Steven Fisher’s New Holiday Musical THE LITTLE DANCER at Theatre 71 through December 31

Laura Sky Herman, Jesse Dalton, Lisa Graye and Cat Grey. Photo by Lia Chang

The Little Dancer, a new holiday family musical written by Commonwealth Youthchoirs (CY)’s Founder and Artistic Director Steven Fisher, had its world premiere on December 1st at Theatre 71, off Broadway. Helmed by Richard Vida,The Little Dancer tells the heart-warming story of how fourteen-year-old Marie Van Goethem, the model for Edgar Degas’ one and only sculpture, became the most famous ballerina in the world.

Jesse Dalton, Cat Grey, Laura Sky Herman, Lisa Graye and Company. Photo by Lia Chang
Jesse Dalton, Cat Grey, Laura Sky Herman, Lisa Graye and Company. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast of The Little Dancer features Laura Sky Herman (Marie), Jesse Dalton (Ed/Degas), Heather Cadarette (Mama/Mistress de la Ballet), Lisa Graye (Charlotte), Cat Grey (Louise), Georgia Monroe, Raquel Kahn and Ben Schrager, as well as 32 talented children from Philadelphia who comprise the show’s “Musical Theatre Geek Chorus.”

Laura Sky Herman as Marie and Company. Photo by Lia Chang
Laura Sky Herman as Marie and Company. Photo by Lia Chang

In addition to Vida and Fisher, the creative team includes Lainie Sakakura (choreographer), W. Brent Sawyer (Music Director/Arrangements), Zach Hyams (Production Stage Manager), Jeremy Bailey-Smith (Sets, Costumes) and Taylor Frith-Brown (Lighting Designer).

Richard Vida (Director), W. Brent Sawyer (Musical Director), Steven Fisher (Writer and Musical Supervisor and Lainie Sakakura Choreographer. Photo by Lia Chang
Richard Vida (Director), W. Brent Sawyer (Musical Director), Steven Fisher (Writer and Musical Supervisor and Lainie Sakakura Choreographer. Photo by Lia Chang

The Musical Theatre Geek Chorus (MTGC) is made up of 32 theatrically talented singers selected by audition from the ranks of the Garden State Girlchoir, the Keystone State Boychoir, the New Jersey Boychoir, and the Pennsylvania Girlchoir. These young musical theatre thespians have been participating in a weekly workshop with Broadway veterans Richard Vida and Lainie Sakakura in Philadelphia. They are beyond thrilled to be making their professional NYC debut.

The Company of THE LITTLE DANCER. Photo by Lia Chang
The Company of THE LITTLE DANCER. Photo by Lia Chang

Fifteen performers from the ensemble appear in every performance. The members of MTGC are Charlotte Bazzle, Phoebe Bellagamba, Audim Brokenbough, Elizabeth Clancy, Chloe Clark, Carlie Cocco, Victoria Rose Conroy, Dominic Corcoran, Isaac Darga, Taylor Delli Carpini, Koby Fallon, Logan Ford, Jeremy Peyton Jones, Graham Kohn, Chloe Lee, Carly Levy, Grace Mazzola, Elizabeth Mun, Sade Mutua, Sydney Parson, Ani Peterson, Diya Ramesh, Max Ringold, Stefan Rogowski, Emma Shay, Christopher Simcox, Layla Singleton, Giuliana Stout, Sage Torrisi, and Sarah Wusinich.

The kids are all members of Commonwealth Youthchoirs (CY), an organization that serves over 700 young people in the Philadelphia area through the power of singing in a choir. CY’s founder and Artistic Director, Steve Fisher, wrote the musical. Half of the 700 children Fisher serves are underserved. Not only does The Little Dancer feature children, but it will benefit children as well. Every ticket sold will benefit CY’s program Find Your Instrument!, which partners with under-resourced schools that have no music in them. In Philadelphia, similar to many cities, the poverty rate for children stands at 37%, and 2 out of 3 attend elementary schools have no choral program.

Laura Sky Herman as Marie and Company. Photo by Lia Chang
Laura Sky Herman as Marie and Company. Photo by Lia Chang

“I can’t believe I get to be on a NYC stage!” says Isaac Darga, a 10-year old MTGC member. “Music is such an important part of my life, it makes me happy to know that my performance will benefit other kids who don’t have music in their lives.”

Laura Sky Herman as Marie and Company. Photo by Lia Chang
Laura Sky Herman as Marie and Company. Photo by Lia Chang

This one hour show has a delightful story, toe tapping songs and an uplifting holiday ending.

Heather Cadarette as Mama and Laura Sky Herman as Marie. Photo by Lia Chang
Heather Cadarette as Mama and Laura Sky Herman as Marie. Photo by Lia Chang

Performances every Saturday and Sunday in December at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.

Cat Grey, Laura Sky Herman and Heather Cadarette. Photo by Lia Chang
Cat Grey, Laura Sky Herman and Heather Cadarette. Photo by Lia Chang

Starting December 26th to December 31st, performances every day at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.

Laura Sky Herman, Jesse Dalton, Lisa Graye and Cat Grey. Photo by Lia Chang
Laura Sky Herman, Jesse Dalton, Lisa Graye and Cat Grey. Photo by Lia Chang

For more information and to purchase tickets online, visit www.thelittledancermusical.org. Tickets can also be purchased 30 minutes before curtain at the venue. Theatre 71 at Blessed Sacrament, 152 W. 71st Street, New York, NY 10023, right off Broadway).

Jesse Dalton and Laura Sky Herman. Photo by Lia Chang
Jesse Dalton and Laura Sky Herman. Photo by Lia Chang
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BC/EFA’s RED BUCKET FOLLIES Celebrates Asian Americans on Broadway and the 60th Anniversary of FLOWER DRUM SONG

The company on the stage of The New Amsterdam Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Six weeks of fundraising culminates in an extravaganza of Broadway stars, extraordinary ensembles and one-of-a-kind performances at Red Bucket Follies at 4:30 pm on Monday, December 3, and at 2 pm on Tuesday, December 4 at the New Amsterdam Theatre in New York. The show is produced by and benefits Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS.

The company on the stage of The New Amsterdam Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
The company on the stage of The New Amsterdam Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

The opening number of BC/EFA’s Red Bucket Follies will celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Flower Drum Song and will honor the legacy of Asian-Americans on Broadway.

