INTO THE WOODS Star Ali Ewoldt talks GOLD MOUNTAIN, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA & ANNE OF GREEN GABLES

Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Justin Patterson
Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Justin Patterson
Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Justin Patterson

Ali Ewoldt is appearing as Cinderella in Patchogue Theatre’s “INTO THE WOODS IN CONCERT” tonight at 8 p.m. and March 9 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Grammy and Emmy Award winner John McDaniel will direct and conduct.

In addition to Ms. Ewoldt, the cast stars Tony Award winner Alice Ripley as the Witch, Tony nominee Melissa Errico as the Baker’s Wife, Tony nominee Constantine Maroulis as Cinderella’s Prince and the Wolf, Alan Muraoka as the Narrator and Mysterious Man, Ayla Schwartz as Little Red Riding Hood, Jim Stanek as The Baker, Tyler Jones as Jack, and Darren Ritchie as Rapunzel’s Prince.

Ticket prices for “INTO THE WOODS IN CONCERT” range between $39 – $69, plus applicable fees, and are available online, by phone or at the box office. For more information, visit PatchogueTheatre.org, call the Patchogue Theatre Box Office at 631-207-1313, or stop by 71 East Main Street, Patchogue, NY.

Ali Ewoldt, Alan Muraoka, Alice Ripley, Melissa Errico, Constantine Maroulis and More Set for INTO THE WOODS Concert at Patchogue Theatre, March 8-9 

Ms. Ewoldt recently completed more than two years starring as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, and made history as the first Asian American to play Christine on Broadway.

James Barbour and Ali Ewoldt in "The Phantom Of The Opera." (photo credit: Matthew Murphy)
James Barbour and Ali Ewoldt in “The Phantom Of The Opera.” (photo credit: Matthew Murphy)

In the Dressing Room with PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Star Ali Ewoldt 

She made her Broadway debut as Cosette in the 1st Broadway Revival of Les Miserables, has starred as Maria in the 1st National Tour of West Side Story, and played Luisa in the The Fantasticks Off-Broadway, the world’s longest running musical.

Nichole Forde, Ali Ewoldt, Brooke Averi and company in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. Photo by Russ Rowland
Nichole Forde, Ali Ewoldt, Brooke Averi and company in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. Photo by Russ Rowland

In January, Ms. Ewoldt was a joy to watch in her solo tour-de-force performance as Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables: Part I. Based on Lucy Maud Montgomery’s beloved novel, this production was adapted and directed by Chris Henry with choreography by Lorna Ventura. She seamlessly embodied the other characters of Mrs. Lynde, Marilla Cuthbert,  Matthew Cuthbert, Mrs. Spencer, Mrs. Blewett, Mrs. Berry and Diana Berry with great aplomb.

Ali Ewoldt Stars in Royal Family Productions’ ANNE OF GREEN GABLES

Renowned actors Ali Ewoldt and Jonny Lee Jr. in Gold Mountain at The TimesCenter in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee Jr. and Ali Ewoldt in GOLD MOUNTAIN at The TimesCenter in New York City. Photo by Lia Chang

In May, Ms. Ewoldt will star in concert presentations of Jason Ma’s musical, Gold Mountain, with a cast that includes Jonny Lee Jr., Alan Ariano, Raymond J. Lee (Groundhog Day), Lawrence-Michael Arias, Steven Eng (CSC’s Pacific Overtures), Eric Bondoc (Pacific Overtures, 2004 revival), Daniel May (Soft Power), Alex Hsu, Eric Elizaga and Viet Vo, as part of the Spike 150 celebration of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad.

Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Alan Ariano, Jonny Lee, Jr., Ali Ewoldt and Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang
Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Alan Ariano, Jonny Lee, Jr., Ali Ewoldt and Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang

Direction will be provided by Alan Muraoka, choreography by Billy Bustamante, and music direction by Kristen Lee Rosenfeld. Performances in Salt Lake City are currently set for the Regent Street Black Box at The Eccles Theater on Wednesday, May 8 and Thursday, May 9, both at 8:00 p.m. Performances in Ogden will take place in partnership with Ogden Musical Theatre at Peery’s Egyptian Theater at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 10 and at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 11.

She took the time to answer a few questions via email in the midst of her rehearsal for Into the Woods.

