Drama Desk Awards Postponed Due to Breaking News Events in NY

Due to breaking news events in New York this weekend, Spectrum News NY1 and the Drama Desk organization have made the decision to postpone tonight’s planned airing of The 65th Annual Drama Desk Awards. More details on a rescheduled date and time will be made available soon. For the latest information, visit dramadeskawards.com.

drama“The Drama Desk celebrates all that’s outstanding in the work of New York’s diverse theater artists and craftspeople. We regret the postponement of our awards ceremony tonight but, as an organization committed to the principle that all voices must be heard, we stand together with our black colleagues against the racial injustice and violence in our nation and city. We are grateful to Spectrum News NY1 for its comprehensive news coverage of this painful moment.” —Drama Desk Co-Presidents Charles Wright & David Barbour

Founded in 1955, the Drama Desk Awards honor outstanding achievement by professional theatre artists on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off-Broadway. The Drama Desk Awards are voted on and bestowed by theatre critics, journalists, editors, publishers, and broadcasters covering theatre.

65th Annual Drama Desk Awards Will be announced during a special presentation of Spectrum News NY1’s On Stage Tonight at 7:30 PM 

David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER Receives Four 2020 Outer Critics Circle Awards including Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical, Outstanding Book of a Musical, Outstanding New Score and Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical for Francis Jue; Full List of Honorees 

David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER Receives Five Lucille Lortel Nominations Including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical for Francis Jue and Conrad Ricamora, Outstanding Choreography for Sam Pinkleton and Outstanding Scenic Design for Clint Ramos; Full List of Nominations 

Stephen Adly Guirgis’ HALFWAY BITCHES GO STRAIGHT TO HEAVEN Receives Two Lucille Lortel Nominations including Outstanding Play and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play for Liza Colón-Zayas 

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 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. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 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

65th Annual Drama Desk Awards Will be announced during a special presentation of Spectrum News NY1’s On Stage Tonight at 7:30 PM

Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

Due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, in lieu of a traditional ceremony, the 65th Annual Drama Desk Awards will be announced during a special presentation of Spectrum News NY1’s On Stage on Sunday, May 31, at 7:30 PM. The awards special also will stream on NY1.com, and DramaDeskAwards.com.

SOFT POWER. Photos by Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s Soft Power, produced by The Public Theater and Center Theatre Group, was nominated in eleven categories including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Book of a Musical for David Henry Hwang, Outstanding Music for Jeanine Tesori, Outstanding Director of a Musical for Leigh Silverman, Outstanding Orchestrations for Danny Troob, John Clancy, and Larry Hochman, Outstanding Scenic Design for Clint Ramos, Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical for Anita Yavich, Outstanding Sound Design for a Musical for Kai Harada, Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical for Conrad Ricamora, Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical for Alyse Alan Louis and Outstanding Actor in a Musical for Francis Jue.

Sam Pinkleton, Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Leigh Silverman, David Henry Hwang, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis. Photo by Lia Chang
Sam Pinkleton, Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Leigh Silverman, David Henry Hwang, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis. Photo by Lia Chang

Michael R. Jackson’s A STRANGE LOOP Wins the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Drama; SOFT POWER and HEROES OF THE FOURTH TURNING Are Finalists 

Lauren Yee’s Cambodian Rock Band, produced by Signature Theatre Company, was nominated for Outstanding Play and Jue received a second Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Play for his performance as Duch.

Francis Jue as Duch in Lauren Yee’s CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND. Photo by Joan Marcus

Atlantic Theater’s Production of Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven by Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Adly Guirgis (Between Riverside and Crazy), directed by Obie Award winner John Ortiz, and co-produced with LAByrinth Theater Company, received eight nominations including Outstanding Play, Outstanding Actress in a Play for Liza Colón-Zayas, Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play for Victor Almanzar and Esteban Andres Cruz, Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for Kristina Poe and Elizabeth Rodriguez and Outstanding Director for John Ortiz and Outstanding Fight Choreography for UnkleDave’s Fight House.

Patrice Johnson Chevannes (Wanda Wheels), Elizabeth Canavan (Rockaway Rosie), Benja Kay Thomas (Queen Sugar), Pernell Walker (Munchies), Victor Almanzar (Joey Fresco), Liza Colón-Zayas (Sarge), Andrea Syglowski (Bella), Neil Tyrone Pritchard (Mr. Mobo), Wilemina Olivia-Garcia (Happy Meal Sonia), Sean Carvajal (Mateo), Kara Young (Little Melba Diaz), Viviana Valeria (Taina), and Esteban Andres Cruz (Venus) star in Stephen Adly Guirgis's Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven, directed by John Ortiz, at Atlantic Theater Company. © Monique Carboni
Patrice Johnson Chevannes (Wanda Wheels), Elizabeth Canavan (Rockaway Rosie), Benja Kay Thomas (Queen Sugar), Pernell Walker (Munchies), Victor Almanzar (Joey Fresco), Liza Colón-Zayas (Sarge), Andrea Syglowski (Bella), Neil Tyrone Pritchard (Mr. Mobo), Wilemina Olivia-Garcia (Happy Meal Sonia), Sean Carvajal (Mateo), Kara Young (Little Melba Diaz), Viviana Valeria (Taina), and Esteban Andres Cruz (Venus) star in Stephen Adly Guirgis’s Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven, directed by John Ortiz, at Atlantic Theater Company. © Monique Carboni

The nominees for the 65th Annual Drama Desk Awards are:

Outstanding Play
Cambodian Rock Band, by Lauren Yee, Signature Theatre
Greater Clements, by Samuel D. Hunter, Lincoln Center Theater
Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven, by Stephen Adly Guirgis, Atlantic Theater Company/LAByrinth Theater Company
Heroes of the Fourth Turning, by Will Arbery, Playwrights Horizons
The Inheritance, by Matthew Lopez

Conrad Ricamora and the cast of SOFT POWER. Photo by Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and the cast of SOFT POWER. Photo by Joan Marcus

Outstanding Musical
Octet, Signature Theatre
The Secret Life of Bees, Atlantic Theater Company
Soft Power, The Public Theater
A Strange Loop, Playwrights Horizons/Page 73 Productions
The Wrong Man, MCC Theater

Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop. Playwrights Horizons, New York, 2019. From left to right: James Jackson, Jr., John-Michael Lyles, Jason Veasey, Larry Owens, Antwayn Hopper, John-Andrew Morrison, L Morgan Lee.
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop. Playwrights Horizons, New York, 2019. From left to right: James Jackson, Jr., John-Michael Lyles, Jason Veasey, Larry Owens, Antwayn Hopper, John-Andrew Morrison, L Morgan Lee.

Outstanding Revival of a Play
Fefu and Her Friends, Theatre for a New Audience
for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, The Public Theater
Mac Beth, Red Bull Theater/Hunter Theater Project
Much Ado About Nothing, The Public Theater
A Soldier’s Play, Roundabout Theatre Company

Beth Malone (center) leads the off-Broadway cast of The Unsinkable Molly Brown. (© Carol Rosegg)
Beth Malone (center) leads the off-Broadway cast of The Unsinkable Molly Brown. (© Carol Rosegg)

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Little Shop of Horrors
The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Transport Group
West Side Story

Kendal Sparks, Charles Busch, Christopher Borg, Nancy Anderson, Jennifer Van Dyck, and Howard McGillin in THE CONFESSION OF LILY DARE. Photo by Carol Rosegg

Outstanding Actor in a Play
Charles Busch, The Confession of Lily Dare
Edmund Donovan, Greater Clements
Raúl Esparza, Seared
Francis Jue, Cambodian Rock Band
Triney Sandoval, 72 Miles to Go…
Kyle Soller, The Inheritance

Raúl Esparza in <i>Seared</i>. Photo by Joan Marcus
Raúl Esparza in Seared. Photo by Joan Marcus
Eric Berryman, Jonathan Burke, April Matthis, Daniel J. Bryant, and Ezra Knight inThe Roundabout Theatre Company production of Lydia R. Diamond’s Toni Stone. Photo by Joan Marcus

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Rose Byrne, Medea
Liza Colón-Zayas, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
Emily Davis, Is This A Room
April Matthis, Toni Stone
Ruth Negga, Hamlet

Liza Colón-Zayas plays Sarge and Elizabeth Rodriguez plays Miss Rivera in ''Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven." (© Monique Carboni)
Liza Colón-Zayas plays Sarge and Elizabeth Rodriguez plays Miss Rivera in ”Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven.” (© Monique Carboni)

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
David Aron Damane, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Chris Dwan, Enter Laughing
Joshua Henry, The Wrong Man
Francis Jue, Soft Power
Larry Owens, A Strange Loop

Adrienne Warren, company, 'Tina - The Tina Turner Musical' Photo by Manuel Harlan
Adrienne Warren, company, ‘Tina – The Tina Turner Musical’ Photo by Manuel Harlan

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Tammy Blanchard, Little Shop of Horrors
Beth Malone, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Saycon Sengbloh, The Secret Life of Bees
Elizabeth Stanley, Jagged Little Pill
Adrienne Warren, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

Victor Almanzar and Esteban Andres Cruz in “Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven.” © Monique Carboni

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Victor Almanzar, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
Esteban Andres Cruz, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
David Alan Grier, A Soldier’s Play
Paul Hilton, The Inheritance
Chris Perfetti, Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow

Elizabeth Canavan, Patrice Johnson Chevannes, Elizabeth Rodriguez & Liza Colón-Zayas. Photo by Lia Chang

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Patrice Johnson Chevannes, runboyrun & In Old Age
Kristina Poe, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
Belange Rodríguez, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Elizabeth Rodriguez, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
Lois Smith, The Inheritance

