Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN Sold Out in Salt Lake City, Final Casting Announced

Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee Jr. in Gold Mountain at The TimesCenter in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

Gold Mountain has sold out its Salt Lake City run, and those hoping to catch one of the Spike 150 celebration performances can see this original musical in nearby Ogden.

Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee Jr. in Gold Mountain at The TimesCenter in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee Jr. in Gold Mountain at The TimesCenter in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

Final casting has been announced for the semi-staged concert presentations of the Jason Ma written musical with a company of Asian American actors, including Ali Ewoldt (The Phantom of the Opera), Jonny Lee Jr, Joseph Steven Yang (Aubergine at Playwrights Horizons), Darren Lee (Allegiance), Kiet Tai Cao, Lawrence-Michael C. Arias, Steven Eng (CSC’s Pacific Overtures), Eric Bondoc (Pacific Overtures, 2004 revival), Daniel May (Soft Power), Alex Hsu, Eric Elizaga, Viet Vo, joined by Utah actor Robert Scott Smith.

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

Direction will be provided by Alan Muraoka, choreography by Billy Bustamante, and music direction by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld. Performances in Ogden will take place in partnership with Ogden Musical Theatre at the historic Peery’s Egyptian Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 10 and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 11. The sold out performances in Salt Lake City are set for the Regent Street Black Box at The Eccles Theater on Wednesday, May 8 and Thursday, May 9, both at 8:00 p.m.

Other events that will be a part of the Spike 150 celebration of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad include two staged readings of David Henry Hwang’s The Dance and the Railroad, directed by Billy Bustamante for Salt Lake Acting Company on May 6 and 7, followed by a panel discussion with Hwang, Ma and Paisley Rekdal, the poet laureate of Utah on the 6th. Brian Stokes Mitchell and Megan Hilty will headline a concert with the Utah Symphony and The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square on Friday, May 10.

Spike 150 is expecting around 600,000 people will attend the celebration events planned and that the activities planned will reach approximately 2.5 million people.

About Gold Mountain:

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

Gold Mountain was most recently presented at TheTimesCenter in New York City by the National Asian Artists Project in partnership with Prospect Theater Company as a part of their 2017 IGNITE series. It was also selected for presentation at the 2016 ASCAP/DreamWorks Musical Theatre Workshop in Los Angeles, for development by Apples & Oranges Studios in their 2017 THEatre ACCELERATOR, for a staged reading at San Francisco LaborFest 2016 in The Aurora Theatre, and for a 2017 eStudio grant for a developmental workshop at The Masie Center.

About the Writer and Director:
Jason Ma (Writer) is a son of an immigrant family, and a grateful descendant of a long line of those who were able to persist, overcome and succeed on their way to becoming Americans. He wrote book, music and lyrics for Gold Mountain and is the 2017 recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Cole Porter Award for his work as a composer/lyricist. Along with writing, he is an actor who has been seen on Broadway and Off-Broadway stages, in regional theaters and many international venues. Please visit: www.goldmountainthemusical.com

Alan Muraoka (Director) NY directing credits: Avenue Q (Off-Broadway Resident Director), Telly Leung: Telly on a Sunday (Birdland-November 2018), The Report (NY Fringe), Kung Fu (Signature Theatre-AD), Ann Harada: American Songbook (Lincoln Center), Awesomer& Awesomer!!!(Triad Theatre), The King and I (Harbor Lights Theatre), Telly Leung: Playlist and What Makes a Man? (54 Below), Ali Ewoldt: From Phantom to Phantom (54 Below) Grand Hotel (NYU/Cap 21),Falsettoland(NAATCO), John Tartaglia AD-LIBerty(Joe’s Pub) & Christmas Eve With Christmas Eve (BC/EFA Benefits). Regionally: South Pacific &Once On This Island (Olney Theatre),The King and I, Xanadu, Disney’s High School Musicaland Disney’s High School Musical 2 (all at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma), Disney’s High School Musical(MUNY, Casa Manana), Urinetown(Trinity University), and Up In The Air(Kennedy Center-AD). Television:Sesame Street,Macy’sThanksgiving Day Parade. As an actor, Alan is most recognizable for his role in the Emmy Award winning series, “Sesame Street,” where he plays “Alan,” the proprietor of Hooper’s Store. He has appeared in 7 Broadway shows; “Aladdin”, “Pacific Overtures,” “Mail,” “Shogun, the Musical,” “My Favorite Year,” “The King and I”(with Lou Diamond Phillips and Donna Murphy), and most notably “Miss Saigon,” where he played the lead role of the Engineer. Member SSDC & DGA. Website: www.alanmuraoka.net Follow on Instagram: #alanathoopers

About Production Partners:
Spike 150: Spike 150 is an initiative of Utah’s Transcontinental Railroad 150th Celebration Commission. The Utah State Legislature and Governor Gary Herbert established the Commission in 2017. Utah’s Transcontinental Railroad 150th Celebration Commission will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the “wedding of the rails” by the driving of the Golden Spike at Promontory Summit, Utah in 1869 on the weekend of May 10 – 11, 2019. The Commission is also engaged in promoting other commemorative events and activities that inspire, unify, educate and advance the legacy of this historic moment. More at: https://spike150.org

CRWDA: The Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association is a national, membership based, charitable organization which seeks to preserve, promote and protect the contributions made by Chinese railroad workers to the United States. Through our educational and philanthropic efforts, we support academic research, historic preservation and artistic projects that further the understanding and appreciation of the sacrifices, struggles, hardships and contributions made by generations of Chinese and Chinese Americans to the United States. Learn more at https://www.goldenspike150.org/

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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.

AVENUE Q/Sesame Street’s Jennifer Barnhart Sparkles in Cabaret Debut At The Laurie Beechman; Encore Performance on April 7

Jim Donica, Jennifer Barnhart and director Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia chang
Gary Adler, Jennifer Barnhart, Jim Donica. Photo by Lia Chang
Gary Adler, Jennifer Barnhart, Jim Donica. Photo by Lia Chang

After years of playing well with others – whether singing backup for friends’ shows, or crooning alongside a cast of puppet characters – Jennifer Barnhart stepped into the spotlight and slayed in her debut solo cabaret on March 31st, fittingly titled, “It’s About Time!” at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, downstairs at the Westbank Cafe on 42nd Street.

Alan Muraoka, Jennifer Barnhart. Photo by Lia Chang
Alan Muraoka, Jennifer Barnhart. Photo by Lia Chang

“Sesame Street”‘s Alan Muraoka was at the helm of an evening of stories, silliness and song as the statuesque and gifted comedienne shared the journey that led her to two of the most famous streets in the world: Broadway and Sesame Street.

Music Director Gary Adler. Photo by Lia Chang
Music Director Gary Adler. Photo by Lia Chang

Ms. Barnhart was accompanied by music director Gary Adler, bassist Jim Donica and percussionist Michael Croiter, all of whom were in the original Avenue Q orchestra. She was joined by puppeteer Rick Lyon.

Jennifer Barnhart, the Bad Idea Bears and Rick Lyon. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart, the Bad Idea Bears and Rick Lyon. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart, the Bad Idea Bears and Rick Lyon. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart, the Bad Idea Bears and Rick Lyon. Photo by Lia Chang

Her entertaining set list included: “It’s Today,” “I Had Someone Else,” “Moonlight Savings Time,” “I Love Rock & Roll, “Just in Time,” “Natural Woman” sung with Cleo the Lion, “Black Coffee,” “Not Perfect,” “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Barcelona” with Rick Lyon and the Bad Idea Bears, “Drinking for Two,” “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park” with Mrs. T. Roz, “Brave,” “Crazy World,” “Save Your Sorrow for Tomorrow”. She sang followed  “Let the Rest of the World Go By,” as her encore.

Gary Adler, Jennifer Barnhart, Rick Lyon, Jim Donica, Alan Muraoka and Michael Croiter. Photo by Lia Chang
Gary Adler, Jennifer Barnhart, Rick Lyon, Jim Donica, Alan Muraoka and Michael Croiter. Photo by Lia Chang

Catch Ms. Barnhart in her second performance on Sunday, April 7th at 7:00 pm. Click here for tickets.

