Lucas Steele, George Abud, Laura Schein, Ann Harada, Felicia Boswell, Natalie Weiss, Lesli Margherita, Josh Lamon, Max Crumm, Jacob Dickey and More Set for EMOJILAND, January 9 – March 8

Ann Harada. Photo by Lia Chang

Arborhouse Productions & Visceral Entertainment (Michael Chase Gosselin and Tim Sulka) are presenting the Off-Broadway run of Emojiland from Thursday, January 9, 2020 through Sunday, March 8, 2020 at The Duke on 42nd Street in New 42nd Street Studios (229 West 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues). The production garnered 12 nominations and 5 wins at the 2018 NYMF Awards and was a 2018 Richard Rodgers Award Finalist.

Lucas Steele

The cast includes Lucas Steele (The Great Comet) as Skull, George Abud (The Band’s Visit) as Nerd Face, Emojiland Co-Writer Laura Schein as Smiling Face with Smiling Eyes (aka “Smize”), Emmy Winner & Grammy Nominee Felicia Boswell (NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar LIVE, Shuffle Along, Motown) as Police Officer, Natalie Weiss (Everyday Rapture, YouTube’s “Breaking Down the Riffs”) as Construction Worker, Ann Harada (Avenue Q, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella) as Pile of Poo, Lesli Margherita (Matilda, Dames at Sea) as Princess and Josh Lamon (The Prom, Groundhog Day) as Prince, Max Crumm (Grease, Disaster) will take on the role of the Man In Business Suit Levitating emoji, along with Jacob Dickey (Aladdin Broadway as Aladdin) as Smiling Face with Sunglasses, (aka “Sunny”), Dwelvan David (Finding Neverland & The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess Tours) as Guardsman, Heather Makalani (Aladdin) as Kissy Face, Tanisha Moore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Tour) as Woman Dancing and Jordan Fife Hunt (A Chorus Line First Revival Tour) as Man Dancing.

Kenny Ingram
Kenny Ingram

Emojiland‘s book, music and lyrics are written by Keith Harrison & Laura Schein. The musical will be directed by Thomas Caruso (Southern Comfort, Matilda, Groundhog Day), with choreography by Kenny Ingram (The Lion King) and musical direction by Lena Gabrielle (Endangered!). Scenic design is by David Goldstein, costume & make-up design is by Vanessa Leuck, lighting design is by Jamie Roderick, sound design is by Ken Goodwin, and projection design is by Lisa Renkel & Possible Productions. The production is cast by Binder Casting (Chad Murnane, CSA), is Executive Produced & General Managed by Visceral Entertainment (Michael Chase Gosselin / Tim Sulka), and is Production Managed by Tinc Productions. Social Media & Influencer Marketing is by YesBroadway (Sam Maher). Bell Arts Entertainment (Jacquelyn Bell) associate produces.

Originally presented by the New York Musical Festival, Dan Markley, Executive Director & Producer, Emojiland was a Grand Jury Selection of the 2018 New York Musical Festival.

Not to be confused with, and very much unlike The Emoji Movie, Emojiland is an electric ensemble piece about a diverse community of archetypes who take one another at face value: a smiling face dealing with depression; a princess who doesn’t want a prince; a skull dying for deletion; a nerd face too smart for his own good; a face with sunglasses who can’t see past his own reflection; and a police officer and construction worker who just want to work together. When a software update threatens to destroy life as they know it, Emojiland faces the most fundamental questions a society – and a heart – can face: Who are we? And who matters?

MEET THE COMPLETE CAST
Max Crumm’s Broadway credits include: DISASTER! (The Nederlander), Grease (Brooks Atkinson). Off-Broadway: The Evolution Of Mann, Hot Mess, The Fantasticks, Disaster!, Brooklyn Crush {formerly: F#%KING UP EVERYTHING}. Festival/Regional: Woody Harrelson, Matthew McConaughey Vs. The Devil (NYMF 2017), The Situation, Jersey Shoresical (NY Fringe Festival). Walter Paisley, Beatsville (Asolo Rep.), Andy, Legendale (Human Race Theatre). Film/TV: Emergence, Ray Donovan, Easy A, Killing Diaz & Echoboom.

