“Man in The High Castle” Star Joel de la Fuente Set for Benefit Performances of Jeanne Sakata’s HOLD THESE TRUTHS at Cultch Historic Theatre in Vancouver, October 18 – November 2

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

The Umami Fund (Daniel Blinkoff and Tamlyn Tomita) is presenting the international/Canadian debut of Jeanne Sakata’s award-winning play, Hold These Truths at the Cultch Historic Theatre, 1895 Venables Street in Vancouver from Friday, October 18 – Saturday, November 2. Opening night is Sunday, October 20 at 8:00 pm.


Joel de la Fuente (Amazon’s “The Man in the High Castle”) will reprise his Drama Desk-nominated turn in this solo play inspired by the life of Gordon Hirabayashi, in which he seamlessly portrays more than thirty characters under the direction of Lisa Rothe (Irish Repertory Theatre’s Wild Abandon).

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

Unsung American hero Gordon Hirabayashi fights passionately for the Constitution against an unexpected adversary: his own country. During World War II, he defies the US government’s orders to forcibly remove and mass incarcerate all people of Japanese ancestry, launching a 50-year journey from college to courtroom and eventually to a Presidential Medal of Freedom. A story filled with hope, this play will leave you cheering for a man who stood up for the true meaning of patriotism.

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

The design team includes Cat Tate Starmer (lights), Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams (sets), Daniel Kluger (sound) and Margaret Weedon (costumes), with stage manager Mary K. Botosan.

Mary K. Botosan, Jeanne Sakata, Lisa Rothe, Cat Tate Starmer and Mikiko Suzuki Adams. Photo by Lia Chang
Mary K. Botosan, Jeanne Sakata, Lisa Rothe, Cat Tate Starmer and Mikiko Suzuki Adams. Photo by Lia Chang

Performance schedule and ticket information:
For preview performances on Friday, October 18 @ 8pm and Sunday, October 20 @ 2pm, tickets are $25.

Beginning with the opening night performance on Sunday October 20 @ 8pm, general admission tickets are $50, seniors/students are $25. The remaining performance schedule isTuesday, October 22 – Friday, October 25 @ 8pm; Saturday, October 26 and Sunday October 27 @ 2pm and 8 pm; Tuesday, October 29 – Friday, November 11 @ 8pm; Saturday, November 2 @ 2pm and 8pm. For tickets and more information, click here.

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

Proceeds of the performances of Hold These Truths will be donated to three Vancouver organizations: the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre, the University of British Columbia Asian Canadian & Asian Migration Studies, and the Kokoro Dance Theatre Society.

Joel de la Fuente. Photo by Lia Chang

Joel de la Fuente (Gordon Hirabayashi) received a Theatre Bay Area Award for Outstanding Principal Performance for the run of Hold These Truths at Theatreworks SV and garnered a Drama Desk Nomination in New York City for Outstanding Solo Performance when it debuted in 2012. On television, Joel plays Chief Inspector Kido on “The Man in the High Castle,” one of Amazon Studios’ most watched original series. He also portrays Dr. Johann Pryce on Netflix’s second original series, “Hemlock Grove,” and can be seen in perpetual reruns on “Law & Order: SVU,” where he played TARU Tech Ruben Morales for 10 seasons. Currently, he appears as President Datu Andrada on “Madam Secretary” for CBS. Joel has performed in theaters all over the world, as both an avid classical theater actor and as a developer of new work. He is an alumnus of Brown University and the Graduate Acting Program at NYU.

Jeanne Sakata. Photo by Lia Chang
Jeanne Sakata. Photo by Lia Chang

Actress and playwright Jeanne Sakata, whose talents span across TV, film, voiceover and stage, recently received the East West Players Trailblazer Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement and Raising the Visibility of the API Community. This summer, Ms. Sakata appeared in the Off Broadway premiere of the brilliant new comedy Do You Feel Anger? at the Vineyard Theatre in New York. She is familiar to TV audiences in the recurring roles of genius scientist Lenore Shimamoto/Mayor Saito on the animated TV series “Big Hero 6,” based on the Disney smash hit movie, and can currently be seen in three national commercials. Jeanne’s nationally acclaimed solo play Hold These Truths (2013 Drama Desk Nomination, Outstanding Solo Performance; 2019 Theatre Bay Awards, Outstanding Production, Principal Performance and Direction) has had over twenty productions across the country, and will be produced in the 2019-20 season at Barrington Stage, San Diego Rep, and People’s Light, after sold-out and extended runs last year at Arena Stage and TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. Since April 2019, Hold These Truths became available internationally as a special audio recording, produced by L.A. Theatre Works. The play has also been produced in recent years at Pasadena Playhouse, ACT Seattle, Portland Center Stage, Guthrie Theater, PlayMakers’ Rep, Perseverance Theatre, Honolulu Theatre for Youth (Daniel Dae Kim, co-producer), Terra Nova Collective, Silk Road Rising, Coachella Valley Rep, Plays and Players, and New Century Theatre. Premiering with the East West Players in Los Angeles, and then Off Broadway with the Epic Theatre Ensemble, the play was workshopped by the Lark Play Development Center and the New York Theatre Workshop. Hold These Truths is now published by Ageloff Books and available on Amazon, and it is on display at the Library of Congress Playwrights Archive in the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection in Washington DC, where the Jeanne Sakata Collection was established in July 2011. Special honors: LA Ovation Award for Outstanding Lead Actress, Chay Yew’s Red, East West Players; Lee Melville Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Los Angeles Theatre Community, Playwrights’ Arena; Outstanding Artist Award, Los Angeles’ Pacific American Friends of Theatre. For more information on Hold These Truths, click on www.holdthesetruths.info.