Jennifer Barnhart. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart. Photo by Lia Chang

Jennifer Barnhart (Performer) was an Original Broadway Company member (Outer Critics Circle Award) of the smash Tony Award-winning hit Avenue Q, and she remained with the show in the role she created for its entire six-year run on Broadway. As a puppeteer, Jennifer has performed on numerous children’s television shows, most notably “Between the Lions,” “Bear in the Big Blue House,” “Johnny & the Sprites,” “Julie’s Greenroom” (with Julie Andrews, for Netflix), and “Sesame Street,” where she plays Zoe. Some favorite ‘human’ roles include: Lady Macbeth, Goneril and Veronica in God of Carnage (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), and Officer Randy in Superior Donuts (The Arden Theatre). She has also appeared on “Law & Order: SVU” (once as a puppeteer) and was the Speaker of the House on Season 5 of “House of Cards”. Jennifer’s voice can be heard on various educational apps, and as a narrator for the YA novel The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle (Penguin/Random House). Website: www.jenniferbarnhart.com Follow on Instagram: #iamjenbarnhart

Jim Donica, Jennifer Barnhart and director Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia chang
Jim Donica, Jennifer Barnhart and director Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia chang

Alan Muraoka (Director) NY directing credits: Avenue Q (Off-Broadway Resident Director), Telly Leung: Telly on a Sunday (Birdland-November 2018), The Report (NY Fringe), Kung Fu (Signature Theatre-AD), Ann Harada: American Songbook (Lincoln Center), Awesomer & Awesomer!!! (Triad Theatre), The King and I (Harbor Lights Theatre), Telly Leung: Playlist and What Makes a Man? (54 Below), Ali Ewoldt: From Phantom to Phantom (54 Below) Grand Hotel (NYU/Cap 21), Falsettoland (NAATCO), John Tartaglia AD-LIBerty (Joe’s Pub) & Christmas Eve With Christmas Eve (BC/EFA Benefits). Regionally: South Pacific & Once On This Island (Olney Theatre),The King and I, Xanadu, Disney’s High School Musical and Disney’s High School Musical 2 (all at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma), Disney’s High School Musical (MUNY, Casa Manana), Urinetown (Trinity University), and Up In The Air (Kennedy Center-AD). Television: “Sesame Street,” Macy’sThanksgiving Day Parade. As an actor, Alan is most recognizable for his role in the Emmy Award winning series, “Sesame Street,” where he plays “Alan,” the proprietor of Hooper’s Store. He has appeared in 7 Broadway shows; Aladdin, Pacific Overtures, Mail, Shogun, the Musical, My Favorite Year, The King and I (with Lou Diamond Phillips and Donna Murphy), and most notably Miss Saigon, where he played the lead role of the Engineer. Member SSDC & DGA. Website: www.alanmuraoka.net Follow on Instagram: #alanathoopers

Jennifer Barnhart, Gary Adler. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart, Gary Adler. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart and Jim Donica. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart and Jim Donica. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart and Mrs. T. Roz. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart and Mrs. T. Roz. Photo by Lia Chang
Gary Adler, Jennifer Barnhart and Mrs. T. Roz. Photo by Lia Chang
Gary Adler, Jennifer Barnhart and Mrs. T. Roz. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart and Cleo the Lion. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart and Cleo the Lion. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart and Cleo the Lion. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart and Cleo the Lion. Photo by Lia Chang
Gary Adler, Jennifer Barnhart, Jim Donica. Photo by Lia Chang
Gary Adler, Jennifer Barnhart, Jim Donica. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart and Jim Donica. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart and Jim Donica. Photo by Lia Chang
Gary Adler, Jennifer Barnhart, Jim Donica. Photo by Lia Chang
Gary Adler, Jennifer Barnhart, Jim Donica. Photo by Lia Chang
Gary Adler, Jennifer Barnhart, Jim Donica. Photo by Lia Chang
Gary Adler, Jennifer Barnhart, Jim Donica. Photo by Lia Chang
Jim Donica, Jennifer Barnhart and director Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang
Jim Donica, Jennifer Barnhart and director Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang
Gary Adler, Jennifer Barnhart, Jim Donica. Photo by Lia Chang
Gary Adler, Jennifer Barnhart, Jim Donica. Photo by Lia Chang
Gary Adler, Jennifer Barnhart, Jim Donica. Photo by Lia Chang
Gary Adler, Jennifer Barnhart, Jim Donica. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart, Jim Donica. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart, Jim Donica. Photo by Lia Chang
Jim Donica, Jennifer Barnhart, Michael Croiter. Photo by Lia Chang
Jim Donica, Jennifer Barnhart, Michael Croiter. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart, Jim Donica. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart, Jim Donica. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart, Jim Donica. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart, Jim Donica. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart. 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

AVENUE Q/Sesame Street’s Jennifer Barnhart Makes Cabaret Debut At The Laurie Beechman on March 31 and April 7

Jennifer Barnhart. Photo: Marissa Kohn
Jennifer Barnhart. Photo: Marissa Kohn
Jennifer Barnhart. Photo: Marissa Kohn

After years of playing well with others – whether singing backup for friends’ shows, or crooning alongside a cast of puppet characters – Jennifer Barnhart finally steps into the spotlight in her first solo cabaret, fittingly titled, “It’s About Time!” Alan Muraoka will direct two evenings of stories, silliness and song as Jennifer shares the journey that led her to two of the most famous streets in the world: Broadway and “Sesame Street”.

Performances will be on two consecutive Sunday evenings at 7:00 pm, March 31st and April 7th, at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, downstairs at the Westbank Cafe on 42nd Street. Jennifer will be accompanied by music director Gary Adler, bassist Mary AnnMcSweeney, and percussionist Michael Croiter, all of whom were in the original Avenue Q orchestra. There will be special appearances by some other Avenue Q residents as well.

Click here for tickets.

Jennifer Barnhart, Alan Muraoka and Pam Arciero at The Met's Lunar New Year Festival: Year of the Rooster. Photo by Lia Chang
Jennifer Barnhart, Alan Muraoka and Pam Arciero at The Met’s Lunar New Year Festival: Year of the Rooster. Photo by Lia Chang

Jennifer Barnhart (Performer) was an Original Broadway Company member (Outer Critics Circle Award) of the smash Tony Award-winning hit Avenue Q, and she remained with the show in the role she created for its entire six-year run on Broadway. As a puppeteer, Jennifer has performed on numerous children’s television shows, most notably “Between the Lions,” “Bear in the Big Blue House,” “Johnny & the Sprites,” “Julie’s Greenroom” (with Julie Andrews, for Netflix), and “Sesame Street”, where she plays Zoe. Some favorite ‘human’ roles include: Lady Macbeth, Goneril and Veronica in God of Carnage (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), and Officer Randy in Superior Donuts (The Arden Theatre). She has also appeared on “Law & Order: SVU” (once as a puppeteer) and was the Speaker of the House on Season 5 of House of Cards. Jennifer’s voice can be heard on various educational apps, and as a narrator for the YA novel The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle (Penguin/Random House). Website: www.jenniferbarnhart.com Follow on Instagram: #iamjenbarnhart

INTO THE WOODS Star Ali Ewoldt talks GOLD MOUNTAIN, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA & ANNE OF GREEN GABLES

Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Justin Patterson
Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Justin Patterson
Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Justin Patterson

Ali Ewoldt is appearing as Cinderella in Patchogue Theatre’s “INTO THE WOODS IN CONCERT” tonight at 8 p.m. and March 9 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Grammy and Emmy Award winner John McDaniel will direct and conduct.

In addition to Ms. Ewoldt, the cast stars Tony Award winner Alice Ripley as the Witch, Tony nominee Melissa Errico as the Baker’s Wife, Tony nominee Constantine Maroulis as Cinderella’s Prince and the Wolf, Alan Muraoka as the Narrator and Mysterious Man, Ayla Schwartz as Little Red Riding Hood, Jim Stanek as The Baker, Tyler Jones as Jack, and Darren Ritchie as Rapunzel’s Prince.

Ticket prices for “INTO THE WOODS IN CONCERT” range between $39 – $69, plus applicable fees, and are available online, by phone or at the box office. For more information, visit PatchogueTheatre.org, call the Patchogue Theatre Box Office at 631-207-1313, or stop by 71 East Main Street, Patchogue, NY.

Ali Ewoldt, Alan Muraoka, Alice Ripley, Melissa Errico, Constantine Maroulis and More Set for INTO THE WOODS Concert at Patchogue Theatre, March 8-9 

Ms. Ewoldt recently completed more than two years starring as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, and made history as the first Asian American to play Christine on Broadway.