Rodney Ingram and Ali Ewoldt in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA on Broadway. Photo by Matthew Murphy
Rodney Ingram and Ali Ewoldt in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA on Broadway. Photo by Matthew Murphy

Lia: You’ve just ended a two year run as Christine in Phantom of the Opera. What did you enjoy the most about your time with the show?
Ali: The people. Onstage and off. And meeting people at the stage door whose lives had been changed for the better because of Phantom. I know that sounds a little odd when referring to a dark, sometimes violent show, but Phantom really has introduced the world of musical theater to so many people and fosters communities among its “phans.”

Leone Gagliardi and Ali Ewoldt in her dressing room at The Majestic in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
Leone Gagliardi and Ali Ewoldt in her dressing room at The Majestic in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: What was the most challenging aspect about the show?
Ali: Everything! The scope of the role was very challenging– Christine is really in the vast majority of the show (or changing costume), so it required a lot of stamina. And I had to be very disciplined in my off hours to make sure I was equipped to do the shows.

Ali Ewoldt in the dressing room at The Majestic in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt in the dressing room at The Majestic in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: Have you ever done Into the Woods?
Ali: I did a reading of it once in college at Yale University many moons ago. Some of it is coming back to me…?

Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: How did Anne of Green Gables: Part I come to your attention?
Ali: My amazing friend Jessica Wu invited me to its previous workshop production in 2017. I grew up on the books and the mini-series and am a huge fan of the story and when I saw Christine Henry and Lorna Ventura’s interpretation I was blown away.

Choreographer Lorna Ventura, Royal Family Productions' Artistic Director Chris Henry, Ali Ewoldt and Associate Director Jessica Wu. Photo by Lia Chang
ANNE OF GREEN GABLES: PART I Choreographer Lorna Ventura, Royal Family Productions’ Artistic Director Chris Henry, Ali Ewoldt and Associate Director Jessica Wu. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: What connection do you have to Anne?
Ali: I’m not sure I realized this at the time I was reading the books in my childhood, but Anne is incredibly diligent and passionate about her studies and I am sure that inspired me. I was talking about it with some of my Yale classmates and we think it was critical for us to have read a story about a girl who loved to read and study and excel in school at a young age. Anne’s resilience and optimism is also incredibly inspiring to me– I think we could all use a little of her life outlook!

Ali Ewoldt, Kara Menendez, A. Nichole Forde, Brooke Averi, and Stephanie Young in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. Photo by Russ Rowland
Ali Ewoldt, Kara Menendez, A. Nichole Forde, Brooke Averi, and Stephanie Young in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES: Part I. Photo by Russ Rowland

Lia: What spoke to you about the show?
Ali: The incredible heart of it. And how the story focuses on a variety of different people and different types of people who change each others lives for the better.

Kara Menendez and Ali Ewoldt in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. Photo by Russ Rowland
Kara Menendez and Ali Ewoldt in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES Part I. Photo by Russ Rowland

Lia: I found the form of storytelling very refreshing. How did you prepare for the role?
Ali: So much homework! I recorded myself saying all of the lines and listened to that over and over. Really, getting the words down was the biggest challenge. Thankfully because of my long-standing love of the story, I understood who the various characters were immediately.

Ali Ewoldt and GOLD MOUNTAIN creator Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt and GOLD MOUNTAIN creator Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang

Jason Ma, the creator of Gold Mountain shared, “Gold Mountain had been entombed in a box under my bed for years, when I first met Ali at a rehearsal for a concert. It was during that rehearsal that I first heard her sing, whereupon I went home, found that box, and opened it up.  Soon after, I had my first table read, where she read the role of Mei.”

Jonny Lee, Jr., Jason Ma and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee, Jr., Jason Ma and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: Jason said that you own the role of Mei. What has it been like to participate in the development of this show and the character?
Ali: Jason Ma is one of the kindest, most supportive people I have ever met– I am so grateful to him for letting me playing this part! It is so wonderful to originate a role and feel like I am a collaborator in the show’s creation.

Lia: Who have been your inspirations over the years?
Ali: Oh goodness– so many! Of course, growing up half-Filipino, Lea Salonga was a huge inspiration. I am inspired by incredible women/sopranos like Rebecca Luker and Kelli O’Hara. And really all of my friends and colleagues. I find that every time I watch or work on a show I learn so much.

