André De Shields, Eva Noblezada, Reeve Carney, Amber Gray, and Patrick Page Set for London Production of Broadway-Bound HADESTOWN, November 2 – January 26

André De Shields and Eva Noblezada have joined the cast of the London production of Broadway-bound Hadestown in the roles of Hermes and Eurydice.

Amber Gray and Patrick Page will reprise their original New York Theatre Workshop roles of Persephone and Hades. They will be joined by Reeve Carney as Orpheus, a role he performed alongside Gray and Page at the Citadel Theatre (Edmonton, Canada). Rosie Fletcher, Carly Mercedes Dyer, and Gloria Onitiri will play the Fates, with Sharif Afifi, Beth Hinton-Lever, Seyi Omooba, Aiesha Pease, Joseph Prouse, Jordan Shaw, and Shaq Taylor.

Rachel Chavkin, director of Hadestown, said: ‘This company is an extraordinary mix of artists – each is wholly unique, and brings a depth of soul and craft to the project. We’re thrilled to have back Amber Gray and Patrick Page, who have been with the show since the beginning, and Reeve Carney who did extraordinary work on the Canadian premiere.

André De Shields is a legend and brings heartbreaking, invaluable experience to the storytelling, and Eva Noblezada captures a combination of toughness and vulnerability… I cannot wait to be in the room with these actors and the whole ensemble.’

Celebrated singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and director Ms. Chavkin have transformed Mitchell’s acclaimed concept album into a genre-defying new musical that mixes modern American folk music with vintage New Orleans jazz to reimagine a sweeping ancient tale.

In the warmth of summertime, songwriter Orpheus and his muse Eurydice are living it up and falling in love. But as winter approaches, reality sets in: these young dreamers cannot survive on songs alone. Tempted by the promise of plenty, Eurydice is lured to the depths of industrial Hadestown. On a quest to save her, Orpheus journeys to the underworld where their trust in each other is put to a final test.

Directed by Ms. Chavkin, with set design by Rachel Hauck, costume design by Michael Krass, lighting design by Bradley King, sound design by Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz, choreography by David Neumann, musical direction and vocal arrangements by Liam Robinson, orchestrations and arrangements by Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose, with Ken Cerniglia as dramaturg. Hadestown US casting by Stewart/Whitley, UK casting by Jacob Sparrow.

Hadestown will transfer to Broadway in 2019, with casting to be confirmed.

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GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER Opens on Broadway Tonight

Mitchell Jarvis, Garth Kravits and Brandon Williams. Photos by Robert Ascroft

Gettin’ The Band Back Together began previews on July 19 at The Belasco Theatre (111 W 44th Street). The production, which is directed by Tony Award winner John Rando and choreographed by Chris Bailey, will officially open on August 13. Click here for tickets.

Gettin’ The Band Back Together has original music and lyrics by Mark Allen and a book by Ken Davenport and The Grundleshotz with additional material by Sarah Saltzberg. The creative team includes Tony Award winners Derek McLane (Scenic Design), Emily Rebholz (Costume Design), Ken Billington (Lighting Design), John Shivers (Sound Design) in addition to Music Direction by Sonny Paladino and Casting by Eisenberg/Beans Casting.

The cast of Gettin’ The Band Back Together features Mitchell Jarvis (Mitch Papadopoulos), Jay Klaitz (Bart Vickers), Manu Narayan (Dr. Rummesh “Robbie” Patel), Paul Whitty (Michael “Sully” Sullivan), Sawyer Nunes (Ricky “Bling” Goldstein), Marilu Henner (“Mitch’s Mom,” aka Sharon Papadopoulos), Kelli Barrett (Dani), Becca Kötte (Tawney), Garth Kravits (Ritchie), Tamika Lawrence (Roxanne Velasco), Noa Solorio (Billie), and Brandon Williams (Tygen Billows). The cast also includes Lindsey Brett Carothers, Ryan Duncan, Scott Richard Foster, Jenny Hill, Nehal Joshi, J. Elaine Marcos, Rob Marnell, Jasmin Richardson, Ian Ward, and Tad Wilson.

Mitch Papadopoulos always wanted to be the next Bruce Springsteen, but he left those daydreams behind for a day job. When this big-shot banker is handed a pink slip on his 40th birthday, he’s forced to move back in with his mom in New Jersey.

A run-in with his former music rival leads to a threat of foreclosure on Mitch’s family home, unless he can win The Battle of the Bands-a rematch over 25 years in the making. So he dusts off his guitar, gathers his old gang, and sets out to win back his house, his pride-and maybe even the high school sweetheart he left behind-proving it’s never too late to give your dreams one last shot.

Gettin’ The Band Back Together is produced by Ken Davenport, Hunter Arnold, Roy Putrino, Scott Abrams, Sandi Moran, Carl Daikeler, Broadway Strategic Return Fund, Rob Kolson, Marie Barton Stevenson, H. Richard Hopper, Richard Roth, Marguerite Hoffman, Diego Kolankowsky, Gary Nelson, Brian Cromwell Smith, Witzend Productions, David Bryant, Darrell Hankey, Trevor Coates, Ladybug Productions, Jim Wagstaffe, Laura Z. Barket, Judith Manocherian, John McGrain, Steve Reynolds, Sal Buscemi, Douglas K. Atamian, Rich Battista, Frederic J. Siegel, BF Investments, and Sean Attebury. The Associate Producers for the production are Kayla Greenspan and Valerie Novakoff.

