The Playwrights Horizons (Tim Sanford, Artistic Director; Leslie Marcus, Managing Director) world premiere production of Log Cabin, a new play by Pulitzer Prize finalist Jordan Harrison (Marjorie Prime, Maple and Vine, Doris to Darlene at Playwrights; “Orange Is the New Black”) is currently in previews. Directed by Tony Award and Obie Award winner Pam MacKinnon (Clybourne Park, The Qualms at Playwrights; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Parisian Woman), Log Cabin is the sixth and final production of the theater company’s current 2017/2018 Season.
Log Cabin has an opening night set for Monday, June 25 at 7:30 PM at the company’s Mainstage Theater (416 West 42nd Street). The limited engagement is currently scheduled to play through Sunday, July 15.
The cast features Obie Award winner Phillip James Brannon (Bootycandy at Playwrights, The Antipodes, The City of Conversation), Cindy Cheung (Iowa at Playwrights, “High Maintenance,” “13 Reasons Why”), five-time Emmy Award nominee and two-time Drama Desk Award winner, stage and screen star Jesse Tyler Ferguson (“Modern Family,” Fully Committed, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), stand-up comedian and actor Ian Harvie (“Transparent,” Margaret Cho’s Sensuous Woman, The Ian Harvie Show),Talene Monahon (Bobbie Clearly, Tell Hector I Miss Him, The Wild Party) and Dolly Wells (The Whirligig, “Doll & Em,” Bridget Jones’s Diary).
It’s a faraway age of hope and inclusivity; in other words, it’s 2015. When a tight-knit circle of married gays and lesbians – comfy in the new mainstream – sees themselves through the eyes of their rakish transgender pal (Mr. Harvie), it’s clear that the march toward progress is anything but unified. With stinging satire and acute compassion, Jordan Harrison’s pointed comedy charts the breakdown of empathy that happens when we think our rights are secure, revealing conservative hearts where you’d least expect.
KPOP presented by Ars Nova, in association with Ma-Yi Theater and Woodshed Collective, has scored 9 nominations for 2018 Lucille Lortel Awards.
KPOP, an immersive musical set in a Korean pop music factory where stars are made—or broken, recently received the 2018 Richard Rodgers Award for Musical Theater, a Studio Production Award from The American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Nominated for Outstanding Musical, KPOP was conceived by Woodshed Collective and Jason Kim (The Model American, HBO’s “Girls”), features a book by Kim, music & lyrics by Helen Park and Max Vernon, immersive design by Woodshed Collective, direction by Teddy Bergman, and choreograph by Jennifer Weber, who was also nominated.
KPOP tells the story of solo legend MwE, epic boy band F8, glamorous girl group SpecialK, and the label behind the pop madness, JTM Entertainment.
KPOP received 4 acting nominations including James Seol (Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical), Ashley Park (Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical), Jason Tam (Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical), and Vanessa Kai (Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical).
The nods in the design categories include Gabriel Hainer Evansohn (Outstanding Scenic Design), Tricia Barsamian (Outstanding Costume Design), and Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew Outstanding Lighting Design).
The predominantly Asian and Asian American cast of 18 includes Julia Abueva, Cathy Ang, Katie Lee Hill (Nerds), Joomin Hwang, Jinwoo Jung,Vanessa Kai, Jiho Kang, Deborah Kim, Susannah Kim, Amanda Morton, Ashley Park (Sunday in the Park with George, The King and I), Sun Hye Park ,James Saito, James Seol (A Naked Girl on the Appian Way, Small Mouth Sounds), David Shih, Jason Tam (If/Then, Lysistrata Jones), John Yi and Ebony Williams (Beyoncé’s Formation World Tour). Marina Kondo joined the KPOP cast as Mwe during the extension.
Laura Benanti and Jason Jones, who appear together on TBS’s The Detour, will host the 33rd Annual Lucille Lortel Awards on Sunday, May 6, at the NYU Skirball Center.