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 the Dressing Room with PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Star Ali Ewoldt 

She made her Broadway debut as Cosette in the 1st Broadway Revival of Les Miserables, has starred as Maria in the 1st National Tour of West Side Story, and played Luisa in the The Fantasticks Off-Broadway, the world’s longest running musical.

Nichole Forde, Ali Ewoldt, Brooke Averi and company in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. Photo by Russ Rowland
Nichole Forde, Ali Ewoldt, Brooke Averi and company in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. Photo by Russ Rowland

In January, Ms. Ewoldt was a joy to watch in her solo tour-de-force performance as Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables: Part I. Based on Lucy Maud Montgomery’s beloved novel, this production was adapted and directed by Chris Henry with choreography by Lorna Ventura. She seamlessly embodied the other characters of Mrs. Lynde, Marilla Cuthbert,  Matthew Cuthbert, Mrs. Spencer, Mrs. Blewett, Mrs. Berry and Diana Berry with great aplomb.

Ali Ewoldt Stars in Royal Family Productions’ ANNE OF GREEN GABLES

Renowned actors Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee Jr. in Gold Mountain at The TimesCenter in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee Jr. and Ali Ewoldt in GOLD MOUNTAIN at The TimesCenter in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

In May, Ms. Ewoldt will star in concert presentations of Jason Ma’s musical, Gold Mountain, with a cast that includes Jonny Lee Jr., Alan Ariano, Raymond J. Lee (Groundhog Day), Lawrence-Michael Arias, Steven Eng (CSC’s Pacific Overtures), Eric Bondoc (Pacific Overtures, 2004 revival), Daniel May (Soft Power), Alex Hsu, Eric Elizaga and Viet Vo, as part of the Spike 150 celebration of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad.

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

Direction will be provided by Alan Muraoka, choreography by Billy Bustamante, and music direction by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld. Performances in Salt Lake City are currently set for the Regent Street Black Box at The Eccles Theater on Wednesday, May 8 and Thursday, May 9, both at 8:00 p.m. Performances in Ogden will take place in partnership with Ogden Musical Theatre at Peery’s Egyptian Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 10 and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 11.

She took the time to answer a few questions via email in the midst of her rehearsal for Into the Woods.

Rodney Ingram and Ali Ewoldt in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA on Broadway. Photo by Matthew Murphy
Rodney Ingram and Ali Ewoldt in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA on Broadway. Photo by Matthew Murphy

Lia: You’ve just ended a two year run as Christine in Phantom of the Opera. What did you enjoy the most about your time with the show?
Ali: The people. Onstage and off. And meeting people at the stage door whose lives had been changed for the better because of Phantom. I know that sounds a little odd when referring to a dark, sometimes violent show, but Phantom really has introduced the world of musical theater to so many people and fosters communities among its “phans.”

Leone Gagliardi and Ali Ewoldt in her dressing room at The Majestic in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
Leone Gagliardi and Ali Ewoldt in her dressing room at The Majestic in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: What was the most challenging aspect about the show?
Ali: Everything! The scope of the role was very challenging– Christine is really in the vast majority of the show (or changing costume), so it required a lot of stamina. And I had to be very disciplined in my off hours to make sure I was equipped to do the shows.

Ali Ewoldt in the dressing room at The Majestic in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt in the dressing room at The Majestic in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: Have you ever done Into the Woods?
Ali: I did a reading of it once in college at Yale University many moons ago. Some of it is coming back to me…?

Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: How did Anne of Green Gables: Part I come to your attention?
Ali: My amazing friend Jessica Wu invited me to its previous workshop production in 2017. I grew up on the books and the mini-series and am a huge fan of the story and when I saw Christine Henry and Lorna Ventura’s interpretation I was blown away.

Choreographer Lorna Ventura, Royal Family Productions' Artistic Director Chris Henry, Ali Ewoldt and Associate Director Jessica Wu. Photo by Lia Chang
ANNE OF GREEN GABLES: PART I Choreographer Lorna Ventura, Royal Family Productions’ Artistic Director Chris Henry, Ali Ewoldt and Associate Director Jessica Wu. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: What connection do you have to Anne?
Ali: I’m not sure I realized this at the time I was reading the books in my childhood, but Anne is incredibly diligent and passionate about her studies and I am sure that inspired me. I was talking about it with some of my Yale classmates and we think it was critical for us to have read a story about a girl who loved to read and study and excel in school at a young age. Anne’s resilience and optimism is also incredibly inspiring to me– I think we could all use a little of her life outlook!

Ali Ewoldt, Kara Menendez, A. Nichole Forde, Brooke Averi, and Stephanie Young in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. Photo by Russ Rowland
Ali Ewoldt, Kara Menendez, A. Nichole Forde, Brooke Averi, and Stephanie Young in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES: Part I. Photo by Russ Rowland

Lia: What spoke to you about the show?
Ali: The incredible heart of it. And how the story focuses on a variety of different people and different types of people who change each others lives for the better.

Kara Menendez and Ali Ewoldt in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. Photo by Russ Rowland
Kara Menendez and Ali Ewoldt in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES Part I. Photo by Russ Rowland

Lia: I found the form of storytelling very refreshing. How did you prepare for the role?
Ali: So much homework! I recorded myself saying all of the lines and listened to that over and over. Really, getting the words down was the biggest challenge. Thankfully because of my long-standing love of the story, I understood who the various characters were immediately.

Ali Ewoldt and GOLD MOUNTAIN creator Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt and GOLD MOUNTAIN creator Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang

Jason Ma, the creator of Gold Mountain shared, “Gold Mountain had been entombed in a box under my bed for years, when I first met Ali at a rehearsal for a concert. It was during that rehearsal that I first heard her sing, whereupon I went home, found that box, and opened it up.  Soon after, I had my first table read, where she read the role of Mei.”

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

Lia: Jason said that you own the role of Mei. What has it been like to participate in the development of this show and the character?
Ali: Jason Ma is one of the kindest, most supportive people I have ever met– I am so grateful to him for letting me playing this part! It is so wonderful to originate a role and feel like I am a collaborator in the show’s creation.

Lia: Who have been your inspirations over the years?
Ali: Oh goodness– so many! Of course, growing up half-Filipino, Lea Salonga was a huge inspiration. I am inspired by incredible women/sopranos like Rebecca Luker and Kelli O’Hara. And really all of my friends and colleagues. I find that every time I watch or work on a show I learn so much.

Ali Ewoldt (Cosette), Adam Jacobs (Marius) and Lea Salonga (Fantine) backstage at LES MIS.
Ali Ewoldt (Cosette), Adam Jacobs (Marius) and Lea Salonga (Fantine) backstage at LES MIS.

Lia: Who are your favorite directors and composers?
Ali: Why Alan Muraoka and Jason Ma, of course! But again, it’s impossible to only name a few. Every experience I have is my favorite at the time. Currently I am obsessed with Stephen Sondheim…and singing his brilliant music properly….

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

Lia: What have been your favorite roles/shows and why?
Ali: Please see above. Obviously Christine in Phantom was a big check on the wishlist and has brought me many wonderful gifts in my career. Playing Cosette in Les Miserables was also a childhood dream come true. As was Luisa in the Fantasticks. And Cinderella in Into the Woods… etc, etc, etc….

Lia: Are there any roles on your wish list?
Ali: I would love to originate a role (Gold Mountain on Broadway??). But really, there are so many challenges out there I am excited to tackle. I have been very fortunate with dream roles so far, so I am looking forward to seeing what else is in store!

Lia: What is your upcoming concert schedule?
Ali: I’m singing at 54 Below sing Andrew Lloyd Webber on March 25th. Gold Mountain in Utah in May. And some fun stuff this summer I can’t announce yet!

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

Patchogue Theatre’s “In Concert” series is a branch of its Broadway series and is comprised of concert versions of classic Broadway musicals; these performances only run for a limited time and showcase all the music from the show with dialogue in between, a few set pieces, and some scripts in-hand!