The cast of Emojiland, The Musical. Photo by Jeremy Daniel
The cast of Emojiland, The Musical. Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
George Abud, Emojiland
Christian Borle, Little Shop of Horrors
Jay Armstrong Johnson, Scotland, PA
Conrad Ricamora, Soft Power
Ryan Vasquez, The Wrong Man

Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Yesenia Ayala, West Side Story
Paula Leggett Chase, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
LaChanze, The Secret Life of Bees
Alyse Alan Louis, Soft Power
Lauren Patten, Jagged Little Pill

Stephen Adly Guirgis & John Ortiz. Photo by Lia Chang

Outstanding Director of a Play
Jessica Blank, Coal Country
Stephen Daldry, The Inheritance
John Ortiz, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
Tina Satter, Is This A Room
Erica Schmidt, Mac Beth

Outstanding Director of a Musical
Stephen Brackett, A Strange Loop
Thomas Kail, The Wrong Man
Kathleen Marshall, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Leigh Silverman, Soft Power
Annie Tippe, Octet

Cast of Octet. Photo by Joan Marcus

Outstanding Choreography
Camille A. Brown, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, West Side Story
Keone Madrid and Mari Madrid, Beyond Babel
Kathleen Marshall, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Sonya Tayeh, Moulin Rouge!
Travis Wall, The Wrong Man

Outstanding Music
Ross Golan, The Wrong Man
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop
Dave Malloy, Octet
Joshua Rosenblum, Einstein’s Dreams
Duncan Sheik, The Secret Life of Bees
Jeanine Tesori, Soft Power

Saycon Sengbloh, Nathaniel Stampley, Eisa Davis, Anastacia McCleskey, and LaChanze in The Secret Life of Bees. Photo: Ahron R. Foster
Saycon Sengbloh, Nathaniel Stampley, Eisa Davis, Anastacia McCleskey, and LaChanze in The Secret Life of Bees. Photo: Ahron R. Foster

Outstanding Lyrics
Susan Birkenhead, The Secret Life of Bees
Adam Gwon, Scotland, PA
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop
Joanne Sydney Lessner and Joshua Rosenblum, Einstein’s Dreams
Dave Malloy, Octet
Mark Saltzman, Romeo & Bernadette

Outstanding Book of a Musical
David Henry Hwang, Soft Power
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop
Dave Malloy, Octet
Lynn Nottage, The Secret Life of Bees
Mark Saltzman, Romeo & Bernadette
Dick Scanlan, The Unsinkable Molly Brown

Outstanding Orchestrations
Tom Kitt, Jagged Little Pill
Alex Lacamoire, The Wrong Man
Or Matias and Dave Malloy, Octet
Danny Troob, John Clancy, and Larry Hochman, Soft Power
Jonathan Tunick, West Side Story

Outstanding Music in a Play
Steve Earle, Coal Country
Frightened Rabbit, Square Go
Jim Harbourne, Feral
Martha Redbone, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
Adam Seidel, Jane Bruce, and Daniel Ocanto, Original Sound

Ronete Levenson (Sue), Lindsay Rico (Paula), Helen Cespedes (Emma), Jennifer Lim (Cindy), and Brittany Bradford (Julia) in Fefu and Her Friends. Photo: Henry Grossman
Ronete Levenson (Sue), Lindsay Rico (Paula), Helen Cespedes (Emma), Jennifer Lim (Cindy), and Brittany Bradford (Julia) in Fefu and Her Friends. Photo: Henry Grossman

Outstanding Scenic Design for a Play
Catherine Cornell, Mac Beth
Clint Ramos, Grand Horizons
Adam Rigg, Fefu and Her Friends
Paul Steinberg, Judgment Day
B.T. Whitehill, The Confession of Lily Dare

Outstanding Scenic Design for a Musical
Julian Crouch, Little Shop of Horrors
Anna Louizos, Scotland, PA
Derek McLane, Moulin Rouge!
Clint Ramos, Soft Power
Amy Rubin and Brittany Vasta, Octet

Outstanding Costume Design for a Play
Asa Benally, Blues for an Alabama Sky
Montana Levi Blanco, Fefu and Her Friends
Toni-Leslie James, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
Antony McDonald, Judgment Day
Rachel Townsend and Jessica Jahn, The Confession of Lily Dare
Kaye Voyce, Coriolanus

Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical
Vanessa Leuck, Emojiland
Jeff Mahshie, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice
Mark Thompson, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Anita Yavich, Soft Power
Catherine Zuber, Moulin Rouge!

Outstanding Lighting Design for a Play
Isabella Byrd, Heroes of the Fourth Turning
Oona Curley, Dr. Ride’s American Beach House
Heather Gilbert, The Sound Inside
Mimi Jordan Sherin, Judgment Day
Yi Zhao, Greater Clements

Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical
Betsy Adams, The Wrong Man
Jane Cox, The Secret Life of Bees
Herrick Goldman, Einstein’s Dreams
Bruno Poet, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Justin Townsend, Moulin Rouge!

Outstanding Projection Design
David Bengali, Einstein’s Dreams
Julia Frey, Medea
Luke Halls, West Side Story
Lisa Renkel and POSSIBLE, Emojiland
Hannah Wasileski, Fires in the Mirror

Outstanding Sound Design for a Play
Paul Arditti and Christopher Reid, The Inheritance
Justin Ellington, Heroes of the Fourth Turning
Mikhail Fiksel, Dana H.
Palmer Hefferan, Fefu and Her Friends
Lee Kinney and Sanae Yamada, Is This A Room

Outstanding Sound Design for a Musical
Tom Gibbons, West Side Story
Kai Harada, Soft Power
Peter Hylenski, Moulin Rouge!
Hidenori Nakajo, Octet
Nevin Steinberg, The Wrong Man

Outstanding Wig and Hair Design
Campbell Young Associates, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Cookie Jordan, Fefu and Her Friends
Nikiya Mathis, STEW
Tom Watson, The Great Society
Bobbie Zlotnik, Emojiland

Outstanding Solo Performance
David Cale, We’re Only Alive for a Short Amount of Time
Kate del Castillo, the way she spoke
Laura Linney, My Name is Lucy Barton
Jacqueline Novak, Get on Your Knees
Deirdre O’Connell, Dana H.

Unique Theatrical Experience
Beyond Babel, Hideaway Circus
Feral, Tortoise in a Nutshell/Cumbernauld Theatre/59E59
Is This A Room, Vineyard Theatre
Midsummer: A Banquet, Food of Love Productions/Third Rail Projects

Outstanding Fight Choreography
Vicki Manderson, Square Go
Thomas Schall, A Soldier’s Play
UnkleDave’s Fight House, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven

Rebecca Henderson and Ako in Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow. Photo by Joan Marcus
Rebecca Henderson and Ako in Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow. Photo by Joan Marcus

Outstanding Adaptation
A Christmas Carol, by Jack Thorne
Judgment Day, by Christopher Shinn
Mojada, by Luis Alfaro
Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow, by Halley Feiffer

Alex Hernandez, Sabina Zúñiga Varela, Benjamin Luis McCracken, and Socorro Santiago appear in the off-Broadway production of Mojada. (© Joan Marcus)
Alex Hernandez, Sabina Zúñiga Varela, Benjamin Luis McCracken, and Socorro Santiago appear in the off-Broadway production of Mojada. (© Joan Marcus)

Outstanding Puppet Design
Raphael Mishler, Tumacho
Rockefeller Productions, Paddington Gets in a Jam
Amanda Villalobos, Is This A Room

Special Awards:

Ensemble Award: To the eight pitch-perfect performers in Dave Malloy’s a cappella musical Octet: Adam Bashian, Kim Blanck, Starr Busby, Alex Gibson, Justin Gregory Lopez, J.D. Mollison, Margo Seibert, and Kuhoo Verma proved instrumental in giving a layered look at modern forms of addiction.

Sam Norkin Award: To actress Mary Bacon, who continued her versatile career of compassionate, searing work for such companies as The Mint, Primary Stages, The Public Theater, and The Actors Theater Company, with two of Off-Broadway’s most humane performances this season in Coal Country at the Public Theater and Nothing Gold Can Stay presented by Partial Comfort Productions.

To The Actors Fund, Seth Rudetsky, and James Wesley for connecting members of the theater community and lifting spirits during the coronavirus crisis. The Actors Fund has worked tirelessly to provide financial and health resources to those impacted by the pandemic; Rudetsky and Wesley’s semi-daily “Stars in the House” webcast is raising funds for The Actors Fund, while providing performances, reunions, and medical updates.

To The Public Theater’s Mobile Unit, a reinvention of Joseph Papp’s “Mobile Theater” that began in 1957 and evolved into the New York Shakespeare Festival and The Public Theater. The current Mobile Unit tours free Shakespeare throughout the five boroughs, including prisons, homeless shelters, and community centers, reminding audiences new and old that the play really is the thing.

To WP Theater and Julia Miles, the company’s founder who died this spring. Formerly known as The Women’s Project and Productions, the company began in 1978 at American Place Theatre, where Miles served as associate to visionary artistic director Wynn Handman, who also died this spring. WP is the largest, most enduring American company that nurtures and produces works by female-identified creators. Over a little more than four decades, it has changed the demographics of American drama through an unwavering focus on women writers, directors, producers, performers, and craftspeople.

To Claire Warden for her pioneering work as an intimacy choreographer in such recent projects as Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune and Linda Vista, and her leadership in the rapidly emerging movement of intimacy direction. As part of the creative team of Intimacy Directors & Coordinators and Director of Engagement for and co-founder of Intimacy Directors International, she is helping create theater experiences that are safer for performers and more authentic for contemporary audiences.

The evening will feature appearances by Tituss Burgess, James Corden, Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Beanie Feldstein, Santino Fontana, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Jane Krakowski, Patti LuPone, Audra McDonald, Cynthia Nixon, Ashley Park, Andrew Rannells, Ali Stroker, and Susan Stroman.