Heather Makalani is making her Off-Broadway debut in Emojiland! She made her Broadway debut in Aladdin the Musical understudying Princess Jasmine. She also appeared at the Finger Lakes Music Theatre Festival this summer as Sandy Dumbrowski at the Merry Go Round Playhouse’s production of Grease where she was nominated for best leading actress in a musical by the SALT Awards (Syracuse Area Live Theatre). Australian credits include Aladdin the Musical (original Australian cast), Heathers the Musical, and RENT.

Jordan Fife Hunt (Man Dancing, Ensemble) tour: A Chorus Line (1st national revival). City Center Encores!: Fiorello!, Where’s Charley? International: Sousatzka (Mirvish Theatre, Toronto, world premiere). Regional: Claude in Hair(Waterfront Playhouse), Loch Ness (The Rev), The Wiz (Broadway Sacramento), West Side Story (Guthrie Theater), Evita (ACT), Prime Time (The Studios of Key West), Paul in A Chorus Line (Theatre Under The Stars, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Riverside Theatre), Disney’s Aladdin (The Muny). TV: “The Wendy Williams Show,” “New Year’s Eve: From Lincoln Center” on PBS, “The A-List” on LOGO, “Todrick” on MTV. Dance: Dance Key West, Veracity Dance Theatre, Gig- The Show, MET Dance, Benjamin Briones Ballet. Training: BFA in Musical Theatre (The Boston Conservatory).

Tanisha Moore is making her Off-Broadway debut with Emojiland! She has toured the country with Flashdance the Musical and Broadway’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Regional credits include; the role of June in Gypsy, Smokey Joe’s Café, The Wiz, and the world premiere of Disney’s Freaky Friday.

Jacob Dickey is making his Off-Broadway debut. Other credits include Aladdin (Broadway and Nat’l Tour as Aladdin), Stephen Schwartz’ Prince of Egypt (as Moses), and Next to Normal (as Gabe).

Dwelvan David’s theatrical credits include the first national tour of Finding Neverland; The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. NYC: Standby (NYMF 2013) Regional: Sweeney Todd (Denver Center); Sister Act (Tuacahn); Ain’t Misbehavin’ (STAGES/Riverside); Show Boat (Lyric Opera Chicago); The Wiz (TATC); Caroline, or Change (Human Race); Ragtime (Drury Lane); TV: “Bull,” “Gotham,” “Law&Order SVU,””Happy!” BFA Millikin University. AEA

Ann Harada (Pile of Poo) played Christmas Eve in the Broadway and West End productions of Avenue Q and stepsister Charlotte in Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Other Bway credits include Madame Thenardier in Les Miserables (revival), 9 To 5, Seussical, and M. Butterfly. Recent Off Bway: Dropping Gumballs on Luke Wilson. Film: SISTERS, TROUBLE, YOUTH IN OREGON, ADMISSION, HOPE SPRINGS, FEEL, HAPPINESS. TV includes: SMASH (as Linda, the Stage Manager), THE GOOD WIFE, HOUSE OF CARDS, MASTER OF NONE, THE Jim Gaffigan SHOW, SEARCH PARTY, YOUNGER, GOTHAM, NEW AMSTERDAM.

Felicia Boswell (Police Officer): EMMY Winner & GRAMMY Nominee (NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar LIVE), 2x Helen Hayes AWARD Winner (Outstanding Lead Actress), Broadway World Winner (Best Lead Actress), Jeff Award (Best Supporting Actress nom). Broadway: Shuffle Along (Josephine Baker); Motown (Diana Ross); Memphis (Felicia Farrell). Nat’l Tour: Memphis (Felicia Farrell); Dreamgirls (Deena, Lorell). Highlights: The Color Purple (Celie) Portland Center Stage; Jelly’s Last Jam (Anita) Signature Theatre; MEDEA (Medea) Bay Street; Too Heavy For Your Pocket (Evelyn) GSPlayhouse; Jesus Christ Superstar (Mary Magdalene) Paramount; AIDA (Aida); Man of LaMancha (Aldonza) Barrington Stage; RENT (Mimi); Caroline or Change, Guthrie Theatre; SOUL: Stax Musical (Carla Thomas); Little Rock (Minniejean Brown); MANDELA (Zindzi) ASCAP; Midwives (Charlotte); Quiet World (Marianne) Lincoln Center. TV: “POWER” (Melissa) STARZ; “The Good Fight” (Lace) CBS; NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live, Macy’s Day Parade (Diana Ross) Motown, “Last Week w/John Oliver.” “Mama Knows Best” single available, all music platforms.

