Bonnie Milligan, Christiane Noll, Nehal Joshi, Pamela Bob, EJ Zimmerman, Alan Ariano, Shea Renne and more set for Industry Presentation of Lynne Shankel’s New Musical POSTCARD AMERICAN TOWN on January 12

Lynne Shankel
Lynne Shankel
Lynne Shankel

The new musical POSTCARD AMERICAN TOWN will have its first industry presentation in New York City on January 12th. This timely new musical features a book by Crystal Skillman (Geek, Mary & Max) and music and lyrics by Lynne Shankel (Allegiance, Cry- Baby, bare: The Musical, Altar Boyz), with direction by Stafford Arima (Allegiance, Carrie, bare: the Musical, Altar Boyz), musical direction by Michael Gacetta (Groundhog Day, Matilda) and music supervision by Mary-Mitchell Campbell (Mean Girls, Tuck Everlasting, Finding Neverland, Company).

The cast features: Bonnie Milligan (Gigantic, Kinky Boots), Christiane Noll (Ragtime, Jekyll & Hyde), Zach Piser (Wicked), Nehal Joshi (Les Miserables Original Revival, School of Rock), Laura Jordan (Cry-Baby), Pamela Bob (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder), Jodi Capeless (All About Me), Tally Sessions (Falsettos), EJ Zimmerman (Les Misérables), Alan Ariano (Miss Saigon) Shea Renne (Allegiance), Michael Buchanan (Book of Mormon), Chuck Ragsdale (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, US Tour), Christian Whelan (“Blacklist”) and Melody Madarasz (Mad Libs Live).

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GOLD MOUNTAIN’s Jason Ma, Jazz Legend Dee Dee Bridgewater and COME FROM AWAY’s David Hein and Irene Sankoff Among Honorees At The 2017 ASCAP Foundation Honors

Jason Ma
Jason Ma
Jason Ma

The 2017 ASCAP Foundation Honors were held at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City tonight.

Jason Ma, who created the book, music, lyrics and orchestrations for the musical Gold Mountain, an epic love story set against the backdrop of the 1860s construction of The Central Pacific Railroad, received The 2017 ASCAP Foundation Cole Porter Award. The ASCAP Foundation also honored jazz legend Dee Dee Bridgewater with The ASCAP Foundation Champion Award, and acclaimed Broadway composers/lyricists/librettists David Hein and Irene Sankoff with the Richard Rodgers New Horizons Award.

A complete list of 2017 ASCAP Foundation Scholarship and Award recipients can be found here.

Past recipients of the Cole Porter Award, presented annually to an emerging composer/lyricist “whose work shows promise,” include Brett Ryback, Sam Willmott and Peter Mills.

Ma’s musical Gold Mountain was presented at the 2016 ASCAP/DreamWorks Musical Theatre Workshop in Los Angeles.

Jonny Lee Jr. and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee Jr. and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang

In late October, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA star Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee, Jr. starred in a glorious sold out concert of Gold Mountain at TheTimesCenter, directed by Alan Muraoka and produced by National Asian Artists Project in partnership with Prospect Theater Company as a part of Prospect’s IGNITE series. Gold Mountain is a love story set against the epic backdrop of a pivotal event in America’s history, the construction of the first transcontinental railroad, and celebrates the striving immigrant spirit, the redemptive power of love and the ultimate nobility of self-sacrifice. www.goldmountainthemusical.com

GOLD MOUNTAIN Director Alan Muraoka, Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Creator Jason Ma at TheTimesCenter in New York on October 21, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
GOLD MOUNTAIN Director Alan Muraoka, Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Creator Jason Ma at TheTimesCenter in New York on October 21, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast also included Alan Ariano, Lawrence-Michael Arias, Eric Badique, Eric Bondoc,Tyler Bunch, Marc de la Cruz, Dan Edwards, Steven Eng, Alex Hsu, Brian Kim, Daniel May, and members of the NAAP Broadway Community Chorus: Ben Bartels, Eric Elizaga, David Eng, Alphonse Gonzales, Andrew Sakaguchi, and Viet Vo.

The Company of GOLD MOUNTAIN at TheTimesCenter in New York on October 21, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
The Company of GOLD MOUNTAIN at TheTimesCenter in New York on October 21, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

GOLD MOUNTAIN featured choreography by Billy Bustamante, music direction by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, with Todd Low on erhu and viola, Steven Lyon on dizi, flute, and piccolo, and Leigh Stuart on cello. The concert was line produced by Julie L. Miller.