Jeanne Sakata, Joel de la Fuente, Tamlyn Tomita. Photo by Lia Chang

Barrington Stage Presents Return Engagement Of Jeanne Sakata’s HOLD THESE TRUTHS Starring Joel de la Fuente, September 20 – 26 

East West Players to Honor Jeanne Sakata and Aaron Takahashi at EWP NIGHT MARKET on September 14 

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

Chatting with HADESTOWN Star and 2019 Tony Winner André De Shields

The hits just keep coming for HADESTOWN star André De Shields, who will be inducted to the Theater Hall of Fame at an invitation only ceremony of the 49th Annual Theater Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement in the American Theater, being held at the Gershwin Theatre on November 18.

City Council President Brandon Scott, Mayor Jack Young, André De Shields, Comptroller Joan Pratt in the rotunda of Baltimore City Hall on August 19, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

In this interview, the 2019 Tony Award winner talks about having a social contract with Baltimore, and the significance of going home to receive the Key to the City from Mayor Jack Young and to serve as the grand marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. He also shared what it will mean to receive The York Theatre’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre at The Edison Ballroom (240 West 47th Street) on November 11.

André De Shields with his Tony Award in the Ceremonial Room of Baltimore City Hall on August 19, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

The VIP Reception will begin at 6:00 p.m. followed by a concert and award ceremony at 8:00 p.m. Michael Unger (York’s former Associate Artistic Director and recently appointed Artistic Director of Skylight Music Theatre in Wisconsin) is set to direct the evening’s celebration. For additional information, pricing and reservations, please contact Director of Development Shana Farr at (212) 935-5824, ext. 214 or sfarr@yorktheatre.org, or go online at YorkTheatre.org.

The Oscar Hammerstein Award is named in honor of the legendary lyricist and librettist who helped shape American musical theatre through his collaborations with a number of different composers and writers. His contributions to such landmark musicals as Show Boat, Oklahoma!, South Pacific, and Carousel are a legacy for all time. The award was created in 1988 by Janet Hayes Walker, Founding Artistic Director of The York Theatre Company, with the endorsement of the Hammerstein family and the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization. Its purpose is to recognize significant lifetime achievement in musical theatre, and it is presented at a gala evening held for the benefit of The York Theatre Company.

André De Shields served as the Grand Marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade in Baltimore on August 31, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang
Vinie Burrows with André De Shields, winner of the award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for “Hadestown,” at Radio City Music Hall on June 9, 2019 in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
Front Row: Reeve Carney, Eva Noblezada, André De Shields, Patrick Page, Amber Gray. Back Row: Afra Hines, Timothy Hughes, Ahmad Simmons, Jewelle Blackman, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, Kay Trinidad, John Krause, Kimberly Marable. Photo by Lia Chang
Front Row: Reeve Carney, Eva Noblezada, André De Shields, Patrick Page, Amber Gray. Back Row: Afra Hines, Timothy Hughes, Ahmad Simmons, Jewelle Blackman, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, Kay Trinidad, John Krause, Kimberly Marable. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields is the triple-crown winner of the 2019 theater 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 will receive The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre on November 11. 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! (Tony Nomination), and The Full Monty (Tony Nomination). 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. www.andredeshields.com

Team HADESTOWN at the Outer Critics Circle Awards at Sardi’s in New York on May 23, 2019: Danielle Long King, Dale Franzen, André De Shields, Montego Glover, Mara Isaacs, Noah Hahn, Bradley King, Rachel Chavkin, Tom Kirdahy, Anaïs Mitchell and Hunter C. Arnold. Photo by Lia Chang
2019 Richard Seff Award winner and 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields and his HADESTOWN family. 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.

