FOB, as well as the Broadway musicals Aida (co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 revival) and Disney’s Tarzan. Hwang is a Tony Award winner and three-time nominee; a three-time Obie Award winner; and a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner. He is America’s most-produced living opera librettist, whose works have been honored with two Grammy Awards. He is a writer and consulting producer for the Golden Globe Award-winning television series, “The Affair”. He is currently penning the live-action feature musical adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame for Disney Studios. He serves as head of playwriting at Columbia University and as chair of the American Theatre Wing. His newest work, Soft Power, with composer Jeanine Tesori, premiered in 2018 at Center Theatre Group and will open in New York this fall.

Chiang is based in Ashland, Ore., and Seattle, where she is a founder and co-artistic director of Azeotrope. Her recent directing credits include Guthrie Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, and Baltimore Center Stage.

Lucas Verbrugghe and Jake Manabat in South Coast Repertory’s 2019 production of M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang. Photo by Jordan Kubat/SCR.

The cast includes Jake Manabat (as Song Liling), who was the understudy for Song in the 2017-18 Broadway revival of M. Butterfly. His other credits include the national tour of Rent, “Madam Secretary,” “Lilyhammer” and “Bored to Death.” Lucas Verbrugghe (as René Gallimard) appeared on Broadway in Bloody Andrew Jackson and The Ritz; his other credits include Our Idiot Brother, “Grimm” and the “Law & Order” franchise. Also featured are SCR veterans from this and past seasons: Aaron Blakely (How to Write a New Book for the Bible); Melody Butiu (A Christmas Carol, Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience, Shipwriected!, The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow); Stephen Caffrey (Shakespeare in Love, SHREW!), Nike Doukas (Sense and Sensibility, All the Way), Juliana Hansen (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street); and dancers Annika Alejo, Yoko Hasebe and Andres Lanang.

Jake Manabat, Melody Butiu and Lucas Verbrugghe in South Coast Repertory’s 2019 production of M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang. Photo by Jordan Kubat/SCR.

The creative team includes Ralph Funicello, scenic design; Sara Ryung Clement, costume design; Josh Epstein, lighting design; André Pluess, sound design; Annie Yee, choreography; and Joanne DeNaut, CSA, casting. The production managers are Holly Ahlborn and Matthew E. Chandler and the stage manager is Moira Gleason.

Lucas Verbrugghe and Jake Manabat in South Coast Repertory’s 2019 production of M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang. Photo by Jordan Kubat/SCR.

Generous support for this production comes from Honorary Producers Geoff and Valerie Fearns, and Michael Ray. The media partner is KPCC. South Coast Plaza is the season sponsor for the Segerstrom Stage.

Tickets start at $23. Discounts are available for full-time students, patrons 25 years of age and under, fulltime educators, seniors and groups of 10 or more. Recommendation: This show is recommended for high school age and above. Note: this show contains adult language, sexuality and nudity. For complete information, visit: www.scr.org

BD Wong to Helm East West Players and Pasadena Playhouse’s Co-production of Lauren Yee’s THE GREAT LEAP, November 6 – December 1

BD Wong. Photo by Lia Chang

East West Players (EWP), the nation’s longest-running professional theatre of color in the country and the largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work, is pleased to announce its 54th Season, We Are the Ones We Are Waiting For. After a highly successful 53rd Anniversary Season, EWP’s upcoming 2019/2020 season takes place from Summer 2019 through Spring 2020 and consists of four productions, including a Los Angeles Premiere, a West Coast Premiere, and co-productions with The Fountain Theatre and Pasadena Playhouse.

“For our 54th season, I reflected on the these interesting times we live in where there has both been a democratization of storytelling and a rise in authoritarian minded leaders. It all begs the question of what do we do, who do we turn to times where we as individuals are caught against a larger backdrop of political turmoil and uncertainty. And that unpredictable as these times seem to be, we need to to not diminish, shy away from, or be afraid of joy. That by being able to laugh our ourselves we open ourselves to new ideas, perspectives and experiences. And through collective laughter we eliminate fear of those things that are unknown or different. Our 54th season is one of laughter and change often in the face of loss. A season of works all by Asian American women playwrights. We started with the questions: Where do we the look in these troubling times? To whom? And our response is a season where we discover that we are the ones we are waiting for, and should accept nothing less.” says EWP Producing Artistic Director Snehal Desai.

EWP’s 54th season, all works by Asian American Playwrights, commences with the Los Angeles premiere of Hannah and the Dread Gazebo, written by Jiehae Park, directed by Jennifer Chang, in association with The Fountain Theatre. Hannah and her family travel back to South and North Korea to recover their grandmother’s body in the DMZ after her flamboyant suicide. Division and duality play into the mythology that drives this amusingly surreal play forward. Performances run from August – September 29th, 2019 at The Fountain Theatre.