Billy Bustamante, Jason Ma, Baayork Lee, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Alan Muraoka, Steven Eng and Cara Reichel. Photo by Lia Chang
Billy Bustamante, Jason Ma, Baayork Lee, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Alan Muraoka, Steven Eng and Cara Reichel. Photo by Lia Chang

I had the opportunity to photograph several rehearsals, tech, the performance and the afterparty. Below is my conversation with Jason.

Lawrence-Michael C. Arias, Alex Hsu, Alphonse Gonzales, Daniel May, Marc de la Cruz, Jason Ma, Daniel J. Edwards, Alan Ariano and Andrew Sakaguchi. Photo by Lia Chang
Lawrence-Michael C. Arias, Alex Hsu, Alphonse Gonzales, Daniel May, Marc de la Cruz, Jason Ma, Daniel J. Edwards, Alan Ariano and Andrew Sakaguchi. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: How has The Ascap Foundation made a difference in your life and career?
Jason: The ASCAP Foundation put Gold Mountain front and center before a panel of some of the most respected and successful writers in the business during the 2016 ASCAP/DreamWorks Musical Theatre Workshop, led by Stephen Schwartz. The feedback from these folks was so encouraging and practical, and I was able to apply all their good information in the continued work on the piece afterward. Inclusion in the workshop opened many doors for me. The ASCAP stamp of approval worked wonders and resulted in a number of opportunities for growth and visibility.

GOLD MOUNTAIN creator Jason Ma and the company in rehearsal at Ripley-Grier Rehearsal Studios in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
GOLD MOUNTAIN creator Jason Ma and the company in rehearsal at Ripley-Grier Rehearsal Studios in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: What does it mean to you to receive The 2017 ASCAP Foundation Cole Porter Award?
Jason: It means that the American dream is alive and well. My father came into the country with forged papers while the Chinese Exclusion Act was federal law. For the son of an illegal immigrant to be given an award named after Cole Porter is probably the most awesome sign to me that all things are still possible, even in this day and age.

Jason Ma with his parents at Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada.
Jason Ma with his parents at Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada.

Lia: What inspired you to create Gold Mountain?
Jason: I’m still figuring this one out. I was in the middle of a performance backstage during a long run of a show when I started picturing and hearing a Chinese man and woman on a hillside in America sharing their memories of home with each other. I asked myself, “Who are they and how did they get there?” and then the writing started. In the ensuing years since then, I’ve tried to figure out where that initial creative impulse came from. Perhaps it was an attempt to fill in a gap in the musical theater canon — a story written about a community which is not often included in our culture and stories, and an opportunity to see the world and our country’s history through a different, but universal, lens of human experience.

GOLD MOUNTAIN musical director Kristen Lee Rosenfeld and creator Jason Ma at Ripley-Grier Rehearsal Studios in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
GOLD MOUNTAIN musical director Kristen Lee Rosenfeld and creator Jason Ma at Ripley-Grier Rehearsal Studios in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang
Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: What did it feel like to experience the concert of Gold Mountain in New York?
Jason: It felt like this:

I had this lovely corner in the back of the house all to myself, where I had a view of the entire audience. To watch them experience this story and see how invested they were in the lives of the people onstage was an experience of a lifetime for me. I’m still reeling from it.

Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN Concert and AfterParty 

The Company of GOLD MOUNTAIN in rehearsal at Ripley-Grier Rehearsal Studios in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
The Company of GOLD MOUNTAIN in rehearsal at Ripley-Grier Rehearsal Studios in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
GOLD MOUNTAIN received a 2017 eStudio grant for a workshop at The Masie Center this past summer. Courtesy of Masie Productions
GOLD MOUNTAIN received a 2017 eStudio grant for a workshop at The Masie Center this past summer. Courtesy of Masie Productions

Gold Mountain was also selected for development by Apples & Oranges Studios for their 2017 THEatre ACCELERATOR, presented as a staged reading for San Francisco LaborFest 2016 at The Aurora Theatre, and received a 2017 eStudio grant for a workshop at The Masie Center this past summer.

