Laura Bell Bundy, Jon Jon Briones, Barrett Foa Lead SWEET CHARITY at UCLA’s Freud Playhouse, June 20 – July 1

Jon Jon Briones. Photo by Lia Chang
Jon Jon Briones. Photo by Lia Chang
Jon Jon Briones. Photo by Lia Chang

Jon Jon Briones (Miss Saigon West End and Broadway; “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story”) will play Herman,  the manager of the Fandango Ballroom, in the inaugural REPRISE 2.0 production of Sweet Charity, opposite Laura Bell Bundy (Legally Blonde – Tony Award Nomination, Hairspray, Anger Management) who stars as Charity, with Barrett Foa (Eric Beale on “NCIS: Los Angeles,” Avenue Q, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), who plays Oscar.

Jon Jon Briones Talks about “American Crime Story: Assassination of Gianni Versace,” MISS SAIGON and Receiving the 2018 East West Players Visionary Award 

Directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall, the classic Broadway hit plays from June 20 to July 1 at UCLA’s Freud Playhouse. REPRISE 2.0 is led by producing artistic director Marcia Seligson.

Single tickets for Sweet Charity are now on sale at Reprise2.org or by phone at 800-982-2787. Subscription packages are still available at Reprise2.org or by phone at 1-866-811-4111.

Sweet Charity will be conducted by REPRISE 2.0 Musical Director Gerald Sternbach. Joining the REPRISE 2.0 team with Seligson are Co-Artistic Directors Glenn Casale and Michael Donovan; Executive Producers Kevin Bailey and Arthur Allan Seidelman; and General Manager Matthew Herrmann.

Sweet Charity is a collaboration between some of Broadway’s most spectacular talents. The hilarious, razor-sharp dialogue is by Neil Simon (Barefoot in the Park and The Odd Couple); the pop-influenced, jazzy music by Cy Coleman (Barnum and City of Angels) and lyrics by the legendary Dorothy Fields (“On the Sunny Side of the Street” and “I Can’t Give you Anything But Love”).

Based on Federico Fellini’s The Nights of Cabiria, Sweet Charity was director Bob Fosse’s riotously colorful valentine to his then-wife, Broadway dancing phenomenon Gwen Verdon. Premiering in 1966, it was nominated for nine Tony Awards and ran for 608 performances. John McClain said in the Journal-American, “The word was all around that Sweet Charity was a hit and after catching it I can only add that it is a big fat one … there was that wonderful electricity which crackles through an audience at a successful premiere. Sweet Charity is simply an atomic smash.”

Charity was played in Las Vegas and London by Juliet Prowse and by numerous stars in subsequent New York revivals, including Debbie Allen and later Ann Reinking (1986), Christina Applegate (2005) and Sutton Foster (2016). The film version (1969) stars Shirley MacLaine and was directed and choreographed by Fosse.

The story centers on Charity’s life as a dance hall hostess “with a heart of gold”, determined to break out of the Fan-Dango Ballroom. She accidentally finds herself in the bedroom of an Italian film star as she starts dating the neurotic and shy Oscar. When Oscar proposes, he insists he doesn’t care about Charity’s profession. But in the end, he does care very much and Charity is soon back to having her toes and heart stepped on in the ballroom. But not before singing and dancing to such rousing Broadway classics as “Big Spender,” “If My Friends Could See Me Now,” “Where Am I Going,” and “There’s Gotta Be Something Better Than This.”

Jon Jon Briones (Herman) was born and raised in the Philippines. In 1989 he joined the original London cast of Miss Saigon and later in 2014 starred as the Engineer in the London West End revival, which transferred to Broadway in 2017 (Olivier and a Drama Desk Award nominee; winner What’s On Stage, Broadway World, and Theater World Awards). He also appeared in tours of Miss Saigon in Germany, Asia, North America (twice), and returned to the original UK production for its final year. In Los Angeles, he played Georges in La Cage Aux Folles at East West Players (Ovation nomination); He was also nominated for an Ovation and an LA Weekly Award for playing the title character in The Romance of Magno Rubio at [Inside] the Ford and in a new work, Sweet Karma, as the lead character, Vichear Lam. He was involved in the pre-Broadway development of the musical, Allegiance with Lea Salonga and George Takei both in New York workshops and at The Old Globe in San Diego. Other roles in Los Angeles, New York and around the globe include: Fredrik Egerman in A Little Night Music, Enjolras in Les Miserables, Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, Tateh in Ragtime, Lion in the The Wiz, Laertes in Hamlet, Rapunzel’s Prince in Into the Woods, Slovitch in Fools, Man 1 in Closer Than Ever, and Lukas in Peregrinasyon with Ma-Yi Theater Company. Television guest star appearances include “American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” “Las Vegas,” “Sons of Anarchy,” “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders,” “Designated Survivor,” “Bones,” “The Mentalist,” “Monk,” “Southland,” “Miami Medical,” “General Hospital,” “Law & Order LA” and “Moonlight.” Film credits include: Model Home, Blood Ransom, The Fifth Voyage of Sinbad, Breathe, Brown Soup Thing, An Immigrant Girl’s Journey, Proud American, Finding Foosball, Potluck, Feast and Yokai. He now resides in Los Angeles with his wife and 2 children.