Founded in 1955, the Drama Desk Awards honor outstanding achievement by professional theatre artists on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Off-Off-Broadway. The Drama Desk Awards are voted on and bestowed by theatre critics, journalists, editors, publishers, and broadcasters covering theatre.

David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER Receives Four 2020 Outer Critics Circle Awards including Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical, Outstanding Book of a Musical, Outstanding New Score and Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical for Francis Jue; Full List of Honorees 

David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER Receives Five Lucille Lortel Nominations Including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical for Francis Jue and Conrad Ricamora, Outstanding Choreography for Sam Pinkleton and Outstanding Scenic Design for Clint Ramos; Full List of Nominations 

Stephen Adly Guirgis’ HALFWAY BITCHES GO STRAIGHT TO HEAVEN Receives Two Lucille Lortel Nominations including Outstanding Play and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play for Liza Colón-Zayas 

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 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. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 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

SOFT POWER Receives Eleven Drama Desk Nominations, HALFWAY BITCHES GO STRAIGHT TO HEAVEN Receives Eight Nods; Full List of Nominees

Sam Pinkleton, Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Leigh Silverman, David Henry Hwang, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis. Photo by Lia Chang

The 65th Annual Drama Desk Awards partnered with “Stars in the House” to live stream this year’s nominations and were announced this afternoon by Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley, the hosts of the virtual daily talk show. Due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, in lieu of a traditional ceremony, the 65th Annual Drama Desk Awards will be announced during a special presentation of Spectrum News NY1’s On Stage on Sunday, May 31, at 7:30 PM. The awards special also will stream on NY1.com, and DramaDeskAwards.com.

SOFT POWER. Photos by Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s Soft Power, produced by The Public Theater and Center Theatre Group, was nominated in eleven categories including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Book of a Musical for David Henry Hwang, Outstanding Music for Jeanine Tesori, Outstanding Director of a Musical for Leigh Silverman, Outstanding Orchestrations for Danny Troob, John Clancy, and Larry Hochman, Outstanding Scenic Design for Clint Ramos, Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical for Anita Yavich, Outstanding Sound Design for a Musical for Kai Harada, Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical for Conrad Ricamora, Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical for Alyse Alan Louis and Outstanding Actor in a Musical for Francis Jue.

Sam Pinkleton, Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Leigh Silverman, David Henry Hwang, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis. Photo by Lia Chang
Sam Pinkleton, Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Leigh Silverman, David Henry Hwang, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis. Photo by Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER Receives Five Lucille Lortel Nominations Including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical for Francis Jue and Conrad Ricamora, Outstanding Choreography for Sam Pinkleton and Outstanding Scenic Design for Clint Ramos; Full List of Nominations 

Joe Ngo, Abraham Kim, Francis Jue, Jane Lui, Courtney Reed and Moses Villarama in CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND. Photo by Joan Marcus

Lauren Yee’s Cambodian Rock Band, produced by Signature Theatre Company, was nominated for Outstanding Play and Jue received a second Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Play for his performance as Duch.

Francis Jue as Duch in Lauren Yee’s CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND. Photo by Joan Marcus

Atlantic Theater’s Production of Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven by Pulitzer Prize winner Stephen Adly Guirgis (Between Riverside and Crazy), directed by Obie Award winner John Ortiz, and co-produced with LAByrinth Theater Company, received eight nominations including Outstanding Play, Outstanding Actress in a Play for Liza Colón-Zayas, Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play for Victor Almanzar and Esteban Andres Cruz, Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play for Kristina Poe and Elizabeth Rodriguez and Outstanding Director for John Ortiz and Outstanding Fight Choreography for UnkleDave’s Fight House.

Patrice Johnson Chevannes (Wanda Wheels), Elizabeth Canavan (Rockaway Rosie), Benja Kay Thomas (Queen Sugar), Pernell Walker (Munchies), Victor Almanzar (Joey Fresco), Liza Colón-Zayas (Sarge), Andrea Syglowski (Bella), Neil Tyrone Pritchard (Mr. Mobo), Wilemina Olivia-Garcia (Happy Meal Sonia), Sean Carvajal (Mateo), Kara Young (Little Melba Diaz), Viviana Valeria (Taina), and Esteban Andres Cruz (Venus) star in Stephen Adly Guirgis's Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven, directed by John Ortiz, at Atlantic Theater Company. © Monique Carboni
Patrice Johnson Chevannes (Wanda Wheels), Elizabeth Canavan (Rockaway Rosie), Benja Kay Thomas (Queen Sugar), Pernell Walker (Munchies), Victor Almanzar (Joey Fresco), Liza Colón-Zayas (Sarge), Andrea Syglowski (Bella), Neil Tyrone Pritchard (Mr. Mobo), Wilemina Olivia-Garcia (Happy Meal Sonia), Sean Carvajal (Mateo), Kara Young (Little Melba Diaz), Viviana Valeria (Taina), and Esteban Andres Cruz (Venus) star in Stephen Adly Guirgis’s Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven, directed by John Ortiz, at Atlantic Theater Company. © Monique Carboni

Stephen Adly Guirgis’ HALFWAY BITCHES GO STRAIGHT TO HEAVEN Receives Two Lucille Lortel Nominations including Outstanding Play and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play for Liza Colón-Zayas 

The nominees for the 65th Annual Drama Desk Awards are:

Outstanding Play
Cambodian Rock Band, by Lauren Yee, Signature Theatre
Greater Clements, by Samuel D. Hunter, Lincoln Center Theater
Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven, by Stephen Adly Guirgis, Atlantic Theater Company/LAByrinth Theater Company
Heroes of the Fourth Turning, by Will Arbery, Playwrights Horizons
The Inheritance, by Matthew Lopez

Conrad Ricamora and the cast of SOFT POWER. Photo by Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and the cast of SOFT POWER. Photo by Joan Marcus

Outstanding Musical
Octet, Signature Theatre
The Secret Life of Bees, Atlantic Theater Company
Soft Power, The Public Theater
A Strange Loop, Playwrights Horizons/Page 73 Productions
The Wrong Man, MCC Theater

Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop. Playwrights Horizons, New York, 2019. From left to right: James Jackson, Jr., John-Michael Lyles, Jason Veasey, Larry Owens, Antwayn Hopper, John-Andrew Morrison, L Morgan Lee.
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop. Playwrights Horizons, New York, 2019. From left to right: James Jackson, Jr., John-Michael Lyles, Jason Veasey, Larry Owens, Antwayn Hopper, John-Andrew Morrison, L Morgan Lee.

Outstanding Revival of a Play
Fefu and Her Friends, Theatre for a New Audience
for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, The Public Theater
Mac Beth, Red Bull Theater/Hunter Theater Project
Much Ado About Nothing, The Public Theater
A Soldier’s Play, Roundabout Theatre Company

Beth Malone (center) leads the off-Broadway cast of The Unsinkable Molly Brown. (© Carol Rosegg)
Beth Malone (center) leads the off-Broadway cast of The Unsinkable Molly Brown. (© Carol Rosegg)

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Little Shop of Horrors
The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Transport Group
West Side Story

Kendal Sparks, Charles Busch, Christopher Borg, Nancy Anderson, Jennifer Van Dyck, and Howard McGillin in THE CONFESSION OF LILY DARE. Photo by Carol Rosegg

Outstanding Actor in a Play
Charles Busch, The Confession of Lily Dare
Edmund Donovan, Greater Clements
Raúl Esparza, Seared
Francis Jue, Cambodian Rock Band
Triney Sandoval, 72 Miles to Go…
Kyle Soller, The Inheritance

Raúl Esparza in <i>Seared</i>. Photo by Joan Marcus
Raúl Esparza in Seared. Photo by Joan Marcus
Eric Berryman, Jonathan Burke, April Matthis, Daniel J. Bryant, and Ezra Knight inThe Roundabout Theatre Company production of Lydia R. Diamond’s Toni Stone. Photo by Joan Marcus

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Rose Byrne, Medea
Liza Colón-Zayas, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
Emily Davis, Is This A Room
April Matthis, Toni Stone
Ruth Negga, Hamlet

Liza Colón-Zayas plays Sarge and Elizabeth Rodriguez plays Miss Rivera in ''Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven." (© Monique Carboni)
Liza Colón-Zayas plays Sarge and Elizabeth Rodriguez plays Miss Rivera in ”Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven.” (© Monique Carboni)

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
David Aron Damane, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Chris Dwan, Enter Laughing
Joshua Henry, The Wrong Man
Francis Jue, Soft Power
Larry Owens, A Strange Loop

Adrienne Warren, company, 'Tina - The Tina Turner Musical' Photo by Manuel Harlan
Adrienne Warren, company, ‘Tina – The Tina Turner Musical’ Photo by Manuel Harlan

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Tammy Blanchard, Little Shop of Horrors
Beth Malone, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Saycon Sengbloh, The Secret Life of Bees
Elizabeth Stanley, Jagged Little Pill
Adrienne Warren, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical

Victor Almanzar and Esteban Andres Cruz in “Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven.” © Monique Carboni

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Victor Almanzar, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
Esteban Andres Cruz, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
David Alan Grier, A Soldier’s Play
Paul Hilton, The Inheritance
Chris Perfetti, Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow

Elizabeth Canavan, Patrice Johnson Chevannes, Elizabeth Rodriguez & Liza Colón-Zayas. Photo by Lia Chang

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Patrice Johnson Chevannes, runboyrun & In Old Age
Kristina Poe, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
Belange Rodríguez, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
Elizabeth Rodriguez, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
Lois Smith, The Inheritance

The cast of Emojiland, The Musical. Photo by Jeremy Daniel
The cast of Emojiland, The Musical. Photo by Jeremy Daniel