Telly Leung, Alvin Ing and Jose Llana. Photo by Lia Chang
Telly Leung, Alvin Ing and Jose Llana. Photo by Lia Chang

Paying tribute to the trailblazing productions of Flower Drum Song, the number will feature members of the original 1958 cast as well as Asians currently on Broadway. The piece will celebrate Broadway’s diversity and the diversity within the Asian-American experience. The number was conceived by Lainie Sakakura and Telly Leung, and written by Lainie Sakakura, cast members from the 2002 David Henry Hwang revisal of Flower Drum Song. Alex Sanchez will direct and choreograph.

The Elders - Left to right Paula Chin, Victoria Racimo, Kumiko Nakagawa, Alvin Ing, Mae Wong, Carol Gordon Moora, Virginia Wing. Photo by Lia Chang
The Elders – Left to right Paula Chin, Victoria Racimo, Kumiko Nakagawa, Alvin Ing, Mae Wong, Carol Gordon Moora, Virginia Wing. Photo by Lia Chang

Flower Drum Song features Music by Richard Rodgers, Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, Original Broadway Revival Choreography by Robert Longbottom , Music Direction by Ted Arthur, Additional Lyrics by Vanessa Brown, Lainie Sakakura, Orchestrations by Adam Kaufman and Costume Design by Jeremy Bailey-Smith.

Telly Leung, Alvin Ing, Jodi Long and Jose Llana. Photo by Lia Chang
Telly Leung, Alvin Ing, Jodi Long and Jose Llana. Photo by Lia Chang

Performers: Aaron J. Albano, Sandra Allen, Susan Ancheta, Alan Ariano, Paula Chin, Marcus Choi, Adrianne Chu, Ma-Anne Dionisio, Ali Ewoldt, Takayo Fischer, Lydia Gaston, Sally Hong, Joomin Hwang, Jason Garcia Ignacio, Sabrina Imamura, Miho Imoto, Alvin Ing, Nina Zoie Lam, Telly Leung, Jose Llana, Baayork Lee, Jodi Long, J. Elaine Marcos, Paul HeeSang Miller, Carol Gordon Morra, Kumiko Nakagawa, Ashley Park, Vicki Racimo, Catherine Ricafort, Lainie Sakakura, Rommy Sandhu, Herman Sebek, Shawnee Smith, Riza Takahashi, Yuka Takara, Robert Tatad, Virginia Wing, Mae Wong, Ericka Yang, Warren Yang, Kelli Youngman, Lisa Yuen and Minami Yusui.

Downstage right and clockwise) - Aaron J. Albano, Minami Yusui, Yuka Takara, Jason Ignacio Garcia, Riza Takahashi, Joomin Hwang, Warren Yang, Kelli Youngman, Paul HeeSang Miller, Adrianne Chu, Sabrina Imamura, Telly Leung, Center - Ericka Hunter. Photo by Lia Chang
Downstage right and clockwise – Aaron J. Albano, Minami Yusui, Yuka Takara, Jason Garcia Ignacio, Riza Takahashi, Joomin Hwang, Warren Yang, Kelli Youngman, Paul HeeSang Miller, Adrianne Chu, Sabrina Imamura, Telly Leung, Center – Ericka Hunter. Photo by Lia Chang

Red Bucket Follies (#redbucketfollies) will feature guest appearances by Mike Birbiglia (Mike Birbiglia’s The New One); Norbert Leo Butz and Harry Hadden-Paton (My Fair Lady); Kevin Chamberlin (Wicked); Noma Dumezweni, Poppy Miller and Paul Thornley (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child); Erika Henningsen, Ashley Park, Kate Rockwell, Kyle Selig and Jennifer Simard (Mean Girls); Cherry Jones (The Lifespan of a Fact); and Michael Urie (Torch Song).

Legacy Robe recipients: Aaron J. Albano, Nina Zoie Lam, Lydia Gaston, Catherine Ricafort, J. Elaine Marcos, Lainie Sakakura, Alan Ariano, (not pictured: Baayork Lee) Rommy Sandhu. Photo by Lia Chang
Legacy Robe recipients: Aaron J. Albano, Nina Zoie Lam, Lydia Gaston, Catherine Ricafort, J. Elaine Marcos, Lainie Sakakura, Rommy Sandhu, Alan Ariano, (not pictured: Baayork Lee). Photo by Lia Chang

This year’s songs, skits and dances will feature more than 150 singers and dancers. Broadway shows scheduled to perform include Chicago, Frozen, Hamilton, Kinky Boots, The Lion King, and Wicked, as well as Off-Broadway’s Avenue Q, Fiddler on the Roof – in Yiddish and NEWSical The Musical. Representing Dancers Responding to AIDS, a program of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, choreographer Billy Griffin will share an original piece created for this year’s Hudson Valley Dance Festival.

Daniel May, Alan Ariano, Telly Leung, Yuka Takara, Robert Longbottom and Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel May, Alan Ariano, Telly Leung, Yuka Takara, Robert Longbottom and Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang

A panel of distinguished judges will award best presentation honors at Tuesday’s performance. This year’s judges are music supervisor Mary-Mitchell Campbell (Mean Girls, The Prom); Ali Ewoldt and Jay Armstrong Johnson (The Phantom of the Opera); the legendary Rosemary Harris (My Fair Lady); Andy Karl and Orfeh (Pretty Woman); Caitlin Kinnunen and Isabelle McCalla (The Prom); Peppermint (Head Over Heels) and Nicolette Robinson(Waitress). Also joining the panel are Nathan Noh and Peg Wendlandt, who won their judging spots by bidding on exclusive VIP packages at the 32nd Annual Broadway Flea Market & Grand Auction in September.

Ultimate Broadway buff Seth Rudetsky, host of SiriusXM’s “On Broadway” channel, returns to lead the festivities for the 11th year. The show also will include a number, directed and choreographed by Karla Puno Garcia, honoring the national touring shows that participated in the fall fundraising, and a tribute to Broadway Cares’ iconic red buckets, directed and choreographed by Chaz Wolcott.

Red Bucket Follies builds on the 29-year legacy of the Gypsy of the Year Competition. The show will continue to showcase ensemble members and special guests sharing original performances, with awards given to the best presentation and for the top fundraising Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring shows for the six weeks’ efforts.

A limited number of tickets, starting at $30, are available. They can be purchased at broadwaycares.org.