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Jon Jon Briones Talks about “American Crime Story: Assassination of Gianni Versace,” MISS SAIGON and Receiving the 2018 East West Players Visionary Award

Jon Jon Briones. Photo by Lia Chang
Jon Jon Briones. Photo by Lia Chang
Jon Jon Briones. Photo by Lia Chang

Congrats to Jon Jon Briones who will be receiving the 2018 East West Players Visionary Award at the East West Players (EWP) Annual Visionary Awards Dinner & Silent Auction at the Hilton Universal City tonight.

East West Players (EWP), the nation’s longest-running professional theater of color and the largest producing organization of Asian Pacific American artistic work is celebrating THE COMPANY WE KEEP, its 52nd Anniversary season with the Annual Visionary Awards Gala Benefit.

Lily Mariye, Suzy Nakamura and Wendy Chang/Dwight Stuart Youth Fund will also be honored. Recognizing the achievements of individuals who have raised the visibility of the Asian Pacific American (APA) community through their craft, proceeds from the gala fundraiser  will benefit East West Players’ educational and artistic programs.

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

Actor Jon Jon Briones was born and raised in Quezon City, Philippines. At 9 years old he was sent to live at Santo Domingo convent as a boy soprano in the “Tiples of Santo Domingo” choir. This was to be his first formal training. In 1989, he joined the original London cast of Miss Saigon. Recently, he played the Engineer in the London 2014 revival (Olivier Award nominee, What’s One Stage Award winner) and its Broadway transfer (Drama Desk Award nominee, Theater Award winner). He has appeared in several other productions of Miss Saigon, among numerous additional stage credits. He has had the privilege of working with East West players in La Cage Aux Folles (Ovation Award nominee) and A Little Night Music. He was proudly involved in the pre-Broadway development of Allegiance at The Old Globe. Last month, Briones received raves for his chilling and brilliant portrayal as Modesto Cunanan on the television drama American Crime Story: Assassination of Gianni Versace.

Lia: Congratulations on your 2018 East West Players Visionary Award.What does receiving this award mean to you?
Jon Jon: It’s always nice when you get compliments for your work but to be honored is totally different and very humbling. It really means a lot. It’s the highest form of “You’re alright”.

Original cast of A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC. Photo courtesy of Michael Lamont.
Original cast of A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC. Photo courtesy of Michael Lamont.

Lia: What shows have you performed in at East West Players?
Jon Jon: My first show was A Little Night Music in 2012 and I played Fredrik Egerman. And then I did La Cage Aux Folles for them in 2016 and I played Georges.

Gedde Watanabe, left, and Jon Jon Briones in "With You on My Arm" during East West Players' production of "La Cage aux Folles." (Michael Lamont)
Gedde Watanabe, left, and Jon Jon Briones in “With You on My Arm” during East West Players’ production of “La Cage aux Folles.” (Michael Lamont)

Lia: How were you cast as Modesto Cunanan in “American Crime Story: Assassination of Gianni Versace.”
Jon Jon: Darren Criss told me that when they started filming at the beginning of 2017, he and head writer Tom Rob Smith were talking about the role of Modesto Cunanan and they thought that I might be right for the part(they both saw me in Miss Saigon in London). They then started talking about me to the producers of the show. My agent contacted me about an audition that I have to tape because the audition was in LA and I was in NYC doing Miss Saigon. I taped my audition, sent it and as they say the rest is history.

THE ASSASSINATION OF GIANNI VERSACE: AMERICAN CRIME STORY "Creator/Destroyer" Episode 8 (Airs Wednesday, March 14, 10:00 p.m. e/p) -- Pictured: (l-r) Jon Jon Briones as Modesto Cunanan, Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FX
THE ASSASSINATION OF GIANNI VERSACE: AMERICAN CRIME STORY “Creator/Destroyer” Episode 8 (Airs Wednesday, March 14, 10:00 p.m. e/p) — Pictured: (l-r) Jon Jon Briones as Modesto Cunanan, Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FX

Lia: How did you develop the character?
Jon Jon: Research about Modesto on line did not yield a lot but reading Maureen Orth’s book and talking to her, discussing the character with writer Tom Rob Smith really helped me understand Modesto better. The two of them were a wealth of information.

Lia: How has your life or career changed since appearing on the show?
Jon Jon: It’s a little better, I have to admit. Hopefully this will lead to better and complex roles not just for me but for other actors of Asian descent.

Jon Jon Briones, Nicholas Christopher, Eva Noblezada, Alistair Brammer, Laurence Connor, Devin Ilaw. Photo by Lia Chang
Jon Jon Briones, Nicholas Christopher, Eva Noblezada, Alistair Brammer, Laurence Connor, Devin Ilaw. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: You were in the ensemble in the original production of Miss Saigon. What did it mean for you to lead the show on Broadway after all these years?
Jon Jon: It meant so much to me. A couple of years ago I’ve accepted the fact that making my Broadway debut will not come into fruition because of my age and the lack of roles in shows for people like me. And I can’t seem to get cast in other Asian shows like The King and I. They probably think I’m not regal enough. I can’t blame them. I’m as blue collar looking as anyone out there. But when Cameron asked me if I wanted to do The Engineer on Broadway, I couldn’t believe it. The dream was not dead. And I made my Broadway debut at the age of 52.

