Chatting with Raymond J. Lee about SOFT POWER, GROUNDHOG DAY and Feinstein’s/54 Below Show with Sharone Sayegh on July 26

Jon Hoche, Raymond J. Lee, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May, Kendyl Ito. Photo by Lia Chang
Raymond J. Lee
Raymond J. Lee

Raymond J. Lee is currently featured in the Bay Area premiere of Soft Power, the play featuring a musical by David Henry Hwang (play and lyrics) and Jeanine Tesori (music and additional lyrics), at San Francisco’s Curran (445 Geary Street) through July 8, 2018. Click here for tickets.

A Center Theatre Group co-commission with The Public Theater, Soft Power had its world premiere at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.

After the run, he’ll be sharing the stage with Sharone Sayegh in the Feinstein’s/54 Below’s Summer 2018 concert series: Duo Shows at 54! on July 26. Click here for tickets.

In Soft Power, Mr. Lee plays Randy Ray (a renegade cowboy hoodlum), Yao To (Senior Information Correspondent at CCTV), a roller-skating waiter, General Ensemble Dancer Man, a passed out druggie on a Street Fighter Arcade Machine, and the evil gun-toting Veep.

Jon Hoche; Daniel May (facing away); Kendyl Ito; Kristen Faith Oei; Maria-Christina Oliveras (obscured); Raymond J. Lee; Jaygee Macapugay and Geena Quintos. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Jon Hoche; Daniel May (facing away); Kendyl Ito; Kristen Faith Oei; Maria-Christina Oliveras (obscured); Raymond J. Lee; Jaygee Macapugay and Geena Quintos. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

Directed by Leigh Silverman (Violet) and choreographed by Sam Pinkleton (Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812), Soft Power rewinds our recent political history and plays it back, a century later, through the Chinese lens of a future, beloved East-meets-West musical. In the musical, a Chinese executive (Conrad Ricamora) who is visiting America finds himself falling in love with a good-hearted U.S. leader (Alyse Alan Louis) as the power balance between their two countries shifts following the 2016 election.

Conrad Ricamora, Austin Ku, Francis Jue, Geena Quintos, Billy Bustamante and Raymond J. Lee. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Conrad Ricamora, Austin Ku, Francis Jue, Geena Quintos, Billy Bustamante and Raymond J. Lee. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

The cast of Soft Power features Billy Bustamante (Miss Saigon), Kara Guy, Jon Hoche (War Horse tour), Kendyl Ito (Matilda tour), Francis Jue (M. Butterfly), Austin Ku (Chinglish tour), Raymond J. Lee (Groundhog Day), Alyse Alan Louis (Amélie), Jaygee Macapugay (School of Rock), Daniel May (Thoroughly Modern Millie tour), Paul HeeSang Miller (Miss Saigon), Kristen Faith Oei (M. Butterfly), Maria-Christina Oliveras (Amélie), Geena Quintos (Miss Saigon), Conrad Ricamora (The King and I, “How to Get Away with Murder”), Trevor Salter (Here Lies Love) and Emily Stillings (The King and I).

Raymond J. Lee, Jaygee Macapugay, Austin Ku, Kendyl Ito and Jon Hoche. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
Raymond J. Lee, Jaygee Macapugay, Austin Ku, Kendyl Ito and Jon Hoche. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

Raymond J. Lee has appeared on Broadway as“Eddie” in Mamma Mia! (Broadway Debut), as “John” in Anything Goes; “Chan Elvis”/ “Raymond” in Honeymoon in Vegas; and “Ralph” in Groundhog Day. His television credits include “Billions,” “Smash,” “Red Oaks,” and “The Jim Gaffigan Show.” Below is my interview with him.

