Lea Salonga Returns as Erzulie in the Tony Award-winning Revival of a Musical ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, December 27 – January 6

Lea Salonga as Erzulie in ONCE ON THIS ISLAND. Photo by Joan Marcus

Tony And Olivier Award-winning actress Lea Salonga will reprise her role role as Erzulie in the Tony Award-winning Revival of a Musical Once On This Island on December 27, and will perform through the final show on January 6.

Lea Salonga as Erzulie in ONCE ON THIS ISLAND. Photo by Joan Marcus
Lea Salonga as Erzulie in ONCE ON THIS ISLAND. Photo by Joan Marcus

Earlier this month, Ms. Salonga received her first Grammy nomination when the cast recording of Once on This Island was nominated for Best Musical Theater Album. She also garnered two ALIW Awards including Entertainer of the Year award and Best Major Concert (Female) award for her sold-out, two-night anniversary concert celebrating 40 years of performing.  In October 2019, she’ll star as Ms. Lovett opposite Jett Pangan as Sweeney Todd in Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s classic musical Sweeney Todd, helmed by Bobby Garcia. Click here for more information.

Lea Salonga and Director Michael Arden. Photo by Lia Chang
Lea Salonga and Director Michael Arden. Photo by Lia Chang 

The new production of Once on This Island is directed by Tony nominee Michael Arden, and choreographed by the critically-acclaimed Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Chita Rivera Award nominee Camille A. Brown.

The cast of Once On This Island includes Tamyra Gray (Papa Ge), Quentin Earl Darrington (Agwe), and Alex Newell (Asaka), who are joined by newcomer and Tony Nominee, Hailey Kilgore (Ti Moune) with Juliet Benn (Little Girl), Phillip Boykin (Tonton Julian) Courtnee Carter (Storyteller), Cicily Daniels (Storyteller), Tyler Hardwick (Storyteller), David Jennings (Armand), Kenita R. Miller (Mama Euralie), Isaac Powell (Daniel), T. Oliver Reid (Storyteller), Anna Uzele (Storyteller), Allan K. Washington (Storyteller), Aurelia Williams (Storyteller), Mia Williamson (Little Girl), and Daniel Yearwood (Storyteller).

Quentin Earl Darrington, Aurelia Williams, Lea Salonga, Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Quentin Earl Darrington, Aurelia Williams, Lea Salonga, Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang

Once On This Island is written by the Tony Award-winning team Lynn Ahrens (Book and Lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (Music), and based on the novel “My Love, My Love” by Rosa Guy. This production features new orchestrations by original orchestrator Michael Starobin who is joined by AnnMarie Milazzo.

Clint Ramos and Lea Salonga. Photo by Lia Chang
Clint Ramos and Lea Salonga. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team also includes Dane Laffrey (Scenic Design), Clint Ramos (Costume Design), Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (Lighting Designers), Peter Hylenski (Sound Designer), John Bertles/Bash The Trash (Unusual Instruments), Cookie Jordan (Hair/Wig & Makeup Designer), Chris Fenwick (Music Supervisor), Alvin Hough, Jr. (Music Director), David Perlow (Associate Director), Nikki M. James (Assistant Director), Rickey Tripp (Associate Choreographer) and Telsey + Co / Craig Burns, CSA (Casting Agent).

Once On This Island is the tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl who falls in love with a wealthy boy from the other side of the island. When their divided cultures keep them apart, Ti Moune is guided by the powerful island gods, Erzulie, Asaka, Papa Ge, and Agwe, on a remarkable quest to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.

This production transforms the reality of a tropical village devastated by a storm into a fantastical world alive with hope.

The new Broadway production of Once On This Island won the 2018 Tony Award® for Best Musical Revival and received seven additional nominations. The production was also nominated seven Drama Desk Award nominations, six Outer Critics Circle nominations and three Chita Rivera Award nominations.

Once On This Island premiered at Playwrights Horizons in May of 1990. The Broadway production opened in October of that year and ran for 469 performances garnering eight Tony nominations including Best Featured Actress (LaChanze), Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical and Best Musical. The 1994 West End production won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

A National Tour of Once On This Island will launch in fall 2019, with cities, dates, and casting to be announced at a later date.

Tickets for Once On This Island are on sale through Telecharge.

Tony Award Winner Lea Salonga to Star as Grace Farrell in ANNIE at the Hollywood Bowl, July 27 – 29 

Casts of “The Band’s Visit,” “Carousel,” “Frozen,” “Mean Girls,” “My Fair Lady,” “Once on This Island,” “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical,” “SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical,” and “Dear Evan Hansen” to Perform on 2018 Tony Awards 

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

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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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Telly Leung’s New Holiday Single ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ Benefits ASTEP

Telly Leung as Aladdin. Photo by Matthew Murphy
Telly Leung as Aladdin. Photo by Matthew Murphy

Telly Leung, currently starring as the title role in Disney’s Aladdin on Broadway through Sunday, February 17, 2019, has released a new digital single, an updated version of the holiday classic “All I Want for Christmas Is You” to benefit ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty) from Yellow Sound Label.  The song, arranged by Lynne Shankel, is available on iTunes, and Amazon, as well as all streaming platforms.

“ASTEP connects performing and visual artists with underserved youth,” says Leung, “to awaken their imaginations, foster critical thinking, and help them break the cycle of poverty. We wanted to spread some holiday cheer while raising money and awareness for this fantastic organization. All proceeds from the digital downloads will go to ASTEP, and it’s our hope it inspires others to use the talents they were given to make the world a better place. My dear friend and colleague, Lynne Shankel – who was the musical supervisor and orchestrator of Allegiance – is committed to ASTEP and she originally arranged this version of the song for her annual benefit at Joe’s Pub. Lynne and I love this organization, originally founded by Broadway musical director Mary-Mitchell Campbell, and we wanted to echo the mission of ASTEP and use our artistic expression to put something positive in the universe.”

Telly Leung is a New York City native who was recently named one of the “Out 100” by Out Magazine and “Faces To Watch” by The Los Angeles Times. His Broadway and national touring credits include In Transit, Allegiance (with George Takei and Lea Salonga), Godspell, Rent (final Broadway company), Wicked (Boq, original Chicago company), Pacific Overtures, and Flower Drum Song. In 2010, he starred as Angel in Rent at the Hollywood Bowl opposite Wayne Brady, directed by Neil Patrick Harris. Television audiences will remember him as Wes the Warbler on “Glee,” as well as his guest star appearances on “Instinct,” “Odd Mom Out,” “Deadbeat,” and “Law and Order: Criminal Intent.” Telly is featured on many original Broadway cast recordings and he has released two solo albums, I’ll Cover You (2012) and Songs for You (2016) on Yellow Sound Label. For more information, please visit www.TellyLeung.com.

ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty) was conceived by Broadway musical director Mary-Mitchell Campbell and Juilliard students to transform the lives of underserved youth using the most powerful tool they had – their art. Today, ASTEP delivers after-school workshops and summer camps for young people affected by refugee and unaccompanied minor status, the justice system, homelessness, HIV/AIDS and systemic poverty. ASTEP Volunteer Teaching Artists create a safe space for students to use the arts to build leadership skills, strengthen their capacity for self-expression, learn to collaborate, and develop the confidence to make healthy life choices. With these skills, ASTEP students learn they have what it takes to succeed no matter the obstacles, which is key to breaking cycles of intergenerational poverty. For more information, visit ASTEP.org.