Jon Jon Briones and the company of MISS SAIGON. photo by Matthew Murphy
Jon Jon Briones and the company of MISS SAIGON. photo by Matthew Murphy

Lia: Did you enjoy working in New York even though you are LA based?
Jon Jon: We used to live in New York a few years ago and I just love the city! And everyday when I walk down the street on my way to the theatre, I get this overwhelming feeling of gratitude for living in the city and playing the lead in a Broadway show. Life was good!

The cast of MISS SAIGON at the closing night party at the Dream Hotel in New York on January 14, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang
The cast of MISS SAIGON at the closing night party at the Dream Hotel in New York on January 14, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: How did you balance the stage and TV shooting schedule?
Jon Jon: That was interesting and pretty cool. A few times I had to take the red eye after an evening performance in NYC, arrived in LA early morning, took a short nap and then get picked up for an early morning shoot. I filmed for a few days and then took a red eye back to New York after a late night shoot, arrived in my New York apartment to sleep for a few hours and then do 2 shows. And then repeat. I credit my agent for making it work.

Isa Camille Briones won the 2018 Ovation Award for Featured Actress in a Musical.
Isa Camille Briones won the 2018 Ovation Award for Featured Actress in a Musical.

Lia: Your entire family is in the business. Was “American Crime Story” the first time that you worked with your daughter, Isa Briones, on screen?
Jon Jon: That was the first time I worked with my daughter and it was pretty cool.

Lia: You must be so proud of her LA Ovation Award for Featured Actress in a Musical for East West Players’ production of Next to Normal, which garnered the top awards. How was she cast in Hamilton?
Jon Jon: We’re very proud of her! They really loved her even the first time she auditioned that they kept calling her back to work with her. Maybe it was a combination of her being a little young (18 at that time) or know where to put her but she finally booked the show after 7 months.

Lia: What’s next for you?
Jon Jon: I’m hoping to announce something good soon. We’ll see.

Reggie Lee, Jon Jon Briones and Billy Bustamante. Photo by Lia Chang
Reggie Lee, Jon Jon Briones and Billy Bustamante. Photo by Lia Chang

Also joining the evening’s festivities are Reggie Lee, Deedee Magno Hall, Cliffton Hall, Justin W. Yu, and company members from David Henry Hwang’s Soft Power (produced by Center Theatre Group in association with East West Players) and East West Players’ upcoming production of Nathan Ramos’ As We Babble On.

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
SOFT POWER cast and creative team – 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

East West Players’ 52nd Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner & Silent Auction will be held on Monday, April 30, 2018 at the Hilton Universal City, 555 Universal Hollywood Drive, Universal City, CA 91608. VIP Reception for Premium Table Circle sponsors, silent auction, and no-host cocktails starts at 5:30pm. The dinner and awards show begins at 7pm.

Individual tickets are $200- $1,500. Full table sponsorship packages are also available. For more information please contact East West Players at (213) 625-7000 or galaguests@eastwestplayers.org.

For more information about East West Players, please visit www.eastwestplayers.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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2018 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

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Lily Mariye Talks about Women at the Helm, Her DGA Nomination and Receiving the 2018 East West Players Visionary Award

Lily Mariye
Lily Mariye
Lily Mariye

Congrats to Lily Mariye who will be receiving the 2018 East West Players Visionary Award at the East West Players (EWP) Annual Visionary Awards Dinner & Silent Auction at the Hilton Universal City on Monday, April 30th.

East West Players (EWP), the nation’s longest-running professional theater of color and the largest producing organization of Asian Pacific American artistic work is celebrating THE COMPANY WE KEEP, its 52nd Anniversary season with the Annual Visionary Awards Gala Benefit.

Suzy Nakamura, Jon Jon Briones and Wendy Chang/Dwight Stuart Youth Fund will also be honored. Recognizing the achievements of individuals who have raised the visibility of the Asian Pacific American (APA) community through their craft, proceeds from the gala fundraiser  will benefit East West Players’ educational and artistic programs.

Lily Mariye, an award winning actor and director, is a 2018 Outstanding Directorial Achievement nominee for the 70th Annual DGA Awards for her episode of Amazon’s “Just Add Magic.” She is a television and film director, best known for CBS’ “Criminal Minds” and “NCIS: Los Angeles,” NBC’s “Chicago PD,” Freeform’s “The Fosters,” and CMT’s “Nashville.” Model Minority (modelminoritymovie.com) is Mariye’s feature writing and directorial debut and has won 11 Film Festival Awards around the world, including Best Film, Best Director, Best New Actress and Best Cinematography. As an actor, Mariye is best known for her role as nurse Lily Jarvik on the award-winning TV series “ER” for 15 seasons, for which she won the SAG Award for Best Ensemble in a Drama Series four times.

Lily Mariye and her husband, Concord recording artist, saxophonist Boney James, at the DGA Awards Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 3, 2018.
Lily Mariye and her husband, Concord recording artist, saxophonist Boney James, at the DGA Awards Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 3, 2018.

I caught up with Lily via email to talk about Women at the Helm, Her DGA Nomination and Receiving the 2018 East West Players Visionary Award.