Lia: It’s Pride month – please share the details of the love of your life and the light of your life.
Ray: I am a proud married man to an awesome husband, Robbie Kearns. We are dads to a beautiful 4-year-old daughter, Ella Jean. My husband and I met through a dating website and have been married for six years. I think when I first knew I was gay, I didn’t think I’d be able to have a family like I do today and I’m so grateful everyday to live my life honestly. I grew up in a fundamental Christian household so homosexuality was a big no-no, but as I grew older and realized who I was and who I was attracted to, I made the decision to live my life happily and openly.

Raymond J. Lee, Mickey Mouse, Ella Jean and Robbie Kearns.
Raymond J. Lee, Mickey Mouse, Ella Jean and Robbie Kearns.

Lia: When did you first become attached to the Soft Power?
Ray: I got involved in spring 2017 with my first reading for Soft Power. At that point Act 1 had been written and two songs in Act 2 had been completed.

Lia: What has the process been like of developing a new work – a play that becomes a musical?
Ray: I think developing a new work is so exciting. It’s probably one of my favorite parts of this crazy business. I think there’s something so exciting, terrifying, and rewarding about developing a show, and this show has been so groundbreaking in terms of format. I’ve learned so much during this process.

Lia: Have your worked with either David or Jeanine before and if so, in what context?
Ray: David and I worked together on a reading of a Bruce Lee musical back in the day. I worked with Jeanine in the workshop of Shrek the Musical.

Lia: What has it been like for you to work with this cast?
Ray: This cast has been absolutely amazing. Everyone in this company is a triple threat. Seriously. And to top it all of they are all wonderful and amazing collaborators. We completely trust each other on that stage.

Seated: Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Kendyl Ito, Daniel May. Standing: Trevor Salter, Sam Pinkleton, Emily Stillings, Billy Bustamante, Kristen Faith Oei, Jon Hoche, Leigh Silverman, Austin Ku, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis, Raymond J. Lee, Maria-Christina Oliveras, David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
Seated: Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Kendyl Ito, Daniel May. Standing: Trevor Salter, Sam Pinkleton, Emily Stillings, Billy Bustamante, Kristen Faith Oei, Jon Hoche, Leigh Silverman, Austin Ku, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis, Raymond J. Lee, Maria-Christina Oliveras, David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: Do you have a favorite character?
Ray: The Veep has to be my favorite because he gets to sing this awesome song in Act 2 about gun control in the United States. I channel my best Disney villain inner man-Ursula in that moment.

Jon Hoche, Raymond J. Lee, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May, Kendyl Ito. Photo by Lia Chang
Jon Hoche, Raymond J. Lee, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May, Kendyl Ito. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: Do you have a favorite moment or scene in the show?
Ray: I love our finale number. We get to go on stage in our regular street-style costumes and sing together and convey our message to the audience one final time as a cohesive team. It is a powerful way to end the show, together on that stage singing one of Jeanine Tesori & David Henry Hwang’s beautiful songs entitled “Democracy.”

The cast. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz
The cast. Photo Credit: Craig Schwartz

Lia: You brought me such joy as Ralph in Groundhog Day. What was the casting process like and how did you develop him?
Ray: I loved the casting process for Groundhog Day because they truly color consciously cast the roles. The entire creative team tried to find the right people for the roles, despite skin color or size or age. It was truly refreshing. I remember seeing Vishal Vaidya at the callback and thinking “Oh of course we’re probably going in for the same part” but lo and behold we both went in for different roles and both got cast.

Vishal Vaidya, Rheaume Crenshaw, Andrew Call and Ray Lee backstage at GROUNDHOG DAY at the August Wilson Theatre in New York on April 5, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
Vishal Vaidya, Rheaume Crenshaw, Andrew Call and Ray Lee backstage at GROUNDHOG DAY at the August Wilson Theatre in New York on April 5, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

Ralph was a lot of fun to develop. He gets to be this drunkard at a bar, so I just channeled my inner college Ray at a Saturday night frat party, put a Punxsutawney accent on him, and there he was. Andrew Call was also the best partner-in-crime for that bar scene and we truly made comedy magic together on that stage. We had an amazing time together.