In response to overwhelming demand and critical acclaim, Ars Nova “one of NYC’s most adventurous Off Broadway companies” (New York Times), in association with “the foremost incubator of new Asian American theater in the country” (Obie award) Ma-Yi Theater and Woodshed Collective, “the exceptional theater company” that turns “spaces into intimate vortexes of wonder” (Gothamist) extends the world premiere of KPOP until October 21.
On October 3rd, I attended a special performance of KPOP to benefit Ma-Yi Theater. Check out who came out to support Ma-Yi Theater’s Producing Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña, Executive Director Jorge Ortoll and the Obie Award winning theater company.
KPOP is a high-octane immersive event that gives audiences a backstage pass to a K-pop music factory. A limited number of $25 rush tickets will be available to audiences under 30 years of age (valid ID required). The production, which opened on September 22, must end on October 21.
New York‘s Sara Holdren calls KPOP “A delicious spectacle,” and “expansive, catchy, and cunning,” while Time Out New York’s Adam Feldman “defies you not to enjoy KPOP!” and declares “tiny bubble of pleasure keep floating up and bursting all around us. Pop! Pop! Pop! We’re sold.”
Ben Brantley in The New York Times highlights “the eye-popping visuals throughout (right down to the ads on the walls). And Ms. Park and Mr. Vernon’s pastiche fusion musical numbers, choreographed with slashing wit by Jennifer Weber, are as synthetically sweet and perversely addictive as the real thing.”
The predominantly Asian and Asian American cast of 18 includes Julia Abueva, Cathy Ang, Katie Lee Hill (Nerds), Joomin Hwang, Jinwoo Jung,Vanessa Kai, Jiho Kang, Deborah Kim, Susannah Kim, Amanda Morton, Ashley Park (Sunday in the Park with George, The King and I), Sun Hye Park ,James Saito, James Seol (A Naked Girl on the Appian Way, Small Mouth Sounds), David Shih, Jason Tam (If/Then, Lysistrata Jones), John Yi and Ebony Williams (Beyoncé’s Formation World Tour). Marina Kondo joins the KPOP cast as Mwe during the extension.
Ashley Park. Photo by Lia Chang
Sun Hye Park. Photo by Lia Chang
Ma-Yi’s Producing Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña and Executive Director Jorge Ortoll. Photo by Lia Chang
Cathy Ang. Photo by Lia Chang
Jinwoo Jung and Deborah Kim. Photo by Lia Chang
Asia Society’s Rachel Cooper and Ching Valdes- Aran. Photo by Lia Chang
Ma-Yi’s Executive Director Jorge Ortoll and guests. Photo by Lia Chang
KPOP cast member Cathy Ang and Ma-Yi’s Executive Director Jorge Ortoll. Photo by Lia Chang
KPOP was conceived by Woodshed Collective and Jason Kim (The Model American, HBO’s “Girls”) and features a book by Kim, music & lyrics by Helen Park and Max Vernon (The View UpStairs), an immersive design by Woodshed Collective, choreography by Bessie-nominee Jennifer Weber (The Hip Hop Nutcracker, TruTV’s “Face Off”) and is directed by Teddy Bergman (Empire Travel Agency).
The creative team includes Gabriel Hainer Evansohn (Production Design), Tricia Barsamian (Costume Design), Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew (Lighting Design),Will Pickens (Sound Design), Phillip Gulley (Projection and Video Design), Sujin Kim-Ramsey (Music Director), Helen Park & Max Vernon (Orchestration, Vocal Arrangements, Music Production) and Lizzy Lee (Production Stage Manager).
Performances of KPOP will now play through October 21 at the A.R.T./New York Theatres, located at 502 West 53rd Street in Manhattan. Monday–Wednesday at 7pm; Thursday–Saturday at 8pm; Friday and Saturday at 3pm.
Tickets are $75 general/$125 premium and during the October 9–21 extension period and can be purchased by visiting arsnovanyc.com or by calling 212-352-3101. A limited number of $25 rush tickets will also be available to audiences under 30 years of age (valid ID required) at the box office 30 minutes prior to curtain for each performance, no advance sales.