Sitting: Ali Ewoldt, Alan Muraoka, Jim Stanek, Madi Wyatt, Alexandra Imbrosci-Viera. Standing: Amy Jane Finnerty, Darren Ritchie, Constantine Maroulis, J. William McDaniel, Alice Ripley, Melissa Ericco, James Schultz in the rehearsal room. Photo: Facebook
Sitting: Ali Ewoldt, Alan Muraoka, Jim Stanek, Ayla Schwartz, Madi Wyatt, Alexandra Imbrosci-Viera. Standing: Amy Jane Finnerty, Darren Ritchie, Constantine Maroulis, J. William McDaniel, Alice Ripley, Melissa Ericco, James Schultz, Jonathan Fluck in the rehearsal room. Photo: Facebook

The second production in the series is a concert version of the Broadway musical “INTO THE WOODS.” With music and lyrics written by Stephen Sondheim and book written by James Lapine, “INTO THE WOODS” has earned numerous awards, including Tony Awards, Drama Desk Awards, and Olivier Awards, as well as having numerous revivals and a film version made in 2014. The musical plays with storylines from The Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault fairy tales with characters from other classics such as “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, and “Rapunzel”.

GOLD MOUNTAIN Creator Jason Ma, Leah Anolin Ewoldt, Ali Ewoldt, Bob Ewoldt, Greg Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
GOLD MOUNTAIN Creator Jason Ma, Leah Anolin Ewoldt, Ali Ewoldt, Bob Ewoldt, Greg Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang

Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Alan Ariano Featured in Jason Ma’s Gold Mountain The Musical at MOCA 2019 Lunar New Year Soirée 

Interview with GOLD MOUNTAIN Creator Jason Ma; Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Alan Ariano to Perform Excerpts at MOCA Lunar Soirée on February 20

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

Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Alan Ariano Featured in Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN at MOCA 2019 Lunar New Year Soirée

Nancy Yao Maasbach, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Jason Ma, Alan Ariano, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Rice and Gold in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) presented the MOCA 2019 Lunar New Year Soirée at the famed Rice & Gold, a unique Asian Eatery in the Hotel 50 Bowery on February 20, 2019.

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

Excerpts from Jason Ma’s Gold Mountain The Musical, starring Ali Ewoldt (Phantom of the Opera), Jonny Lee Jr. and Alan Ariano (LCT’s The King and I) kicked off the festive evening with musical director Kristen Lee Rosenfeld on the keys.

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

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. The original musical celebrates the striving immigrant spirit, the redemptive power of love and the ultimate nobility of self-sacrifice.

The MOCA 2019 Lunar New Year Soirée was the culminating event of MOCA’s 8-week Lunar New Year Festival. The Gold Mountain performance during the champagne cocktail reception was followed by a delicious Asian fusion inspired menu and an after party at The Crown, Rooftop Bar.

Jason Ma, Nancy Yao Maasbach, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Alan Ariano, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Jason Ma, Nancy Yao Maasbach, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Alan Ariano, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang

“We wanted to do something nuanced and complex to celebrate the Lunar New Year. We wanted to move away from cliché, since the lion dance, the red and gold and the stereotypical things that a lot of Chinese Americans end of defaulting to and non-Chinese Americans expect,” shared MOCA President Nancy Yao Maasbach. “For the soirée, we chose to mix it up and chart a journey for the whole night focusing on the past, present and future – from the gold mountain, from the railroads, bringing it all into present day, ending it with the energy of our Junior Board and the after party at The Crown upstairs. It’s the best view of New York City and provides perspective.”

Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Alan Ariano, Jonny Lee, Jr., Ali Ewoldt and Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang
Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Alan Ariano, Jonny Lee, Jr., Ali Ewoldt and Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang
Nancy Yao Maasbach, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Jason Ma, Alan Ariano, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Nancy Yao Maasbach, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Jason Ma, Alan Ariano, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang

In May, Ali Ewoldt will star in concert presentations of Jason Ma’s musical, Gold Mountain, with a cast that includes Jonny Lee Jr., Alan Ariano, Raymond J. Lee (Groundhog Day), Daniel J. Edwards (Anything Goes, 2011 revival), Lawrence-Michael Arias, Steven Eng (CSC’s Pacific Overtures), Eric Bondoc (Pacific Overtures, 2004 revival), Daniel May (Soft Power), Alex Hsu, Eric Elizaga and Viet Vo, as part of the Spike 150 celebration of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. Direction will be provided by Alan Muraoka, choreography by Billy Bustamante, and music direction by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld. Performances in Salt Lake City are currently set for the Regent Street Black Box at The Eccles Theater on Wednesday, May 8 and Thursday, May 9, both at 8:00 p.m. Performances in Ogden will take place in partnership with Ogden Musical Theatre at Peery’s Egyptian Theater. at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 10 and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 11.

Jason Ma and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Jason Ma and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Jason Ma is a son of an immigrant family, and a grateful descendant of a long line of those who were able to persist, overcome and succeed on their way to becoming Americans. He wrote the book, music and lyrics for Gold Mountain and is the 2017 recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Cole Porter Award, given to an emerging composer/lyricist “whose work shows promise.” Along with writing, he is an actor who has been seen on Broadway and Off-Broadway stages, in regional theaters and many international venues. Please visit: www.goldmountainthemusical.com

June Jee, Tony Jee, Ali Ewoldt, Jason Ma, Lia Chang and Alan Ariano. Photo by Garth Kravits
June Jee, Tony Jee, Ali Ewoldt, Jason Ma, Lia Chang and Alan Ariano. Photo by Garth Kravits
Photo by Lia Chang
Photo by Lia Chang
Back Row: Lucy Kan, Alan Ariano, Jonny Lee, Jr., Victor Kan. Front Row: Ali Ewoldt and Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang
Back Row: Lucy Kan, Alan Ariano, Jonny Lee, Jr., Victor Kan. Front Row: Ali Ewoldt and Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang
Back Row: Tony Jee, Linda Sanchez, Lucy Kan, Ben Wu, Victor Kan. Front Row: June Jee and Greg Ho. Photo by Lia Chang
Back Row: Tony Jee, Linda Sanchez, Lucy Kan, Ben Wu, Victor Kan.
Front Row: June Jee and Greg Ho. Photo by Lia Chang
June Jee, Victor Kan, Lucy Kan, Jason Ma, Ali Ewoldt, Linda Sanchez, Greg Ho and Tony Jee. Photo by Lia Chang
June Jee, Victor Kan, Lucy Kan, Jason Ma, Ali Ewoldt, Linda Sanchez, Greg Ho and Tony Jee. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt (Yook Mei in Gold Mountain)
Ali Ewoldt (Yook Mei in Gold Mountain)

Born outside Chicago and raised 45 minutes north of New York City in the small town of Pleasantville, Ali Ewoldt has loved performing for as long as she can remember. She made her Broadway debut as Cosette in the 1st Broadway Revival of Les Miserables and is currently starring as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway.

Ali has starred as Maria in the 1st National Tour of West Side Story directed by Arthur Laurents and David Saint and played Luisa in the The Fantasticks Off-Broadway, the world’s longest running musical. She has been featured on The Michael J. Fox Show, the short film Yield and DRAMA: The Webseries and has performed at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall and Town Hall, and across the country and world.

Jonny Lee Jr. (Lit Ning in Gold Mountain)
Jonny Lee Jr. (Lit Ning in Gold Mountain)

Jonny Lee Jr. is an actor, singer, writer, and photographer. As an actor, Jonny’s past credits include Gold Mountain at the Times Center, Ito in Mame, Ching Ho inThoroughly Modern Millie, Henry in Next to Normal, and Thuy in Miss Saigon. As a writer, Jonny co-wrote the music, lyrics, and book to the new musical Welcome To Shoofly. He also co-wrote and starred in the musical web-series, City of Dreams, which has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, Stage17.tv, Playbill and BroadwayWorld. Other works include a song for the CBS Diversity Showcase,Take Out (AAFL Top 10), and Benjamin Franklin and the Legend of the Vajra.

Alan Ariano (Ba in Gold Mountain)
Alan Ariano (Ba in Gold Mountain)

Broadway: The King and I (Lincoln Center), M. ButterflyJerome Robbins’ BroadwayShogun: The MusicalMiss Saigon (Original Company) & Flower Drum Song (Tour). Off-Broadway:Shanghai Moon (opposite Charles Bush), Prospect Theater’s Honor, Urban StagesA Deal. World Premiers include: The Geffen Playhouse Extraordinary Chambers and Portland Center Stage’sSnow Falling On Cedars. Reginals include: Kennedy Center, MUNY, Dallas Summer Musicals, Walnut Street, Pioneer Theater, The Fifth Ave, TUTS Houston, Music Theatre of Wichita, California Music Circus, Lyric Opera Chicago. Televison include: The PathGotham, HBO’s TreméLeverageHarry’s LawLaw & Order and SVU recurring as Judge Lee Wong.

