The League Of Professional Theatre Women Presents Baayork Lee in Conversation with Robert Viagas on February 12

Baayork Lee. Photo by Lia Chang

On Monday, February 12 at 6:00 pm, the League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW), dedicated to championing women in theatre since its inception and an authority at the forefront of the conversation about gender parity in American theatre for 35 years, is presenting Broadway Performer, Director, and Choreographer, Baayork Lee.

Baayork Lee. Photo by Lia Chang
Baayork Lee. Photo by Lia Chang

A recipient of the 2017 Isabelle Stevenson TONY Award, Lee was honored for her commitment to future generations of artists through her work with National Asian Artists Project and theatre education programs around the world.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Jonathan Groff and Brian d'Arcy James present Baayork Lee with the Isabelle Stevenson Award award onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 11: Jonathan Groff and Brian d’Arcy James present Baayork Lee with the Isabelle Stevenson Award award onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

Multimedia: Baayork Lee Accepts The Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award At The 71st Annual Tony Awards

Lee, who originated the role of Connie in A Chorus Line, will be discussing her extensive life and work in the theatre with theatre writer Robert Viagas, her collaborator and biographer on their book, “On the Line: the Creation of A Chorus Line”.The event will take place in the Bruno Walter Auditorium of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts on 65th Street & Amsterdam Avenue. Admission is free, seats are available on a first-come-first-seated basis. Doors open at 5:30PM, and it is recommended that members of the public arrive at the Bruno Walter Auditorium by 5PM to secure a seat.

“I first met Baayork in 1975 when the Library videotaped Michael Bennett’s original A CHORUS LINE at The Public Theatre,” says producer Betty Corwin. “Baayork had become Michael’s closest collaborator and since he died in 1987 she has directed or choreographed 35 International productions of the musical. In addition, Baayork is acknowledged and appreciated for committing herself to the National Asian Artists Project and theatre eduction programs around the world. I am so proud to know her.”

The League has major support from the Edith Meiser Foundation covering interviews with such notables as Billie Allen, Mercedes Ruehl, Tyne Daly, Patti LuPone, Christine Ebersole, Kia Corthron, Donna Murphy, Frances McDormand, Laura Linney and many others. The ongoing Oral History Project chronicles and documents the contributions of significant theatre women in all fields. The interviews are videotaped and preserved for posterity in the Theatre on Film and Tape Archive at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.

This program is made possible, in part, with public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and with funds from the NYS Council on the Arts, a state agency, with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

BIOGRAPHIES

Baayork Lee has performed in a dozen Broadway shows and created the role of Connie in A Chorus Line. As Michael Bennett’s assistant choreographer on A Chorus Line, she has directed and choreographed many national and international companies in Klagenfurt, Austria, Santiago, Chile, Hollywood Bowl and Pace University. Her directing and choreography credits also include: The King and I and Bombay Dreams (National tours), R&H’s Cinderella (NYC Opera), Barnum (Australia), Carmen Jones (Kennedy Center), Porgy and Bess and Jesus Christ Superstar (European tours), Gypsy and A New Brain. She has also choreographed shows including; Miss Saigon (KC Starlight), Mack and Mabel (Shaw Festival), Animal Crackers, South Pacific (Helen Hayes nominations,) Coconuts, Camelot, and Damn Yankees all at Arena Stage in Washington, DC.

Through her nonprofit organization, National Asian Artists Project, Baayork’s vision includes educating, cultivating, and stimulating audiences and artists of Asian descent through the many programs the company offers. The organization has produced classical musical theatre shows such as Oklahoma!, Carousel, Hello Dolly!, and OLIVER! with all Asian-American casts. NAAP has made audiences more aware that talent goes beyond ethnicity.

Robert Viagas transformed theatre journalism as the architect and founding editor (1994) of the first and still biggest theatre site on the web, Playbill.com. He enjoyed the rare honor of serving on the nominating committee for the Tonys (2012-2014). He hosted the Tony Awards webcasts from 2002 to 2008, and was editor of the special Tony Awards Playbill from 2002 to 2010. The New York Times’ CyberTimes described him as “encyclopedic” in his knowledge of Broadway.

Among his other books, he was chosen by the creators of the original The Fantasticks to tell their story in The Amazing Story of “The Fantasticks” (Citadel). On the Line was translated into Japanese and published in Japan and his 2012 book Scales to Scalpels (with Lisa Wong) was translated into Chinese and published in China.

When it comes to the challenging but fruitful area of collaboration he literally wrote the book on it-The Alchemy of Theatre (Applause Books), in which he worked with the likes of Edward Albee, Wendy Wasserstein, Hal Prince, Chita Rivera and others to codify how one collaborates in the world of theatre. His 2009 book I’m the Greatest Star!

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Orville Mendoza, Connor Barrett, Ben Beckley, Edward Chin-Lyn, Brenna Palughi, Socorro Santiago and Cherene Snow in National Tour of SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS at The Broad Stage, January 11 – 28

Orville Mendoza and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

I had the great pleasure of spending New Year’s Eve with Orville Mendoza, who is having a blast playing the teacher in the National Tour of the Obie Award-winning Small Mouth Sounds, by Bess Wohl. The next stop on the tour is The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401, from January 11 – January 28, 2018. Click here for tickets.

Orville Mendoza and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits
Orville Mendoza and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Helmed by Rachel Chavkin, a 2017 Tony Award nominee for Best Direction of a Musical (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812), Small Mouth Sounds features (in alphabetical order): Connor Barrett (Jan), Ben Beckley (Ned), Edward Chin-Lyn (Rodney), Orville Mendoza (Teacher), Brenna Palughi (Alicia), Socorro Santiago (Joan), and Cherene Snow (Judy).

Ben Beckley as Ned and Edward Chin-Lyn as Rodney. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson
Ben Beckley as Ned and Edward Chin-Lyn as Rodney. Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson

Under the eye of an unseen guru, six wildly disparate urbanites looking for life balance gather for a weeklong silent retreat in the woods. As they listen to their leader’s ruminations (and struggle to meditate while clumsily fighting their most primal of urges), they learn that silence can indeed be golden. It can also be funny, frustrating, erotic, comforting, and profoundly passive-aggressive.

Ben Beckley, Brenna Palughi, Connor Barrett, Edward Chin-Lyn, Cherene Snow and Socorro Santiago. Photo by T. Charle Erickson
Ben Beckley, Brenna Palughi, Connor Barrett, Edward Chin-Lyn, Cherene Snow and Socorro Santiago. Photo by T. Charle Erickson

The original design team from the off-Broadway production of Small Mouth Sounds is on board and includes Obie Award winner Laura Jellinek (Scenic Designer), Tilly Grimes (Costume Designer), Mike Inwood (Lighting Designer), Lucille Lortel Award nominee Stowe Nelson (Sound Designer), Andrew Schneider (Projection Designer), and Noah Mease (Prop Designer).

The cast of SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS.  Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson
The cast of SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS.  Photo Credit: T. Charles Erickson

The inspiration from the play came from Wohl’s own personal experience. Surrounded by people who were looking for a way for their lives to be changed or healed, Wohl decided that this was fertile subject matter for a play. “What I loved about that for a play is that what’s necessary for any play is that all the characters really need something. This is such a great environment: a play where there is this automatic need,” Wohl said in an interview. “I think the central question of the play is should we seek peace or not, and if so, how?” Obie Award-winner Chavkin told Slant Magazine in a 2016 interview.