George Abud (Nerd Face) is an Arab-American actor. Broadway: The Band’s Visit starring Katrina Lenk & Tony Shalhoub (Daytime Emmy Award, OBC Recording); The Visit starring Chita Rivera & Roger Rees (OBC Recording). Off-Broadway: The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui opposite Raúl Esparza, Nathan The Wise opposite F. Murray Abraham, Peer Gynt opposite Gabriel Ebert, and Allegro directed by John Doyle (Classic Stage Company); The Band’s Visit directed by David Cromer (Atlantic Theater Company); Lolita, My Love opposite Robert Sella (York Theatre Company). Regional: August Rush (Lewis Chapman, Paramount Theatre); Annie Get Your Gun directed by Sarna Lapine (Charlie Davenport, Bay Street Theater); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck, Geva Theatre Center); 1776 (The Muny); Fiddler on the Roof (Human Race Theatre); Man of La Mancha, Oliver Twist (Shakespeare Theatre of NJ). International: The New Prince with Barbara Walsh, Marc Kudisch, and Paulo Szot at the Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam.

Natalie Weiss (Construction Worker) has gained an international following from her performance & coaching videos and popular YouTube web series, “Breaking Down The Riffs”. She made her Broadway debut in 2010 understudying the Menonettes in Everyday Rapture, starring Sherie Rene Scott, was a swing in the 25th anniversary tour of Les Miserables, and performed in the ensemble / understudied Elphaba in the 2nd National Tour of Wicked. Other regional credits include Molly in Ghost, Florence in Chess, and Candy in Saturday Night Fever. Natalie’s voice can be heard on the acclaimed soundtrack for “The Greatest Showman”, on the Original Broadway Cast recording of Dear Evan Hansen as one of the Virtual Community Voices, and on the jingles for The Incredibles 2. She was also an American Idol season 4 semi-finalist. Natalie received her BFA in musical theatre from Penn State University.

Laura Schein (Co-Writer / Smize) has been in the biz of show since age 10. 1st Nat’l Tour: Ragtime. Regional: Holiday Inn (Goodspeed), Mary Zimmerman’s Pericles (Goodman), Carousel (Long Wharf), 2019 LA Writers Workshop (CTG), Coney Island Christmas (Geffen), Oblivion (CTG), NOFX’s Home Street Home (Davenport Theatricals). TV/Film: “Kidding”, “Masters of Sex,” “Weeds” (Showtime), Sing It! (YouTube Originals), Crystal’s Balls (Funny or Die), and the animated feature UglyDolls (STX), for which she co-wrote the Kelly Clarkson-Janelle Monae duet “Unbreakable.” Currently writing on an upcoming musical series starring Zosia Mamet.

Lesli Margherita (Princess) won the Olivier Award for her West End debut as Inez in Zorro The Musical. Broadway: Matilda the Musical;Dames at Sea. Off-Broadway: Who’s Holiday (Drama Desk, Lortel, & Off-Broadway Alliance noms. – Best Solo Performance); A Scythe of Time (NYMF; Outstanding Performance Award). Television (recurring) “Transparent,” “Most Likely to” (ABC pilot), “Homeland,” “Instinct,” “Elementary,” “Seven Seconds.” Film: The Many Saints of Newark (upcoming), Opening Night (opp. Taye Diggs & Topher Grace). Regional (select credits): Guys & Dolls (Bucks County), Hunchback of Notre Dame (Sacramento Music Circus), Kiss Me Kate (Reprise; Ovation Award – Best Actress), The Gronholm Method (The Falcon; Ovation nom. – Best Ensemble), Man of La Mancha (MTW; Ovation nom. & LADCC nom – Best Actress), Showboat (Goodspeed), Little Shop Of Horrors (La Mirada); Spamalot (Sacramento Music Circus). Lesli’s debut album Rule Your Kingdom now available in stores/online.