Ali Ewoldt (Cosette), Adam Jacobs (Marius) and Lea Salonga (Fantine) backstage at LES MIS.
Ali Ewoldt (Cosette), Adam Jacobs (Marius) and Lea Salonga (Fantine) backstage at LES MIS.

Lia: Who are your favorite directors and composers?
Ali: Why Alan Muraoka and Jason Ma, of course! But again, it’s impossible to only name a few. Every experience I have is my favorite at the time. Currently I am obsessed with Stephen Sondheim…and singing his brilliant music properly….

Director Alan Muraoka, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA star Ali Ewoldt and author Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang
Director Alan Muraoka, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA star Ali Ewoldt and author Jason Ma. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: What have been your favorite roles/shows and why?
Ali: Please see above. Obviously Christine in Phantom was a big check on the wishlist and has brought me many wonderful gifts in my career. Playing Cosette in Les Miserables was also a childhood dream come true. As was Luisa in the Fantasticks. And Cinderella in Into the Woods… etc, etc, etc….

Lia: Are there any roles on your wish list?
Ali: I would love to originate a role (Gold Mountain on Broadway??). But really, there are so many challenges out there I am excited to tackle. I have been very fortunate with dream roles so far, so I am looking forward to seeing what else is in store!

Lia: What is your upcoming concert schedule?
Ali: I’m singing at 54 Below sing Andrew Lloyd Webber on March 25th. Gold Mountain in Utah in May. And some fun stuff this summer I can’t announce yet!

Jonny Lee, Jr. and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonny Lee, Jr. and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang

Patchogue Theatre’s “In Concert” series is a branch of its Broadway series and is comprised of concert versions of classic Broadway musicals; these performances only run for a limited time and showcase all the music from the show with dialogue in between, a few set pieces, and some scripts in-hand!

Sitting: Ali Ewoldt, Alan Muraoka, Jim Stanek, Madi Wyatt, Alexandra Imbrosci-Viera. Standing: Amy Jane Finnerty, Darren Ritchie, Constantine Maroulis, J. William McDaniel, Alice Ripley, Melissa Ericco, James Schultz in the rehearsal room. Photo: Facebook
Sitting: Ali Ewoldt, Alan Muraoka, Jim Stanek, Ayla Schwartz, Madi Wyatt, Alexandra Imbrosci-Viera. Standing: Amy Jane Finnerty, Darren Ritchie, Constantine Maroulis, J. William McDaniel, Alice Ripley, Melissa Ericco, James Schultz, Jonathan Fluck in the rehearsal room. Photo: Facebook

The second production in the series is a concert version of the Broadway musical “INTO THE WOODS.” With music and lyrics written by Stephen Sondheim and book written by James Lapine, “INTO THE WOODS” has earned numerous awards, including Tony Awards, Drama Desk Awards, and Olivier Awards, as well as having numerous revivals and a film version made in 2014. The musical plays with storylines from The Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault fairy tales with characters from other classics such as “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Jack and the Beanstalk”, and “Rapunzel”.

GOLD MOUNTAIN Creator Jason Ma, Leah Anolin Ewoldt, Ali Ewoldt, Bob Ewoldt, Greg Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
GOLD MOUNTAIN Creator Jason Ma, Leah Anolin Ewoldt, Ali Ewoldt, Bob Ewoldt, Greg Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang

Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Alan Ariano Featured in Jason Ma’s Gold Mountain The Musical at MOCA 2019 Lunar New Year Soirée 

Interview with GOLD MOUNTAIN Creator Jason Ma; Ali Ewoldt, Jonny Lee, Jr. and Alan Ariano to Perform Excerpts at MOCA Lunar Soirée on February 20

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Ali Ewoldt Stars in Royal Family Productions’ ANNE OF GREEN GABLES

Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Nichole Forde, Ali Ewoldt Brooke Averi and company. Photo by Russ Rowland
Nichole Forde, Ali Ewoldt Brooke Averi and company. Photo by Russ Rowland

Royal Family Productions (Chris Henry, Artistic Director), a Times Square based non-profit theatre company known for its innovative productions and development of new original work, is presenting the World Premiere of Anne of Green Gables: Part I and a workshop presentation of Anne of Green Gables: Part II.

Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang

Ali Ewoldt follows her history making run as the first Asian American to play Christine in Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera with a solo tour-de-force performance as Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables: Part I.

