Stephen Adly Guirgis, Elizabeth Canavan and More Set for LAByrinth Theater Company’s 19th Annual Barn Series at Cherry Lane, January 11 – 20 

Stephen Adly Guirgis. Photo by Lia Chang
Stephen Adly Guirgis. Photo by Lia Chang
Stephen Adly Guirgis. Photo by Lia Chang

LAByrinth Theater Company their 19th Annual Barn Series, the award-winning company’s developmental play reading series, January 11-20, 2019 at Cherry Lane Theatre, where LAByrinth is the Company in Residence.  This year’s series features ten new plays written and directed by LAB company members. All readings are free and open to the public. Visit www.labtheater.org to make reservations.

The Barn Series continues LAByrinth’s tradition of creating, developing, and producing the work of its company members. LAB’s 2019 summer production at Cherry Lane will be a fully-staged World Premiere of one of the works presented in this Barn Series, the title of which will be announced in March.

“We’re thrilled to announce a wildly diverse lineup of ten original plays at LAByrinth’s 19th annual Barn Series Festival. I can’t think of a better way to kick off the new year than presenting a wide array of inspired work-from LAB vets such as Stephen Adly Guirgis and Liz Canavan to an exciting group of young artists from our education program to everything in between,” says Artistic Director John Ortiz. “This free reading series is an integral part of our play development process, and it’s a privilege to share it with our community.”

LAByrinth’s new Executive Director, Rachel Shuey, believes that the Barn Series is a critical step in LAByrinth’s play development process. “I am excited for the public to bear witness to our company members’ incredible work. Each piece has its finger on the pulse of our society in a deeply nuanced and important way,” says Shuey.

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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

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

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Kate Baldwin, Bryce Pinkham, Thom Sesma, Julia Abueva and More Begin Previews for John Logan and Tom Kitt’s SUPERHERO at Second Stage on January 31 

Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang

Continuing its 40th Anniversary Season, Second Stage Theater is presenting the world premiere musical, Superhero. Directed by Jason Moore, the production features a book by John Logan and music and lyrics by Tom Kitt.

Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang
Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang

Julia Abueva (Rachel), JAKE LEVY (Dwayne), Salena Qureshi (Vee), Thom Sesma (Vic) and Nathaniel Stampley (Dean Fulton) will join previously announced stars Kate Baldwin (Charlotte), Bryce Pinkham (Jim) and newcomer Kyle McArthur (Simon).

SUPERHERO will begin previews January 31, 2019 at the Tony Kiser Theater (305 West 43rd Street) and will officially open on February 28, 2019. Click here for more information and tickets. Subscriptions are available now starting at $255 by calling the Second Stage Box Office at 212-246-4422.

Before we can save the world, we have to save each other. From the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer of Next to Normal and the Tony Award-winning writer of Red comes a deeply human new musical about a fractured family, the mysterious stranger in apartment 4-B, and the unexpected hero who just might save the day.

BIOGRAPHIES

Julia Abueva (Rachel) made her New York stage debut in the critically acclaimed production of KPOP at Ars Nova. West End: Miss Saigon (Kim u/s). Other stage credits include: Cinderella (Newport Performing Arts Theater); Singapore premieres of Next to Normal(Natalie) and Spring Awakening (Wendla); Manila premieres of Into the Woods (Little Red Riding Hood) and Aspects of Love (Young Jenny); and Philippine Repertory’s production of The Fantasticks (Luisa). Julia co-starred in the Amazon comedy pilot “Making Friends.” Upcoming film: Stella’s Last Weekend (opp. Nat Wolff).

Kate Baldwin (Charlotte) recently appeared in the Tony Award winning Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly! for which she received Tony Award, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations. Other Broadway credits include Finian’s Rainbow (Tony Award, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Award nominations), Big Fish, Wonderful Town, Thoroughly Modern Millie and The Full Monty. Off-Broadway, she received Drama Desk nominations for her work in The Keen Company’s production of John & Jen and The Public Theatre’s production of Michael John LaChuisa’s Giant. Also off-Broadway: Songbird at 59E59 Street Theaters. Film: Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best. TV: “Law & Order: SVU”. PBS: “First You Dream: The Music of Kander & Ebb” and “Live From Lincoln Center: Stephen Sondheim’s Passion.” Concerts: Chicago Humanities Festival, NSO, PSO and the American Songbook Series. Recording: Let’s See What Happens and She Loves Him: Live at Feinstein’s (PS Classics).