Lia: This Spring you received your first Directors Guild of America award nomination in the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children’s Programs category this year. Where were you when you heard about the nomination and what was your reaction?
Lily: I was editing my episode of “NCIS: Los Angeles” the day the nominations were announced and hadn’t looked at my phone since lunchtime. I wasn’t watching for the nomination announcements because, well, frankly, I didn’t think I had a chance! I packed up my stuff and as I got in the elevator to go home, I pulled out my phone. It had blown up with texts and emails and I thought, “What the Heck?” I opened my emails and the first one I saw was from my directing mentor and friend, Lesli Linka Glatter. The subject line was BRAVO!!!!!!!!! and all it said was, “So so so so so thrilled for you…..HUGE CONGRATULATIONS Lily !!!!” with a million emojis. I still had no idea what was happening, so I opened a few more and saw that I had been nominated for a DGA Award! By the time I got down to the first floor, I was almost hyperventilating. I signed out of the building, then had to sit down in the lobby to get my bearings. I was shocked, honored and thrilled! And I still am…

Lia: What shows have you directed since “Nashville”?
Lily: I feel fortunate that I got to direct three episodes of “Nashville” before it ended. “Nashville” was the first episode of television I directed and the cast and crew will always hold a special place in my heart. Since then I’ve directed “The Fosters,” “Just Add Magic,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Chicago P.D.” and “Criminal Minds.”

On the set of “Nashville” (from left): Mark Collie, who plays Frankie Gray and is a country hitmaker in real life; Taylor Hamra, writer and co-executive producer; Charles Esten, who plays Deacon Claybourne; and director Lily Mariye. (Photo courtesy Lily Mariye)
On the set of “Nashville” (from left): Mark Collie, who plays Frankie Gray and is a country hitmaker in real life; Taylor Hamra, writer and co-executive producer; Charles Esten, who plays Deacon Claybourne; and director Lily Mariye. (Photo courtesy Lily Mariye)

Lia: Have you felt a change within the industry with more women at the helm?
Lily: The shift I feel is that women seem more empowered to speak up. I’m encouraged and inspired by the female gaze in film and television, especially in genres that have always been male dominated, such as action. What I find most encouraging about watching women direct action is that the end product is just as powerful as when men direct. Women are strong and tough, and for the women who get to positions of power, they’ve had to be even stronger and tougher.

Lia: What is your favorite set that you have worked on lately?
Lily: I can’t pick! They’ve all been fun and fulfilling for different reasons: I loved working with Daniel Henney on “Criminal Minds.” He’s a really talented actor and a sweetheart to work with. I worked hard to make him look like an Action Star, which he IS! I got to work with L.L. Cool J on “NCIS: Los Angeles.” He is one of the most supportive men I’ve ever met: kind, smart and willing. And I got to blow up a house! “Chicago P.D.” was a fun set and I got to work with my old “ER” friend, Eriq La Salle, who is the director/producer on the show.

Daniel Henney, Christopher Barbour, Lily Mariye and Kelly Frye on the set of "Criminal Minds."
Daniel Henney, Christopher Barbour, Lily Mariye and Kelly Frye on the set of “Criminal Minds.”

Lia: You are receiving the Visionary Award from East West Players. Have you worked with them as an artist? If so, what were the shows and the years that they were produced?
Lily: When I started doing professional theatre, I did a lot of staged readings at the Mark Taper Forum and East West Players in the 80’s. In 1993, I played the Witch in Tim Dang’s production of Into The Woods. I directed God of Carnage as a benefit for the theatre last year. It starred Parminder Nagra (“ER”), Sherri Saum (“The Fosters”), Marc Anthony Samuel (“General Hospital,” MODEL MINORITY) and Rizwan Manji (“The Magicians,” THE WOLF OF WALL STREET).

Lia: What does receiving the East West Players Visionary Award mean to you?
Lily: It’s incredible, not only to be honored by your peers, but by the Asian American community! I had very few Asian American female actors as role models growing up. And I saw no Asian American female directors to try to emulate. The importance of our mere existence hasn’t eluded me, and in this moment, I couldn’t be prouder to be an Asian American female actor and director.

Lia: What’s next for you?
Lily: Next season, so far, I’ll be directing “Chicago P.D.,” “Criminal Minds,”” MacGyver” and two more episodes of “NCIS: Los Angeles.” I’m hoping as more shows get picked up, I’ll get to direct a few more! I’m also attached to direct a feature, LOST AND FOUND, by Oscar Nominee, Iris Yamashita. LOST AND FOUND is a wonderful script about children who remember past lives. It’s a thrilling yet touching story, and I’m honored to be working with her and producer Jimmy Tsai.

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
SOFT POWER cast and creative team – 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

Also joining the evening’s festivities are Reggie Lee, Deedee Magno Hall, Cliffton Hall, Justin W. Yu, and company members from David Henry Hwang’s Soft Power (produced by Center Theatre Group in association with East West Players) and East West Players’ upcoming production of Nathan Ramos’ As We Babble On.

East West Players’ 52nd Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner & Silent Auction will be held on Monday, April 30, 2018 at the Hilton Universal City, 555 Universal Hollywood Drive, Universal City, CA 91608. VIP Reception for Premium Table Circle sponsors, silent auction, and no-host cocktails starts at 5:30pm. The dinner and awards show begins at 7pm.

Individual tickets are $200- $1,500. Full table sponsorship packages are also available. For more information please contact East West Players at (213) 625-7000 or galaguests@eastwestplayers.org.

For more information about East West Players, please visit www.eastwestplayers.org.