Josh Lamon (Prince) TV/FILM: Here Today (Dir. Billy Crystal), “Katy Keene,” “The Blacklist,” “The Good Fight,” “30 Rock,” “Deadbeat,” “Inside Amy Schumer” and “Steve Phoenix: The Untold Story.” Broadway: The Prom, Groundhog Day, Finding Neverland, Elf and Hair. Off-Broadway: A New Brain (Encores!), Into The Woods (Shakespeare in the Park), Little Miss Sunshine (2nd Stage), Little Me (Encores!) and February House (The Public). You can hear his podcast ‘Josh Swallows Broadway’ on the Broadway Podcast Network. Composition: co-book writer, conceiver and additional musical and lyrics for the musical Bloody Bloody Jessica Fletcher.

Keith Harrison (Co-Writer) is a musical wizard whose credits include work on The Prom (Netflix, upcoming), Cinderella (Sony, upcoming), The Politician (Netflix), “American Idol” (FOX, ABC), “American Horror Story” (FX), “Grace & Frankie” (Netflix), “Westside” (Netflix), Kidding (Showtime), “The Daytime Emmy Awards” (POPTV), “Claws” (TNT), “Ugly Dolls” (STX), 911 (FOX), and the original Chicago production of Million Dollar Quartet. Notable collaborators have included: Ariana Grande, Meryl Streep, Ben Vereen, Ana Gasteyer, Shoshana Bean, Andrew Lippa, Larry O’Keefe, Babyface, Emmylou Harris, Jason Alexander and many more.

Thomas Caruso (Director) Southern Comfort (The Public Theatre; NY Times Critics Pick, Lucille Lortel Award & Outer Critics Circle Award nominations: Best New Musical), Dynamo: Seeing Is Believing (West End, U.K. & Australian Tours). B’way National Tours: Matilda, Ghost, Master Class. Broadway Associate Director credits include: A Christmas Carol, Groundhog Day, Matilda, Ghost, Mamma Mia!, Bombay Dreams, Follies, Master Class. Other directing credits include: David Blaine: Real or Magic (Asia tour); Earth To Bucky (Bay Street Theatre), the premiere of Terrence McNally and Israel Horovitz’s Off Season (Gloucester Stage).

Performances of Emojiland will be Tuesdays – Saturdays at 8pm, Saturdays & Sundays at 2pm, and Sundays at 7pm.

Tickets for Emojiland are available for purchase online at Dukeon42.org; by phone at 646-223-3010; or in person at The Duke on 42nd Street at 229 West 42nd Street (Tuesdays-Fridays 4-7 and Saturdays 12-6).

The running time is approximately 2 hours, including intermission.

Visit Emojiland.com for more info and updates.

Jin Ha, Jason Tam, Brandon Victor Dixon, Norm Lewis, and More Join NBC’s JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR LIVE IN CONCERT

NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert,” a staged version of the original rock musical, will be executive produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Tim Rice, Marc Platt, Craig Zadan, Neil Meron, John Legend, Mike Jackson, Ty Stiklorius and Alex Rudzinski, and will air Easter Sunday, April 1 from the Marcy Armory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Helmed by British theatre director David Leveaux, Oscar, Golden Globe, Tony and 10-time Grammy winner John Legend leads the cast as Jesus Christ, with Broadway star and acclaimed recording artist Sara Bareilles as Mary Magdalene, rock icon Alice Cooper as  King Herod, Tony Award-winning producer, “Hamilton” alum and “Power” co-star Brandon Victor Dixon as Judas, Tony nominee Ben Daniels as Pontius Pilate, Tony nominee Norm Lewis as Caiaphas, Broadway veteran Jason Tam as Peter, “M. Butterfly” star Jin Ha as Annas and Swedish rock star Erik Gronwall as Simon Zealotes.

The ensemble will feature Melody Betts, Felicia Boswell, Abby Corrigan, Micaela Diamond, Rory Donovan, Christine Dwyer, Mike Evariste, F. Michael Haynie, Charissa Hogeland, Bre Jackson, Mykal Kilgore, Billy Lewis Jr., Joel Perez, Justin Gregory Lopez, Angel Lozada, Vince Oddo, Kyle Taylor Parker, Jonah Platt, Conor Ryan, Christina Sajous, Justin Matthew Sargent, Heath Saunders, Joey Taranto, Syndee Winters, and Lauren Zakrin, with dancers Chloe Davis, Timothy Edwards, Shelby Finnie, Bahiyah Hibah, Juel D. Lane, Terk Lewis, Mayte Natalio , Sarah Parker, Tre Smith, and Maleek Washington.

