Lucas Steele, George Abud, Laura Schein, Ann Harada, Felicia Boswell, Natalie Weiss, Lesli Margherita, Josh Lamon, Max Crumm, Jacob Dickey and More Set for EMOJILAND, January 9 – March 8

Ann Harada. Photo by Lia Chang

Arborhouse Productions & Visceral Entertainment (Michael Chase Gosselin and Tim Sulka) are presenting the Off-Broadway run of Emojiland from Thursday, January 9, 2020 through Sunday, March 8, 2020 at The Duke on 42nd Street in New 42nd Street Studios (229 West 42nd Street, between 7th and 8th Avenues). The production garnered 12 nominations and 5 wins at the 2018 NYMF Awards and was a 2018 Richard Rodgers Award Finalist.

Lucas Steele

The cast includes Lucas Steele (The Great Comet) as Skull, George Abud (The Band’s Visit) as Nerd Face, Emojiland Co-Writer Laura Schein as Smiling Face with Smiling Eyes (aka “Smize”), Emmy Winner & Grammy Nominee Felicia Boswell (NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar LIVE, Shuffle Along, Motown) as Police Officer, Natalie Weiss (Everyday Rapture, YouTube’s “Breaking Down the Riffs”) as Construction Worker, Ann Harada (Avenue Q, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella) as Pile of Poo, Lesli Margherita (Matilda, Dames at Sea) as Princess and Josh Lamon (The Prom, Groundhog Day) as Prince, Max Crumm (Grease, Disaster) will take on the role of the Man In Business Suit Levitating emoji, along with Jacob Dickey (Aladdin Broadway as Aladdin) as Smiling Face with Sunglasses, (aka “Sunny”), Dwelvan David (Finding Neverland & The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess Tours) as Guardsman, Heather Makalani (Aladdin) as Kissy Face, Tanisha Moore (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Tour) as Woman Dancing and Jordan Fife Hunt (A Chorus Line First Revival Tour) as Man Dancing.

Kenny Ingram
Kenny Ingram

Emojiland‘s book, music and lyrics are written by Keith Harrison & Laura Schein. The musical will be directed by Thomas Caruso (Southern Comfort, Matilda, Groundhog Day), with choreography by Kenny Ingram (The Lion King) and musical direction by Lena Gabrielle (Endangered!). Scenic design is by David Goldstein, costume & make-up design is by Vanessa Leuck, lighting design is by Jamie Roderick, sound design is by Ken Goodwin, and projection design is by Lisa Renkel & Possible Productions. The production is cast by Binder Casting (Chad Murnane, CSA), is Executive Produced & General Managed by Visceral Entertainment (Michael Chase Gosselin / Tim Sulka), and is Production Managed by Tinc Productions. Social Media & Influencer Marketing is by YesBroadway (Sam Maher). Bell Arts Entertainment (Jacquelyn Bell) associate produces.

Originally presented by the New York Musical Festival, Dan Markley, Executive Director & Producer, Emojiland was a Grand Jury Selection of the 2018 New York Musical Festival.

Not to be confused with, and very much unlike The Emoji Movie, Emojiland is an electric ensemble piece about a diverse community of archetypes who take one another at face value: a smiling face dealing with depression; a princess who doesn’t want a prince; a skull dying for deletion; a nerd face too smart for his own good; a face with sunglasses who can’t see past his own reflection; and a police officer and construction worker who just want to work together. When a software update threatens to destroy life as they know it, Emojiland faces the most fundamental questions a society – and a heart – can face: Who are we? And who matters?

MEET THE COMPLETE CAST
Max Crumm’s Broadway credits include: DISASTER! (The Nederlander), Grease (Brooks Atkinson). Off-Broadway: The Evolution Of Mann, Hot Mess, The Fantasticks, Disaster!, Brooklyn Crush {formerly: F#%KING UP EVERYTHING}. Festival/Regional: Woody Harrelson, Matthew McConaughey Vs. The Devil (NYMF 2017), The Situation, Jersey Shoresical (NY Fringe Festival). Walter Paisley, Beatsville (Asolo Rep.), Andy, Legendale (Human Race Theatre). Film/TV: Emergence, Ray Donovan, Easy A, Killing Diaz & Echoboom.