JAKE LEVY (Dwayne) is thrilled to make his Second Stage Theater debut. He earned his BA from the UCLA Ray Bolger Musical Theater Program in 2018. Favorites: Carrie (Tommy Ross), Carousel (Jigger), Pippin (Pippin) and Dogfight (Fector). Regional: 13 The Musical, Rent, Les Misérables and Hairspray. @Jlevy31

Kyle McArthur (Simon) will be making his professional theatrical debut with this production after playing Simon in the O’Neill NMTC reading of Superhero. Other readings include Disney’s Freaky Friday (Adam), Rapture (Andy), Stuck (Rayce), and The America Project (Cam).

Bryce Pinkham (Jim) is most widely known for originating the role of ‘Monty Navarro’ in the Tony Winning Musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder on Broadway, for which he was nominated for Tony, Grammy, and Drama Desk awards. He soon after appeared in the Broadway revival of The Heidi Chronicles and was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award and a Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance in 2015. His other Broadway credits include Holiday Inn, Ghost the Musical, and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. He most recently starred in Benny and Joon, a new musical adaptation of the 1993 movie starring Johnny Depp at The Old Globe Theater. His latest onscreen appearances include Baz Luhrmann’s Netflix series The Get Down, Robert De Niro’s The Comedian, and as a series regular on PBS’s Civil War drama series Mercy Street. His other TV credits include Blindspot, The Good Wife and Person of Interest.

Salena Qureshi (Vee). Second Stage debut! Film: Draupadi Unleashed, My Cousin Sister’s Wedding, All These Small Moments (Tribeca FF), Friends and Romans. TV: Recurring on “Madam Secretary” (CBS). Also seen on “The Brave” (NBC), “The Path” (Hulu), “Girls” (HBO). Theater: Evita (Mistress, Maine State).

Thom Sesma (Vic) recently appeared as Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in the off-Broadway revival at Barrow Street Theatre. He was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award for his portrayal of roles in John Doyle’s acclaimed 2017 revival of another Sondheim classic, Pacific Overtures. Broadway credits include The Times They Are A-Changin’, Man of La Mancha, Search and Destroy, Chu Chem, and national tours of The Lion King, Miss Saigon and Titanic. Other appearances off-Broadway: Discord (Primary Stages), Awake and Sing! (NAATCO/Public Theatre), Othello (Public Theatre), Cymbeline (NYSF). Regional credits include the McCarter, Yale Rep, Arena Stage, Old Globe, Cincinnati Playhouse, Signature Theatre, Centre Stage, Music Theatre Wichita and more. Television guest appearances include “Instinct,” “Madam Secretary,” “The Good Wife,” “Gotham,” “Jessica Jones,” “Person of Interest” and others. Previous credits at Second Stage: Eric Overmyer’s In a Pig’s Valise and Baba Goya by Steve Tesich, both in 1989. Instagram @thsesma; Twitter @ThomSesmaNYC.

Nathaniel Stampley (Dean Fulton). Broadway: Cats, The Color Purple (original and revival), The Lion King, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. Off-Broadway: Big Love, Signature Theatre; Fiorello! and Lost in the Stars, NY City Center’s Encores!; The First Noel, Classical Theatre of Harlem. Regional: Lempicka, Williamstown Theatre Festival; Man of La Mancha (Jeff Award), The Bridges of Madison County (Jeff nomination), Ragtime, Marriott Theatre; Hatuey: Memory of Fire, Music-Theatre Group. Concerts: Candide(Carnegie Hall); West Side Story, Bernstein’s MASS (Philadelphia Orchestra). Ten Chimneys Fellow, UW-Madison alum.nathanielstampley.com

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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

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

Brian D. Coats, Mujahid Abdul-Rashid, Gayle Samuels, John Archie, Daniel Morgan Shelley, Marc Alexander Pierre, Johnieann Smith and JoLe Peynado Set for Florida Rep’s FENCES, January 11 – 30

Florida Repertory Theatre is presenting August Wilson’s “Fences,” the multiple Tony Award-winning Best Play and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for drama, January 11-30 in the Historic Arcade Theatre, 2267 First St, Fort Myers, FL 33901. The run includes four nearly-sold out preview performances, January 8-10.

August Wilson’s celebrated American Century Cycle captures 100 years of African American life during each decade of the 20th century. The cycle begins in the early 1900s, when wounds from slavery and the Civil War were still fresh, and closes in the 1990s when even a large and increasingly influential black middle class would not escape persistent racial tensions. “Fences” is Wilson’s offering for the 1950s, and like many of the plays in his Cycle, it takes place in Pittsburgh’s Hill District.