Free original cast recording available at: www.GettinTheBandBackTogether.com

Town of Sayreville, NJ Becomes Co-Producer on GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER

Mitchell Jarvis, Garth Kravits, Marilu Henner, Jay Klaitz, Brandon Williams and More Kick Off Previews of GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER 

Garth Kravits Returns to Broadway in John Rando Helmed GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER

Town of Sayreville, NJ Becomes Co-Producer on GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER

Brandon Williams, Garth Kravits, Ken Davenport, Marilu Henner, Jay Klaitz. Photo by Lia Chang
Brandon Williams, Garth Kravits, Ken Davenport, Marilu Henner, Jay Klaitz. Photo by Lia Chang
Brandon Williams, Garth Kravits, Ken Davenport, Marilu Henner, Jay Klaitz. Photo by Lia Chang

Gettin’ The Band Back Together today announced that the town of Sayreville, NJ will join them as co-producers. “Our whole show is a love letter to New Jersey, and specifically to Sayreville where it takes place,” said producer Ken Davenport.

Sayreville figures heavily in the show’s road to Broadway. When Davenport and The Grundleshotz, the show’s writers, were creating the show through improv, they visited the town for research in order to lend Jersey authenticity to the new and original American musical comedy. The production shot a music video on location there and recently invited Sayreville residents to the show’s final dress rehearsal on Broadway. And to solidify its Jersey rock cred, Sayreville gave birth to Jon Bon Jovi.

Davenport continues, “While I don’t know if an entire town has ever gotten Broadway billing, we want to acknowledge their invaluable contribution to the show. We just don’t know how we will seat them all on Opening Night!”

Kennedy O’Brien, the Mayor of Sayreville, NJ remarked, “The proud hearts and minds of the people of Sayreville are heavily invested in Gettin’ The Band Back Together and what better way to support the production than to become a producer. This new musical is delightful, I first saw it when they invited the town to the dress rehearsal I haven’t had that much fun in decades”

Gettin’ The Band Back Together began previews on July 19 at The Belasco Theatre (111 W 44th Street). The production, which is directed by Tony Award winner John Rando and choreographed by Chris Bailey, will officially open on August 13. Click here for tickets.

Gettin’ The Band Back Together has original music and lyrics by Mark Allen and a book by Ken Davenport and The Grundleshotz with additional material by Sarah Saltzberg. The creative team includes Tony Award winners Derek McLane (Scenic Design), Emily Rebholz (Costume Design), Ken Billington (Lighting Design), John Shivers (Sound Design) in addition to Music Direction by Sonny Paladino and Casting by Eisenberg/Beans Casting.

The cast of Gettin’ The Band Back Together features Mitchell Jarvis (Mitch Papadopoulos), Jay Klaitz (Bart Vickers), Manu Narayan (Dr. Rummesh “Robbie” Patel), Paul Whitty (Michael “Sully” Sullivan), Sawyer Nunes (Ricky “Bling” Goldstein), Marilu Henner (“Mitch’s Mom,” aka Sharon Papadopoulos), Kelli Barrett (Dani), Becca Kötte (Tawney), Garth Kravits (Ritchie), Tamika Lawrence (Roxanne Velasco), Noa Solorio (Billie), and Brandon Williams (Tygen Billows). The cast also includes Lindsey Brett Carothers, Ryan Duncan, Scott Richard Foster, Jenny Hill, Nehal Joshi, J. Elaine Marcos, Rob Marnell, Jasmin Richardson, Ian Ward, and Tad Wilson.

Mitch Papadopoulos always wanted to be the next Bruce Springsteen, but he left those daydreams behind for a day job. When this big-shot banker is handed a pink slip on his 40th birthday, he’s forced to move back in with his mom in New Jersey.

A run-in with his former music rival leads to a threat of foreclosure on Mitch’s family home, unless he can win The Battle of the Bands-a rematch over 25 years in the making. So he dusts off his guitar, gathers his old gang, and sets out to win back his house, his pride-and maybe even the high school sweetheart he left behind-proving it’s never too late to give your dreams one last shot.

Gettin’ The Band Back Together is produced by Ken Davenport, Hunter Arnold, Roy Putrino, Scott Abrams, Sandi Moran, Carl Daikeler, Broadway Strategic Return Fund, Rob Kolson, Marie Barton Stevenson, H. Richard Hopper, Richard Roth, Marguerite Hoffman, Diego Kolankowsky, Gary Nelson, Brian Cromwell Smith, Witzend Productions, David Bryant, Darrell Hankey, Trevor Coates, Ladybug Productions, Jim Wagstaffe, Laura Z. Barket, Judith Manocherian, John McGrain, Steve Reynolds, Sal Buscemi, Douglas K. Atamian, Rich Battista, Frederic J. Siegel, BF Investments, and Sean Attebury. The Associate Producers for the production are Kayla Greenspan and Valerie Novakoff.

Free original cast recording available at: www.GettinTheBandBackTogether.com

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Jessica Ko, Amy Kim Waschke, Daisuke Tsuji, Will Dao, Cristofer Jean, James Ryen, Moses Villarama, Román Zaragoza, Olivia Pham, Monique Holt and Natsuko Ohama Set for U.S. Premiere of Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s SNOW IN MIDSUMMER at The Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Román Zaragoza, Jessica Ko, Olivia Pham, Amy Kim Waschke, Moses Villarama. Photo by Jenny Graham.

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival will open the U.S. premiere of Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig’s Snow in Midsummer, directed by Justin Audibert, on August 5 in the Angus Bowmer Theatre. Preview performances began on August 2 and the play runs through Oct. 27, 2018.