Jason Ma has provided theater music for The Old Globe, Ma-Yi Theater Company, Leviathan Lab, and Ugly Rhino, and is the composer and co-lyricist for the full-length musical Barcelona, written with Christine Toy Johnson (book/co-lyricist). He is also an actor who has appeared in a number of productions on Broadway, as well as numerous regional, international and Off-Broadway productions.

Francis Jue, Lia Chang, Alan Muraoka, Ann Harada, Robert Sella, Christine Toy Johnson and Jason Ma. Photo by Daniel J. Edwards
Francis Jue, Lia Chang, Alan Muraoka, Ann Harada, Robert Sella, Christine Toy Johnson and Jason Ma. Photo by Daniel J. Edwards

About The ASCAP Foundation

Founded in 1975, The ASCAP Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting American music creators and encouraging their development through music education, talent development and humanitarian programs. Included in these are songwriting workshops, grants, scholarships, awards, recognition and community outreach programs. The ASCAP Foundation is supported by contributions from ASCAP members and from music lovers throughout the United States.

www.ascapfoundation.org

Jonny Lee, Jr. and the ensemble. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee, Jr. and the ensemble. Photo by Lia Chang

Broadwayworld.com: Photo Flash: Alan Muraoka Helms Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN; Concert At TimesCenter On October 21

National Asian Artists Project and Prospect Theater Company Present a Concert Performance of Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN Featuring Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr., Alan Ariano, and More at The TimesCenter on October 21 

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

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

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

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2017 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Star Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee, Jr. Rehearse Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN; Concert at The TimesCenter on October 21

Jonny Lee Jr. and Ali Ewoldt Photo by Lia Chang

The radiant Ali Ewoldt can be seen on three different stages in New York this month.

James Barbour and Ali Ewoldt in "The Phantom Of The Opera." (photo credit: Matthew Murphy)
James Barbour and Ali Ewoldt in “The Phantom Of The Opera.” (photo credit: Matthew Murphy)

In addition to starring as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, Ewoldt and Jonny Lee Jr. will star in the one- night only concert of GOLD MOUNTAIN, featuring book, music, and lyrics by 2017 ASCAP Foundation Cole Porter Award winner Jason Ma, on Saturday, October 21st at 8pm at The TimesCenter (242 West 41st Street, NYC).

Jonny Lee Jr. and Ali Ewoldt Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee Jr. and Ali Ewoldt
Photo by Lia Chang

Ma’s original musical spins an epic love story, set against the backdrop of the 1860s construction of The Central Pacific Railroad is being presented as part of Prospect Theater Company’s  2017-18 IGNITE Series in partnership with National Asian Artists Project (NAAP founders: Baayork Lee, Steven Eng and Nina Zoie Lam).  www.NAAProject.org

DIRECTOR Alan Muraoka, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
DIRECTOR Alan Muraoka, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast also includes Alan Ariano (Lincoln Center’s The King & I), Lawrence-Michael Arias, Eric Badique, Eric Bondoc, Tyler Bunch, Marc Dela Cruz, Dan Edwards, Steven Eng (CSC’s Pacific Overtures), Alex Hsu, Brian Kim, and Daniel May. Also featured are members of the NAAP Broadway Community Chorus: Ben Bartels, Eric Elizaga, David Eng, Alphonse Gonzales, Andrew Sakaguchi, and Viet Vo.

GOLD MOUNTAIN creator Jason Ma and Director Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang
GOLD MOUNTAIN creator Jason Ma and Director Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang

The evening will be directed by Alan Muraoka, with choreography by Billy Bustamante. Music direction is by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, who will lead an ensemble of three musicians: Todd Low, playing erhu and viola (Dear Evan Hansen), Steven Lyon on dizi, flute, and piccolo (Pacific Overtures revival at CSC), and Leigh Stuart on cello (Chamber Orchestra of New York). Orchestrations are by Jason Ma. The concert is line produced by Julie L. Miller.

Musical Director Kristen Rosenfeld. Photo by Lia Chang
Musical Director Kristen Rosenfeld. Photo by Lia Chang

It is 1866 and the Central Pacific Railroad is being built by the thousands of Chinese men who comprise the majority of laborers employed in the dangerous, backbreaking work. As blasting and tunneling begins at the granite base of the Sierra Nevada, new workers arrive: Guan Ming Chong and his son, Lit Ning. They find the work camp populated with an eclectic cross-section of their countrymen. To his father’s dismay, Lit Ning is persuaded to accept the lucrative but extremely risky job of “fuse runner,” the man who lights the fuses of explosives in the tunnels and then runs to safety.

