Kate Baldwin, Bryce Pinkham, Thom Sesma, Julia Abueva and More Set for John Logan and Tom Kitt’s SUPERHERO at Second Stage

Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang
Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang
Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang

Continuing its 40th Anniversary Season, Second Stage Theater has announced complete casting for the world premiere musical, Superhero. Directed by Jason Moore, the production features a book by John Logan and music and lyrics by Tom Kitt.

Julia Abueva (Rachel), JAKE LEVY (Dwayne), Salena Qureshi (Vee), Thom Sesma (Vic) and Nathaniel Stampley (Dean Fulton) will join previously announced stars Kate Baldwin (Charlotte), Bryce Pinkham (Jim) and newcomer Kyle McArthur (Simon).

SUPERHERO will begin previews January 31, 2019 at the Tony Kiser Theater (305 West 43rd Street) and will officially open on February 28, 2019. Subscriptions are available now starting at $255 by calling the Second Stage Box Office at 212-246-4422.

Before we can save the world, we have to save each other. From the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer of Next to Normal and the Tony Award-winning writer of Red comes a deeply human new musical about a fractured family, the mysterious stranger in apartment 4-B, and the unexpected hero who just might save the day.

BIOGRAPHIES

Julia Abueva (Rachel) made her New York stage debut in the critically acclaimed production of KPOP at Ars Nova. West End: Miss Saigon (Kim u/s). Other stage credits include: Cinderella (Newport Performing Arts Theater); Singapore premieres of Next to Normal(Natalie) and Spring Awakening (Wendla); Manila premieres of Into the Woods (Little Red Riding Hood) and Aspects of Love (Young Jenny); and Philippine Repertory’s production of The Fantasticks (Luisa). Julia co-starred in the Amazon comedy pilot “Making Friends.” Upcoming film: Stella’s Last Weekend (opp. Nat Wolff).

Kate Baldwin (Charlotte) recently appeared in the Tony Award winning Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly! for which she received Tony Award, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations. Other Broadway credits include Finian’s Rainbow (Tony Award, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Award nominations), Big Fish, Wonderful Town, Thoroughly Modern Millie and The Full Monty. Off-Broadway, she received Drama Desk nominations for her work in The Keen Company’s production of John & Jen and The Public Theatre’s production of Michael John LaChuisa’s Giant. Also off-Broadway: Songbird at 59E59 Street Theaters. Film: Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best. TV: “Law & Order: SVU”. PBS: “First You Dream: The Music of Kander & Ebb” and “Live From Lincoln Center: Stephen Sondheim’s Passion.” Concerts: Chicago Humanities Festival, NSO, PSO and the American Songbook Series. Recording: Let’s See What Happens and She Loves Him: Live at Feinstein’s (PS Classics).

JAKE LEVY (Dwayne) is thrilled to make his Second Stage Theater debut. He earned his BA from the UCLA Ray Bolger Musical Theater Program in 2018. Favorites: Carrie (Tommy Ross), Carousel (Jigger), Pippin (Pippin) and Dogfight (Fector). Regional: 13 The Musical, Rent, Les Misérables and Hairspray. @Jlevy31

Kyle McArthur (Simon) will be making his professional theatrical debut with this production after playing Simon in the O’Neill NMTC reading of Superhero. Other readings include Disney’s Freaky Friday (Adam), Rapture (Andy), Stuck (Rayce), and The America Project (Cam).

Bryce Pinkham (Jim) is most widely known for originating the role of ‘Monty Navarro’ in the Tony Winning Musical A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder on Broadway, for which he was nominated for Tony, Grammy, and Drama Desk awards. He soon after appeared in the Broadway revival of The Heidi Chronicles and was nominated for an Outer Critics Circle Award and a Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance in 2015. His other Broadway credits include Holiday Inn, Ghost the Musical, and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. He most recently starred in Benny and Joon, a new musical adaptation of the 1993 movie starring Johnny Depp at The Old Globe Theater. His latest onscreen appearances include Baz Luhrmann’s Netflix series The Get Down, Robert De Niro’s The Comedian, and as a series regular on PBS’s Civil War drama series Mercy Street. His other TV credits include Blindspot, The Good Wife and Person of Interest.

Salena Qureshi (Vee). Second Stage debut! Film: Draupadi Unleashed, My Cousin Sister’s Wedding, All These Small Moments (Tribeca FF), Friends and Romans. TV: Recurring on “Madam Secretary” (CBS). Also seen on “The Brave” (NBC), “The Path” (Hulu), “Girls” (HBO). Theater: Evita (Mistress, Maine State).