Based on Lucy Maud Montgomery’s beloved novel, this production is adapted and directed by Chris Henry with choreography by Lorna Ventura. Ms. Henry’s Anne of Green Gables is a one-woman, movement-fueled, theatrical experience for all-ages, featuring dynamic choreography by Lorna Ventura.

Ali Ewoldt and Company. Photo by Russ Rowland
Ali Ewoldt and Company. Photo by Russ Rowland

Part I shares the journey of Anne Shirley; an imaginative, red-headed, hot-tempered, eleven-year-old orphan, and what happens when she is accidentally brought to the home of quiet siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert in Prince Edward Island. Ms. Ewoldt is a joy to watch as Anne Shirley and seamlessly embodies the other characters of Mrs. Lynde, Marilla Cuthbert,  Matthew Cuthbert, Mrs. Spencer, Mrs. Blewett, Mrs. Berry and Diana Berry with great aplomb. She is accompanied by dancers Brooke Averi, Nichole Forde, Hannah Hall, Kara Menendez, Stephanie Young, and Juna Shai.

Opening night is set for Monday, January 28 at 6:30pm and the production runs through February 11.

Choreographer Lorna Ventura, Royal Family Productions' Artistic Director Chris Henry, Ali Ewoldt and Associate Director Jessica Wu. Photo by Lia Chang
Choreographer Lorna Ventura, Royal Family Productions’ Artistic Director Chris Henry, Ali Ewoldt and Associate Director Jessica Wu. Photo by Lia Chang

Doreen Montalvo (On Your Feet, In the Heights) will portray Anne in the workshop presentation of Anne of Green Gables: Part II, January 31 – February 10). She is joined by dancers Emily Anne Davis and Erica Misilo. Part II continues the journey with Anne as she navigates her new life in Avonlea – by going to school, making new friends, and trying to control her temper.

Kara Menendez and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Russ Rowland
Kara Menendez and Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Russ Rowland

Both shows will be performed at The Royal Family Performing Arts Space located at 145 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036. Tickets for Part I are $29 – $59, $250 (VIP). Tickets for Part II are $19 – $39. All tickets can be purchased by visiting www.royalfamilyproductions.org

Ali Ewoldt, Kara Menendez, A. Nichole Forde, Brooke Averi, and Stephanie Young. Photo by Russ Rowland
Ali Ewoldt, Kara Menendez, Nichole Forde, Brooke Averi, and Stephanie Young. Photo by Russ Rowland

“As someone who was adopted, the story of a fiery, strong, imaginative orphan girl really resonated with me throughout my childhood and well into my college years. I am delighted to take this material and adapt Ms. Montgomery’s text for the Royal Family stage with my collaborator Lorna Ventura. We have stripped down the book to its essence and have broken it up into three parts. In January, we are excited to host this World Premiere of Anne of Green Gables: Part I as a one-woman movement-fueled piece starring the amazing Ali Ewoldt with four dynamic dancers. We are equally thrilled to develop Part II right in front of our audiences in order to give Royal Family’s patrons a unique chance to watch this work evolve. Anyone who has ever tried to find their place in the world will find the story of Anne of Green Gables inspiring, and we are so happy to bring Anne Shirley to life at Royal Family.” – Artistic Director, Chris Henry

Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang

Ali Ewoldt (Anne – Part I) Ali Ewoldt recently completed more than two years as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. She made her Broadway debut as Cosette in Les Miserables, a role she also played on the National Tour, and appeared in Lincoln Center’s recent Tony Award Winning revival of The King and I. Ali has played Maria in numerous productions of West Side Story across the nation and the world, including in Houston on the 2009 Broadway Revival’s 1st National Tour. Her other credits include: The Fantasticks (Luisa) Off-Broadway, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Philia) at The Muny in St. Louis, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s The King and I (Tuptim), and McCarter Theatre’s A Christmas Carol (Fan/Mrs. Bonds). Ali performed her solo concert at Feinstein’s/54 Below in New York and has sung in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, The Town Hall and at Canyon Ranch. Her symphony work includes The NY Pops Carnegie Hall at Carnegie Hall, The American Pops Orchestra, The Houston Symphony and The Boston Pops with Maestro Keith Lockhart. Ali’s TV/Film credits include “The Michael J. Fox Show,” “Yield, Drama: The Web Series” and the short film Mia. She has a BA in psychology from Yale University. www.aliewoldt.com