Broadwayworld.com: Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Serves As Grand Marshal Of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade

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

Rehearsal Photos: David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER at The Public Theater; Previews Begin September 24

The Public Theater presents Soft Power, with play and lyrics by Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang, music and additional lyrics by Tony Award winner Jeanine Tesori, choreography by Tony nominee Sam Pinkleton, and is directed by Tony nominee Leigh Silverman.

Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo by Jenny Anderson

Soft Power begins with a Joseph Papp Free Preview performance on Tuesday, September 24 in The Public’s Newman Theater and will run through Sunday, November 10. Opening night is set for October 15.

Sam Pinkleton, David Henry Hwang, Jeanine Tesori, and Leigh Silverman. Photo by Jenny Anderson

The complete cast of Soft Power includes Billy Bustamante (Xue Xing Standby), Jon Hoche (Tony Manero/Chief Justice/Ensemble), Kendyl Ito (Jing/Ensemble), Francis Jue (DHH), Austin Ku (Bobby Bob/Ju Ming), Raymond J. Lee (Randy Ray/VEEP/Ensemble), Alyse Alan Louis (Zoe/Hillary), Jaygee Macapugay (Campaign Manager/Ensemble), Daniel May (Ensemble), Paul HeeSang Miller (Ensemble), Kristen Faith Oei (Ensemble), Geena Quintos (Ensemble), Conrad Ricamora (Xue Xing), Trevor Salter (Ensemble), Kyra Smith (Ensemble), Emily Stillings (Swing), Emily Trumble (Zoe/Hillary Standby), and John Yi (Swing).

Alyse Alan Louis, Conrad Ricamora, Kyra Smith, Kendyl Ito, Daniel May, Francis Jue, Jaygee Macapugay, Austin Ku, Paul HeeSang Miller. Photo by Jenny Anderson

Soft Power features orchestrations by Danny Troob; music direction and supervision by Chris Fenwick; dance arrangements by John Clancy; scenic design by Clint Ramos; costume design by Anita Yavich; lighting design by Mark Barton; sound design by Kai Harada; sound effects design by Bart Fassbender; video design by Bryce Cutler; hair, wig, and makeup design by Tom Watson; special effects by Lillis Meeh; music contracting by Antoine Silverman; and additional orchestrations by Larry Hochman and John Clancy.

Jon Hoche, Kendyl Ito, Kyra Smith, Daniel May, Francis Jue, Kristen Faith Oei, Trevor Salter, Raymond J. Lee, Alyse Alan Louis, Jaygee Macapugay, Austin Ku and Geena Quintos. Photo by Jenny Anderson

Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori bring their groundbreaking new musical-within-a-play to The Public for its New York premiere. One of the most exciting theatrical collaborations in recent memory, Soft Power is an exploration of America’s current place in the world, told through an East-West musical from China’s point of view, in which a theater producer from Shanghai forges a powerful bond with Hillary Clinton. Soft Power is a fever dream of modern American politics amidst global conversations, asking us all-why do we love democracy? And should we?

Geena Quintos, Trevor Salter, Raymond J. Lee, and Jaygee Macapugay. Photo by Jenny Anderson
Choreographer Sam Pinkleton, Kyra Smith, Austin Ku, Geena Quintos, Alyse Alan Louis, Trevor Salter and Raymond J. Lee. Photo by Jenny Anderson
Daniel Irving Rattner, David Henry Hwang, and Leigh Silverman. Photo by Jenny Anderson
Leigh Silverman, Geena Quintos, Kendyl Ito, Alyse Alan Louis, Trevor Salter, Conrad Ricamora and Daniel May. Photo by Jenny Anderson
Jon Hoche and Conrad Ricamora. Photo by Jenny Anderson

The Public Extends David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER through November 10 

KING KONG’s Jon Hoche Joins David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER at The Public, September 24 – November 3

Award-winning Broadway Vet Francis Jue Talks about SOFT POWER, KING OF THE YEES, WILD GOOSE DREAMS, “Madam Secretary” and Getting Married

Chatting with Raymond J. Lee about SOFT POWER, GROUNDHOG DAY

Harvy Blanks, Anthony Chisholm, Keith Randolph Smith, Ray Anthony Thomas, Francois Battiste, Amari Cheatom, Brian D. Coats, Steven Anthony Jones and Nija Okoro Set for August Wilson’s JITNEY National Tour; Arena Stage at September 13 -October 20

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater is presenting August Wilson’s Jitney. Tony Award-winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson directs his 2017 Broadway production – recipient of the Tony Award for Best Play Revival. Set in the early 1970s, Jitney follows a group of men trying to make a living by driving unlicensed cabs, or jitneys.