The modern American classic follows Troy Maxson, a former star of the Negro leagues now struggling to support his family as a trash collector in 1957 Pittsburgh. Excluded from the major leagues during his prime, Troy’s bitterness takes its toll on his relationships with his wife and teenaged son, who now has his chance to become a star athlete.

Florida Rep has assembled an A-list cast of Broadway and regional actors, many of whom have appeared numerous times in “Fences” and other American Century Cycle plays before this.

Mujahid Abdul-Rashid (Florida Rep debut) plays Troy Maxson for the third time in Florida Rep’s production, most recently with Short North Stage in Columbus, Ohio. Gayle Samuels (Florida Rep debut) is cast as Rose Maxson after her appearance earlier this year in the Broadway revival of “Children of a Lesser God” directed by Kenny Leon. Also in the cast as Troy’s longtime friend, Bono, is John Archie, whose appearances at Florida Rep include “Dividing the Estate,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and the 2017 PlayLab Festival. Brian D. Coats (Florida Rep debut) plays Gabriel in Florida Rep’s “Fences,” after a recent Broadway appearance in August Wilson’s “Jitney,” the last of the American Century Cycle plays to open on Broadway and at Two River Theater as Stool Pigeon in “King Hedley II.”

Daniel Morgan Shelley plays Troy’s older son, Lyons, after recent appearances in Florida Rep’s PlayLab Festival and the theatre’s 2007 co-production of “Romeo and Juliet” with the Classical Theatre of Harlem. Recent Emerson College graduate, Marc Alexander Pierre also makes his Florida Rep debut as Troy’s youngest son, Cory, and local actress, Johnieann Smith (Bayshore Elementary), appears in her second Florida Rep production after appearing in 2017’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Smith is understudied by another of Florida Rep rising stars, JoLe Peynado (Fort Myers Christian School).

One of the country’s preeminent directors of Wilson’s work, Benny Sato Ambush (Florida Rep debut), directs Florida Rep’s “Fences,” and is joined by Ensemble Set Designer Richard Crowell (Florida Rep’s “Outside Mullingar”), Costume Designer Danielle Preston (Florida Rep debut), Ensemble Lighting Designer Todd O. Wren (Florida Rep’s “Tenderly”), Sound Designer Katie Lowe (Florida Rep’s “Damascus”), and Stage Manager Lisa Lamont, returning to Florida Rep after her work in the company’s early years.

August Wilson’s “Fences” is generously sponsored by WGCU Public Media. The Media Sponsor is Lee Pitts Live on FOX 4.

Tickets are priced at $55 and $49 for regular performances and $35 and $29 for discounted previews and are available online at www.FloridaRep.org and through the box office at 239-332-4488. Subscriptions start as low as $99 for three plays and offer the best seats and the most significant savings, and are available through the box office. Box office hours are Monday through Friday, 10 AM – 5 PM. New this season, Florida Rep’s parking lot will open 2 hours before each performance and offers guests limited free parking across the street from the Arcade Theatre.

Performances in the Historic Arcade Theatre are Tuesday-Thursday at 7 PM; Friday and Saturday at 8 PM; and Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2 PM. The theatre’s regular preview schedule is different for Fences ONLY, and the weekday matinee for that week only is Thursday, January 10th. Previews for August Wilson’s “Fences” are January 8 at 7 PM, January 9 at 7 PM, and January 10 at 2 PM and 7 PM.

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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

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

Lea Salonga Returns as Erzulie in the Tony Award-winning Revival of a Musical ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, December 27 – January 6

Lea Salonga as Erzulie in ONCE ON THIS ISLAND. Photo by Joan Marcus

Tony And Olivier Award-winning actress Lea Salonga will reprise her role role as Erzulie in the Tony Award-winning Revival of a Musical Once On This Island on December 27, and will perform through the final show on January 6.

Lea Salonga as Erzulie in ONCE ON THIS ISLAND. Photo by Joan Marcus
Lea Salonga as Erzulie in ONCE ON THIS ISLAND. Photo by Joan Marcus

Earlier this month, Ms. Salonga received her first Grammy nomination when the cast recording of Once on This Island was nominated for Best Musical Theater Album. She also garnered two ALIW Awards including Entertainer of the Year award and Best Major Concert (Female) award for her sold-out, two-night anniversary concert celebrating 40 years of performing.  In October 2019, she’ll star as Ms. Lovett opposite Jett Pangan as Sweeney Todd in Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical Sweeney Todd, helmed by Bobby Garcia. Click here for more information.