Lily Mariye Talks Directing “Nashville,” the Disney-ABC Creative Talent Development Program and What’s Next 

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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2018 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

Jon Jon Briones, Suzy Nakamura, Lily Mariye and Wendy Chang/Dwight Stuart Youth Fund Among Honorees at East West Players’ 52nd Visionary Awards on April 30

Jon Jon Briones. Photo by Lia Chang

East West Players (EWP), the nation’s longest-running professional theater of color and the largest producing organization of Asian Pacific American artistic work, celebrates THE COMPANY WE KEEP, its 52nd Anniversary season with the Annual Visionary Awards Dinner & Silent Auction. Recognizing the achievements of individuals who have raised the visibility of the Asian Pacific American (APA) community through their craft, the gala fundraiser takes place on Monday, April 30, 2018 at the Hilton Universal City. Proceeds benefit East West Players’ educational and artistic programs.

In addition to previously announced honorees Lily Mariye and Wendy Chang/Dwight Stuart Youth Fund, EWP will also honor Suzy Nakamura and Jon Jon Briones.

Jon Jon Briones. Photo by Lia Chang
Jon Jon Briones. Photo by Lia Chang

Jon Jon Briones, actor, was born and raised in Quezon City, Philippines. At 9 years old he was sent to live at Santo Domingo convent as a boy soprano in the “Tiples of Santo Domingo” choir. This was to be his first formal training. In 1989, he joined the original London cast of Miss Saigon. Recently, he played the Engineer in the London 2014 revival (Olivier Award nominee, What’s One Stage Award winner) and its Broadway transfer (Drama Desk Award nominee, Theater Award winner). He has appeared in several other productions of Miss Saigon, among numerous additional stage credits. He has had the privilege of working with East West players in La Cage Aux Folles (Ovation Award nominee) and A Little Night Music. He was proudly involved in the pre-Broadway development of Allegiance at The Old Globe. Last month, Briones received raves for his chilling and brilliant portrayal as Modesto Cunanan on the television drama American Crime Story: Assassination of Gianni Versace.

THE ASSASSINATION OF GIANNI VERSACE: AMERICAN CRIME STORY "Creator/Destroyer" Episode 8 (Airs Wednesday, March 14, 10:00 p.m. e/p) -- Pictured: (l-r) Jon Jon Briones as Modesto Cunanan, Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FX
THE ASSASSINATION OF GIANNI VERSACE: AMERICAN CRIME STORY “Creator/Destroyer” Episode 8 (Airs Wednesday, March 14, 10:00 p.m. e/p) — Pictured: (l-r) Jon Jon Briones as Modesto Cunanan, Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan. CR: Ray Mickshaw/FX
Suzy Nakamura
Suzy Nakamura

Suzy Nakamura, actor. Born and raised in Chicago, Suzy began her career in the touring company of The Second City, and then opened the first two revues at The Second City Detroit. After moving to Los Angeles, she began guest starring on television, landing recurring roles on “The West Wing” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Series regular roles include the ABC comedy “Dr. Ken,” opposite Ken Jeong, and NBC’s “Go On,” opposite Matthew Perry. Recent guest starring credits include “Station 19,” “Elementary,” and “Veep,” and recurring roles on “Blackish,” “The Goldbergs,” and “Modern Family.” Her film credits include Hollywood hits, but she is most proud of smaller independents like Afternoon Delight, Strawberry FieldsTreasure Island, and Timecode.

Lily Mariye
Lily Mariye

Lily Mariye, actor and director, is a 2018 Outstanding Directorial Achievement nominee for the 70th Annual DGA Awards for her episode of Amazon’s “Just Add Magic.” She is a television and film director, best known for CBS’ “Criminal Minds” and “NCIS: Los Angeles,” NBC’s “Chicago PD,” Freeform’s “The Fosters,” and CMT’s “Nashville.” Model Minority (modelminoritymovie.com) is Mariye’s feature writing and directorial debut and has won 11 Film Festival Awards around the world, including Best Film, Best Director, Best New Actress and Best Cinematography. As an actor, Mariye is best known for her role as nurse Lily Jarvik on the award-winning TV series “ER” for 15 seasons, for which she won the SAG Award for Best Ensemble in a Drama Series four times.

Dwight Stuart Youth Fund. Originally established as an independent foundation in 2001, the Dwight Stuart Youth Fund (DSYF) was endowed by Dwight L. Stuart, Sr. (1924-1998) to benefit and serve the needs of children and youth in Los Angeles County. Since 2010, DSYF has been a grantmaking arm of the San Francisco-based Stuart Foundation. The Foundation is a programmatic funder of public and private institutions and organizations, whose goal is the improvement of life outcomes for young people in the K-12 education systems in California and Washington State. Mr. Stuart was raised in the Pacific Northwest and lived for many years in Los Angeles. He was president of the Carnation Company from 1973-1983 and was the grandson of its founder, E.A. Stuart. A life-long supporter of youth mentoring and sports programs, he was also a board member of the Stuart Foundation.

“I could not be more proud to announce our four outstanding honorees this year,” says Producing Artistic Director Snehal Desai. “Suzy, Jon Jon, Lily, and Wendy all have a strong and deep connection with East West Players as artists who have performed on our stage, as students in our classes, and as fierce supporters and advocates of our organization. We can’t wait to honor these individuals, who have such a close relationship to us and are affecting great change through their work.”

Also joining the evening’s festivities are Reggie Lee, Deedee Magno Hall, Cliffton Hall, Justin W. Yu, and company members from David Henry Hwang’s Soft Power (produced by Center Theatre Group in association with East West Players) and East West Players’ upcoming production of Nathan Ramos’ As We Babble On.