Red Bucket Follies will be directed by Jason Trubitt with Matthew Kurtis Lutz serving as production stage manager and Ted Arthur as music director.

Since 1989, the 29 editions of Gypsy of the Year raised $76 million to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Red Bucket Follies will build on that tradition.

Photo Flash: BC/EFA’s RED BUCKET FOLLIES Celebrates Asian Americans On Broadway And The 60th Anniversary Of FLOWER DRUM SONG

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.

Lainie Sakakura and Alex Sanchez Usher in Year of the Dog at P.S. 87 with Ali Ewoldt, Telly Leung, Rika Nishikawa, Kelvin Moon Loh, Jason Garcia Ignacio, Belinda Allyn, Sam Tatsuo Tanabe, YoonJeong Seong, Hansel Tan, Adam Rogers, Tommy Scrivens, Kai Rivera

(Back Row) Tommy Scrivens, Kelvin Moon Loh, Ali Ewoldt, Sam Tanabe, Daniel May, Lainie Sakakura, Telly Leung, YoonJeong Seong, Adam Rogers. (Front Row) Hansel Tan, Rika Nishikawa, Jason Garcia Ignacio, Kai Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang
Chinese Lion Dance by Kwan's Kung Fu, with Sam Tanabe, YoonJeong Seong, Hansel Tan. Photo by Lia Chang
Chinese Lion Dance by Kwan’s Kung Fu, with Sam Tanabe, YoonJeong Seong, Hansel Tan. Photo by Lia Chang

Broadway vets Lainie Sakakura and Alex Sanchez ushered in the Year of the Dog at P.S. 87 – William T. Sherman School’s Annual Pan Asian Lunar New Year celebration, with a little help from their Asian American Broadway friends on February 9, 2018.

Alex Sanchez, Avelina Sanchez, Isabela Sanchez and Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang
Alex Sanchez, Avelina Sanchez, Isabela Sanchez and Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang

The evening, highlighting a variety of Pan Asian cultures, is a labor of love for Sakakura and her husband, award-winning choreographer Alex Sanchez, who has served as her P.S. 87 Culture & Community Committee co-chair for eight years – in bringing multicultural awareness and arts to a New York City public school through contemporary and cultural music, dance, and personal stories.

Lainie Sakakura, with her husband, Alex Sanchez. Photo by Lia Chang
Lainie Sakakura, with her husband, Alex Sanchez. Photo by Lia Chang

“Growing up, I didn’t have any Asian American role models to look up to,” shared Sakakura. “I only saw Asian people portrayed as buck tooth, thick glasses wearing nerds. I didn’t have any positive influences to counter the racial prejudices I felt towards me. The PAN ASIAN LUNAR NEW YEAR event is what I wish I had as a kid. An evening filled with amazing, talented, beautiful Asian American performers celebrating everything that we are.”

(Back Row) Tommy Scrivens, Kelvin Moon Loh, Ali Ewoldt, Sam Tanabe, Daniel May, Lainie Sakakura, Telly Leung, YoonJeong Seong, Adam Rogers. (Front Row) Hansel Tan, Rika Nishikawa, Jason Garcia Ignacio, Kai Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang
(Back Row) Tommy Scrivens, Kelvin Moon Loh, Ali Ewoldt, Sam Tanabe, Daniel May, Lainie Sakakura, Telly Leung, YoonJeong Seong, Adam Rogers. (Front Row) Hansel Tan, Rika Nishikawa, Jason Garcia Ignacio, Kai Rivera. Photo by Lia Chang

The 90 minute set, which was free to the public, kicked off with Japanese Taiko Drumming by New York Taiko Aiko Kai. The stellar lineup included performances by Telly Leung, currently starring as Aladdin in ALADDIN, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA’s Ali Ewoldt, who plays Christine, THE LION KING’s Rika Nishikawa, who portrays Young Nala, and SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS’ Kelvin Moon Loh, who is featured as Perch Perkins. Jason Garcia Ignacio (M BUTTERFLY), Belinda Allyn (ALLEGIANCE), Sam Tanabe (ALLEGIANCE), YoonJeong Seong (THE KING & I, Dallas Summer Musicals), Hansel Tan (PING PONG, The Public Theater), dancers Adam Rogers (AMERICAN IN PARIS) and Tommy Scrivens (ROMAN HOLIDAY), Kai Rivera (SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE NEXT GENERATION), and students of UWSDance with Lainie Sakakura, rounded out the lineup. The evening closed with the Chinese Lion Dance by Kwan’s Kung Fu, and was followed by a potluck of Asian cuisine.

New York Taiko Aiko Kai. Photo by Lia Chang
New York Taiko Aiko Kai. Photo by Lia Chang

NEW YORK TAIKO AIKO KAI “Isamigoma” & “Enjin Daiko”
Taiko was originally a battlefield instrument to intimidate and scare the enemy in the 1500’s. NYTAK born from PS 87 families practicing Taiko in hopes of passing Japanese culture to their children.
*Mayur Baruah, Nina Briggs, Jackson Pietsch, Nobuko Sato, **Rie Taniguchi, **Kyoko Toyama-Baruah, Keiko Yamamoto (*PS87 alumni, **PS87 former parents) nytak.blogspot.com

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TELLY LEUNG “Proud of Your Boy”
Chinese-American, born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Telly is currently playing the title role in Disney’s ALADDIN on Broadway. Other Broadway & National Tour credits: In Transit, Allegiance (with George Takei and Lea Salonga), Godspell, Rent (final Broadway company), Wicked (Boq, Chicago company), Pacific Overtures, & Flower Drum Song. Off Broadway: MTC’s THE WORLD OF EXTREME HAPPINESS. Television: “Wes, the Warbler” on “Glee” (Fox), “Instinct” (CBS), “Odd Mom Out” (Bravo), “Deadbeat” (Hulu), “Law and Order: Criminal Intent’ (NBC). He has released two solo albums – I’ll Cover You (2012) and Songs for You (2016) and can be heard on many original Broadway cast recordings. BFA Carnegie Mellon University. Website: www.tellyleung.com. Follow @tellyleung