Lea Salonga and Director Michael Arden. Photo by Lia Chang
Lea Salonga and Director Michael Arden. Photo by Lia Chang 

The new production of Once on This Island is directed by Tony nominee Michael Arden, and choreographed by the critically-acclaimed Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Chita Rivera Award nominee Camille A. Brown.

The cast of Once On This Island includes Tamyra Gray (Papa Ge), Quentin Earl Darrington (Agwe), and Alex Newell (Asaka), who are joined by newcomer and Tony Nominee, Hailey Kilgore (Ti Moune) with Juliet Benn (Little Girl), Phillip Boykin (Tonton Julian) Courtnee Carter (Storyteller), Cicily Daniels (Storyteller), Tyler Hardwick (Storyteller), David Jennings (Armand), Kenita R. Miller (Mama Euralie), Isaac Powell (Daniel), T. Oliver Reid (Storyteller), Anna Uzele (Storyteller), Allan K. Washington (Storyteller), Aurelia Williams (Storyteller), Mia Williamson (Little Girl), and Daniel Yearwood (Storyteller).

Quentin Earl Darrington, Aurelia Williams, Lea Salonga, Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Quentin Earl Darrington, Aurelia Williams, Lea Salonga, Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang

Once On This Island is written by the Tony Award-winning team Lynn Ahrens (Book and Lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (Music), and based on the novel “My Love, My Love” by Rosa Guy. This production features new orchestrations by original orchestrator Michael Starobin who is joined by AnnMarie Milazzo.

Clint Ramos and Lea Salonga. Photo by Lia Chang
Clint Ramos and Lea Salonga. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team also includes Dane Laffrey (Scenic Design), Clint Ramos (Costume Design), Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (Lighting Designers), Peter Hylenski (Sound Designer), John Bertles/Bash The Trash (Unusual Instruments), Cookie Jordan (Hair/Wig & Makeup Designer), Chris Fenwick (Music Supervisor), Alvin Hough, Jr. (Music Director), David Perlow (Associate Director), Nikki M. James (Assistant Director), Rickey Tripp (Associate Choreographer) and Telsey + Co / Craig Burns, CSA (Casting Agent).

Once On This Island is the tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl who falls in love with a wealthy boy from the other side of the island. When their divided cultures keep them apart, Ti Moune is guided by the powerful island gods, Erzulie, Asaka, Papa Ge, and Agwe, on a remarkable quest to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.

This production transforms the reality of a tropical village devastated by a storm into a fantastical world alive with hope.

The new Broadway production of Once On This Island won the 2018 Tony Award® for Best Musical Revival and received seven additional nominations. The production was also nominated seven Drama Desk Award nominations, six Outer Critics Circle nominations and three Chita Rivera Award nominations.

Once On This Island premiered at Playwrights Horizons in May of 1990. The Broadway production opened in October of that year and ran for 469 performances garnering eight Tony nominations including Best Featured Actress (LaChanze), Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical and Best Musical. The 1994 West End production won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

A National Tour of Once On This Island will launch in fall 2019, with cities, dates, and casting to be announced at a later date.

Tickets for Once On This Island are on sale through Telecharge.

Tony Award Winner Lea Salonga to Star as Grace Farrell in ANNIE at the Hollywood Bowl, July 27 – 29 

Casts of “The Band’s Visit,” “Carousel,” “Frozen,” “Mean Girls,” “My Fair Lady,” “Once on This Island,” “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical,” “SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical,” and “Dear Evan Hansen” to Perform on 2018 Tony Awards 

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

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2018 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

Telly Leung’s New Holiday Single ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ Benefits ASTEP

Telly Leung as Aladdin. Photo by Matthew Murphy
Telly Leung as Aladdin. Photo by Matthew Murphy

Telly Leung, currently starring as the title role in Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway through Sunday, February 17, 2019, has released a new digital single, an updated version of the holiday classic “All I Want for Christmas Is You” to benefit ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty) from Yellow Sound Label.  The song, arranged by Lynne Shankel, is available on iTunes, and Amazon, as well as all streaming platforms.

“ASTEP connects performing and visual artists with underserved youth,” says Leung, “to awaken their imaginations, foster critical thinking, and help them break the cycle of poverty. We wanted to spread some holiday cheer while raising money and awareness for this fantastic organization. All proceeds from the digital downloads will go to ASTEP, and it’s our hope it inspires others to use the talents they were given to make the world a better place. My dear friend and colleague, Lynne Shankel – who was the musical supervisor and orchestrator of Allegiance – is committed to ASTEP and she originally arranged this version of the song for her annual benefit at Joe’s Pub. Lynne and I love this organization, originally founded by Broadway musical director Mary-Mitchell Campbell, and we wanted to echo the mission of ASTEP and use our artistic expression to put something positive in the universe.”