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
George Abud, Emojiland
Christian Borle, Little Shop of Horrors
Jay Armstrong Johnson, Scotland, PA
Conrad Ricamora, Soft Power
Ryan Vasquez, The Wrong Man

Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Yesenia Ayala, West Side Story
Paula Leggett Chase, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
LaChanze, The Secret Life of Bees
Alyse Alan Louis, Soft Power
Lauren Patten, Jagged Little Pill

Stephen Adly Guirgis & John Ortiz. Photo by Lia Chang

Outstanding Director of a Play
Jessica Blank, Coal Country
Stephen Daldry, The Inheritance
John Ortiz, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
Tina Satter, Is This A Room
Erica Schmidt, Mac Beth

Outstanding Director of a Musical
Stephen Brackett, A Strange Loop
Thomas Kail, The Wrong Man
Kathleen Marshall, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Leigh Silverman, Soft Power
Annie Tippe, Octet

Cast of Octet. Photo by Joan Marcus

Outstanding Choreography
Camille A. Brown, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, West Side Story
Keone Madrid and Mari Madrid, Beyond Babel
Kathleen Marshall, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Sonya Tayeh, Moulin Rouge!
Travis Wall, The Wrong Man

Outstanding Music
Ross Golan, The Wrong Man
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop
Dave Malloy, Octet
Joshua Rosenblum, Einstein’s Dreams
Duncan Sheik, The Secret Life of Bees
Jeanine Tesori, Soft Power

Saycon Sengbloh, Nathaniel Stampley, Eisa Davis, Anastacia McCleskey, and LaChanze in The Secret Life of Bees. Photo: Ahron R. Foster
Saycon Sengbloh, Nathaniel Stampley, Eisa Davis, Anastacia McCleskey, and LaChanze in The Secret Life of Bees. Photo: Ahron R. Foster

Outstanding Lyrics
Susan Birkenhead, The Secret Life of Bees
Adam Gwon, Scotland, PA
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop
Joanne Sydney Lessner and Joshua Rosenblum, Einstein’s Dreams
Dave Malloy, Octet
Mark Saltzman, Romeo & Bernadette

Outstanding Book of a Musical
David Henry Hwang, Soft Power
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop
Dave Malloy, Octet
Lynn Nottage, The Secret Life of Bees
Mark Saltzman, Romeo & Bernadette
Dick Scanlan, The Unsinkable Molly Brown

Outstanding Orchestrations
Tom Kitt, Jagged Little Pill
Alex Lacamoire, The Wrong Man
Or Matias and Dave Malloy, Octet
Danny Troob, John Clancy, and Larry Hochman, Soft Power
Jonathan Tunick, West Side Story

Outstanding Music in a Play
Steve Earle, Coal Country
Frightened Rabbit, Square Go
Jim Harbourne, Feral
Martha Redbone, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
Adam Seidel, Jane Bruce, and Daniel Ocanto, Original Sound

Ronete Levenson (Sue), Lindsay Rico (Paula), Helen Cespedes (Emma), Jennifer Lim (Cindy), and Brittany Bradford (Julia) in Fefu and Her Friends. Photo: Henry Grossman
Ronete Levenson (Sue), Lindsay Rico (Paula), Helen Cespedes (Emma), Jennifer Lim (Cindy), and Brittany Bradford (Julia) in Fefu and Her Friends. Photo: Henry Grossman

Outstanding Scenic Design for a Play
Catherine Cornell, Mac Beth
Clint Ramos, Grand Horizons
Adam Rigg, Fefu and Her Friends
Paul Steinberg, Judgment Day
B.T. Whitehill, The Confession of Lily Dare

Outstanding Scenic Design for a Musical
Julian Crouch, Little Shop of Horrors
Anna Louizos, Scotland, PA
Derek McLane, Moulin Rouge!
Clint Ramos, Soft Power
Amy Rubin and Brittany Vasta, Octet

Outstanding Costume Design for a Play
Asa Benally, Blues for an Alabama Sky
Montana Levi Blanco, Fefu and Her Friends
Toni-Leslie James, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
Antony McDonald, Judgment Day
Rachel Townsend and Jessica Jahn, The Confession of Lily Dare
Kaye Voyce, Coriolanus

Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical
Vanessa Leuck, Emojiland
Jeff Mahshie, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice
Mark Thompson, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Anita Yavich, Soft Power
Catherine Zuber, Moulin Rouge!

Outstanding Lighting Design for a Play
Isabella Byrd, Heroes of the Fourth Turning
Oona Curley, Dr. Ride’s American Beach House
Heather Gilbert, The Sound Inside
Mimi Jordan Sherin, Judgment Day
Yi Zhao, Greater Clements

Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical
Betsy Adams, The Wrong Man
Jane Cox, The Secret Life of Bees
Herrick Goldman, Einstein’s Dreams
Bruno Poet, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Justin Townsend, Moulin Rouge!

Outstanding Projection Design
David Bengali, Einstein’s Dreams
Julia Frey, Medea
Luke Halls, West Side Story
Lisa Renkel and POSSIBLE, Emojiland
Hannah Wasileski, Fires in the Mirror

Outstanding Sound Design for a Play
Paul Arditti and Christopher Reid, The Inheritance
Justin Ellington, Heroes of the Fourth Turning
Mikhail Fiksel, Dana H.
Palmer Hefferan, Fefu and Her Friends
Lee Kinney and Sanae Yamada, Is This A Room

Outstanding Sound Design for a Musical
Tom Gibbons, West Side Story
Kai Harada, Soft Power
Peter Hylenski, Moulin Rouge!
Hidenori Nakajo, Octet
Nevin Steinberg, The Wrong Man

Outstanding Wig and Hair Design
Campbell Young Associates, Tina: The Tina Turner Musical
Cookie Jordan, Fefu and Her Friends
Nikiya Mathis, STEW
Tom Watson, The Great Society
Bobbie Zlotnik, Emojiland

Outstanding Solo Performance
David Cale, We’re Only Alive for a Short Amount of Time
Kate del Castillo, the way she spoke
Laura Linney, My Name is Lucy Barton
Jacqueline Novak, Get on Your Knees
Deirdre O’Connell, Dana H.

Unique Theatrical Experience
Beyond Babel, Hideaway Circus
Feral, Tortoise in a Nutshell/Cumbernauld Theatre/59E59
Is This A Room, Vineyard Theatre
Midsummer: A Banquet, Food of Love Productions/Third Rail Projects

Outstanding Fight Choreography
Vicki Manderson, Square Go
Thomas Schall, A Soldier’s Play
UnkleDave’s Fight House, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven

Rebecca Henderson and Ako in Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow. Photo by Joan Marcus
Rebecca Henderson and Ako in Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow. Photo by Joan Marcus

Outstanding Adaptation
A Christmas Carol, by Jack Thorne
Judgment Day, by Christopher Shinn
Mojada, by Luis Alfaro
Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow Moscow, by Halley Feiffer

Alex Hernandez, Sabina Zúñiga Varela, Benjamin Luis McCracken, and Socorro Santiago appear in the off-Broadway production of Mojada. (© Joan Marcus)
Alex Hernandez, Sabina Zúñiga Varela, Benjamin Luis McCracken, and Socorro Santiago appear in the off-Broadway production of Mojada. (© Joan Marcus)

Outstanding Puppet Design
Raphael Mishler, Tumacho
Rockefeller Productions, Paddington Gets in a Jam
Amanda Villalobos, Is This A Room

Special Awards:

Ensemble Award: To the eight pitch-perfect performers in Dave Malloy’s a cappella musical Octet: Adam Bashian, Kim Blanck, Starr Busby, Alex Gibson, Justin Gregory Lopez, J.D. Mollison, Margo Seibert, and Kuhoo Verma proved instrumental in giving a layered look at modern forms of addiction.

Sam Norkin Award: To actress Mary Bacon, who continued her versatile career of compassionate, searing work for such companies as The Mint, Primary Stages, The Public Theater, and The Actors Theater Company, with two of Off-Broadway’s most humane performances this season in Coal Country at the Public Theater and Nothing Gold Can Stay presented by Partial Comfort Productions.

To The Actors Fund, Seth Rudetsky, and James Wesley for connecting members of the theater community and lifting spirits during the coronavirus crisis. The Actors Fund has worked tirelessly to provide financial and health resources to those impacted by the pandemic; Rudetsky and Wesley’s semi-daily “Stars in the House” webcast is raising funds for The Actors Fund, while providing performances, reunions, and medical updates.

To The Public Theater’s Mobile Unit, a reinvention of Joseph Papp’s “Mobile Theater” that began in 1957 and evolved into the New York Shakespeare Festival and The Public Theater. The current Mobile Unit tours free Shakespeare throughout the five boroughs, including prisons, homeless shelters, and community centers, reminding audiences new and old that the play really is the thing.

To WP Theater and Julia Miles, the company’s founder who died this spring. Formerly known as The Women’s Project and Productions, the company began in 1978 at American Place Theatre, where Miles served as associate to visionary artistic director Wynn Handman, who also died this spring. WP is the largest, most enduring American company that nurtures and produces works by female-identified creators. Over a little more than four decades, it has changed the demographics of American drama through an unwavering focus on women writers, directors, producers, performers, and craftspeople.

To Claire Warden for her pioneering work as an intimacy choreographer in such recent projects as Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune and Linda Vista, and her leadership in the rapidly emerging movement of intimacy direction. As part of the creative team of Intimacy Directors & Coordinators and Director of Engagement for and co-founder of Intimacy Directors International, she is helping create theater experiences that are safer for performers and more authentic for contemporary audiences.