EWP will honor previously announced honoree Tzi Ma at a future Visionary Awards gala.

Current major sponsors (as of April 9, 2018) of the gala include: TITANIUM: ABC/Disney and Dwight Stuart Youth Fund. PLATINUM: CBS Television Network and NBC Universal. GOLD: Aratani Foundation. BRONZE: Los Angeles LGBT Center, Carmen J. Smith, Randall & Mari Tamura, Lynn Waggoner, and Wells Fargo. COPPER CIRCLE: Asian Pacific American Friends of the Theatre; Snehal Desai, Pia Palomo & Jerry A. Gonzales II; Peter Shimamoto; Nielsen; Union Bank; and Jeff Yang. Additional information will be released shortly.

Gala Committee Members include: Co-Chair Daniel Mayeda, Co-Chair Peter Shimamoto, Albert E. Aubin, Jason M. Blackwell, Kin W. Cheng, Snehal Desai, Nora DeVeau-Rosen, Ken Katsumoto, Jay Kim, David & Carrie Lee, Reggie Lee, Carolina San Juan, Judy Sasaki, Sally Pai Unruh, and Jeff Yang.

East West Players’ 52nd Anniversary Visionary Awards Dinner & Silent Auction will be held on Monday, April 30, 2018 at the Hilton Universal City, 555 Universal Hollywood Drive, Universal City, CA 91608. VIP Reception for Premium Table Circle sponsors, silent auction, and no-host cocktails starts at 5:30pm. The dinner and awards show begins at 7pm.

Individual tickets are $200- $1,500. Full table sponsorship packages are also available. For more information please contact East West Players at (213) 625-7000 or galaguests@eastwestplayers.org.

For more information about East West Players, please visit www.eastwestplayers.org.

Tony Nominee Eva Noblezada, Tony Award Winner Lea Salonga, Jon Jon Briones and the cast of MISS SAIGON at The 2017 Tony Awards

Tony nominee Eva Noblezada at the dress rehearsal for the 2017 Tony Awards on June 11, 2017. Credit: Stephanie Berger

The revival of Miss Saigon, helmed by Laurence Connor, opened in its original home, The Broadway Theater featuring four of its London stars, Jon Jon Briones as The Engineer, Eva Noblezada as Kim, Alistair Brammer as Chris and Rachelle Ann Go as Gigi on March 23, 2017. The cast also includes Katie Rose Clarke as Ellen, Nicholas Christopher as John, Devin Ilaw as Thuy.

Tony nominee Eva Noblezada at the dress rehearsal for the 2017 Tony Awards on June 11, 2017. Credit: Stephanie Berger
Tony nominee Eva Noblezada at the dress rehearsal for the 2017 Tony Awards on June 11, 2017. Credit: Stephanie Berger

The original production of Miss Saigon  starring Jonathan Pryce as The Engineer and Lea Salonga as Kim, opened at the same theater on April 11, 1991 and played there through January 28, 2001. The production garnered three Tony Awards including Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for Lea Salonga, Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for Jonathan Pryce and Best Performance by a Featured Actor for Hinton Battle.

 Lea Salonga as Kim and Jonathan Pryce as The Engineer in Miss Saigon, London Photograph: Michael Le Poer Trench © Cameron Mackintosh Ltd

Lea Salonga as Kim and Jonathan Pryce as The Engineer in Miss Saigon, London
Photograph: Michael Le Poer Trench © Cameron Mackintosh Ltd

The revival of Miss Saigon began previews on March 1st, and will play a limited engagement through January 13, 2018 before launching a North American tour later in the year.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Eva Noblezada attends the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jenny Anderson/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 11: Eva Noblezada attends the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jenny Anderson/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

Miss Saigon received two Tony nominations for Best Revival and Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical for Eva Noblezada.

Jon Jon Briones and Lea Salonga presenting at the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017. Credit: Theo WargoJon Jon Briones and Lea Salonga presenting at the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017. Credit: Theo Wargo

Tony Award winner Lea Salonga and Jon Jon Briones, who appeared in the original London production together, introduced a medley of songs featuring Ms. Noblezada and the cast of Miss Saigon at the 71st Annual Tony Awards ceremony at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017.

The cast of MISS SAIGON on their way to rehearsal for the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017. Photo: Christopher Vo/Facebook
The cast of MISS SAIGON on their way to rehearsal for the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017. Photo: Christopher Vo/Facebook

Also featured in the cast of Miss Saigon are Carol Angeli, Emily Bautista, Mike Baerga, Billy Bustamante, Viveca Chow, Julian DeGuzman, Colby Dezelick, Taurean Everett, Paige Faure, Graham Scott Fleming, Casey Garvin, Nkrumah Gatling, Dan Horn, Ericka Hunter, Adam Kaokept, Lina Lee, Paul HeeSang Miller, Robert Pendilla, Catherine Ricafort, Casey Lee Ross, Jason Sermonia, Julius Sermonia, Antoine L. Smith, Sam Strasfeld, Tiffany Toh, Kimberly-Ann Truong, Kei Tsuruharatani, Christopher Vo, Travis Ward-Osborne, Charlie Williams, Anna-Lee Wright, Warren Yang, and Minami Yusui.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Actress Lea Salonga attends the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 11: Actress Lea Salonga attends the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

gmanetwork.com: Lea Salonga took 21 selfies at the 2017 Tony Awards

Leo Roberts, Tony nominee Eva Noblezada, Megan Briones, and Jon Jon Briones at the 2017 Tony Awards Gala on June 11, 2017. Credit: Anita and Steve Shevett
Leo Roberts, Tony nominee Eva Noblezada, Megan Briones, and Jon Jon Briones at the 2017 Tony Awards Gala on June 11, 2017. Credit: Anita and Steve Shevett
On June 17, 2017, MISS SAIGON celebrated it's 100th performance on Broadway. Photo: Jon Jon Briones/Instagram
On June 17, 2017, MISS SAIGON celebrated it’s 100th performance on Broadway. Photo: Jon Jon Briones/Instagram

Dancing the Night Away with the Cast of MISS SAIGON 

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.

