National Philharmonic Gets Festive With HOLIDAY SINGIN’ POPS Featuring Ali Ewoldt, Hilary Morrow, Kevin Rose, Addalie Burns and More on December 6

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

The holiday season is in full swing at The National Philharmonic with “Holiday Singin’ Pops” on Friday, Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. at The Music Center at Strathmore. Guest conductor and local Washington talent Luke Frazier will lead The National Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorale, as well as Broadway stars and international talents Ali Ewoldt (Phantom of the Opera); Hilary Morrow (Birdland Jazz Club); Kevin Rose, international vocalist; and Addalie Burns, an eight-year-old tap dancer, in an evening of holiday hits.

Frazier is the founder of the American Pops Orchestra (APO), comprised of excellent players in the Washington, DC, area, and serving the Washington community with community concerts that are free for veterans and their families, at-risk children, underserved families, and more. Popular songs that will be performed during the concert include Rudolph, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, The Christmas Song, O Holy Night, Mele Kelikimaka, Grown Up Christmas Wish, and a holiday singalong finale. This festive performance features a new take on traditional holiday songs. Families can see Santa, meet representatives from Veterans Moving Forward and their service dogs, hear young carolers and bring new, unwrapped toys or books for the Philharmonics Toys for Tots drive. Ticket prices are $29-$69, and young people 7-17 are free. There is a new 25% discount for military and veterans. Strathmore is located at 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit nationalphilharmonic.org or call 301.581.5100.

Frazier, who founded APO in 2015, is a conductor, pianist, and a visionary for presenting popular music with an energetic and unique twist. Washingtonian Magazine named him one of their “Top 40 Under 40,” and most recently named him one of five of Washington’s “Men on the Move” by Modern Luxury. The late Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and musical theatre legend Marvin Hamlisch called Frazier “so talented, and sensitive to every nuance.” Frazier has conducted at internationally acclaimed venues including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the White House, Kravis Center, and the Kennedy Center. He recently joined the board of the New York Festival of Song and is an Artistic Advisor for the Capitol Conversation and Performing Arts Series in Washington. Frazier has worked with famous performers, including Harry Connick Jr., Patti LaBelle, Renée Fleming, Vanessa Williams, Wynton Marsalis, and Liza Minnelli.

Ewoldt recently completed more than two years as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. Her other credits include Cosette in Les Miserables (Broadway); The King and I (Broadway); Maria in West Side Story; Luisa in The Fantasticks (off-Broadway); and Philia in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Concert and symphony works include Feinstein’s/54 Below, Alice Tully Hall, the Town Hall, Canyon Ranch, New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, American Pops Orchestra, Houston Symphony, and Boston Pops. Ewoldt’s television and film credits include The Michael J. Fox Show, Yield, and the short film Mia.

Morrow is an acclaimed musical theatre performer and soloist. She regularly sings at famed jazz club, Birdland, in New York City, including a recently sold-out performance in the new Birdland Theatre. Morrow has performed alongside such luminaries as Renee Fleming, Tommy Tune, Laura Osnes, Liz Callaway, Jeremy Jordan, Lindsey Mendez, and many more. She is the only singer to have appeared in every season with the American Pops Orchestra, with recent credits including the Old Lady in An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly, Bianca in the tour of A Very Silly Vaudeville, and Detective Fix in Around the World in 80 Days. Recent credits include Love, Factually with The Second City at The John F. Kennedy Center; King Cymbeline/Queen in Imogen in Shakespeare’s Cymbeline Reimagined with the Pointless Theatre Company; and Mother in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day at Adventure Theatre.

Washington-based vocalist Rose most recently toured in 2018 with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines in more than 20 countries with his show Feelin’ Good. In 2017, Rose performed in the United States tour of Dido and Aeneas with the Mark Morris Dance Group, and was also invited to bring his cabaret series If Not Now, When? to the historic Metropolitan Room. He has performed throughout New York City in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Town Hall, Laurie Beechman Theatre, Dimenna Center for Classical Music, Merkin Concert Hall, and 92nd St. Y. Favorite regional credits include the pre-Broadway production of Frank Wildhorn’s Bonnie and Clyde, The Life of Galileo, Joseph and the Amazing…, Forever Plaid, and Songs for a New World. Rose can be seen headlining the DC Transit Band, a successful entertainment band that plays all over the Washington area.

Young Burns studies dance at Hawkins School of Performing Arts in Folsom, Calif. She has danced for four years, and started tap at just five years old. Burns is a fan of American icon Shirley Temple, and her dream is to tap dance on Broadway. Someday, Burns would like to open her own dance studio with an animal shelter in the lobby.