YELLOW SOUND LABEL is an Emmy Award-winning and Grammy Award-nominated, cutting-edge company that produces established performers, up-and-coming artists and original cast recordings. The boutique label takes a hands-on approach in nurturing and producing passionate, focused performers and composers who create quality, noteworthy recordings. www.YellowSoundLabel.com

 2018 RED BUCKET FOLLIES’ FLOWER DRUM SONG Photo Diary

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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: © 2000-2019 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

James Monroe Iglehart, Garth Kravits and Jessie Mueller Visit ONCE ON THIS ISLAND

Merle Dandridge, Jessie Mueller, Kenita R. MIller, Alex Newell and Lea Salonga. Photo by Lia Chang
Alex Newell, Lea Salonga, Merle Dandridge and Quentin Earl Darrington. Photo by Lia Chang
Alex Newell, Lea Salonga, Merle Dandridge and Quentin Earl Darrington. Photo by Lia Chang

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house at the evening performance of the Tony Award-winning Revival of a Musical Once On This Island, as Tony Award-winner Lea Salonga, played her final performance as Erzulie on June 24, before heading out to the Hollywood Bowl to star as Grace Farrell in the Michael Arden helmed production of Annie, July 27 – 29.

Merle Dandridge, Jessie Mueller, Kenita R. MIller, Alex Newell and Lea Salonga. Photo by Lia Chang
Merle Dandridge, Jessie Mueller, Kenita R. MIller, Alex Newell and Lea Salonga. Photo by Lia Chang

“Greenleaf” star Merle Dandridge, who originated the role of Papa Ge in the current revival, has returned for a limited run through August 19.

Garth Kravits, Kenita R. Miller and Jessie Mueller. Photo by Lia Chang
Garth Kravits, Kenita R. Miller and Jessie Mueller. Photo by Lia Chang

 Carousel‘s Jessie Mueller, Hamiton‘s James Monroe Iglehart and Gettin’ The Band Back Together‘s Garth Kravits visited with cast after the show.

Phillip Boykin, Emerson Davis, James M. Iglehart. Photo by Lia Chang
Phillip Boykin, Emerson Davis, James M. Iglehart. Photo by Lia Chang

The production opened to rave reviews on December 3 at The Circle in the Square Theatre and received eight Tony Award® nominations including Best Musical Revival, seven Drama Desk Award nominations, six Outer Critics Circle nominations and three Chita Rivera Award nominations. In addition to Best Musical Revival, the other Tony nominations included Best Leading Actress in a Musical – Hailey Kilgore, Best Scenic Design of a Musical – Dane Laffrey, Best Costume Design of a Musical – Clint Ramos, Best Lighting Design of a Musical – Jules Fisher + Peggy Eisenhauer, Best Sound Design of a Musical – Peter Hylenski, Best Direction of a Musical – Michael Arden, and Best Orchestrations – AnnMarie Milazzo & Michael Starobin.

Deonté Lamont, James Monroe Iglehart, Lea Salonga, Juwan Alan Crawley and Anthony Murphy. Photo by Lia Chang
Deonté Lamont, James Monroe Iglehart, Lea Salonga, Juwan Alan Crawley and Anthony Murphy. Photo by Lia Chang

The current cast stars Darlesia Cearcy as Erzulie, Merle Dandridge as Papa Ge, Quentin Earl Darrington as Agwe, Alex Newell as Asaka and Tony Award nominee Hailey Kilgore as Ti Moune. The cast also features Kenita R. Miller (Mama Euralie) Phillip Boykin (Tonton Julian), Courtnee Carter (Storyteller), Rodrick Covington (Storyteller), Cicily Daniels (Storyteller), Emerson Davis (Little Girl) Alysha Deslorieux (Andrea), Tyler Hardwick (Storyteller), Cassondra James (Storyteller), David Jennings (Armand), Grasan Kingsberry (Storyteller), Isaac Powell (Daniel), T. Oliver Reid (Storyteller), Anna Uzele (Storyteller), Ximone Rose (Storyteller), Anthony Wayne (Storyteller, Aurelia Williams (Storyteller), Mia Williamson (Little Girl) and Daniel Yearwood (Storyteller).

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Kenita R. Miller and Merle Dandridge. Photo by Lia Chang
Kenita R. Miller and Merle Dandridge. Photo by Lia Chang

The new production is directed by Tony nominee Michael Arden, and choreographed by the critically-acclaimed Camille A. Brown.

Quentin Earl Darrington and Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Quentin Earl Darrington and Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang

Once On This Island is written by the Tony Award-winning team Lynn Ahrens (Book and Lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (Music), and based on the novel “My Love, My Love” by Rosa Guy. This production features new orchestrations by original orchestrator Michael Starobin who is joined by AnnMarie Milazzo.

Alex Newell, Lea Salonga, Merle Dandridge and Quentin Earl Darrington. Photo by Lia Chang
Alex Newell, Lea Salonga, Merle Dandridge and Quentin Earl Darrington. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team also includes Dane Laffrey (Scenic Design), Clint Ramos (Costume Design), Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (Lighting Designers), Peter Hylenski (Sound Designer), John Bertles/Bash The Trash (Unusual Instruments), Cookie Jordan (Hair/Wig & Makeup Designer), Chris Fenwick (Music Supervisor), Alvin Hough, Jr. (Music Director), David Perlow (Associate Director), Nikki M. James (Assistant Director), Rickey Tripp (Associate Choreographer) and Telsey + Co / Craig Burns, CSA (Casting Agent).

Alex Newell, Garth Kravits, Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Alex Newell, Garth Kravits, Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang

Once On This Island is the tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl who falls in love with a wealthy boy from the other side of the island. When their divided cultures keep them apart, Ti Moune is guided by the powerful island gods, Erzulie, Asaka, Papa Ge, and Agwe, on a remarkable quest to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.

Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang

Bursting with Caribbean colors, rhythms and dance, the story comes to vibrant life in a striking production by Tony Award®-nominated director Michael Arden (Spring Awakening revival) and acclaimed choreographer Camille A. Brown. This production transforms the reality of a tropical village devastated by a storm into a fantastical world alive with hope.

Once On This Island premiered at Playwrights Horizons in May of 1990. The Broadway production opened in October of that year and ran for 469 performances garnering eight Tony nominations including Best Featured Actress (LaChanze), Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical and Best Musical. The 1994 West End production won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

Tickets for Once On This Island are on sale through Telecharge.

Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang

Tony Award Winner Lea Salonga to Star as Grace Farrell in ANNIE at the Hollywood Bowl, July 27 – 29 

Casts of “The Band’s Visit,” “Carousel,” “Frozen,” “Mean Girls,” “My Fair Lady,” “Once on This Island,” “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical,” “SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical,” and “Dear Evan Hansen” to Perform on 2018 Tony Awards 

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

Kenita R. Miller and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Kenita R. Miller and 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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Happy Trails to ONCE ON THIS ISLAND Star Tony Award-Winner Lea Salonga

Lea Salonga and Director Michael Arden. Photo by Lia Chang

Happy trails to Tony Award-winner Lea Salonga, who will play her final two performances as Erzulie in the Tony Award-winning Revival of a Musical Once On This Island, before heading out to the Hollywood Bowl to star as Grace Farrell in the Michael Arden helmed production of Annie, July 27 – 29.