Small Mouth Sounds played a record-breaking run at Ars Nova in 2015 and an acclaimed and extended commercial production at the Pershing Square Signature Center’s Romulus Linney Theater in 2016. Small Mouth Sounds is booked for 24 weeks in multiple cities, making it one of the longest tours for an Off Broadway show of this size in recent memory.

The New York Times called Small Mouth Sounds “an enchanting new play… as funny as it is quietly moving… a model of ingenuity” and the show was chosen as a “Best Of” Theater Pick in the New York Times, New York Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, New York Post, and many more.

For more information on additional cities and about the Small Mouth Sounds National Tour, visit www.smallmouthsounds.com.

The current National Tour Schedule is as follows:

Dallas, TX
February 1 – February, 11, 2018
AT&T Performing Arts Center

Miami, FL
February 16 – March 4, 2018
Arsht Center

Philadelphia, PA
March 13 – April 1, 2018
Philadelphia Theatre Company

CSC’s PACIFIC OVERTURES Featuring George Takei, Ann Harada, Thom Sesma, Orville Mendoza, Steven Eng and More, Ends Extended Run on June 18 

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 Examiner.comJade 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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Orville Mendoza, Connor Barrett, Ben Beckley, Edward Chin-Lyn, Brenna Palughi, Socorro Santiago and Cherene Snow Set for National Tour of SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS; Performances Begin at Long Wharf on August 30

Orville Mendoza

SMALL MOUTH SOUNDS to Launch Long Wharf's 2017-18 Season

Long Wharf Theatre and Eva Price are presenting the opening of the 2017-2018 National Tour of the Obie Award-winning Small Mouth Sounds, by Bess Wohl, directed by Tony-nominee Rachel Chavkin (Natasha Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812).

Performances begin on August 30 and will run through September 24, 2017 at Long Wharf Theatre, Stage II (222 Sargent Drive, New Haven, CT). Tickets prices begin at $29. The press opening will take place on Wednesday, September 6 at 7:30 pm.

In the overwhelming quiet of the woods, six runaways from city life embark on a silent retreat. As these strangers confront internal demons both profound and absurd, their vows of silence collide with the achingly human need to connect. Filled with awkward and insightful humor, Small Mouth Sounds is the unique and compassionate new play that asks how we address life’s biggest questions when words fail us.

Orville Mendoza
Orville Mendoza

The cast features Connor Barrett (Jan), Ben Beckley (Ned), Edward Chin-Lyn (Rodney), Orville Mendoza (Teacher), Brenna Palughi (Alicia), Socorro Santiago (Joan), and Cherene Snow (Judy).

The original design team of Small Mouth Sounds returns for the national tour and includes Obie-winner Laura Jellinek (Scenic Design), Tilly Grimes (Costume Design), Mike Inwood (Lighting Design), Lortel- nominee Stowe Nelson (Sound Design), Andrew Schneider(Projection Design), and Noah Mease (Prop Design). Chavkin and the designers will restage the production, originally performed in traverse, for a proscenium setting.

The inspiration from the play came from Wohl’s own personal experience. Surrounded by people who were looking for a way for their lives to be changed or healed, Wohl decided that this was fertile subject matter for a play. “What I loved about that for a play is that what’s necessary for any play is that all the characters really need something. This is such a great environment: a play where there is this automatic need,” Wohl said in an interview. “I think the central question of the play is should we seek peace or not, and if so, how?” Obie Award-winner Chavkin told Slant Magazine in a 2016 interview.

Small Mouth Sounds played a record-breaking run at Ars Nova in 2015 and an acclaimed and extended commercial production at the Pershing Square Signature Center’s Romulus Linney Theater in 2016. Small Mouth Sounds is booked for 24 weeks in multiple cities, making it one of the longest tours for an Off Broadway show of this size in recent memory.

The New York Times called Small Mouth Sounds “an enchanting new play… as funny as it is quietly moving… a model of ingenuity” and the show was chosen as a “Best Of” Theater Pick in the New York Times, New York Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, New York Post, and many more.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit longwharf.org or call 203-787-4282.
For more information on additional cities and about the Small Mouth Sounds National Tour, visit www.smallmouthsounds.com.

The current National Tour Schedule is as follows:

New Haven, CT
August 29 – September 24, 2017
Long Wharf Theatre

San Francisco, CA
October 11 – December 10. 2017
American Conservatory Theatre

Santa Monica, CA
January 11 – January 28, 2018
Broad Stage

Dallas, TX
February 1 – February, 11, 2018
AT&T Performing Arts Center

Miami, FL
February 16 – March 4, 2018
Arsht Center

Philadelphia, PA
March 13 – April 1, 2018
Philadelphia Theatre Company

Long Wharf Theatre began in the unlikeliest of places in the unlikeliest of ways. Located in a food terminal facing the New Haven Harbor, the theatre’s original founders, Jon Jory and Harlan Kleiman, shared the dream of starting a resident professional theatre company in New Haven.

Beginning its 53rd season, Long Wharf Theatre is an organization of international renown producing an annual season of six plays on its two stages, along with children’s programming, new play workshops and a variety of special events.

Under the watch of Arvin Brown and Edgar Rosenblum for over 30 years, Long Wharf Theatre established itself as an important force in the regional theatre movement. Under the current leadership of Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein and Managing Director Joshua Borenstein, Long Wharf Theatre continues to be a leader in American theatre, revitalizing classic and modern plays for a contemporary audience, discovering new resonance in neglected works and premiering new plays by new voices that both investigate and celebrate the unique circumstances of our time.

Throughout its history, Long Wharf Theatre has created a unique home in New Haven for theatre artists from around the world, resulting in the transfer of more than 30 Long Wharf productions to Broadway or Off-Broadway, some of which include Napoli Brooklyn, The Glass Menagerie, My Name is Asher Lev, Satchmo at the Waldorf, Wit (Pulitzer Prize), The Shadow Box (Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award/Best Play), Hughie, American Buffalo, Requiem for a Heavyweight, Quartermaine’s Terms (Obie Award/Best Play), The Gin Game (Pulitzer Prize), The Changing Room, The Contractor, and Streamers.

Long Wharf Theatre has received New York Drama Critics Awards, Obie Awards, the Margo Jefferson Award for Production of New Works, a Special Citation from the Outer Critics Circle and the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1978.

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 Examiner.comJade 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 liachangpr@gmail.com

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Multimedia: Baayork Lee Accepts The Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award At The 71st Annual Tony Awards

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Jonathan Groff and Brian d'Arcy James present Baayork Lee with the Isabelle Stevenson Award award onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

Congratulations to director, actress and choreographer Baayork Lee who received the 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award for her outstanding dedication to social service in the global theatre landscape at the American Theatre Wing’s 71st Annual Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, June 11, 2017.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Jonathan Groff and Brian d'Arcy James present Baayork Lee with the Isabelle Stevenson Award award onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 11: Jonathan Groff and Brian d’Arcy James present Baayork Lee with the Isabelle Stevenson Award award onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

The award was presented to Ms. Lee by Jonathan Groff and Brian d’Arcy James.