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ALI EWOLDT “Pakiusap”
Half-Filipino, half-“Midwestern”, currently starring as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. She made her Broadway debut as Cosette in Les Miserables, appeared in Lincoln Center’s recent Tony Award Winning revival of The King and I and has played Maria in numerous productions of West Side Story across the nation and the world. Her other credits include: The Fantasticks (Luisa) Off-Broadway, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Philia) at The Muny in St. Louis, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s The King and I (Tuptim), McCarter Theatre’s A Christmas Carol (Fan/Mrs. Bonds) and concerts at Feinstein’s/54 Below, Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall and The Town Hall. TV/Film: The Michael J. Fox Show, Yield and Drama: The Web Series. Ali has a BA in psychology from Yale University. www.aliewoldt.com Follow @aliewoldt

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JASON GARCIA IGNACIO “Nasa Iyo Na Ang Lahat”
Born and raised in Manila, Philippines. His love for dance brought him to NYC and recently had his broadway debut in M. BUTTERFLY. www.jasonignacio.com

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RIKA NISHIKAWA “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King”
Age 11 Nisei (2nd generation Japanese American) but lived in Japan for 3 years. She’s currently playing Young Nala in THE LION KING on Broadway. Her professional stage career started with the role of Princess Ying Yaowalak in Marriott Theatre’s 2014 production of The King and I. Other local credits include her appearance in Lyric Opera’s The King and I, Theatre at the Center’s Annie Warbucks, and Griffin Theatre’s Balm in the Gilead. Rika is a former member of Lookingglass Theatre’s Young Ensemble. She has also appeared in Ruth Page Civic Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker.

Kelvin Moon Loh. Photo by Lia Chang
Kelvin Moon Loh. Photo by Lia Chang

KELVIN MOON LOH “Go The Distance”
Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia but grew up in Queens & Long Island.  He is currently playing a rainbow suited fish, Perch Perkins in SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS on Broadway. Kelvin most recently appeared in Classic Stage Company’s revival of Pacific Overtures (dir. John Doyle). On Broadway, Kelvin appeared in revivals of The King and I (Lincoln Center) and Side Show. He created the role of the DJ in the critically acclaimed Here Lies Love (Public Theater) and toured with the 1st National Tour of Green Day’s American Idiot. www.KelvinMoon.com Follow @KelvinMoonLoh

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UWS DANCE “Grant Avenue”
Lainie Sakakura’s tap students ages 4 to 13 yrs old. A playful song about SF Chinatown from the 1958 Rogers & Hammerstein musical, FLOWER DRUM SONG about Chinese immigrants and their American born children’s inter-generational struggle between their Chinese roots and American culture. www.uwsdance.com

YoonJeong Seong. Photo by Lia Chang
YoonJeong Seong. Photo by Lia Chang

YOONJEONG SEONG “I Feel Pretty”
Born in South Korea. Moved to New York 15 years ago. YoonJeong appeared in 10 productions of THE KING AND I as Tuptim. One of her favorite roles was playing Amahl in AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITOR.

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HANSEL TAN “Bunga Sayang” with Adam Rogers & Tommy Scrivens
Hails from the sunny Southeast Asian isle of Singapore (which by the way is not in China). Hansel spent 2 years in the Singapore Armed Forces, so don’t mess with him. Graduate of Wesleyan and Oxford University. www.hanseltan.com

Sam Tanabe and Belinda Allyn. Photo by Lia Chang
Sam Tanabe and Belinda Allyn. Photo by Lia Chang

BELINDA ALLYN and SAM TANABE “Breaking Free”
Belinda Allyn is Filipino-American Hapa (first generation). Broadway performer, proud doggy mama, and third time performer at PS 87’s Pan Asian Lunar New Year celebration! www.belindaallyn.com
Sam Tanabe is half Japanese and half Swiss, making him Hapa (half Asian)! He loves musicals and was a part of Japanese-American history in ALLEGIANCE on Broadway. www.samtanabe.com

Avelina Sanchez, Isabela Sanchez and Sabrina Green. Photo by Lia Chang
Avelina Sanchez, Isabela Sanchez and Sabrina Green. Photo by Lia Chang

AVELINA SANCHEZ*, SABRINA GREEN*, ISABELA SANCHEZ** “How Far I’ll Go”
*13 year old PS 87 Alumni, ** PS 87 5th Grade

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KAI RIVERA “God’s plan/Fever/Special Delivery” Mix
14 years old, Hapa – half Japanese and half Puerto Rican. A member of Brooklyn Nets Kids dance team. Appeared on So You Think You Can Dance S13 and many commercials including Black Panther toy (currently playing). Performed with celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots.

The production team included Musical Director/Pianist Tom Conroy and Percussionist/ Drummer Kory Grossman.

Tom Conroy. Photo by Lia Chang
Tom Conroy. Photo by Lia Chang

TOM CONROY, Musical Director – Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition – Rice University, MM Composition – San Francisco Conservatory of Music, MA Liberal Arts & Homeric Greek Studies – St John’s College. Work ranging from Pokemon Live! to Betty Buckley. Actor and teacher of English to speakers of other languages.

Lainie Sakakura and Percussionist Kory Grossman. Photo by Lia Chang
Lainie Sakakura and Percussionist Kory Grossman. Photo by Lia Chang

KORY GROSSMAN, Percussion/Drums – has played well over 35 Broadway shows, is a member of the American Symphony Orchestra, currently working on the new Broadway revival, MY FAIR LADY. PS 87 Alumni.

Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang
Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang

Lainie Sakakura is a 26+ year Broadway veteran, choreographer, director, writer and teaching artist. She was awarded the 2015 Joe A. Callaway Award – Best Choreography for the Off Broadway show, RED EYE OF LOVE in collaboration with co-choreographer Alex Sanchez, directed by Ted Sperling and the 2002 Joseph Jefferson Award – Best Choreography for DAMN YANKEES, Marriott Theatre in collaboration with director/co-choreographer David H. Bell. Nominated for the 2003 Joseph Jefferson Award – Best Choreography for HOT MIKADO, directed by David H. Bell.

Lainie Sakakura, Lia Chang and Alex Sanchez. Photo by Garth Kravits
Lainie Sakakura, Lia Chang and Alex Sanchez. Photo by Garth Kravits

Sakakura is currently co-writing the musical adaptation of HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET, the New York Times best seller by Jamie Ford.

