Lainie Sakakura and Alex Sanchez Usher in Year of the Dog at P.S. 87 with Ali Ewoldt, Telly Leung, Rika Nishikawa, Kelvin Moon Loh, Jason Garcia Ignacio, Belinda Allyn, Sam Tatsuo Tanabe, YoonJeong Seong, Hansel Tan, Adam Rogers, Tommy Scrivens, Kai Rivera

(Back Row) Tommy Scrivens, Kelvin Moon Loh, Ali Ewoldt, Sam Tanabe, Daniel May, Lainie Sakakura, Telly Leung, YoonJeong Seong, Adam Rogers. (Front Row) Hansel Tan, Rika Nishikawa, Jason Garcia Ignacio, Kai Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang
Chinese Lion Dance by Kwan's Kung Fu, with Sam Tanabe, YoonJeong Seong, Hansel Tan. Photo by Lia Chang
Chinese Lion Dance by Kwan’s Kung Fu, with Sam Tanabe, YoonJeong Seong, Hansel Tan. Photo by Lia Chang

Broadway vets Lainie Sakakura and Alex Sanchez ushered in the Year of the Dog at P.S. 87 – William T. Sherman School’s Annual Pan Asian Lunar New Year celebration, with a little help from their Asian American Broadway friends on February 9, 2018.

Alex Sanchez, Avelina Sanchez, Isabela Sanchez and Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang
Alex Sanchez, Avelina Sanchez, Isabela Sanchez and Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang

The evening, highlighting a variety of Pan Asian cultures, is a labor of love for Sakakura and her husband, award-winning choreographer Alex Sanchez, who has served as her P.S. 87 Culture & Community Committee co-chair for eight years – in bringing multicultural awareness and arts to a New York City public school through contemporary and cultural music, dance, and personal stories.

Lainie Sakakura, with her husband, Alex Sanchez. Photo by Lia Chang
Lainie Sakakura, with her husband, Alex Sanchez. Photo by Lia Chang

“Growing up, I didn’t have any Asian American role models to look up to,” shared Sakakura. “I only saw Asian people portrayed as buck tooth, thick glasses wearing nerds. I didn’t have any positive influences to counter the racial prejudices I felt towards me. The PAN ASIAN LUNAR NEW YEAR event is what I wish I had as a kid. An evening filled with amazing, talented, beautiful Asian American performers celebrating everything that we are.”

(Back Row) Tommy Scrivens, Kelvin Moon Loh, Ali Ewoldt, Sam Tanabe, Daniel May, Lainie Sakakura, Telly Leung, YoonJeong Seong, Adam Rogers. (Front Row) Hansel Tan, Rika Nishikawa, Jason Garcia Ignacio, Kai Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang
(Back Row) Tommy Scrivens, Kelvin Moon Loh, Ali Ewoldt, Sam Tanabe, Daniel May, Lainie Sakakura, Telly Leung, YoonJeong Seong, Adam Rogers. (Front Row) Hansel Tan, Rika Nishikawa, Jason Garcia Ignacio, Kai Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang

The 90 minute set, which was free to the public, kicked off with Japanese Taiko Drumming by New York Taiko Aiko Kai. The stellar lineup included performances by Telly Leung, currently starring as Aladdin in ALADDIN, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA’s Ali Ewoldt, who plays Christine, THE LION KING’s Rika Nishikawa, who portrays Young Nala, and SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS’ Kelvin Moon Loh, who is featured as Perch Perkins. Jason Garcia Ignacio (M BUTTERFLY), Belinda Allyn (ALLEGIANCE), Sam Tanabe (ALLEGIANCE), YoonJeong Seong (THE KING & I, Dallas Summer Musicals), Hansel Tan (PING PONG, The Public Theater), dancers Adam Rogers (AMERICAN IN PARIS) and Tommy Scrivens (ROMAN HOLIDAY), Kai Rivera (SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE NEXT GENERATION), and students of UWSDance with Lainie Sakakura, rounded out the lineup. The evening closed with the Chinese Lion Dance by Kwan’s Kung Fu, and was followed by a potluck of Asian cuisine.