I will have the opportunity to enjoy her final turn as Erzulie tonight.

Lea Salonga and Director Michael Arden. Photo by Lia Chang
Lea Salonga and Director Michael Arden. Photo by Lia Chang

“Greenleaf” star Merle Dandridge, who originated the role of Papa Ge in the current revival, has returned for a limited run through August 19.

Merle Dandridge, Aurelia Williams-Philpotts, Quentin Earl Darrington, Lea Salonga. Photo by Lia Chang
Merle Dandridge, Aurelia Williams-Philpotts, Quentin Earl Darrington, Lea Salonga. Photo by Lia Chang

Below are photos of the cast and creative team of Once On This Island celebrating taking home the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical at Vida Verde.

Ken Davenport and Hunter Arnold. Photo by Lia Chang
Producers Ken Davenport and Hunter Arnold. Photo by Lia Chang

The production opened to rave reviews on December 3 at The Circle in the Square Theatre and received eight Tony Award® nominations including Best Musical Revival, seven Drama Desk Award nominations, six Outer Critics Circle nominations and three Chita Rivera Award nominations. In addition to Best Musical Revival, the other Tony nominations included Best Leading Actress in a Musical – Hailey Kilgore, Best Scenic Design of a Musical – Dane Laffrey, Best Costume Design of a Musical – Clint Ramos, Best Lighting Design of a Musical – Jules Fisher + Peggy Eisenhauer, Best Sound Design of a Musical – Peter Hylenski, Best Direction of a Musical – Michael Arden, and Best Orchestrations – AnnMarie Milazzo & Michael Starobin.

Producer Ken Davenport. Photo by Lia Chang
Producer Ken Davenport. Photo by Lia Chang

The current cast stars Tony Award winner Lea Salonga as Erzulie, Alex Newell as Asaka, Merle Dandridge as Papa Ge, Quentin Earl Darrington as Agwe and Tony Award nominee Hailey Kilgore as Ti Moune. The cast also features Kenita R. Miller (Mama Euralie) Phillip Boykin (Tonton Julian), Darlesia Cearcy (Storyteller), Rodrick Covington (Storyteller), Emerson Davis (Little Girl) Alysha Deslorieux (Andrea), Tyler Hardwick (Storyteller), Cassondra James (Storyteller), David Jennings (Armand), Grasan Kingsberry (Storyteller), Isaac Powell (Daniel), T. Oliver Reid (Storyteller), Ximone Rose (Storyteller), Anthony Wayne (Storyteller, Aurelia Williams (Storyteller), and Mia Williamson (Little Girl). Darlesia Cearcy will portray Erzulie beginning June 25.

Victor Lirio, Director Michael Arden, Andy Mientus and Lea Salonga. Photo by Lia Chang
Victor Lirio, Director Michael Arden, Andy Mientus and Lea Salonga. Photo by Lia Chang

The new production is directed by Tony nominee Michael Arden, and choreographed by the critically-acclaimed Camille A. Brown.

Kenita R. Miller, Merle Dandridge and Justin Hicks. Photo by Lia Chang
Kenita R. Miller, Merle Dandridge and Justin Hicks. Photo by Lia Chang

Once On This Island is written by the Tony Award-winning team Lynn Ahrens (Book and Lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (Music), and based on the novel “My Love, My Love” by Rosa Guy. This production features new orchestrations by original orchestrator Michael Starobin who is joined by AnnMarie Milazzo.

Kenita R. Miller, Justin Hicks, Lynn Ahrens. Photo by Lia Chang
Kenita R. Miller, Justin Hicks, Lynn Ahrens. Photo by Lia Chang
Kenita R. Miller and Hailey Kilgore. Photo by Lia Chang
Kenita R. Miller and Hailey Kilgore. Photo by Lia Chang
Producer Ken Davenport with cast members from his new show, GETTIN' THE BAND BACK TOGETHER, Garth Kravits and Jasmin Richardson. Photo by Lia Chang
Producer Ken Davenport with cast members from his new show, GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER, Garth Kravits and Jasmin Richardson. Photo by Lia Chang
Hailey Kilgore, Trevor Hardwick, Kenita R. Miller and Stephen Flaherty. Photo by Lia Chang
Hailey Kilgore, Trevor Hardwick, Kenita R. Miller and Stephen Flaherty. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team also includes Dane Laffrey (Scenic Design), Clint Ramos (Costume Design), Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (Lighting Designers), Peter Hylenski (Sound Designer), John Bertles/Bash The Trash (Unusual Instruments), Cookie Jordan (Hair/Wig & Makeup Designer), Chris Fenwick (Music Supervisor), Alvin Hough, Jr. (Music Director), David Perlow (Associate Director), Nikki M. James (Assistant Director), Rickey Tripp (Associate Choreographer) and Telsey + Co / Craig Burns, CSA (Casting Agent).

Ken Davenport, Clint Ramos and Lea Salonga. Photo by Lia Chang
Ken Davenport, Clint Ramos and Lea Salonga. Photo by Lia Chang

Once On This Island is the tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl who falls in love with a wealthy boy from the other side of the island. When their divided cultures keep them apart, Ti Moune is guided by the powerful island gods, Erzulie, Asaka, Papa Ge, and Agwe, on a remarkable quest to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.

Lia Chang, J. Elaine Marcos, Lea Salonga, Victor Lirio at the ONCE ON THIS ISLAND Tony Party at Vida Verde in New York on June 10, 2018. Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, J. Elaine Marcos, Lea Salonga, Victor Lirio at the ONCE ON THIS ISLAND Tony Party at Vida Verde in New York on June 10, 2018. Photo by Garth Kravits

Bursting with Caribbean colors, rhythms and dance, the story comes to vibrant life in a striking production by Tony Award®-nominated director Michael Arden (Spring Awakening revival) and acclaimed choreographer Camille A. Brown. This production transforms the reality of a tropical village devastated by a storm into a fantastical world alive with hope.