Broadwayworld.com: Photo Flash: Lainie Sakakura Ushers In The Year of the Dog at P.S. 87 With Broadway Pals Ali Ewoldt, Telly Leung and More

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

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

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Telly Leung, Ali Ewoldt, Rika Nishikawa, Kelvin Moon Loh, Jason Garcia Ignacio, Belinda Allyn, Sam Tanabe, YoonJeong Seong, Hansel Tan, Kai Rivera and More Set for Pan Asian Lunar New Year Celebration at the P.S. 87 – William T. Sherman School on February 9

LAINIE SAKAKURA
LAINIE SAKAKURA

Lainie Sakakura will usher in the Year of the Dog with a Pan Asian Lunar New Year celebration at the P.S. 87 – William T. Sherman School ( 160 W. 78th Street) on Friday, February 9, 2018, with a little help from her Asian American Broadway friends including Telly Leung, starring in ALADDIN as Aladdin, Ali Ewoldt starring in PHANTOM OF THE OPERA as Christine, Rika Nishikawa in THE LION KING as Young Nala, Kelvin Moon Loh in SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, Jason Garcia Ignacio (M BUTTERFLY), Belinda Allyn (ALLEGIANCE), Sam Tanabe (ALLEGIANCE), YoonJeong Seong (THE KING & I, Dallas Summer Musicals). Hansel Tan (PING PONG, The Public Theater) will be joined by his backup dancers Adam Rogers (AMERICAN IN PARIS) and Tommy Scrivens (ROMAN HOLIDAY), Kai Rivera (SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE NEXT GENERATION), Japanese Taiko Drumming by New York Taiko Aiko Kai, Chinese Lion Dance by Kwan’s Kung Fu, and students of UWSDance Lainie Sakakura, will round out the evening’s performances.

The evening, highlighting a variety of Pan Asian cultures is a labor of love for Sakakura and her P.S. 87 Culture & Community Committee co-chair, her husband Alex Sanchez – in bringing multicultural awareness and arts to a New York City public school through contemporary and cultural music, dance, and personal stories.

Alex Sanchez and Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang
Alex Sanchez and Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang

The production team included Musical Director/Pianist Tom Conroy and Percussionist/ Drummer Kory Grossman.

The 90 minute performance, which is free to the public, begins at 5:30pm and will be followed a community Asian themed potluck dinner.

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TONGUES Reading Series presents a Staged Reading of AFTERMATH to Benefit INDESTRUCTIBLE Campaign for Hurricane Maria relief efforts on December 17

TONGUES Reading Series presents a Staged Reading of AFTERMATH, a play created through the #Pages4PuertoRico collaboration to benefit the INDESTRUCTIBLE Campaign for Hurricane Maria relief efforts on Sunday, December 17, 2017 at 6:00PM at Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce Street in New York.

In September, writer/producer Lawrence Feeney’s home was damaged by Hurricane Irma. While trying to navigate the waters of insurance, contractors and FEMA, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico. He was navigating his own nightmare from the effects of Irma, but fixated on the news and some of his friends’ posts – one friend in particular – director Lainie Sakakura. Sakakura and her husband, Alex Sanchez could not locate their family members for two weeks. Mr. Feeney tried to imagine the pain and suffering of those hit so much harder in Puerto Rico, and couldn’t. He wanted to do something.

In October, Mr. Feeney started #Pages4PuertoRico by enlisting the help of 29 other writers, each one of them contributing 3 pages each to build a full-length play. AFTERMATH, is the result. It is the story of the Bonilla family’s struggle to connect and survive following the devastation and distress brought on by Hurricane Maria.

AFTERMATH is written by Lawrence Feeney, Craig Pospisil, David Hilder, Ashlie Atkinson, Tony Pennino, Robin Rothstein, Joanna Parson, Ryan Duncan, Katharine Clark Gray, Tanya Perez, Renee Flemings, Jonathan Marc Sherman, P. Seth Bauer, Jonathan Tipton Meyers, Maria Deasy, Liz Duffy Adams, Jessica Fleitman, Migdalia Cruz, Candido Tirado, Carmen Rivera Tirado, Ana Maria Jomolca, Adriana Santos, Marco Antonio Rodriguez, Analisa Velez, Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Jorge Perez, Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas, Andrew Rincón, Angelo Parra, and Raquel Almazan.

Starring Tony Chiroldes and Elise Santora. Featuring Berto Colόn, Jason Liebman, Sol Marina, Tanya Perez, Edwin Polanco, Justin Rodriguez, Alex Sanchez, Adriana Santos, Kyle Sherman, Summerisa Bell Stevens.

The creative team includes Director Lainie Sakakura, Dramaturg Alex Sanchez, Musical Director Alexander Rovang and Stage Manager Debora Porazzi.

All proceeds go to Puerto Rico hurricane relief through Cherry Lane Theatre Co-Artistic Director Janio Marrero’s ongoing campaign INDESTRUCTIBLE.

This reading is free and open to the public. CLICK HERE TO RESERVE YOUR SEAT.  Then, click CHECKOUT to add your donation.

For more information, click here.

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TONGUES Reading Series presents a Staged Reading of AFTERMATH to Benefit INDESTRUCTIBLE Campaign for Hurricane Maria relief efforts on December 17

TONGUES Reading Series presents a Staged Reading of AFTERMATH, a play created through the #Pages4PuertoRico collaboration to benefit the INDESTRUCTIBLE Campaign for Hurricane Maria relief efforts on Sunday, December 17, 2017 at 6:00PM at Cherry Lane Theatre, 38 Commerce Street in New York.

Last month, #Pages4PuertoRico enlisted the help of 30 writers, who contributed 3 pages each to building a full-length play titled AFTERMATH, helmed by Lainie Sakakura with dramaturg Alex Sanchez.

Written by Lawrence Feeney, Craig Pospisil, David Hilder, Ashlie Atkinson, Tony Pennino, Robin Rothstein, Joanna Parson, Ryan Duncan, Katharine Clark Gray, Tanya Perez, Renee Flemings, Jonathan Marc Sherman, P. Seth Bauer, Jonathan Tipton Meyers, Maria Deasy, Liz Duffy Adams, Jessica Fleitman, Migdalia Cruz, Candido Tirado, Carmen Rivera Tirado, Ana Maria Jomolca, Adriana Santos, Marco Antonio Rodriguez, Analisa Velez, Donnetta Lavinia Grays, Jorge Perez, Jorge Ignacio Cortiñas, Andrew Rincón, Angelo Parra, and Raquel Almazan.