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

Lia: You’ve been appearing on TV lately. What is on your wish list?
Ray: I just appeared in an episode of “Billions” and an episode of “Succession”. I’ll also be in the upcoming Noah Baumbach film which will be released on Netflix later this year. I’m hoping to gain more TV credits in my career and my next dream is to be a series regular on a television show.

Lia: You performed with Sharone Sayegh in Mamma Mia!  on Broadway and will be sharing the stage with her in the Feinstein’s/54 Below’s Summer 2018 concert series: Duo Shows at 54! on July 26. How did you choose the theme?
Ray: I am so excited for our upcoming show. It’s called “Project Broadway: The Unconventional Materials Challenge” and we perform on Thursday, July 26 at 930pm. Be prepared for some pop songs, musical theater songs (that we could definitely play if given the chance), and a few mashups here and there. It’s going to be an amazing evening! My cabaret partner Sharone Sayegh is currently in The Band’s Visit and her voice is just phenomenal. Get ready y’all!

Lia: How have audiences been responding to Soft Power?
Ray: Oh they definitely have been responding! Each audience has been very different and been responding to different parts of the show in different ways, which I find fascinating. It also means that our audiences have been really engaged with our show. And I’ve heard from multiple people that our show inspires a lot of conversation post-show, which I think is great.

From left, cast members Alyse Alan Louis, Raymond J. Lee, Kendyl Ito, Jon Hoche, Maria-Christina Oliveras and Conrad Ricamora. Photos by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging
From left, cast members Alyse Alan Louis, Raymond J. Lee, Kendyl Ito, Jon Hoche, Maria-Christina Oliveras and Conrad Ricamora at the Ahmanson on the opening night of SOFT POWER on May 17, 2018. Photos by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging

Lia: What do you hope people will take away from Soft Power?
Ray: I hope people will evaluate the state of our country and be more aware of their personal feelings on how our country is being run. Our show doesn’t insult America but rather points out what could be worked on and improved, by telling this story through a “Chinese lens.” I also want people to realize how many amazing and talented Asian performers there are out there! We just need more shows and roles written for us!

The Bay Area premiere of Soft Power, the play featuring a musical by David Henry Hwang (play and lyrics) and Jeanine Tesori (music and additional lyrics), has performances at San Francisco’s Curran (445 Geary Street) through July 8, 2018. Click here for tickets.

raymondjlee.com 

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

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

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OSLO, JITNEY, COME FROM AWAY, HELLO DOLLY! Among 2017 Drama Desk Award Winners

Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Anthony Chisholm, John Douglas Thompson, Brandon J. Dirden, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks at the closing night curtain call of August Wilson’s JITNEY at MTC's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on March 12, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

Michael Urie hosted the 62nd Annual Drama Desk Awards at The Town Hall in Manhattan tonight. The Drama Desk Awards, which are presented annually, honor outstanding achievement by professional theater artists on Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway.

The ceremony featured musical performances from four shows produced during the 2016-2017 New York theatre season including Stephanie J. Block (Falsettos), Jenn Colella (Come from Away), Katrina Lenk (The Band’s Visit), and the cast of The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical.

The cast of THE LIGHTNING THIEF: THE PERCY JACKSON MUSICAL
The cast of THE LIGHTNING THIEF: THE PERCY JACKSON MUSICAL

Drama Desk Award winner and Tony Award nominee Brandon Victor Dixon (Hamilton) performed “For All We Know” during the In Memoriam tribute.

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Congrats to all the winners.