Román Zaragoza, Jessica Ko, Olivia Pham, Amy Kim Waschke, Moses Villarama. Photo by Jenny Graham.
Román Zaragoza, Jessica Ko, Olivia Pham, Amy Kim Waschke, Moses Villarama. Photo by Jenny Graham.

Cowhig’s thriller, based on the classical Chinese drama The Injustice to Dou Yi That Moved Heaven and Earth by Guan Hanqing but set in contemporary China, explores the legacy of trauma, the heart of injustice and the lengths to which we go for love. Sentenced to death for a murder, a woman swears vengeance before her execution-cursing her city from beyond the grave to a catastrophic drought. Three years later, a wealthy businesswoman visits the parched, locust-plagued city to take over an ailing factory. When her young daughter is tormented by a mysterious apparition, locals are forced to face a past that no one wants to remember.

“If the central character of the original play, a young impoverished widow, had died three years ago in today’s China,” Cowhig asks, “what might her life have been like? If she had been executed by the State, what might have happened to her body? And, to make the ghost of this woman a protagonist, who truly guides the story, what might she want and to what end might she go to get what she wants?”

Snow in Midsummer, the first production in the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Chinese Translations Project, had its world premiere at the RSC in 2017. The Evening Standard praised the production as “a beguiling and unexpected evening” that has “an unusual and most particular sense of grace and beauty.”

Director Justin Audibert, who also helmed the world premiere in Stratford-upon-Avon, says this adaptation “comes to the heart of what I think a play is. It should be a living, breathing, changing work of art. It shouldn’t be an ossified or fossilized text that has a kind of sacredness about it. That doesn’t mean that thematically you shouldn’t be trying to wrestle with the amazing themes that the original had, which include oppression and justice and virtue. As we look around in the world in the year 2018 in this incredible moment of change to do with the #MeToo movement, it is an absolute honor and privilege to be exploring and examining those themes and sharing this story with an audience today.”

Audibert adds, “And amidst all of the gore and tragedy, there are plenty of laughs in the play.”

The cast of Snow in Midsummer features Jessica Ko as Dou Yi, Amy Kim Waschke as Tianyun, Daisuke Tsuji as Handsome Zhang, Will Dao as Rocket Wu, Cristofer Jean as Dr. Lu and Judge Wu, James Ryen as Master Zhang, Worker Huang and People’s Liberation Officer 1, Moses Villarama as Worker Fang, People’s Liberation Officer and Horse-Face, Román Zaragoza as Worker Zhou, People’s Liberation Officer 3 and Ox-Head, Olivia Pham as Fei-fei, Monique Holt as Worker Chen and Natsuko Ohama as Mother Cai and Nurse Wong.

Scenic design for Snow in Midsummer is by Laura Jellinek, costumes are by Helen Q. Huang and lighting is by Jane Cox. Paul James Prendergast and Tei Blow are composers and sound designers. Choreography is by Maija García, Amrita Ramanan and Christine Mok are production dramaturgs and David Carey and Rebecca Clark Carey are voice and text directors. Shishir Kurup is Associate Director. Kalen Feeney is Sign Coach/VGC Adapter and U. Jonathan Toppo is fight director. Jeremy Eisen is production stage manager and Peter Royston and Emily Robinson are assistant stage managers.

Snow in Midsummer runs through Oct. 27, 2018, in the Angus Bowmer Theatre. Tickets are available at the OSF Box Office, via phone at 800-219-8161, or online at www.osfashland.org and osfashland.org/SnowInMidsummer.

Upcoming engagement programming related to Snow in Midsummer includes a Festival Noons Talk on “The Ghost on Stage: Snow in Midsummer’s Dou Yi Battling Across Time, Space and Culture” with Jo Palazuelos-Krukowski on Sept. 1. Tickets and information are available at osfashland.org/FestivalNoons. A weekend class on “Unfolding Snow in Midsummer” will be offered Sept. 1-Sept. 2. Information and registration is available online and by contacting Group Sales, Monday-Friday, at 866-545-6337.

A sign-interpreted performance is scheduled for Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. Contact the Box Office at 800-219-8161 or email boxoffice@osfashland.org to purchase tickets in the Deaf Community section; these tickets not available online. Information on additional accessibility accommodations is at www.osfashland.org/Accessibility/.

Lead Sponsor of Snow in Midsummer is Yogen and Peggy Dalal. Producing Sponsor is Charlotte Lin and Robert P. Porter. Partners are The Kinsman Foundation and Anonymous. OSF’s 2018 season is sponsored by U.S. Bank.

OSF’s full 2018 playbill includes Othello, Sense and Sensibility, Destiny of Desire, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! and Snow in Midsummer in the Angus Bowmer Theatre; Henry V, Manahatta and The Way the Mountain Moved in the intimate Thomas Theatre; and Romeo and Juliet, The Book of Will and Love’s Labor’s Lost in the outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theatre.

Founded by Angus Bowmer in 1935, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) has grown from a three-day festival of two plays to a nationally renowned theatre arts organization that presents an eight-month season of up to 11 plays that include works by Shakespeare as well as a mix of classics, musicals and world-premiere plays. OSF’s play commissioning programs, which include American Revolutions: the United States History Cycle, have generated works that have been produced on Broadway, throughout the American regional theatre, and in high schools and community theatres across the country. The Festival draws attendance of more than 400,000 to approximately 800 performances every year and employs approximately 575 theatre professionals.

OSF invites and welcomes everyone, and believes the inclusion of diverse people, ideas, cultures and traditions enriches both our insights into the work we present on stage and our relationships with each other. OSF is committed to equity and diversity in all areas of our work and in our audiences.