Telly Leung is a New York City native who was recently named one of the “Out 100” by Out Magazine and “Faces To Watch” by The Los Angeles Times. His Broadway and national touring credits include In Transit, Allegiance (with George Takei and Lea Salonga), Godspell, Rent (final Broadway company), Wicked (Boq, original Chicago company), Pacific Overtures, and Flower Drum Song. In 2010, he starred as Angel in Rent at the Hollywood Bowl opposite Wayne Brady, directed by Neil Patrick Harris. Television audiences will remember him as Wes the Warbler on “Glee,” as well as his guest star appearances on “Instinct,” “Odd Mom Out,” “Deadbeat,” and “Law and Order: Criminal Intent.” Telly is featured on many original Broadway cast recordings and he has released two solo albums, I’ll Cover You (2012) and Songs for You (2016) on Yellow Sound Label. For more information, please visit www.TellyLeung.com.

ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty) was conceived by Broadway musical director Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Juilliard students to transform the lives of underserved youth using the most powerful tool they had – their art. Today, ASTEP delivers after-school workshops and summer camps for young people affected by refugee and unaccompanied minor status, the justice system, homelessness, HIV/AIDS and systemic poverty. ASTEP Volunteer Teaching Artists create a safe space for students to use the arts to build leadership skills, strengthen their capacity for self-expression, learn to collaborate, and develop the confidence to make healthy life choices. With these skills, ASTEP students learn they have what it takes to succeed no matter the obstacles, which is key to breaking cycles of intergenerational poverty. For more information, visit ASTEP.org.

YELLOW SOUND LABEL is an Emmy Award-winning and Grammy Award-nominated, cutting-edge company that produces established performers, up-and-coming artists and original cast recordings. The boutique label takes a hands-on approach in nurturing and producing passionate, focused performers and composers who create quality, noteworthy recordings. www.YellowSoundLabel.com

 2018 RED BUCKET FOLLIES’ FLOWER DRUM SONG Photo Diary

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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

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

Tony Winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson Brings LACKAWANNA BLUES to The Mark Taper Forum, March 5 – April 21

Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang
Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang

A magical, musical and deeply personal work written, performed and directed by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson, “Lackawanna Blues” is a reminiscence of his 1950s childhood in a small town on the banks of Lake Erie.

Santiago-Hudson takes on more than 20 colorful characters-from would-be philosophers and petty hustlers to lost souls and abandoned lovers-in a brilliant celebration of the eccentric boardinghouse he grew up in.

Santiago-Hudson returns to his roots in this tour de force performance accompanied throughout by live blues music performed by Obie winning composer Bill Sims Jr.

Ruben Santiago-Hudson is an actor, writer, and stage director who has won national awards for his work in all three categories. His film and television credits include American GangsterBillions, CastleComing to AmericaLaw & OrderShaft, and many others. Broadway credits include Seven Guitars (Tony Award, Best Featured Performer), Jelly’s Last Jam, and Gem of the Ocean with Phylicia Rashad. He has been awarded the Humanitas Prize in writing for the HBO film adaptation of his play Lackawanna Blues, the Lucille Lortel Award and Obie Award for Outstanding Direction, and the NAACP Lifetime Achievement Theatre Award.

Tickets are available online at CenterTheatreGroup.org, by calling Audience Services at (213) 628-2772 or in person at the Center Theatre Group Box Office (at the Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles). Groups: (213) 972-7231. Deaf community: Information and charge, visit CenterTheatreGroup.org/ACCESS.

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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

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

MOCATalks: Chinese Almanac- Year of the Pig with Joanna C. Lee and Ken Smith on February 21

Ken Smith and Joanna C. Lee. Photo by Lia Chang
Ken Smith and Joanna C. Lee. Photo by Lia Chang
Ken Smith and Joanna C. Lee. Photo by Lia Chang

On Thursday, February 21st , authors Joanna C Lee and Ken Smith return for their annual MOCATalks: Chinese Almanac to translate and decode the almanac’s predictions with daily listings for 2019, the Year of the Pig from 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM. The traditional Chinese almanac, also known as the Tong Sing or Huang Li, is a centuries-old repository of cultural information from household tips to general medical remedies. But it’s the almanac’s predictions of which days are auspicious or ominous for a wide range of activities that has made the annual publication a mainstay in Chinese homes.