Learn More About Gold Mountain The Musical

Spike 150 is expecting around 600,000 people will attend the celebration events planned and that the activities planned will reach approximately 2.5 million people.
linkedin.com: The USA Celebrates its Transcontinental Railroad’s 150th
Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee Jr., Alan Ariano, Daniel J. Edwards, Lawrence-Michael Arias, Steven Eng and Eric Bondoc Set for Alan Muraoka Helmed GOLD MOUNTAIN by Jason Ma in Utah for 2019 Golden Spike 150th Anniversary 

Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN Concert and AfterParty 

Lia Chang. Photo by June Jee
Lia Chang. Photo by June Jee

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

 

Ali Ewoldt, Alan Muraoka, Alice Ripley, Melissa Errico, Constantine Maroulis and More Set for INTO THE WOODS Concert at Patchogue Theatre, March 8-9

Ali Ewoldt and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang

Grammy and Emmy Award winner John McDaniel will direct and conduct Patchogue Theatre’s “INTO THE WOODS IN CONCERT” for three performances, March 8 at 8 p.m. and March 9 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Ticket prices range between $39 – $69, plus applicable fees, and are available online, by phone or at the box office. For more information, visit PatchogueTheatre.org, call the Patchogue Theatre Box Office at 631-207-1313, or stop by 71 East Main Street, Patchogue, NY.

Ali Ewoldt and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang

The production will feature 14 actors backed by a full 15-piece orchestra. The cast stars Tony Award winner Alice RipleyTony nominee Melissa Errico as the Baker’s Wife, Tony nominee Constantine Maroulis as Cinderella’s Prince and the Wolf, Ali Ewoldt as Cinderella, Alan Muraoka as the Narrator and Mysterious Man, Ayla Schwartz as Little Red Riding Hood, Tyler Jones as Jack, and Darren Ritchie as Rapunzel’s Prince.

Non-Equity cast members include: Alexandra Imbrosci as a Step Sister; Megan Gallagher as a Step Sister; Julia Bain as the Step Mother; Jonathan Fluck as the Cinderella’s Father; Amy Jane Finnerty as Jack’s Mother; James Schultz as the Steward; and Madison Wyatt as Rapunzel. The roles of the Baker and the Witch are to be announced.

Actress and soprano Ali Ewoldt, who recently completed more than two years as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, has been cast as Cinderella. She made her Broadway debut as Cosette in the 1st Broadway Revival of Les Miserables, has starred as Maria in the 1st National Tour of West Side Story, and played Luisa in the The Fantasticks Off-Broadway, the world’s longest running musical.

Long-time “Sesame Street” actor and accomplished director Alan Muraoka has been cast as the Narrator and Mysterious Man. Alan is most recognized for his role “Alan,” the proprietor of Hooper’s Store for the past 18 seasons of the Emmy Award winning series “Sesame Street”. He has also appeared on Broadway in Aladdin, the Tony-winning revival of The King and I, and most notably Miss Saigon, among others.

Two-time TONY-nominated actor and singer Constantine Maroulis who has been cast as both Cinderella’s Prince and The Wolf. An accomplished actor, producer, singer, and songwriter, Constantine is best known for his Tony-nominated performance in Rock of Ages and his epic run as a finalist during the heyday of “American Idol.”

TONY-nominated actress and newly established writer Melissa Errico has been cast as the Baker’s Wife. She is best known for her starring roles on Broadway in Anna Karenina, My Fair Lady, High Society, Dracula, White Christmas and Amour, which earned her a Tony nomination for “Best Actress.” More recently, Melissa performed her solo concert “Melissa Sings Sondheim” celebrating the music of Stephen Sondheim in New York City and London. Currently, Melissa is starring as Daisy Gamble in the New York Irish Repertory Off-Broadway revival of On A Clear Day You Can See Forever.

The original Young Elsa from Disney’s Frozen The Musical on Broadway, Ayla Schwartz, has been cast as Little Red. She can still be seen playing Young Elsa on Broadway at the St. James Theatre. Ayla has performed on Off-Broadway as well as some of the most famous New York City stages.

Tyler Jones has been cast as Jack. His credits include Elder Davis in the first national tour of The Book Of Mormon, Jack in Into The Woods at TUTS, and Bix in the world premiere of David Shire and Adam Gopnik’s The Most Beautiful Room In New York, at the Long Wharf Theatre. He’s also appeared on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” and can be seen lip-syncing on social media @tylermacjones.

Broadway actor and singer Darren Ritchie has been cast as Rapunzel’s Prince. Darren’s Broadway credits include Les Misérables, Bells Are Ringing, Little Shop of Horrors, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Dracula, and Wonderland. He’s also been seen on TV’s “Days Of Our Lives” and “Law & Order SVU”.

Patchogue Theatre’s “In Concert” series is a branch of its Broadway series and is comprised of concert versions of classic Broadway musicals; these performances only run for a limited time and showcase all the music from the show with dialogue in between, a few set pieces, and some scripts in-hand!

The second production in the series is a concert version of the Broadway musical “INTO THE WOODS.” With music and lyrics written by Stephen Sondheim and book written by James Lapine, “INTO THE WOODS” has earned numerous awards, including Tony Awards, Drama Desk Awards, and Olivier Awards, as well as having numerous revivals and a film version made in 2014. The musical plays with storylines from The Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault fairy tales with characters from other classics such as “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, and “Rapunzel”.

Casting is by Stephen DeAngelis.

Interview with GOLD MOUNTAIN Creator Jason Ma; Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Alan Ariano to Perform Excerpts at MOCA Lunar Soirée on February 20

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

Interview with GOLD MOUNTAIN Creator Jason Ma; Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Alan Ariano to Perform Excerpts at MOCA Lunar Soirée on February 20

Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee Jr. in Gold Mountain at The TimesCenter in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) is presenting the MOCA 2019 Lunar New Year Soirée at the famed Rice & Gold, a unique Asian Eatery in the Hotel 50 Bowery on Wednesday, February 20, 2019. The customized menu is curated by Executive Chef Jae Lee.

Excerpts from Jason Ma’s Gold Mountain The Musical, starring Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Alan Ariano will kick off the festive evening at 6:30pm, followed by dinner at 7:30pm and an after party at The Crown, Rooftop Bar at 9:30pm.

Black Tie or Festive Chinese Attire.

Reserve Lunar Soirée For This Performance

Renowned actors Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee Jr. in Gold Mountain at The TimesCenter in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang
Renowned actors Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee Jr. in Gold Mountain at The TimesCenter in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

Helmed by Alan Muraoka, Gold Mountain will feature choreography by Billy Bustamante and Music Direction by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld.

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

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. The original musical celebrates the striving immigrant spirit, the redemptive power of love and the ultimate nobility of self-sacrifice.

Renowned actors Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee Jr. in Gold Mountain at The TimesCenter in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang
Renowned actors Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee Jr. in Gold Mountain at The TimesCenter in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

Jason Ma is a son of an immigrant family, and a grateful descendant of a long line of those who were able to persist, overcome and succeed on their way to becoming Americans. He wrote the book, music and lyrics for Gold Mountain and is the 2017 recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Cole Porter Award, given to an emerging composer/lyricist “whose work shows promise.” Along with writing, he is an actor who has been seen on Broadway and Off-Broadway stages, in regional theaters and many international venues.

Jason Ma, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang
Jason Ma, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang

Over dinner at Landmarc, Jason shared his inspiration for creating Gold Mountain, the sneak peek presentation set for the MOCA Gala and the upcoming performances in May during the Golden Spike 150 celebrations in Utah.

Jason Ma
Jason Ma

Lia: Presenting excerpts of Gold Mountain at the MOCA Gala is ideal. What do you hope audiences will take away from it?
Jason: Gold Mountain is a story about the lives lived by those who built our first transcontinental railroad, and my hope for its audiences is a renewed understanding of an America that was and is a country built and made great by immigrants.