Baayork Lee accepts the Isabelle Stevenson Award award onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. Photo: NAAP/Facebook
Baayork Lee accepts the Isabelle Stevenson Award award onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. Photo: NAAP/Facebook

Baayork Lee’s speech:
“Thank you everyone. Thank you American Theatre Wing and Broadway League. This is the journey of a five-year-old in the middle of the St. James Theatre and saying to her mother, ‘This is it. This is where I want to be.’ But you can’t do it without mentors or role models and a pupil, I had so many special ones. Ms. Syvilla Fort, my first mentor, Yuriko and Maria Tallchief, my role models. Eleven Broadway shows later, Michael Bennett and Bob Avian, Tommy Tune, Graciela Daniele and Roman Terleckyj. In Japan, Mori Shibuya, in South Africa, Professor Jimmie Earl Perry and Juan Datoy.

Nina Zoie Lam, Baayork Lee and Steven Eng, the founders of NAAP, onstage before the performance of Oliver! at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre 
inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Nina Zoie Lam, Baayork Lee and Steven Eng, the founders of NAAP, onstage before the performance of Oliver! at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre 
inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

With their guidance and example, I along with Steven Eng and Nina Zoie Lam started our nonprofit National Asian Artists Project because we saw the need to put the spotlight on the Asian American Artists. NAAP, as we call it, showcases their work through performance, educational programming and community outreach. Our programs include productions of classic musicals, the NAAP Broadway Community Chorus and Senior Sing-a-longs. Thanks to Freddie Gershon- mentor and Alice Hum – role model and principal of P.S. 124 Yung Wing Elementary School, we started an award-winning after school theater club.

The NAAP Broadway Community Chorus presented an evening of Jerry Herman with special guests Cindy Cheung and John D. Haggerty at the Gibney Dance Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center on May 23, 2017. Photo courtesy of Brian Jose/Facebook
The NAAP Broadway Community Chorus presented an evening of Jerry Herman with special guests Cindy Cheung and John D. Haggerty at the Gibney Dance Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center on May 23, 2017. Photo courtesy of Brian Jose/Facebook

National Asian Artists Project will continue our mission to make a difference and I hope you all will join me. Your loving pupil, Princess Ying Yaowalak.”

President of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization Ted Chapin, Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award Honoree Baayork Lee, and Chair of the American Theatre Wing David Henry Hwang at the Tony Nominee Luncheon, held at the Rainbow Room in NYC on May 23, 2017 Credit: Shevett Studios
President of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization Ted Chapin, Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award Honoree Baayork Lee, and Chair of the American Theatre Wing David Henry Hwang at the Tony Nominee Luncheon, held at the Rainbow Room in NYC on May 23, 2017
Credit: Shevett Studios
Baayork Lee. Photo by Lia Chang
Baayork Lee. Photo by Lia Chang

The Isabelle Stevenson Award is presented annually to a member of the theatre community who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of one or more humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations. Ms. Lee  received the Award for her commitment to future generations of artists through her work with the National Asian Artists Project and theatre education programs around the world.

“Baayork works tirelessly to break down cultural walls that often build up around what theatre goers consider ‘traditional’ musicals, and her dedication to fostering the next generation of performers and theatre professionals to do the same is exemplary. We are thrilled to honor her this year,” Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing, said.

Baayork was dressed by designer Malan Breton throughout the Tony Awards season. Below are photos from Baayork’s whirlwind Tony journey from the 1st press junket on May 3rd at the Sofitel Hotel and the Designed To Celebrate: A Toast To The 2017 Tony Awards Creative Arts Nominees at The Lamb’s Club at the Chatwal NY on June 1st.

71st Annual Tony Awards rehearsalat Radio City Musical Hall on June 11th.

71st Annual Tony Awards ceremony at Radio City Musical Hall on June 11th.

Baayork Lee is the co-founder of National Asian Artists Project (NAAP), which is a community of artists, educators, administrators, community leaders, and professionals who work to showcase the work of Asian-American theater artists through performance, educational programming and community outreach.

Karl Josef Co, Jaygee Macapugay, Raul Aranas, Christine Toy Johnson and the company of NAAP's Hello Dolly! at The Pershing Square Signature Center on April 30, 2013. Photo by Lia Chang
Karl Josef Co, Jaygee Macapugay, Raul Aranas, Christine Toy Johnson and the company of NAAP’s Hello Dolly! at The Pershing Square Signature Center on April 30, 2013. Photo by Lia Chang

Through NAAP, Lee orchestrates her vision of educating, cultivating, and stimulating audiences and artists of Asian descent. The organization has produced productions of musical theatre staples like Oklahoma!, Carousel, Hello Dolly!, Oliver! and Honor with all Asian-American casts. By turning a spot light onto the high-caliber talent of theatre artists of Asian descent, NAAP asserts, given the opportunity, the theater and its audiences will embrace diverse American voices who strive to claim both new and classic American works as their own.

Bonale Zohn Fambrini, Raul Aranas, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Scott Watanabe, Cindy Cheung, Virginia Wing and John Haggerty at the curtain call of NAAP’s Oliver! at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Bonale Zohn Fambrini, Raul Aranas, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Scott Watanabe, Cindy Cheung, Virginia Wing and John Haggerty at the curtain call of NAAP’s Oliver! at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Lee has made it a large part of her mission to educate aspiring artists in musical theatre. She created musical theater schools in Seoul, Korea; Tokyo, Japan; and the Theater Club at the Yung Wing Elementary School (PS124) in Chinatown, NY.

Baayork Lee (playing Miss Wong in this clip from the 1969 Tony Awards) created the role of Connie in A Chorus Line, and in fact has made a career of recreating Bennett's choreography. Photo credit: Martha Swope on Armchair Actorvist
Baayork Lee (playing Miss Wong in this clip from the 1969 Tony Awards) created the role of Connie in A Chorus Line, and in fact has made a career of recreating Bennett’s choreography. Photo credit: Martha Swope on Armchair Actorvist

Lee, an Asian American actor, dancer, singer, choreographer, director and author, was born in New York City’s Chinatown to an Indian mother and Chinese father, made her Broadway debut at the age of five as “Princess Ying Yaowalak” in the 1951 original production of The King and I. Her dream was to become a ballerina and she appeared in George Balanchine’s production of The Nutcracker, but this dream was dashed when she achieved her full height of just four feet, ten inches. In 1958, she returned to Broadway in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song. Other Broadway appearances were in Bravo Giovanni; Mr. PresidentHere’s LoveGolden BoyA Joyful NoiseHenry, Sweet HenryPromises, PromisesSeesaw and Michael Bennett’s 1976 Tony Award-winning Best Musical A Chorus Line, in which she originated the role of “Connie,” and served as his assistant choreographer.

Lee worked with Bennett in several productions and over the years went from being his dance partner, to being his assistant. She would later supervise all major productions of A Chorus Line, choreographing many national and international companies, most recently in Klagenfurt, Austria; Santiago, Chile; the Hollywood Bowl; and Pace University in New York City. She is the co-author of the book, On the Line: The Creation of A Chorus Line, published in 1990.

Baayork Lee, Virginia Wing and Nancy Kwan at the New York Historical Society in New York on October 15, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Baayork Lee, Virginia Wing and Nancy Kwan at the New York Historical Society in New York on October 15, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Christine Toy Johnson presented Baayork Lee with the 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award presented by the Actors’ Equity Foundation in the council room of the Actors Equity Association on October 10, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Christine Toy Johnson presented Baayork Lee with the 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award presented by the Actors’ Equity Foundation in the council room of the Actors Equity Association on October 10, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Her directing and choreography credits also include: The King and I (national tour), Bombay Dreams (national tour), Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (New York City Opera), Barnum (Australia), Carmen Jones (John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts), Porgy and Bess (European tour), Jesus Christ Superstar (European tour), Gypsy and A New Brain. She has also choreographed Miss Saigon (Kansas City Starlight), Mack and Mabel (Shaw Festival), Animal Crackers, South Pacific, Coconuts, Camelot, and Damn Yankees, all at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.