About Ars Nova Ars Nova is committed to developing and producing theater, comedy and music artists in the early stages of their professional careers. Our unique development programs are designed to support cross-pollination and outside-the-box thinking to encourage innovative work. Dubbed by The New York Times as a “fertile incubator of offbeat theater,” Ars Nova blurs genres and subverts the status quo. With our feverish bounty of programming, we are the stomping ground and launching pad for visionary, adventurous artists of all stripes. By providing a safe environment where risk-taking and collaboration are paramount, Ars Nova gives voice to a new generation of artists and audiences, pushing the boundaries of live entertainment by nurturing creative ideas into smart, surprising new work.
Ars Nova has been honored with an OBIE Award and a Special Citation from the New York Drama Critics’ Circle for sustained quality and commitment to the development and production of new work. Notable past productions include: “Best New American Theatre Work” OBIE Award-winner & New York Times’ “Best of 2016” Underground Railroad Game by Jennifer Kidwell and Scott R. Sheppard with Lightning Rod Special (now on international tour); Outstanding Musical Lortel Award-winner Futurity, by César Alvarez with The Lisps; the New York Times’ and New York Post’s “Best of 2015” SmallMouthSounds by Bess Wohl (now touring the US after a return engagement Off Broadway); Time Out New York’s “Best of 2014,” JACUZZI by The Debate Society; the Tony award-winning smash-hit Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 by Dave Malloy (now on Broadway); Jollyship the Whiz-Bang by Nick Jones and Raja Azar; the world premiere of the 2009 season’s most-produced play boom by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb and directed by Alex Timbers; audience favorite Dixie’s Tupperware Partyby Kris Andersson; the show that put Bridget Everett on the map, At Least It’s Pink, by Everett and Kenny Mellman; and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s and Thomas Kail’s first New York production, Freestyle Love Supreme, by Anthony Veneziale and Miranda.
About Ma-Yi Theater Company Ma-Yi Theater Company recently enjoyed great critical and popular success with Hansol Jung’s Among the Dead, Nandita Shenoy’s Washer/Dryer and A. Rey Pamatmat’s House Rules. The company won the Off-Broadway Alliance Award for its critically-acclaimed production of The Wong Kids inThe Secret of the SpaceChupacabraGO!, which recently made its international premiere at the Cultural Center of the Philippines in Manila. Founded in 1989 and now celebrating its 28th season, MA-YI is a Drama Desk and OBIE Award-winning, Off-Broadway not-for-profit organization whose primary mission is to develop and produce new and innovative plays by Asian American writers.
Since its founding, Ma-Yi has distinguished itself as one of the country’s leading incubators of new work shaping the national discourse about what it means to be Asian American today. Its numerous acclaimed productions include Mike Lew’s Bike America, Qui Nguyen’s The InexplicableRedemption of Agent G andSoul Samurai (with Vampire Cowboys), Mike Lew’s Microcrisis and the revival of Ralph B. Peña’s Flipzoids. Other productions include: Rescue Me by Michi Barall, Lloyd Suh’s American Hwangap and The Children of Vonderly and The Romance of Magno Rubio. Through successful programs such as the Writers Lab, Ma-Yi emboldens a new generation of Asian American artists to voice their experiences, while developing a steady stream of quality new works by Asian American playwrights for its own performing repertory. New works developed at the Writers Lab have gone on to successful productions around the country, at such theaters as Victory Gardens, Laguna Playhouse, Long Wharf Theater, Woolly Mammoth and the Actors Theater of Louisville, to name a few. Ma-Yi Theater Company productions have earned 10 OBIE Awards, numerous Henry Hewes Award nominations, a Drama Desk nomination for Best Play and the Special Drama Desk Award for “more than two decades of excellence and for nurturing Asian-American voices in stylistically varied and engaging theater.”
Ma-Yi Theater is under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña.
About Woodshed Collective Woodshed Collective is one of the country’s premier immersive theater companies. Since 2008, the company has presented large scale theatrical events including: Twelve Ophelias performed in McCarren Park Pool in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, The Confidence Man adapted from Melville’s novel and performed on a decommissioned steamship in the Hudson River and The Tenant adapted from the novel and film and performed in a five story 19th Century Parish House on the Upper West Side.