All proceeds go to Puerto Rico hurricane relief through Co-Artistic Director Janio Marrero’s ongoing campaign INDESTRUCTIBLE.

This reading is free and open to the public. CLICK HERE TO RESERVE YOUR SEAT.  Then, click CHECKOUT to add your donation.

For more information, click here.

Photos: Jeffrey Schecter, Ali Ewoldt, Mark Linn-Baker, John Tartaglia, Marcus Choi, Lainie Sakakura and More in A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM at The Muny 

The cast in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is currently playing at The Muny through July 11th. Supported by a sensational company of Muny and Broadway stars, Jeffrey Schecter (Pseudolus), gave an awe-inspiring performance after stepping into the lead role just 3 days before opening.

Jeffrey Schecter in A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM
Jeffrey Schecter in A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM

Considered one of Broadway’s greatest farces, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum follows Pseudolus, a crafty slave, as he aids his master in winning the hand of Philia, a slow-witted, but sweet courtesan, in exchange for his freedom. This musical romp through Rome includes scheming neighbors, secrets behind every toga and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

Justin Keyes, Tommy Scrivens, Marcus Choi and Jeffrey Schecter in A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Justin Keyes, Tommy Scrivens, Marcus Choi and Jeffrey Schecter in A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.

The full cast includes: Jeffrey Schecter (Pseudolus), John Tartaglia (Hysterium), Ali Ewoldt (Philia), Mark Linn-Baker (Senex), E. Faye Butler (Domina), Jason Kravits (Lycus), Marrick Smith (Hero), Nathaniel Hackmann (Miles Gloriosus), Whit Reichert (Erronius) and Marcus Choi, Justin Keyes and Tommy Scrivens (Proteans) joined by a comedic ensemble that includes Justina Aveyard, Molly Callinan, Emily Hsu, Khori Michelle Petinaud, Katelyn Prominski and Lainie Sakakura.

E. Faye Butler, MarRick Smith and John Tartaglia
E. Faye Butler, Marrick Smith and John Tartaglia in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.

A noteworthy design team spearheads this production with direction by Gary Griffin, choreography by Alex Sanchez, music direction by Brad Haak, scenic design by Timothy R. Mackabee, costume design by Mara Blumenfeld, lighting design by Rob Denton, sound design by John Shivers and David Patridge, wig design by John Metzner, with production stage manager Cody Renard Richard.

The company in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
The company in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.

Tickets are now available at The Muny Box Office, or online at muny.org.

Katelyn Prominski, Jeffrey Schecter and Tommy Scrivens in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Katelyn Prominski, Jeffrey Schecter and Tommy Scrivens in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Molly Callinan and Jeffrey Schecter in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Molly Callinan and Jeffrey Schecter in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
The cast of The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
The cast of The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Jason Kravits, Jeffrey Schecter and Marrick Smith in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Jason Kravits, Jeffrey Schecter and Marrick Smith in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Mark Linn-Baker and Ali Ewoldt in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Mark Linn-Baker and Ali Ewoldt in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
John Tartaglia, Mark Linn-Baker and Jeffrey Schecter in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
John Tartaglia, Mark Linn-Baker and Jeffrey Schecter in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
The cast in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
The cast in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Tommy Scrivens, Jeffrey Schecter and Nathaniel Hackmann in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Tommy Scrivens, Jeffrey Schecter and Nathaniel Hackmann in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Whit Reichert, Nathaniel Hackmann and Jeffrey Schecter in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Whit Reichert, Nathaniel Hackmann and Jeffrey Schecter in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Marrick Smith and Ali Ewoldt in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Marrick Smith and Ali Ewoldt in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Marrick Smith and Ali Ewoldt in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Marrick Smith and Ali Ewoldt in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
The cast in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
The cast in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Jeffrey Schecter and the cast in The Muny's A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.
Jeffrey Schecter and the cast in The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.

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

Jeffrey Schecter Joins A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM at The Muny, July 5 – 11

Ali Ewoldt, Emily Hsu, Lainie Sakakura, Marcus Choi and Justina Aveyard. Photo courtesy of Marcus Choi

Jeffrey Schecter will star as Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at The Muny, the third production of its 99th season, which plays July 5-11. Schecter replaces Peter Scolari, who struggled with allergies during rehearsals that resulted in extreme vocal stress and a severe sinus infection.

Jeffrey Schecter
Jeffrey Schecter

Schecter, who thrilled Muny audiences as the hilariously entertaining Scuttle in last week’s production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, steps into the role of Pseudolus. He also has had featured roles in the Broadway productions of A Chorus Line, Fiddler on the Roof, and Nice Work if You Can Get It, as well as the current hit CBS series “The Good Fight.”

Ali Ewoldt, Emily Hsu, Lainie Sakakura, Marcus Choi and Justina Aveyard. Photo courtesy of Marcus Choi
Ali Ewoldt, Emily Hsu, Lainie Sakakura, Marcus Choi and Justina Aveyard. Photo courtesy of Marcus Choi

Schecter joins the previously announced John Tartaglia (Hysterium), Ali Ewoldt (Philia), Mark Linn-Baker (Senex), E. Faye Butler (Domina), Jason Kravits (Lycus), MarRick Smith(Hero), Nathaniel Hackmann (Miles Gloriosus), Whit Reichert (Erronius) and Marcus Choi, Justin Keyes and Tommy Scrivens (Proteans). This comic ensemble includes Justina Aveyard, Molly Callinan, Emily Hsu, Khori Michelle Petinaud, Katelyn Prominski and Lainie Sakakura.

Forum is directed by Gary Griffin, with choreography by Alex Sanchez, music direction by Brad Haak, scenic design by Timothy R. Mackabee, costume design by Mara Blumenfeld, lighting design by Rob Denton, sound design by John Shivers and David Patridge, wig design by John Metzner, with production stage manager Cody Renard Richard.

The Muny is located at 1 Theatre Dr, St. Louis, MO 63112. Click here to purchase tickets.

Peter Scolari, Ali Ewoldt, John Tartaglia, Mark Linn-Baker, Marcus Choi, Lainie Sakakura, Justina Aveyard, Emily Hsu and More set for The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, July 5-11 

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Peter Scolari, Ali Ewoldt, John Tartaglia, Mark Linn-Baker, Marcus Choi, Lainie Sakakura, Justina Aveyard, Emily Hsu and More set for The Muny’s A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM, July 5-11

The Muny’s is presenting A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, July 5-11. The Muny is located at 1 Theatre Dr, St. Louis, MO 63112. Click here to purchase tickets.