Stephen Adly Guirgis’ HALFWAY BITCHES GO STRAIGHT TO HEAVEN Receives Two Lucille Lortel Nominations including Outstanding Play and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play for Liza Colón-Zayas 

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 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. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 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

SOFT POWER Cast Album Virtual Listening Party to Benefit AALDEF and The Public Theater on April 17 at 8pm

The Public Theater is hosting a live virtual listening party on Friday, April 17 to celebrate the cast album recording of Soft Power at 8pm on youtube. Funds will be raised to support The Public Theater and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund during the event. Click on the link below.

David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s Soft Power, produced by The Public Theater and Center Theatre Group, recently received five Lucille Lortel nominations including Outstanding Musical,  Outstanding Choreography for Sam Pinkleton and Outstanding Scenic Design for Clint Ramos and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical for Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue.

The Soft Power – Original Cast Recording will be available on digital and streaming formats on Friday, April 17 on Ghostlight Records. The album is based on the new musical’s recent New York premiere production at The Public Theater (Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis; Executive Director, Patrick Willingham). Soft Power features book and lyrics by Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang and music and additional lyrics by Tony Award winner Jeanine Tesori, with choreography by Tony nominee Sam Pinkleton. A co-commission and co-production with Center Theatre Group, Tony nominee Leigh Silverman directed this groundbreaking new musical. The album is produced by Jeanine Tesori and Matt Stine, with The Public Theater and Kurt Deutsch serving as executive producers. To pre-order Soft Power, please visit ghostlightrecords.lnk.to/softpower

Conrad Ricamora and the cast of SOFT POWER. Photo by Joan Marcus

Watch a music video of the show’s finale “Democracy (Reprise)” – featuring footage from the album recording session!

When Soft Power opened at The Public’s Newman Theater last year, Variety called it “thrilling, moving, and revolutionary.” The Wall Street Journal raved “Mr. Hwang’s book is gloriously funny, while Ms. Tesori’s score is a persuasive blend of emotional directness and ingenious musical pastiche. I don’t remember when I last saw a musical that was this smart-and touching.” The Daily Beast said “Tesori has a wonderful knack of creating a lush melody, spiked with very pointed, political point-making.” According to The New Yorker, “[Hwang] affirms the things that could make America good again: care, compassion, mutual respect.” Performances ran from September 24 through November 17, 2019.

Last Friday, Theater Mu’s Artistic Director Lily Tung Crystal hosted a Mu-tini Hour zoom chat with David Henry Hwang and Francis Jue. Watch the interview below.

“The extraordinary beauty of Jeanine Tesori’s score and David Henry Hwang’s lyrics for Soft Power will now be preserved forever,” said Oskar Eustis. “Soft Power is a beautiful, heartbreaking, and history-making show: this recording will not only save this amazing cast and orchestra, but it will be a thrilling map for what promises to be an exciting future for the show.”

The complete cast of Soft Power includes Billy Bustamante (Xuē Xíng Standby), Jon Hoche (Chief Justice/Hālǐ Àohālā/Ensemble), Kendyl Ito (Jīng/Prof. Lǐ Bìyù/Ensemble), Francis Jue (DHH), Austin Ku (Bobby Bob/Jū Míng), Raymond J. Lee (Randy Ray/Yáo Tuō/Veep/Ensemble), Alyse Alan Louis (Zoe/Hillary), Jaygee Macapugay (Betsy/Lóng Lín Kūn/Ensemble), Daniel May (Ensemble), Paul HeeSang Miller (Ensemble), Kristen Faith Oei (Ensemble), Geena Quintos (Airport Greeter/Ensemble), Conrad Ricamora (Xuē Xíng), Trevor Salter (Ensemble), Kyra Smith (Ensemble), Emily Stillings (Swing), Emily Trumble (Zoe/Hillary Standby), and John Yi (Swing).

Soft Power is an exploration of America’s current place in the world, told through an East-West musical from China’s point of view, in which a theater producer from Shanghai forges a powerful bond with Hillary Clinton. Soft Power is a fever dream of modern American politics amidst global conversations, asking us all-why do we love democracy? And should we?

Soft Power features orchestrations by Danny Troob; music direction and supervision by Chris Fenwick; dance arrangements by John Clancy; scenic design by Clint Ramos; costume design by Anita Yavich; lighting design by Mark Barton; sound design by Kai Harada; sound effects design by Bart Fasbender; video design by Bryce Cutler; hair, wig, and makeup design by Tom Watson; special effects by Lillis Meeh; music contracting by Antoine Silverman; and additional orchestrations by Larry Hochman and John Clancy.

After the virtual listening party Jon Hoche and Raymond J. Lee are having a live Q & A on Jon Hoche’s Instagram live at 930 p.m.  

David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER Receives Five Lucille Lortel Nominations Including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical for Francis Jue and Conrad Ricamora, Outstanding Choreography for Sam Pinkleton and Outstanding Scenic Design for Clint Ramos; Full List of Nominations 

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 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. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness andWhen the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 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

David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER Receives Five Lucille Lortel Nominations Including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical for Francis Jue and Conrad Ricamora, Outstanding Choreography for Sam Pinkleton and Outstanding Scenic Design for Clint Ramos; Full List of Nominations

Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

Nominations for the 35th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Achievement Off-Broadway were announced today by Jeremy Jordan and Ashley Spencer.

The Awards will be presented during a special online event on Sunday, May 3, broadcast on the official website – beginning at 7:00pm ET. A virtual “host” and presenters will be announced at a later date. As always, the Lortel Awards will be a benefit for The Actors Fund and fans are encouraged to make donations at actorsfund.org/Lortel. The Lucille Lortel Awards are produced by the Off-Broadway League and the Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation. Additional support is provided by TDF.

Conrad Ricamora and the cast of SOFT POWER. Photo by Joan Marcus

David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s Soft Power, produced by The Public Theater and Center Theatre Group, was nominated in five categories including Outstanding Musical,  Outstanding Choreography for Sam Pinkleton and Outstanding Scenic Design for Clint Ramos and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical for Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue.

Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER Original Cast Recording to be Released on April 17; The Public Theater to Host Virtual Listening Party 

The complete cast of Soft Power includes Billy Bustamante (Xuē Xíng Standby), Jon Hoche (Chief Justice/Hālǐ Àohālā/Ensemble), Kendyl Ito (Jīng/Prof. Lǐ Bìyù/Ensemble), Francis Jue (DHH), Austin Ku (Bobby Bob/Jū Míng), Raymond J. Lee (Randy Ray/Yáo Tuō/Veep/Ensemble), Alyse Alan Louis (Zoe/Hillary), Jaygee Macapugay (Betsy/Lóng Lín Kūn/Ensemble), Daniel May (Ensemble), Paul HeeSang Miller (Ensemble), Kristen Faith Oei (Ensemble), Geena Quintos (Airport Greeter/Ensemble), Conrad Ricamora (Xuē Xíng), Trevor Salter (Ensemble), Kyra Smith (Ensemble), Emily Stillings (Swing), Emily Trumble (Zoe/Hillary Standby), and John Yi (Swing).

Soft Power is an exploration of America’s current place in the world, told through an East-West musical from China’s point of view, in which a theater producer from Shanghai forges a powerful bond with Hillary Clinton. Soft Power is a fever dream of modern American politics amidst global conversations, asking us all-why do we love democracy? And should we?

Francis Jue as Duch in Lauren Yee’s CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND. Photo by Joan Marcus

Jue was also nominated for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play for his performance as Duch in Lauren Yee’s Cambodian Rock Band, produced by Signature Theatre Company.

Award-winning Broadway Vet Francis Jue Talks about SOFT POWER, KING OF THE YEES, WILD GOOSE DREAMS, “Madam Secretary” and Getting Married 

Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop. Playwrights Horizons, New York, 2019. From left to right: James Jackson, Jr., John-Michael Lyles, Jason Veasey, Larry Owens, Antwayn Hopper, John-Andrew Morrison, L Morgan Lee.
Michael R. Jackson, A Strange Loop. Playwrights Horizons, New York, 2019. From left to right: James Jackson, Jr., John-Michael Lyles, Jason Veasey, Larry Owens, Antwayn Hopper, John-Andrew Morrison, L Morgan Lee.

Leading the nominations this year with seven is Michael R. Jackson’s A Strange Loop, produced by Playwrights Horizons in association with Page 73 Productions. The Outstanding Musical nominee also earned nominations for Stephen Brackett as Outstanding Director, as well as three acting nominations, Costume Design, and Choreographer.

Just behind with six nominations each – Will Arbery’s Heroes of the Fourth Turning, produced by Playwrights Horizons, received nominations for Outstanding Play and Outstanding Director Danya Taymor; and Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3’s In The Green earned a nomination for Outstanding Musical for writer Grace McLean, who was also nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical.

As previously announced, special honorees this year include Playwrights Horizons’ Tim Sanford, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award; and Anna Deavere Smith, who will be inducted onto the famed Playwrights’ Sidewalk in front of the historic Lucille Lortel Theatre.

The Off-Broadway League League’s Lortel Awards Producing & Administration Committee (Jeremy Adams, Carol Fishman, George Forbes, Danielle Karliner Naish, Kendra Ramthun, Catherine Russell, Lindsey Sag, and Casey York) and the Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation (George Forbes, Jeffrey Shubart, Nancy Hurvitz, and Alana Canty-Samuel) produce the Lortel Awards Ceremony. Acclaimed writer/director Michael Heitzman returns to direct the Lortel Awards for the tenth consecutive year. Representatives of the Off-Broadway League, Actors’ Equity Association, Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, United Scenic Artists, the Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation, in addition to theatre journalists, academics and other Off-Broadway professionals, serve on the Voting Committee.

For updates and news about the ceremony and media releases, visit www.LortelAwards.org. Follow the Lortel Awards (#LortelAwards) on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/OffBroadwayNYC. Subscribe to the Lortel Awards YouTube channel to watch clips from previous ceremonies.