Tickets are $15 and include wine and Museum admission. Members receive complimentary tickets. Not a Member? Join today here: https://tinyurl.com/y8fqf865

The Museum of Chinese in America is located at 215 Centre St. in New York. Click here for more information and tickets.

Founded in 1980, Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is dedicated to preserving and presenting the history, heritage, culture and diverse experiences of people of Chinese descent in the United States. The greatly expanded MOCA at 215 Centre Street will continue to be a national home for the precious narratives of diverse Chinese American communities, while striving to be a model among interactive museums.

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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

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

Stage Door Records Releases Pat Suzuki: ‘The Complete Album Series’ and ‘Singles And Rarities 1958-1967’

I spent Christmas morning listening to the Stage Door Records CD debut release of Broadway actress and singer Pat Suzuki’s back catalogue of solo recordings.

Released this year across two albums, ‘The Complete Album Series’ (2 CD Set) and ‘Singles And Rarities 1958-1967’ is a treasure trove representing Pat Suzuki’s complete discography as a solo recording artist.

Click here to read a review of the CDs.

Pat Suzuki and dancers (“Fan Tan Fanny”) (Photo: Friedman-Abeles)
Pat Suzuki and dancers in the Broadway production of FLOWER DRUM SONG. (“Fan Tan Fanny”) (Photo: Friedman-Abeles)

Pat Suzuki, best known for starring in the original Broadway production of ‘Flower Drum Song’ and originating the Rodgers & Hammerstein standard ‘I Enjoy Being A Girl’, enjoyed great success as a solo recording artist (receiving a Grammy nomination for Best Vocal Album in 1960), issuing four solo albums for RCA Records between 1958-1960. For the first time ever, all four of Pat Suzuki’s solo albums ‘The Many Sides Of Pat Suzuki’ (1958), ‘Miss Pony Tail’ (1958), ‘Broadway ’59’ (1959) and ‘Looking At You’ (1960) now make their debut on CD as the Deluxe 2CD set ‘Pat Suzuki – The Complete Album Series’.

Source: The Official Masterworks Broadway Site

The retrospective collection features 50 tracks including Suzuki’s haunting interpretation of ‘How High The Moon’ (later featured in the 1988 film ‘Biloxi Blues’) and her solo recording of ‘I Enjoy Being A Girl’ which became a Top 50 hit in the United Kingdom when issued as a single in April 1960.

The release of ‘The Complete Album Series’ is a joint collaboration between Pat Suzuki and Stage Door Records. Also available is the limited edition release ‘Singles And Rarities’ featuring all Suzuki’s non album singles and unreleased tracks recorded between 1958-1967. Click here to for more information and here to purchase the CDs.

Click below to learn more about Pat Suzuki.  https://masterworksbroadway.com/artist/pat-suzuki/

DISC ONE
THE MANY SIDES OF PAT SUZUKI (MONO)
1. From This Moment On (from ‘Out Of This World’) [LISTEN]
2. Fine And Dandy
3. A Sunday Kind Of Love
4. Something’s Gotta Give (from ‘Daddy Long Legs’)
5. Solitude
6. Poor Butterfly
7. Just One Of Those Things (from ‘Jubilee’)
8. I Had The Craziest Dream
9. The Song From Moulin Rouge / Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo
10. Always True To You In My Fashion (from ‘Kiss Me Kate’)
11. Don’t Get Around Much Anymore
12. Lazy Afternoon (from ‘The Golden Apple’) [LISTEN]

PAT SUZUKI – MISS PONY TAIL (STEREO)
13. The Song Is You (from ‘Music In The Air’) [LISTEN]
14. Star Dust
15. Black Coffee [LISTEN]
16. Anything Goes (from ‘Anything Goes’)
17. I’ve Grown Accustomed To His Face (from ‘My Fair Lady’)
18. Daddy
19. My Heart Belongs To Daddy (from ‘Leave It To Me!’)
20. As Time Goes By
21. How High The Moon [LISTEN]
22. The Lady Is A Tramp (from ‘Babes In Arms’) [LISTEN]
23. Be My Love
24. I’ll Never Smile Again