Philharmonic Music Director and Conductor Piotr Gajewski is one of a select group of American conductors equally at home in nearly all musical genres. He is the music director and conductor of The National Philharmonic at the Music Center at Strathmore as well as a sought-after guest conductor. He was a student and disciple of the late Leonard Bernstein, and is described by The Washington Post as an “immensely talented and insightful conductor, whose standards, taste and sensitivity are impeccable.” With one foot in the United States and the other in Europe as former Principal Guest Conductor of the Silesian Philharmonic (Katowice, Poland) and frequent guest at other orchestras, the jet-set maestro’s seemingly limitless repertoire, most conducted without a score, amazes critics and audiences alike.

The National Philharmonic under Gajewski is known for performances that are “powerful,” “impeccable” and “thrilling” (The Washington Post). In July 2003, the National Chamber Orchestra and Masterworks Chorus merged to create The National Philharmonic, an ensemble with more than 50 years of combined history, bringing high-caliber musical performances to the Washington area. The National Philharmonic took up residence at the state-of-the-art Music Center at Strathmore upon its opening in February 2005. Now, more than 250 performances later, and with far-reaching educational programming, The National Philharmonic is the largest and most active professional orchestra based in Montgomery County. It is also the only classical music organization in the Washington-Metro area that offers free tickets for children ages 7-17. The National Philharmonic recognizes this young audience as the classical music lovers of the future, and hopes to encourage future generations of concertgoers through this free-ticket program.

A February 24, 2019, review in The Washington Post by Patrick Rucker notes The National Philharmonic’s “distinctive personality,” adding, “The vibe in the audience is that everybody onstage is happy, and maybe a little proud to be there, and the music sounds that way.” In fact, National Philharmonic’s “distinctive personality” is part and parcel of the world-class acoustics of the Music Center at Strathmore. The concert hall, orchestra and chorale together create this world-class sound. The National Philharmonic’s Strathmore Concert Hall home is an integral component of its artistic success. In fact, it is because of this success that the Philharmonic was recently recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts.

As the Music Center at Strathmore’s orchestra-in-residence, The National Philharmonic showcases world-renowned guest artists in time-honored symphonic masterpieces conducted by Maestro Gajewski, and monumental choral masterworks under National Philharmonic Chorale Artistic Director Stan Engebretson.

National Philharmonic recently announced its “Thank You for Serving Program” for all active duty military, reservists and veterans and their families. Military personnel may buy tickets for any National Philharmonic performance for themselves and their family and receive 25% off using promo code THX25. Tickets must be picked up at the box office with Military ID. Other restrictions apply.

“This discount combined with “Kids 7-17 Free” underscores National Philharmonic’s appreciation and commitment to bringing music to those who serve our country,” said Jim Kelly, National Philharmonic’s President. “Over the years, we have partnered with Walter Reed Hospital and Veterans Moving Forward. This new initiative is a natural extension of our Armed Forces philanthropy,” Kelly concluded.

To purchase tickets for the performances and for information about the Philharmonic’s upcoming season, please visit nationalphilharmonic.org or call the Strathmore Ticket Office at 301.581.5100.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tzi Ma. Photo by Lia Chang

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

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

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

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

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

Broadwayworld: Tzi Ma Receives 2019 MOCA Legacy Award

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

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

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

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

Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. to Perform Excerpts from Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN at MOCA’s 2019 Legacy Awards Gala at Mandarin Oriental on November 13 

The Museum of Chinese in America is presenting the 2019 Legacy Awards Gala, on Wednesday, November 13 at the Mandarin Oriental, 80 Columbus Circle, in New York City. Click here for tickets and more information.

Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Lawrence-Michael Arias in Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN. Photo by Lia Chang

Ali Ewoldt (The Phantom of the Opera) and Jonny Lee Jr., the stars of Jason Ma’s Gold Mountain: The Musical, will perform several numbers as part of MOCA’s celebration of the SPIKE 150: Running Forward with Our Stories initiative, and MOCA’s two fall exhibitions: Gathering: Collecting and Documenting Chinese American History andThe Chinese Helped Build the Railroad – The Railroad Helped Build America. The pair will be accompanied by Gold Mountain Musical Director Kristen Lee Rosenfeld on the keys.

Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Company in Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN. Photo by Lia Chang

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.

Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang

In May, the company of Gold Mountain performed to enthusiastic houses in Salt Lake City and Ogden as part of the SPIKE 150 celebrations.

Steven Eng, Eric Bondoc, Joseph Steven Yang, Viet Vo, Alex Hsu, Kiet Tai Cao, Ali Ewoldt, Eric Elizaga, Jonny Lee, Jr., Darren Lee, Daniel May and Lawrenc-Michael Arias. Photo by Lia Chang

Gold Mountain was 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.

