Multimedia: André De Shields, Philip Pearlstein and Sandra DiPasqua Receive Father George Moore Artistic Impact Awards

Director Jack O’Brien and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Three-time Tony Award winning Director Jack O’Brien presented Actor André De Shields, who celebrated the 50th year of his acting career in 2019 by scoring his first Tony Award, for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for his role as Hermes in Hadestown, with the 2019 Father George Moore Artistic Impact Award at Encore Ovation – A Celebration of Aging Through Art at Sardi’s on November 18. O’Brien directed De Shields in The Full Monty and Impression on Broadway.

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields is the triple-crown winner of the 2019 awards season, having won the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Tony Awards as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his unanimously critically acclaimed performance as Hermes, Messenger to the Gods, in Hadestown. The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, which honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. Mr. De Shields recently received the 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theater from The York Theatre and was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame. Prior to his Tony Award win, Mr. De Shields was best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The WizAin’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On!, andThe Full Monty. In a career spanning fifty years, he has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator, receiving in 2018 the 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, and the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. On August 19 of this year, His Honor Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young presented him with the Key to the City of his hometown, Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. De Shields is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC. www.andredeshields.com

This inaugural event’s honorary chairs included Philip J. Smith, Chairman, and Robert E. Wankel, President, of The Shubert Organization, who were presented with the 2019 Father George Moore Community Impact Award.

Robert J. Wankel, Bob Wankel, President of the Shubert Organization accepted the 2019 Father George Moore Community Impact Award. Photo by Lia Chang

The co-chairs of are producer and Encore Board Chair Lori Raimondo, artist Kendall Messick and playwright/producer Paul Lucas.

André De Shields is flanked by Encore Board member Kendall Messick and TRANS SCRIPTS Playwright and Producer Paul Lucas, co-chairs of Encore Ovation. Photo by Lia Chang

Stephanie Simon, Arts and Culture Reporter for Spectrum NY1 emceed the evening’s festivities. The evening included cocktails and hors d’ oeuvres and featured artwork and entertainment by talented aging New Yorkers who are members of Encore’s community.

Stephanie Simon, Arts and Culture Reporter for Spectrum NY1 and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Encore honored several New Yorkers whose illustrious careers in the arts have already spanned decades even as they continue to reach new artistic heights, push boundaries and inspire others. The other recipients of the 2019 Father George Moore Artistic Impact Award included Philip Pearlstein, an American painter widely regarded as one the greatest figurative artists of the last century. His work is displayed in over 70 museums around in the world and at age 95, he still paints in his studio regularly; and Creative Director Sandra DiPasqua, who has also been volunteering her time and talents to the Encore Senior Center for over 10 years, leading its successful and therapeutic Writer’s Group.

2019 Father George Moore Artistic Impact Award recipients André De Shields, Sandra DiPasqua and Philip Pearlstein. Photo by Lia Chang
2019 Father George Moore Artistic Impact Award recipients André De Shields, Sandra DiPasqua, Philip Pearlstein with Encore Community Services Executive Director Jeremy L. Kaplan. Photo by Lia Chang

Marta Sanders and Leanne Borghesi opened the evening with “I’m Still Here”. Ms. Sanders received the 2018 Bistro Award for Consummate Cabaret Artistry the same year that Mr. De Shields received the Bob Harrington Lifetime Achievement Award. Encore Senior Center Members Sandra Rodriguez, Nancy Simpson, Peter Gallinari were among the artists who also performed.

Marta Sanders and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Encore’s goal is to deepen and expand its arts programming to combat social isolation and other risks that cause serious health problems, which can land seniors in the hospital or in long-term care facilities, deterring them from aging successfully in place. Research shows that music, theater, dance, visual arts, creative writing and other participatory arts improve older adults’ quality of life and well-being.

André De Shields and his Sardi’s caricature. Photo by Lia Chang

Father George Moore Artistic Impact Awards
Encore was founded in 1977 by Father George Moore, the pastor of St. Malachy’s Church. He, along with Sisters Elizabeth Hasslet and Lillian McNamara, and members of the Broadway community (including The Shubert Organization, Sardi’s and the theatrical unions) turned the old Actor’s Chapel in the basement of St. Malachy’s into the Encore Senior Center, where it still thrives today.

Father Moore was a dynamic and charismatic leader, a tireless champion for the homeless and elderly, as well as an integral part of the Broadway community. He received an honorary Tony-Award posthumously (in 1991), for his visionary work, his dedication to the arts and his commitment to the people of the Times Square, Hell’s Kitchen and Broadway communities.

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Encore Community Services Executive Director Jeremy L. Kaplan and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields and Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang
Stephanie Simon, Arts and Culture Reporter for Spectrum NY1 and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Local 798 Business Rep Daniel Dashman and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Natasha and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Encore Board member Kendall Messick, co-chair of Encore Ovation and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Frank Lazarto, Chairman of the board of trustees for Local 1, Robert Score, Recording Correspondent secretary for Local 1 and Encore Board member, André De Shields and Michael Caffrey, Administrative Secretary of Local 1. Photo by Lia Chang
Antonio Roberto, LGBT Center and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Encore Board member Julius Lang and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Encore Community Services’ Gigi Verkaik and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Bradley King and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Encore Community Services Executive Director Jeremy L. Kaplan. Photo by Lia Chang
Encore Senior member Sandra Rodriguez performed Ain’t Misbehavin’. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Director Jack O’Brien. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields receives the 2019 Father George Moore Artistic Impact Award from his THE FULL MONTY AND IMPRESSIONISM director Jack O’Brien. Photo by Lia Chang

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

Encore Community Services
Since 1977, Encore has provided seniors in the midtown Times Square/Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen communities of New York City with a range of caring and quality services to help them live independent and dignified lives. For this reason, Encore has earned the reputation as “Broadway’s Longest Running Act of Loving Care.”