DISC TWO
BROADWAY ’59 (STEREO)
1. I Enjoy Being A Girl (from ‘Flower Drum Song’) [LISTEN]
2. Love Look Away (from ‘Flower Drum Song’)
3. Sunday (from ‘Flower Drum Song’)
4. Two Faces In The Dark (from ‘Redhead’) [LISTEN]
5. Just for Once (from ‘Redhead’) [LISTEN]
6. Tonight (from ‘West Side Story’)
7. On The Street Where You Live (from ‘My Fair Lady’)
8. The Party’s Over (from ‘Bells Are Ringing’)
9. Just In Time (from ‘Bells Are Ringing’)
10. Not Like Me (from ‘First Impressions’) [LISTEN]
11. I Feel Sorry for the Boy (from ‘First Impressions’)
12. Till There Was You (from ‘The Music Man’)
LOOKING AT YOU (STEREO)
13. Looking At You
14. Small World (from ‘Gypsy’) [LISTEN]
15. Cheek To Cheek (from ‘Top Hat’)
16. He’s My Guy
17. My Funny Valentine (from ‘Babes In Arms’) [LISTEN]
18. You Better Go Now
19. You Brought A New Kind Of Love To Me
20. I See Your Face Before Me
21. I Didn’t Know About You
22. Easy Living
23. Don’t Look At Me That Way!
24. Let Me Love You
FLOWER DRUM SONG (ORIGINAL BROADWAY CAST ALBUM)
25. I Enjoy Being A Girl (from ‘Flower Drum Song’ – Bonus Track)
26. Grant Avenue (from ‘Flower Drum Song’ – Bonus Track)

2018 RED BUCKET FOLLIES’ FLOWER DRUM SONG Photo Diary 

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2018 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

Deborah S. Craig Stars in Abracadeborah’s “F**k Christmas” Music Video

Deborah S. Craig
Deborah S. Craig
Deborah S. Craig

Happy Panda Productions has released the music video for Abracadeborah’s satirical hip hop holiday song “F**k Christmas.”  Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Harris Doran (Beauty Mark) and written by and starring Broadway, tv vet and viral video sensation Deborah S. Craig (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, “The Blacklist,” “Yoga for Black People”) the video was shot in Brooklyn, NY

“Deborah S. Craig is fearless in her comedic ability to bring light to the consumerism that has taken over our all of our lives” – Harris Doran

Deborah S. Craig has been featured as a writer/director/actor/producer on the homepage of FunnyorDie.comHuffpo.comBuzzfeed.com,TheBlush.com and ChannelApa.com for her original comedy content. Her original song “I’m a L-L-L-L Lesbian for you” was her fifth video to go viral on youtube. Craig starred in the original Broadway cast of “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” for which she received a Drama Desk Award.  Her expansive tv resume includes “Workaholics”, “Better Things, “”Bull”, “Instinct”, “The Blacklist”, “Transparent”, “Son of Zorn”, “Hart of Dixie”, “Six Degrees” and recently wrapped the film “A Nice Girl Like You” starring Lucy Hale with The Brothers Riedell.

Deborah S. Craig
Deborah S. Craig

Harris Doran wrote and directed the award winning film Beauty Mark, and This Movie Will Get Into Sundance as well as the upcoming satirical webseries The Ivanka Diaries, and has written for Lifetime’s “I Love You… But I Lied” and “Reenact” for TWST.

Written by Deborah S. Craig; beats by Gustavo “JustGoose” Figueroa; directed by Harris Doran and Deborah S. Craig; edited by Harris Doran; Cinematography by Rene Auguste; Mixed by George Shaw; Produced by Deborah S. Craig, Harris Doran and Nicholas Holmes; A Happy Panda Production / Happy Panda Records.

#HappyPandaProductions #Abracadeborah

https://www.youtube.com/friendswithpandas

https://www.facebook.com/DeborahSCraig/

www.deborahscraig.com

www.harrisdoran.com

Jose Llana Set for American Songbook in The Appel Room on February 1 and Will Lead UK Tour of THE KING AND I

Annalene Beechey (Anna) and Jose Llana (The King) in THE KING AND I.
Jose Llana. Photo by Billy Bustamante
Jose Llana. Photo by Billy Bustamante

Broadway vet Jose Llana returns for the 20th season of American Songbook, four years after his sold-out appearance at the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse. He’ll be performing in The Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center on Friday, February 1, 2019 at 8:30 pm. Click here for tickets.

Two decades since the teenaged Jose Llana made his Broadway debut as Lun Tha in the 1996 revival of The King and I, the classically trained tenor has retained his boyish charm and “youthful bravado” (New York Times), now enhanced with the gravitas of a seasoned star. His standout performance as Ferdinand Marcos in the 2013 David Byrne and Fatboy Slim musical Here Lies Love, directed by Alex Timbers, earned Llana a host of rave reviews, along with a Lucille Lortel Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical. As a recording artist, the “charismatic and then some” singer (Showbiz 411) has released two solo albums, Altitude and Jose—both best sellers in his native Philippines—and been featured on numerous cast albums.