The cast features Peter Scolari as Pseudolus, John Tartaglia as Hysterium, Ali Ewoldt as Philia, Mark Linn-Baker as Senex,  E. Faye Butler as Domina, Jason Kravits as Lycus, MarRick Smith as Hero, Nathaniel Hackmann as Miles Gloriosus, Whit Reichert as Erronius and Marcus Choi, Justin Keyes and Tommy Scrivens as Proteans. Justina Aveyard, Molly Callinan, Emily Hsu, Khori Michelle Petinaud, Katelyn Prominski and Lainie Sakakura round out the comedic ensemble.

Helmed by Gary Griffin, with choreography by Alex Sanchez and music direction by Brad Haak, Forum’s design team includes scenic design by Timothy R. Mackabee, costume design by Mara Blumenfeld, lighting design by Rob Denton, sound design by John Shivers and David Patridge, wig design by John Metzner, with production stage manager Cody Renard Richard.

Considered one of Broadway’s greatest farces, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum follows Pseudolus, a crafty slave, as he aids his master in winning the hand of Philia, a slow-witted, but sweet courtesan, in exchange for his freedom. This musical romp through Rome includes scheming neighbors, secrets behind every toga and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. This is one Muny spectacle guaranteed to make even the Greek gods keel over with laughter.

PETER SCOLARI (Pseudolus)

Broadway/NY: Bronx BombersWickedLucky GuyHairspraySly FoxMagic BirdOut of this WorldZiegfeld Follies of 1937 (Encores!), World premieres of A.R. Gurney’s Family Furniture at The Flea, Daniel Sullivan’s Inspecting Carol, Ken Ludwig’s Fox on The Fairway(George Street Playhouse). Winner Best Actor, Berkshire Theater Festival for The ForeignerMusic Man at Ogunquit Playhouse, Forum at Bay Street Theater. TV: Film Critic’s Award nomination, and 2016 Emmy Award Outstanding Guest Actor for Girls (HBO), GothamOdd Mom OutMadoff (ABC Films), Newhart (Three-time Emmy nominee), Bosom BuddiesThe West WingERFamily TiesWhite CollarKing of QueensRebaAlly McBealEarth to the Moon (HBO), Stop the World (Showtime). Film: That Thing You DoPolar ExpressSuburban GirlCamp NowhereThe Ryan White Story.’

JOHN TARTAGLIA (Hysterium)
JOHN TARTAGLIA (Hysterium)

Broadway: Avenue Q (Tony nomination)Disney’s Beauty and the BeastShrek the Musical. John created, executive produced and starred in his own preschool series Johnny and the Sprites for Disney Junior (8 Emmy nominations) and performed on Sesame Street(PBS Kids) for 13 seasons. As a director: The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan and Shrek (The Muny), Dinosaur Train Live and Sid the Science Kid Live (national tours), Claudio Quest (NY Musical Festival, Best of the Fest), Lord Tom (York Theatre), Shrek the Halls (DreamWorks Theatricals), Because of Winn Dixie (Arkansas Repertory), amongst others. Current projects include playing Kip on Jim Henson’s Word Party and Hank on Julie’s Greenroom, as well as creator, co-executive producer and star (Splash) of Jim Henson’s Splash and Bubbles (PBS Kids). www.johntartagliaproductions.com

MARK LINN-BAKER (Senex)
MARK LINN-BAKER (Senex)

Broadway: On the 20th Century, You Can’t Take It With YouRelatively SpeakingLosing LouieA Year with Frog and Toad (Toad), A Funny Thing Happened… (Hysterium), Laughter On The 23rd FloorFace ValueDoonesbury. NY City Center Encores!: The Pajama Game. NY Shakespeare Festival: All’s Well That Ends WellOthelloThe Death of Von Richthofen…The Laundry HourAlice In Concert. Off­Broadway: Almost An Evening, Chesapeake (Drama Desk and OCC nominations), A Flea In Her EarThe Miss Firecracker Contest. Film: ManhattanMy Favorite YearNoises OffHow Do You Know. TV: Perfect Strangers, Showtime’s Laughter on the 23rd FloorBluebloodsThe Good FightThe Good WifeLaw & OrderLaw & Order: CIMiami ViceMoonlighting and others. Mr. Linn Baker is a co-founder/co-director of New York Stage and Film.

JASON KRAVITS (Lycus)
JASON KRAVITS (Lycus)

Jason Kravits is so pleased to be invited back to The Muny, where he played Bert Barry in last season’s 42nd Street. Broadway credits include The Drowsy ChaperoneSly Fox and Relatively Speaking (an evening of one acts by Ethan Coen, Elaine May and Woody Allen). Recent NY: Hector in The Golden Apple (City Center Encores!). TV: ADA Richard Bay on ABC’s The Practice. Other credits include: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Mick, Major Crimes, Madam Secretary, The Blacklist, Madoff, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Smash, Masters of Sex, Everybody Loves Raymond and the upcoming Disjointed. Creator/performer of “Off the Top!” – a solo, completely improvised cabaret, which heads to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival August. www.offthetop.nyc

E. FAYE BUTLER (Domina)
E. FAYE BUTLER (Domina)

National and regional credits: St. Louis Repertory Theatre, Court Theatre, Steppenwolf, Goodman Theatre, Martinique Drury Lane, Drury Lane Oakbrook, Northlight Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Congo Square, Paramount Theatre, Fulton Theatre, Maine State Music Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Marriott’s Lincolnshire Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, Arena Stage, Baltimore’s Center Stage, Signature Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, Pasadena Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Broadway Playhouse, Harmon Hall. National and regional tours: Mamma Mia!Ain’t Misbehavin’NunsenseNunsense IIDinah WasDon’t Bother MeI Can’t Cope. Six Joseph Jefferson Awards, two Helen Hayes Awards, four Black Theater Alliance Awards, RAMI Award, John Barrymore Award, Excellence In The Arts Award, After Dark Award, Ovation Award, Kathryn V. Lampkey Award, Sarah Siddons Leading Lady Award, Black Excellence Award, Guy Adkins Award, 2016 Rosetta LeNoire Award, Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship, National Museum of Women in the Arts inductee. E.Faye has a CD entitled A Circle of Firsts and performs across the country in concert, cabaret, club and theatre venues with her orchestra, EFO. Coming Up: The Taming of the Shrew (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre). Proud AEA Member. Follow her @ www.e-fayebutler.com.