The mission of Encore Community Services is to provide care and service to any elderly person who needs us; to assist those who are vulnerable and frail, poor and homeless, homebound and lonely, frequently-desperate, most-often ignored; to help them with their daily needs so that they might live as independently as possible, with dignity and decency, in a non-institutional manner, in a safe and caring environment. We believe we are all part of the human family and have an obligation to love one another. By nurturing, respecting and enabling, Encore hopes to improve the quality of an older person’s life, using an approach that emanates from the core of Encore’s commitment: We believe that what we do comes from the heart, and the heart is the center of all. www.encorenyc.org

Lia Chang and André De Shields

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 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

Michael McElroy and Broadway Inspirational Voices Set For 2019 Holiday Concert, SEASONS OF INSPIRATION at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space on December 16

2019 Tony Award Honoree Michael McElroy and the Broadway Inspirational Voices will present their 2019 holiday concert, Seasons of Inspiration on December 16th at the Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway in New York. Doors open at 6:30, showtime is 7:30 pm. Click here to purchase tickets.

Tony Award Winner André De Shields and Tony Honor Recipient Michael McElroy, founder of Broadway Inspirational Voices, at the Tony Honors cocktail party at Sofitel New York on June 3, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

Rooted in Gospel music, BIV’s holiday concert offers favorites from their Grammy-nominated album, Great Joy: A Gospel Christmas, and their most recent release, Great Joy 2: Around the World. This concert of hope, joy, celebration, and inspiration is the perfect springboard to get you into the holiday mood this year. Honoring 25 years of BIV’s service to the Broadway community and beyond, this magical evening is not to be missed.

Broadway Inspirational Voices (BIV), the 2019 Tony Award Honoree for Excellence in Theatre, was formed in 1994 by Tony-nominated Broadway performer Michael McElroy. His vision was to bring inspiration to the Broadway community during a time when the AIDS epidemic had ravaged an entire generation of artists.

Over the past twenty-five years, BIV has served the Broadway community whenever needed. During the choir’s first six years they annually held concerts to contribute to and support the work of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Since then they have taken part in benefits for the Actor’s Fund, Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative, BC/EFA, and numerous other fundraisers held on Broadway stages.

In 2007 BIV became a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization to make it easier to give back to the greater community in service to its mission. Outreach programs are created for children in underserved populations, focusing on BIV’s mission to provide HOPE to INSPIRE and TRANSFORM youth in need through music and the arts. Currently, BIV has annual programs with The Ronald McDonald House New York, Mosaic Preparatory School in Harlem, and the Covenant House in the heart of NYC’s theater district.

In performance, BIV has graced the stages of Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Lincoln Center, Constitution Hall in DC, and the Crystal Cathedral in Anaheim, California. In 2004, BIV was nominated for a Grammy Award for their first holiday CD: Great Joy! A Gospel Christmas.

BIV has performed live with Elton John, Jennifer Nettles, Mariah Carey, Jason Mraz, Sting, Gloria Estefan, Harry Connick Jr, Patti LuPone, Eartha Kitt, Patti LaBelle, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Vanessa Williams, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Billy Porter and Heather Headley. BIV has been featured on “The Today Show”, “This Week” with John Oliver, The Miss America Pageant, multiple Tony Awards Telecasts, “America’s Got Talent”, and “Late Night” with David Letterman, among others. Their web series, “Broadway Our Way”, is in its third season on YouTube. Over eighty members strong, BIV’s diverse membership has represented over 140 Broadway shows since its inception.

For more information – and for ways to DONATE to support its ongoing outreach initiatives – go to www.BIVoices.org.

Film Independent Presents Hollywood Chinese: Why Stop at the Doc? with Arthur Dong – A Talk and Book Signing on December 3

Arthur Dong. Photo by Max Shapovalov

Film Independent is presenting Hollywood Chinese: Why Stop at the Doc? on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at 7:30pm at Film Independent HQ, 5670 Wilshire Blvd., 9th Fl., Los Angeles, CA 90036.Tickets are free and the event is open to the general public. Click here to register for the event.

Award-winning documentary filmmaker Arthur Dong (Hollywood ChineseComing Out Under Fire) has been a pioneer of self-distribution for over twenty years. From theatrical releases to home video, television and the educational market, to complex collaborations with museums and social outreach organizations, he has mastered the art of exploiting the rights of his films and creative work far beyond a festival premiere.

Hollywood Chinese started life as an acclaimed documentary about a little-known chapter of cinema: the Chinese in American feature films. Next came an exhibit at the Chinese American Museum, which is currently on display at the legendary Formosa Café in West Hollywood.

Now, Arthur has just released the latest iteration of the Hollywood Chinese story: a lavish coffee table book, published by Angel City Press.

To mark the launch of Arthur’s book, Film Independent presents a show-and-tell-all seminar where the filmmaker/author will share the secrets of his ongoing success in sustaining a living through expanding the life of his films.

Following the conversation, which will be moderated by Lisa Leeman, copies of Hollywood Chinese (the book!) will be available for purchase and signing by Arthur.

Dong’s second bookHollywood Chinese: The Chinese in American Feature Films provides a spectacular view of the Chinese American impact on the movies, from some of the earliest films set in America’s renowned Chinatowns to contemporary hits and artists that are remaking the face of Hollywood.

Filled with page-after-page of stunning vintage images, this lavish coffee-table book is not only an opulent and entertaining look at some of the movie world’s most fascinating characters, it also illustrates the myths, misconceptions, and memorable moments of the Chinese and Chinese Americans in films made in the United States. Hollywood Chinese brings to life the history of these films as only Arthur Dong, an award-winning filmmaker, can—vividly, with an eye for detail that captures the drama inherent in how Asian cultures have been portrayed by Hollywood studios.

“The Cat’s Paw” lobby card, front (l-r):Harold Lloyd and Alyn Warren (1934).
“The Cat’s Paw” lobby card, front (l-r):Harold Lloyd and Alyn Warren (1934).