Up next is a co-production with Pasadena Playhouse The Great Leap, written by award-winning playwright Lauren Yee and directed by Emmy-nominated BD Wong. An American basketball team travels to Beijing for an exhibition game, finding themselves in a conflict running deeper than the strain between two countries. Performances run from November 6 – December 1, 2019 at The Pasadena Playhouse.

For some holiday fun, EWP will present Sandra Tsing Loh’s Sugar Plum Fairy, which follows the dreams of a 12-year-old girl and her ambition to dance the lead in The Nutcracker. Exploring a holiday classic through an offbeat comedic lens, audiences of all ages can enjoy this absurd and relatable coming of age story. Performances run from December 5 – December 22, 2019 at the David Henry Hwang Theater.

EWP’s 54th season closes with another Los Angeles Premiere of The Korean Drama Addict’s Guide to Losing Your Virginity, written by May Lee-Yang. A Hmong personality coach addicted to Korean Dramas awaits her fate with her 30th birthday swiftly approaching. Performances run from March 19 – April 5, 2020at the David Henry Hwang Theater.

Throughout the year, East West Players will continue its Counter Culture Series, presenting a series of community conversations and readings of new works that are free and open to the public.

Single ticket sales will be announced in early Summer 2019. For forthcoming information about the 54th season, please visit www.eastwestplayers.org or call (213) 625-7000 x 0. Dates, details, and ticket prices are subject to change.

As the nation’s premier Asian American theatre organization, East West Players produces artistic work and educational programs that foster dialogue exploring Asian Pacific Islander (API) experiences. Founded in 1965, at a time when 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.

Ken Page, Orville Mendoza, Ben Davis, Kevin Cahoon, Brittany Bradford and More Set for The Muny’s GUYS AND DOLLS, June 10 – 16

The Muny is presenting Guys and Dolls, directed by Gordon Greenberg, co-choreographed by Lorin Latarro and Patrick O’Neill and featuring music direction by Brad Haak, June 10 -16.

Ken Page, Doreen Montalvo, Orville Mendoza, Jared Gertner and Kevin Cahoon. Photo courtesy of Orville Mendoza Facebook

Joining the previously announced Ben Davis (Sky Masterson), Brittany Bradford (Sarah Brown), Jordan Gelber (Nathan Detroit) and Kendra Kassebaum (Miss Adelaide) are Ken Page (Arvide Abernathy), Doreen Montalvo (General Cartwright), Orville Mendoza (Nicely-Nicely Johnson), Jared Gertner (Benny Southstreet), Brendan Averett (Big Jule), Kevin Cahoon (Harry the Horse) and Rich Pisarkiewicz (Lt. Brannigan). A high-rolling ensemble completes this cast, including Calvin Cooper, Darien Crago, Colby Dezelick, Tyler Eisenreich, Whitney G-Bowley, Berklea Going, Julie Hanson, Jeff Kuhr, Alicia Lundgren, Erin N. Moore, Jevares Myrick, Michael Santomassimo, Michaeljon Slinger, Matthew Steffens, Keith Tyrone, Amy Van Norstrand, Jerry Vogel and Sharrod Williams. The company will also be joined by the Muny Kid and Teen youth ensemble.

This production includes scenic design by Paul Tate DePoo III, costume design by Tristan Raines, lighting design by Rob Denton, sound design by John Shivers and David Patridge, video design by Nathan W. Scheuer and wig design by Leah J. Loukas. Production stage manager is Nancy Uffner.

Ben Davis (Sky Masterson) Muny: Jesus Christ Superstar (Pilate), Oklahoma! (Curly); South Pacific (Emile), Spamalot (Galahad). Ben was most recently seen as Cosmo Constantine in New York City Center’s Encores! Call Me Madam, opposite Carmen Cusack. Broadway: 2003 Tony Honor for La Bohème (Marcello), Dear Evan Hansen (Larry), Violet (Preacher), A Little Night Music, Les Misérables (Javert and Enjolras), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Trevor Graydon). Tours: The Sound of Music (Georg von Trapp), Spamalot (Galahad). Regional: Kiss Me, Kate (Fred/Petruchio) at The 5th Avenue Theatre. UK: BBC Proms Kiss Me, Kate (Fred/Petruchio). Concerts: Philly Pops, Boston Pops, LA Philharmonic, RTÉ and many others. Film/TV: Blue Bloods, A Hand of Bridge, The Magic Flute, 30 Rock, Numb3rs. http://www.benjaminjaydavis.com