Harvy Blanks, Francois Battiste, Ray Anthony Thomas, Nija Okoro, Director Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Anthony Chisholm, Amari Cheatom, Brian D. Coats, Steven Anthony Jones and Keith Randolph Smith. Photo by Joan Marcus

Cast members in the 2017 Broadway production of Jitney and making their Arena Stage debuts include Harvy Blanks (Roundabout’s Toni Stone, Kennedy Center’s Death of a King’s Horseman, Two River’s Two Trains Running) as Shealy, Tony Award-nominee Anthony Chisholm (Broadway’s Radio Golf, Gem of the Ocean, Two Trains Running) as Fielding, Keith Randolph Smith (Broadway’s Fences, King Hedley II, Spike Lee’s Malcolm X, Girl 6) as Doub and Ray Anthony Thomas (Broadway’s The Crucible, Race) as Turnbo.

Also making their Arena debuts are Francois Battiste (Broadway’s Magic/Bird, Bronx Bombers) as Booster, Amari Cheatom (Lincoln Center’s On the Levee, The Public’s The Book of Grace) as Youngblood and Brian D. Coats (Marvel’s Luke Cage, Studio’s Invisible Man) as Philmore. The cast also features Steven Anthony Jones as Becker and Nija Okoro as Rena.

The dramatic story of a Pittsburgh jitney station becomes a symbol of stability as the drivers resist powerful forces while coming to grips with their pasts to fulfill their own hopes and dreams for the future.

This kicks off the national tour of one of Wilson’s great masterpieces. “A joyfully intoxicating celebration!” (The New York Times), Jitney runs September 13 – October 20, 2019 in the Kreeger Theater. The production was produced on Broadway by Manhattan Theatre Club in association with Eric Falkenstein, Ron Simons, John Legend/Mike Jackson and Ken Wirth.

Jitney opens Arena Stage’s August Wilson Festival, celebrating the Pulitzer Prize-winning giant.

“Arena has a long love affair with August Wilson’s work, going all the way back to 1987 and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Wilson is one of our most-produced playwrights, so it felt celebratory to mark our 70th Anniversary Season with a season-long festival highlighting his work and the impact he has on the American theater,” shares Artistic Director Molly Smith. “What a thrill to have Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s award-winning production of Jitney kick off a national tour from Arena to other theaters around America. Each of Wilson’s plays tackle deep human relationships, and Jitney will take us on an emotional journey.”

“There had been nine jewels in August Wilson’s formidable crown; each had changed the landscape of Broadway in their respective seasons,” explains Santiago-Hudson. “Only one jewel was missing. Twenty years after it had taken the country by storm and won the Olivier Award in London, Jitney, the first play of August Wilson’s American Century Cycle, received its Broadway debut. With this Tony Award-winning production, the crown is complete. How amazing that ‘the first was the last’.”

In addition to Santiago-Hudson, the creative team includes Set Designer David Gallo, Costume Designer Toni-Leslie James, Lighting Designer Jane Cox, Co-Sound Designers Darron L West and Charles Coes, Original Music by Bill Sims Jr. and Fight Director Thomas Schall.

August Wilson (Playwright)’s plays include Gem of the Ocean, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson (Pulitzer Prize winner), Seven Guitars, Fences (Pulitzer Prize winner, Tony Award winner), Two Trains Running, Jitney (Oliver Award winner), King Hedley II and Radio Golf. In 2003, he made his stage debut in his one-man show, How I Learned What I Learned. He received an Emmy Award nomination for his screenplay The Piano Lesson. Other works include The Janitor, Recycle, The Coldest Day of the Year, Malcolm X, The Homecoming and the musical satire Black Bart and the Sacred Hills. Other awards include eight New York Drama Critics Circle Awards, Rockefeller and Guggenheim Fellowships in Playwriting, a Whiting Writers Award, 2003 Heinz Award, 1999 National Humanities Medal and induction into the Theater Hall of Fame.

Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Director) directed the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of August Wilson’s Jitney which garnered several awards including the Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama League and the NY Drama Critics Circle Awards, along with six Tony nominations. Mr. Santiago-Hudson won a Tony Award as featured actor for his performance in August Wilson’s Seven Guitars and later went on to direct the play himself to critical acclaim. Other directing credits include: The Piano Lesson, Skeleton Crew, Othello, Gem of the Ocean, Paradise Blue, My Children My Africa, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Cabin in the Sky, The Happiest Song Plays Last, Two Trains Running, Things of Dry Hours, The First Breeze of Summer and Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine, among many others. His autobiographical play Lackawanna Blues won several awards, including two OBIE Awards and a Helen Hayes Award, and went on to be an HBO movie receiving the NAACP Image Award, Humanitas Prize, The Christopher Award and Emmy and Golden Globe nominations.