She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her work, including the 2014 Paul Robeson Award from Actors Equity Association, the Asian Woman Warrior Award for Lifetime Achievement from Columbia College, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Association Achievement in Arts Award, and the Dynamic Achiever Award from OCA Westchester.

Baayork Lee, Bob Avian and Christopher Vo at the opening night party at Tavern on the Green for “Miss Saigon” on March 23, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
Baayork Lee, Bob Avian and Christopher Vo at the opening night party at Tavern on the Green for “Miss Saigon” on March 23, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang, Baayork Lee, Eva Noblezada, Linda Cho, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, John Douglas Thompson, Richard Thomas, Laura Linney and More at Tony Honors Special Honorees of 2017 Cocktail Party Baayork Lee to Receive the 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award 

NAAP Broadway Community Chorus -An Evening of Jerry Herman with Special Guests Cindy Cheung and John D. Haggerty

Robert Fairchild, Mara Davi, Jason Tam, J. Elaine Marcos, Sabrina Bryan & More Set for Baayork Lee Helmed A CHORUS LINE at The Hollywood Bowl

Baayork Lee to Helm ‘ALICE IN WONDERLAND’ Musical at Madison Theatre at Molloy College

Photos: Tommy Tune, Bob Avian, Lee Roy Reams, Christine Toy Johnson, Orville Mendoza, Lori Tan Chinn, Raul Aranas, Virginia Wing and More Celebrate 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award Recipient Baayork Lee

National Asian Artists Project To Present All-Asian Production of OLIVER! Featuring Raul Aranas, Anthea Neri, Bonale Zohn Fambrini, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Cindy Cheung, Scott Watanabe, Virginia Wing, David Shih and More 

Photos: Christine Toy Johnson, Baayork Lee, Jose Llana, Ann Harada, Dodie Pettit and More at Charles Randolph-Wright’s “Three Voices” concert series at Stage 72

Christine Toy Johnson and Raul Aranas Lead the Cast of the National Asian Artists Project’s (NAAP) Benefit Presentation of Hello Dolly!, at The Pershing Square Signature Center

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.

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CSC’s PACIFIC OVERTURES Featuring George Takei, Ann Harada, Thom Sesma, Orville Mendoza, Steven Eng and More, Ends Extended Run on June 18

CSC's PACIFIC OVERTURES family photo with Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman. Photo courtesy of Facebook
Kelvin Moon Loh, Austin Ku, George Takei, Marc Oka, and Thom Sesma in “Pacific Overtures” at Classic Stage Company. Photo by Joan Marcus
Kelvin Moon Loh, Austin Ku, George Takei, Marc Oka, and Thom Sesma in “Pacific Overtures” at Classic Stage Company. Photo by Joan Marcus

Final week to catch Classic Stage Company’s new production of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s Pacific Overtures, directed and designed by Tony Award winner at CSC (136 East 13th Street), which ends its extended run   Sunday, June 18th. The production recently received a 2017 Off Broadway Alliance Award nomination for Best Revival.

Orville Mendoza and Steven Eng, center, and the cast of "Pacific Overtures" by John Weidman and Stephen Sondheim, at Classic Stage Company. (Photo by Joan Marcus)
Orville Mendoza and Steven Eng, center, and the cast of “Pacific Overtures” by John Weidman and Stephen Sondheim, at Classic Stage Company. (Photo by Joan Marcus)

The cast of Pacific Overtures features Karl Josef Co, Marc dela Cruz, Steven Eng, Megan Masako Haley, Ann Harada, Kimberly Immanuel, Austin Ku, Kelvin Moon Loh, Orville Mendoza, Marc Oka, Thom Sesma, and George Takei.

Steven Eng, Megan Masako Haley, and Ann Harada in “Pacific Overtures” at Classic Stage Company. Photo by Joan Marcus
Steven Eng, Megan Masako Haley, and Ann Harada in “Pacific Overtures” at Classic Stage Company. Photo by Joan Marcus

In the ground-breaking Pacific Overtures, Commodore Matthew Perry sails to Japan in 1853 on a U.S mission to open up trade relations at any cost. The musical tells the tale of a samurai and a fisherman who are caught up in the Westernization of the East. With Pacific Overtures, which first premiered on Broadway in 1976 (directed by Hal Prince), John Doyle continues his highly-acclaimed and award-winning exploration of Sondheim’s work, having directed the legendary composer’s Sweeney Todd and Company on Broadway, and Passion at CSC.

Americantheatre.com: John Doyle Directs His Favorite Sondheim Show

Austin Ku, Kimberly Immanuel, Karl Josef Co, Ann Harada, George Takei, Thom Sesma, Orville Mendoza, Steven Eng and Kelvin Moon Loh. Photo by Lia Chang
Austin Ku, Kimberly Immanuel, Karl Josef Co, Ann Harada, George Takei, Thom Sesma, Orville Mendoza, Steven Eng and Kelvin Moon Loh. Photo by Lia Chang

Costume design is by Ann Hould-Ward, lighting design by Jane Cox, sound design by Dan Moses Schreier, orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick, musical supervision by Rob Bermanand musical direction by Greg Jarrett.

George Takei and Megan Masako Haley. Photo: Joan Marcus
George Takei and Megan Masako Haley. Photo: Joan Marcus
Thom Sesma, Megan Masako Haley, George Takei and Marc Oka. Photo: Joan Marcus
Thom Sesma, Megan Masako Haley, George Takei and Marc Oka. Photo: Joan Marcus
George Takei. Photo: Joan Marcus
George Takei. Photo: Joan Marcus

The remaining performances for Pacific Overtures are Thursday at 7 pm; Friday at 8 pm; Saturday at 3 pm and 8 pm and Sundas at 3 pm. Regular price tickets are $70 and Prime seats are $125. For tickets, visit classicstage.org, call (212) 352-3101 or (866) 811-4111, or in person at the box office (136 East 13th Street).

CSC's PACIFIC OVERTURES family photo with Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman. Photo courtesy of Facebook
CSC’s PACIFIC OVERTURES family photo with Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman. Photo courtesy of Facebook

CLASSIC STAGE COMPANY (CSC). Now in its 49th Season, CSC is committed to re-imagining classic stories for contemporary audiences. The company has been a home for New York’s finest established and emerging artists to grapple with the great works of the world’s repertory that speak directly to the issues of today. CSC serves an average of 35,000 audience members annually, including more than 4,000 students through its nationally recognized education programs. Productions have been cited repeatedly by all the major Off-Broadway theater awards including the Obie, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work.

SKELETON CREW, PACIFIC OVERTURES, TURN ME LOOSE and More Among 2017 Off Broadway Alliance Award Nominees

George Takei’s ALLEGIANCE Set for LA Premiere, February 21-April 1, 2018

George Takei, Ann Harada, Thom Sesma, Orville Mendoza, Kelvin Moon Loh and More Set for CSC’s PACIFIC OVERTURES, April 6-May 27

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.