OSF’s mission statement: “Inspired by Shakespeare’s work and the cultural richness of the United States, we reveal our collective humanity through illuminating interpretations of new and classic plays, deepened by the kaleidoscope of rotating repertory.”

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Production Photos: Will Roland, George Salazar, Jason Tam, Stephanie Hsu, Tiffany Mann, Britton Smith and the Cast of BE MORE CHILL in Action

Will Roland, Jason Tam and The company of Be More Chill. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova

The highly anticipated musical Be More Chill is now running through September 23 at The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street, NYC).

The company of Be More Chill. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Will Roland and The company of Be More Chill. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova

Based on the cult sensation novel by Ned Vizzini, Be More Chill is the story of Jeremy Heere, your average, nothing-special teenager at Middleborough High in nothing-special New Jersey. That is, until the day he finds out about “The Squip.” Thus begins a journey that pits Jeremy’s desire to be popular against his struggle to remain true to his authentic self. Be More Chill is an honest, edgy, super-hilarious look at coming of age in the digital age, set to some of the most exciting songs in contemporary musical theater. This original musical comedy looks at modern issues like depression, bullying, and anxiety through the lens of sci-fi films of the 50s, horror flicks of the 80s, and teen movies of the 90s. Little Shop of Horrors meets The Breakfast Club in this celebration of outcasts, teenaged or otherwise.

Will Roland, Jason Tam and The company of Be More Chill. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Will Roland, Jason Tam and The company of Be More Chill. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova

The cast includes members from the 2015 Two River Theater production ensemble and original cast recording, Gerard Canonico (Spring Awakening, Groundhog Day) as Rich, Katlyn Carlson (Dirty Dancing, The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durnin) as Chloe, Stephanie Hsu (SpongeBob SquarePants) as Christine, Lauren Marcus (The Humans at St. Louis Rep, Company at Barrington Stage) as Brooke, and George Salazar (tick tick BOOM!, Godspell, The Lightning Thief) as Michael; as well as Will Roland (Dear Evan Hansen, The Black Suits) as Jeremy, Jason Tam (If/Then, Lysistrata Jones, NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert”) as The Squip, and Jason SweetTooth Williams (Freaky Friday, Benny and Joon, Bloodsong of Love) as Jeremy’s Dad/Mr. Reyes. Tiffany Mann (Waitress, Jerry Springerthe Opera) as  Jenna, Britton Smith (Shuffle Along, After Midnight) as Jake, and Cameron Bond (Finding Neverland),Troy Iwata (The Boy Who Danced on Air), and Talia Suskauer (Love in Hate Nation) will be the company swings.

The Company of Be More Chill. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
The Company of Be More Chill. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Will Roland, Stephanie Hsu, Tiffany Mann and the company of Be More Chill. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Will Roland, Stephanie Hsu, Tiffany Mann and the company of Be More Chill. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
The company of Be More Chill. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
The company of Be More Chill. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Will Roland and the Cast of Be More Chill. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Will Roland and the Cast of Be More Chill. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Tiffany Mann, Katlyn Carlson, Lauren Marcus, Britton Smith, and Will Roland. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Tiffany Mann, Katlyn Carlson, Lauren Marcus, Britton Smith, and Will Roland. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Tiffany Mann, Katlyn Carlson, Lauren Marcus. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Tiffany Mann, Katlyn Carlson, Lauren Marcus. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Stephanie Hsu and Will Roland, Jason SweetTooth Williams, Katlyn Carlson, Lauren Marcus. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova 
Stephanie Hsu and Will Roland, Jason SweetTooth Williams, Katlyn Carlson, Lauren Marcus. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Tiffany Mann, Jason Tam, Will Roland. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Tiffany Mann, Jason Tam, Will Roland. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Katlyn Carlson, Lauren Mann. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Katlyn Carlson, Lauren Mann. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Jason Tam, Will Roland. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Jason Tam, Will Roland. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Will Roland, George Salazar. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Will Roland, George Salazar. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Jason Tam, Will Roland. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Jason Tam, Will Roland. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Will Roland. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Will Roland. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Will Roland. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Will Roland. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Stephanie Hsu. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Stephanie Hsu. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
George Salazar. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
George Salazar. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Tiffany Mann. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Tiffany Mann. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Britton Smith, Stephanie Hsu. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Britton Smith, Stephanie Hsu. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Jason SweetTooth Williams. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Jason SweetTooth Williams. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Gerard Canonico. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova
Gerard Canonico. Photo Credit: Maria Baranova

 

 

 

Christine Toy Johnson, Andrew Samonsky, Megan McGinnis, Kevin Carolan and More Set for COME FROM AWAY National Tour

Christine Toy Johnson. Photo by Bruce Alan Johnson
Christine Toy Johnson. Photo by Bruce Alan Johnson
Christine Toy Johnson. Photo by Bruce Alan Johnson

Full casting has been announced for the touring production of the new musical Come From Away. Come From Away will begin performances at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre in October 2018.

The touring production of Come From Away will star 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 and Aaron Michael Ray.

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.

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.

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

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.”

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.