2020 LUCILLE LORTEL AWARDS NOMINATIONS
Outstanding Play
BLKS
Produced by MCC Theater
Written by Aziza Barnes

Patrice Johnson Chevannes (Wanda Wheels), Elizabeth Canavan (Rockaway Rosie), Benja Kay Thomas (Queen Sugar), Pernell Walker (Munchies), Victor Almanzar (Joey Fresco), Liza Colón-Zayas (Sarge), Andrea Syglowski (Bella), Neil Tyrone Pritchard (Mr. Mobo), Wilemina Olivia-Garcia (Happy Meal Sonia), Sean Carvajal (Mateo), Kara Young (Little Melba Diaz), Viviana Valeria (Taina), and Esteban Andres Cruz (Venus) star in Stephen Adly Guirgis's Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven, directed by John Ortiz, at Atlantic Theater Company. © Monique Carboni
Patrice Johnson Chevannes (Wanda Wheels), Elizabeth Canavan (Rockaway Rosie), Benja Kay Thomas (Queen Sugar), Pernell Walker (Munchies), Victor Almanzar (Joey Fresco), Liza Colón-Zayas (Sarge), Andrea Syglowski (Bella), Neil Tyrone Pritchard (Mr. Mobo), Wilemina Olivia-Garcia (Happy Meal Sonia), Sean Carvajal (Mateo), Kara Young (Little Melba Diaz), Viviana Valeria (Taina), and Esteban Andres Cruz (Venus) star in Stephen Adly Guirgis’s Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven, directed by John Ortiz, at Atlantic Theater Company. © Monique Carboni

Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
Produced by Atlantic Theater Company
Written by Stephen Adly Guirgis

Heroes of the Fourth Turning
Produced by Playwrights Horizons
Written by Will Arbery

Is This A Room
Produced by Vineyard Theatre
Conceived by Tina Satter

Mrs. Murray’s Menagerie
Produced by Ars Nova
Created by The Mad Ones and Phillip James Brannon, Brad Heberlee, Carmen M. Herlihy, January LaVoy

Outstanding Musical
A Strange Loop
Produced by Playwrights Horizons in association with Page 73 Productions Book, Music, and Lyrics by Michael R. Jackson

In The Green
Produced by Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Grace McLean

Octet
Produced by Signature Theatre
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Dave Malloy

Soft Power
Produced by The Public Theater and Center Theatre Group
Play and Lyrics by David Henry Hwang, Music and Additional Lyrics by Jeanine Tesori

Saycon Sengbloh, Nathaniel Stampley, Eisa Davis, Anastacia McCleskey, and LaChanze in The Secret Life of Bees. Photo: Ahron R. Foster
Saycon Sengbloh, Nathaniel Stampley, Eisa Davis, Anastacia McCleskey, and LaChanze in The Secret Life of Bees. Photo: Ahron R. Foster

The Secret Life of Bees
Produced by Atlantic Theater Company
Book by Lynn Nottage, Music by Duncan Sheik, Lyrics by Susan Birkenhead Based on the novel by Sue Monk Kidd

Outstanding Revival
A Bright Room Called Day
Produced by The Public Theater
Written by Tony Kushner

Fires in the Mirror
Produced by Signature Theatre
Written by Anna Deavere Smith
Performed by Michael Benjamin Washington

for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
Produced by The Public Theater
Written by Ntozake Shange

Little Shop of Horrors
Produced by Tom Kirdahy, Robert Ahrens, Hunter Arnold, Mickey Liddell, Caiola Productions, Curt Cronin, John Joseph, DDM Productions, DeSantis-Baugh Productions, Elizabeth Dewberry & Ali Ahmet Kocabiyik, Wendy Federman, Roy Furman, Deborah Green, Kayla Greenspan, Marguerite Hoffman, Sally Cade Holmes, Latitude Link, Seriff Productions, Silva Theatrical Group, Eric Gelb/Oliver Roth
Book and Lyrics by Howard Ashman, Music by Alan Menken

MAC BETH
Produced by Red Bull Theater
Written by William Shakespeare, Adapted by Erica Schmidt

Outstanding Solo Show
Bella Bella
Produced by Manhattan Theatre Club
Written and Performed by Harvey Fierstein

Dana H.
Produced by Vineyard Theatre, Goodman Theatre, and Center Theatre Group
Written by Lucas Hnath Performed by Deirdre O’Connell

the way she spoke
Produced by Audible
Written by Isaac Gomez Performed by Kate del Castillo

We’re Only Alive for A Short Amount of Time
Produced by The Public Theater and Goodman Theatre
Written and Performed by David Cale, Lyrics by David Cale, Music by David Cale and Matthew Dean Marsh

Where We Stand
Produced by WP Theater in association with Baltimore Center Stage
Written and Performed by Donnetta Lavinia Grays

Outstanding Director
Stephen Brackett, A Strange Loop
Tina Satter, Is This A Room
Danya Taymor, Heroes of the Fourth Turning
Annie Tippe, Octet
Les Waters, Dana H.

Outstanding Choreographer
Camille A. Brown, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
Camille A. Brown, Toni Stone
Raja Feather Kelly, A Strange Loop
Sam Pinkleton, Soft Power
Travis Wall, The Wrong Man

Aaron Yoo, left, and Johnny Wu in 'The Headlands'
Aaron Yoo, left, and Johnny Wu in ‘The Headlands’ © Kyle Froman

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play
Charles Busch, The Confession of Lily Dare
Edmund Donovan, Greater Clements
Raúl Esparza, Seared
Hamish Linklater, The Pain of My Belligerence
Aaron Yoo, The Headlands

Liza Colon-Zayas, Andrea Syglowski in "Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven." Photo: T. Charles Erickson.
Liza Colon-Zayas, Andrea Syglowski in “Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven.” Photo: T. Charles Erickson.

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play
Liza Colón-Zayas, Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven
Emily Davis, Is This A Room
April Matthis, Toni Stone
Zoë Winters, Heroes of the Fourth Turning
Kara Young, All the Natalie Portmans

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Christopher Borg, The Confession of Lily Dare
Marc Bovino, Mrs. Murray’s Menagerie
Garcia, Continuity
Francis Jue, Cambodian Rock Band
Ken Narasaki, Greater Clements

Judith Ivey and Ken Narasaki in ‘Headlands’. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Okwui Okpokwasili, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
Estelle Parsons, A Bright Room Called Day
Michele Pawk, Heroes of the Fourth Turning
Stephanie Wright Thompson, Mrs. Murray’s Menagerie
Alexandria Wailes, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical
Jonathan Groff, Little Shop of Horrors
Joshua Henry, The Wrong Man
Francis Jue, Soft Power
Larry Owens, A Strange Loop
Conrad Ricamora, Soft Power

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical
Eisa Davis, The Secret Life of Bees
LaChanze, The Secret Life of Bees
Beth Malone, The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Janelle McDermoth, We’re Gonna Die
Grace McLean, In The Green

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Christian Borle, Little Shop of Horrors
Alex Gibson, Octet
Gus Halper, Sing Street
Jay Armstrong Johnson, Scotland, PA
John-Andrew Morrison, A Strange Loop

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Ashley Pérez Flanagan, In The Green
Ari Groover, Little Shop of Horrors
L Morgan Lee, A Strange Loop
Ciara Renée, The Wrong Man
Kuhoo Verma, Octet

Outstanding Scenic Design
You-Shin Chen and Laura Jellinek, Mrs. Murray’s Menagerie
Yu-Hsuan Chen, Our Dear Dead Drug Lord
Tim Mackabee, Seared
James Noone, London Assurance
Clint Ramos, Soft Power

Outstanding Costume Design
Dede Ayite, BLKS
Montana Levi Blanco, A Strange Loop
Oana Botez, In The Green
Toni-Leslie James, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf
Rachel Townsend and Jessica Jahn, The Confession of Lily Dare

Outstanding Lighting Design
Isabella Byrd, Heroes of the Fourth Turning
Alan C. Edwards, Fires in the Mirror
Tyler Micoleau, Socrates
Barbara Samuels, In The Green
Jen Schriever, Power Strip

Outstanding Sound Design
Justin Ellington, Heroes of the Fourth Turning
Mikhail Fiksel, Dana H.
Lee Kinney and Sanae Yamada, Is This A Room
Hidenori Nakajo, Octet Nicholas Pope, In The Green

Outstanding Projection Design
Stephan Mazurek, Mojada
Lisa Renkel and Possible, Emojiland the Musical
Ruey Horng Sun, The Headlands
Hannah Wasileski, Anatomy of a Suicide
Hannah Wasileski, Fires in the Mirror

HONORARY AWARDS Lifetime Achievement Award
Tim Sanford

Playwrights’ Sidewalk Inductee
Anna Deavere Smith

ABOUT THE LUCILLE LORTEL AWARDS
The Lucille Lortel Awards for Outstanding Achievement Off-Broadway were created in 1985 by the Off-Broadway League. The Lortel Awards recognize excellence in Off-Broadway by honoring the invaluable contribution of artists to the theatre community. Representatives of the Off-Broadway League, Actors’ Equity Association, Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, United Scenic Artists, the Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation, in addition to theatre journalists, academics and other Off-Broadway professionals, serve on the Voting Committee. Awards may be given in the following categories: Play, Musical, Solo Show, Revival, Alternative Theatrical Experience, Director, Choreographer, Lead Actor and Actress in a Play and Musical, Featured Actor and Actress in a Play and Musical, Scenic, Costume, Lighting, Sound, and Projection Design. The following honorary awards may also be given: Lifetime Achievement Award, Body of Work (awarded to an institution), Edith Oliver Service to Off-Broadway Award and induction onto the Playwrights’ Sidewalk in front of the historic Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York City. For more information, please see www.LortelAwards.org.