Jason Ma. 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 book, music and lyrics for Gold Mountainand 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

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

This year, the Generational Legacy Award will be presented to the Tsai Family from Long Island, New York, whose family members Erh-Ping Tsai, Cynthia Chuang, and Sue Tsai are acclaimed for their excellence in the arts. Legacy Awards will be presented to Tzi Ma, beloved Hong Kong American actor and director; The Honorable Mae Yih, Oregon State Senator, pioneering public servant and the first Chinese American state legislator from Portland, Oregon; and Michelle Koo Hayashi and Jess Ting, M.D., New York-based philanthropist and plastic surgeon of the Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery, respectively, who are advocates for the LGBTQ+ community.

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

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

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

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

Michelle Koo Hayashi and Jess Ting, M.D.

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

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

Tzi Ma

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

Honorable Mae Yih

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

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

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

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

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

Broadway At Music Circus Presents GUYS AND DOLLS Starring Ali Ewoldt, Edward Watts, Jeff Skowron and Lesli Margherita at the Wells Fargo Pavilion in Sacramento, July 23 – 28

Ali Ewoldt
Ali Ewoldt
Ali Ewoldt

The 2019 Broadway At Music Circus season continues with a new production of the multiple Tony Award-winning musical theatre classic Guys and Dolls, running Tuesday, July 23 through Sunday, July 28 at the Wells Fargo Pavilion in Sacramento.

A high-rolling gambler attempts to woo a strait-laced missionary in this audience favorite romantic comedy. Set in the 1940s in New York City’s unsavory Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, gangsters, gamblers and showgirls go for broke in the game of love and marriage. Guys and Dolls is considered by many to be the quintessential musical comedy, with an infectious score by Frank Loesser that includes “Luck Be a Lady” and “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat.”

Edward Watts returns to Broadway At Music Circus in the role of Sky Masterson in this hilarious show. Watts, last summer’s Adam Pontipee in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, has appeared on Broadway in Scandalous and Finian’s Rainbow, in addition to touring with The Book of Mormon and The Little Mermaid. Playing Sarah Brown and making her Broadway At Music Circus debut is Ali Ewoldt, who has appeared on Broadway as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera, Cosette in Les Misérables, The King and I and as Maria in the first national tour of West Side Story. Ms. Ewoldt recently appeared at The Muny as Martha Jefferson in 1776!

Robert Petkoff, Ali Ewoldt, Adam Heller. Photo courtesy of The Muny
Robert Petkoff, Ali Ewoldt, Adam Heller. Photo courtesy of The Muny

In addition to his appearance in Oklahoma! this summer, Jeff Skowron, who appeared in Bad Santa 2 with Billy Bob Thornton and is the co-creator of the TV series “Greg & Donny,” will be playing Nathan Detroit. Playing Miss Adelaide is Olivier Award-winner Lesli Margherita, whose Broadway roles include Mrs. Wormwood in Matilda The Musical and Mona Kent in Dames at Sea, and whose Broadway At Music Circus roles include Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Rizzo in Grease, Lady of the Lake in Spamalot and Aldonza in Man of La Mancha.

Evan Harrington, making his Broadway At Music Circus debut as Nicely-Nicely Johnson, was last in Sacramento with the national tour of Once; he also appeared on Broadway in Chicago, Once, Peter and the Starcatcher and The Phantom of the Opera. Michael Paternostro follows his appearance in this season’s The Drowsy Chaperone to play Benny Southstreet.

With over a dozen appearances with Broadway At Music Circus, Lenny Wolpe returns in the role of Arvide Abernathy. In addition to extensive film and TV work on shows like “The Good Fight,” “Crossing Jordan,” “Six Feet Under” and “ER,” Wolpe has appeared on Broadway in Bullets Over Broadway, Wicked, The Drowsy Chaperone and The Sound of Music. In addition to playing Mrs. Tottendale in The Drowsy Chaperone this summer, Broadway veteran Jennifer Smith will be portraying General Cartwright.

Ron Wisniski will additionally appear as Lt. Brannigan in his third show of the season. Harry the Horse will be played by Carlos Lopez, who has appeared on Broadway in Man of La Mancha, Annie Get Your Gun, Grease, Wonderful Town, Guys and Dolls and Grand Hotel. Jerry Gallagher will be playing Big Jule, a role he appeared in with Goodspeed Musicals and MUNY; he’s also appeared in multiple productions of Crazy for You both on TV for PBS Great Performances and the 25th anniversary concert with Manhattan Concert Productions. In the role of Angie the Ox, Cayel Tregeagle appeared as Albert in the U.S. premiere of The Count of Monte Cristo by Frank Wildhorn at Brigham Young University and Singin’ in the Rain with MUNY.