Exploring the ways the American film industry has celebrated Chinese and Chinese American culture, Dong also examines how that industry subtly—and not so subtly—projected stereotypes into its movies. His book Hollywood Chinese: The Chinese in American Feature Films explores the power of these images and their lasting impact.

Poster for “China’s Little Devils” (1945)
Poster for “China’s Little Devils” (1945)

Hollywood Chinese spotlights archival material selected from more than 2,000 pieces of movie memorabilia the author has collected since his youth, when he was growing up in San Francisco Chinatown and during his ten years of research for his documentary of the same name—the genesis of his new book. Featuring Dong’s trove of cinematic artifacts—photographs, posters, lobby cards, stills, press kits, and other ephemera—Hollywood Chinese visually explains many of the social and cultural attitudes on race over the past century, to show how those attitudes have played out in Hollywood films. Although Hollywood Chinese centers on the Chinese, its analysis will resonate with other ethnic and marginalized groups as well, challenging racist assumptions about minorities in America, biases that were especially pervasive in early Hollywood films.

Anna May Wong and James B. Leong in “Shanghai Express” (1932)
Anna May Wong and James B. Leong in “Shanghai Express” (1932)

As a counterpoint to Hollywood’s yellowface and whitewashed caricatures, Arthur Dong includes his personal interviews with Chinese and Chinese American artists who have produced, directed, written, and starred in Hollywood films. These chronicles of resistance will empower readers with inspiring alternative narratives. Ang Lee, Nancy Kwan, Justin Lin, James Hong, Joan Chen, Wayne Wang, David Henry Hwang, and Amy Tan provide insights, while Dong’s impeccable research traces the uphill battle fought by pioneers such as Marion Wong who was the first Asian American to direct and produce a feature in California. Hollywood Chinese features a Foreword by Randy Haberkamp, Managing Director of Preservation and Foundation Programs at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and an Afterword by award-winning producer Janet Yang (The Joy Luck Club).

From left: James Hong, Arthur Dong, Nancy Kwan, B.D. Wong, and Lisa Lu at the “Hollywood Chinese” book launch at the Margaret Herrick Library in Beverly Hills on October 17, 2019. Photo by Alan Duignan, courtesy A.M.P.A.S.

Click here to purchase the book.

HOLLYWOOD CHINESE Author and Academy Award®-Nominated Filmmaker Arthur Dong Receives 2019 California LGBT Arts Alliance Trail Blazer Award 

About the speaker
A San Francisco Chinatown native, Arthur Dong is an Oscar nominee, a Peabody and Sundance award-winning filmmaker, author, and curator whose work centers on Asian American and LGBTQ stories. Dong’s films about Asian American history and culture include The Killing Fields of Dr. Haing S. Ngor (2015); Hollywood Chinese (2007); Forbidden City, U.S.A. (1989); and Sewing Woman (1987). Among his films on LGBTQ issues are Coming Out Under Fire (1994) and Licensed to Kill (1997). Dong has curated exhibitions showcasing his extensive archive of cultural ephemera, including Chop Suey on Wax: The Flower Drum Song Album; Forbidden City, USA; and his most recent, Hollywood Chinese, on display at the iconic Formosa Café in West Hollywood. Dong’s first book Forbidden City, USA: Chinatown Nightclubs 1936-1970 received an American Book Award in 2015 and and the Art Deco Historic Preservation Award. Dong recently received The 2019 California LGBT Arts Alliance Trail Blazer Award. www.deepfocusproductions.com

About the moderator
Lisa Leeman is a longtime documentary filmmaker, whose films illuminate contemporary social issues through intimate character-driven stories that follow people at critical turning points (One Lucky ElephantOut of FaithAwake). She is currently directing and producing Trans*Formed, a follow-up to her award-winning film Metamorphosis (Sundance Filmmakers Trophy, POV/PBS).

Validated parking in the building garage after 5:30 pm.

Broadwayworld: Film Independent Presents Hollywood Chinese: Why Stop At The Doc? With Arthur Dong 

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by 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 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

HOLLYWOOD CHINESE Author and Academy Award®-Nominated Filmmaker Arthur Dong Receives 2019 California LGBT Arts Alliance Trail Blazer Award

The California LGBT Arts Alliance honored filmmaker and author Arthur Dong with its inaugural Trail Blazer Award at the Highways Performance Space & Gallery in Santa Monica in June.

California LGBT Arts Alliance Executive Director Dante Alencastre, Arthur Dong, California LGBT Arts Alliance Founder Greg Day. Photo courtesy of Deep Focus Productions/Facebook

Arthur Dong is an Oscar-nominee, a Peabody and Sundance award-winning filmmaker, author, and curator whose work centers on Asian American, and LGBTQ stories. Dong’s films about Asian American history and culture include The Killing Fields of Dr. Haing S. Ngor (2015), Hollywood Chinese (2007), Forbidden City, U.S.A. (1989), and Sewing Woman (1987). Among his films that investigate anti-gay prejudice and LGBTQ issues are Coming Out Under Fire (1994) and Licensed to Kill (1997). Dong has curated exhibitions showcasing his extensive archive of cultural ephemera, including Chop Suey on Wax: The Flower Drum Song AlbumForbidden City, USA, and his most recent, Hollywood Chinese, on display at the iconic Formosa Café in West Hollywood. Dong’s first book Forbidden City, USA: Chinatown Nightclubs 1936-1970 received an American Book Award in 2015 and the Art Deco Historic Preservation Award. www.deepfocusproductions.com

Dong’s second bookHollywood Chinese: The Chinese in American Feature Films provides a spectacular view of the Chinese American impact on the movies, from some of the earliest films set in America’s renowned Chinatowns to contemporary hits and artists that are remaking the face of Hollywood.