Lit meets and falls in love with a Chinese woman, Yook Mei, shunned because she works in a brothel patronized by “white demons.” Amidst the railroad workers’ strike, Lit tries to rescue the woman he loves from her degradation, but fate intervenes and the lovers must find their own way to salvation and peace.

Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang

GOLD MOUNTAIN melds the sound and form of American musical theater with elements of Chinese opera, Far Eastern mythology, Confucian ideology and Chinese language idioms, as well as dramatizing the Chinese railroad workers’ strike and a freezing, deadly winter living in the tunnels as the workers continued their labors in the Sierra Nevada.

Single tickets are $25, $35 and $45, and may be obtained through online purchase at www.NAAProject.org or www.ProspectTheater.org or by calling 212-352-3101. Prospect members save 40% on ticket prices. Tickets may also be purchased at the door, beginning at 7pm on the night of the concert.

Ali Ewoldt, GOLD MOUNTAIN Musical Director Kristen Rosenfeld and Creator Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt, GOLD MOUNTAIN Musical Director Kristen Rosenfeld and Creator Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang
Matt Doyle and Ali Ewoldt
Matt Doyle and Ali Ewoldt

On Friday, October 27th, Ewoldt and Matt Doyle (The Book of Mormon, War Horse, Spring Awakening, Bye, Bye Birdie) will perform with The New York Pops, led by Music Director Steven Reineke, at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, with a concert celebrating the centennial of the birth of the orchestra’s founder, Skitch Henderson (1918-2018). The concert will feature the full 78-piece New York Pops orchestra performing some of the greatest hits of popular song, from Tin Pan Alley to today.

Jonny Lee, Jr., Ali Ewoldt, GOLD MOUNTAIN Musical Director Kristen Rosenfeld, Creator Jason Ma, Director Alan Muraoka, ASM Christina Russo. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee, Jr., Ali Ewoldt, GOLD MOUNTAIN Musical Director Kristen Rosenfeld, Creator Jason Ma, Director Alan Muraoka, ASM Christina Russo. Photo by Lia Chang

Ali Ewoldt’s other credits include: Lincoln Center’s Broadway revival of The King and I, the first Broadway revival and National Tour of Les Misérables (Cosette), The Fantasticks Off-Broadway (Luisa), West Side Story (Broadway 1st National Tour, PCLO, The MUNY, MTWichita: Maria), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (The MUNY), The King and I (Lyric Opera of Chicago: Tuptim), Carnival (Musicals Tonight: Lili), A Christmas Carol (McCarter Theatre: Fan), The Secret Garden (FITC: Rose) and concerts at Alice Tully Hall, The Town Hall, and Feinstein’s/54 Below. TV and film credits include “The Michael J. Fox Show”, Yield (Leviathan Lab), and “DRAMA” (webseries). She received a BA in Psychology from Yale University. www.aliewoldt.com

Alan Muraoka, Ali Ewoldt and Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang
Alan Muraoka, Ali Ewoldt and Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang

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

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

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

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2017 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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GOLD MOUNTAIN’s Jason Ma to receive 2017 ASCAP Foundation Cole Porter Award

Jason Ma
Jason Ma
Jason Ma

Congratulations to Jason Ma who will received the 2017 ASCAP Foundation Cole Porter Award at the 2017 ASCAP Foundation Honors Celebration, an annual invitation-only event held at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City on Thursday, December 14th.

Past recipients of the Cole Porter Award, presented annually to an emerging composer/lyricist “whose work shows promise,” include Brett Ryback, Sam Willmott and Peter Mills.

Ma’s musical Gold Mountain was presented at the 2016 ASCAP/DreamWorks Musical Theatre Workshop in Los Angeles and will be performed in its entirety in an upcoming concert starring PHANTOM OF THE OPERA star Ali Ewoldt, directed by Alan Muraoka and produced by National Asian Artists Project in partnership with Prospect Theater Company as a part of Prospect’s IGNITE series at TheTimesCenter on Saturday, October 21st at 8pm.