The cast for Guys and Dolls also includes Randy Castillo, Mary Beth Donahoe, Drew Franklin, Tanya Haglund, Caroline Kane, Connor McRory, Sarah Meahl, Alfie Parker, Jr., Tanner Pflueger, Allie Pizzo, Adam Rogers and Karilyn Ashley Surratt, as well as young Sacramento area actor Luke Lowe.

The Director for Guys and Dolls is Charles Repole; Choreographer is Michael Lichtefeld; Music Director is James Olmstead.

Tickets for Guys and Dolls start at $45, and are available by phone at (916) 557-1999, online at BroadwaySacramento.com, or in person at the Wells Fargo Pavilion Box Office, 1419 H Street in Sacramento. Evening performances are Tuesday through Saturday, July 23 – 27, at 7:30 p.m.; matinee performances are Thursday, July 25 and Saturday, July 27 at 2:00 p.m., and Sunday, July 28 at 3:00 p.m.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

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

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

Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. Darren Lee, Joseph Steven Yang and More Open in Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN at Ogden Musical Theatre at the historic Peery’s Egyptian Theater

After two sold-out concert performances at the Regent Street Black Box at The Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City, Jason Ma’s new musical Gold Mountain celebrates opening night at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Ogden Musical Theatre at the historic Peery’s Egyptian Theater, 2415 Washington Blvd., Ogden, Utah  84401

The company of Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN. Photo by Lia Chang

Tickets are available for tonight and the Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. Click here for tickets.

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

The cast features 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.

Alan Muraoka and Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang

Alan Muraoka is at the helm with choreography by Billy Bustamante and Darren Lee, and music direction by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld. The band features Nicole Elkins (Flute/Piccolo/Dizi), LeeAnn Morgan (Viola), Lauren Posey (Cello), Keming Zhou (Erhu).

Viet Vo, Darren Lee and Kiet Tai Cao. Photo by Lia Chang
Viet Vo, Darren Lee and Kiet Tai Cao. Photo by Lia Chang
Lawrence-Michael Arias, Daniel May, Viet Vo, Steven Eng, Darren Lee, Eric Bondoc, Eric Elizaga, Alex Hsu and Kiet Tai Cao. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel May, Lawrence-Michael Arias, Steven Eng, Viet Vo, Darren Lee, Eric Bondoc, Eric Elizaga, Kiet Tai Cao and Alex Hsu. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel May, Lawrence-Michael Arias, Steven Eng, Viet Vo, Darren Lee, Eric Bondoc, Eric Elizaga, Kiet Tai Cao and Alex Hsu. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel May, Steven Eng, Eric Elizaga, Eric Bondoc, Lawrence-Michael Arias and Kiet Tai Cao. Photo by Lia Chang
Lawrence-Michael Arias, Daniel May, Viet Vo, Steven Eng, Darren Lee, Eric Bondoc, Eric Elizaga, Alex Hsu and Kiet Tai Cao. Photo by Lia Chang
Robert Scott Smith and Kiet Tai Cao. Photo by Lia Chang
Darren Lee, Kiet Tai Cao, Joseph Steven Yang and Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Alex Hsu, Viet Vo and Lawrence Michael Arias. Photo by Lia Chang
Eric Elizaga, Jonny Lee, Jr., Daniel May and Lawrence Michael Arias. Photo by Lia Chang
Eric Elizaga, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Lawrence Michael Arias. Photo by Lia Chang
Lawrence-Michael Arias, Darren Lee, Steven Eng, Jonny Lee, Jr., Eric Bondoc and Joseph Steven Yang. Photo by Lia Chang
Kiet Tai Cao, Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee Jr. and Joseph Steven Yang. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Viet Vo and Eric Elizaga. Photo by Lia Chang
Eric Elizaga, Jonny Lee Jr., Daniel May, Lawrence-Michael Arias. Photo by Lia Chang
Keming Zhou, Nicole Elkins, LeeAnn Morgan, Lauren Posey, Music director Kristen Rosenfeld. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee, Jr. and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng, Darren Lee and Eric Bondoc. Photo by Lia Chang
Viet Vo, Eric Elizaga, Daniel May, Alex Hsu. Photo by Lia Chang
Viet Vo, Eric Elizaga, Daniel May, Alex Hsu and Lawrence-Michael Arias. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Joseph Steven Yang, Kiet Tai Cao, Ali Ewoldt, Robert Scott Smith. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee, Jr. and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
The Company of GOLD MOUNTAIN. Photo by Lia Chang