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Classic Stage Company’s PACIFIC OVERTURES Featuring George Takei, Ann Harada, Thom Sesma, Orville Mendoza, Steven Eng and More, Ends Extended Run on June 18

Orville Mendoza and Steven Eng, center, and the cast of "Pacific Overtures" by John Weidman and Stephen Sondheim, at Classic Stage Company. (Photo by Joan Marcus)
Kelvin Moon Loh, Austin Ku, George Takei, Marc Oka, and Thom Sesma in “Pacific Overtures” at Classic Stage Company. Photo by Joan Marcus
Kelvin Moon Loh, Austin Ku, George Takei, Marc Oka, and Thom Sesma in “Pacific Overtures” at Classic Stage Company. Photo by Joan Marcus

Final week to catch Classic Stage Company’s new production of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s Pacific Overtures, directed and designed by Tony Award winner at CSC (136 East 13th Street), which ends its extended run   Sunday, June 18th. The production recently received a 2017 Off Broadway Alliance Award nomination for Best Revival.

Orville Mendoza and Steven Eng, center, and the cast of "Pacific Overtures" by John Weidman and Stephen Sondheim, at Classic Stage Company. (Photo by Joan Marcus)
Orville Mendoza and Steven Eng, center, and the cast of “Pacific Overtures” by John Weidman and Stephen Sondheim, at Classic Stage Company. (Photo by Joan Marcus)

The cast of Pacific Overtures features Karl Josef Co, Marc dela Cruz, Steven Eng, Megan Masako Haley, Ann Harada, Kimberly Immanuel, Austin Ku, Kelvin Moon Loh, Orville Mendoza, Marc Oka, Thom Sesma, and George Takei.

Steven Eng, Megan Masako Haley, and Ann Harada in “Pacific Overtures” at Classic Stage Company. Photo by Joan Marcus
Steven Eng, Megan Masako Haley, and Ann Harada in “Pacific Overtures” at Classic Stage Company. Photo by Joan Marcus

In the ground-breaking Pacific Overtures, Commodore Matthew Perry sails to Japan in 1853 on a U.S mission to open up trade relations at any cost. The musical tells the tale of a samurai and a fisherman who are caught up in the Westernization of the East. With Pacific Overtures, which first premiered on Broadway in 1976 (directed by Hal Prince), John Doyle continues his highly-acclaimed and award-winning exploration of Sondheim’s work, having directed the legendary composer’s Sweeney Todd and Company on Broadway, and Passion at CSC.

Americantheatre.com: John Doyle Directs His Favorite Sondheim Show

Austin Ku, Kimberly Immanuel, Karl Josef Co, Ann Harada, George Takei, Thom Sesma, Orville Mendoza, Steven Eng and Kelvin Moon Loh. Photo by Lia Chang
Austin Ku, Kimberly Immanuel, Karl Josef Co, Ann Harada, George Takei, Thom Sesma, Orville Mendoza, Steven Eng and Kelvin Moon Loh. Photo by Lia Chang

Costume design is by Ann Hould-Ward, lighting design by Jane Cox, sound design by Dan Moses Schreier, orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick, musical supervision by Rob Bermanand musical direction by Greg Jarrett.

George Takei and Megan Masako Haley. Photo: Joan Marcus
George Takei and Megan Masako Haley. Photo: Joan Marcus
Thom Sesma, Megan Masako Haley, George Takei and Marc Oka. Photo: Joan Marcus
Thom Sesma, Megan Masako Haley, George Takei and Marc Oka. Photo: Joan Marcus
George Takei. Photo: Joan Marcus
George Takei. Photo: Joan Marcus

Pacific Overtures has performances Tuesday through Thursdays at 7 pm; Fridays at 8 pm; Saturdays at 3 pm and 8 pm and Sundays at 3 pm. Regular price tickets are $70 and Prime seats are $125. For tickets, visit classicstage.org, call (212) 352-3101 or (866) 811-4111, or in person at the box office (136 East 13th Street).

CLASSIC STAGE COMPANY (CSC). Now in its 49th Season, CSC is committed to re-imagining classic stories for contemporary audiences. The company has been a home for New York’s finest established and emerging artists to grapple with the great works of the world’s repertory that speak directly to the issues of today. CSC serves an average of 35,000 audience members annually, including more than 4,000 students through its nationally recognized education programs. Productions have been cited repeatedly by all the major Off-Broadway theater awards including the Obie, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work.

SKELETON CREW, PACIFIC OVERTURES, TURN ME LOOSE and More Among 2017 Off Broadway Alliance Award Nominees

George Takei’s ALLEGIANCE Set for LA Premiere, February 21-April 1, 2018

George Takei, Ann Harada, Thom Sesma, Orville Mendoza, Kelvin Moon Loh and More Set for CSC’s PACIFIC OVERTURES, April 6-May 27

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.

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Baayork Lee to Receive the 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award

Baayork Lee and Lori Tan Chinn
Baayork Lee. Photo by Lia Chang
Baayork Lee. Photo by Lia Chang

Congratulations to director, actress and choreographer Baayork Lee who will receive the 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award for her outstanding dedication to social service in the global theatre landscape at the American Theatre Wing’s 71st Annual Tony Awards, hosted by Kevin Spacey, at Radio City Music Hall  on Sunday, June 11, 2017.

The Isabelle Stevenson Award is presented annually to a member of the theatre community who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of one or more humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations. Ms. Lee will be presented the Award for her commitment to future generations of artists through her work with the National Asian Artists Project and theatre education programs around the world.

Baayork Lee and Lori Tan Chinn
Baayork Lee and Lori Tan Chinn

“Baayork works tirelessly to break down cultural walls that often build up around what theatre goers consider ‘traditional’ musicals, and her dedication to fostering the next generation of performers and theatre professionals to do the same is exemplary. We are thrilled to honor her this year,” Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing, said.

The NAAP Broadway Community Chorus presented an evening of Jerry Herman with special guests Cindy Cheung and John D. Haggerty at the Gibney Dance Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center on May 23, 2017. Photo courtesy of Brian Jose/Facebook
The NAAP Broadway Community Chorus presented an evening of Jerry Herman with special guests Cindy Cheung and John D. Haggerty at the Gibney Dance Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center on May 23, 2017. Photo courtesy of Brian Jose/Facebook

Baayork Lee is the Founder of National Asian Artists Project (NAAP), which is a community of artists, educators, administrators, community leaders, and professionals who work to showcase the work of Asian-American theater artists through performance, educational programming and community outreach.

Nina Zoie Lam, Baayork Lee and Steven Eng, the founders of NAAP, onstage before the performance of Oliver! at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre 
inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Nina Zoie Lam, Baayork Lee and Steven Eng, the founders of NAAP, onstage before the performance of Oliver! at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre 
inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Through NAAP, Lee orchestrates her vision of educating, cultivating, and stimulating audiences and artists of Asian descent. The organization has produced productions of musical theatre staples like Oklahoma!, Carousel, Hello Dolly!, Oliver! and Honor with all Asian-American casts. By turning a spot light onto the high-caliber talent of theatre artists of Asian descent, NAAP asserts, given the opportunity, the theater and its audiences will embrace diverse American voices who strive to claim both new and classic American works as their own.