Tickets for Jitney are $41-95, subject to change and based on availability, plus applicable fees. Tickets may be purchased online at arenastage.org, by phone at 202-488-3300 or at the Sales Office at 1101 Sixth Street, SW, D.C.

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 Star André De Shields, Donna McKechnie, Ann Reinking, Michael Feingold, Michael Price, Emily Mann, Natasha Katz, Thomas Meehan Among 2019 Theater Hall of Fame Inductees

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

2019 Tony and Emmy Award winning actor André De Shields will be inducted to the Theater Hall of Fame on Monday, November 18 during the 49th Annual Theater Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement in the American Theater ceremony being held at the Gershwin Theatre at 7:00 P.M.

The Hadestown star is among the 2019 inductees which include his Half Time co-star Tony Award-winning actress Donna McKechnie (A Chorus Line), Tony Award-winning actress/choreographer Ann Reinking (Chicago), theater critic Michael Feingold, Goodspeed Musicals founder Michael Price, director/playwright Emily Mann (Gloria: A Life) and six-time Tony Award-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz (Frozen), with a posthumous induction to three-time Tony Award-winning book writer Thomas Meehan (Annie).

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

Founded in 1970 by James M. Nederlander, Earl Blackwell, Gerard Oestriecher and L. Arnold Weissberger, 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.

Visit theaterhalloffame.org for more information.

André De Shields is the triple-crown winner of the 2019 theater 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 will receive The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre on November 11. 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! (Tony Nomination), and The Full Monty(Tony Nomination). 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. www.andredeshields.com

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

Tony and Emmy Award Winner André De Shields Serves as Grand Marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade

André De Shields boards the 6:45 A.M. train to Baltimore at New York Penn Station on August 31, 2019. Photo by Lia Chang

Tony and Emmy Award winning actor André De Shields was the grand marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto parade held on August 31.

André De Shields served as the Grand Marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang

Sponsored by the Historic Pennsylvania Avenue Main Street, Upton Planning Committee, Inc. and organized by Michael Johnson, the Parade kicked off the second day of the inaugural Billie Holiday Music and Arts Festival, marking the 99th anniversary of Pennsylvania Avenue and honoring Holiday’s legacy.


Baltimore Mayor Jack Young and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

De Shields led the parade in an antique 1976 light blue Cadillac Eldorado convertible.

André De Shields served as the Grand Marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields served as the Grand Marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang

Highlights of the Parade included classic and high-end cars and performances by Lincoln University’s and Morgan State University’s marching bands and dance troupes along the route down Pennsylvania Avenue beginning at North Avenue and ending at Dolphin Street.

André De Shields served as the Grand Marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
Baltimore 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
Baltimore 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields served as the Grand Marshal of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
A classic Corvette in Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
A classic Cadillac in Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
Celebrating Billie Holiday. Photo by Lia Chang
Celebrating Billie Holiday. Photo by Lia Chang
Drummers in Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade. Photo by Lia Chang
Lincoln University Marching Band. Photo by Lia Chang
Morgan State University Marching Band. Photo by Lia Chang
Morgan State University Dance Troupe. Photo by Lia Chang
Morgan State University Marching Band. Photo by Lia Chang
Morgan State University Marching Band. Photo by Lia Chang

The Hadestown star and Baltimore native returned to his hometown just two weeks after receiving the Key to the City from Mayor Jack Young, who was also in attendance. De Shields and Mayor Young were presented with Billie Holiday Music and Arts Festival 2019 Heritage Awards.

Main stage of Baltimore’s 2019 Billie Holiday Music and Arts Festival. Photo by Lia Chang
Grand Marshal André De Shields arrives at the main stage of Baltimore’s 2019 Billie Holiday Music and Arts Festival. Photo by Lia Chang
Grand Marshal André De Shields arrives at the main stage of Baltimore’s 2019 Billie Holiday Music and Arts Festival. Photo by Lia Chang
Baltimore Mayor Jack Young and André De Shields received Bille Holiday Music and Arts Festival 2019 Heritage Awards. Photo by Lia Chang

During the 1940s, 50s and 60s, Pennsylvania Avenue was the place to be to see the latest singers and musicians perform. Many jazz clubs and performance halls in the area, notably the Royal Theater on Pennsylvania Avenue, were part of the Chitlin’ Circuit where African American entertainers, such as Redd Foxx, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles and James Brown, could perform freely in a segregated America. The Royal Theater has since been torn down, but its spirit lives on in the community and at The Avenue Bakery where its history is recounted through murals and plaques on the walls. Source: historicupton.com

In July, the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor of West Baltimore became the city’s fourth state-designated arts district. The program will offer incentives to spur economic development in the neighborhood according to a report in the Baltimore Business Journal. Resources available in Maryland Arts and Entertainment Districts include property tax incentives for buildings entirely or partially renovated for use by artists or for entertainment purposes.