Lawrence-Michael Arias, Jonny Lee, Jr., Joseph Steven Yang and Darren Lee. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Joseph Steven Yang. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng and Eric Bondoc. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng and Eric Bondoc. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng and Eric Bondoc. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng and Eric Bondoc. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee, Jr. and Joseph Steven Yang. Photo by Lia Chang
The GOLD MOUNTAIN company. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee, Jr., Steven Eng, Eric Bondoc, Eric Elizaga and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee, Jr. and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang

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

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/

Delta Air Lines: What started as a humble, little aerial crop dusting operation called Huff Daland Dusters in 1924 has now grown into one of the world’s largest global airlines, helping more than 180 million travelers get to the places they want to go to each year.

Delta offers the world many ways to travel through their programs such as Skymiles, Delta One, Delta Comfort+, and more! Find out how you can book your next vacation or business trip at Delta.com.

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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

Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. Darren Lee, Joseph Steven Yang and More Open in Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN at Regent Street Black Box at The Eccles Theater

Jason Ma’s new musical Gold Mountain celebrates opening night at 8:00 p.m. tonight at Regent Street Black Box at The Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City with a sold-out engagement that also includes a performance on Thursday, May 9, both at 8:00 p.m

GOLD MOUNTAIN Company 1st Row: Viet Vo, Steven Eng, Jason Ma, Jonny Lee, Jr. , Ali Ewoldt. 2nd Row: Eric Elizaga, Darren Lee, Daniel May, Alan Muraoka, Joseph Steven Yang, Lawrence-Michael Arias, Eri Bondoc, Alex Hsu, Kiet Tai Cao, Robert Scott Smith. Photo by Lia Chang

Performances of the semi-staged concert 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 (sold-out) and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 11.

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

The cast features 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.

Eric Elizaga, Jonny Lee, Jr. Daniel May, Alex Hsu, Lawrence-Michael Arias. Photo by Lia Chang

Alan Muraoka is at the helm with choreography by Billy Bustamante and Darren Lee, and music direction by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld.

Eric Elizaga, Darren Lee, Billy Bustamante, Jason Ma, Steven Eng and Viet Vo. Photo by Lia Chang

The company welcomed playwright David Henry Hwang and Max Chang, Spike 150 Board of Director, to their rehearsal this week. Hwang was in town for the Utah premiere of Hwang’s The Dance and the Railroad, directed by Billy Bustamante as part of the Spike 150 celebration of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. The reading on May 6th was followed by a panel discussion with Hwang, Ma and Paisley Rekdal, the poet laureate of Utah, Max Chang, Spike 150 board member Max Chang, and Judge Michael Kwan, President, Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association.

Lia Chang, Jason Ma, David Henry Hwang, Alan Muraoka, Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang

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.

1st Row: Viet Vo, Steven Eng, Jason Ma, Jonny Lee, Jr., Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Ali Ewoldt. 2nd Row: Eric Elizaga, Darren Lee, Alan Muraoka, Daniel May, David Henry Hwang, Joseph Steven Yang, Lawrence-Michael Arias, Eric Bondoc, Alex Hsu, Kiet Tai Cao, Robert Scott Smith, Max Chang, Spike 150 Board Member. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel May, Steven Eng, Viet Vo, Eric Bondoc, Darren Lee, Eric Elizaga, Alex Hsu, Kiet Tai Cao. Photo by Lia Chang
Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Alan MUraoka, Viet Vo, Lawrence-Michael Arias, Alex Hsu. Photo by Lia Chang
Daren Lee, Jonny Lee, Jr. and company. Photo by Lia Chang
The company of GOLD MOUNTAIN. Photo by Lia Chang
Joseph Steven Yang and Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel May, Alex Hsu, Viet Vo, Lawrence-Michael Arias, Darren Lee. Photo by Lia Chang
Jason Ma and Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang
Viet Vo and Eric Elizaga. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng and Eric Bondoc. Photo by Lia Chang
Darren Lee, Kiet Tai Cao, Joseph Steven Yang and Jonny Lee, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang

Jason Ma, David Henry Hwang and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang

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

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/

Delta Air Lines: What started as a humble, little aerial crop dusting operation called Huff Daland Dusters in 1924 has now grown into one of the world’s largest global airlines, helping more than 180 million travelers get to the places they want to go to each year.

Delta offers the world many ways to travel through their programs such as Skymiles, Delta One, Delta Comfort+, and more! Find out how you can book your next vacation or business trip at Delta.com.