Outstanding Play
Oslo, by J. T. Rogers, Lincoln Center Theatre

Anthony Azizi, Dariush Kashani, Jennifer Ehle, Michael Aronov and Daniel Oreskes (l. to r.) in Oslo by J.T. Rogers. Photo by: T. Charles Erickson
Anthony Azizi, Dariush Kashani, Jennifer Ehle, Michael Aronov and Daniel Oreskes (l. to r.) in Oslo by J.T. Rogers. Photo by: T. Charles Erickson

Outstanding Musical
Come From Away

The cast of Come from Away Photo by: Matthew Murphy
The cast of Come from Away Photo by: Matthew Murphy

Outstanding Revival of a Play
Jitney, Manhattan Theatre Club

Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Anthony Chisholm, John Douglas Thompson, Brandon J. Dirden, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks at the closing night curtain call of August Wilson’s JITNEY at MTC's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on March 12, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Anthony Chisholm, John Douglas Thompson, Brandon J. Dirden, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks at the closing night curtain call of August Wilson’s JITNEY at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on March 12, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

Outstanding Revival of a Musical
Hello, Dolly!

Hello, Dolly! Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes
Hello, Dolly!
Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes

Outstanding Actor in a Play
Kevin Kline, Present Laughter

Kevin Kline
Kevin Kline

Outstanding Actress in a Play
Laura Linney, The Little Foxes

Laura Linney
Laura Linney

Outstanding Actor in a Musical
Andy Karl, Groundhog Day

Andy Karl
Andy Karl

Outstanding Actress in a Musical
Bette Midler, Hello, Dolly!

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Danny DeVito, The Price, Roundabout Theatre Company

Danny DeVito
Danny DeVito

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Cynthia Nixon, The Little Foxes, Manhattan Theatre Club

Cynthia Nixon
Cynthia Nixon

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Gavin Creel, Hello, Dolly!

Gavin Kreel
Gavin Kreel

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Jenn Colella, Come From Away

Jenn Colella
Jenn Colella

Outstanding Director of a Play
Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Jitney, Manhattan Theatre Club

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Outstanding Director of a Musical
Rachel Chavkin, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812
David Cromer, The Band’s Visit, Atlantic Theater Company

Outstanding Choreography
Andy Blankenbuehler, Bandstand

Andy Blankenbuehler
Andy Blankenbuehler

Outstanding Book of a Musical
Irene Sankoff and David Hein, Come From Away

Outstanding Music
David Yazbek, The Band’s Visit, Atlantic Theater Company

Outstanding Lyrics
David Yazbek, The Band’s Visit, Atlantic Theater Company

Outstanding Orchestrations
Bill Elliott and Greg Anthony Rassen, Bandstand

Outstanding Music in a Play
Bill Sims Jr., Jitney, Manhattan Theatre Club

Bill Sims Jr.
Bill Sims Jr.

Outstanding Revue
Life Is for Living: Conversations With Coward, 59E59

Outstanding Set Design for a Play
Nigel Hook, The Play That Goes Wrong

Outstanding Set Design for a Musical
Mimi Lien, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812

Mimi Lien
Mimi Lien

Outstanding Costume Design for a Play
Jane Greenwood, The Little Foxes, Manhattan Theatre Club

Laura Linney as Birdie Hubbard, Darren Goldstein as Oscar Hubbard, Michael McKean as Ben Hubbard, Cynthia Nixon as Regina Giddens, and Richard Thomas as Horace Giddens in “The Little Foxes”. Photo by Jason Bell
Laura Linney as Birdie Hubbard, Darren Goldstein as Oscar Hubbard, Michael McKean as Ben Hubbard, Cynthia Nixon as Regina Giddens, and Richard Thomas as Horace Giddens in “The Little Foxes”. Photo by Jason Bell

Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical
Catherine Zuber, War Paint

The cast of WAR PAINT. Photo by Joan Marcus
The cast of WAR PAINT. Photo by Joan Marcus

Outstanding Lighting Design for a Play
Christopher Akerlind, Indecent, Vineyard Theatre