Councilman Eric Costello, Councilman Leon F. Pinkett III, André De Shields and Kevin Brown. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields and Helen Holton. Photo by Lia Chang
Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, District 44 and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Baltimore Mayor Jack Young, Annie Hall, President Penn North Community Association, Anthony Pressley, Executive Director, Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, Marion Blackwell, Manager, Historic Pennsylvania Avenue Main Street, Councilman Eric Costello, District 11, City Council President Brandon Scott, Senator Antonio Hayes, District 40, André De Shields, Councilman Leon F. Pinkett, District 7, Helen Holton. Photo by Lia Chang

Helen Holton, Baltimore Mayor Jack Young and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Jules Dunham-Howie, Director Upton-Westside CDC, Helen Holton, Host, City Council President Brandon Scott, Marion Blackwell, Manager, Historic Pennsylvania Avenue Main Street, Anthony Pressley, Executive Director, Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, Annie Hall, President Penn North Community Association, Councilman Eric Costello, District 11, Baltimore Mayor Jack Young, Andre De Shields, Councilman Leon F. Pinkett III, District 7, Senator Antonio Hayes, District 40, Commissioner Harrison, Baltimore Police Department, Michael Johnson, Creative Director of the Cadillac Parade and Billie Holiday Jazz Festival, André De Shields, Baltimore Mayor Jack Young, Michael Johnson, Creative Director of the Cadillac Parade and Billie Holiday Jazz Festival, City Council President Brandon Scott. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields, Baltimore Mayor Jack Young, Michael Johnson, Creative Director of the Cadillac Parade and Billie Holiday Jazz Festival and City Council President Brandon Scott. Photo by Lia Chang
Beverly A. Cooper and 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 theater 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 will receive The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre on November 11. 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! (Tony Nomination), and The Full Monty(Tony Nomination). 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. www.andredeshields.com

André De Shields with Kevin Brown at Nancy by SNAC in Baltimore. Photo by Lia Chang

After the parade, De Shields headed to lunch at Kevin Brown’s Nancy by SNAC  before taking the Acela back to New York.

Lia Chang and Andre De Shields. Photo by Kevin Brown

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.

Broadwayworld.com: Photo Flash: Andre De Shields Serves As Grand Marshal Of Baltimore’s 2019 Pennsylvania Avenue Cadillac Auto Parade

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

The Public Extends David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER through November 10

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

Due to popular demand, The Public Theater is extending the New York premiere of Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang (Book and Lyrics) and Jeanine Tesori’s (Music and Additional Lyrics) SOFT POWER, a co-commission and co-production with Center Theatre Group, by one week through November 10.  Preview performances begin on September 24, with an opening night set for October 15.

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

Helmed by Tony nominee Leigh Silverman (Violet, Yellow Face, Wild Goose Dreams) and featuring choreography by Tony nominee Sam Pinkleton (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812), the cast features Billy Bustamante (Xue Xing Standby), Jon Hoche (Tony Manero/Chief Justice/Ensemble),  Kendyl Ito (Jing/Ensemble), Francis Jue (DHH), Austin Ku (Bobby Bob), Raymond J. Lee (Randy Ray/VEEP/Ensemble), Alyse Alan Louis (Zoe/Hillary), Jaygee Macapugay (Campaign Manager/Ensemble), Daniel May (Ensemble), Paul HeeSang Miller (Ensemble), Kristen Faith Oei (Ensemble), Geena Quintos (Ensemble), Conrad Ricamora (Xue Xing), Trevor Salter (Ensemble), Kyra Smith (Ensemble), Emily Stillings (Female Swing), Emily Trumble (Zoe/Hillary Understudy), and John Yi (Male Swing).

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

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

Tickets start at $95 and can be purchased online at www.publictheater.org, by phone 212-967-7555 and in person at the Taub Box Office, located at 425 Lafayette Street.

Jon Hoche; Daniel May (facing away); Kendyl Ito; Kristen Faith Oei; Maria-Christina Oliveras (obscured); Raymond J. Lee; Jaygee Macapugay and Geena Quintos. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

Conrad Ricamora and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
L-R: Raymond J. Lee, Jaygee Macapugay, Austin Ku, Kendyl Ito and Jon Hoche in the world premiere of David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s “Soft Power” at Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre. Photo by Craig Schwartz
L-R: Kristen Faith Oei, Raymond J. Lee (obscured), Austin Ku, Daniel May, Geena Quintos, Jon Hoche, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Billy Bustamante (obscured), Maria-Christina Oliveras and Kendyl Ito. Photo by Craig Schwartz

KING KONG’s Jon Hoche Joins David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER at The Public, September 24 – November 3

Award-winning Broadway Vet Francis Jue Talks about SOFT POWER, KING OF THE YEES, WILD GOOSE DREAMS, “Madam Secretary” and Getting Married

Chatting with Raymond J. Lee about SOFT POWER, GROUNDHOG DAY

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 is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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

Barrington Stage Presents Return Engagement Of Jeanne Sakata’s HOLD THESE TRUTHS Starring Joel de la Fuente, September 20 – 26

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

Barrington Stage Company (BSC), the award-winning theatre in the Berkshires under the leadership of Artistic Director Julianne Boyd, presents by popular demand, an encore engagement of Hold These Truths by Jeanne Sakata.