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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

Headed to Salt Lake City with Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN Musical as Part of the 2019 Golden Spike 150th Anniversary Celebration of the Completion of the Transcontinental Railroad

Jason Ma and Lia Chang

I am headed to Salt Lake City on Delta Airlines for my latest adventure with Jason Ma and his company of Asian American actors who will be performing semi-staged concert presentations of his new musical Gold Mountain, which has sold out its Salt Lake City run. Those hoping to catch one of the Spike 150 celebration performances can see this original musical in nearby Ogden.

The cast features 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.

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

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

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

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.

David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

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/

Delta Air Lines: What started as a humble, little aerial crop dusting operation called Huff Daland Dusters in 1924 has now grown into one of the world’s largest global airlines, helping more than 180 million travelers get to the places they want to go to each year.

Delta offers the world many ways to travel through their programs such as Skymiles, Delta One, Delta Comfort+, and more! Find out how you can book your next vacation or business trip at Delta.com.

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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

Ali Ewoldt, Devin Ilaw, Jason Ma, Diane Phelan, Hansel Tan, Nina Zoie Lam, Timothy Huang, Jelani Alladin and More Celebrate Steven Eng at Prospect Theater Company Gala

On Monday night, Lucille Lortel nominee Steven Eng (Pacific Overtures) was honored at the Prospect Theater Company 2019 Gala at Manhattan Penthouse along with Michelle McGorty and Harriet Slaughter.

Honorees Harriet Slaughter, Michelle McGorty and Steven Eng. Photo by Lia Chang

The evening also recognized two decades of commitment and vision from the co-Founders of Prospect: Melissa Huber, Peter Mills, Cara Reichel, and Tony Vallés.

Timothy Huang and Cara Reichel. Photo by Lia Chang

Tony and Grammy Award nominated actress Ashley Park (Mean Girls, KPOP) hosted the evening’s festivities which included cocktails, dinner and a concert event featuring favorite songs from Prospect’s history.

Steven Eng and Ashley Park. Photo by Lia Chang

Chanel Karimkhani, Andrew Mayer, Lilli Thomas, Skyler Volpe, Cathryn Wake, members of the cast of The Hello Girls, the company’s recent Off-Broadway hit, were featured in an encore performance, alongside a line-up of other Broadway friends and Prospect artists including Ali Ewoldt, Devin Ilaw, Jason Ma, Diane Phelan, Hansel Tan, Hillary Fisher, Ben Moss, Mia Pinero, Ashley Park, Destinee Rea, LaDonna Burns, Tia DeShazor, A.J. Shively, Mary Kate Morrissey, Jennifer Blood, David Perlman, Simone Zamore and Bob Stillman.

The performances were directed by Christine O’Grady, with music direction by Andy Roninson on piano, Kiku Enomoto on violin, Brian Sanders on cello and Matt Scharfglass on bass.

The Band: Brian Sanders, Andy Roninson, Kiki Enomoto and Matt Scharfglass. Photo by Lia Chang

Steven Eng’s relationship with Prospect spans over a decade, beginning as an actor with the 2007 musical workshop of Honor. That would lead to subsequent performances with Prospect, and in the last several years to a producing partnership with National Asian Artists Project (NAAP), the non-profit he co-founded in 2009. NAAP’s mission is to showcase the works of Asian-American theater artists through performance, outreach and educational programming.

Orville Mendoza and Steven Eng, center, and the cast of "Pacific Overtures" by John Weidman and Stephen Sondheim, at Classic Stage Company. (Photo by Joan Marcus)
Orville Mendoza and Steven Eng, center, and the cast of “Pacific Overtures” by John Weidman and Stephen Sondheim, at Classic Stage Company. (Photo by Joan Marcus)

A professional actor for over 20 years, he continues to perform (2018 Lucille Lortel nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical for Pacific Overtures), direct (NAAP/Prospect’s 2018 Into the Woods), and teach on the faculty of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where his work as a voice, speech/text authority has also be presented at the national conferences of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association. As an advocate for diversity and inclusion, Mr. Eng has been interviewed on NPR and other medial outlets and served as a grants panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. In May, he’ll appear in four performances of Jason Ma’s Gold Mountain in Utah as part of the Spike 150 celebration.

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

Nina Zoie Lam was on hand to celebrate her NAAP co-founder.

Steven Eng and Nina Zoie Lam. Photo by Lia Chang

Ali Ewoldt, Devin Ilaw, Jason Ma, Diane Phelan and Hansel Tan performed “One Time, One Meeting” from Honor.