Final Weekend to See Joel de la Fuente’s Masterful Performance in Jeanne Sakata’s HOLD THESE TRUTHS, Additional Saturday Matinee Added

Joel de la Fuente. Photo by Kevin Berne
Joel de la Fuente. Photo by Kevin Berne
Joel de la Fuente. Photo by Kevin Berne

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley kicked off its 2018/19 season with Hold These Truths by Jeanne Sakata, an inspiring true story following Gordon Hirabayashi, a Japanese-American student who fought internment to a relocation camp during World War II. This Northern California premiere celebrates the human spirit as it chronicles Hirabayashi’s journey from college in Seattle all the way to the Supreme Court, and eventually to a Congressional Medal of Freedom. Directed by Lisa Rothe, with Joel de la Fuente starring as Hirabayashi, Hold These Truths shares the story of a young man who passionately defends his Constitutional rights against an unexpected adversary: his own country. Due to audience demand, TheatreWorks has added an extra show for Saturday matinee, August 4, at 2pm. The play began previews on July 11 and will continue through August 5 at the Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto. Opening night is tonight. For tickets ($40-$100) and more information the public may visit TheatreWorks.org or call (650) 463-1960.

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

Hold These Truths made its world premiere in 2007 at East West Players in Los Angeles. In 2012, the solo play made its Off Broadway premiere at Epic Theatre Company starring Joel de la Fuente, and received a 2013 Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance. Since its world premiere, it has gone on to play throughout the nation including theatres in Boston, Honolulu, Washington, D.C., Portland, and many others. Critics have lauded the period piece as “a top-notch production” (The New York Times), “particularly impactful” (TheaterMania), and a show which “gives hope that the arc of the moral universe does indeed eventually bend toward justice” (Los Angeles Times).

The production team includes Sound Designer/Composer Daniel Kluger, Scenic Designer Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams, Scenic Design Assistant Joo Hyun Kim, Costume Designer:Margaret E. Weedon, Lighting Designer: Cat Tate Starmer, Casting Director Jeffrey Lo and Stage Manager Randall K. Lum.

Lisa Rothe, Jeanne Sakata_Joel de la Fuente_photo by Lia Chang (153)

Joel de la Fuente makes his TheatreWorks debut as Gordon Hirabayashi. He has been seen in movies and on many television shows and such as “The Man in the High Castle,” “Madam Secretary,” “Hemlock Grove,” “Nurse Jackie,” “Hawaii 5-O,” “ER,” Red Sparrow, The Adjustment Bureau, and more. De la Fuente has also performed throughout the United States at theatres including New York Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, The Public Theater, and others.

Lisa Rothe (Director), who last helmed Confederates at TheatreWorks, is returning to direct Hold These Truths. For her work on the Off-Broadway premiere of Hold These Truths, she earned a nomination for SDC’s Joe A. Callaway Award for Direction, with The New York Times noting the production was “elegantly directed.” Rothe has worked with New York Theatre Workshop, is an Artistic Affiliate with New Georges, a Drama League alum, a Women’s Project Director’s Lab member, a Fox Fellow recipient, a member of The Actor’s Center, a recent board member of the League of Professional Theatre Women as the VP of Membership, and a new member of the National Theater Conference. She received her MFA from New York University’s Graduate Acting Program before being invited by mentor Zelda Fichandler to be a part of the inaugural class of the Directing program. Rothe has workshopped, developed, and directed a multitude of new works with award winning writers and presented work across New York, including HERE, NYTW, New Georges, The Lark, The Culture Project, The Foundry, Ensemble Studio Theater, The 52nd Street Project, Naked Angels, Epic Theater Ensemble, Summer Play Festival, among others. As the Director of Global Exchange at The Lark in NYC, she expanded opportunities for playwrights to advance new works to production, both nationally and globally (connected to programs with Mexico, Russia, Romania, and China).

Jeanne Sakata (Playwright) is an actor and playwright whose work spans across theatre, film, television, and voiceover. She has been seen on television shows and movies such as Big Hero 6, “Dr. Ken,” “NCIS Los Angeles,” “NUMB3RS”, Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Browns,” “Desperate Housewives,” “ER,” and John Ridley’s I Got You. Sakata has performed throughout the nation at theatres including The Public Theater, South Coast Repertory, Lincoln Center Theater, Kennedy Center, A Contemporary Theatre, American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Portland Center Stage, Syracuse Stage, Arizona Theatre Company, and TheatreWorks Silicon Valley where she starred in the 2017 production of Calligraphy. Her script for Hold These Truths was published in 2010 by the Japan Studies Association Journal, and is currently on display at the Library of Congress Playwrights Archive in the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection in Washington D.C., where the Jeanne Sakata Collection was established in 2011. She is a recipient of the LA Ovation Award for Best Lead Actress, the 2016 lee Melville Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Los Angeles Theatre Community, Los Angeles’ Pacific American Friends of Theatre Outstanding Artist Award, Best Actress Award Entertainment Today Best Supporting Actress Award, and the Drama-Logue Outstanding Performance Award. Sakata resides in Los Angeles and is a member of the city’s acclaimed classical group the Antaeus Company.

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

With some 100,000 patrons per year, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley has captured a national reputation for artistic innovation and integrity, often presenting Bay Area theatregoers with their first look at acclaimed musicals, comedies, and dramas, directed by award-winning local and guest directors, and performed by professional actors cast locally and from across the country.

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

kqed.org: ‘Hold These Truths’ Remembers One Man’s Refusal to Cede His Civil Rights During WWII

The Rafu Shimpo: ‘HOLD THESE TRUTHS’ AT LUCIE STERN THEATRE

sfexaminer.com: July 11-12: Hold These Truths

mercurynews.com: Now playing on SF Bay Area stage: 1 man’s fight against the Japanese internment camps

metroactive.com: ‘Hold These Truths’ Remembers Japanese Internment

register-pajaronian: Watsonville native celebrates Bay Area premiere of play

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

Lia Chang, 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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2017 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

AAIFF41: Jon Norman Schneider, Brian Rivera, Patrick Epino, Josephine De Jesus, L.A. Renigen and Theresa Navarro Star in H.P. Mendoza’s BITTER MELON; Screens at Asia Society on August 4

From the producers of SORRY TO BOTHER YOU and COLMA: THE MUSICAL…

AAIFF41 is presenting the New York premiere H.P. Mendoza’s BITTER MELON at Asia Society on August 4, followed by a Q+A panel.