New York Taiko Aiko Kai. Photo by Lia Chang
New York Taiko Aiko Kai. Photo by Lia Chang

NEW YORK TAIKO AIKO KAI “Isamigoma” & “Enjin Daiko”
Taiko was originally a battlefield instrument to intimidate and scare the enemy in the 1500’s. NYTAK born from PS 87 families practicing Taiko in hopes of passing Japanese culture to their children.
*Mayur Baruah, Nina Briggs, Jackson Pietsch, Nobuko Sato, **Rie Taniguchi, **Kyoko Toyama-Baruah, Keiko Yamamoto (*PS87 alumni, **PS87 former parents) nytak.blogspot.com

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TELLY LEUNG “Proud of Your Boy”
Chinese-American, born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Telly is currently playing the title role in Disney’s ALADDIN on Broadway. Other Broadway & National Tour credits: In Transit, Allegiance (with George Takei and Lea Salonga), Godspell, Rent (final Broadway company), Wicked (Boq, Chicago company), Pacific Overtures, & Flower Drum Song. Off Broadway: MTC’s THE WORLD OF EXTREME HAPPINESS. Television: “Wes, the Warbler” on “Glee” (Fox), “Instinct” (CBS), “Odd Mom Out” (Bravo), “Deadbeat” (Hulu), “Law and Order: Criminal Intent’ (NBC). He has released two solo albums – I’ll Cover You (2012) and Songs for You (2016) and can be heard on many original Broadway cast recordings. BFA Carnegie Mellon University. Website: www.tellyleung.com. Follow @tellyleung

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ALI EWOLDT “Pakiusap”
Half-Filipino, half-“Midwestern”, currently starring as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. She made her Broadway debut as Cosette in Les Miserables, appeared in Lincoln Center’s recent Tony Award Winning revival of The King and I and has played Maria in numerous productions of West Side Story across the nation and the world. Her other credits include: The Fantasticks (Luisa) Off-Broadway, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Philia) at The Muny in St. Louis, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s The King and I (Tuptim), McCarter Theatre’s A Christmas Carol (Fan/Mrs. Bonds) and concerts at Feinstein’s/54 Below, Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall and The Town Hall. TV/Film: The Michael J. Fox Show, Yield and Drama: The Web Series. Ali has a BA in psychology from Yale University. www.aliewoldt.com Follow @aliewoldt

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JASON GARCIA IGNACIO “Nasa Iyo Na Ang Lahat”
Born and raised in Manila, Philippines. His love for dance brought him to NYC and recently had his broadway debut in M. BUTTERFLY. www.jasonignacio.com

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RIKA NISHIKAWA “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King”
Age 11 Nisei (2nd generation Japanese American) but lived in Japan for 3 years. She’s currently playing Young Nala in THE LION KING on Broadway. Her professional stage career started with the role of Princess Ying Yaowalak in Marriott Theatre’s 2014 production of The King and I. Other local credits include her appearance in Lyric Opera’s The King and I, Theatre at the Center’s Annie Warbucks, and Griffin Theatre’s Balm in the Gilead. Rika is a former member of Lookingglass Theatre’s Young Ensemble. She has also appeared in Ruth Page Civic Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker.

Kelvin Moon Loh. Photo by Lia Chang
Kelvin Moon Loh. Photo by Lia Chang

KELVIN MOON LOH “Go The Distance”
Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia but grew up in Queens & Long Island.  He is currently playing a rainbow suited fish, Perch Perkins in SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS on Broadway. Kelvin most recently appeared in Classic Stage Company’s revival of Pacific Overtures (dir. John Doyle). On Broadway, Kelvin appeared in revivals of The King and I (Lincoln Center) and Side Show. He created the role of the DJ in the critically acclaimed Here Lies Love (Public Theater) and toured with the 1st National Tour of Green Day’s American Idiot. www.KelvinMoon.com Follow @KelvinMoonLoh