Broadway Revival of MISS SAIGON Starring Jon Jon Briones, Eva Noblezada, Alistair Brammer, Rachelle Ann Go, Devin Ilaw and More, Opens Tonight

16473435_273373019749549_5817886774302639177_nMiss Saigon, opens in its original home, The Broadway Theater (1681 Broadway) tonight at 6:30 P.M. The original production of Miss Saigon opened at the same theater on April 11, 1991 and played there through January 28, 2001. Directed by Laurence Connor (the recent hit revival of LES MISERABLES, School of Rock), the Broadway return of Miss Saigon features four of its London stars, Jon Jon Briones as The Engineer, Eva Noblezada as Kim, Alistair Brammer as Chris and Rachelle Ann Go as Gigi. The cast also includes Katie Rose Clarke as Ellen, Nicholas Christopher as John, Devin Ilaw as Thuy. Lianah Sta. Ana will play the role of Kim at certain performances.  Miss Saigon began previews on March 1st, and will play a limited engagement through January 13, 2018 before launching a North American tour later in the year.

Also featured in the cast of Miss Saigon are Carol Angeli, Emily Bautista, Mike Baerga, Billy Bustamante, Viveca Chow, Julian DeGuzman, Colby Dezelick, Taurean Everett, Paige Faure, Graham Scott Fleming, Casey Garvin, Nkrumah Gatling, Dan Horn, Ericka Hunter, Adam Kaokept, Lina Lee, Paul HeeSang Miller, Robert Pendilla, Catherine Ricafort, Casey Lee Ross, Jason Sermonia, Julius Sermonia, Antoine L. Smith, Sam Strasfeld, Tiffany Toh, Kimberly-Ann Truong, Kei Tsuruharatani, Christopher Vo, Travis Ward-Osborne, Charlie Williams, Anna-Lee Wright, Warren Yang, and Minami Yusui.

Miss Saigon has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg with lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr. and Alain Boublil, adapted from original French lyrics by Alain Boublil, with additional lyrics by Michael Mahler. The new production is directed by Laurence Connor with musical staging by Bob Avian and additional choreography by Geoffrey Garratt. Production design is by Totie Driver and Matt Kinley based on an original concept by Adrian Vaux; costume design by Andreane Neofitou; lighting design by Bruno Poet; sound design by Mick Potter; and projections by Luke Halls. Orchestrations are by William DavidBrohn; musical supervision by Stephen Brooker and musical direction by James Moore. Casting is by Tara Rubin Casting / Merri Sugarman CSA.

Miss Saigon tells the story of the last days of the Vietnam War, when 17 year-old Kim (Eva Noblezada) is forced to work in a Saigon bar run by a notorious character known as the Engineer (Jon Jon Briones). There she meets and falls in love with an American GI named Chris (Alistair Brammer) but they are torn apart by the fall of Saigon. For three years Kim goes on an epic journey of survival to find her way back to Chris, who has no idea he has fathered a son.

The new production of Miss Saigon opened in London in May 2014 to record-breaking advance sales and critical acclaim. Dominic Cavendish in The Daily Telegraph wrote, “This thrilling new production spills out beyond the theater and speaks directly to the times we live in. Not only one of the most innovative shows of the last quarter century, but one of the most profound and lasting great musicals of the 20th century. There is something in the air which means Miss Saigon is not only right to come back, but it is urgent and necessary that it comes back now.” Dominic Maxwell in The Times called the production “thrilling, soaring and spectacular.” The reviews for its stars were also raves. David Benedict in Variety wrote, “In an astonishing stage debut, Eva Noblezada gives a thrilling performance as Kim, with poise, power and a superb voice.” And Dominic Maxwell in The Times said Jon Jon Briones plays the Engineer with “brilliant, avaricious charm.”

Miss Saigon The 25th Anniversary Performance was presented at sold-out screenings throughout North America this past September and recently recorded the biggest ever debut for an event cinema release in the UK. Miss Saigon: The Definitive Live Recording is available from Universal Music and First Night Records.

Miss Saigon swept the board at the 2015 Whatsonstage.com Awards winning a record-breaking nine awards, the most awards ever won by a single show in the 15-year history of the awards including: Best West End Show; Best Revival of a Musical; Best Leading Actress in a Musical (Eva Noblezada) and Best Leading Actor in a Musical (Jon Jon Briones).

Since its London world premiere in 1989, Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s epic musical Miss Saigon has become one of the most successful musicals in history. The original Broadway production of Miss Saigon opened on April 11, 1991 with what was the largest advance sale in Broadway history ($37 million). The show went on to play for nearly ten years and 4,063 performances seen by more than 5.9 million people. Miss Saigon has been performed in 28 countries, over 300 cities in 15 different languages, has won over 40 awards including 2 Olivier Awards, 3 Tony Awards, and 4 Drama Desk Awards and been seen by over 35 million people worldwide.