3:30PM – 5:15PM: Screening of BITTER MELON | Asia Society
5:15 – 5:30PM: Q+A with the filmmakers | Asia Society

BITTER MELON is the dark comedy story of a Filipino-American family reuniting for a Christmas party at their family home in San Francisco only to find out that Troy, the second oldest child, has been ruling the house with violence and fear—intimidating everyone who lives there—including his mother, and even physically abusing his wife. What starts as a fun holiday reunion turns into a darkly humorous crime scene as Declan, the gay youngest son, leads the family as they plot to kill one of their own.

The cast features Jon Norman Schneider (Declan), Brian Rivera (Moe), Patrick Epino (Troy), Josephine De Jesus (Prisca), L.A. Renigen (Tiya), Theresa Navarro (Shelly)

Jon Norman Schneider (Declan) is a Bronx-bred, Filipino American actor based in New York. In 2004, Jim McKay cast Jon from an open call in his film Angel Rodriguez, opposite Rachel Griffiths. Since then, he’s appeared on various-sized screens in “The Normals,” “The Girl in the Book,” “Succession” (upcoming HBO), “Jessica Jones,” “Veep,” “30 Rock,” and “Law & Order: Criminal Intent.” Selected stage credits include Awake and Sing! (NAATCO/Public Theater), Sarah Ruhl’s The Oldest Boy (Lincoln Center Theater), and Julia Cho’s Durango (Long Wharf and Public Theater). Jon is grateful to filmmakers like H.P. Mendoza for the opportunity to give voice and visibility to characters who look like him and his family.

Bitter Melon

Brian Rivera (Moe) was born in Sacramento and moved to San Francisco to earn his BA in Drama at San Francisco State. Rivera has performed with numerous Bay Area theatre companies and is a member of Campo Santo. He gained on screen acting experience on the TV shows “Cuff Me If You Can” or “Trauma”.
Recently, Brian has been acting as the King in the Broadway Revival of The King & I at Lincoln Center, which won four Tony Awards including Best Revival. Rivera is currently working in the Broadway National Tour of The King & I and resides in New York City. Bitter Melon is his feature film debut.

Bitter Melon

Patrick Epino (Troy) is an actor, director, and producer. He starred in and co-directed the action comedy Awesome Asian Bad Guys. He also directed the dark comedy Mr. Sadman starring Scoot McNairy and Tim Kang. Patrick is the executive producer of National Film Society, a Los Angeles based production studio and YouTube channel. He received an MFA in Cinema from San Francisco State University and a BA in Sociology from the University of Chicago. In his spare time, he runs the Warriors fansite OaklandWarriors.com.

Bitter Melon

Josephine De Jesus (Prisca) is a Pinay actor, voice-talent, script-translator, dubber for films & TV commercials. She has appeared in biscuit TV commercial & some minor roles on TV soap-operas in the Philippines. She paid her way through college by voicing for radio commercials in early 70s. She is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Commerce major in Marketing & Advertising. When she first saw the announcement on TFC that the studio was looking for some actors for a mother role, Josephine said she felt in her heart that that role was really for her! She is married to Jun de Jesus, a former actor-singer in Manila & owns a live-band that plays here around the Bay Area.

Bitter Melon

L.A. Renigen (Tiya) is a Los Angeles based Writer, Actor and Producer. She is known for her work in H.P. Mendoza’s films Fruit Fly, I am a Ghost (Producer) and the Independent Spirit Award Nominated Colma the Musical. She also hosted the Comcast food show, “LaLa,” with H.P. Mendoza, profiling Asian Chefs and Restaurants in the Los Angeles area, produced by the Center for Asian American Media. She graduated from SF State with a BA in Theatre Arts, and was also a Resident Artist at Bindlestiff Studios, a Filipino American Performing Arts Center.

Bitter Melon

Theresa Navarro (Shelly) is a Pinay actor, cultural worker and Independent Spirit Award-nominated producer. Her recent credits include YES WE’RE OPEN (CAAMFEST ’12), DAYLIGHT SAVINGS (SXSW ’12) and ADVANTAGEOUS (SUNDANCE ’15). BITTER MELON marks her fourth collaboration with HP Mendoza. Theresa currently works with pioneering media arts nonprofit American Documentary, producer of award-winning series ‘POV’ on PBS and ‘America ReFramed’ on WORLD Channel. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Theresa holds undergraduate degrees from UC Riverside and completed her graduate work at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. She is based in Brooklyn with her husband and young daughter.

Post Screening Panelists:
H.P. Mendoza, Director
Theresa Navarro, Actor

Watch the trailer here:
https://vimeo.com/261721516

Tickets to BITTER MELON Premiere:
General: $16
Student/Senior/Partner: $12

Buy tickets here:
bit.ly/BitterMelonPremiere

Follow Bitter Melon on Facebook!

See full AAIFF41 schedule here:
aaiff.org/2018/schedule

#AAIFF41 #BITTERMELON

 

 

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Theater Mu Presents May Lee-Yang’s “The Korean Drama Addict’s Guide to Losing Your Virginity” through August 19

Gregory Yang, Yeej Moua, Brian Kim, and Clay Man Soo as F4. Photo by Rich Ryan

Randy Reyes is at the helm of Theater Mu production of The Korean Addict’s Guide to Losing Your Virginity, written by local playwright May Lee-Yang. The production began previews on July 27 and will continue through August 19 are at Park Square Theatre’s Andy Boss Thrust Stage! This production is the final play in Mu’s season dedicated to the celebration of female playwrights and protagonists. Opening night is set for August 3.