GETTIN' THE BAND BACK TOGETHER cast members J. Elaine Marcos, Jasmine Richardson, Garth Kravits at the ONCE ON THIS ISLAND Tony Party at Vida Verde in New York on June 10, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang
GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER cast members J. Elaine Marcos, Jasmine Richardson, Garth Kravits at the ONCE ON THIS ISLAND Tony Party at Vida Verde in New York on June 10, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang

Once On This Island premiered at Playwrights Horizons in May of 1990. The Broadway production opened in October of that year and ran for 469 performances garnering eight Tony nominations including Best Featured Actress (LaChanze), Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical and Best Musical. The 1994 West End production won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

Quentin Earl Darrington, Aurelia Williams, Lea Salonga, Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Quentin Earl Darrington, Aurelia Williams, Lea Salonga, Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Anthony Wayne, Tyler Hardwick, Aurelia Willams, Quentin Earl Darrington, Lea Salonga, Alivin Hough, Jr., Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Anthony Wayne, Tyler Hardwick, Aurelia Williams, Quentin Earl Darrington, Lea Salonga, Alivin Hough, Jr., Kenita R. Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Phillip Boykin and Ken Davenport. Photo by Lia Chang
Phillip Boykin and Ken Davenport. Photo by Lia Chang
Lea Salonga and Director Michael Arden. Photo by Lia Chang
Lea Salonga and Director Michael Arden. Photo by Lia Chang
Clint Ramos, Lea Salonga and Victor Lirio. Photo by Lia Chang
Clint Ramos, Lea Salonga and Victor Lirio. Photo by Lia Chang
Producer Ken Davenport, Assistant Director Nikki M. James and Director Michael Arden. Photo by Lia Chang
Producer Ken Davenport, Assistant Director Nikki M. James and Director Michael Arden. Photo by Lia Chang
T. Oliver Reid, Kenita R. Miller and Tyler Hardwick. Photo by Lia Chang
T. Oliver Reid, Kenita R. Miller and Tyler Hardwick. Photo by Lia Chang
Michael Arden and Andy Mientus. Photo by Lia Chang
Michael Arden and Andy Mientus. Photo by Lia Chang

Tickets for Once On This Island are on sale through Telecharge.

Tony Award Winner Lea Salonga to Star as Grace Farrell in ANNIE at the Hollywood Bowl, July 27 – 29 

Casts of “The Band’s Visit,” “Carousel,” “Frozen,” “Mean Girls,” “My Fair Lady,” “Once on This Island,” “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical,” “SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical,” and “Dear Evan Hansen” to Perform on 2018 Tony Awards 

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

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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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Merle Dandridge Returns as Papa Ge in Tony Award-Winning Revival of ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, June 18 – August 19

Kenita R. Miller, Merle Dandridge and Justin Hicks. Photo by Lia Chang
Kenita R. Miller, Merle Dandridge and Justin Hicks. Photo by Lia Chang
Kenita R. Miller, Merle Dandridge and Justin Hicks. Photo by Lia Chang

Merle Dandridge returns to the Tony Award winning revival of Once On This Island for a limited time from June 18 – August 19. Current cast member Tamyra Gray will return as Papa Ge on August 20.

Alex Newell, Lea Salonga and Merle Dandridge. Photo: Joan Marcus
Alex Newell, Lea Salonga and Merle Dandridge. Photo: Joan Marcus

“Reviving Once On This Island was one of the most creatively and emotionally rewarding experiences of my life,” remarked Merle Dandridge. “It was bittersweet to leave this beautiful Island family after our rigorous rehearsal and preview process and only six weeks into the run to return to a wonderful season 3 of “Greenleaf” on OWN. It was a banner year and it is now topped by the opportunity to come back to the Island this summer. Creating the heartbreaking and terrifying journey for a female Papa Ge was and is a thrill. I cannot wait to delve deeper into the character this summer.”

Merle Dandridge, Aurelia Williams-Philpotts, Quentin Earl Darrington, Lea Salonga. Photo by Lia Chang
Merle Dandridge, Aurelia Williams-Philpotts, Quentin Earl Darrington, Lea Salonga. Photo by Lia Chang

The new Broadway production of Once On This Island, produced by Ken Davenport and Hunter Arnold, is the recipient of eight Tony Award® nominations including Best Musical Revival and Best Leading Actress (Hailey Kilgore), seven Drama Desk Award nominations, six Outer Critics Circle nominations and three Chita Rivera Award nominations. It opened on December 3 at The Circle in the Square Theatre (235 West 50th Street) to rave reviews.

Hailey Kilgore, Trevor Hardwick, Kenita R. Miller and Stephen Flaherty. Photo by Lia Chang
Hailey Kilgore, Trevor Hardwick, Kenita R. Miller and Stephen Flaherty. Photo by Lia Chang

The new production is directed by Tony nominee Michael Arden, and choreographed by the critically-acclaimed Camille A. Brown.

Once On This Island is written by the Tony Award-winning team Lynn Ahrens (Book and Lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (Music), and based on the novel “My Love, My Love” by Rosa Guy. This production features new orchestrations by original orchestrator Michael Starobin who is joined by AnnMarie Milazzo.

The creative team also includes Dane Laffrey (Scenic Design), Clint Ramos (Costume Design), Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (Lighting Designers), Peter Hylenski (Sound Designer), John Bertles/Bash The Trash (Unusual Instruments), Cookie Jordan (Hair/Wig & Makeup Designer), Chris Fenwick (Music Supervisor), Alvin Hough, Jr. (Music Director), David Perlow (Associate Director), Nikki M. James (Assistant Director), Rickey Tripp (Associate Choreographer) and Telsey + Co / Craig Burns, CSA (Casting Agent).

Additional producers include Carl Daikeler, Roy Putrino, Broadway Strategic Return Fund, Sandi Moran, Caiola Productions, H. Richard Hopper, Diego Kolankowsky, Brian Cromwell Smith, Ron Kastner, Rob Kolson, Judith Manocherian, Kevin Lyle, Jay Alix, Una Jackman, Jeff Wise, Witzend Productions, Jeff Grove, Wishnie-Strasberg, Mark Ferris, Michelle Riley, Marie Stevenson, Silva Theatrical Group, Jesse McKendry, Dr. Mojgan Fajiram, Conor Bagley, Brendan C. Tetro, Invisible Wall Productions, SilverWalport Productions, Tyler Mount, UshkowitzLatimer Productions, Deitric Johnson, Steven Mulligan, Reilly Hickey, The Harbert Family, Keith Cromwell, Red Mountain Theatre Company, 42nd.Club, The Yonnone Family and Island Productions. The associate producers are Kayla Greenspan and Valerie Novakoff.

Once On This Island is the tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl who falls in love with a wealthy boy from the other side of the island. When their divided cultures keep them apart, Ti Moune is guided by the powerful island gods, Erzulie, Asaka, Papa Ge, and Agwe, on a remarkable quest to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.

Bursting with Caribbean colors, rhythms and dance, the story comes to vibrant life in a striking production by Tony Award®-nominated director Michael Arden (Spring Awakening revival) and acclaimed choreographer Camille A. Brown. This production transforms the reality of a tropical village devastated by a storm into a fantastical world alive with hope.

Tickets for Once On This Island are on sale through Telecharge. Group tickets are available at www.YourBroadwayGenius.com or by calling 855-329-2932.

Once On This Island premiered at Playwrights Horizons in May of 1990. The Broadway production opened in October of that year and ran for 469 performances garnering eight Tony nominations including Best Featured Actress (LaChanze), Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical and Best Musical. The 1994 West End production won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

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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Lea Salonga, Kenita R. Miller, Merle Dandridge, Andy Mientus, Garth Kravits and More Celebrate ONCE ON THIS ISLAND Tony Award for Best Revival of A Musical

Ken Davenport and Kenita Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Kenita R. Miller, Justin Hicks, Lynn Ahrens. Photo by Lia Chang
Kenita R. Miller, Justin Hicks, Lynn Ahrens. Photo by Lia Chang

It was party central at Vida Verde on Sunday night when I met up with Kenita R. Miller and her husband Justin Hicks, where the Once On This Island Tony party was in full swing.