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 stars Joel de la Fuente (Amazon’s “The Man in the High Castle”) reprising his Drama Desk-nominated role in this solo play inspired by the life of Gordon Hirabayashi.

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

Directed by Lisa Rothe (Irish Repertory Theatre’s Wild Abandon), Hold These Truths will have eight performances September 20-26 at the St. Germain Stage at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center (36 Linden Street).

Unsung American hero Gordon Hirabayashi fights passionately for the Constitution against an unexpected adversary: his own country. During World War II, he defies the US government’s orders to forcibly remove and mass incarcerate all people of Japanese ancestry, launching a 50-year journey from college to courtroom and eventually to a Presidential Medal of Freedom. A story filled with hope, this play will leave you cheering for a man who stood up for the true meaning of patriotism.

Hold These Truths has scenic design by Mikiko Suzuki MacAdams, costume design by Margaret E. Weedon, lighting design by Cat Tate Starmer, sound design by Daniel Kluger. Production Stage Manager: Mary K. Botosan.

Joel de la Fuente. Photo by Lia Chang

Joel de la Fuente (Gordon Hirabayashi) made his debut for Barrington Stage Company in Hold These Truths. Most recently, the play was awarded three Theatre Bay Area Awards for its run in San Francisco, including Outstanding Principal Performance, as well as garnering a Drama Desk Nomination in New York City for Outstanding Solo Performance when it debuted in 2012. On television, Joel plays Chief Inspector Kido on “The Man in the High Castle,” one of Amazon Studios’ most watched original series. He also portrays Dr. Johann Pryce on Netflix’s second original series, “Hemlock Grove,” and can be seen in perpetual reruns on “Law & Order: SVU,” where he played TARU Tech Ruben Morales for 10 seasons. Currently, he appears as President Datu Andrada on “Madam Secretary” for CBS. Joel has performed in theaters all over the world, as both an avid classical theater actor and as a developer of new work. He is an alumnus of Brown University and the Graduate Acting Program at NYU.

Hold These Truths is sponsored in part by Carol and Alfred Maynard & Dick Ziter and Eric Reimer.

Performances: Friday, September 20 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, September 21 at 3:00 and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, September 22 at 3:00 p.m.; Tuesday, September 24 and Wednesday, September 25 at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, September 26 at 3:00 and 7:30 p.m. at the St. Germain Stage at the Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center (36 Linden Street). Tickets: $53 matinees and $58 evenings. Barrington Stage Box Office: 413-236-8888 or online at www.barringtonstageco.org.

Actor and Playwright Jeanne Sakata on the set of HOLD THESE TRUTHS. Photo by Lia Chang

Actress and playwright Jeanne Sakata, whose talents span across TV, film, voiceover and stage, is currently delighting New York audiences as struggling but spunky “Mom” in the Off Broadway premiere of the brilliant new comedy Do You Feel Anger? at the Vineyard Theatre, as well as TV audiences in the recurring roles of genius scientist Lenore Shimamoto/Mayor Saito on the animated TV series “Big Hero 6,” based on the Disney smash hit movie, and three national commercials. Jeanne’s nationally acclaimed solo play Hold These Truths (2013 Drama Desk Nomination, Outstanding Solo Performance; 2019 Theatre Bay Awards, Outstanding Production, Principal Performance and Direction) has had over twenty productions across the country, and will be produced in the 2019-20 season at Barrington Stage, San Diego Rep, and People’s Light and Cultch Historic Theatre, after sold-out and extended runs last year at Arena Stage and TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. Since April 2019, Hold These Truths became available internationally as a special audio recording, produced by L.A. Theatre Works. The play has also been produced in recent years at Pasadena Playhouse, ACT Seattle, Portland Center Stage, Guthrie Theater, PlayMakers’ Rep, Perseverance Theatre, Honolulu Theatre for Youth (Daniel Dae Kim, co-producer), Terra Nova Collective, Silk Road Rising, Coachella Valley Rep, Plays and Players, and New Century Theatre. Premiering with the East West Players in Los Angeles, and then Off Broadway with the Epic Theatre Ensemble, the play was workshopped by the Lark Play Development Center and the New York Theatre Workshop. Hold These Truths is now published by Ageloff Books and available on Amazon, and it is on display at the Library of Congress Playwrights Archive in the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection in Washington DC, where the Jeanne Sakata Collection was established in July 2011. https://www.holdthesetruths.info