(l-r): Matt Darriau, Aaron Halva, Lisa Gutkin, Richard Topol, Adina Verson, Katrina Lenk, Tom Nelis, Steven Rattazzi, Mimi Lieber and Max Gordon Moore, the company of INDECENT, a new play by Paula Vogel, co-created by Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman, and directed by Rebecca Taichman, at the Cort Theatre, 138 West 48th Street. © Carol Rosegg
(l-r): Matt Darriau, Aaron Halva, Lisa Gutkin, Richard Topol, Adina Verson, Katrina Lenk, Tom Nelis, Steven Rattazzi, Mimi Lieber and Max Gordon Moore, the company of INDECENT, a new play by Paula Vogel, co-created by Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman, and directed by Rebecca Taichman, at the Cort Theatre, 138 West 48th Street. © Carol Rosegg

Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical
Bradley King, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812

Josh Groban and Denée Benton in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 Photo by: Chad Botka
Josh Groban and Denée Benton in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 Photo by: Chad Botka

Outstanding Projection Design
Aaron Rhyne, Anastasia

Outstanding Sound Design in a Play
Gareth Fry and Pete Malkin, The Encounter

Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical
Nicholas Pope, Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812

Outstanding Wig and Hair
David Brian Brown, War Paint

Outstanding Solo Performance
Ed Dixon, Georgie: My Adventures With George Rose

Unique Theatrical Experience
The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, National Theatre of Scotland

Outstanding Fight Choreography
U. Jonathan Toppo, Sweat, The Public Theatre

Carlo Alban (in white apron) as Oscar, John Earl Jelks as Brucie, James Colby as Stan, JohAnna Day as Tracey, Michelle Wilson as Cynthia and Alison Wright as Jessie. Photo by Joan Marcus
Carlo Alban (in white apron) as Oscar, John Earl Jelks as Brucie, James Colby as Stan, JohAnna Day as Tracey, Michelle Wilson as Cynthia and Alison Wright as Jessie. Photo by Joan Marcus

Outstanding Adaptation
David Ives, The Liar, Classic Stage Company

Outstanding Puppet Design
Basil Twist, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

SPECIAL AWARDS
Outstanding Ensemble
The Wolves, The Playwrights Realm: The superbly talented cast of Sarah DeLappe’s debut play -Mia Barron, Brenna Coates, Jenna Dioguardi, Samia Finnerty, Midori Francis, Lizzy Jutila, Sarah Mezzanotte, Tedra Millan, Lauren Patten, and Susannah Perkins-jelled as one, proving that team spirit is just a alive on the stage as it is on the soccer field.

THE WOLVES playwright Sarah DeLappe (left) and her cast.
THE WOLVES playwright Sarah DeLappe (left) and her cast.

Special Award to Phil LaDuca: Proving that character comes from the ground up, the designer’s innovative flexible dance shoe ensures that hoofers on any stage remain on point.

Phil LaDuca
Phil LaDuca

Sam Norkin Award: Lila Neugebauer: During a season that saw her helm the original works The Antipodes, Everybody, Miles for Mary, and The Wolves, and resurrect the works of esteemed playwrights Edward Albee, Maria Irene Fornes, and Adrienne Kennedy in Signature Plays, director Lila Neugebauer has shown that her dauntless insight into the human condition knows no bounds.

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The Drama Desk Awards, which are presented annually, honor outstanding achievement by professional theater artists on Broadway, Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway. What sets the Drama Desk Awards apart is that they are voted on and bestowed by theater critics, journalists, editors, publishers, and broadcasters covering theater.

The Drama Desk was founded in 1949 to explore key issues in the theater and to bring together critics and writers in an organization to support the ongoing development of theater in New York. The organization began presenting its awards in 1955, and it is the only critics’ organization to honor achievement in the theater with competition among Broadway, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway productions in the same categories.