Earlier in the evening, Ms. Miller, who plays Mama Euralie, had performed on the Tony Awards with Tony Award winner Lea Salonga as Erzulie, Alex Newell as Asaka, Tamyra Gray as Papa Ge, Quentin Earl Darrington as Agwe, Tony Award nominee Hailey Kilgore as Ti Moune and the full cast.

The revival of Once On This Island, produced by Ken Davenport and Hunter Arnold, won the Tony Award for Best Musical Revival.

The production opened to rave reviews on December 3 at The Circle in the Square Theatre and received eight Tony Award® nominations including Best Musical Revival, seven Drama Desk Award nominations, six Outer Critics Circle nominations and three Chita Rivera Award nominations.

The cast also features Phillip Boykin (Tonton Julian), Darlesia Cearcy (Storyteller), Rodrick Covington (Storyteller), Emerson Davis (Little Girl) Alysha Deslorieux (Andrea), Tyler Hardwick (Storyteller), Cassondra James (Storyteller), David Jennings (Armand), Grasan Kingsberry (Storyteller), Isaac Powell (Daniel), T. Oliver Reid (Storyteller), Ximone Rose (Storyteller), Anthony Wayne (Storyteller, Aurelia Williams (Storyteller), and Mia Williamson (Little Girl).

The new production is directed by Tony nominee Michael Arden, and choreographed by the critically-acclaimed Camille A. Brown.

Once On This Island is written by the Tony Award-winning team Lynn Ahrens (Book and Lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (Music), and based on the novel “My Love, My Love” by Rosa Guy. This production features new orchestrations by original orchestrator Michael Starobin who is joined by AnnMarie Milazzo.

Hailey Kilgore, Trevor Hardwick, Kenita R. Miller and Stephen Flaherty. Photo by Lia Chang
Hailey Kilgore, Trevor Hardwick, Kenita R. Miller and Stephen Flaherty. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team also includes Dane Laffrey (Scenic Design), Clint Ramos (Costume Design), Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (Lighting Designers), Peter Hylenski (Sound Designer), John Bertles/Bash The Trash (Unusual Instruments), Cookie Jordan (Hair/Wig & Makeup Designer), Chris Fenwick (Music Supervisor), Alvin Hough, Jr. (Music Director), David Perlow (Associate Director), Nikki M. James (Assistant Director), Rickey Tripp (Associate Choreographer) and Telsey + Co / Craig Burns, CSA (Casting Agent).

Corey Brunish and Jessica Rose Brunish. Photo by Lia Chang
Corey Brunish and Jessica Rose Brunish. Photo by Lia Chang

Additional producers include Carl Daikeler, Roy Putrino, Broadway Strategic Return Fund, Caiola Productions, H. Richard Hopper, Sandi Moran, Diego Kolankowsky, Brian Cromwell Smith, Ron Kastner, Rob Kolson, Judith Manocherian, Kevin Lyle, Jay Alix, Una Jackman, Jeff Wise, Witzend Productions, Jeff Grove, Wishnie-Strasberg, Mark Ferris, Michelle Riley, Marie Stevenson, Mojgan Fajiram, Jesse McKendry, Silva Theatrical Group, Conor Bagley, Brendan C. Tetro, Invisible Wall Productions,The Harbert Family, Keith Cromwell, and Red Mountain Theatre Company. The associate producers are Kayla Greenspan and Valerie Novakoff.

Producer Ken Davenport, Assistant Director Nikki M. James and Director Michael Arden. Photo by Lia Chang
Producer Ken Davenport, Assistant Director Nikki M. James and Director Michael Arden. Photo by Lia Chang

Once On This Island is the tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl who falls in love with a wealthy boy from the other side of the island. When their divided cultures keep them apart, Ti Moune is guided by the powerful island gods, Erzulie, Asaka, Papa Ge, and Agwe, on a remarkable quest to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.

Bursting with Caribbean colors, rhythms and dance, the story comes to vibrant life in a striking production by Tony Award®-nominated director Michael Arden (Spring Awakening revival) and acclaimed choreographer Camille A. Brown. This production transforms the reality of a tropical village devastated by a storm into a fantastical world alive with hope.

Tickets for Once On This Island are on sale through Telecharge.

Once On This Island premiered at Playwrights Horizons in May of 1990. The Broadway production opened in October of that year and ran for 469 performances garnering eight Tony nominations including Best Featured Actress (LaChanze), Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical and Best Musical. The 1994 West End production won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

Lia Chang, J. Elaine Marcos, Lea Salonga, Victor Lirio. Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, J. Elaine Marcos, Lea Salonga, Victor Lirio. Photo by Garth Kravits

Tony Award Winner Lea Salonga to Star as Grace Farrell in ANNIE at the Hollywood Bowl, July 27 – 29 

Casts of “The Band’s Visit,” “Carousel,” “Frozen,” “Mean Girls,” “My Fair Lady,” “Once on This Island,” “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical,” “SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical,” and “Dear Evan Hansen” to Perform on 2018 Tony Awards 

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

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

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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Lea Salonga to Play Final Performance in ONCE ON THIS ISLAND on June 24; Darlesia Cearcy to Take Over Erzulie

Lea Salonga as Erzulie in ONCE ON THIS ISLAND. Photo by Joan Marcus
Lea Salonga as Erzulie in ONCE ON THIS ISLAND. Photo by Joan Marcus
Lea Salonga as Erzulie in ONCE ON THIS ISLAND. Photo by Joan Marcus

You have until June 24th to experience Tony winner Lea Salonga as Erzulie in the Tony Award nominated revival of Once On This Island. Current cast member Darlesia Cearcy will take over the role of Erzulie on June 25.

Tony Award Winner Lea Salonga to Star as Grace Farrell in ANNIE at the Hollywood Bowl, July 27 – 29 

The new Broadway production of Once On This Island, produced by Ken Davenport and Hunter Arnold, is the recipient of eight Tony Award® nominations including Best Musical Revival, seven Drama Desk Award nominations, six Outer Critics Circle nominations and three Chita Rivera Award nominations. It opened on December 3 at The Circle in the Square Theatre (235 West 50th Street) to rave reviews.

The new production is directed by Tony nominee Michael Arden, and choreographed by the critically-acclaimed Camille A. Brown.

The cast features Tony Award winner Lea Salonga as Erzulie, Alex Newell as Asaka, Tamyra Gray as Papa Ge, Quentin Earl Darrington as Agwe and Tony Award nominee Hailey Kilgore as Ti Moune.The cast also features Kenita R. Miller (Mama Euralie), Phillip Boykin (Tonton Julian), Darlesia Cearcy (Storyteller), Rodrick Covington (Storyteller), Emerson Davis (Little Girl) Alysha Deslorieux (Andrea), Tyler Hardwick (Storyteller), Cassondra James (Storyteller), David Jennings (Armand), Grasan Kingsberry (Storyteller), Isaac Powell (Daniel), T. Oliver Reid (Storyteller), Ximone Rose (Storyteller), Anthony Wayne (Storyteller, Aurelia Williams (Storyteller), and Mia Williamson (Little Girl).

Once On This Island is written by the Tony Award-winning team Lynn Ahrens (Book and Lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (Music), and based on the novel “My Love, My Love” by Rosa Guy. This production features new orchestrations by original orchestrator Michael Starobin who is joined by AnnMarie Milazzo.