Alistair Brammer and Rachelle Ann Go are appearing in Miss Saigon with the support of Actors’ Equity Association.

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Jon Jon Briones, Eva Noblezada, Alistair Brammer, Rachelle Ann Go, Devin Ilaw and More Set for Broadway Revival of MISS SAIGON, Previews Begin March 1

16473435_273373019749549_5817886774302639177_nMiss Saigon, returns to its original home, The Broadway Theater (1681 Broadway) beginning performances Wednesday, March 1. The original production of Miss Saigon opened at the same theater on April 11, 1991 and played there through January 28, 2001. Directed by Laurence Connor (the recent hit revival of LES MISERABLES, School of Rock), the Broadway return of Miss Saigon will feature four of its London stars, Jon Jon Briones as The Engineer, Eva Noblezada as Kim, Alistair Brammer as Chris and Rachelle Ann Go as Gigi. The cast also includes Katie Rose Clarke as Ellen, Nicholas Christopher as John, Devin Ilaw as Thuy. Lianah Sta. Ana will play the role of Kim at certain performances. Miss Saigon has its official opening Thursday, March 23. Miss Saigon will play a limited engagement through January 13, 2018 before launching a North American tour later in the year.

Also featured in the cast of Miss Saigon are Carol Angeli, Emily Bautista, Mike Baerga, Billy Bustamante, Viveca Chow, Julian DeGuzman, Colby Dezelick, Taurean Everett, Paige Faure, Graham Scott Fleming, Casey Garvin, Nkrumah Gatling, Dan Horn, Ericka Hunter, Adam Kaokept, Lina Lee, Paul HeeSang Miller, Robert Pendilla, Catherine Ricafort, Casey Lee Ross, Jason Sermonia, Julius Sermonia, Antoine L. Smith, Sam Strasfeld, Tiffany Toh, Kimberly-Ann Truong, Kei Tsuruharatani, Christopher Vo, Travis Ward-Osborne, Charlie Williams, Anna-Lee Wright, Warren Yang, and Minami Yusui.

Miss Saigon has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg with lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr. and Alain Boublil, adapted from original French lyrics by Alain Boublil, with additional lyrics by Michael Mahler. The new production is directed by Laurence Connor with musical staging by Bob Avian and additional choreography by Geoffrey Garratt. Production design is by Totie Driver and Matt Kinley based on an original concept by Adrian Vaux; costume design by Andreane Neofitou; lighting design by Bruno Poet; sound design by Mick Potter; and projections by Luke Halls. Orchestrations are by William DavidBrohn; musical supervision by Stephen Brooker and musical direction by James Moore. Casting is by Tara Rubin Casting / Merri Sugarman CSA.

Miss Saigon tells the story of the last days of the Vietnam War, when 17 year-old Kim (Eva Noblezada) is forced to work in a Saigon bar run by a notorious character known as the Engineer (Jon Jon Briones). There she meets and falls in love with an American GI named Chris (Alistair Brammer) but they are torn apart by the fall of Saigon. For three years Kim goes on an epic journey of survival to find her way back to Chris, who has no idea he has fathered a son.

The new production of Miss Saigon opened in London in May 2014 to record-breaking advance sales and critical acclaim. Dominic Cavendish in The Daily Telegraph wrote, “This thrilling new production spills out beyond the theater and speaks directly to the times we live in. Not only one of the most innovative shows of the last quarter century, but one of the most profound and lasting great musicals of the 20th century. There is something in the air which means Miss Saigon is not only right to come back, but it is urgent and necessary that it comes back now.” Dominic Maxwell in The Times called the production “thrilling, soaring and spectacular.” The reviews for its stars were also raves. David Benedict in Variety wrote, “In an astonishing stage debut, Eva Noblezada gives a thrilling performance as Kim, with poise, power and a superb voice.” And Dominic Maxwell in The Times said Jon Jon Briones plays the Engineer with “brilliant, avaricious charm.”

Miss Saigon The 25th Anniversary Performance was presented at sold-out screenings throughout North America this past September and recently recorded the biggest ever debut for an event cinema release in the UK. Miss Saigon: The Definitive Live Recording is available from Universal Music and First Night Records.

Miss Saigon swept the board at the 2015 Whatsonstage.com Awards winning a record-breaking nine awards, the most awards ever won by a single show in the 15-year history of the awards including: Best West End Show; Best Revival of a Musical; Best Leading Actress in a Musical (Eva Noblezada) and Best Leading Actor in a Musical (Jon Jon Briones).

Since its London world premiere in 1989, Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s epic musical Miss Saigon has become one of the most successful musicals in history. The original Broadway production of Miss Saigon opened on April 11, 1991 with what was the largest advance sale in Broadway history ($37 million). The show went on to play for nearly ten years and 4,063 performances seen by more than 5.9 million people. Miss Saigon has been performed in 28 countries, over 300 cities in 15 different languages, has won over 40 awards including 2 Olivier Awards, 3 Tony Awards, and 4 Drama Desk Awards and been seen by over 35 million people worldwide.

Alistair Brammer and Rachelle Ann Go are appearing in Miss Saigon with the support of Actors’ Equity Association.