I hope they feel seen and celebrated. Institutions like the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) are necessary to fill in the gaps in historical and cultural documentation that mainstream institutions neglect or gloss over. (By the way, I love this museum, its mission and the Maya Lin designed space, so inspiring.) Those of us from the Asian American community that write musicals are likewise trying to fill a gap in the narratives and stories in the musical theater canon, especially when addressing the East vs. West dynamic and the perspective from which those stories are dramatized.  Something that excites me right now is that Timothy Huang’s new musical American Morning is being mounted by Prospect Theater Company this spring. Although we are very different writers, what strikes me is how both our shows explore the East vs. West dynamic and the damage and heartbreak that ensues when these worlds butt up against each other. Also, may I point out that neither of us chose to explore this dynamic through a romantic relationship or flirtation between members from either side of the divide.  That we are both getting to performance of our pieces is something to be celebrated!

Lia: What inspired you to create Gold Mountain?
Jason: I don’t know!

The initial impulse came at me from who knows where or what in the middle of a show, while I was waiting between scenes, and I wasn’t actually looking to write anything at the time.  A lyric/melody fragment started cycling in my head and then, the person singing this snippet began to let me know who he was. By the end of the next day, the first draft of what turned out to be a middle-of-the-show love duet was finished, and the world, the characters, the themes and the plot that surrounded this song all fell in line in the next months after that initial encounter.

Lia: What are the themes of the excerpts that you will be presenting?
Jason: I thought it would be appropriate to focus on some of the family and inter-personal relationships in choosing the excerpts for our MOCA performance.  One of the themes that we cycle back to a lot in Gold Mountain is that of filial duty, the primacy of family and community, that beautiful collectivism in East Asian culture, which is often misunderstood and misrepresented, . We individualistic Americans can often dismiss this worldview out of hand, but it is a valid lens through to look at life, family and society that has worked for many, many centuries. I love that the characters in Gold Mountain come from this world and how it colors everything they do.

Lia: What excites you about the performances that are scheduled in May during the Golden Spike 150 celebration and how did the production first come to the attention of the organizers?
Jason: Baayork Lee, our community fairy godmother, diva, and fierce activist, brought the show to Prospect Theater and they co-produced a semi-staged concert performance with National Asian Artists Project at TheTimesCenter in 2017.  Shortly after that, we began to get emails from Utah, basically saying that they’d heard about the performance and wanted to meet. (Thank you, Baayork and Prospect!)

GOLD MOUNTAIN choreographer Billy Bustamante, Creator Jason Ma, NAAP Co-founder Baayork Lee, Musical Director Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Director Alan Muraoka, NAAP Co-founder Steven Eng and Prospect Theater Company Artistic Director Cara Reichel. Photo by Lia Chang
GOLD MOUNTAIN choreographer Billy Bustamante, Creator Jason Ma, NAAP Co-founder Baayork Lee, Musical Director Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Director Alan Muraoka, NAAP Co-founder Steven Eng and Prospect Theater Company Artistic Director Cara Reichel. Photo by Lia Chang

The Spike 150 performances are going to be so exciting. We’ve got Ali Ewoldt along with some of the best Asian American actors that I know flying to Utah in May to do this. Among our producing partners is the Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association, so the pressure is on. We want to honor and do justice to their ancestors with our portrayals of these Chinese men who built the railroad.  The level of support from local theaters, arts organizations, non-profits, the cities, the counties, the state, businesses and especially private citizens is overwhelming. I think that’s the most exciting thing of all, the level of engagement and local excitement makes us feel so welcomed. It’s going to be an awesome experience and I’m so grateful.

Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee Jr., Alan Ariano, Daniel J. Edwards, Lawrence-Michael Arias, Steven Eng and Eric Bondoc Set for Alan Muraoka Helmed GOLD MOUNTAIN by Jason Ma in Utah for 2019 Golden Spike 150th Anniversary 

Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN Concert and AfterParty 

Ali Ewoldt (Yook Mei in Gold Mountain)
Ali Ewoldt (Yook Mei in Gold Mountain)

Born outside Chicago and raised 45 minutes north of New York City in the small town of Pleasantville, Ali Ewoldt has loved performing for as long as she can remember. She made her Broadway debut as Cosette in the 1st Broadway Revival of Les Miserables and is currently starring as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway.

Ali has starred as Maria in the 1st National Tour of West Side Story directed by Arthur Laurents and David Saint and played Luisa in the The Fantasticks Off-Broadway, the world’s longest running musical. She has been featured on The Michael J. Fox Show, the short film Yield and DRAMA: The Webseries and has performed at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall and Town Hall, and across the country and world.

Jonny Lee Jr. (Lit Ning in Gold Mountain)
Jonny Lee Jr. (Lit Ning in Gold Mountain)

Jonny Lee Jr. is an actor, singer, writer, and photographer. As an actor, Jonny’s past credits include Gold Mountain at the Times Center, Ito in Mame, Ching Ho inThoroughly Modern Millie, Henry in Next to Normal, and Thuy in Miss Saigon. As a writer, Jonny co-wrote the music, lyrics, and book to the new musical Welcome To Shoofly. He also co-wrote and starred in the musical web-series, City of Dreams, which has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, Stage17.tv, Playbill and BroadwayWorld. Other works include a song for the CBS Diversity Showcase,Take Out (AAFL Top 10), and Benjamin Franklin and the Legend of the Vajra.

Alan Ariano (Ba in Gold Mountain)
Alan Ariano (Ba in Gold Mountain)

Broadway: The King and I (Lincoln Center), M. ButterflyJerome Robbins’ BroadwayShogun: The MusicalMiss Saigon (Original Company) & Flower Drum Song (Tour). Off-Broadway:Shanghai Moon (opposite Charles Bush), Prospect Theater’s Honor, Urban StagesA Deal. World Premiers include: The Geffen Playhouse Extraordinary Chambers and Portland Center Stage’sSnow Falling On Cedars. Reginals include: Kennedy Center, MUNY, Dallas Summer Musicals, Walnut Street, Pioneer Theater, The Fifth Ave, TUTS Houston, Music Theatre of Wichita, California Music Circus, Lyric Opera Chicago. Televison include: The PathGotham, HBO’s TreméLeverageHarry’s LawLaw & Order and SVU recurring as Judge Lee Wong.

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

Alan Muraoka and Sesame Street Muppeteers Pam Arciero and Leslie Carrara-Rudolph Perform at The Met’s Annual Lunar New Year Festival on Feb. 9

Alan Muraoka and muppeteer Pam Arciero at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is hosting its annual Lunar New Year festival on Saturday, February 9, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Lunar New Year Festival: Year of the Pig will feature dozens of programs—for visitors of all ages—that reflect traditions from across Asia. Dance and music performances, artist-led workshops, and interactive gallery activities will take place throughout The Met Fifth Avenue as part of the festival celebration. All Lunar New Year Festival programming is free with Museum admission. The Met Fifth Avenue is located at 1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street in New York.

Alan Muraoka and muppeteer Pam Arciero at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

May art bring you good fortune! Mark the Year of the Pig, one of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac, with performances, interactive gallery activities, and artist-led workshops for all ages.

Performances

Space is limited; first come, first served.

Lunar New Year Parade

11–11:30 am

Ring in a prosperous New Year with the Chinese Center on Long Island Lion Troupe.

Floor 1, Great Hall

Alan Muraoka and Sesame Street Muppeteers Pam Arciero and Leslie Carrara-Rudolph 

11:30 am–12 pm

Tickets distributed 15 minutes prior at event location.

Discover the traditions of Lunar New Year with Sesame Street puppeteers.

Floor 1, The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Photo Op with Sesame Street Muppeteers

12:30–1:30 pm

Snap a pic and meet some friendly Sesame Street characters.

Ground floor, Carson Family Hall East, Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education

Lunar New Year Performances

Tickets distributed 15 minutes prior to each session at event location.

1–1:45 pm, 2:30–3:15 pm, 4–4:45 pm

Be entertained by the Chinese Center on Long Island Lion Troupe, New York Chinese Cultural Center dancers, drummers from New York Korean Performing Arts Center, and Chinese yo-yo tricks from the Valley Stream South High School Cultural Society.

Floor 1, The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium

Art Activities and Demonstrations

Meet artists and make art together inspired by The Met collection! Unless otherwise noted, activities are best for ages 3 and up.

Hands-on opportunities available.

Zodiac Zone

Discover more about your sign. Proudly wear your zodiac animal sticker to meet others who share the same characteristics.

Ground floor, Carson Family Hall West, Uris Center for Education 

Golden Piggy Bank

Create a year of good fortune! Design your own boarish bank.