The creative team also includes Dane Laffrey (Scenic Design), Clint Ramos (Costume Design), Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (Lighting Designers), Peter Hylenski (Sound Designer), John Bertles/Bash The Trash (Unusual Instruments), Cookie Jordan (Hair/Wig & Makeup Designer), Chris Fenwick (Music Supervisor), Alvin Hough, Jr. (Music Director), David Perlow (Associate Director), Nikki M. James (Assistant Director), Rickey Tripp (Associate Choreographer) and Telsey + Co / Craig Burns, CSA (Casting Agent).

Additional producers include Carl Daikeler, Roy Putrino, Broadway Strategic Return Fund, Caiola Productions, H. Richard Hopper, Sandi Moran, Diego Kolankowsky, Brian Cromwell Smith, Ron Kastner, Rob Kolson, Judith Manocherian, Kevin Lyle, Jay Alix, Una Jackman, Jeff Wise, Witzend Productions, Jeff Grove, Wishnie-Strasberg, Mark Ferris, Michelle Riley, Marie Stevenson, Mojgan Fajiram, Jesse McKendry, Silva Theatrical Group, Conor Bagley, Brendan C. Tetro, Invisible Wall Productions,The Harbert Family, Keith Cromwell, and Red Mountain Theatre Company. The associate producers are Kayla Greenspan and Valerie Novakoff.

Once On This Island is the tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl who falls in love with a wealthy boy from the other side of the island. When their divided cultures keep them apart, Ti Moune is guided by the powerful island gods, Erzulie, Asaka, Papa Ge, and Agwe, on a remarkable quest to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.

Bursting with Caribbean colors, rhythms and dance, the story comes to vibrant life in a striking production by Tony Award®-nominated director Michael Arden (Spring Awakening revival) and acclaimed choreographer Camille A. Brown. This production transforms the reality of a tropical village devastated by a storm into a fantastical world alive with hope.

Tickets for Once On This Island are on sale through Telecharge.

Once On This Island premiered at Playwrights Horizons in May of 1990. The Broadway production opened in October of that year and ran for 469 performances garnering eight Tony nominations including Best Featured Actress (LaChanze), Best Original Score, Best Book of a Musical and Best Musical. The 1994 West End production won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical.

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Tony Award Winner Lea Salonga to Star as Grace Farrell in ANNIE at the Hollywood Bowl, July 27 – 29

Lea Salonga
Lea Salonga
Lea Salonga

Tony Award winner Lea Salonga will reteam with her Once on the Island director Michael Arden to star as Grace Farrell in Hollywood Bowl’s upcoming production of Annie, one of the longest-running shows in Broadway history, which will be this summer’s annual staged musical at the Bowl.

Charles Strouse, the Tony Award-winning composer of Annie (as well as Bye Bye Birdie, Applause, and some of the most popular music from the last 60 years of Broadway, film and television) turns 90 this June. To mark the occasion, a year-long celebration of events, including tributes, concerts, revivals and international productions, will take place across the United States and around the world. Strouse’s iconic songs – from “Tomorrow” and “Put on a Happy Face” to “Those Were the Days” (theme from “All in the Family”) – will be heard worldwide, from Abu Dhabi to Congo to Belgium, on television in “The Simpsons” and at the Hollywood Bowl with Annie.

Annie will be helmed by Tony Award-nominated director Michael Arden, conducted by Todd Ellison and choreographed by Eamon Foley. Annie’s book is by Thomas Meehan, music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin.

Annie, the classic story of a young girl overcoming adversity, features a beloved score of hits (including “Tomorrow” and “It’s the Hard Knock Life”) and is a delightful experience for the entire family. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.

Annie will have three performances at the Hollywood Bowl this summer – Friday, July 27, at 8PM; Saturday, July 28, at 8PM; and Sunday, July 29, at 7:30PM, with single tickets on sale Sunday, April 29.

Lea Salonga is a singer and actress who is best known for her Tony Award-winning role in Miss Saigon. In addition to the Tony, she has won the Olivier, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World Awards, in the field of musical theatre. She was also the first Asian to play Eponine in the musical Les Misérables on Broadway and returned to the beloved show as Fantine in the 2006 revival, in addition to starring in the 10th and 25th Anniversary Concerts filmed and recorded for PBS. Ms. Salonga’s other Broadway appearances include Flower Drum Song and Allegiance. She is currently starring in the acclaimed Broadway revival of Once on This Island, which recently garnered 8 Tony nominations.

Alex Newell, Lea Salonga and Merle Dandridge. Photo: Joan Marcus
Alex Newell, Lea Salonga and Merle Dandridge in Once on this Island. Photo: Joan Marcus

Many fans of all ages recognize Lea as the singing voice of Princess Jasmine from Aladdin and Fa Mulan for Mulan and Mulan II. For her portrayal of the beloved princesses, the Walt Disney Company bestowed her with the honor of “Disney Legend” in August of 2011.

As a concert artist Lea has toured the world, performing sold-out concerts in some of the world’s most iconic venues, including the Sydney Opera House, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Singapore’s Esplanade, Hong Kong Cultural Center, Carnegie Hall, and London’s O2 Arena.

Subscriptions and single tickets for performances during the Hollywood Bowl 2018 summer season are available at hollywoodbowl.com, or via credit card phone order at 323 850 2000, and in person from Sunday, April 29 at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office.

For further details or questions, call 323.850.2000 from 10AM – 6PM daily, or visit laphil.com.

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Multimedia: Lea Salonga, Merle Dandridge, Hailey Kilgore, Kenita Miller, Quentin Earl Darrington & Alex Newell in Broadway Revival of ONCE ON THIS ISLAND

Alex Newell, Lea Salonga and Merle Dandridge. Photo: Joan Marcus

The new Broadway production of Once On This Island, helmed by Tony nominee Michael Arden, opens on Sunday, December 3rd at the Circle in the Square Theatre (235 W. 50th street, NYC). Click here for tickets.

Emerson Davis, Lea Salonga, Alex Newell, Quentin Earl Darrington and Merle Dandridge. Photo: Joan Marcus
Emerson Davis, Lea Salonga, Alex Newell, Quentin Earl Darrington and Merle Dandridge. Photo: Joan Marcus

Tony Award winner Lea Salonga (Erzulie), Alex Newell (Asaka), Merle Dandridge (Papa Ge), and Quentin Earl Darrington (Agwe) are joined by newcomer, Hailey Kilgore (Ti Moune) with Phillip Boykin (Tonton Julian), Darlesia Cearcy (Storyteller), Rodrick Covington (Storyteller), Emerson Davis (Little Girl) Alysha Deslorieux (Andrea), Tyler Hardwick (Storyteller), Cassondra James (Storyteller), David Jennings (Armand), Grasan Kingsberry (Storyteller), Loren Lott (Storyteller), Kenita R. Miller (Mama Euralie), Isaac Powell (Daniel), T. Oliver Reid (Storyteller), Aurelia Williams (Storyteller), and Mia Williamson (Little Girl).