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UWS DANCE “Grant Avenue”
Lainie Sakakura’s tap students ages 4 to 13 yrs old. A playful song about SF Chinatown from the 1958 Rogers & Hammerstein musical, FLOWER DRUM SONG about Chinese immigrants and their American born children’s inter-generational struggle between their Chinese roots and American culture. www.uwsdance.com

YoonJeong Seong. Photo by Lia Chang
YoonJeong Seong. Photo by Lia Chang

YOONJEONG SEONG “I Feel Pretty”
Born in South Korea. Moved to New York 15 years ago. YoonJeong appeared in 10 productions of THE KING AND I as Tuptim. One of her favorite roles was playing Amahl in AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITOR.

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HANSEL TAN “Bunga Sayang” with Adam Rogers & Tommy Scrivens
Hails from the sunny Southeast Asian isle of Singapore (which by the way is not in China). Hansel spent 2 years in the Singapore Armed Forces, so don’t mess with him. Graduate of Wesleyan and Oxford University. www.hanseltan.com

Sam Tanabe and Belinda Allyn. Photo by Lia Chang
Sam Tanabe and Belinda Allyn. Photo by Lia Chang

BELINDA ALLYN and SAM TANABE “Breaking Free”
Belinda Allyn is Filipino-American Hapa (first generation). Broadway performer, proud doggy mama, and third time performer at PS 87’s Pan Asian Lunar New Year celebration! www.belindaallyn.com
Sam Tanabe is half Japanese and half Swiss, making him Hapa (half Asian)! He loves musicals and was a part of Japanese-American history in ALLEGIANCE on Broadway. www.samtanabe.com

Avelina Sanchez, Isabela Sanchez and Sabrina Green. Photo by Lia Chang
Avelina Sanchez, Isabela Sanchez and Sabrina Green. Photo by Lia Chang

AVELINA SANCHEZ*, SABRINA GREEN*, ISABELA SANCHEZ** “How Far I’ll Go”
*13 year old PS 87 Alumni, ** PS 87 5th Grade

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KAI RIVERA “God’s plan/Fever/Special Delivery” Mix
14 years old, Hapa – half Japanese and half Puerto Rican. A member of Brooklyn Nets Kids dance team. Appeared on So You Think You Can Dance S13 and many commercials including Black Panther toy (currently playing). Performed with celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots.

The production team included Musical Director/Pianist Tom Conroy and Percussionist/ Drummer Kory Grossman.

Tom Conroy. Photo by Lia Chang
Tom Conroy. Photo by Lia Chang

TOM CONROY, Musical Director – Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition – Rice University, MM Composition – San Francisco Conservatory of Music, MA Liberal Arts & Homeric Greek Studies – St John’s College. Work ranging from Pokemon Live! to Betty Buckley. Actor and teacher of English to speakers of other languages.

Lainie Sakakura and Percussionist Kory Grossman. Photo by Lia Chang
Lainie Sakakura and Percussionist Kory Grossman. Photo by Lia Chang

KORY GROSSMAN, Percussion/Drums – has played well over 35 Broadway shows, is a member of the American Symphony Orchestra, currently working on the new Broadway revival, MY FAIR LADY. PS 87 Alumni.

Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang
Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang

Lainie Sakakura is a 26+ year Broadway veteran, choreographer, director, writer and teaching artist. She was awarded the 2015 Joe A. Callaway Award – Best Choreography for the Off Broadway show, RED EYE OF LOVE in collaboration with co-choreographer Alex Sanchez, directed by Ted Sperling and the 2002 Joseph Jefferson Award – Best Choreography for DAMN YANKEES, Marriott Theatre in collaboration with director/co-choreographer David H. Bell. Nominated for the 2003 Joseph Jefferson Award – Best Choreography for HOT MIKADO, directed by David H. Bell.

Lainie Sakakura, Lia Chang and Alex Sanchez. Photo by Garth Kravits
Lainie Sakakura, Lia Chang and Alex Sanchez. Photo by Garth Kravits

Sakakura is currently co-writing the musical adaptation of HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET, the New York Times best seller by Jamie Ford.