Thom Sesma (Vic) recently appeared as Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in the off-Broadway revival at Barrow Street Theatre. He was nominated for a Lucille Lortel Award for his portrayal of roles in John Doyle’s acclaimed 2017 revival of another Sondheim classic, Pacific Overtures. Broadway credits include The Times They Are A-Changin’, Man of La Mancha, Search and Destroy, Chu Chem, and national tours of The Lion King, Miss Saigon and Titanic. Other appearances off-Broadway: Discord (Primary Stages), Awake and Sing! (NAATCO/Public Theatre), Othello (Public Theatre), Cymbeline (NYSF). Regional credits include the McCarter, Yale Rep, Arena Stage, Old Globe, Cincinnati Playhouse, Signature Theatre, Centre Stage, Music Theatre Wichita and more. Television guest appearances include “Instinct,” “Madam Secretary,” “The Good Wife,” “Gotham,” “Jessica Jones,” “Person of Interest” and others. Previous credits at Second Stage: Eric Overmyer’s In a Pig’s Valise and Baba Goya by Steve Tesich, both in 1989. Instagram @thsesma; Twitter @ThomSesmaNYC.

Nathaniel Stampley (Dean Fulton). Broadway: Cats, The Color Purple (original and revival), The Lion King, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. Off-Broadway: Big Love, Signature Theatre; Fiorello! and Lost in the Stars, NY City Center’s Encores!; The First Noel, Classical Theatre of Harlem. Regional: Lempicka, Williamstown Theatre Festival; Man of La Mancha (Jeff Award), The Bridges of Madison County (Jeff nomination), Ragtime, Marriott Theatre; Hatuey: Memory of Fire, Music-Theatre Group. Concerts: Candide(Carnegie Hall); West Side Story, Bernstein’s MASS (Philadelphia Orchestra). Ten Chimneys Fellow, UW-Madison alum.nathanielstampley.com

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Bronwen Sharp’s Portraits of American Playwrights on View at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts through May 5

Benjamin Scheuer, Mike Folie, Bronwen Sharp, Mac Wellman, Christopher Shinn, Lucas Hnath. Photo by Lia Chang

Bronwen Sharp’s Portraits of American Playwrights are currently on view at New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza (65th St and Columbus Ave) in New York.

Playwrights who are featured in the series include Lynn Nottage, Suzan-Lori Parks, Lucas Hnath, Mac Wellman, Mike Folie, Benjamin Scheuer, Christopher Shinn, John Logan, Sarah Ruhl, Austin Pendleton, Sheila Callaghan, Anne Washburn, Amy Herzog, David Ives, Lisa Kron, Colman Domingo, and Gregory S. Moss.

Bronwen Sharp. Photo by Lia Chang

Bronwen Sharp, an award-winning portrait photographer who has spent the last 10 years photographing theatre in London’s West End, was celebrated at the opening reception for her exhibition, Portraits of American Playwrights, at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center on April 11, 2018. Ms. Sharp’s subjects – playwrights Lucas Hnath, Mac Wellman, Mike Folie, Benjamin Scheuer and Christopher Shinn, were in attendance.

Benjamin Scheuer, Mike Folie, Bronwen Sharp, Mac Wellman, Christopher Shinn, Lucas Hnath. Photo by Lia Chang
Benjamin Scheuer, Mike Folie, Bronwen Sharp, Mac Wellman, Christopher Shinn, Lucas Hnath. Photo by Lia Chang

Ms. Sharp has a specific interest in and passion for photographing playwrights. Her recent exhibitions include Playwrights in Focus at the Southwark Playhouse, Generate in Toronto Canada’s Theatre Centre, and Meet the Writers, which is currently on display at the Bush Theatre in London. Her portraits have been featured in both the Guardian and The Stage.

Doug Reside, Bronwen Sharp, Curator, Billy Rose Theatre Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center and Lucas Hnath. Photo by Lia Chang
Doug Reside, Bronwen Sharp, Curator, Billy Rose Theatre Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center and Lucas Hnath. Photo by Lia Chang

Bronwen Sharp’s American Playwrights Series celebrates playwriting and documents American theatre history in the making. “Writers are interesting to photograph, very different from actors,” Sharp writes.  “I really enjoy the journey of reading their plays, then meeting and spending time with them. I hope that these new portraits reveal a bit more about the writers and bring playwrights into the spotlight.”

Christopher Shinn, Bronwen Sharp. Photo by Lia Chang

These portraits were taken in the living rooms, hotels, rehearsal studios, and writing rooms of these playwrights.

Bronwen Sharp's Portraits of American Playwrights
Bronwen Sharp’s Portraits of American Playwrights
Bronwen Sharp's Portraits of American Playwrights
Bronwen Sharp’s Portraits of American Playwrights
Bronwen Sharp's Portraits of American Playwrights
Bronwen Sharp’s Portraits of American Playwrights
Bronwen Sharp's Portraits of American Playwrights
Bronwen Sharp’s Portraits of American Playwrights

Click here for more information.

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

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