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

Broadway Legends Ben Vereen and André De Shields Visit Backstage at HADESTOWN

Ben Vereen and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Tony Award-winning Broadway veteran Ben Vereen recently stopped by HADESTOWN at the Walter Kerr and visited with Tony Award winner André De Shields, who missed him when Mr. Vereen attended opening night.  Following the performance, Mr. Vereen met other cast members backstage and posed for photos.

Ben Vereen and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

HADESTOWN is the most honored show of the 2018-2019 Broadway season. In addition to the show’s eight Tony Awards, it has been honored with 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.

Afra Hines, Khaila Wilcoxon, Jewelle Blackman, Ben Vereen, Debbie Siraj, André De Shields, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, Kay Trinidad, John Krause, Damani Van Rensalier. Photo by Lia Chang

The acclaimed new musical is by celebrated singer-songwriter and Tony Award winner Anaïs Mitchell and developed with innovative director and Tony Award winner Rachel Chavkin. 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.

Ben Vereen and Patrick Page. Photo by Lia Chang

HADESTOWN is already the highest-grossing musical in the history of the Walter Kerr Theatre on Broadway (219 West 48th Street, New York) and continues to sell out nightly with a cast led by Outer Critics Circle Award nominee Reeve Carney, Tony Award winner André De Shields, Tony Award nominee Amber Gray, two-time Tony Award nominee Eva Noblezada, Tony Award nominee Patrick Page, along with Jewelle Blackman, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, and Kay Trinidad as the Fates. The chorus of Workers is played by Afra Hines, Timothy Hughes, John Krause, Kimberly Marable, and Ahmad Simmons. The full company also includes swings Malcolm Armwood, T. Oliver Reid, Jessie Shelton, Damani Van Rensalier and Khaila Wilcoxon.

Reeve Carney, Ben Vereen, Debbie Siraj, André De Shields and Lia Chang. Photo by Cherie B. Tay

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.

Ben Vereen, Debbie Siraj, André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

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.

Jewelle Blackman, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer, Ben Vereen, André De Shields, Kay Trinidad. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team for 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).

Ben Vereen, Afra Hines, André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

A National Tour of HADESTOWN will launch 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.

Reeve Carney, Eva Noblezada, Ben Vereen, André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
Ben Vereen, Eva Noblezada and Reeve Carney. Photo by Lia Chang
Spencer Stevens, Ben Vereen, André De Shields and Summerisa Bell Stevens. Photo by Lia Chang
Ben Vereen, Cherie B. Tay and 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

André De Shields to Receive The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award on November 11

The York Theatre Company will honor 2019 Tony Award winner André De Shields (Hadestown) with the 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre and producer Riki Kane Larimer (Cagney; Enter Laughing: The Musical) with The York Theatre Company Founders’ Award at the 28th Oscar Hammerstein Award Gala, to be held on Monday evening, November 11, 2019 at The Edison Ballroom (240 West 47th Street).

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

The VIP Reception will begin at 6:00 p.m. followed by a concert and award ceremony at 8:00 p.m. Michael Unger (York’s former Associate Artistic Director and recently appointed Artistic Director of Skylight Music Theatre in Wisconsin) is set to direct the evening’s celebration. For additional information, pricing and reservations, please contact Director of Development Shana Farr at (212) 935-5824, ext. 214 or sfarr@yorktheatre.org, or go online at YorkTheatre.org.

The Oscar Hammerstein Award is named in honor of the legendary lyricist and librettist who helped shape American musical theatre through his collaborations with a number of different composers and writers. His contributions to such landmark musicals as Show Boat, Oklahoma!, South Pacific, and Carousel are a legacy for all time. The award was created in 1988 by Janet Hayes Walker, Founding Artistic Director of The York Theatre Company, with the endorsement of the Hammerstein family and the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization. Its purpose is to recognize significant lifetime achievement in musical theatre, and it is presented at a gala evening held for the benefit of The York Theatre Company.

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

“André De Shields is a true man of the theatre, and it is a glorious coincidence that he began his career in 1969, the same year that The York was founded,” said James Morgan, York’s Producing Artistic Director. “We can’t think of a better way to honor his fifty years in showbiz than with the Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Musical Theatre. We are ecstatic to honor him for a career as performer that began with Hair and wound its way through Ain’t Misbehavin’ and into the current Hadestown, with detours into writing, directing, choreographing, and teaching. Nobody is more deserving.”

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