Broadwayworld.com: Photo Flash: Lainie Sakakura Ushers In The Year of the Dog at P.S. 87 With Broadway Pals Ali Ewoldt, Telly Leung and More

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

Lia Chang. Photo by Lori Tan Chinn
Lia Chang. Photo by Lori Tan Chinn

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

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Telly Leung, Ali Ewoldt, Rika Nishikawa, Kelvin Moon Loh, Jason Garcia Ignacio, Belinda Allyn, Sam Tanabe, YoonJeong Seong, Hansel Tan, Kai Rivera and More Set for Pan Asian Lunar New Year Celebration at the P.S. 87 – William T. Sherman School on February 9

LAINIE SAKAKURA
LAINIE SAKAKURA

Lainie Sakakura will usher in the Year of the Dog with a Pan Asian Lunar New Year celebration at the P.S. 87 – William T. Sherman School ( 160 W. 78th Street) on Friday, February 9, 2018, with a little help from her Asian American Broadway friends including Telly Leung, starring in ALADDIN as Aladdin, Ali Ewoldt starring in PHANTOM OF THE OPERA as Christine, Rika Nishikawa in THE LION KING as Young Nala, Kelvin Moon Loh in SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, Jason Garcia Ignacio (M BUTTERFLY), Belinda Allyn (ALLEGIANCE), Sam Tanabe (ALLEGIANCE), YoonJeong Seong (THE KING & I, Dallas Summer Musicals). Hansel Tan (PING PONG, The Public Theater) will be joined by his backup dancers Adam Rogers (AMERICAN IN PARIS) and Tommy Scrivens (ROMAN HOLIDAY), Kai Rivera (SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE NEXT GENERATION), Japanese Taiko Drumming by New York Taiko Aiko Kai, Chinese Lion Dance by Kwan’s Kung Fu, and students of UWSDance Lainie Sakakura, will round out the evening’s performances.

The evening, highlighting a variety of Pan Asian cultures is a labor of love for Sakakura and her P.S. 87 Culture & Community Committee co-chair, her husband Alex Sanchez – in bringing multicultural awareness and arts to a New York City public school through contemporary and cultural music, dance, and personal stories.

Alex Sanchez and Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang
Alex Sanchez and Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang

The production team included Musical Director/Pianist Tom Conroy and Percussionist/ Drummer Kory Grossman.

The 90 minute performance, which is free to the public, begins at 5:30pm and will be followed a community Asian themed potluck dinner.

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PHANTOM Star Ali Ewoldt, Matthew Hydzik and Natalie Cortez Lead McCallum Theatre’s WEST SIDE STORY: IN CONCERT, March 9 -11

Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang

Ali Ewoldt, who currently stars as Christine in Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera, will play Maria alongside Matthew Hydzik as Tony and Natalie Cortez as Anita, both of whom appeared in the 2009 Broadway revival of West Side Story, in the McCallum Theatre’s exclusive upcoming concert production of West Side Story, in Palm Desert, CA, March 9-11. Produced and directed by Chad Hilligus, this limited engagement will feature an onstage 40-piece orchestra under the baton of Grammy-winning conductor Richard Kaufman.

They will be joined by John Arthur Greene as Riff, Mikey Winslow as Action, Christopher Riceas Baby John, Alex Ringler as Diesel, Ryan Ghysels as A-Rab and Clay Thomson as Snowboy.

German Alexander will lead the Sharks as Bernardo and will be joined by Dean Andre de Luna as Chino, Maya Post as Rosalia, Tanairi Sade Vazquez as Consuela, Alexandra Blake Redelico as Francisca and Adrian Arrieta as Pepe.
This special presentation is part of the McCallum’s Leonard Bernstein Centennial Celebration. The 1957 classic has lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Arthur Laurents.

Located in Palm Desert, CA, the McCallum Theatre is celebrated by artists and audiences alike as the premier performing arts venue in the Coachella Valley. Consistently ranked among California’s most popular venues, the 1,127-seat McCallum was rated by Pollstar magazine as the top ticket-selling venue in the state and No. 8 in the world for the first quarter of 2017.