Heather Makalani is making her Off-Broadway debut in Emojiland! She made her Broadway debut in Aladdin the Musical understudying Princess Jasmine. She also appeared at the Finger Lakes Music Theatre Festival this summer as Sandy Dumbrowski at the Merry Go Round Playhouse’s production of Grease where she was nominated for best leading actress in a musical by the SALT Awards (Syracuse Area Live Theatre). Australian credits include Aladdin the Musical (original Australian cast), Heathers the Musical, and RENT.

Jordan Fife Hunt (Man Dancing, Ensemble) tour: A Chorus Line (1st national revival). City Center Encores!: Fiorello!, Where’s Charley? International: Sousatzka (Mirvish Theatre, Toronto, world premiere). Regional: Claude in Hair(Waterfront Playhouse), Loch Ness (The Rev), The Wiz (Broadway Sacramento), West Side Story (Guthrie Theater), Evita (ACT), Prime Time (The Studios of Key West), Paul in A Chorus Line (Theatre Under The Stars, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Riverside Theatre), Disney’s Aladdin (The Muny). TV: “The Wendy Williams Show,” “New Year’s Eve: From Lincoln Center” on PBS, “The A-List” on LOGO, “Todrick” on MTV. Dance: Dance Key West, Veracity Dance Theatre, Gig- The Show, MET Dance, Benjamin Briones Ballet. Training: BFA in Musical Theatre (The Boston Conservatory).

Tanisha Moore is making her Off-Broadway debut with Emojiland! She has toured the country with Flashdance the Musical and Broadway’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Regional credits include; the role of June in Gypsy, Smokey Joe’s Café, The Wiz, and the world premiere of Disney’s Freaky Friday.

Jacob Dickey is making his Off-Broadway debut. Other credits include Aladdin (Broadway and Nat’l Tour as Aladdin), Stephen Schwartz’ Prince of Egypt (as Moses), and Next to Normal (as Gabe).

Dwelvan David’s theatrical credits include the first national tour of Finding Neverland; The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. NYC: Standby (NYMF 2013) Regional: Sweeney Todd (Denver Center); Sister Act (Tuacahn); Ain’t Misbehavin’ (STAGES/Riverside); Show Boat (Lyric Opera Chicago); The Wiz (TATC); Caroline, or Change (Human Race); Ragtime (Drury Lane); TV: “Bull,” “Gotham,” “Law&Order SVU,””Happy!” BFA Millikin University. AEA

Ann Harada (Pile of Poo) played Christmas Eve in the Broadway and West End productions of Avenue Q and stepsister Charlotte in Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Other Bway credits include Madame Thenardier in Les Miserables (revival), 9 To 5, Seussical, and M. Butterfly. Recent Off Bway: Dropping Gumballs on Luke Wilson. Film: SISTERS, TROUBLE, YOUTH IN OREGON, ADMISSION, HOPE SPRINGS, FEEL, HAPPINESS. TV includes: SMASH (as Linda, the Stage Manager), THE GOOD WIFE, HOUSE OF CARDS, MASTER OF NONE, THE Jim Gaffigan SHOW, SEARCH PARTY, YOUNGER, GOTHAM, NEW AMSTERDAM.

Felicia Boswell (Police Officer): EMMY Winner & GRAMMY Nominee (NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar LIVE), 2x Helen Hayes AWARD Winner (Outstanding Lead Actress), Broadway World Winner (Best Lead Actress), Jeff Award (Best Supporting Actress nom). Broadway: Shuffle Along (Josephine Baker); Motown (Diana Ross); Memphis (Felicia Farrell). Nat’l Tour: Memphis (Felicia Farrell); Dreamgirls (Deena, Lorell). Highlights: The Color Purple (Celie) Portland Center Stage; Jelly’s Last Jam (Anita) Signature Theatre; MEDEA (Medea) Bay Street; Too Heavy For Your Pocket (Evelyn) GSPlayhouse; Jesus Christ Superstar (Mary Magdalene) Paramount; AIDA (Aida); Man of LaMancha (Aldonza) Barrington Stage; RENT (Mimi); Caroline or Change, Guthrie Theatre; SOUL: Stax Musical (Carla Thomas); Little Rock (Minniejean Brown); MANDELA (Zindzi) ASCAP; Midwives (Charlotte); Quiet World (Marianne) Lincoln Center. TV: “POWER” (Melissa) STARZ; “The Good Fight” (Lace) CBS; NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live, Macy’s Day Parade (Diana Ross) Motown, “Last Week w/John Oliver.” “Mama Knows Best” single available, all music platforms.