Ground floor, Carson Family Hall West, Uris Center for Education

Wishful Fish with the Museum of Chinese in America

Fish symbolize abundance in the New Year. Using traditional Chinese paper cuts as inspiration, fold and cut a moveable paper fish to usher in a year of plenty.

Ground floor, Carson Family Hall West, Uris Center for Education

When Pigs Fly Scrolls

Put your imagination to the test to create your own scroll story inspired by flying pigs using sumi ink.

Ground floor, Carroll Classroom, Uris Center for Education

Wu-Wo Tea Ceremony & Bubble Tea Gatherings (Best for ages 6 and up)

12–3 pm

Cheer the New Year with freshly made bubble tea from Ten Ren Tea and Ginseng Co., then join a demonstration by tea masters at 1 pm and 3 pm.

Ground floor, Bonnie J. Sacerdote Lecture Hall, Uris Center for Education

Hand-Pulled Noodle Demonstration with Chef Zhang

1:30–2 pm, 2:30–3 pm, 3:30–4 pm

Tickets distributed 15 minutes prior to each session at event location.

The longer the noodles, the longer and happier the life!

Ground floor, Studio, Uris Center for Education

Mud Play!

Stimulate your senses by contributing to our textured mud painting, inspired by the Buddha of Medicine Bhaishajyaguru mural in Gallery 206, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

Ground floor, North Classroom, Uris Center for Education

Celestial Drawing Stations

11:30 am–4:30 pm

Explore and sketch animals depicted in the lunar zodiac across cultures.

Floor 1, Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, Gallery 350

Hide and Seek with The Sheep’s Meow

11 am–5 pm

Blend into your surroundings with EXPOSURE by game designers GJ Lee and Brian S. Chung. Create your own digital camouflage to hide from predators.

Floor 1, The American Wing, The Charles Engelhard Court, Gallery 700

Korean Paper Doll Making

Dress your own paper doll pig in the finest hanbok, Korean traditional clothing, to celebrate the New Year with the Korea Society.

Floor 2, Asian Art, Gallery 209, The Astor Forecourt

Ring in the New Year: Jewelry Making

Start your New Year with a bit of luck. Design jewelry inspired by Chinese fortune coins.

Floor 2, Asian Art, Gallery 209, The Astor Forecourt

Collaborative Village

Around the world, families return home to celebrate the New Year. Design your own magical home to add to our growing village.

Floor 2, Asian Art, Gallery 217, The Astor Court

Storytelling and Quiet Spaces

Piglet’s Play Pen (Best for ages 0–5)

Play and learn with books, blocks, and more just for early learners.

Ground floor, Nolen Library, Uris Center for Education 

Bilingual Storytime (Best for ages 3 and up)

1–1:30 pm, 2–2:30 pm

Enjoy quiet time with stories in English and Mandarin.

Ground floor, Nolen Library, Uris Center for Education

Kamishibai Storytelling with CMOM

1–1:20 pm, 1:30–1:50 pm, 2–2:20 pm, 2:30–2:50 pm

Join Children’s Museum of Manhattan educators for an interactive form of Japanese storytelling that mixes traditional and modern kawaii-inspired stories.

Floor 2, Asian Art, Gallery 206, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery 

Quiet Spaces

11:30 am–4:30 pm

Stop by these quiet spaces for time with art and books.

Floor 1, Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, Gallery 353

Floor 2, Asian Art, Gallery 238, South Asian Hindu-Buddhist and Jain Sculpture

For Adults

Collection Chats with New New Yorkers

(Best for ages 13 and up)

Join recent immigrants in exploring great works of Asian art. In Partnership with the Queens Library and The New New Yorkers Program at the Queens Museum.

Daoist Immortals with Chuankui Jiang

1–1:20 pm, 1:30–1:50 pm in English

2–2:20 pm in Mandarin

Floor 2, Asian Art, Gallery 222, Chinese Decorative Arts

Chinese Jade with Tsae Jiaug Su 

1–1:20 pm, 1:30–1:50 pm in English

2–2:20 pm in Mandarin

Floor 2, Asian Art, Gallery 207, The Charlotte C. Weber Galleries

Chinese Painting with Olivia (ChiMing) Hsieh

2:30–2:50 pm, 3–3:20 pm in English

3:30–3:50 pm in Mandarin

Floor 2, Asian Art, Gallery 210

Wu Na + Chang Jing: Sound and View

12–12:45 pm, 2–2:45 pm

Hailing from China, master musicians Wu Na and Chang Jing elicit the sounds of nature—mountains, water, wind, and moon—from traditional Chinese zithers. Celebrate the Lunar New Year with the feeling of sonic scenery.

Ground floor, Robert Lehman Wing, Gallery 963

ETHEL and Friends: Erhu-Cello Duo

5–5:30 pm, 6–6:30 pm, 7–7:30 pm

Go on a musical journey with acclaimed string quartet ETHEL.

Floor 2, Great Hall Balcony, Gallery 204

This event is made possible in part by the Tiger Baron Foundation.

More about the event and directions to programming throughout the Museum will be available at the information desk inside the main entrance at Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street and in the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education, located near the ground-floor entrance at Fifth Avenue and 81st Street. All Lunar New Year Festival programs are free with Museum admission. Recommended Museum admission is $25 for adults, $17 for seniors (65 and over), and $12 for students. Children under 12 who are accompanied by an adult are free.

A full list of festival programming, along with further details and a schedule of events, is available on The Met website.

Lunar New Year Festival: Year of the Rooster will also be featured on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using the hashtag #MetFest.

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

Broadway Stars Ali Ewoldt, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Megan Hilty Set for Golden Spike 150th Anniversary Celebrations in Utah

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

Utah’s Governor Gary R. Herbert recently announced that Broadway stars Ali Ewoldt, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Megan Hilty are among the artists who will perform at different venues in Utah as part of the Spike 150 celebration of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad.

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

Ali Ewoldt will star in concert presentations of Jason Ma’s musical, Gold Mountain, with a cast that includes Jonny Lee Jr., Alan Ariano (LCT’s The King and I), Raymond J. Lee (Groundhog Day), Daniel J. Edwards (Anything Goes, 2011 revival), Lawrence-Michael Arias, Steven Eng (CSC’s Pacific Overtures), and Eric Bondoc (Pacific Overtures, 2004 revival). Direction will be provided by Alan Muraoka, choreography by Billy Bustamante, and music direction by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld. Performances in Salt Lake City are currently set for the Regent Street Black Box at The Eccles Theater on Wednesday, May 8 and Thursday, May 9, both at 8:00 p.m. Performances in Ogden will take place in partnership with Ogden Musical Theatre at the Peery’s Egyptian Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 10 and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 11.

Jason Ma, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang
Jason Ma, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang

Brian Stokes Mitchell and Megan Hilty will headline with the Utah Symphony and The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square for the O.C. Tanner Gift of Music Concert on Friday, May 10 at 8 pm at the Conference Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

v
Brian Stokes Mitchell and Megan Hilty.

Spike 150 is expecting around 600,000 people will attend the celebration events planned and that the activities planned will reach approximately 2.5 million people.

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

Gold Mountain was most recently presented at TheTimesCenter in New York City by the National Asian Artists Project in partnership with Prospect Theater Company as a part of their 2017 IGNITE series. It was also selected for presentation at the 2016 ASCAP/DreamWorks Musical Theatre Workshop in Los Angeles, for development by Apples & Oranges Studios in their 2017 THEatre ACCELERATOR, for a staged reading at San Francisco LaborFest 2016 in The Aurora Theatre, and for a 2017 eStudio grant for a developmental workshop at The Masie Center.

About the Writer and Director:
Jason Ma (Writer) is a son of an immigrant family, and a grateful descendant of a long line of those who were able to persist, overcome and succeed on their way to becoming Americans. He wrote book, music and lyrics for Gold Mountain and is the 2017 recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Cole Porter Award, given to an emerging composer/lyricist “whose work shows promise.” Along with writing, he is an actor who has been seen on Broadway and Off-Broadway stages, in regional theaters and many international venues.