Karl Josef Co, Jaygee Macapugay, Raul Aranas, Christine Toy Johnson and the company of NAAP's Hello Dolly! at The Pershing Square Signature Center on April 30, 2013. Photo by Lia Chang
Karl Josef Co, Jaygee Macapugay, Raul Aranas, Christine Toy Johnson and the company of NAAP’s Hello Dolly! at The Pershing Square Signature Center on April 30, 2013. Photo by Lia Chang

Lee has made it a large part of her mission to educate aspiring artists in musical theatre. She created musical theater schools in Seoul, Korea; Tokyo, Japan; and the Theater Club at the Yung Wing Elementary School (PS124) in Chinatown, NY.

Baayork Lee (playing Miss Wong in this clip from the 1969 Tony Awards) created the role of Connie in A Chorus Line, and in fact has made a career of recreating Bennett's choreography. Photo credit: Martha Swope on Armchair Actorvist
Baayork Lee (playing Miss Wong in this clip from the 1969 Tony Awards) created the role of Connie in A Chorus Line, and in fact has made a career of recreating Bennett’s choreography. Photo credit: Martha Swope on Armchair Actorvist

Lee, an Asian American actor, dancer, singer, choreographer, director and author, was born in New York City’s Chinatown to an Indian mother and Chinese father, made her Broadway debut at the age of five as “Princess Ying Yaowalak” in the 1951 original production of The King and I. Her dream was to become a ballerina and she appeared in George Balanchine’s production of The Nutcracker, but this dream was dashed when she achieved her full height of just four feet, ten inches. In 1958, she returned to Broadway in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song. Other Broadway appearances were in Bravo Giovanni; Mr. PresidentHere’s LoveGolden BoyA Joyful NoiseHenry, Sweet HenryPromises, PromisesSeesaw and Michael Bennett’s 1976 Tony Award-winning Best Musical A Chorus Line, in which she originated the role of “Connie,” and served as his assistant choreographer.

Bonale Zohn Fambrini, Raul Aranas, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Scott Watanabe, Cindy Cheung, Virginia Wing and John Haggerty at the curtain call of NAAP’s Oliver! at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Bonale Zohn Fambrini, Raul Aranas, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Scott Watanabe, Cindy Cheung, Virginia Wing and John Haggerty at the curtain call of NAAP’s Oliver! at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

 

Lee worked with Bennett in several productions and over the years went from being his dance partner, to being his assistant. She would later supervise all major productions of A Chorus Line, choreographing many national and international companies, most recently in Klagenfurt, Austria; Santiago, Chile; the Hollywood Bowl; and Pace University in New York City. She is the co-author of the book, On the Line: The Creation of A Chorus Line, published in 1990.

Baayork Lee, Virginia Wing and Nancy Kwan at the New York Historical Society in New York on October 15, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Baayork Lee, Virginia Wing and Nancy Kwan at the New York Historical Society in New York on October 15, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Christine Toy Johnson presented Baayork Lee with the 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award presented by the Actors’ Equity Foundation in the council room of the Actors Equity Association on October 10, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Christine Toy Johnson presented Baayork Lee with the 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award presented by the Actors’ Equity Foundation in the council room of the Actors Equity Association on October 10, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Her directing and choreography credits also include: The King and I (national tour), Bombay Dreams (national tour), Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (New York City Opera), Barnum (Australia), Carmen Jones (John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts), Porgy and Bess (European tour), Jesus Christ Superstar (European tour), Gypsy and A New Brain. She has also choreographed Miss Saigon (Kansas City Starlight), Mack and Mabel (Shaw Festival), Animal Crackers, South Pacific, Coconuts, Camelot, and Damn Yankees, all at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.

She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her work, including the 2014 Paul Robeson Award from Actors Equity Association, the Asian Woman Warrior Award for Lifetime Achievement from Columbia College, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Association Achievement in Arts Award, and the Dynamic Achiever Award from OCA Westchester.

Baayork Lee, Bob Avian and Christopher Vo at the opening night party at Tavern on the Green for “Miss Saigon” on March 23, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
Baayork Lee, Bob Avian and Christopher Vo at the opening night party at Tavern on the Green for “Miss Saigon” on March 23, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

The American Theatre Wing’s 71st Annual Tony Awards, hosted by Kevin Spacey, will air live from Radio City Music Hall on the CBS Television Network on Sunday, June 11, 2017 (8:00-11:00 PM, ET/delayed PT). Or stream the Tony Awards live across platforms with the CBS All Access subscription service. (Live stream is available in select markets. Visit CBS.com/allaccess for details.) The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

For more information on the Tony Awards, visit TonyAwards.com and Facebook.com/TheTonyAwards and follow @TheTonyAwards on Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.

Robert Fairchild, Mara Davi, Jason Tam, J. Elaine Marcos, Sabrina Bryan & More Set for Baayork Lee Helmed A CHORUS LINE at The Hollywood Bowl

Baayork Lee to Helm ‘ALICE IN WONDERLAND’ Musical at Madison Theatre at Molloy College

Photos: Tommy Tune, Bob Avian, Lee Roy Reams, Christine Toy Johnson, Orville Mendoza, Lori Tan Chinn, Raul Aranas, Virginia Wing and More Celebrate 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award Recipient Baayork Lee

National Asian Artists Project To Present All-Asian Production of OLIVER! Featuring Raul Aranas, Anthea Neri, Bonale Zohn Fambrini, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Cindy Cheung, Scott Watanabe, Virginia Wing, David Shih and More 
Photos: Christine Toy Johnson, Baayork Lee, Jose Llana, Ann Harada, Dodie Pettit and More at Charles Randolph-Wright’s “Three Voices” concert series at Stage 72
Christine Toy Johnson and Raul Aranas Lead the Cast of the National Asian Artists Project’s (NAAP) Benefit Presentation of Hello Dolly!, at The Pershing Square Signature Center

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.

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CSC’S PACIFIC OVERTURES Extends through June 18

Kelvin Moon Loh, Austin Ku, George Takei, Marc Oka, and Thom Sesma in “Pacific Overtures” at Classic Stage Company. Photo by Joan Marcus

Classic Stage Company’s new production of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s Pacific Overtures, directed and designed by Tony Award winner John Doyle, which opens Thursday, May 4 at CSC (136 East 13th Street) will extend its limited engagement through Sunday, June 18 due to popular demand.

Kelvin Moon Loh, Austin Ku, George Takei, Marc Oka, and Thom Sesma in “Pacific Overtures” at Classic Stage Company. Photo by Joan Marcus
Kelvin Moon Loh, Austin Ku, George Takei, Marc Oka, and Thom Sesma in “Pacific Overtures” at Classic Stage Company. Photo by Joan Marcus

The cast of Pacific Overtures features Karl Josef Co, Marc dela Cruz, Steven Eng, Megan Masako Haley, Ann Harada, Kimberly Immanuel, Austin Ku, Kelvin Moon Loh, Orville Mendoza, Marc Oka, Thom Sesma, and George Takei.

Steven Eng, Megan Masako Haley, and Ann Harada in “Pacific Overtures” at Classic Stage Company. Photo by Joan Marcus
Steven Eng, Megan Masako Haley, and Ann Harada in “Pacific Overtures” at Classic Stage Company. Photo by Joan Marcus

In the ground-breaking Pacific Overtures, Commodore Matthew Perry sails to Japan in 1853 on a U.S mission to open up trade relations at any cost. The musical tells the tale of a samurai and a fisherman who are caught up in the Westernization of the East. With Pacific Overtures, which first premiered on Broadway in 1976 (directed by Hal Prince), John Doyle continues his highly-acclaimed and award-winning exploration of Sondheim’s work, having directed the legendary composer’s Sweeney Todd and Company on Broadway, and Passion at CSC.