Filled with page-after-page of stunning vintage images, this lavish coffee-table book is not only an opulent and entertaining look at some of the movie world’s most fascinating characters, it also illustrates the myths, misconceptions, and memorable moments of the Chinese and Chinese Americans in films made in the United States. Hollywood Chinese brings to life the history of these films as only Arthur Dong, an award-winning filmmaker, can—vividly, with an eye for detail that captures the drama inherent in how Asian cultures have been portrayed by Hollywood studios.

“The Cat’s Paw” lobby card, front (l-r):Harold Lloyd and Alyn Warren (1934).
“The Cat’s Paw” lobby card, front (l-r):Harold Lloyd and Alyn Warren (1934).

Exploring the ways the American film industry has celebrated Chinese and Chinese American culture, Dong also examines how that industry subtly—and not so subtly—projected stereotypes into its movies. His book Hollywood Chinese: The Chinese in American Feature Films explores the power of these images and their lasting impact.

Poster for “China’s Little Devils” (1945)
Poster for “China’s Little Devils” (1945)

Hollywood Chinese spotlights archival material selected from more than 2,000 pieces of movie memorabilia the author has collected since his youth, when he was growing up in San Francisco Chinatown and during his ten years of research for his documentary of the same name—the genesis of his new book. Featuring Dong’s trove of cinematic artifacts—photographs, posters, lobby cards, stills, press kits, and other ephemera—Hollywood Chinese visually explains many of the social and cultural attitudes on race over the past century, to show how those attitudes have played out in Hollywood films. Although Hollywood Chinese centers on the Chinese, its analysis will resonate with other ethnic and marginalized groups as well, challenging racist assumptions about minorities in America, biases that were especially pervasive in early Hollywood films.

Anna May Wong and James B. Leong in “Shanghai Express” (1932)
Anna May Wong and James B. Leong in “Shanghai Express” (1932)

As a counterpoint to Hollywood’s yellowface and whitewashed caricatures, Arthur Dong includes his personal interviews with Chinese and Chinese American artists who have produced, directed, written, and starred in Hollywood films. These chronicles of resistance will empower readers with inspiring alternative narratives. Ang Lee, Nancy Kwan, Justin Lin, James Hong, Joan Chen, Wayne Wang, David Henry Hwang, and Amy Tan provide insights, while Dong’s impeccable research traces the uphill battle fought by pioneers such as Marion Wong who was the first Asian American to direct and produce a feature in California. Hollywood Chinese features a Foreword by Randy Haberkamp, Managing Director of Preservation and Foundation Programs at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and an Afterword by award-winning producer Janet Yang (The Joy Luck Club).

From left: James Hong, Arthur Dong, Nancy Kwan, B.D. Wong, and Lisa Lu at the “Hollywood Chinese” book launch at the Margaret Herrick Library in Beverly Hills on October 17, 2019. Photo by Alan Duignan, courtesy A.M.P.A.S.

Click here to purchase the book.

The California LGBT Arts Alliance is a network of over 35 non-profit arts organizations and 1800 individual artists and supporters in Southern California. We include all artists, arts organizations and individuals who support our mission as part of our alliance. Click here for more information on the Alliance.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by 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 has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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

HADESTOWN Celebrates 2020 Grammy Award Nomination and 250th Performance on Broadway; Will Perform in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®

Tune in to NBC on Thursday, November 28 to see the cast and band of the 2019 Tony Award winning musical Hadestown perform “Livin’ It Up on Top” in the 93rd annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®, which begins at 9:00 a.m.

Tony Award winner André De Shields received his first Grammy nomination for HADESTOWN. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast, band and creative team of Hadestown celebrated their 2020 Grammy Award nomination for Best Musical Theater Album and their 250th performance at the Walter Kerr Theatre on November 22.

HADESTOWN, AIN’T TOO PROUD, MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL, OKLAHOMA and THE MUSIC OF HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD Receive Grammy Nominations for ‘Best Musical Theater Album’ 

Cast members including Reeve Carney, Tony Award winner André De Shields, Tony Award nominee Eva Noblezada, Tony Award nominee Patrick Page, Jewelle Blackman, Kay Trinidad, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, Malcolm Armwood, Anthony Chatmon II, Afra Hines, Timothy Hughes, John Krause, Kimberly Marable, T. Oliver Reid, Jessie Shelton, and Khaila Wilcoxon, Producer Mara Issacs, Costume Designer Michael Krass, Choreographer David Neumann, Music Director Cody Owen Stine, Michael Chorney, Brian Drye and band members gathered onstage prior to the evening’s 250th performance.

HADESTOWN celebrates 2020 Grammy nomination and their 250th performance at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on November 22, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

Hadestown is the most honored show of the 2018-2019 season having
just been nominated for the 2020 Grammy for Best Musical Theater
Album. The new musical has received eight Tony Awards, including
Best Musical, four Drama Desk Awards, six Outer Critics Circle Awards
including Outstanding New Broadway Musical, and the Drama League
Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical.

HADESTOWN celebrates 2020 Grammy nomination and their 250th performance at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on November 22, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

Hadestown, recently became the first musical of the 2018-2019 Broadway season to recoup its initial investment of $11.5M.

HADESTOWN celebrates 2020 Grammy nomination and their 250th performance at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on November 22, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

The musical continues to set box office records at the Walter Kerr Theatre (219 West 48th Street). For the week ending Sunday, October 13, the production grossed an all-time best of $1,523,311 and is the highest-grossing musical in the theater’s history and has been playing to standing room only audiences since it started performances on Friday, March 22.

HADESTOWN celebrates 2020 Grammy nomination and their 250th performance at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on November 22, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

The show will launch a National Tour beginning in the Fall of 2020. In its first year, the tour will visit more than 30 cities coast to coast, including (alphabetically) Denver; Houston; Los Angeles; Minneapolis; New Orleans; Philadelphia; Tempe; and Washington, DC; with more to be announced shortly.

HADESTOWN celebrates 2020 Grammy nomination and their 250th performance at the Walter Kerr Theatre in New York on November 22, 2019. 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.