Dexieng Yang (Gao Lee) and Brian Kim (Benedict). Photo by Rich Ryan
Dexieng Yang (Gao Lee) and Brian Kim (Benedict). Photo by Rich Ryan

Synopsis: She’s a Hmong personality coach addicted to Korean Dramas (Korean soap operas). He’s the heir to a Korean manufacturing giant banished to the new Midwest office. Will she find a man before the magic hour of her 30th birthday? Will he buck tradition and embrace his musical dreams? Fantasy collides with reality in this romantic comedy about fate, cultural clashes, and the art of losing one’s virginity.

Khadija Siddiqui (Z) and Dexieng Yang (Gao Lee) with Mai See Lee (Ghost) and Katie Bradley (Evil Mom). Photo by Rich Ryan
Khadija Siddiqui (Z) and Dexieng Yang (Gao Lee) with Mai See Lee (Ghost) and Katie Bradley (Evil Mom). Photo by Rich Ryan

The Korean Drama Addict’s Guide to Losing Your Virginity is commissioned and produced with generous support from the Jerome Foundation.

Dexieng Yang (Gao Lee), Katie Bradley (Gary Johnson), and Brian KIm (Benedict). Photo by Rich Ryan
Dexieng Yang (Gao Lee), Katie Bradley (Gary Johnson), and Brian KIm (Benedict). Photo by Rich Ryan

The cast includes Dexieng Yang (Gao), Brian Kim* (Benedict), Clay Man Soo (Secretary Kim), Khadija Siddiqui (Z), Katie Bradley* (Madame Song), Phasoua Vang (Mom), Joann Oudekerk (Park Mirae), Gregory Yang (Tou Mong), as well as Yeej Moua and Mai See Lee.

Dexieng Yang (Gao Lee) and Katie Bradley (Gary Johnson). Photo by Rich Ryan
Dexieng Yang (Gao Lee) and Katie Bradley (Gary Johnson). Photo by Rich Ryan

The production team is comprised of Randy Reyes (Director), Lyndsey RHarter* (Stage Manager), Sarah Brandner (Set Designer), Alex Olsen (Technical Director), Karin Olson (Lighting Designer), Abbee Warmboe (Props Designer), Samantha Fromm Haddow (Costume Designer), and Matthew Vichlach (Sound Designer).

Brian Kim (Benedict) and Dexieng Yang (Gao Lee). Photo by Rich Ryan
Brian Kim (Benedict) and Dexieng Yang (Gao Lee). Photo by Rich Ryan

This season also premiers Theater Mu’s experimental Pay As You Are pricing. Mu strives to voice the stories of the Asian American community, and in order to bring performances to those communities whose stories they tell, Mu is committed to make them as accessible as possible. Pay As You Are pricing asks those who routinely pay $35-$40 for theater tickets to choose to pay that amount; it is the actual fair market value of the ticket. If an audience member needs to pay less, they can choose to pay less – as little as $5 per ticket.

Online Tickets
Box Office Tickets: 651-789-1012

Remaining performances:
• August 3 – 7:30 (opening)
• August 4 – 7:30
• August 5 – 2:00
• August 9 – 7:30
• August 10 – 7:30
• August 11 – 2:00
• August 11 – 7:30
• August 12 – 2:00
• August 16 – 7:30
• August 17 – 7:30
• August 18 – 7:30
• August 19 – 2:00 (Close)

Gregory Yang, Yeej Moua, Brian Kim, and Clay Man Soo as F4. Photo by Rich Ryan
Gregory Yang, Yeej Moua, Brian Kim, and Clay Man Soo as F4. Photo by Rich Ryan

Theater Mu is the largest Asian American performing arts organization in the Midwest. Founded in 1992, Mu tells untold stories from the heart of the Asian American experience, presenting a fusion of traditional and contemporary artistic influences, which range from classics to up-and-coming voices in our community. Mu’s continuing goal to give voice to the Asian American experience through theater is achieved through mainstage productions, emerging artist support, and educational outreach programs. Theater Mu is a proud member of the Twin Cities Theatres of Color Coalition along with New Native Theatre, Pangea World Theater, Penumbra Theatre, Teatro Del Pueblo, and the Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists.

May Lee-Yang is a playwright, poet, prose writer, and performance artist. Born in Ban Vinai, a refugee camp in Thailand following the Secret War in Laos, May moved with her family to Saint Paul, MN where she lives to this day. Her work often explores the lives of Hmong women and living in a bicultural world, and she has been hailed by Twin Cities Metro Magazine as “on her way to becoming one of the most powerful and colorful voices in local theater.” Her theater-based works have been presented at Theater Mu, the Center for Hmong Arts and Talent (CHAT), Out North Theater, the 2011 National Asian American Theater Festival, the MN Fringe Festival and others. Her works include Confessions of a Lazy Hmong Woman and Ten Reasons Why I’d Be a Bad Porn Star. She has received grants from the Bush Leadership Fellowship, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the National Performance Network, the Midwestern Voices and Visions Residency Award, the Playwrights’ Center, and the Loft Literary Center.