ABOUT THE OFF-BROADWAY LEAGUE
The Off-Broadway League was founded in 1959 to foster theatrical productions produced in Off-Broadway theatres (productions in Manhattan in venues with 100-499 seats), to assist in the voluntary exchange of information among its members, and to serve as a collective voice of its membership in pursuit of these goals. In the recent years the League has grown to represent an average of 150 individual members and theatres and 100 non-for-profit and commercial shows per season. ABOUT THE LUCILLE LORTEL THEATRE FOUNDATION The Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation’s mission is to sustain and advance Off-Broadway by creating awareness, appreciation, and encouraging the continued growth of Off-Broadway; assisting with theatrical infrastructure and capacity building; and developing educational programs fostering the next generation of theatre makers. The Foundation has several major programs, including the Lucille Lortel Awards and Playwrights’ Sidewalk, Internet Off-Broadway Database (IOBDB.com), Non-Profit Theatre Strategic and Management Services, Live at the Lortel podcast, NYC Public High School Playwriting Fellowship, Subsidized Theatre Space, and Fellowships in Theatre with Bennington College. For more information, please visit www.lortel.org.

ABOUT TDF
TDF is a not-for-profit service organization for the performing arts, dedicated to bringing the power of the performing arts to everyone. Founded in 1968, TDF’s mission is to sustain live theatre and dance by engaging and cultivating a broad and diverse audience and eliminating barriers to attendance. TDF fulfills its mission with a variety of programs that expand access, cultivate communities and support the makers of the performing arts. Best known for its theatregoing programs (including the TKTS by TDF Discount Booths and TDF Membership Programs), TDF’s accessibility (including open captioned, audio described and autism-friendly performances), school (serving over 12,000 New York City students annually), community engagement and information programs — as well as the TDF Costume Collection Rental and Research Programs — have introduced millions of people to the theatre and helped make the unique experience of theatre available to everyone. TDF envisions a world where the transformative experience of attending live theatre and dance is essential, relevant, accessible and inspirational. To learn more about TDF, go to: www.tdf.org.

Stephen Adly Guirgis’ HALFWAY BITCHES GO STRAIGHT TO HEAVEN Receives Two Lucille Lortel Nominations including Outstanding Play and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play for Liza Colón-Zayas 

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 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. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 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

David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER Original Cast Recording to be Released on April 17; The Public Theater to Host Virtual Listening Party

Ghostlight Records has announced that the Soft Power – Original Cast Recording will be available on digital and streaming formats on Friday, April 17. The album is based on the new musical’s recent New York premiere production at The Public Theater (Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis; Executive Director, Patrick Willingham). Soft Power features book and lyrics by Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang and music and additional lyrics by Tony Award winner Jeanine Tesori, with choreography by Tony nominee Sam Pinkleton. A co-commission and co-production with Center Theatre Group, Tony nominee Leigh Silverman directed this groundbreaking new musical. The album is produced by Jeanine Tesori and Matt Stine, with The Public Theater and Kurt Deutsch serving as executive producers. To pre-order Soft Power, please visit ghostlightrecords.lnk.to/softpower

Conrad Ricamora and the cast of SOFT POWER. Photo by Joan Marcus

Watch a music video of the show’s finale “Democracy (Reprise)” – featuring footage from the album recording session!

When Soft Power opened at The Public’s Newman Theater last year, Variety called it “thrilling, moving, and revolutionary.” The Wall Street Journal raved “Mr. Hwang’s book is gloriously funny, while Ms. Tesori’s score is a persuasive blend of emotional directness and ingenious musical pastiche. I don’t remember when I last saw a musical that was this smart-and touching.” The Daily Beast said “Tesori has a wonderful knack of creating a lush melody, spiked with very pointed, political point-making.” According to The New Yorker, “[Hwang] affirms the things that could make America good again: care, compassion, mutual respect.” Performances ran from September 24 through November 17, 2019.

Last Friday, Theater Mu’s Artistic Director Lily Tung Crystal hosted a Mu-tini Hour zoom chat with David Henry Hwang and Francis Jue. Watch the interview below.

The Public Theater will host a live virtual listening party on Friday, April 17 to celebrate the cast album recording of Soft Power at 8pm on youtube. Funds will be raised to support The Public Theater and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund during the event. Click on the link below.

“The extraordinary beauty of Jeanine Tesori’s score and David Henry Hwang’s lyrics for Soft Power will now be preserved forever,” said Oskar Eustis. “Soft Power is a beautiful, heartbreaking, and history-making show: this recording will not only save this amazing cast and orchestra, but it will be a thrilling map for what promises to be an exciting future for the show.”

The complete cast of Soft Power includes Billy Bustamante (Xuē Xíng Standby), Jon Hoche (Chief Justice/Hālǐ Àohālā/Ensemble), Kendyl Ito (Jīng/Prof. Lǐ Bìyù/Ensemble), Francis Jue (DHH), Austin Ku (Bobby Bob/Jū Míng), Raymond J. Lee (Randy Ray/Yáo Tuō/Veep/Ensemble), Alyse Alan Louis (Zoe/Hillary), Jaygee Macapugay (Betsy/Lóng Lín Kūn/Ensemble), Daniel May (Ensemble), Paul HeeSang Miller (Ensemble), Kristen Faith Oei (Ensemble), Geena Quintos (Airport Greeter/Ensemble), Conrad Ricamora (Xuē Xíng), Trevor Salter (Ensemble), Kyra Smith (Ensemble), Emily Stillings (Swing), Emily Trumble (Zoe/Hillary Standby), and John Yi (Swing).

Soft Power is an exploration of America’s current place in the world, told through an East-West musical from China’s point of view, in which a theater producer from Shanghai forges a powerful bond with Hillary Clinton. Soft Power is a fever dream of modern American politics amidst global conversations, asking us all-why do we love democracy? And should we?

Soft Power features orchestrations by Danny Troob; music direction and supervision by Chris Fenwick; dance arrangements by John Clancy; scenic design by Clint Ramos; costume design by Anita Yavich; lighting design by Mark Barton; sound design by Kai Harada; sound effects design by Bart Fasbender; video design by Bryce Cutler; hair, wig, and makeup design by Tom Watson; special effects by Lillis Meeh; music contracting by Antoine Silverman; and additional orchestrations by Larry Hochman and John Clancy.

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 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. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 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

David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER Will Release a Cast Recording in Spring 2020

Conrad Ricamora and the cast of SOFT POWER. Photo by Joan Marcus

Ghostlist Records is recording the new musical Soft Power, the New York premiere production from The Public Theater (Artistic Director, Oskar Eustis; Executive Director, Patrick Willingham), for an original cast album on November 24 at The DiMenna Center for Classical Music in New York, to be released Spring 2020. Soft Power features play and lyrics by Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang and music and additional lyrics by Tony Award winner Jeanine Tesori, with choreography by Tony nominee Sam Pinkleton. A co-commission and co-production with Center Theatre Group, Tony nominee Leigh Silverman directed this groundbreaking new musical-within-a-play. The album will be produced by Matt Stine.

Soft Power began previews on September 24 in The Public’s Newman Theater, had its official press opening on October 15, and was extended twice through November 17.

“The extraordinary beauty of Jeanine Tesori’s score and David Henry Hwang’s lyrics for Soft Power will now be preserved forever,” said Oskar Eustis. “Soft Power is a beautiful, heartbreaking, and history-making show: this recording will not only save this amazing cast and orchestra, but it will be a thrilling map for what promises to be an exciting future for the show.”

The complete cast of Soft Power includes Billy Bustamante (Xu Xíng Standby), Jon Hoche (Chief Justice/Hālǐ Àohālā/Ensemble), Kendyl Ito (Jīng/Prof. Lǐ Bìyù/Ensemble), Francis Jue (DHH), Austin Ku (Bobby Bob/Jū Míng), Raymond J. Lee (Randy Ray/Yáo Tuō/Veep/Ensemble), Alyse Alan Louis (Zoe/Hillary), Jaygee Macapugay (Betsy/Lóng Lín Kūn/Ensemble), Daniel May (Ensemble), Paul HeeSang Miller (Ensemble), Kristen Faith Oei (Ensemble), Geena Quintos (Airport Greeter/Ensemble), Conrad Ricamora (Xu Xíng), Trevor Salter (Ensemble), Kyra Smith (Ensemble), Emily Stillings (Swing), Emily Trumble (Zoe/Hillary Standby), and John Yi (Swing).

Sam Pinkleton, Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Leigh Silverman, David Henry Hwang, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis. Photo by Lia Chang
Sam Pinkleton, Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Leigh Silverman, David Henry Hwang, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis. Photo by Lia Chang

Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori brought their groundbreaking new musical-within-a-play to The Public for its New York premiere. One of the most exciting theatrical collaborations in recent memory, Soft Power is an exploration of America’s current place in the world, told through an East-West musical from China’s point of view, in which a theater producer from Shanghai forges a powerful bond with Hillary Clinton. Soft Power is a fever dream of modern American politics amidst global conversations, asking us all-why do we love democracy? And should we?

Soft Power features orchestrations by Danny Troob; music direction and supervision by Chris Fenwick; dance arrangements by John Clancy; scenic design by Clint Ramos; costume design by Anita Yavich; lighting design by Mark Barton; sound design by Kai Harada; sound effects design by Bart Fasbender; video design by Bryce Cutler; hair, wig, and makeup design by Tom Watson; special effects by Lillis Meeh; music contracting by Antoine Silverman; and additional orchestrations by Larry Hochman and John Clancy.

The Public Extends David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER through November 17

The Public Theater is extending the New York premiere of Soft Power, featuring play and lyrics by Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang, music and additional lyrics by Tony Award winner Jeanine Tesori and choreography by Tony nominee Sam Pinkleton. A co-commission and co-production with Center Theatre Group, Tony nominee Leigh Silverman directs this groundbreaking new musical-within-a-play. Soft Power began previews on Tuesday, September 24 in The Public’s Newman Theater, and had its official press opening on Tuesday, October 15. In its second extension week, Soft Power will now run through Sunday, November 17.