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

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

The Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hadestown from Sing It Again Records was released digitally this summer, and topped Billboard’s Broadway Cast Recording chart, and debuted at #8 on the Top Album chart. To date, the album has been streamed over 47 million times.

The two-disc CD set featuring a 64-page booklet was released on November 1 and the upcoming triple-vinyl edition will be available starting Friday, November 29. Both editions include complete song lyrics and never-before-seen photos of the Hadestown cast and creative team in the studio, and other exclusive content.

Hadestown electrified audiences with its 2016 world premiere at New York Theatre Workshop, which is the longest-running show in that celebrated theater’s 40-year history. The production then received its Canadian premiere at Edmonton’s Citadel Theatre in 2017 and then a 2018 sold-out engagement at the London’s National Theatre prior to Broadway. Hadestown was developed with funding from the Eli and Edythe Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center and was further developed by The Ground Floor at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Hadestown was co-conceived by Ben t. Matchstick.

Get the best prices on tickets to Hadestown on TodayTix.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by 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 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

Ephraim Sykes Set to Star as Michael Jackson in MJ on Broadway

Ephraim Sykes. Photo by Lia Chang

Tony Award nominee Ephraim Sykes will star as Michael Jackson in the upcoming Broadway World Premiere of MJ the Musical. MJ will begin preview performances on Monday, July 6, 2020, at the Neil Simon Theatre. Opening night is set for Thursday evening, August 13, 2020, at 6:30 p.m.

Currently on Broadway in the smash hit musical Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations, Mr. Sykes was Tony Award-nominated for his thrilling, microphone-flying performance as Motown recording artist David Ruffin. He also received the Chita Rivera Award, a San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award, a Theater Bay Area Award, the Helen Hayes Award, and The Actors’ Equity Clarence Derwent Award. Just yesterday, he received a 2020 Grammy Award nomination as a principal artist on the Original Cast Recording of Ain’t Too Proud.

MJ The Musical will feature a book by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage and a score made up of some of the best-loved, top-selling songs in recording history. Tony Award winner Christopher Wheeldon will direct and choreograph.

Mr. Wheeldon stated, “Ephraim Sykes is a bonafide triple threat, and dynamic rising star on Broadway. I am honored to be working with him on this exciting new production.”

Tickets for MJ the Musical will go on sale on January 15, 2020, at 10 a.m. To sign-up for priority ticket access, go to MJTheMusical.com.

Ephraim Sykes currently stars as David Ruffin in Broadway’s Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations. For this role he earned a Tony nomination, a Chita Rivera Award, the Helen Hayes Award, the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award, Theater Bay Area Award, The Actors’ Equity Clarence Derwent Award, and nominations from the Drama League and Outer Critics Circle. Sykes also starred as Ruffin in the World Premiere of Ain’t Too Proud — The Life And Times of The Temptations at Berkeley Rep.

Sykes was last seen on screen as “Seaweed J. Stubbs” in NBC’s “Hairspray Live!” His Broadway credits include: Hamilton: An American Musical (OBC), Memphis (OBC), Newsies (OBC), Motown (OBC), and The Little Mermaid. Additional TV/Film credits include: “Marvin” on “Vinyl,” “Luke Cage,” “Smash,” “30 Rock,” Leave It On The Floor, Woody Allen’s Crisis in Six Scenes, and Detroit directed by Katheryn Bigelow. A native of St. Petersburg, Florida, Ephraim graduated from the Alvin Ailey/Fordham University BFA program with departmental honors and toured with the Ailey II Company for two years.

 

HADESTOWN, AIN’T TOO PROUD, MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL, OKLAHOMA and THE MUSIC OF HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD Receive Grammy Nominations for ‘Best Musical Theater Album’

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

The 62nd Annual GRAMMY Awards will take place in Los Angeles on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, at the STAPLES Center with Alicea Keys as host and will be broadcast live on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. Streamed live on GRAMMY.com, the GRAMMY Awards Premiere Ceremony will be held at the Microsoft Theater at 12:30 p.m. PT.

MUSICAL THEATER

58. Best Musical Theater Album
For albums containing at least 51% playing time of new recordings. Award to the principle vocalist(s) and the album producer(s) of 51% or more playing time of the album. The lyricist(s) and composer(s) of a new score are eligible for an Award if they have written and/or composed a new score which comprises 51% or more playing time of the album.

  • AIN’T TOO PROUD: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TEMPTATIONS
    Saint Aubyn, Derrick Baskin, James Harkness, Jawan M. Jackson, Jeremy Pope & Ephraim Sykes, principal soloists; Scott M. Riesett, producer (Original Broadway Cast)
  • HADESTOWN
    Reeve Carney, André De Shields, Amber Gray, Eva Noblezada & Patrick Page, principal soloists; Mara Isaacs, David Lai, Anaïs Mitchell & Todd Sickafoose, producers (Anaïs Mitchell, composer & lyricist) (Original Broadway Cast)
  • MOULIN ROUGE! THE MUSICAL
    Danny Burstein, Tam Mutu, Sahr Ngaujah, Karen Olivo & Aaron Tveit, principal soloists; Justin Levine, Baz Luhrmann, Matt Stine & Alex Timbers, producers (Original Broadway Cast)
  • THE MUSIC OF HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD – IN FOUR CONTEMPORARY SUITES
    Imogen Heap, producer; Imogen Heap, composer (Imogen Heap)
  • OKLAHOMA!
    Damon Daunno, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Ali Stroker, Mary Testa & Patrick Vaill, principal soloists; Daniel Kluger & Dean Sharenow, producers (Richard Rodgers, composer; Oscar Hammerstein II, lyricist) (2019 Broadway Cast)

Click here for the full list of nominations.

Tzi Ma, the Tsai Family, Oregon State Senator The Honorable Mae Yih, Michelle Koo Hayashi and Jess Ting, M.D. Receive 2019 MOCA Legacy Awards

The Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) presented the 2019 Legacy Awards Gala at the Mandarin Oriental in New York City on November 13.