Dexieng Yang (Gao Lee) and Khadija Siddiqui (Z) with Mai See Lee and Joann Oudekerk. Photo by Rich Ryan
Dexieng Yang (Gao Lee) and Khadija Siddiqui (Z) with Mai See Lee and Joann Oudekerk. Photo by Rich Ryan
Brian Kim (Benedict) and Clay Man Soo (Secretary Kim). Photo by Rich Ryan
Brian Kim (Benedict) and Clay Man Soo (Secretary Kim). Photo by Rich Ryan

Original Cast Members Jake Boyd, Betsy Morgan & Joseph Taylor Return to SWEENEY TODD for Final Weeks

Thom Sesma as Sweeney Todd and Sally Ann Triplett as Mrs. Lovett. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The Tooting Arts Club award-winning production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, which recently became the longest running production of Sweeney Todd on record, runs through August 26th at the Barrow Street Theatre. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.SweeneyToddNYC.com.

Thom Sesma as Sweeney Todd and Sally Ann Triplett as Mrs. Lovett. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Thom Sesma as Sweeney Todd and Sally Ann Triplett as Mrs. Lovett. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Beginning Tuesday, July 31st, returning cast member Jake Boyd (as “Anthony”) and original cast members Betsy Morgan (as “Pirelli & Beggar Woman”) and Joseph Taylor (as “Tobias” – also original Tooting production cast member) join current cast members Thom Sesma (as “Sweeney Todd”), Sally Ann Triplett (as “Mrs. Lovett”), Michael James Leslie (as “Judge Turpin”), John Rapson (as “The Beadle”), and DeLaney Westfall (as “Johanna”). The cast also includes Daniel Berryman, Laura Darrell, Matt Leisy, Liz Pearce, Monet Sabel, Drew Seigla and Haley Swindal.

Tooting Arts Club production of Sweeney Todd, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Hugh Wheeler from an adaptation by Christopher Bond, and directed by Bill Buckhurst, is the winner of the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Revival, the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for Best Musical Revival and the Best Off-Broadway Musical, Theater Fans’ Choice Award. It was named “Best of the Year!” by Time, Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Huffington Post, Variety, Forbes, BuzzFeed and The Daily Beast.

Michael James Leslie as Judge Turpin and Thom Sesma as Sweeney Todd. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Michael James Leslie as Judge Turpin and Thom Sesma as Sweeney Todd. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Sweeney Todd features set and costume designs by Simon Kenny, music supervision and arrangements by Benjamin Cox, music direction by Matt Aument, choreography by Georgina Lamb, lighting design by Amy Mae, sound design by Matt Stine, casting by Telsey + Company / Cesar A. Rocha, CSA and production stage management by Joanna Muhlfelder.

Immersing audiences in a completely new theatrical experience, this production of the classic tale of blood thirsty barber Sweeney Todd and resourceful pie shop proprietress Mrs. Lovett comes to New York City following sold-out runs in London. Tooting Arts Club first mounted this Sweeney Todd in the winter of 2014 in Harrington’s Pie and Mash Shop, one of the oldest continuously operating pie shops in London, seating only 35 people at each performance. In 2015, the production made the leap to the West End where Tooting Arts Club recreated Harrington’s in a 69 seat Shaftesbury Avenue venue provided by producer Cameron Mackintosh. The Harrington’s shop environment has once again been brought to life for its US debut in the 130 seat Barrow Street Theatre.

Sweeney Todd is produced by Rachel Edwards, Jenny Gersten, Seaview Productions, Fiona Rudin, Barrow Street Theatre, Jean Doumanian, Rebecca Gold and Nate Koch (Executive Producer).

Based on a Victorian horror story, Sweeney Todd is often considered Sondheim’s greatest masterpiece. It first premiered on Broadway in 1979 at the Uris Theatre (now the Gershwin) and went on to make its West End debut in 1980. The original Broadway production won 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score. The 2007 Tim Burton film adaptation earned one Academy Award and two Golden Globe Awards.

Former White House Executive Pastry Chef William “Bill” Yosses (dubbed “the Crust Master” by President Barack Obama) serves as the production’s official pie maker. In keeping with the original Tooting production and the West End transfer, “pie and mash” is available for purchase by audience members prior to every performance, served communally in the pie shop where the production is set. An authentic slice of Victorian London, the traditional “pie and mash” dish consists of a meat pie, a generous helping of mashed potato and hot parsley sauce – otherwise known as “liquor” – which is an optional extra. Both meat veg pie options are available.

TICKETING & SCHEDULE

Tickets can be purchased online at www.SweeneyToddNYC.com, at the Barrow Street Theatre, 27 Barrow Street at 7th Ave South (Box Office open 1pm daily), or by calling OvationTix at 866-811-4111. Tickets for performances range in price from $55 to $150. Premium seating is available.

When purchasing tickets, patrons can select an option to add the pie and mash meal to their order for an additional $22.50 ($29 for beef wellington). The meal also includes a beer, glass of wine, or non-alcoholic beverage to be enjoyed in the pie-shop starting 1 hour and 15 minutes prior to each performance. Please note that this option can only be purchased in advance with tickets.

A limited number of $39 tickets will be made available to every performance of Sweeney Todd via the TodayTix app. The entry period for all performances will begin each performance day at 12:01am EST and continue until winners are notified via email and push notification 2-4 hours before the selected performance begins. Limit one entry per person and two tickets per winner. A photo ID is required for pickup and lottery tickets and seat locations are subject to availability.

Performance Schedule: Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday @ 7:30pm; Friday @ 8:00pm; Saturday @ 2:30pm & 8:00pm; Sunday @2:00pm & 7:30pm

Lucille Lortel Nominee Thom Sesma Talks Asian American Representation in the Performing Arts and all things Sondheim