Tickets may be purchased at www.McCallumTheatre.com or by calling the McCallum Box Office at (760)340-2787.

Peter Jöback, Ali Ewoldt and Rodney Ingram Set for a Week of Celebrations for PHANTOM’s 30th Anniversary on Broadway

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

Lia Chang. Photo by Lori Tan Chinn
Lia Chang. Photo by Lori Tan Chinn

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

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Peter Jöback, Ali Ewoldt and Rodney Ingram Set for a Week of Celebrations for PHANTOM’s 30th Anniversary on Broadway

Cameron Mackintosh and The Really Useful Group have announced a week of festivities for when the longest-running show in Broadway history, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, directed by Harold Prince, which celebrates its 30th Anniversary next week. This unprecedented milestone is a feat achieved by no other Broadway show.

Peter Joback, Ali Ewoldt, and Rodney Ingram. Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel.
Peter Joback, Ali Ewoldt, and Rodney Ingram. Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel.

While the anniversary date for PHANTOM’s New York premiere is January 26, the 30th Anniversary is being celebrated two days earlier on Wednesday, January 24. The evening will feature: a red carpet event co-hosted by Broadway star Sierra Boggess and Imogen Lloyd Webber, a gala performance featuring the attendance of PHANTOM creatives and alumni cast, and a special post-show Onstage Presentation* featuring musical numbers by surprise guest artists.

Peter Joback Photo credit: Matthew Murphy
Peter Joback Photo credit: Matthew Murphy

PHANTOM has partnered with fellow New York City masterpiece the Empire State Building for a spectacular Music-To-Light Show*. At 11PM sharp, a custom-designed light show by world-renowned lighting designer Marc Brickman will illuminate the tower lights of the iconic building synchronized to a special arrangement of music from PHANTOM.

Peter Joback and Ali Ewoldt. Photo credit: Matthew Murphy
Peter Joback and Ali Ewoldt. Photo credit: Matthew Murphy

Not only will the show be fully visible to Gala guests with a clear shot view from Rainbow Room, but to all New Yorkers looking up at the “World’s Most Famous Building,” as well as a global audience on Twitter @PhantomBway. Prior to the Music-to-Light Show, the iconic Empire State Building will be lit in blue and white in honor of the 30th Anniversary. The Empire State Building is owned by Empire State Realty Trust, Inc.

To make the evening globally accessible to the public and the musical’s extremely dedicated ‘Phan’ community, PHANTOM has partnered with Twitter to showcase exclusive LIVE Anniversary streaming content at three important parts of the evening.

*The Red Carpet, Onstage Presentation and Empire State Building Music-to-Light Show will be streamed live and in their entireties. The public can follow along @PhantomBway.

As a thank you to PHANTOM’s dedicated ‘Phan’ community, two methods were established to allow members of the public chances to get tickets for the otherwise invite-only 30th Anniversary performance.

Earlier this week, a contest was held via PHANTOM social media channels for a limited number of show tickets, including the front row of the Orchestra.

In addition, 300 show tickets have been put on sale at the special Anniversary price of $30. To purchase these tickets, visit www.TelechargeOffers.com or call 212-947-8844, using the code SINGFOR30.

All proceeds will benefit Musicians On Call, a non-profit organization that brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities. www.MusiciansOnCall.org

On Monday morning, January 22, PHANTOM will be honored when members of the cast, led by Peter Jöback (The Phantom), Ali Ewoldt (Christine) and Rodney Ingram (Raoul) ring the NASDAQ Opening Bell in their daily morning ceremony. The prestigious ceremony can be viewed live at 9:30 AM on the financial networks/channels CNBC, Bloomberg TV, FOX Business News, Fast Money and Squawk Box.

The 30th Anniversary Company of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. Photo credit: Matthew Murphy
The 30th Anniversary Company of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. Photo credit: Matthew Murphy

On Wednesday morning, January 24 at 11AM, stars Peter Jöback (The Phantom), (Christine) and Rodney Ingram (Raoul) will participate in a ceremonial lighting of the Empire State Building, in advance of the Music-to-Light Show that night. The ceremony will also include the presentation of a proclamation from the Mayor’s Office marking 30 Years of PHANTOM on Broadway.