Jonathan Chu, Cynthia Chuang, Sue Tsai, Erh-Ping Tsai, Mae Yih, Tzi Ma, Jess Ting, M.D., Nancy Yao Maasbach. Photo by Lia Chang

Cindy Cheung, stage / TV / film actress and her award-winning novelist husband, Ed Lin co-emceed the evening. Highlights included performances by The P.S. 124 Yung Wing School Theatre Club of 4th and 5th grade students and excerpts from Jason Ma’s Gold Mountain: The Musical, sung by Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee, Jr., accompanied by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld on the keys.

MOCA President Nancy Yao Maasbach, Ed Lin, Cindy Cheung, Lia Chang, Jason Ma, Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr., Kristen Lee Rosenfeld. Photo by Lia Chang
P.S. 124 Yung Wing School Theatre Club of 4th and 5th grade students. Photo by Lia Chang

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

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

The 2019 Generational Legacy Award was presented to the Tsai Family from Long Island, New York, whose family members Erh-Ping Tsai, Cynthia Chuang, and Sue Tsai are acclaimed for their excellence in the arts.

2019 Legacy Awards were presented to Tzi Ma, beloved Hong Kong American actor and director; The Honorable Mae Yih, Oregon State Senator, pioneering public servant and the first Chinese American to ever be elected to a U.S. state legislature; and Michelle Koo Hayashi and Jess Ting, M.D. for championing the transgender community through their documentary film Born to Be which tells the story of Dr. Ting’s pioneering gender confirmation surgical practice and the courageous transition of his patients.

Sue Tsai, Erh-Ping Tsai, Cynthia Chuang and Ronhan Tsai. Photo by Lia Chang

Erh-Ping Tsai and Cynthia Chuang are life-long jewelry and ceramic artists dedicated to communicating and expressing their love of nature through art. Their creative practices cross the boundaries between ceramics, metalworking, painting, sculpture, and horticulture. In 1993, Erh-Ping Tsai was named American Outstanding Craft Artist. They also founded Jewelry10, where they leverage their artistic and technical skills to create nature-inspired masterpieces.

Rozina Leong, Chung Seto, May Mui, Nancy Chu and Celia Au. Photo by Lia Chang

Tracing the roots of her inspiration to her family’s values, Sue Tsai, daughter of Erh-Ping and Cynthia, is an artist and designer born and raised in New York. Her striking creations of vibrant acrylic on canvas and mixed media sculptures reflect an impressive crossover of fine art, fashion, and pop culture. Her pop surrealism style has infiltrated into the music industry, creating major collaborations with stars such as Rihanna, TI, and Wale.

Sue Tsai’s creative talents and on-going entrepreneurial ventures have brought her partnerships with global brands in product design and curated events. In her recent debut collection of PUMA x SUE TSAI, she used her signature style to tell a story of flowers gone wild, rising up to take the planet back from humanity.

Erh-Ping Tsai and Cynthia Chuang met at the National Academy of Arts in Taiwan before emigrating to the U.S. to study at the Parsons School of Design. Their home in Long Island represents the significance of their everyday life and is fundamental to their artistic creation: an elaborate, curated and constantly evolving expression of appreciation and love for nature.

Michelle Koo Hayashi and Jess Ting, M.D. Photo by Lia Chang

A native New Yorker, Jess Ting, M.D. is an Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery at Mount Sinai, where he completed the hospital’s first gender reassignment surgery in 2016 and advanced his clinical specialty to the surgical care of the transgender and gender non-binary community. Following Dr. Ting’s groundbreaking practice, Mount Sinai established the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery (CTMS). Dr. Ting’s team has performed more than 400 operations to date, making CTMS as one of the first programs in the United States to offer multi-specialty transgender care in one location. After receiving his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Juilliard School of Music, Dr. Ting attended medical school at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Jonathan Chu, Tony Jee, June Jee, Michelle Koo Hayashi, Jess Ting, M.D., Lucy Kan, Victor Kan, Linda Sanchez, MOCA President Nancy Yao Maasbach, Gregory P. Ho. Photo by Lia Chang
Jess Ting, M.D., Michelle Koo Hayashi and guests. Photo by Lia Chang

Documenting Dr. Ting’s journey, philanthropist and entrepreneur Michelle Koo Hayashi has aided in the public understanding towards the transgender community as producer of her heart-warming film Born to Be. Directed by Tania Cypriano, this documentary chronicles the evolution of an uncharted medical process, alongside the emotional and physical metamorphoses of some extraordinary patients. The world premiere will be held at the 57th New York Film Festival 2019. Ms. Koo Hayashi was born in Taiwan, raised in Japan, and emigrated to the U.S. in 2011. She was the CEO of a Tokyo-based real estate investment firm, and founder of an online wedding planning company in Taiwan. She has been a board member of nonprofits in Taiwan and Japan, and since relocating to the U.S., has been a board member of the Museum of Chinese in America and the China Institute.

The Honorable Mae Yih, Oregon State Senator. Photo by Lia Chang

The Honorable Mae Yih is an internationally esteemed and admired legislator who made history 43 years ago when she won a seat in the Oregon House of Representatives as the first Chinese American elected to a state legislature anywhere in the United States. As a revered public official, Ms. Yih served 26 years in the legislature after she had served on the board of two local schools for 13 years, a total of 39 years of outstanding public services. Ms. Yih’s many accomplishments in the State of Oregon include introducing and helping to pass legislation that created a sister-state relationship between Oregon and Fujian province in China. She has made a significant impact in the development of U.S.-China relations for more than three decades. Her book, titled East Meets West: A Bridge to Understanding, Friendship, Trust, Peace, and Prosperity Between My Mother and Adopted Countries, shares her experiences and powerful lessons that she learned from life in China, America, and public services.