George Abud (Nerd Face) is an Arab-American actor. Broadway: The Band’s Visit starring Katrina Lenk & Tony Shalhoub (Daytime Emmy Award, OBC Recording); The Visit starring Chita Rivera & Roger Rees (OBC Recording). Off-Broadway: The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui opposite Raúl Esparza, Nathan The Wise opposite F. Murray Abraham, Peer Gynt opposite Gabriel Ebert, and Allegro directed by John Doyle (Classic Stage Company); The Band’s Visit directed by David Cromer (Atlantic Theater Company); Lolita, My Love opposite Robert Sella (York Theatre Company). Regional: August Rush (Lewis Chapman, Paramount Theatre); Annie Get Your Gun directed by Sarna Lapine (Charlie Davenport, Bay Street Theater); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck, Geva Theatre Center); 1776 (The Muny); Fiddler on the Roof (Human Race Theatre); Man of La Mancha, Oliver Twist (Shakespeare Theatre of NJ). International: The New Prince with Barbara Walsh, Marc Kudisch, and Paulo Szot at the Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam.

Natalie Weiss (Construction Worker) has gained an international following from her performance & coaching videos and popular YouTube web series, “Breaking Down The Riffs”. She made her Broadway debut in 2010 understudying the Menonettes in Everyday Rapture, starring Sherie Rene Scott, was a swing in the 25th anniversary tour of Les Miserables, and performed in the ensemble / understudied Elphaba in the 2nd National Tour of Wicked. Other regional credits include Molly in Ghost, Florence in Chess, and Candy in Saturday Night Fever. Natalie’s voice can be heard on the acclaimed soundtrack for “The Greatest Showman”, on the Original Broadway Cast recording of Dear Evan Hansen as one of the Virtual Community Voices, and on the jingles for The Incredibles 2. She was also an American Idol season 4 semi-finalist. Natalie received her BFA in musical theatre from Penn State University.

Laura Schein (Co-Writer / Smize) has been in the biz of show since age 10. 1st Nat’l Tour: Ragtime. Regional: Holiday Inn (Goodspeed), Mary Zimmerman’s Pericles (Goodman), Carousel (Long Wharf), 2019 LA Writers Workshop (CTG), Coney Island Christmas (Geffen), Oblivion (CTG), NOFX’s Home Street Home (Davenport Theatricals). TV/Film: “Kidding”, “Masters of Sex,” “Weeds” (Showtime), Sing It! (YouTube Originals), Crystal’s Balls (Funny or Die), and the animated feature UglyDolls (STX), for which she co-wrote the Kelly Clarkson-Janelle Monae duet “Unbreakable.” Currently writing on an upcoming musical series starring Zosia Mamet.

Lesli Margherita (Princess) won the Olivier Award for her West End debut as Inez in Zorro The Musical. Broadway: Matilda the Musical;Dames at Sea. Off-Broadway: Who’s Holiday (Drama Desk, Lortel, & Off-Broadway Alliance noms. – Best Solo Performance); A Scythe of Time (NYMF; Outstanding Performance Award). Television (recurring) “Transparent,” “Most Likely to” (ABC pilot), “Homeland,” “Instinct,” “Elementary,” “Seven Seconds.” Film: The Many Saints of Newark (upcoming), Opening Night (opp. Taye Diggs & Topher Grace). Regional (select credits): Guys & Dolls (Bucks County), Hunchback of Notre Dame (Sacramento Music Circus), Kiss Me Kate (Reprise; Ovation Award – Best Actress), The Gronholm Method (The Falcon; Ovation nom. – Best Ensemble), Man of La Mancha (MTW; Ovation nom. & LADCC nom – Best Actress), Showboat (Goodspeed), Little Shop Of Horrors (La Mirada); Spamalot (Sacramento Music Circus). Lesli’s debut album Rule Your Kingdom now available in stores/online.

Josh Lamon (Prince) TV/FILM: Here Today (Dir. Billy Crystal), “Katy Keene,” “The Blacklist,” “The Good Fight,” “30 Rock,” “Deadbeat,” “Inside Amy Schumer” and “Steve Phoenix: The Untold Story.” Broadway: The Prom, Groundhog Day, Finding Neverland, Elf and Hair. Off-Broadway: A New Brain (Encores!), Into The Woods (Shakespeare in the Park), Little Miss Sunshine (2nd Stage), Little Me (Encores!) and February House (The Public). You can hear his podcast ‘Josh Swallows Broadway’ on the Broadway Podcast Network. Composition: co-book writer, conceiver and additional musical and lyrics for the musical Bloody Bloody Jessica Fletcher.