On Friday morning, January 26, viewers can tune into the 10AM (EST) hour of NBC’s The Today Show for an exclusive PHANTOM musical performance by stars Peter Jöback and Ali Ewoldt.

Rodney Ingram and Ali Ewoldt Photo credit: Matthew Murphy
Rodney Ingram and Ali Ewoldt Photo credit: Matthew Murphy

Marking the actual date of the 30th Anniversary, a special 2PM matinee is being held on January 26, in addition to the regular 8PM evening performance. To purchase tickets, visit www.Telecharge.com or call (212) 239-6200.

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA enters its fourth decade having played 12,500 performances to 18 million people at The Majestic Theatre 247 West 44th Street, and having grossed a staggering more than $1.1 billion. PHANTOM has been Broadway’s longest-running show for more than a decade and its astounding longevity in New York and around the world is unprecedented.

Peter Joback. Photo credit: Matthew Murphy
Peter Joback. Photo credit: Matthew Murphy

Leading the 30th Anniversary cast is international stage star and Platinum-selling Swedish recording artist Peter Jöback. One of Sweden’s most prolific and respected artists, Mr. Jöback has earned rave reviews and ignited the box office for his performance as ‘The Phantom’ in London (2012), New York (2013) and two sold out engagements in his native Stockholm (2016). Mr. Jöback’s strictly limited return is through Saturday, March 31.

Rodney Ingram and Ali Ewoldt. Photo credit: Matthew Murphy
Rodney Ingram and Ali Ewoldt. Photo credit: Matthew Murphy

Mr. Jöback stars with Ali Ewoldt as ‘Christine’ and Rodney Ingram as ‘Raoul.’ Ms. Ewoldt made history in June 2016 when she became the first Asian-American actress to play the role of ‘Christine’ on Broadway. Mr. Ingram, a dual citizen of the United State and Mexico, made headlines in April 2017 when he joined the cast as ‘Raoul.’

Members of The 30th Anniversary Company of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. Photo credit: Matthew Murphy
Members of The 30th Anniversary Company of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. Photo credit: Matthew Murphy

The musical also co-stars Laird Mackintosh as ‘Monsieur André,’ Craig Bennett as ‘Monsieur Firmin,’ Raquel Suarez Groen as ‘Carlotta,’ Carlton Moe as ‘Piangi,’ Maree Johnson as ‘Madame Giry’ and Kara Klein as ‘Meg Giry.’ At certain performances, Kaley Ann Voorhees plays the role of ‘Christine.’

Based on the classic novel Le Fantôme de L’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera tells the story of a masked figure who lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror over all who inhabit it. He falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents and by employing all of the devious methods at his command.

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Ali Ewoldt, Raymond J. Lee, Telly Leung, Shoba Narayan and Erin Quill Set for BroadwayCon 2018: FAN TAN FANTASTIC Panel at Jacob Javits on Jan. 27

On Saturday, January 27, Erin Quill will moderate a panel at BroadwayCon 2018 called FAN TAN FANTASTIC- Asian American performers how far we have come and how much further we intend to go – featuring Asian American Broadway stars Ali Ewoldt (Phantom of the Opera), Raymond J. Lee (Groundhog Day), Telly Leung (Aladdin) and Shoba Narayan (Hamilton) at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center at 10AM.

BroadwayCon 2018 will take place January 26–28, 2018 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 655 West 34th Street, New York, NY 10001. Click here for tickets and here for more information. 