Tzi Ma. Photo by Lia Chang

Tzi Ma is a beloved Hong Kong American actor and director. Having started his career in New York City in 1973, Mr. Ma has an impressive number of theatre and film credits and has worked with many renowned directors and playwrights, including fellow MOCA Legacy Award recipient David Henry Hwang in his 1979 Obie Award-winning FOB and 2001 Broadway revival of Flower Drum Song. Mr. Ma’s most recent films include appearances in Arrival, Meditation Park (Best Actor Nomination from the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television), Pali Road (Jury Award, Outstanding Contribution to Diversity in Film), The Farewell, Netflix’s first martial arts original series “Wu Assassins,” and Disney’s forthcoming live-action Mulan.

Jonathan Chu, Eric Lee, June Jee, Patricia Pei, Christina Ho and Greg P. Ho. Photo by Lia Chang
Henry S. Tang and guests. Photo by Lia Chang
Sandra Lee, Victor Kan, Lucy Kan, a guest, Linda Sanchez and a guest. Photo by Lia Chang

The benefit gala raised over $1.1 million in gifts and pledges.

MOCA tells the untold stories of a dynamic community whose members are now at the fore-front of all sectors of America’s economic and cultural life. The Gala recognizes the outstanding contributions and accomplishments of individuals and families whose unconditional service as pioneers, role models, and leaders have paved the way for generations. www.mocanyc.org

Jess Ting, M.D., Tony Jee, Michelle Koo Hayashi, June Jee, Victoria Hsu, a guest, Lia Chang, Yao King. Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Alan Muraoka, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Timothy Huang, Laura Brandel and Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang

Broadwayworld: Tzi Ma Receives 2019 MOCA Legacy Award

MOCA to Honor Tzi Ma, the Tsai Family, Oregon State Senator The Honorable Mae Yih, Michelle Koo Hayashi and Jess Ting, M.D. at 2019 Legacy Awards Gala at Mandarin Oriental on November 13

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by 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 has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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

André De Shields and Riki Kane Larimer Honored at The York Theatre Company’s 28th Oscar Hammerstein Award Gala

Edison Ballroom. Photo by Lia Chang

2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields (Hadestown) and Producer Riki Kane Larimer (Cagney) were the toast of the town at the York Theatre Company’s 28th Oscar Hammerstein Award Gala, held at the Edison Ballroom in New York on November 11.

Tony-winning actor and playwright Charlayne Woodard, who starred opposite Mr. De Shields in Ain’t Misbehavin’ and is currently starring in the FX series “Pose,” hosted the festivities.

Charlayne Woodard. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields, Michael Unger (York Theatre Company Gala Director). Photo by Lia Chang

Michael Unger (York’s former Associate Artistic Director, recently appointed Artistic Director of Skylight Music Theatre in Wisconsin) helmed the evening’s celebration under the music direction of Eric Svejcar with special guest appearances by John Ellison Conlee, Robert Creighton, Darius de Haas, Jeffry Denman, Dawn Driver, Ekele Ukegbu, Mercedes Ellington, Teresa Eyring, Ron Lucas, Richard Maltby, Jr., Larry Owens, Tony Perry, Malvinna Rose, Marc Shaiman, Ben Vereen, Anita Welch, Freida Williams, Patrick Wilson, David Yazbek, and The Boys and Girls Choir of Harlem Alumni Ensemble. Featured in the program were musical numbers from the hit Broadway musicals The Wiz, HAIR, Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Full Monty, and more.

PROGRAM
AQUARIUS/LET THE SUNSHINE IN – Marymount Manhattan College Ensemble
from HAIR (Galt MacDermot/James Radon’s/Gerome Ragni)

André De Shields and the Marymount Manhattan College Students and Alumni. Photo by Lia Chang

HAMMERSTEIN DREAM MEDLEY -York Musical Theatre Training Program Ensemble and American Musical and Dramatic Academy Ensemble
from South Pacific and Sound of Music (Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein II)

James Ludwig, Musical Theater Training Program Alum, Michael Unger. Photo by Lia Chang

The York Theatre Company’s Producing Artistic Director James Morgan presented The York Theatre Company Founders’ Award to Producer Riki Kane Larimer (Cagney).

RIKI DOODLE DANDY -Robert Creighton with Melissa Schott, Edward Tolve, Jessica Wockenfus)
From Cagney and George M. (Robert Creighton/Christopher McGovern/George M. Cohan)
Special Material by Stuart Ross and Robert Creighton

Robert Creighton. Photo by Lia Chang

EASE ON DOWN THE ROAD – Boys and Girls Choir of Harlem, Alumni Ensemble
From The Wiz (Charlie Smalls)

Video from Ain’t Misbehavin’

SO YOU WANTED TO MEET THE WIZARD/Y’ALL GOT IT -Darius de Haas
From The Wiz (Charlie Smalls)

Richard Maltby Jr, Charlayne Woodard, André de Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

FINALE FROM AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ – Dawn Driver, Ron Lucas, Tony Perry, Malvinna Rose and Anita Welch
From Ain’t Misbehavin’ (From the catalogue of Fats Waller, arranged by Luther Henderson)
Accompanied by Darius Frowner

André De Shields and cast of AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’. Photo by Lia Chang

PARTY SICKNESS – Larry Owens with Marymount Manhattan College Ensemble
From Rachel Lily Rosenbloom (And Don’t You Ever Forget It) (Paul Jabara)

FOR GOOD – Ben Vereen
From Wicked (Stephen Schwartz)
Accompanied by Desmond Scaife

When Ben Vereen came out in a wheelchair to sing FOR GOOD, he said his doctor would only let him come if André signed his cast.