Brittany Bradford (Sarah Brown) Muny debut! Brittany was recently seen in Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of Merrily We Roll Along, staged by the critically-acclaimed Fiasco Theater. She made her Broadway debut last fall as Ophelia in Bernhardt/Hamlet opposite Janet McTeer. Additional credits: For Colored Girls… (Public Theater), Flyin’ West (Westport Country Playhouse), Family Resemblance (Eugene O’Neill), The Profane and Taming of the Shrew (Chautauqua Theater Company), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Ten Thousand Things Theater), Neighbors, Avenue Q and Next to Normal (Mixed Blood Theatre), Ragtime and Stick Fly (Park Square Theatre). 2018 graduate of The Juilliard School, Group 47. Credits: Father Comes Home from the Wars, Hoodoo Love, Triumph of Love, King Lear, Cymbeline, Christina Martinez and The Marriage of Bette and Boo. Co-Founder of HomeBase Theatre Collective. http://www.brittany-bradford.com

Jordan Gelber (Nathan Detroit) Muny debut! Broadway: Sunday in the Park with George, Elf the Musical (Buddy), All My Sons, Avenue Q (original cast, special Outer Critics Circle Award). Off-Broadway: John Guare’s Nantucket Sleigh Ride (Lincoln Center Theater), Mike Leigh’s 2000 Years, Avenue Q, The Joke, Birth and After Birth. TV: Elementary, Mr. Robot, Mindhunter, Insatiable, Boardwalk Empire, Nurse Jackie, The Good Wife, Rescue Me, Ugly Betty, first three Law & Order series (recurring on SVU), The Sopranos, 100 Centre Street. Film: (upcoming) The Kitchen, Bleed for This, Dark Horse, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, Everyday People (IFP/Gotham Award nominee for Breakthrough Acting), Riding in Cars With Boys, Changing Lanes. BA, Stanford University; MFA, NYU Tisch Graduate Acting (2000 Laura Pels Award). http://www.JordanGelber.com

Kendra Kassebaum (Miss Adelaide) Muny: A Chorus Line (Val). On Broadway, Kendra originated the role of Janice in the Tony-nominated production of Come From Away as well as Sam in Leap of Faith. She played Glinda in Wicked on Broadway, in San Francisco and on the first national tour (Helen Hayes nominee). Other New York: The Receptionist (MTC) and the Tony Award-winning, Grammy-nominated production of Assassins, both directed by Joe Mantello. Kendra made her Broadway debut in Rent. For the Roundabout, she performed the role of Petra in A Little Night Music starring Vanessa Redgrave and Natasha Richardson. Kassebaum’s regional appearances include Actors Theatre of Louisville, The 5th Avenue Theatre, ACT, Ordway and Florida Stage. Film: The Other Woman (with Natalie Portman and Lisa Kudrow).

Ken Page (Arvide Abernathy) is proud to be part of the 101st season of The Muny. This will be his 41st show on the stage and his fourth year as “the voice” of the theatre. Ken made his Broadway debut as Nicely-Nicely Johnson in the all-black revival of Guys and Dolls, receiving the Theatre World Award for his performance. This year, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the St. Louis Arts and Education Council and directed a sold-out run of Love, Linda with Max & Louie Productions. Upcoming, live-to-film concerts of The Little Mermaid (Sebastian) at the Hollywood Bowl, Grumpy Old Men at La Mirada Theatre and the UK live-to-film tour of The Nightmare Before Christmas where he will re-create his role of Oogie Boogie.

Doreen Montalvo (General Cartwright) Muny debut! Broadway: On Your Feet! (Gloria, original Broadway cast); In the Heights (original Broadway cast, Drama Desk Award). Off-Broadway: Curvy Widow (Heidi, Westside Theatre), Giant (Lupe, The Public Theater), Flashdance The Musical (Louise), Mamma Mia! (Tanya); In the Heights (Camila, Westport Country Playhouse), American Mariachi (Denver Center/Old Globe), La Lupe (Lupe, Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre), In the Heights (37 Arts), Havana Under the Sea (Cecilia, INTAR Theatre). TV/Film: Law & Order, Elementary, Madam Secretary, The Tale of Timmy Two Chins, Smash, All My Children, One Life to Live. Recordings: American Soul/Latin Heart, Disney’s Moana soundtrack. Live: 54 Below, Joe’s Pub, The Metropolitan Room, The Duplex, Green Room 42. http://www.doreenmontalvo.com