Director Alan Muraoka, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA star Ali Ewoldt and author Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang
Director Alan Muraoka, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA star Ali Ewoldt and author Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang

Gold Mountain is a love story set against the epic backdrop of a pivotal event in America’s history, the construction of the first transcontinental railroad, and celebrates the striving immigrant spirit, the redemptive power of love and the ultimate nobility of self-sacrifice.

Gold Mountain was also selected for development by Apples & Oranges Studios for their 2017 THEatre ACCELERATOR, presented as a staged reading for San Francisco LaborFest 2016 at The Aurora Theatre, and received a 2017 eStudio grant for a workshop at The Masie Center this past summer.

Jason Ma has provided theater music for The Old Globe, Ma-Yi Theater Company, Leviathan Lab, and Ugly Rhino, and is the composer and co-lyricist for the full-length musical Barcelona, written with Christine Toy Johnson (book/co-lyricist). He is also an actor who has appeared in a number of productions on Broadway, as well as numerous regional, international and Off-Broadway productions.

Single tickets for the October concert are $25, $35 and $45, and may be obtained through online purchase at www.NAAProject.org or www.ProspectTheater.org or by calling 212-352-3101. Tickets may also be purchased at the door, beginning at 7pm on the night of the concert. The TimesCenter (www.TheTimesCenter.com) is located at 242 West 41st Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues, in the heart of NYC’s Times Square District.

National Asian Artists Project and Prospect Theater Company Present a Concert Performance of Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN Featuring Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr., Alan Ariano, and More at The TimesCenter on October 21 

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

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

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

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2017 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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National Asian Artists Project and Prospect Theater Company Present a Concert Performance of Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN Featuring Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr., Alan Ariano and More at The TimesCenter on October 21

Alan Muraoka, Ali Ewoldt and Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang
Director Alan Muraoka, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA star Ali Ewoldt and author Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang
Director Alan Muraoka, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA star Ali Ewoldt and author Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang

National Asian Artists Project (NAAP) and Prospect Theater Company are presenting a concert production of Gold Mountain, a new musical written by Jason Ma. The staged concert will be directed by Alan Muraoka, with musical direction by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld and choreography by Billy Bustamante. The cast of 13 actors include Ali Ewoldt (currently starring as Christine in the Broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera), Jonny Lee, Jr., Alan Ariano, Lawrence-Michael Arias, Eric Badique, Eric Bondoc, Tyler Bunch, Marc Dela Cruz, Dan Edwards, Steven Eng, Alex Hsu, Brian Kim, and Daniel May. Joining the cast are NAAP Broadway Community Chorus members Ben Bartels, Eric Elizaga, David Eng, Alphonse Gonzales, Andrew Sakaguchi, and Viet Vo.

The performance will take place at The TimesCenter (242 W 41st St, New York, NY) on Saturday, October 21, 2017, at 8:00 PM. Tickets are available from www.NAAProject.org.

In today’s charged rhetoric surrounding America’s immigrant population, Jason Ma’s new musical Gold Mountain, comes to remind us of the often forgotten and unrecognized story of the earliest Chinese-Americans and their substantial contribution to building one of the nation’s most significant infrastructures, the transcontinental railroad.

About Gold Mountain:
Imagine you are a young man, a “fuse runner,” whose job it is to light fuses and run as fast as you can to stay alive…and then, do it all again. It is 1866 in the Sierra Nevada. A world where danger is an everyday occurrence. A world where Love is salvation. Where one woman can change the lives of all she touches.

Gold Mountain is a love story set against the backdrop of a pivotal event in America’s history, the construction of the first transcontinental railroad, and celebrates the striving immigrant spirit, the redemptive power of love and the ultimate nobility of self-sacrifice.

Courtesy of Masie Productions
Courtesy of Masie Productions

Gold Mountain has been presented at the 2016 ASCAP/DreamWorks Musical Theatre Workshop in Los Angeles, selected for development by Apples & Oranges Studios for their 2017 THEatre ACCELERATOR, presented as a staged reading for San Francisco LaborFest 2016 at The Aurora Theatre, and most recently received a 2017 eStudio grant for a workshop at The Masie Center (founded by Elliott Masie in Saratoga Springs, NY) this past summer, using remote rehearsal technology to enable theater artists in different cities to work with each other in real time. For more information about Gold Mountain, visit www.GoldMountainTheMusical.com