Ben Vereen and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Video remarks – Michael Dinwiddie and the Black Theatre Network Chorus

BIG ASS ROCK – Patrick Wilson, John Ellison Conlee and David Yazbek
From The Full Monty (David Yazbek)

BREEZE OFF THE RIVER – Patrick Wilson
From The Full Monty (David Yazbek)

Patrick Wilson. Photo by Lia Chang

Video Remarks – Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young

Hosea Chew, Director of Administration, City of Baltimore brought André a second Key to the City of Baltimore and a Proclamation from the Mayor. Photo by Lia Chang
Hosea Chew, Director of Administration, City of Baltimore brought André a second Key to the City of Baltimore and a Proclamation from the Mayor. Photo by Lia Chang
Mercedes Ellington. Photo by Lia Chang

IT DON’T MEAN A THING (IF IT AIN’T GOT THAT SWING) – Jeffrey Denman
From Play on! (Duke Ellington/Irving Mills)

NEW YORK IS A PARTY – Marc Shaiman and Freida Williams
From Haarlem Nocturne (Marc Shaiman/Robert I. Rubinsky)

Marc Shaiman, Joseph Wallace and Freida Williams. Photo by Lia Chang

HADESTOWN Producer Mara Isaacs brought a special message of congratulations from André’s castmates.

Mara Isaacs. Photo by Lia Chang

HOME – Ekele Ukegbu
From The Wiz (Charlie Smalls)

Video Montage of The Career of André De Shields

Ted Chapin, representing the Hammerstein Family and The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization, introduced The Oscar Hammerstein Award. Photo by Lia Chang

Teresa Eyring, Executive Director of Theatre Communications Group (TCG) presented the 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre to André de Shields.

After his acceptance speech, André sang BELIEVE IN YOURSELF and was then joined for the the BELIEVE IN YOURSELF finale, led by Kylie Kuioka, and featuring the  Boys and Girls Choir of Harlem Alumni, the Ensemble and the  FULL COMPANY.

Kylie Kuioka, André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields is the triple-crown winner of the 2019 awards season, having won the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk and Tony Awards as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his unanimously critically acclaimed performance as Hermes, Messenger to the Gods, in Hadestown. The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, which honors veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. Prior to his Tony Award win, Mr. De Shields was best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The Wiz, Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On!, and The Full Monty. In a career spanning fifty years, he has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator, receiving in 2018 the 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, and the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. On August 19 of this year, His Honor Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young presented him with the Key to the City of his hometown, Baltimore, Maryland. Mr. De Shields is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC. www.andredeshields.com

Joan Ross Sorkin, André De Shields, Riki Kane Larimer, Evans Haile (York Theatre Company Executive Director), Stuart Wilk. Photo by Lia Chang

The Oscar Hammerstein Award is presented at an annual gala which benefits The York Theatre Company, and is presented with the endorsement of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization and the Hammerstein Family. Past recipients include Stephen Sondheim, Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Harold Prince, Cy Coleman, Charles Strouse, Arthur Laurents, Jerry Herman, Stephen Schwartz, Peter Stone, David Merrick, John Kander and Fred Ebb, Terrence McNally, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, Carol Channing, Tony Walton, Joseph Stein, George S. Irving, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, Tom Meehan, Barbara Cook, Paul Gemignani, Alan Menken, Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, Angela Lansbury, Joel Grey, the legendary songwriting team of Harvey Schmidt & Tom Jones, and five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman.

Jim Kierstead, Claudia Zahn, W. David McCoy, Riki Kane Larimer, Andre De Shields Joan Ross Sorkin, Laurance Holzman, James Morgan, Evans Haile. Photo by Lia Chang

The York Theatre Company Founders’ Award recognizes individuals who have made a significant impact on the sustainability of the Company, and of the arts. Past recipients of the award include Janet Hayes Walker, the Founding Artistic Director of the York, W. David McCoy, Sarah Tod Smith, Molly Grose, Robert Goldberg, and Gerald F. Fisher.

David McCoy ( York Theatre Company Chairman of the Board), André De Shields, James Morgan (York Theatre Company Producing Artistic Director). Photo by Lia Chang

The York Theatre Company, celebrating its 50th year, is the only company in New York, and one of the few in the world, whose two-fold mission is to produce new musical works and rediscover musical gems from the past. The York’s credits include more than 70 fully staged productions, more than 100 Mufti semi-staged readings, 35 cast albums, and commercial transfers that include the Broadway productions of Sweeney Todd (1989-90), and Souvenir (2005-2006).

Andy Hammerstein, Charlayne Woodard, Riki Kane Larimer, André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

The York Theatre Company Team. Photo by Lia Chang
Freida Williams, Howard Schein, André De Shields, Petra Schein, Burton Schein and Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by 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 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

Joel Grey to Host 2019 Theater Hall of Fame Ceremony on November 18; Inductees include André De Shields, Donna McKechnie, Ann Reinking, Michael Price, Emily Mann, Natasha Katz, Michael Feingold, and Thomas Meehan

Joel Grey. Photo by Lia Chang

Tony and Oscar-winning Joel Grey will be hosting the 49th annual Theater Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement in the American Theater induction ceremony Monday, November 18 at the Gershwin Theatre.

Donna McKechnie and André De Shields backstage at Paper Mill Playhouse’s opening night of HALF TIME. Photo by Lia Chang

This year’s inductees include Tony Award-winning actors André De Shields and Donna McKechnie, actor and Tony Award-winning choreographer Ann Reinking, Goodspeed Musicals Founder Michael Price, Tony Award-nominated playwright Emily Mann, Tony Award-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz, theatre critic Michael Feingold, and posthumously, Tony Award-winning playwright Thomas Meehan.

Founded in 1971 by James M. Nederlander, Earl Blackwell and Gerard Oestriecher, the Theater Hall of Fame’s primary mission is to annually honor lifetime achievement in the American theatre. To be considered for the ballot, the theatre professional must have 25 years on Broadway and five major production credits or be an Off-Broadway or regional theatre founder or pioneer. The voters are United States theatre critics and drama editors.

The Theater Hall of Fame’s 2018 Inductees included actors Rene Auberjonais, Christine Baranski, and Cicely Tyson; playwrights Maria Irene Fornes, David Henry Hwang, and Adrienne Kennedy; director Joe Mantello, and posthumously James Houghton.

Visit theaterhalloffame.org for more information.