Livestream the 2017 Drama Desk Awards at The Town Hall Tonight 

MTC’s Broadway Debut of August Wilson’s JITNEY Garners Nominations for Six Drama Desk Awards, Two Drama League Awards and an Outer Critics Circle Award

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

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

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

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

VIETGONE’S Raymond Lee, MISS SAIGON’S Jon Jon Briones and Eva Noblezada Among 2017 Theatre World Award Winners

Jon Jon Briones and Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Jon Jon Briones and Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang
Jon Jon Briones and Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang

The 2017 Theatre World Award honorees for Outstanding Broadway or Off-Broadway Debut Performance include Miss Saigon stars Jon Jon Briones and Eva Noblezada and Raymond Lee, who appeared in MTC’s production of Qui Nguyen’s Vietgone. 

Raymond Lee and Jon Hoche in VIETGONE. Photo: Carol Rosegg
Raymond Lee and Jon Hoche in VIETGONE. Photo: Carol Rosegg

Other winners include Denée Benton, Amber Gray and Josh Groban (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812),  Carlo Albán (Sweat), Christy Altomare (Anastasia), Barrett Doss (Groundhog Day), Lucas Hedges (Yen), Jeremy Secomb (Sweeney Todd), and Cobie Smulders (Present Laughter).

Barrett Doss and Cast. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Barrett Doss and Cast. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Tony Shalhoub and Katrina Lenk in THE BAND's VISIT (Photo: Ahron R. Foster)
Tony Shalhoub and Katrina Lenk in THE BAND’s VISIT (Photo: Ahron R. Foster)

Katrina Lenk (Indecent, The Band’s Visit) will receive the 9th Annual Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in the Theater.

Glenn Close (Sunset Boulevard) will receive the 5th Annual John Willis Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

Josh Groban and Denée Benton in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 Photo by: Chad Botka
Josh Groban and Denée Benton in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 Photo by: Chad Botka

Dave Molloy (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) will be honored with a Special Theatre World Award in recognition for his Broadway debut as composer, writer, lyricist, orchestrator, and actor.

The 73rd Annual Theatre World Awards Ceremony will be held on Monday evening, June 5, 2017 beginning at 6:30 p.m. at The Imperial Theatre (249 West 45th Street), current home of The Great Comet, recipient of 12 Tony Award nominations including Best Musical. Hosted annually by well-known theater journalist, Peter Filichia, the 73rd Annual Theatre World Awards ceremony is produced by Theatre World Awards, Inc. Board of Directors.

Previous winners who have won the prestigious Theatre World Award most at the beginning of their careers include Meryl Streep, RoseMary Harris, Marlon Brando, Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Anne Bancroft, James Earl Jones, Liza Minnelli, Alan Alda, Zoe Caldwell, Christopher Walken, Alec Baldwin, Bernadette Peters, Audra McDonald, Al Pacino, Grace Kelly, Tom Hanks, Bryan Cranston, and so many more.

www.theatreworldawards.org

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

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

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

HELLO DOLLY!, COME FROM AWAY, JITNEY, OSLO and More Garner Outer Critics Circle Awards

Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Anthony Chisholm, John Douglas Thompson, Brandon J. Dirden, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks at the closing night curtain call of August Wilson’s JITNEY at MTC's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on March 12, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

The Outer Critics Circle, the organization of writers and commentators for media covering New York theatre has chosen the award winners for the 2016-17 season in 27 categories.

Celebrating its 67th season of bestowing awards of excellence in the field of theatre, the Outer Critics Circle, is an association with members affiliated with more than ninety newspapers, magazines, web sites, radio and television stations, and theatre publications in America and abroad.

Anthony Azizi, Dariush Kashani, Jennifer Ehle, Michael Aronov and Daniel Oreskes (l. to r.) in Oslo by J.T. Rogers. Photo by: T. Charles Erickson
Anthony Azizi, Dariush Kashani, Jennifer Ehle, Michael Aronov and Daniel Oreskes (l. to r.) in Oslo by J.T. Rogers. Photo by: T. Charles Erickson

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY PLAY
Oslo, by J.T. Rogers

The cast of Come from Away Photo by: Matthew Murphy
The cast of Come from Away Photo by: Matthew Murphy