Most recently, the company presented the critically acclaimed Empire Travel Agency, a grail quest crisscrossing Lower Manhattan, where groups of four audience members at a time hunted for the secret to the essential vibrancy of New York. Driven by the belief in the combined power of stories and architecture to break down the barriers of everyday life, Woodshed’s shows aim to create genuine awe.
About A.R.T./New York The A.R.T./New York Theatres are a project of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./New York), which provide state-of-the-art, accessible venues at subsidized rental rates, plus free access to top-line technical equipment, so that the city’s small and emerging theater companies can continue to experiment, grow and produce new works. Founded in 1972, A.R.T./New York is the leading service and advocacy organization for New York City’s 375+ nonprofit theaters, with a mission to assist member theaters in managing their companies effectively so that they may realize their rich artistic visions and serve their diverse audiences well. We accomplish this through a comprehensive roster of real estate, financial, educational and community-building programs, as well as research, advocacy and field-wide initiatives that seek to improve the long-term health and sustainability of the industry. Over the years, A.R.T./New York has received numerous honors, including an Obie Award, an Innovative Theatre Award, a New York City Mayor’s Award for Arts & Culture and a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theatre. For more information, please visit art-newyork.org.
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.
Last night, the NAAP Broadway Community Chorus presented an evening of Jerry Herman with special guests Cindy Cheung and John D. Haggerty at the Gibney Dance Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center in New York.
The Chorus included Amy Ashley , Ben Bartels , Kiet Cao , Ya Han Chang , Amanda Chin , Peggy Chin ,Shan Chuang, Eric Elizaga , David Eng , Angelita Esperanza , Francine Espiritu , Shino Frances, Alyssa Ishihara, Karin Kawamoto , Yuko Kudo, Makiko Kuri , Sandra W. Lee, Rina Maejima, Mio Nakanishi , Seira Nakanishi , Carla Ogden, Charles Pang, Lloyd Mario Prian , Jeremy Rafal , Lil Rhee , Melissa Rivera , Keiko Tomita , Hiroko Uchino, Viet Vo, Sayaka Wada , Tomo Watanabe , Katie Wei , Mandarin Wu , Jing Zhang and Ying Zhang.
With musical director Sean Cameron at the helm, the evening featured selections from Hello Dolly!, Mame, Mack & Mabel and La Cage Aux Folles.
Put On Your Sunday Clothes
Ribbons Down My Back
It Only Takes a Moment
Before the Parade Passes By
I am what I am
Song on the Sand
The Best of Times
Look what happened to Mabel
I Won’t Send Roses
Time Heals Everything
Tap Your Troubles Away
That’s how Young I Feel
Special congratulations to director, actress and choreographer Baayork Lee who will receive the 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award for her outstanding dedication to social service in the global theatre landscape.
The Isabelle Stevenson Award is 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. Ms. Lee will be presented the Award for her commitment to future generations of artists through her work with the National Asian Artists Project and theatre education programs around the world.
“Baayork works tirelessly to break down cultural walls that often build up around what theatre goers consider ‘traditional’ musicals, and her dedication to fostering the next generation of performers and theatre professionals to do the same is exemplary. We are thrilled to honor her this year,” Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing, said.
Baayork Lee is the Founder of National Asian Artists Project (NAAP), which is a community of artists, educators, administrators, community leaders, and professionals who work to showcase the work of Asian-American theater artists through performance, educational programming and community outreach.
Through NAAP, Lee orchestrates her vision of educating, cultivating, and stimulating audiences and artists of Asian descent. The organization has produced productions of musical theatre staples like Oklahoma!, Carousel, Hello Dolly!, Oliver! and Honor with all Asian-American casts. By turning a spot light onto the high-caliber talent of theatre artists of Asian descent, NAAP asserts, given the opportunity, the theater and its audiences will embrace diverse American voices who strive to claim both new and classic American works as their own.
Lee has made it a large part of her mission to educate aspiring artists in musical theatre. She created musical theater schools in Seoul, Korea; Tokyo, Japan; and the Theater Club at the Yung Wing Elementary School (PS124) in Chinatown, NY.
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.
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 filmsWolf, 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.