Keith Harrison (Co-Writer) is a musical wizard whose credits include work on The Prom (Netflix, upcoming), Cinderella (Sony, upcoming), The Politician (Netflix), “American Idol” (FOX, ABC), “American Horror Story” (FX), “Grace & Frankie” (Netflix), “Westside” (Netflix), Kidding (Showtime), “The Daytime Emmy Awards” (POPTV), “Claws” (TNT), “Ugly Dolls” (STX), 911 (FOX), and the original Chicago production of Million Dollar Quartet. Notable collaborators have included: Ariana Grande, Meryl Streep, Ben Vereen, Ana Gasteyer, Shoshana Bean, Andrew Lippa, Larry O’Keefe, Babyface, Emmylou Harris, Jason Alexander and many more.

Thomas Caruso (Director) Southern Comfort (The Public Theatre; NY Times Critics Pick, Lucille Lortel Award & Outer Critics Circle Award nominations: Best New Musical), Dynamo: Seeing Is Believing (West End, U.K. & Australian Tours). B’way National Tours: Matilda, Ghost, Master Class. Broadway Associate Director credits include: A Christmas Carol, Groundhog Day, Matilda, Ghost, Mamma Mia!, Bombay Dreams, Follies, Master Class. Other directing credits include: David Blaine: Real or Magic (Asia tour); Earth To Bucky (Bay Street Theatre), the premiere of Terrence McNally and Israel Horovitz’s Off Season (Gloucester Stage).

Performances of Emojiland will be Tuesdays – Saturdays at 8pm, Saturdays & Sundays at 2pm, and Sundays at 7pm.

Tickets for Emojiland are available for purchase online at Dukeon42.org; by phone at 646-223-3010; or in person at The Duke on 42nd Street at 229 West 42nd Street (Tuesdays-Fridays 4-7 and Saturdays 12-6).

The running time is approximately 2 hours, including intermission.

Visit Emojiland.com for more info and updates.

Broadway At Music Circus Presents GUYS AND DOLLS Starring Ali Ewoldt, Edward Watts, Jeff Skowron and Lesli Margherita at the Wells Fargo Pavilion in Sacramento, July 23 – 28

Ali Ewoldt
Ali Ewoldt
Ali Ewoldt

The 2019 Broadway At Music Circus season continues with a new production of the multiple Tony Award-winning musical theatre classic Guys and Dolls, running Tuesday, July 23 through Sunday, July 28 at the Wells Fargo Pavilion in Sacramento.

A high-rolling gambler attempts to woo a strait-laced missionary in this audience favorite romantic comedy. Set in the 1940s in New York City’s unsavory Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, gangsters, gamblers and showgirls go for broke in the game of love and marriage. Guys and Dolls is considered by many to be the quintessential musical comedy, with an infectious score by Frank Loesser that includes “Luck Be a Lady” and “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat.”

Edward Watts returns to Broadway At Music Circus in the role of Sky Masterson in this hilarious show. Watts, last summer’s Adam Pontipee in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, has appeared on Broadway in Scandalous and Finian’s Rainbow, in addition to touring with The Book of Mormon and The Little Mermaid. Playing Sarah Brown and making her Broadway At Music Circus debut is Ali Ewoldt, who has appeared on Broadway as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera, Cosette in Les Misérables, The King and I and as Maria in the first national tour of West Side Story. Ms. Ewoldt recently appeared at The Muny as Martha Jefferson in 1776!

Robert Petkoff, Ali Ewoldt, Adam Heller. Photo courtesy of The Muny
Robert Petkoff, Ali Ewoldt, Adam Heller. Photo courtesy of The Muny

In addition to his appearance in Oklahoma! this summer, Jeff Skowron, who appeared in Bad Santa 2 with Billy Bob Thornton and is the co-creator of the TV series “Greg & Donny,” will be playing Nathan Detroit. Playing Miss Adelaide is Olivier Award-winner Lesli Margherita, whose Broadway roles include Mrs. Wormwood in Matilda The Musical and Mona Kent in Dames at Sea, and whose Broadway At Music Circus roles include Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Rizzo in Grease, Lady of the Lake in Spamalot and Aldonza in Man of La Mancha.