Kiku Enomoto, Andy Roninson, Matt Scharfglass, Jason Ma, Hansel Tan, Diane Phelan, Ali Ewoldt and Devin Ilaw. Photo by Lia Chang
Jason Ma, Hansel Tan, Andy Roninson, Diane Phelan, Matt Scharfglass, Ali Ewoldt and Devin Ilaw. Photo by Lia Chang

Frozen’s Jelani Alladin, a former student, presented Mr. Eng with his award.

Steven Eng and Jelani Alladin. Photo by Lia Chang
Steven Eng and Jelani Alladin. Photo by Lia Chang

Below is Mr. Eng’s speech:
“Monday, November 12, 2007, the first rehearsal for the work-in-progress musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s As You Like It set in feudal Japan. It would only be Act 1 for this workshop, but to me, it was the taste of something that I knew would be extraordinary. This was my introduction to the gifts of Cara Reichel and Pete Mills, and the important company that we are here to celebrate tonight.

Steven Eng and Ali Ewoldt in the 2008 production of HONOR at the Hudson Guild Theater in New York. Photo by Richard Termine

By the time the full 2-Act production of Honor had rehearsed, opened and closed half a year later, I already knew that my experience had been quite special. It remains so to this day. Just look at my incredibly talented friends who just performed for you tonight. And “Little Gray Stone” will always be one of the most cherished songs I will ever have the privilege of performing on any stage.”

NAAP co-founders Nina Zoie Lam, Baayork Lee and Steven Eng at the NAAP Gala celebrating 60th Anniversary of Rodgers & Hammerstein's FLOWER DRUM SONG on December 2, 2018 at The Golden Unicorn on December 2, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang
NAAP co-founders Nina Zoie Lam, Baayork Lee and Steven Eng at the NAAP Gala celebrating the 60th Anniversary of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s FLOWER DRUM SONG on December 2, 2018 at The Golden Unicorn on December 2, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang

Since co-founding National Asian Artists Project in 2009 with Baayork Lee and Nina Zoie Lam, my admiration for Prospect has only grown. I’ve learned that founding, running, and maintaining a non-profit theater company is hard. Producing new musicals is hard. Keeping the creative mind and heart lit when you must raise money to pay for actors, musicians, creative teams, designers, crews, costumes, sets, lights, sound, rehearsal spaces, performance venues … not to mention management, administration, marketing, development, office space … that’s … well … hard. And for 20 years.

Billy Bustamante, Jason Ma, Baayork Lee, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Alan Muraoka, Steven Eng and Cara Reichel at Prospect Theater Company's 2017-18 IGNITE Series GOLD MOUNTAIN concert at TheTimesCenter in New York on October 21, 2017. Photo Lia Chang
Billy Bustamante, Jason Ma, Baayork Lee, Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Alan Muraoka, Steven Eng and Cara Reichel at Prospect Theater Company’s 2017-18 IGNITE Series GOLD MOUNTAIN concert at TheTimesCenter in New York on October 21, 2017. Photo Lia Chang

So to Cara, Pete, Missy, Tony and the whole Prospect family, my hat’s off to you.

Lawrence Michael C. Arias, Eric Bondoc and Steven Eng in GOLD MOUNTAIN. Photo by Lia Chang
Lawrence Michael C. Arias, Eric Bondoc and Steven Eng in GOLD MOUNTAIN. Photo by Lia Chang

For myself, I’ve had the chance to wear several hats with Prospect, from actor to director to producing partner. And just as Prospect has recognized me as someone who has played a significant role in its growth, I can say unequivocally, the feeling is mutual.

Katie Mariko Murray (Cinderella) and Steven Eng (Director). Photo by Lia Chang
Katie Mariko Murray (Cinderella) and Steven Eng (Director) in rehearsal for INTO THE WOODS. Photo by Lia Chang

So thank you for honoring me tonight, for allowing me a reason to bring my family from across the country to share in this remarkable evening, and here’s to what wonderful things lie ahead in our next 20 years.”

Steven Eng and his mom, Ping Fong Ng. Photo by Lia Chang
Brenda Wong, honoree Steven Eng, Ping Fong Ng and Sandrea Faabeng. Photo by Lia Chang
Brenda Wong, Tomas Sander, honoree Steven Eng, Ping Fong Ng, Lasse Faabeng, Sandra Faabeng. Photo by Lia Chang
Tomas Sander, Brenda Wong, Nina Zoie Lam, Ping Fong Ng, honoree Steven Eng, Sandra Faabeng and Lasse Faabeng. Photo by Lia Chang

Michelle McGorty’s interest in musical theater started in the late 70’s, when her parents took her to a touring production of CATS. An avid performer from that moment on, she joined the Princeton University Triangle Club in college, where she served as the Vice President and Tour Manager, and met future Prospect founders Cara Reichel, Peter Mills and Melissa Huber. As one of Prospect’s earliest advocates, she joined its Board of Directors in 2005 and served through 2014, championing productions such as Golden Boy of the Blue Bridge and The Underclassman and helping the company grow by launching its first Gala. A positive force in all her endeavors, after graduating from Princeton, Ms. McGorty earned her MBA from Columbia Business School and spent 12 years Booz Allen Hamilton before experimenting with “mompreneurship” via her baking company, Sweet McG’s. She is currently the Triangle Club’s Alumni Board Secretary, where she continues to support young artists.