About Writer/Composer Jason Ma:
Writer, Jason Ma, is a first-generation son of an immigrant family. He’s also a composer, lyricist, filmmaker, and most of all, a creature of the theater. In addition to Gold Mountain, Jason has also written music for The Old Globe, Ma-Yi Theater Company, Leviathan Lab, and Ugly Rhino. During a two-year artists’ residency at CAP 21 with librettist/co-lyricist Christine Toy Johnson, Jason wrote music and lyrics for the full-length musical Barcelona, which was subsequently selected for presentation at Village Theatre’s 2015 Festival of New Musicals on their mainstage. He wrote the score for the short film Yield, and as a principal at Red Phone Productions, produced and provided story, film scores and song for The Barrelman Caper and the 2013 Grand Prize winner of AA FilmLab’s 72 Hour Shootout, Ins & Outs.

About National Asian Artists Project:
NAAP was founded in 2009 by Baayork Lee, Steven Eng and Nina Zoie Lam. Prominent theater artists in their own right, they joined together in an effort to address what they felt was a significant lack of opportunity for professional Asian-American theater artists to practice their craft and contribute on a broader level to the diversity of the American theater. NAAP seeks to showcase the work of professional theater artists of Asian descent through performance, education and outreach. NAAP is a community of artists, educators, administrators, community leaders and professionals who recognize the need to bridge the work of artists of Asian descent to the many communities the work can serve, from underserved primary school students to seasoned arts patrons. For more information about NAAP, visit www.NAAProject.org

Nina Zoie Lam, Baayork Lee and Steven Eng, the founders of NAAP onstage before the performance of Oliver!, at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre 
inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Nina Zoie Lam, Baayork Lee and Steven Eng, the founders of NAAP onstage before the performance of Oliver!, at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre 
inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

In 2017, NAAP founder Baayork Lee was honored with the 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award, presented annually to a member of the theatre community who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of one or more humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations. NAAP was proudly cited and showcased as a contributing factor in the award.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Jonathan Groff and Brian d'Arcy James present Baayork Lee with the Isabelle Stevenson Award award onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 11: Jonathan Groff and Brian d’Arcy James present Baayork Lee with the Isabelle Stevenson Award award onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

About Prospect Theater Company:
Prospect Theater Company (founded in 1998) is dedicated to fostering and showcasing today’s new voices shaping tomorrow’s musicals. Since 2000, the company has fully produced more than 30 premiere musicals in New York City, in addition to new plays and numerous re-inventions of classic works. Reflecting its investment in the future of the field, Prospect leads a variety of developmental initiatives, including an annual Musical Theater Lab for emerging writers, and a Summer Intensive training program for teenagers. In recognition of its enterprising and risk-taking new musical theater, the company received a 2016 OBIE Award grant. Their work as a community anchor for emerging artists that strengthens the quality, diversity, and dynamism of American theater was also honored with a 2013 National Theatre Company Grant from the American Theatre Wing. Notable productions include: the Drama Desk Award-winning Working (2012), Jasper in Deadland (2014), the Drama-Desk nominated Tamar of the River (2013), Unlock’d (2013), Iron Curtain (2006, 2011), Myths and Hymns (2012), With Glee (2010), The Blue Flower (2008), Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge (2009), The Hidden Sky (2010), Illyria (2002, 2008), and the Drama-Desk nominated The Pursuit of Persephone (2005). For more information about Prospect Theater Company, visit http://www.ProspectTheater.org

Prospect’s IGNITE Series is an ongoing concert initiative at The TimesCenter, featuring today’s new voices shaping tomorrow’s musical theater. Reflecting Prospect’s dedication to fostering and producing work by emerging artists, IGNITE Series programming will include premieres of original material by award-winning songwriters; cutting-edge creations straight from Prospect’s annual Musical Theater Lab; concert presentations of musicals in development; debuts of commissioned work targeted to teen audiences, performed by the participants in Prospect’s Summer Intensive training program; and more.