Kenita R. Miller. Photo: Joan Marcus
Kenita R. Miller. Photo: Joan Marcus

Once On This Island is written by the Tony Award-winning team Lynn Ahrens (Book and Lyrics) and Stephen Flaherty (Music), and based on the novel “My Love, My Love” by Rosa Guy. This production features new orchestrations by original orchestrator Michael Starobin who is joined by AnnMarie Milazzo.

Alex Newell, Lea Salonga and Merle Dandridge. Photo: Joan Marcus
Alex Newell, Lea Salonga and Merle Dandridge. Photo: Joan Marcus

The creative team also includes choreography by the critically-acclaimed Camille A. Brown, Dane Laffrey (Scenic Design), Clint Ramos (Costume Design), Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer (Lighting Designers), Peter Hylenski (Sound Designer), John Bertles/Bash The Trash (Unusual Instruments), Cookie Jordan (Hair/Wig & Makeup Designer), Chris Fenwick (Music Supervisor), Alvin Hough, Jr. (Music Director), David Perlow (Associate Director), Nikki M. James (Assistant Director), Rickey Tripp (Associate Choreographer) and Telsey + Co / Craig Burns, CSA (Casting Agent).

Lea Salonga. Photo: Joan Marcus
Lea Salonga. Photo: Joan Marcus

Once On This Island is the tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl who falls in love with a wealthy boy from the other side of the island. When their divided cultures keep them apart, Ti Moune is guided by the powerful island gods, Erzulie, Asaka, Papa Ge, and Agwe, on a remarkable quest to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.

Hailey Kilgore. Photo: Joan Marcus
Hailey Kilgore. Photo: Joan Marcus
Phillip Boykin. Photo: Joan Marcus
Phillip Boykin. Photo: Joan Marcus
Isaac Powell and Merle Dandridge. Photo: Joan Marcus
Isaac Powell and Merle Dandridge. Photo: Joan Marcus
Hailey Kilgore. Photo: Joan Marcus
Hailey Kilgore. Photo: Joan Marcus
Mia Williamson, Alex Newell, Hailey Kilgore and the cast of Once On This Island. Photo: Joan Marcus
Mia Williamson, Alex Newell, Hailey Kilgore and the cast of Once On This Island. Photo: Joan Marcus
Isaac Powell and Quentin Earl Darrington. Photo: Joan Marcus
Isaac Powell and Quentin Earl Darrington. Photo: Joan Marcus
The cast of Once On This Island. Photo: Joan Marcus
The cast of Once On This Island. Photo: Joan Marcus
Quentin Earl Darrington. Photo: Joan Marcus
Quentin Earl Darrington. Photo: Joan Marcus

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Paul Nakauchi, Masi Oka, Willem Dafoe, Nat Wolff, Margaret Qualley, LaKeith Stanfield Attend NY Premiere of “Death Note”

Paul Nakauchi attends the 'Death Note' New York premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 theater on August 17, 2017 in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang
Paul Nakauchi and Willem Dafoe attend the 'Death Note' New York premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 theater on August 17, 2017 in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang
Paul Nakauchi and Willem Dafoe attend the ‘Death Note’ New York premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 theater on August 17, 2017 in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

Paul Nakauchi (The Great Raid), currently appearing in Guthrie’s production of Sunday in the Park with George through August 20th, attended the New York premiere of the NetFlix original film “Death Note” at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 theater on August 17, 2017 in New York City.

LaKeith Stanfield, Willem Dafoe, Paul Nakauchi, director Adam Wingard, Shea Whigham, Nat Wolff, Margaret Qualley attend the 'Death Note' New York premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 theater on August 17, 2017 in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang
LaKeith Stanfield, Willem Dafoe, Paul Nakauchi, director Adam Wingard, Shea Whigham, Nat Wolff, Margaret Qualley attend the ‘Death Note’ New York premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 theater on August 17, 2017 in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

Nakauchi, who plays Watari in the film, was joined on the black carpet by cast members Nat Wolff (Paper Towns) as Light Turner, Margaret Qualley (The Leftovers) as Mia Sutton, Scott Stuber, Shea Whigham (American Hustle) as James Turner, LaKeith Stanfield (Get Out) as L, Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man) as the voice of Ryuk, director Adam Wingard (Blair Witch, You’re Next);  producers Masi Oka, Roy Lee, Dan Lin and Jason Hoffs, and executive producers Miri Yoon and Jonathan Eirich.

Co-writer Charlie Parlapanides, actors Willem Dafoe, Paul Nakauchi, Nat Wolff, Margaret Qualley, director Adam Wingard, actor Shea Whigham, producers Roy Lee, Jason Hoffs and Masi Oka, actor LaKeith Stanfield and co-writer Vlas Parlapanides attend the 'Death Note' New York premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 theater on August 17, 2017 in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang
Co-writer Charlie Parlapanides, actors Willem Dafoe, Paul Nakauchi, Nat Wolff, Margaret Qualley, director Adam Wingard, actor Shea Whigham, producers Roy Lee, Jason Hoffs and Masi Oka, actor LaKeith Stanfield and co-writer Vlas Parlapanides attend the ‘Death Note’ New York premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 theater on August 17, 2017 in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

Based on the famous Japanese manga written by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, Death Note follows a high school student who comes across a supernatural notebook, realizing it holds within it a great power; if the owner inscribes someone’s name into it while picturing their face, he or she will die. Intoxicated with his new godlike abilities, the young man begins to kill those he deems unworthy of life.

“Death Note” launches globally on NetFlix on August 25th and will screen in select theaters in New York and LA.

Paul Nakauchi attends the 'Death Note' New York premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 theater on August 17, 2017 in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang
Paul Nakauchi attends the ‘Death Note’ New York premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 theater on August 17, 2017 in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

Nakauchi’s film credits include The Great Raid and Dark Metropolis. He has been seen on television in “Deadbeat,” “ER,” “The Young and the Restless,” “General Hospital,” “Saturday Night Live,” “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” and “Knots Landing.” He is a sought after veteran voice over artist and his voice inhabits characters in the animated features The Invincible Iron ManDoctor Strange, Legend of Korra, Star Wars the Clone Wars and Alpha and Omega; the television cartoons “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and “Batman: The Brave and the Bold,” as well as numerous video games including Cars 2, Call of Duty: World at War and Lost Planet 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, to name a few.  Click here for clips of Nakauchi’s voice work.

Nakauchi played the Kralahome and understudied The King in Lincoln Center Theater’s Tony Award- winning production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I  at the Vivian Beaumont Theater, directed by Bartlett Sher.

Ken Watanabe as The King, Paul Nakauchi as the Kralahome and company. Photo by Paul Kolnik
Ken Watanabe as The King, Paul Nakauchi as the Kralahome and company. Photo by Paul Kolnik

In 2012, Nakauchi performed the role of Tatsuo Kimura in the world premiere production of Allegiance at The Old Globe in San Diego, opposite George Takei, Telly Leung, Lea Salonga and Michael K. Lee.