Co-chair Jane Abramson, Honorees Harriet Slaughter, Michelle McGorty, Steven Eng and Co-chair Tira Harpaz. Photo by Lia Chang

Harriet Slaughter has been a life-long advocate for the arts, including theater, dance, poetry and visual art. Her career began as a triple-threat performer on the stage – including the original Inherit the Wind and the Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof. Ms. Slaughter then went on to serve in senior executive leadership positions for Town Hall, Actors’ Equity, and The Broadway League. As co-president of the League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW), she co-produced the Women in Theatre TV series for CUNY-TV, hosted by Linda Winer of Newsday. For her achievements, she was honored by the New York Women’s Agenda with their Galaxy Award. Long a supporter of women in the arts, she was first introduced to Cara Reichel and the work of the Prospect Theater Company through the LPTW’s Lucille Lortel Committee and has since remained an avid Prospect supporter. She published a book of her original poetry and paintings, ARS POETICA and her paintings have also appeared in galleries in New York City. She regularly features her poetry at various venues on Long Island, where she now resides.

Proceeds from the evening will support Prospect’s mission to bring to life new musical theater by emerging theater artists. www.ProspectTheater.org

Hansel Tan, Devin Ilaw, Steven Eng, Nina Zoie Lam, Jason Ma, Diane Phelan and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Hansel Tan, Devin Ilaw, Julie Miller, Steven Eng, Nina Zoie Lam, Jason Ma, Diane Phelan and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Devin Ilaw, Ali Ewoldt, Jason Ma, Diane Phelan and Hansel Tan. Photo by Lia Chang
Devin Ilaw, Ali Ewoldt, Jason Ma, Diane Phelan and Hansel Tan. Photo by Lia Chang
Hansel Tan, Diane Phelan, Jason Ma, Ali Ewoldt and Devin Ilaw. Photo by Lia Chang
Hansel Tan, Diane Phelan, Jason Ma, Ali Ewoldt and Devin Ilaw. Photo by Lia Chang
A SHANGHAI LIL reunion with Jason Ma, Jeanne Sakata, Steven Eng and Timothy Huang. Photo by Lia Chang
A SHANGHAI LIL reunion with Steven Eng, Jeanne Sakata and Timothy Huang. Photo by Lia Chang

Prospect Theater Company is presenting a workshop staging of American Morning, with book, music and lyrics by Timothy Huang, from May 8 – 19, in the Mezzanine Theatre at the A.R.T./New York Theatres. Marlo Hunter directs. The cast features James Seol, Hansel Tan, Andew Cristi, Chil Kong, Daniel Le, Dorcas Leung, Aaron Phillips and Isabel Santiago. For tickets and more information, click www.ProspectTheater.org.

Photo Flash: Steven Eng, Michelle McGorty, And Harriet Slaughter Honored At Prospect Theater Company’s 2019 Gala

James Seol, Hansel Tan, Andew Cristi, Chil Kong, Daniel Le, Dorcas Leung, Aaron Phillips and Isabel Santiago Set for Prospect Theater Company’s Workshop Production of AMERICAN MORNING by Timothy Huang, May 8 -19 

Chatting with Steven Eng – 2018 Lucille Lortel Award Nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical for “Pacific Overtures” 

Alvin Ing and Yuriko Kikuchi Honored at NAAP Gala Celebrating 60th Anniversary of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s FLOWER DRUM SONG 

Jason Ma, Ann Harada, Raymond J. Lee and More in NAAP’s INTO THE WOODS Rehearsal

Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN Concert and AfterParty 

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

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/

Delta Air Lines: What started as a humble, little aerial crop dusting operation called Huff Daland Dusters in 1924 has now grown into one of the world’s largest global airlines, helping more than 180 million travelers get to the places they want to go to each year.

Delta offers the world many ways to travel through their programs such as Skymiles, Delta One, Delta Comfort+, and more! Find out how you can book your next vacation or business trip at Delta.com.

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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

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