Francis Jue and Company. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Paul HeeSang Miller, Daniel May, Raymond J. Lee, Francis Jue and Austin Ku. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The complete cast of Soft Power includes Billy Bustamante (Xue Xing Standby), Jon Hoche (Chief Justice/Hālǐ Aòhālā/Ensemble), Kendyl Ito (Jīng/Prof. Lǐ Bìyù/Ensemble), Francis Jue (DHH), Austin Ku (Bobby Bob/Jū Míng), Raymond J. Lee (Randy Ray/Yáo Tuō/Veep/Ensemble), Alyse Alan Louis (Zoe/Hillary), Jaygee Macapugay (Betsy/Lóng Lín Kūn/Ensemble), Daniel May (Ensemble), Paul HeeSang Miller (Ensemble), Kristen Faith Oei (Ensemble), Geena Quintos (Airport Greeter/Ensemble), Conrad Ricamora (Xue Xing), Trevor Salter (Ensemble), Kyra Smith (Ensemble), Emily Stillings (Swing), Emily Trumble (Zoe/Hillary Standby), and John Yi (Swing).

Conrad Ricamora and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

SOFT POWER features orchestrations by Danny Troob; music direction and supervision by Chris Fenwick; dance arrangements by John Clancy; scenic design by Clint Ramos; costume design by Anita Yavich; lighting design by Mark Barton; sound design by Kai Harada; sound effects design by Bart Fasbender; video design by Bryce Cutler; hair, wig, and makeup design by Tom Watson; special effects by Lillis Meeh; music contracting by Antoine Silverman; and additional orchestrations by Larry Hochman and John Clancy.

The cast of SOFT POWER. Photo by Joan Marcus
Kristen Faith Oei, Trevor Salter, Raymond J. Lee, Geena Quintos, Kyra Smith, Jaygee Macapugay, Jon Hoche and Daniel May. Photo by Joan Marcus

Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori bring their groundbreaking new musical-within-a-play to The Public for its New York premiere. One of the most exciting theatrical collaborations in recent memory, Soft Power is an exploration of America’s current place in the world, told through an East-West musical from China’s point of view, in which a theater producer from Shanghai forges a powerful bond with Hillary Clinton. Soft Power is a fever dream of modern American politics amidst global conversations, asking us all-why do we love democracy? And should we?

Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Alyse Alan Louis and Company. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Kyra Smith, Geena Quintos, Trevor Salter, Raymond J. Lee, Francis Jue, Alyse Alan Louis, Jaygee Macapugay, Kristen Faith Oei, Kendyl Ito and Paul HeeSang Miller. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Kristen Faith Oei, Raymond J. Lee, Kendyl Ito, Geena Quintos, Austin Ku, Daniel May, Conrad Ricamora, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Kyra Smith, Trevor Salter, Francis Jue. Photo by Joan Marcus

Tickets start at $95 and can be purchased online at www.publictheater.org, by phone 212-967-7555 and in person at the Taub Box Office, located at 425 Lafayette Street.

David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER Opens Tonight at The Public

The Public Theater’s production of Soft Power, with play and lyrics by Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang, music and additional lyrics by Tony Award winner Jeanine Tesori, choreography by Tony nominee Sam Pinkleton, and direction by Tony nominee Leigh Silverman began performances on Tuesday, September 24 in The Public’s Newman Theater and will run through Sunday, November 10. Opening night is October 15.

Francis Jue and Company. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Paul HeeSang Miller, Daniel May, Raymond J. Lee, Francis Jue and Austin Ku. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The complete cast of Soft Power includes Billy Bustamante (Xue Xing Standby), Jon Hoche (Chief Justice/Hālǐ Aòhālā/Ensemble), Kendyl Ito (Jīng/Prof. Lǐ Bìyù/Ensemble), Francis Jue (DHH), Austin Ku (Bobby Bob/Jū Míng), Raymond J. Lee (Randy Ray/Yáo Tuō/Veep/Ensemble), Alyse Alan Louis (Zoe/Hillary), Jaygee Macapugay (Betsy/Lóng Lín Kūn/Ensemble), Daniel May (Ensemble), Paul HeeSang Miller (Ensemble), Kristen Faith Oei (Ensemble), Geena Quintos (Airport Greeter/Ensemble), Conrad Ricamora (Xue Xing), Trevor Salter (Ensemble), Kyra Smith (Ensemble), Emily Stillings (Swing), Emily Trumble (Zoe/Hillary Standby), and John Yi (Swing).

Conrad Ricamora and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

SOFT POWER features orchestrations by Danny Troob; music direction and supervision by Chris Fenwick; dance arrangements by John Clancy; scenic design by Clint Ramos; costume design by Anita Yavich; lighting design by Mark Barton; sound design by Kai Harada; sound effects design by Bart Fasbender; video design by Bryce Cutler; hair, wig, and makeup design by Tom Watson; special effects by Lillis Meeh; music contracting by Antoine Silverman; and additional orchestrations by Larry Hochman and John Clancy.

The cast of SOFT POWER. Photo by Joan Marcus
Kristen Faith Oei, Trevor Salter, Raymond J. Lee, Geena Quintos, Kyra Smith, Jaygee Macapugay, Jon Hoche and Daniel May. Photo by Joan Marcus

Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori bring their groundbreaking new musical-within-a-play to The Public for its New York premiere. One of the most exciting theatrical collaborations in recent memory, Soft Power is an exploration of America’s current place in the world, told through an East-West musical from China’s point of view, in which a theater producer from Shanghai forges a powerful bond with Hillary Clinton. Soft Power is a fever dream of modern American politics amidst global conversations, asking us all-why do we love democracy? And should we?

Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Alyse Alan Louis and Company. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Kyra Smith, Geena Quintos, Trevor Salter, Raymond J. Lee, Francis Jue, Alyse Alan Louis, Jaygee Macapugay, Kristen Faith Oei, Kendyl Ito and Paul HeeSang Miller. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Kristen Faith Oei, Raymond J. Lee, Kendyl Ito, Geena Quintos, Austin Ku, Daniel May, Conrad Ricamora, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Kyra Smith, Trevor Salter, Francis Jue. Photo by Joan Marcus

Tickets start at $95 and can be purchased online at www.publictheater.org, by phone 212-967-7555 and in person at the Taub Box Office, located at 425 Lafayette Street.

 

Production Photos: David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER at The Public, Opens October 15

The Public Theater’s production of Soft Power, with play and lyrics by Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang, music and additional lyrics by Tony Award winner Jeanine Tesori, choreography by Tony nominee Sam Pinkleton, and direction by Tony nominee Leigh Silverman began performances on Tuesday, September 24 in The Public’s Newman Theater and will run through Sunday, November 10. Opening night is October 15.

Francis Jue and Company. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Paul HeeSang Miller, Daniel May, Raymond J. Lee, Francis Jue and Austin Ku. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The complete cast of Soft Power includes Billy Bustamante (Xue Xing Standby), Jon Hoche (Chief Justice/Hālǐ Aòhālā/Ensemble), Kendyl Ito (Jīng/Prof. Lǐ Bìyù/Ensemble), Francis Jue (DHH), Austin Ku (Bobby Bob/Jū Míng), Raymond J. Lee (Randy Ray/Yáo Tuō/Veep/Ensemble), Alyse Alan Louis (Zoe/Hillary), Jaygee Macapugay (Betsy/Lóng Lín Kūn/Ensemble), Daniel May (Ensemble), Paul HeeSang Miller (Ensemble), Kristen Faith Oei (Ensemble), Geena Quintos (Airport Greeter/Ensemble), Conrad Ricamora (Xue Xing), Trevor Salter (Ensemble), Kyra Smith (Ensemble), Emily Stillings (Swing), Emily Trumble (Zoe/Hillary Standby), and John Yi (Swing).

Conrad Ricamora and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Kendyl Ito. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

SOFT POWER features orchestrations by Danny Troob; music direction and supervision by Chris Fenwick; dance arrangements by John Clancy; scenic design by Clint Ramos; costume design by Anita Yavich; lighting design by Mark Barton; sound design by Kai Harada; sound effects design by Bart Fasbender; video design by Bryce Cutler; hair, wig, and makeup design by Tom Watson; special effects by Lillis Meeh; music contracting by Antoine Silverman; and additional orchestrations by Larry Hochman and John Clancy.

The cast of SOFT POWER. Photo by Joan Marcus
Kristen Faith Oei, Trevor Salter, Raymond J. Lee, Geena Quintos, Kyra Smith, Jaygee Macapugay, Jon Hoche and Daniel May. Photo by Joan Marcus

Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori bring their groundbreaking new musical-within-a-play to The Public for its New York premiere. One of the most exciting theatrical collaborations in recent memory, Soft Power is an exploration of America’s current place in the world, told through an East-West musical from China’s point of view, in which a theater producer from Shanghai forges a powerful bond with Hillary Clinton. Soft Power is a fever dream of modern American politics amidst global conversations, asking us all-why do we love democracy? And should we?

Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Alyse Alan Louis and Company. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Kyra Smith, Geena Quintos, Trevor Salter, Raymond J. Lee, Francis Jue, Alyse Alan Louis, Jaygee Macapugay, Kristen Faith Oei, Kendyl Ito and Paul HeeSang Miller. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Kristen Faith Oei, Raymond J. Lee, Kendyl Ito, Geena Quintos, Austin Ku, Daniel May, Conrad Ricamora, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Kyra Smith, Trevor Salter, Francis Jue. Photo by Joan Marcus

Tickets start at $95 and can be purchased online at www.publictheater.org, by phone 212-967-7555 and in person at the Taub Box Office, located at 425 Lafayette Street.