Americantheatre.com: John Doyle Directs His Favorite Sondheim Show

Austin Ku, Kimberly Immanuel, Karl Josef Co, Ann Harada, George Takei, Thom Sesma, Orville Mendoza, Steven Eng and Kelvin Moon Loh. Photo by Lia Chang
Austin Ku, Kimberly Immanuel, Karl Josef Co, Ann Harada, George Takei, Thom Sesma, Orville Mendoza, Steven Eng and Kelvin Moon Loh. Photo by Lia Chang

Costume design is by Ann Hould-Ward, lighting design by Jane Cox, sound design by Dan Moses Schreier, orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick, musical supervision by Rob Bermanand musical direction by Greg Jarrett.

George Takei and Megan Masako Haley. Photo: Joan Marcus
George Takei and Megan Masako Haley. Photo: Joan Marcus
Thom Sesma, Megan Masako Haley, George Takei and Marc Oka. Photo: Joan Marcus
Thom Sesma, Megan Masako Haley, George Takei and Marc Oka. Photo: Joan Marcus
George Takei. Photo: Joan Marcus
George Takei. Photo: Joan Marcus

Pacific Overtures has performances Tuesday through Thursdays at 7 pm; Fridays at 8 pm; Saturdays at 3 pm and 8 pm and Sundays at 3 pm. Regular price tickets are $70 and Prime seats are $125. For tickets, visit classicstage.org, call (212) 352-3101 or (866) 811-4111, or in person at the box office (136 East 13th Street).

CLASSIC STAGE COMPANY (CSC). Now in its 49th Season, CSC is committed to re-imagining classic stories for contemporary audiences. The company has been a home for New York’s finest established and emerging artists to grapple with the great works of the world’s repertory that speak directly to the issues of today. CSC serves an average of 35,000 audience members annually, including more than 4,000 students through its nationally recognized education programs. Productions have been cited repeatedly by all the major Off-Broadway theater awards including the Obie, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work.

George Takei’s ALLEGIANCE Set for LA Premiere, February 21-April 1, 2018

George Takei, Ann Harada, Thom Sesma, Orville Mendoza, Kelvin Moon Loh and More Set for CSC’s PACIFIC OVERTURES, April 6-May 27

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.

Baayork Lee to be Honored with 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award

Baayork Lee, Bob Avian and Christopher Vo at the opening night party at Tavern on the Green for “Miss Saigon” on March 23, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
Baayork Lee. Photo by Lia Chang
Baayork Lee. Photo by Lia Chang

Congratulations to director, actress and choreographer Baayork Lee who will receive the 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award for her outstanding dedication to social service in the global theatre landscape.

The Isabelle Stevenson Award is presented annually to a member of the theatre community who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of one or more humanitarian, social service or charitable organizations. Ms. Lee will be presented the Award for her commitment to future generations of artists through her work with the National Asian Artists Project and theatre education programs around the world.

Baayork Lee, Bob Avian and Christopher Vo at the opening night party at Tavern on the Green for “Miss Saigon” on March 23, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
Baayork Lee, Bob Avian and Christopher Vo at the opening night party at Tavern on the Green for “Miss Saigon” on March 23, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

“Baayork works tirelessly to break down cultural walls that often build up around what theatre goers consider ‘traditional’ musicals, and her dedication to fostering the next generation of performers and theatre professionals to do the same is exemplary. We are thrilled to honor her this year,” Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing, said.

Nina Zoie Lam, Baayork Lee and Steven Eng, the founders of NAAP, onstage before the performance of Oliver! at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre 
inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Nina Zoie Lam, Baayork Lee and Steven Eng, the founders of NAAP, onstage before the performance of Oliver! at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre 
inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Baayork Lee is the Founder of National Asian Artists Project (NAAP), which is a community of artists, educators, administrators, community leaders, and professionals who work to showcase the work of Asian-American theater artists through performance, educational programming and community outreach.

Bonale Zohn Fambrini, Raul Aranas, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Scott Watanabe, Cindy Cheung, Virginia Wing and John Haggerty at the curtain call of NAAP’s Oliver! at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Bonale Zohn Fambrini, Raul Aranas, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Scott Watanabe, Cindy Cheung, Virginia Wing and John Haggerty at the curtain call of NAAP’s Oliver! at The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre inside The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York on June 7, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Through NAAP, Lee orchestrates her vision of educating, cultivating, and stimulating audiences and artists of Asian descent. The organization has produced productions of musical theatre staples like Oklahoma!, Carousel, Hello Dolly!, Oliver! and Honor with all Asian-American casts. By turning a spot light onto the high-caliber talent of theatre artists of Asian descent, NAAP asserts, given the opportunity, the theater and its audiences will embrace diverse American voices who strive to claim both new and classic American works as their own.

Karl Josef Co, Jaygee Macapugay, Raul Aranas, Christine Toy Johnson and the company of NAAP's Hello Dolly! at The Pershing Square Signature Center on April 30, 2013. Photo by Lia Chang
Karl Josef Co, Jaygee Macapugay, Raul Aranas, Christine Toy Johnson and the company of NAAP’s Hello Dolly! at The Pershing Square Signature Center on April 30, 2013. Photo by Lia Chang

Lee has made it a large part of her mission to educate aspiring artists in musical theatre. She created musical theater schools in Seoul, Korea; Tokyo, Japan; and the Theater Club at the Yung Wing Elementary School (PS124) in Chinatown, NY.

Baayork Lee (playing Miss Wong in this clip from the 1969 Tony Awards) created the role of Connie in A Chorus Line, and in fact has made a career of recreating Bennett's choreography. Photo credit: Martha Swope on Armchair Actorvist
Baayork Lee (playing Miss Wong in this clip from the 1969 Tony Awards) created the role of Connie in A Chorus Line, and in fact has made a career of recreating Bennett’s choreography. Photo credit: Martha Swope on Armchair Actorvist

Lee, an Asian American actor, dancer, singer, choreographer, director and author, was born in New York City’s Chinatown to an Indian mother and Chinese father, made her Broadway debut at the age of five as “Princess Ying Yaowalak” in the 1951 original production of The King and I. Her dream was to become a ballerina and she appeared in George Balanchine’s production of The Nutcracker, but this dream was dashed when she achieved her full height of just four feet, ten inches. In 1958, she returned to Broadway in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song. Other Broadway appearances were in Bravo Giovanni; Mr. PresidentHere’s LoveGolden BoyA Joyful NoiseHenry, Sweet HenryPromises, PromisesSeesaw and Michael Bennett’s 1976 Tony Award-winning Best Musical A Chorus Line, in which she originated the role of “Connie,” and served as his assistant choreographer.

Lee worked with Bennett in several productions and over the years went from being his dance partner, to being his assistant. She would later supervise all major productions of A Chorus Line, choreographing many national and international companies, most recently in Klagenfurt, Austria; Santiago, Chile; the Hollywood Bowl; and Pace University in New York City. She is the co-author of the book, On the Line: The Creation of A Chorus Line, published in 1990.