Please visit: www.goldmountainthemusical.com

Alan Muraoka (Director) NY directing credits: Avenue Q (Off-Broadway Resident Director), Telly Leung: Telly on a Sunday (Birdland-November 2018), The Report (NY Fringe), Kung Fu (Signature Theatre-AD), Ann Harada: American Songbook (Lincoln Center), Awesomer& Awesomer!!!(Triad Theatre), The King and I (Harbor Lights Theatre), Telly Leung: Playlist and What Makes a Man? (54 Below), Ali Ewoldt: From Phantom to Phantom (54 Below) Grand Hotel (NYU/Cap 21),Falsettoland(NAATCO), John Tartaglia AD-LIBerty(Joe’s Pub) & Christmas Eve With Christmas Eve (BC/EFA Benefits). Regionally: South Pacific &Once On This Island (Olney Theatre),The King and I, Xanadu, Disney’s High School Musicaland Disney’s High School Musical 2 (all at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma), Disney’s High School Musical(MUNY, Casa Manana), Urinetown(Trinity University), and Up In The Air(Kennedy Center-AD). Television:Sesame Street,Macy’sThanksgiving Day Parade. As an actor, Alan is most recognizable for his role in the Emmy Award winning series, “Sesame Street,” where he plays “Alan,” the proprietor of Hooper’s Store. He has appeared in 7 Broadway shows; “Aladdin”, “Pacific Overtures,” “Mail,” “Shogun, the Musical,” “My Favorite Year,” “The King and I”(with Lou Diamond Phillips and Donna Murphy), and most notably “Miss Saigon,” where he played the lead role of the Engineer. Member SSDC & DGA. Website: www.alanmuraoka.net Follow on Instagram: #alanathoopers

About Production Partners:
Spike 150: Spike 150 is an initiative of Utah’s Transcontinental Railroad 150th Celebration Commission. The Utah State Legislature and Governor Gary Herbert established the Commission in 2017. Utah’s Transcontinental Railroad 150th Celebration Commission will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the “wedding of the rails” by the driving of the Golden Spike at Promontory Summit, Utah in 1869 on the weekend of May 10 – 11, 2019. The Commission is also engaged in promoting other commemorative events and activities that inspire, unify, educate and advance the legacy of this historic moment. More at: https://spike150.org

CRWDA: The Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association is a national, membership based, charitable organization which seeks to preserve, promote and protect the contributions made by Chinese railroad workers to the United States. Through our educational and philanthropic efforts, we support academic research, historic preservation and artistic projects that further the understanding and appreciation of the sacrifices, struggles, hardships and contributions made by generations of Chinese and Chinese Americans to the United States. Learn more at https://www.goldenspike150.org/

Interview with Gold Mountain The Musical Creator Jason Ma; Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee Jr. and Alan Ariano to Perform Excerpts at MOCA Lunar Soirée on February 20. 

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

Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee Jr., Alan Ariano, Daniel J. Edwards, Lawrence-Michael Arias, Steven Eng and Eric Bondoc Set for Alan Muraoka Helmed GOLD MOUNTAIN by Jason Ma in Utah for 2019 Golden Spike 150th Anniversary

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

Utah’s commission for the Transcontinental Railroad 150th Celebration has announced that Gold Mountain, the original musical by Jason Ma, will be presented as one of the cultural events commemorating the landmark anniversary. Alan Muraoka will direct three evenings of staged concert presentations, performed by a New York cast of Asian American actors,  including Ali Ewoldt (Phantom of the Opera) as Mei, Jonny Lee Jr. as Lit, Alan Ariano (The King and I) as Ba, Daniel J. Edwards (Anything Goes) as Jiang, Lawrence-Michael Arias as Wong, Steven Eng (CSC’s Pacific Overtures) as Loong, and Eric Bondoc (Pacific Overtures) as Lo.

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

Music direction will be provided by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld and choreography by Billy Bustamante. Production will be spearheaded by Spike 150 in partnership with the Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association.

Jason Ma, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang
Jason Ma, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang

Performances in Salt Lake City are currently set for the Regent Street Black Box at The Eccles Theater on Wednesday, May 8 and Thursday, May 9, 2019, both at 8:00 p.m. Performances in Ogden will take place at Peery’s Egyptian Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 10 and a matinee on Saturday, May 11, curtain time TBD.

About Gold Mountain:
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. The original musical celebrates the striving immigrant spirit, the redemptive power of love and the ultimate nobility of self- sacrifice.

The company of GOLD MOUNTAIN at TheTimesCenter in New York on October 20, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
The company of GOLD MOUNTAIN at TheTimesCenter in New York on October 20, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

Gold Mountain was most recently presented at TheTimesCenter in New York City by the National Asian Artists Project in partnership with Prospect Theater Company as a part of their 2017 IGNITE series. It was also selected for presentation at the 2016 ASCAP/DreamWorks Musical Theatre Workshop in Los Angeles, for development by Apples & Oranges Studios in their 2017 THEatre ACCELERATOR, for a staged reading at San Francisco LaborFest 2016 in The Aurora Theatre, and for a 2017 eStudio grant for a developmental workshop at The Masie Center.

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 on October 19, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

About the Writer and Director:
Jason Ma (Writer) is a son of an immigrant family, and a grateful descendant of a long line of those who were able to persist, overcome and succeed on their way to becoming Americans. He wrote book, music and lyrics for Gold Mountain and is the 2017 recipient of the ASCAP Foundation’s Cole Porter Award, given to an emerging composer/lyricist “whose work shows promise.” Along with writing, he is an actor who has been seen on Broadway and Off-Broadway stages, in regional theaters, and internationally. Please visit: www.goldmountainthemusical.com

Alan Muraoka on The New Amsterdam Theatre stage where he recently starred as Iago in Aladdin on October 30, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang
Alan Muraoka on The New Amsterdam Theatre stage where he recently starred as Iago in Aladdin on October 30, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Alan Muraoka (Director) NY directing credits: Avenue Q (Off-Broadway Resident Director), Telly Leung: Telly on a Sunday (Birdland-November 2018), The Report (NY Fringe), Kung Fu (Signature Theatre-AD), Ann Harada: American Songbook (Lincoln Center), Awesomer & Awesomer!!!(Triad Theatre), The King and I (Harbor Lights Theatre), Telly Leung: Playlist and What Makes a Man? (54 Below), Ali Ewoldt: From Phantom to Phantom (54 Below) Grand Hotel (NYU/Cap 21), Falsettoland(NAATCO), John Tartaglia AD-LIBerty (Joe’s Pub) & Christmas Eve With Christmas Eve (BC/EFA Benefits). Regionally: South Pacific & Once On This Island (Olney Theatre),The King and I, Xanadu, Disney’s High School Musical and Disney’s High School Musical 2 (all at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma), Disney’s High School Musical (MUNY, Casa Manana), Urinetown (Trinity University), and Up In The Air (Kennedy Center-AD). Television: “Sesame Street,” Macy’sThanksgiving Day Parade. As an actor, Alan is most recognizable for his role in the Emmy Award winning series, “Sesame Street,” where he plays “Alan,” the proprietor of Hooper’s Store. He has appeared in 7 Broadway shows; Aladdin, Pacific Overtures, Mail, Shogun, the Musical, My Favorite Year, The King and I (with Lou Diamond Phillips and Donna Murphy), and most notably Miss Saigon, where he played the lead role of the Engineer. Member SSDC & DGA. Website: www.alanmuraoka.net Follow on Instagram: #alanathoopers

About Production Partners:
Spike 150: One of the most iconic and life-altering events in America’s history – the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad – happened in Utah on May 10, 1869. Spike 150 is an initiative of Utah’s Transcontinental Railroad 150th Celebration Commission, established by the Utah State Legislature and Governor Gary Herbert and organized to partner with all those celebrating the 150-year anniversary of the Golden Spike ceremony in Utah. Through a series of activities and events, the Spike 150 initiative aims to inspire, educate, and reflect on the Transcontinental Railroad legacy as it unifies Utahns to see that great things are possible with vision, hard-work, dedication, and collaboration. There are events planned all across the state so people can celebrate in 150 ways. The festivities will culminate in a celebration at Promontory Summit on May 10, 2019. For a full list of Spike 150 events, visit www.spike150.org.

CRWDA: The Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association is a national, membership based, charitable organization which seeks to preserve, promote and protect the contributions made by Chinese railroad workers to the United States. Through our educational and philanthropic efforts, we support academic research, historic preservation and artistic projects that further the understanding and appreciation of the sacrifices, struggles, hardships and contributions made by generations of Chinese and Chinese Americans. Please visit: www.goldenspike150.org

Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN Concert and AfterParty 

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: © 2000-2018 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