ALI EWOLDT (Philia)
ALI EWOLDT (Philia)

Ali Ewoldt played Maria in The Muny’s 2013 production of West Side Story and is thrilled to return to St. Louis! She is currently playing Christine in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. Other credits include: Les Misérables (Cosette, Broadway revival), The King and I (Lincoln Center, Broadway revival), West Side Story (Maria, Broadway revival 1st national tour). Off-Broadway: The Fantasticks (Luisa). Other credits include: Lyric Opera of Chicago’s The King and I (Tuptim), McCarter Theatre’s A Christmas Carol (Fan/Mrs. Bonds) and concerts at Feinstein’s/54 Below, Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall and The Town Hall. TV/Film: The Michael J. Fox ShowYield and Drama: The Web Series. Ali has a B.A. in psychology from Yale University. www.aliewoldt.com

MARRICK SMITH (Hero)
MARRICK SMITH (Hero)

Marrick Smith is thrilled to be back at The Muny. Broadway: Fun Home (Roy u/s)  Off-Broadway: Wild Goose Dreams (Public Theater), Pretty Filthy (Civilians), The Underclassman (The Duke), Revolution (Minetta Lane), Fun Home (Public Theater). Regional: Fiddler on the Roof (The Muny). Film: The Lennon ReportOne Stop AwayUncovering Eden. Workshops: TeethAlice by HeartLove’s Labour’s Lost. Playwright: Behind the Badge (NYC Fringe) Big thanks to The Fam, KMR and Wright Entertainment. @Marricksmith

NATHANIEL HACKMANN (Miles Gloriosus)
NATHANIEL HACKMANN (Miles Gloriosus)

Nathaniel Hackmann is thrilled to be coming back to the Gateway City and the historic Muny stage! He most recently played Gaston in Beauty and the Beast at The Muny and Variety Children’s Theatre, as well as on the national tour. Broadway/NY/tours: Les Misérables (Valjean, Javert u/s), Paint Your Wagon (Steve). Regional: Jekyll & Hyde (Jekyll/Hyde) Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Adam), Oliver! (Bill Sykes), Sweeney Todd (Anthony), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Miles), Carousel (Billy), Ragtime (Tateh), Into the Woods (Cinderella’s Prince/Wolf), Camelot (Lancelot), Sanders Family Christmas (Stanley), Bye Bye Birdie (Conrad). Proud member AEA. Twitter: @super_n8.  Instagram: N8HACKMANN

WHIT REICHERT (Erronius)
WHIT REICHERT (Erronius)

Whit Reichert is delighted to return to The Muny, where he was last seen in Footloose (Cop and Cowboy Bob’s Quartet). Other Muny shows include Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Oscar) and South Pacific(Stewpot). Earlier this year, Whit appeared in To Kill a Mockingbird (Judge Taylor) at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and The Winter’s Tale (Old Shepherd) at The Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis. A familiar face to St. Louis, he has been seen at Stages, The Black Rep, Variety Children’s Theatre, Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, The Actor’s Studio, Upstream Theater, 27 shows at The Rep and a new show this fall at Insight Theatre Company. Regionally, Whit has appeared in Anything Goes (Moonface Martin, Kansas City Starlight Theatre); Here’s Love (Kris Kringle, Fireside Theatre); Inherit the WindThe Crucibleand Most Happy Fella for Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; The Fantasticks (Hucklebee, Riverside Theatre); world premiere of Monk-y Business (Abbot Costello, Grand 1894 Opera House); The Music Man (Mayor Shinn, Casa Manana); 1776 (Ben Franklin), Sunshine Boys(Al Lewis), Sugar (Osgood Fielding) and Harvey (Dr. Chumley) for Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre.

MARCUS CHOI (Protean)
MARCUS CHOI (Protean)

Original Broadway companies of AllegianceWickedFlower Drum Song and The Times They Are A-Changin’. Also, Christina Applegate’s Broadway production of Sweet Charity and NY City Center Encores! production of Kismet. Regional: Mysterious SkinPippin at East West Players, Dangerous Beauty and the US premiere of Waterfall at Pasadena Playhouse. TV: HomelandChicago P.D.BlindspotThe OAThe Last ShipThe FostersJessie. Film: Can You Ever Forgive Me?, SharknadoEnchantedAdopting TerrorThe Novack Murders and Project Drew. Please visit Marcus at marcuschoi.net.

JUSTIN KEYES (Protean)
JUSTIN KEYES (Protean)

Broadway: How To Succeed…, The Apple Tree, Mary Poppins; National tour: The 25th Annual Putman County Spelling Bee; Regional: Resident Ensemble Players, The Guthrie, Two River Theater Company, San Francisco Symphony, Dallas Theater Center, Kansas City Starlight, Great Lakes Theater Festival, The Muny, Pittsburgh CLO. TV: Power, I Love You, But I Lied, Gossip Girl. Justin is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

TOMMY SCRIVENS (Protean)
TOMMY SCRIVENS (Protean)

Tommy Scrivens is excited to be back at The Muny. Previous productions were Aladdin and Mary Poppins(Dance Captain). Off Broadway: Where’s Charley? and Fiorello! (NY City Center Encores!) The Little Mermaid (Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Dance Captain) and American Dance Machine for the 21st Century (Dance Captain). Tommy has also been a principal dancer with Parsons Dance, dre.dance, Kristin Sudekis Dance, Nicholas Andre Dance and marInspired. Most recently, he has been archiving the works of the late Bob Fosse with the Verdon Fosse Legacy LLC. He is a Florida native and received a BFA in dance from Ohio State University. Proud AEA member since 2011.

Eva Noblezada, John Douglas Thompson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Richard Thomas, Ali Ewoldt, Rodney Ingram, Telly Leung and More Set for STARS IN THE ALLEY Concert

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Star Ali Ewoldt Celebrates Feinstein’s/54 Below Solo Debut with Liz Casasola, Joshua Dela Cruz, Rona Figueroa, Derek Gregor, Rodney Ingram, Jeremy Stolle and More 

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

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