Orville Mendoza (Nicely-Nicely Johnson) is thrilled to be back at The Muny where he got his Equity card 25 years ago in The King and I. Other Muny: Miss Saigon (2001), The King and I (2006), Godspell (2009). Broadway: Peter and the Starcatcher, Pacific Overtures. Most recently, the world premiere of The Heart of Rock and Roll (Old Globe, coming to Broadway). Previously, he toured with Small Mouth Sounds (Ars Nova). Off-Broadway: Found (Atlantic Theater Company), Pacific Overtures, Passion (Classic Stage Company); Romeo and Juliet, Timon of Athens and Road Show all at The Public Theater/NYSF. He’s worked all across the U.S. from La Jolla Playhouse to Long Wharf Theatre. TV: The Blacklist, Law & Order: CI and many commercials. Drama Desk nominee and Barrymore Award winner. http://www.orvillemendoza.com

Jared Gertner (Benny Southstreet) Muny debut! Jared is best known for playing Elder Cunningham in The Book of Mormon on Broadway, on the first national tour and in London (Olivier nomination). Other New York: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Broadway) and Ordinary Days (off-Broadway, premiere). Regional: Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse, Goodspeed, The Fulton, Cape Playhouse and Sacramento Music Circus. Television: Mom, Modern Family, 2 Broke Girls, Supernatural, Superior Donuts, How I Met Your Mother, Marvel’s Agent Carter, Ugly Betty, The Good Wife, American Dad, Family Guy and the popular Broadway-themed web series, Submissions Only. Jared also starred in an NBC pilot called How We Live. Film: Nightmare Cinema (upcoming), Smallfoot and Pup Star. Education: NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Twitter: @JaredGertner Instagram: @Jaredgertner1

Brendan Averett (Big Jule) is excited to make his Muny debut. Off-Broadway: Hamlet (Waterwell), Sam and Dede (Custom Made Theatre/59E59), Titus Andronicus (NY Shakespeare Exchange), The Killer, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (TFANA), As You Like It (Shakespeare in the Park), Massacre: Sing to Your Children (Rattlestick), Hamlet (Gallery Players), Passion Play (Epic Theatre Ensemble). Tours: Guys and Dolls. Regional: The Comedy of Errors, Kiss Me, Kate (Hartford Stage), Romeo and Juliet (Actors Theatre of Louisville), Of Mice and Men (Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park), Cyrano de Bergerac, The Tempest (Theatricum Botanicum), Henry V (California Shakespeare Company), Bloody Poetry, The Alchemist (Everyman Theatre), Measure for Measure, Guys and Dolls, The Swanne: Pt. III (Stratford Shakespeare Festival of Canada). TV/Film: Law & Order: SVU, Trapped in the Closet, Blossom. Former Associate Producer for NYSX’s The Sonnet Project.

Kevin Cahoon (Harry the Horse) Muny: The Wizard of Oz and Spamalot. Broadway: The Wedding Singer, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Lion King, The Rocky Horror Show revival and The Who’s Tommy (debut). Off-Broadway: original Hedwig and The Angry Inch, How I Learned to Drive (Second Stage), The Foreigner (Roundabout, Lortel nomination), The Shaggs (Playwrights Horizons), The Wild Party (Manhattan Theatre Club), Hair and Babes in Arms (NY City Center Encores!). Regional: The Old Globe, Guthrie, Williamstown. TV: A Series of Unfortunate Events, Glow (upcoming), Nurse Jackie, Elementary, NCIS, Modern Family, The Mentalist, The Good Wife, CSI, Odd Mom Out, Six Degrees, Black Box, The Royale, Law & Order (original/CI). Film: I Am Michael, Mars Needs Moms, The Thing About My Folks, Curse of The Jade Scorpion. Debut album: Doll (OutMusic Award).

Rich Pisarkiewicz (Lt. Brannigan) Muny 101 marks Rich’s 38th season on the Muny boards, appearing in over 80 productions, including last season’s An Evening with the Stars and Annie. He has appeared regionally with The Fox Theatres (Atlanta and St. Louis), Dallas Summer Musicals, Kansas City Starlight, and locally with Stages St. Louis, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, The Black Rep, Westport Playhouse and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. He has also enjoyed working with the Variety Theatre in several productions, most recently The Wizard of Oz. Upcoming: Man of La Mancha (Stages St. Louis). 2019 is his 41st year in professional theatre beginning with 1776 at Summerstage in 1979.

Considered by many to be the perfect musical comedy, Guys and Dolls gambles with luck and love during a time when Broadway was rampant with wise guys, mission girls and Lindy’s cheesecake. This all-time Broadway classic features a high-rolling score, including “Luck Be a Lady,” “If I Were a Bell” and “Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat.” With this Muny favorite, everyone’s a winner!

Season and single tickets are currently on sale. Muny gift cards for the 101st season are available online and at The Muny Box Office. MetroTix is the only official online point-of-purchase vendor for The Muny. For more information, visit muny.org or call (314) 361-1900.