Rounding out the full, award-winning creative team is Emmy Award-winning live television director and executive producer Alex Rudzinski (“Hairspray Live!,” “Dancing With the Stars”), Emmy- and Tony Award-winning costumer designer Paul Tazewell (“The Wiz Live!,” “Hamilton”), Grammy Award-winning music producer Harvey Mason Jr. (“The Wiz Live!”), musical director Nigel Wright (“Jesus Christ Superstar” world arena tour), production designer Jason Ardizzone-West (“Adele Live in NYC”) and choreographer Camille A. Brown (“Once on This Island”).

Dixon will play Judas, an apostle of Jesus who has concerns for the poor and the consequences of Jesus’s popularity. Dixon won a Tony in 2014 as a producer of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” which won for Best Revival of a Musical. In 2006 Dixon was nominated for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his role as Harpo in “The Color Purple,” and again in 2016 for his role as Eubie Blake in “Shuffle Along.”

In addition to his Tony nominations, Dixon is known to many Broadway theatergoers as Aaron Burr from the musical sensation “Hamilton.” Dixon played Burr for nearly a year at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. In addition, he co-starred in a 2010 Off Broadway production of the musical “The Scottsboro Boys,” directed by Susan Stroman. On the TV side, Dixon currently co-stars on the Starz series “Power” as Terry Silver. He previously appeared on “The Good Wife” and performed on “The 40th Annual Kennedy Center Honors” in December.

Ben Daniels will portray Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea who has a dream about the gruesome way Jesus will be killed. Daniels was Tony nominated in 2008 for Best Actor in a Play for his role as Le Vicomte de Valmont in “Les Liasons Dangereuses.” In 2016 he co-starred in the blockbuster film “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” His TV credits include “The Exorcist” and “House of Cards.”

Tony nominee Norm Lewis will play Caiaphas, a high priest who sees Jesus as a threat to the nation. Lewis was Tony nominated in 2012 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical in “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” and is currently starring in the critically acclaimed Broadway revival of “Once on this Island.” Lewis’ other extensive Broadway credits include “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Miss Saigon,” “Chicago,” “Les Miserables,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Sondheim on Sondheim.” On the TV side, Lewis has appeared in “The Blacklist,” “Gotham,” “Chicago Med” and “Scandal.”

Jason Tam will portray Peter, one of the apostles who saves himself the night Jesus is arrested. Tam has worked steadily on Broadway and his credits include “Les Miserables,” “A Chorus Line,” “Lysistrata Jones” and “If/Then.” His TV appearances include “The Blacklist,” “Hawaii Five-0” and “Do No Harm.”

Jin Ha will play Annas, a priest who aligned with Caiaphas and also saw Jesus as a threat. Ha made his Broadway debut as Song Liling in the 2017 revival of “M. Butterfly” at the Cort Theatre.

Erik Gronwall will play apostle Simon Zealotes, who believes Jesus should lead his followers into battle against the Romans. Gronwall came to fame in 2009 by winning the Swedish version of “American Idol.” Using “Idol” to jumpstart his music career, Gronwall released his first single, “Higher,” a few weeks after winning the competition and the song immediately shot to #1 on the charts. “Higher,” along with his self-titled album, soon reached platinum. He currently is the lead singer of the band H.E.A.T., who tour worldwide.

The “Jesus Christ Superstar” album hit #1 on the Billboard charts and made its way to the stage in 1971. It is based on the final week of Jesus’ life. The 1971 musical opened at the Mark Hellinger Theatre on Broadway and starred Jeff Fenholt as Jesus and Ben Vereen as Judas. It was nominated for five Tonys, including Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for Vereen. Lloyd Webber won a Drama Desk Award for Most Promising Composer.

Since then, the musical has been considered a classic and has become a staple of theatre and music organizations throughout the world. It has been performed in nearly 20 countries and translated into 18 different languages. There have been many revivals of “Jesus Christ Superstar” over the 46 years since its debut, including 2000 and 2012 Broadway versions that each earned a Tony nomination for Best Revival of a Musical. The 1973 film was directed by Oscar winner Norman Jewison and starred Ted Neeley.

“Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” will be produced by Universal Television, The Really Useful Group, Marc Platt Productions and Zadan/Meron Productions.