Evan Harrington, making his Broadway At Music Circus debut as Nicely-Nicely Johnson, was last in Sacramento with the national tour of Once; he also appeared on Broadway in Chicago, Once, Peter and the Starcatcher and The Phantom of the Opera. Michael Paternostro follows his appearance in this season’s The Drowsy Chaperone to play Benny Southstreet.

With over a dozen appearances with Broadway At Music Circus, Lenny Wolpe returns in the role of Arvide Abernathy. In addition to extensive film and TV work on shows like “The Good Fight,” “Crossing Jordan,” “Six Feet Under” and “ER,” Wolpe has appeared on Broadway in Bullets Over Broadway, Wicked, The Drowsy Chaperone and The Sound of Music. In addition to playing Mrs. Tottendale in The Drowsy Chaperone this summer, Broadway veteran Jennifer Smith will be portraying General Cartwright.

Ron Wisniski will additionally appear as Lt. Brannigan in his third show of the season. Harry the Horse will be played by Carlos Lopez, who has appeared on Broadway in Man of La Mancha, Annie Get Your Gun, Grease, Wonderful Town, Guys and Dolls and Grand Hotel. Jerry Gallagher will be playing Big Jule, a role he appeared in with Goodspeed Musicals and MUNY; he’s also appeared in multiple productions of Crazy for You both on TV for PBS Great Performances and the 25th anniversary concert with Manhattan Concert Productions. In the role of Angie the Ox, Cayel Tregeagle appeared as Albert in the U.S. premiere of The Count of Monte Cristo by Frank Wildhorn at Brigham Young University and Singin’ in the Rain with MUNY.

The cast for Guys and Dolls also includes Randy Castillo, Mary Beth Donahoe, Drew Franklin, Tanya Haglund, Caroline Kane, Connor McRory, Sarah Meahl, Alfie Parker, Jr., Tanner Pflueger, Allie Pizzo, Adam Rogers and Karilyn Ashley Surratt, as well as young Sacramento area actor Luke Lowe.

The Director for Guys and Dolls is Charles Repole; Choreographer is Michael Lichtefeld; Music Director is James Olmstead.

Tickets for Guys and Dolls start at $45, and are available by phone at (916) 557-1999, online at BroadwaySacramento.com, or in person at the Wells Fargo Pavilion Box Office, 1419 H Street in Sacramento. Evening performances are Tuesday through Saturday, July 23 – 27, at 7:30 p.m.; matinee performances are Thursday, July 25 and Saturday, July 27 at 2:00 p.m., and Sunday, July 28 at 3:00 p.m.

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits. Photo by 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

Christian Slater, Lesli Margherita, Lori Tan Chinn, Javier Muñoz, Lilli Cooper and More Set for THE SECRET OF MY SUCCESS Reading on February 9

Photo by Lia Chang
Photo by Lia Chang
Photo by Lia Chang

Universal Theatrical Group will hold a private reading of THE SECRET OF MY SUCCESS on Friday, February 9th in New York.

Directed by Gordon Greenberg, the book is by Gordon Greenberg & Steve Rosen, with music and lyrics by Michael Mahler & Alan Schmuckler, and music direction by Wendy Bobbitt Cavett.

The cast for the reading includes: Christian Slater, Lesli Margherita, Chris Dwan, Lilli Cooper, Emily Skinner, Javier Muñoz, Lori Tan Chinn, David Rossmer, Priscilla Lopez, Levi Buksbazen, Courtney Balan, Josh Breckenridge, Kayla Davion, Alyse Alan Louis, Joey Taranto and Noah Weisberg.

Based on the Universal Pictures film, story by AJ Carothers.

Universal Theatrical Group is the live-theatre division of Universal Pictures, currently represented by the record-breaking phenomenon Wicked, which is in its 15th hit year on Broadway. Additional credits include Billy Elliot, winner of 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical; Bring It On: The Musical; and the Broadway premiere of Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn with Roundabout Theatre Company. UTG most recently acquired rights to develop a stage musical based on the life story and music of The Bee Gees with Barry Gibb as executive producer, and is developing a new stage adaptation of the film Death Becomes Her, starring Emmy and Tony Award-winner Kristin Chenoweth.

Lori Tan Chinn Visits David Henry Hwang’s M. BUTTERFLY 

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