This performance is funded in part by the Ford Foundation and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Multimedia: Baayork Lee Accepts The Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award At The 71st Annual Tony Awards

David Henry Hwang, Baayork Lee, Eva Noblezada, Linda Cho, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, John Douglas Thompson, Richard Thomas, Laura Linney and More at Tony Honors Special Honorees of 2017 Cocktail Party Baayork Lee to Receive the 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award 

NAAP Broadway Community Chorus -An Evening of Jerry Herman with Special Guests Cindy Cheung and John D. Haggerty

Robert Fairchild, Mara Davi, Jason Tam, J. Elaine Marcos, Sabrina Bryan & More Set for Baayork Lee Helmed A CHORUS LINE at The Hollywood Bowl

Baayork Lee to Helm ‘ALICE IN WONDERLAND’ Musical at Madison Theatre at Molloy College

Photos: Tommy Tune, Bob Avian, Lee Roy Reams, Christine Toy Johnson, Orville Mendoza, Lori Tan Chinn, Raul Aranas, Virginia Wing and More Celebrate 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award Recipient Baayork Lee

National Asian Artists Project To Present All-Asian Production of OLIVER! Featuring Raul Aranas, Anthea Neri, Bonale Zohn Fambrini, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Cindy Cheung, Scott Watanabe, Virginia Wing, David Shih and More 

Photos: Christine Toy Johnson, Baayork Lee, Jose Llana, Ann Harada, Dodie Pettit and More at Charles Randolph-Wright’s “Three Voices” concert series at Stage 72

Christine Toy Johnson and Raul Aranas Lead the Cast of the National Asian Artists Project’s (NAAP) Benefit Presentation of Hello Dolly!, at The Pershing Square Signature Center

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

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

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

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MISS SAIGON Cast Members Set for National Asian Artists Project Benefit Concert at the Green Room 42 on August 6

The cast of MISS SAIGON Courtesy of NAAP/Facebook

On Sunday, August 6th, the Green Room 42 (570 10th Avenue) will welcome the cast of Broadway’s Miss Saigon for a special concert to benefit the National Asian Artists Project at 8:00 P.M.

The cast of MISS SAIGON Courtesy of NAAP/Facebook
The cast of MISS SAIGON Courtesy of NAAP/Facebook

The night is being hosted by Devin Ilaw who plays Thuy in the current Broadway company of Miss Saigon. Performers will include: Paul HeeSang Miller, Nkrumah Gatling, Viveca Chow, Emily Bautista, Antoine L. Smith, Robert Pendilla, Lina Lee, Julian DeGuzman, Anna-Lee Wright, Carol Angeli, Travis Ward-Osborne, Casey Garvin.

Special guests include: Bob Avian (Original Choreographer of Miss Saigon and A Chorus Line), Richard Jay-Alexander (Associate Producer of the Original Miss Saigon), Tony Award winning Costume Designer William Ivey, Fashion Designer Malan Breton and Alan Ariano (Original cast member of Miss Saigon).

The Green Room 42 at the Yotel
570 10th Avenue, NYC
4th Floor
(646) 449-7790

Tickets* start at $15 and can be purchased at: bit.ly/2urv2Zd
(make reservations in 15-minute increments from 6:45 to 7:30)

* $15 General Admission, $40 VIP seating includes A signed Miss Saigon poster.

Nina Zoie Lam, Baayork Lee and Steven Eng, the founders of NAAP, onstage before the performance of Oliver! at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre 
inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Nina Zoie Lam, Baayork Lee and Steven Eng, the founders of NAAP, onstage before the performance of Oliver! at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre 
inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

National Asian Artists’ Project, founded in 2002, is a New York-based non-profit organization that is dedicated to showcasing the work of Asian-American theatre artists through performance, outreach, and educational programming. In their professional careers, NAAP founders Baayork Lee, Steven Eng, and Nina Zoie Lam, saw that with the few well-paid jobs that existed for any theater artist, prospects were even more dismal for an artist of Asian descent. Lee is a director, choreographer, and dancer on Broadway; Eng is an actor and singer on the West End; and Lam is an actor and dancer on Broadway. Through NAAP, they continually seek to provide professional opportunities and training to Asian artists, to bridge diverse communities with the outstanding work of professional artists of Asian descent, and to inspire children and adults to bring the arts into their lives. Their programmatic activities include Discover – a series presenting one-act musicals; Rediscover – a series producing classic musicals; Broadway Community Chorus – offering musical training; and Theatre Club – offering professional theatre training.

Multimedia: Baayork Lee Accepts The Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award At The 71st Annual Tony Awards 

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in  Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2017 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at lia@liachang.com