Jose llana as The King of Siam in THE KING AND I. Photo by Paul Kolnik
Jose llana as The King of Siam in THE KING AND I. Photo by Paul Kolnik

In 2015 Llana returned to his Broadway roots, taking over the role of the King of Siam in Bartlett Sher’s Tony Award–winning revival of The King and I at Lincoln Center Theater and its subsequent touring production.

Annalene Beechey (Anna) and Jose Llana (The King) in THE KING AND I.
Annalene Beechey (Anna) and Jose Llana (The King) in THE KING AND I.

In Spring 2019, Llana will lead the UK tour of The King and I as The King, with Annalene Beechey as Anna, fresh from her West End success at the London Palladium.

The majestic production will open in Manchester in April 2019, and then visit Dublin, Sunderland, Edinburgh, Leeds, Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Hull, Milton Keynes, Liverpool, Bristol, Woking and Southampton.  Click here for the touring schedule and to book tickets.

The news of the tour comes hot off the heels of the cinema release of the live production of The King and I: From the London Palladium, which has become the biggest live event in cinemas of 2018 following last week’s first global screenings. The production in cinemas has taken in excess of $2.5m at the box office already. In the UK the film reached the number one spot, with more than double the box office of the next film, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. More than 135,000 movie goers packed cinemas across the globe for the initial performance to watch The King and I: From the London Palladium – filmed on stage at the iconic London Palladium. Such has been the demand for tickets, Trafalgar Releasing has scheduled encore screenings both in the UK and globally throughout December and into 2019. The film has already broken all equivalent records.

The West End critics heaped praise on The King and I, the Daily Mail “left the London Palladium on a bright cloud of music”, while the The Times awarded the show “Five stars for a sumptuous King and I” declaring it “a hit”. Daily Express hailed it “London’s theatrical event of 2018” whilst The Daily Telegraph concurred proclaiming the show “looks and sounds ravishing”. Another five stars were awarded from the Sunday Express and the Financial Times called it “simply spellbinding”.

Acclaimed Tony Award-winning Bartlett Sher will once again direct the production and be reunited with the celebrated creative team that brought this majestic production of The King and I to life at the Palladium earlier this year.

Also joining the cast will be Kok-Hwa Lie in the role of Kralahome and Aaron Teoh as Prince Chulalongkorn. Edward Baker-Duly will take on the dual roles of Orton and Ramsay and William M Lee will play Phra Alack. The female ensemble will include Yuki Abe, Miiya Alexandra, Aiko Kato, Misa Koide, Ela Lisondra and Ena Yamaguchi. The male ensemble will include Irvine Ray Abesamis, Cletus Chan, Steven Hardcastle, Eu Jin Hwang, Jesse Milligan, Prem Rai and Joaquin Pedro Valdes. The Swings will be Rachel Jayne Picar, Nick Len and Jasmine Leung.

Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the unconventional and tempestuous relationship that develops between the King of Siam and Anna Leonowens, a British schoolteacher whom the modernist King, in an imperialistic world, brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children. With one of the finest scores ever written including: Whistle a Happy Tune, Getting to Know You and Shall We Dance, featuring a company of over 50 world-class performers, and full scale orchestra, The King and I is a testament to the lavish heritage of gloriously romantic musical theatre – it is the greatest musical from the golden age of musicals.

THE KING AND I UK TOUR

26 April – 11 May 2019
Manchester Opera House
BOOK TICKETS

26 April – 11 May 2019
Bord Gais Energy Theatre Dublin
BOOK TICKETS

5 – 15 June 2019
Sunderland Empire
BOOK TICKETS

16 – 26 October 2019
Edinburgh Playhouse
BOOK TICKETS

29 October – 9 November 2019
Leeds Grand Theatre

10 December 2019 – 4 January 2020
New Alexandra Theatre Birmingham
BOOK TICKETS

8 – 18 January 2020
Cardiff Millenium Centre

28 January – 8 February 2020
King’s Theatre Glasgow
BOOK TICKETS

11 – 22 February 2020
New Theatre Hull

25 February – 7 March 2020
Milton Keynes Theatre
BOOK TICKETS

10 – 21 March 2020
Liverpool Empire Theatre
BOOK TICKETS

24 March – 4 April 2020
Bristol Hippodrome
BOOK TICKETS

7 – 18 April 2020
New Victoria Theatre Woking
BOOK TICKETS

21 April – 2 May 2020
Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2018 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