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY MUSICAL
Come From Away, by Irene Sankoff & David Hein

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY PLAY
If I Forget, by Steven Levenson

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL
The Band’s Visit, by Itamar Moses and David Yazbek

OUTSTANDING BOOK OF A MUSICAL
Irene Sankoff & David Hein Come From Away

OUTSTANDING NEW SCORE
David Yazbek, The Band’s Visit

Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Anthony Chisholm, John Douglas Thompson, Brandon J. Dirden, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks at the closing night curtain call of August Wilson’s JITNEY at MTC's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on March 12, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Anthony Chisholm, John Douglas Thompson, Brandon J. Dirden, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks at the closing night curtain call of August Wilson’s JITNEY at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on March 12, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A PLAY
Jitney, by August Wilson

Hello, Dolly! Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes
Hello, Dolly!
Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
Hello, Dolly!

(l-r): Matt Darriau, Aaron Halva, Lisa Gutkin, Richard Topol, Adina Verson, Katrina Lenk, Tom Nelis, Steven Rattazzi, Mimi Lieber and Max Gordon Moore, the company of INDECENT, a new play by Paula Vogel, co-created by Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman, and directed by Rebecca Taichman, at the Cort Theatre, 138 West 48th Street. © Carol Rosegg
(l-r): Matt Darriau, Aaron Halva, Lisa Gutkin, Richard Topol, Adina Verson, Katrina Lenk, Tom Nelis, Steven Rattazzi, Mimi Lieber and Max Gordon Moore, the company of INDECENT, a new play by Paula Vogel, co-created by Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman, and directed by Rebecca Taichman, at the Cort Theatre, 138 West 48th Street. © Carol Rosegg

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A PLAY
Rebecca Taichman Indecent

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL
Christopher Ashley Come From Away

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHER
Warren Carlyle Hello, Dolly!

Josh Groban and Denée Benton in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 Photo by: Chad Botka
Josh Groban and Denée Benton in Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812 Photo by: Chad Botka

OUTSTANDING SET DESIGN
Mimi Lien Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN
Catherine Zuber, War Paint

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN
Bradley King, Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812

Christy Altomare, Derek Klena and the cast of Anastasia. Photo by: Matthew Murphy
Christy Altomare, Derek Klena and the cast of Anastasia. Photo by: Matthew Murphy

OUTSTANDING PROJECTION DESIGN
Aaron Rhyne, Anastasia

OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN
Gareth Owen, Come From Away

OUTSTANDING ORCHESTRATIONS
Larry Hochman, Hello, Dolly!

Kristine Nielsen (left), Kate Burton, and Kevin Kline in Present Laughter by Noël Coward. Photo by: ©2016 Joan Marcus
Kristine Nielsen (left), Kate Burton, and Kevin Kline in Present Laughter by Noël Coward. Photo by: ©2016 Joan Marcus

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A PLAY
Kevin Kline, Present Laughter

Laura Linney as Regina and Cynthia Nixon as Birdie Joan Marcus
Laura Linney as Regina and Cynthia Nixon as Birdie in THE LITTLE FOXES. Photo by Joan Marcus

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Laura Linney, The Little Foxes

Andy Karl. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Andy Karl. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Andy Karl Groundhog Day

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Bette Midler, Hello, Dolly!

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY
Danny DeVito, The Price

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Cynthia Nixon, The Little Foxes

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Gavin Creel, Hello, Dolly!

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Jenn Colella, Come From Away

OUTSTANDING SOLO PERFORMANCE
Simon McBurney, The Encounter

JOHN GASSNER AWARD
(Presented for an American play, preferably by a new playwright)
Bess Wohl, Small Mouth Sounds

Broadway’s Danny Burstein, Katie Finneran and Christopher Fitzgerald will serve as gala award presenters at the upcoming 67th Annual Outer Critics Circle Awards ceremony on May 25th at 3 PM at the legendary Sardi’s Restaurant.