Ali Ewoldt as Christine Daaé. Photo by Matthew Murphy
Ali Ewoldt as Christine Daaé. Photo by Matthew Murphy

Ali Ewoldt is currently starring as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. She made her Broadway debut as Cosette in Les Miserables, appeared in Lincoln Center’s recent Tony Award Winning revival of The King and I and has played Maria in numerous productions of West Side Story across the nation and the world. Her other credits include: The Fantasticks (Luisa) Off-Broadway, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Philia) at The Muny in St. Louis, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s The King and I (Tuptim), McCarter Theatre’s A Christmas Carol (Fan/Mrs. Bonds) and concerts at Feinstein’s/54 Below, Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall and The Town Hall. TV/Film: The Michael J. Fox Show, Yield and Drama: The Web Series. Ali has a BA in psychology from Yale University. www.aliewoldt.com

Andrew Call as Gus, Raymond J. Lee as Ralph and Andy Karl as Phil in GROUNDHOG DAY.
Andrew Call as Gus, Raymond J. Lee as Ralph and Andy Karl as Phil in GROUNDHOG DAY.

Raymond J. Lee recently originated the role of Ralph in Groundhog Day on Broadway. Other Broadway credits: Honeymoon In Vegas, Anything Goes, Mamma Mia! Off-Broadway: Two Gentlemen of Verona (The Public), The Wild Party (Encores!). Regional: Tiger Style! (La Jolla), Stuck Elevator (A.C.T.), Nerds (PTC), Great Wall (Village Theatre), Spelling Bee (PCS), Seussical(MUNY). TV/Film: “Billions,” “Succession,” “Smash,” “The Jim Gaffigan Show,” “Fame,” “Red Oaks,” The Mikado Project, Ghost Town. Thanks for having me BroadwayCon 2018! For more information, please visit www.raymondjlee.com and follow @raymondjlee

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

Telly Leung is currently playing the title role in Disney’s ALADDIN on Broadway. Other Broadway & National Tour credits: In Transit, Allegiance (with George Takei and Lea Salonga), Godspell, Rent (final Broadway company), Wicked (Boq, Chicago company), Pacific Overtures, & Flower Drum Song. Off Broadway: MTC’s THE WORLD OF EXTREME HAPPINESS. Television: “Wes, the Warbler” on “Glee” (Fox), “Instinct” (CBS), “Odd Mom Out” (Bravo), “Deadbeat” (Hulu), “Law and Order: Criminal Intent’ (NBC). He has released two solo albums – I’ll Cover You (2012) and Songs for You (2016) and can be heard on many original Broadway cast recordings. BFA Carnegie Mellon University. Website: www.tellyleung.com.

Shoba Narayan in "Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812". Photo by Nick Gaswirth
Shoba Narayan in “Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812”. Photo by Nick Gaswirth

Shoba Narayan will be starring as Eliza Hamilton in the HAMILTON Tour (Philip Company) in 2018. Originally from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, Ms. Narayan is a New York- based actor, singer, and dancer. She was also in the original cast of the 12-Time Tony Nominated musical Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 on Broadway. Her previous TV credits include: QUANTICO, GOSSIP GIRL, HALAL IN THE FAMILY, THE GOOD WIFE and LIMITLESS. She has played supporting roles in films such as GROWING UP SMITH (starring Jason Lee), COIN HEIST (starring Sasha Pierterse), PRICE FOR FREEDOM (starring Navid Negahban) and MISTRESS AMERICA (starring Greta Gerwig). Narayan is also a Bharatanatyam (South Indian Classical) dancer and teacher. She has performed extensively throughout the US and India, and has placed first in international dance competitions. Youtube videos of her performances have gathered upwards of 500,000 hits.

Erin Quill
Erin Quill

Erin Quill graduated from Carnegie Mellon with a BFA in Performance. She was a member of the OBC of Avenue Q, played Madame Rita in the 50th Anniversary Production of Flower Drum Song, and toured with The King and I as Lady Thiang. As an activist and blogger, she has been quoted or sourced for information by BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, The NY Times, The LA Times, International Business Times, Playbill.com, BroadwayWorld.com, Backstage.com and many more. Her blog, www.FairyPrincessDiaries.com came to prominence with her post ‘Moises Kaufman can Kiss my Ass and here’s why’ and has been on the forefront of Asian American Representation on stage, Television and Film ever since.