Baayork Lee, Virginia Wing and Nancy Kwan at the New York Historical Society in New York on October 15, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Baayork Lee, Virginia Wing and Nancy Kwan at the New York Historical Society in New York on October 15, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Christine Toy Johnson presented Baayork Lee with the 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award presented by the Actors’ Equity Foundation in the council room of the Actors Equity Association on October 10, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Christine Toy Johnson presented Baayork Lee with the 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award presented by the Actors’ Equity Foundation in the council room of the Actors Equity Association on October 10, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang

Her directing and choreography credits also include: The King and I (national tour), Bombay Dreams (national tour), Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (New York City Opera), Barnum (Australia), Carmen Jones (John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts), Porgy and Bess (European tour), Jesus Christ Superstar (European tour), Gypsy and A New Brain. She has also choreographed Miss Saigon (Kansas City Starlight), Mack and Mabel (Shaw Festival), Animal Crackers, South Pacific, Coconuts, Camelot, and Damn Yankees, all at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.

She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her work, including the 2014 Paul Robeson Award from Actors Equity Association, the Asian Woman Warrior Award for Lifetime Achievement from Columbia College, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Association Achievement in Arts Award, and the Dynamic Achiever Award from OCA Westchester.

Lori Tan Chinn, Orville Mendoza and 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award recipient Baayork Lee at the Actors Equity Association in New York on October 10, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
Lori Tan Chinn, Orville Mendoza and 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award recipient Baayork Lee at the Actors Equity Association in New York on October 10, 2014. Photo by Lia Chang
The American Theatre Wing’s 71st Annual Tony Awards, hosted by Kevin Spacey, will air live from Radio City Music Hall on the CBS Television Network on Sunday, June 11, 2017 (8:00-11:00 PM, ET/delayed PT). Or stream the Tony Awards live across platforms with the CBS All Access subscription service. (Live stream is available in select markets. Visit CBS.com/allaccess for details.) The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.
The Nominations for the 2017 Tony Awards will be announced live, by Tony Award winner Jane Krakowski and 2016 Tony Nominee Christopher Jackson, on May 2, 2017, from The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, in a webcast on TonyAwards.com.
For more information on the Tony Awards, visit TonyAwards.com and Facebook.com/TheTonyAwards and follow @TheTonyAwards on Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat.

Robert Fairchild, Mara Davi, Jason Tam, J. Elaine Marcos, Sabrina Bryan & More Set for Baayork Lee Helmed A CHORUS LINE at The Hollywood Bowl

Baayork Lee to Helm ‘ALICE IN WONDERLAND’ Musical at Madison Theatre at Molloy College

Photos: Tommy Tune, Bob Avian, Lee Roy Reams, Christine Toy Johnson, Orville Mendoza, Lori Tan Chinn, Raul Aranas, Virginia Wing and More Celebrate 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award Recipient Baayork Lee

National Asian Artists Project To Present All-Asian Production of OLIVER! Featuring Raul Aranas, Anthea Neri, Bonale Zohn Fambrini, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Cindy Cheung, Scott Watanabe, Virginia Wing, David Shih and More 
Photos: Christine Toy Johnson, Baayork Lee, Jose Llana, Ann Harada, Dodie Pettit and More at Charles Randolph-Wright’s “Three Voices” concert series at Stage 72
Christine Toy Johnson and Raul Aranas Lead the Cast of the National Asian Artists Project’s (NAAP) Benefit Presentation of Hello Dolly!, at The Pershing Square Signature Center

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.

CSC’s PACIFIC OVERTURES featuring George Takei, Ann Harada, Thom Sesma, Orville Mendoza, Kelvin Moon Loh and More, Opens May 4

Classic Stage Company’s revival of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s Pacific Overtures, directed and designed by Tony Award winner John Doyle, is currently in previews at CSC (136 East 13th Street) for a limited engagement through Saturday, May 27. Opening night is Thursday, May 4.

Kelvin Moon Loh, Austin Ku, George Takei, Marc Oka, and Thom Sesma in “Pacific Overtures” at Classic Stage Company. Photo by Joan Marcus
Kelvin Moon Loh, Austin Ku, George Takei, Marc Oka, and Thom Sesma in “Pacific Overtures” at Classic Stage Company. Photo by Joan Marcus

The cast features George Takei (Allegiance, “Star Trek”) as the Reciter, Karl Josef Co, Marc de la Cruz (If/Then), Steven Eng, Megan Masako Haley, Ann Harada (Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, 9 to 5: The Musical, Les Miserables, Avenue Q, Seussical, M. Butterfly), Kimberly Immanuel, Austin Ku, Kelvin Moon Loh (The King and I, Side Show, Here Lies Love), Orville Mendoza (Peter and the Starcatcher, Pacific Overtures), Marc Oka (The King and I, Flower Drum Song) and Thom Sesma (The Times They are A-Changin’, Man of La Mancha, Nick and Nora, La Cage Aux Folles.)

Steven Eng, Megan Masako Haley, and Ann Harada in “Pacific Overtures” at Classic Stage Company. Photo by Joan Marcus
Steven Eng, Megan Masako Haley, and Ann Harada in “Pacific Overtures” at Classic Stage Company. Photo by Joan Marcus

In the ground-breaking Pacific Overtures, Commodore Matthew Perry sails to Japan in 1853 on a U.S mission to open up trade relations at any cost. The musical tells the tale of a samurai and a fisherman who are caught up in the Westernization of the East. With Pacific Overtures, which first premiered on Broadway in 1976 (directed by Hal Prince), John Doyle continues his highly-acclaimed and award-winning exploration of Sondheim’s work, having directed the legendary composer’s Sweeney Todd and Company on Broadway, and Passion at CSC.

Americantheatre.com: John Doyle Directs His Favorite Sondheim Show

Austin Ku, Kimberly Immanuel, Karl Josef Co, Ann Harada, George Takei, Thom Sesma, Orville Mendoza, Steven Eng and Kelvin Moon Loh. Photo by Lia Chang
Austin Ku, Kimberly Immanuel, Karl Josef Co, Ann Harada, George Takei, Thom Sesma, Orville Mendoza, Steven Eng and Kelvin Moon Loh. Photo by Lia Chang

Costume design is by Ann Hould-Ward, lighting design by Jane Cox, sound design by Dan Moses Schreier, orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick, musical supervision by Rob Bermanand musical direction by Greg Jarrett.

Ann Harada, George Takei, Thom Sesma and Don Buchwald. Photo by Lia Chang
Ann Harada, George Takei, Thom Sesma and Don Buchwald. Photo by Lia Chang

Pacific Overtures will perform Tuesday through Thursdays at 7 pm; Fridays at 8 pm; Saturdays at 3 pm and 8 pm and Sundays at 3 pm. Regular price tickets are $70 and Prime seats are $125. For tickets, visit classicstage.org, call (212) 352-3101 or (866) 811-4111, or in person at the box office (136 East 13th Street).

Classic Stage Company (CSC). Now in its 49th Season, CSC is committed to re-imagining classic stories for contemporary audiences. The company has been a home for New York’s finest established and emerging artists to grapple with the great works of the world’s repertory that speak directly to the issues of today. CSC serves an average of 35,000 audience members annually, including more than 4,000 students through its nationally recognized education programs. Productions have been cited repeatedly by all the major Off-Broadway theater awards including the Obie, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work.

George Takei’s ALLEGIANCE Set for LA Premiere, February 21-April 1, 2018

George Takei, Ann Harada, Thom Sesma, Orville Mendoza, Kelvin Moon Loh and More Set for CSC’s PACIFIC OVERTURES, April 6-May 27

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.