Lea Salonga as Kei Kimura, Telly Leung as Sammy Kimura, George Takei as Ojii-san, and Paul Nakauchi as Tatsuo Kimura in the premiere of Allegiance – A New American Musical at the Old Globe Theatre, before its Broadway run. Photo by Henry DiRocco
Lea Salonga as Kei Kimura, Telly Leung as Sammy Kimura, George Takei as Ojii-san, and Paul Nakauchi as Tatsuo Kimura in the premiere of Allegiance – A New American Musical at the Old Globe Theatre, before its Broadway run. Photo by Henry DiRocco

Nakauchi began his theater career in the National Tour of The King and I with Yul Brynner. He understudied and performed the role of The King of Siam on Broadway in the 1996 revival opposite Donna Murphy. He also played The King on London’s West End with Elaine Paige, and has toured Asia in the Broadway Asia production of The King and I, recreating the same role. He toured the U.S. in the First National Tour of Miss Saigon understudying and playing the role of The Engineer. Other Broadway credits include Chu Chem.

Paul Nakauchi and husband David Mateo attend the 'Death Note' New York premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 theater on August 17, 2017 in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang
Paul Nakauchi and husband David Mateo attend the ‘Death Note’ New York premiere at AMC Loews Lincoln Square 13 theater on August 17, 2017 in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

I caught up with Paul and his husband David Mateo over lunch at La Bonne Soupe. The interview below is edited for clarity.

Lia: Who is Watari?
Paul: I would describe him as a character similar to Alfred in Batman, he’s a bit enigmatic, a fatherly caretaker, but with a mysterious edge. Adam had given me a book to read which was about several people who claimed they had been subjects of government sponsored mind control, and the techniques that were used to turn them into Manchurian Candidates of a sort for various covert activities. Often these subjects were trained from a very early age, and familiar childhood tunes were used in the process as a trigger to place them into a hypnotic state, so they would then carry out their assigned task. That’s how the Wizard of Oz song I sing to L plays into the story, and then when I’m in a trance like state, driving in the car, going to look for L’s actual name in the orphanage, I sing the same tune.

Paul Nakauchi as Watari and LaKeith Stanfield as L in NetFlix's
Paul Nakauchi as Watari and LaKeith Stanfield as L in NetFlix’s “Death Note”.

Lia: Where did you shoot the film?
Paul: I was in Vancouver for a month. I shot about 5 weeks. I had a nice trailer with a fireplace.

Lia: How did you land the job?
Paul: I auditioned for it when I was in The King and I in New York. I put myself on tape and did a Skype session with Adam the director. In the audition they wanted me to sing a song. I sang the Sounds of Silence. I thought it fit with the theme.

Lia: Were you familiar with “Death Note” before? 
Paul: No, but Anime is so interesting. Prior to our film, the versions of “Death Note” included Manga, a cartoon, a live action-tv show, a musical and several films.

Lia: You are finishing your run in a non-traditionally cast production of Sunday in the Park with George at the Guthrie. What has it been like?
Paul: All of the theater that I have done has always been Asian musicals- The King and I, Miss Saigon, Allegiance. I never thought I would play a 19th century French artist. Joe Haj the new artistic director at the Guthrie is a big champion of diversity and the plays he chooses and as well as the casts and creative staff he hires reflect that vision. With the huge success of Hamilton, I think theaters across the country are realizing that diversity onstage can bring into the theater a whole new audience and be profitable as well. In our production we have four people of color, Christine Toy Johnson, Mychael T Rambo, Justin Lee Miller and myself, and the audiences have been very enthusiastic!

Randy Harrison, Emily Gunyou Halaas, Christine Toy Johnson, Paul Nakauchi, Ann Michels, Sasha Andreev and Erin Mackey. Photo by T Charles Erickson.
Randy Harrison, Emily Gunyou Halaas, Christine Toy Johnson, Paul Nakauchi, Ann Michels, Sasha Andreev and Erin Mackey. Photo by T Charles Erickson.

The Guthrie is one of the best theater complexes in the country and I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work there. It’s a lovely community of extremely talented artists, truly the jewel of the Midwest. Next year’s musical is West Side Story, and under Joe Haj’s direction it is sure to be wonderfully innovative. He plans to use a more modern dance vocabulary so it should be exciting.

Guthrie’s SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE Featuring Randy Harrison, Erin Mackey, Christine Toy Johnson, Paul Nakauchi and More, Ends Run on August 20 

Paul Nakauchi backstage at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in New York on Mar. 5, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang
Paul Nakauchi backstage at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in New York on Mar. 5, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: What was your experience at Lincoln Center in The King and I?
Paul: Every actor dreams of working at Lincoln Center, and doing the The King & I there was a dream come true. Bartlett Sher is a brilliant director, who does everything from straight plays, musicals and opera, and everyone and everything there is top notch, as well as having the best dressing rooms of any theater I’ve ever worked in!

Paul Nakauchi as The King in Lincoln Center Theater’s Tony Award- winning production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s THE KING AND I 

Lia: In 2012, you appeared in the world premiere of George Takei’s legacy project Allegiance at The Old Globe. What are your remembrances of working with George?
Paul: George Takei is an amazing man. I had a wonderful time working with on Allegiance. He’s been involved in Civil Rights activism for a long time. He actually ran for City Council is LA. He’s been a tireless advocate for LGTB rights. I admire him greatly. The Legacy project of Allegiance is something he is still doing, in fact he is going to do it in Los Angeles (2018). I feel fortunate to have worked with and to have met him. He’s the last generation of interment camp survivors. He’s really keeping that remembrance alive in terms of how it references today.

Paul Nakauchi and George Takei at the opening night party of Broadway's ALLEGIANCE at Bryant Park Grill on November 8, 2017 in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
Paul Nakauchi and George Takei at the opening night party of Broadway’s ALLEGIANCE at Bryant Park Grill on November 8, 2017 in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: How long have you been doing voice work for animation?
Paul: I’m the voice of Hanzo in the Blizzard Overwatch Games and recently attended Bliz Con- the Comic Con for Blizzard. It amazed me what a huge audience it has. It’s enormous. They had people from all over the world coming to that Bliz Con event in Anaheim. Gamers playing the games, panels, talking about new characters. Blizzard is a huge game and Overwatch recently won the 2017 Young People’s Choice Award for Favorite Game. I started doing that about 10 years ago.

I started doing voiceover for animation beginning with Marvel with Ironman and Dr. Strange. I actually did the animated version for Dr. Strange. I’m also doing a new NetFlix animated series – “Carmen Sandiego”. I play Shadowsan who is one of Carmen Sandiego’s teachers at the Spy Academy. That will be coming out in 2018. I’ve recorded about 6 episodes for that.

Gaming and “Death Note” tie in really well because it is a similar audience and similar age range.

Lia: What are the challenges of doing voice work?
Paul: It takes an enormous amount of imagination, because you record the voice first and they design the animation around your VO tracks, plus keeping the scripts secret is big priority, so you only see the dialogue when you get to the studio on the day of your session, so you have to have the character fully emotionally realized in a cold reading. It’s daunting, challenging, fun and rewarding all at the same time!

Celebrating with Jose Llana, Ruthie Ann Miles, Kelli O’Hara and Company after THE KING AND I’s Special Performance for The Actors Fund 

George Takei, Lea Salonga, Telly Leung, Michael K. Lee and More celebrate opening night of ALLEGIANCE 

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, which will screen at Asians on Film on March 10th, The Women’s Film Festival in Philadelphia on March 13th and the Disorient Film Festival in Eugene Oregon in April. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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

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@liachangphotography.com

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