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

Lia Chang. Photo by Lori Tan Chinn
Lia Chang. Photo by Lori Tan Chinn

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

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

Jason Ma
Jason Ma
Jason Ma

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jason Ma’s GOLD MOUNTAIN Concert and AfterParty 

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

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

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

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

About The ASCAP Foundation

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

www.ascapfoundation.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jonny Lee Jr. and Ali Ewoldt Photo by Lia Chang

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jason Ma
Jason Ma
Jason Ma

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Courtesy of Masie Productions
Courtesy of Masie Productions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photos: Jeffrey Schecter, Ali Ewoldt, Mark Linn-Baker, John Tartaglia, Marcus Choi, Lainie Sakakura and More in A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM at The Muny 

The cast in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is currently playing at The Muny through July 11th. Supported by a sensational company of Muny and Broadway stars, Jeffrey Schecter (Pseudolus), gave an awe-inspiring performance after stepping into the lead role just 3 days before opening.

Jeffrey Schecter in A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM
Jeffrey Schecter in A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM

Considered one of Broadway’s greatest farces, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum follows Pseudolus, a crafty slave, as he aids his master in winning the hand of Philia, a slow-witted, but sweet courtesan, in exchange for his freedom. This musical romp through Rome includes scheming neighbors, secrets behind every toga and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

Justin Keyes, Tommy Scrivens, Marcus Choi and Jeffrey Schecter in A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Justin Keyes, Tommy Scrivens, Marcus Choi and Jeffrey Schecter in A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.

The full cast includes: Jeffrey Schecter (Pseudolus), John Tartaglia (Hysterium), Ali Ewoldt (Philia), Mark Linn-Baker (Senex), E. Faye Butler (Domina), Jason Kravits (Lycus), Marrick Smith (Hero), Nathaniel Hackmann (Miles Gloriosus), Whit Reichert (Erronius) and Marcus Choi, Justin Keyes and Tommy Scrivens (Proteans) joined by a comedic ensemble that includes Justina Aveyard, Molly Callinan, Emily Hsu, Khori Michelle Petinaud, Katelyn Prominski and Lainie Sakakura.

E. Faye Butler, MarRick Smith and John Tartaglia
E. Faye Butler, Marrick Smith and John Tartaglia in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.

A noteworthy design team spearheads this production with direction by Gary Griffin, choreography by Alex Sanchez, music direction by Brad Haak, scenic design by Timothy R. Mackabee, costume design by Mara Blumenfeld, lighting design by Rob Denton, sound design by John Shivers and David Patridge, wig design by John Metzner, with production stage manager Cody Renard Richard.

The company in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
The company in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.

Tickets are now available at The Muny Box Office, or online at muny.org.

Katelyn Prominski, Jeffrey Schecter and Tommy Scrivens in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Katelyn Prominski, Jeffrey Schecter and Tommy Scrivens in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Molly Callinan and Jeffrey Schecter in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Molly Callinan and Jeffrey Schecter in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
The cast of The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
The cast of The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Jason Kravits, Jeffrey Schecter and Marrick Smith in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Jason Kravits, Jeffrey Schecter and Marrick Smith in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Mark Linn-Baker and Ali Ewoldt in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Mark Linn-Baker and Ali Ewoldt in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
John Tartaglia, Mark Linn-Baker and Jeffrey Schecter in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
John Tartaglia, Mark Linn-Baker and Jeffrey Schecter in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
The cast in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
The cast in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Tommy Scrivens, Jeffrey Schecter and Nathaniel Hackmann in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Tommy Scrivens, Jeffrey Schecter and Nathaniel Hackmann in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Whit Reichert, Nathaniel Hackmann and Jeffrey Schecter in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Whit Reichert, Nathaniel Hackmann and Jeffrey Schecter in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Marrick Smith and Ali Ewoldt in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Marrick Smith and Ali Ewoldt in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Marrick Smith and Ali Ewoldt in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Marrick Smith and Ali Ewoldt in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
The cast in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
The cast in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Jeffrey Schecter and the cast in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Jeffrey Schecter and the cast in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.

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

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

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

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