Doreen Montalvo (Anne – Part II) is so happy to be back at Royal Family after appearing in WOMEN ON FIRE: Scorching the Dividing Lines last fall. Before that, she played Gloria Fajardo on the 1st National Tour of On Your Feet, and performed the role of Amalia in the world premiere of American Mariachi at The Old Globe and The Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Broadway credits include: On Your Feet (Original B’way Cast), In The Heights (Original B’way Cast/Drama Desk Award winner), Off Bway: Curvy Widow (Heidi) at Westside Theatre, Giant (Lupe) at The Public Theatre, La Lupe (Lupe) at PRTT, In The Heights at 37 Arts. TV/Film: “Law & Order,” “Elementary,” “Madame Secretary,” “Tale of Timmy Two Chins,” “Smash,” “All My Children,” “One Life to Live”. She has recently released her solo CD “American Soul/Latin Heart” (pre-Grammy selection), and is a cabaret performer, having performed in NYC at 54 Below, The Metropolitan Room, The Duplex, The Laurie Beechman Theatre and all over the Caribbean, South America, and the Mississippi. www.Doreenmontalvo.com

Jessica Wu, Alan Muraoka, Ali Ewoldt and Elliott Masie. Photo by Lia Chang
Jessica Wu, Alan Muraoka, Ali Ewoldt and Elliott Masie. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt and Alan Muraoka. Photo by Lia Chang
Alan Muraoka, Ali Ewoldt, Lia Chang, Elliott Masie. Photo by Jessica Wu
Alan Muraoka, Ali Ewoldt, Lia Chang, Elliott Masie. Photo by Jessica Wu

Anne of Green Gables: Part I‘s creative team includes Amanda Armstrong, Lars Jacobsen, and Bart Kuebler (Original Music), Cheyenne Sykes (Lighting, Scenic, and Costume Design), Chelsie McPhilimy (Projection Design), Chet Miller (Sound Design), Jessica Wu (Associate Director), Lorna Ventura (Choreographer), and Chris Henry (Writer/Director).

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Ali Ewoldt and Doreen Montalvo Lead Two Parts of Royal Family Productions’ ANNE OF GREEN GABLES

Royal Family Productions (Chris Henry, Artistic Director), a Times Square based non-profit theatre company known for its innovative productions and development of new original work, has announced the complete cast for the workshop presentation of Anne of Green Gables: Part II as well as the the World Premiere of Anne of Green Gables: Part I. Doreen Montalvo (On Your Feet, In the Heights) will be portraying Anne in a workshop presentation of Anne of Green Gables: Part II (January 31 – February 10). She is joined by dancers Mindy Lai (LCT: The King and I) and Erica Misilo. Joining the previously-announced Ali Ewoldt (Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables) in Anne of Green Gables: Part I are dancers Brooke Averi, Nichole Forde, Hannah Hall, Kara Menendez, Stephanie Young, and understudy Juna Shai.

Based on Lucy Maud Montgomery’s beloved novel, this production is adapted and directed by Chris Henry with choreography by Lorna Ventura and will begin performances on January 24th – February 11, 2019 with an opening night set for Monday, January 28 at 6:30pm. And a workshop presentation of Anne of Green Gables: Part II (January 31 – February 10). Both shows will be performed at The Royal Family Performing Arts Space located at 145 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036. Tickets for Part I are $29 – $59, $250 (VIP). Tickets for Part II are $19 – $39. All tickets can be purchased by visiting www.royalfamilyproductions.org

Ms. Henry’s Anne of Green Gables is a one-woman, movement-fueled, theatrical experience for all-ages, featuring dynamic choreography by Lorna Ventura. Part I shares the journey of Anne Shirley; an imaginative, red-headed, hot-tempered, eleven-year-old orphan, and what happens when she is accidentally brought to the home of quiet siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert in Prince Edward Island. Part II continues the journey with Anne as she navigates her new life in Avonlea – by going to school, making new friends, and trying to control her temper.

“As someone who was adopted, the story of a fiery, strong, imaginative orphan girl really resonated with me throughout my childhood and well into my college years. I am delighted to take this material and adapt Ms. Montgomery’s text for the Royal Family stage with my collaborator Lorna Ventura. We have stripped down the book to its essence and have broken it up into three parts. In January, we are excited to host this World Premiere of Anne of Green Gables: Part I as a one-woman movement-fueled piece starring the amazing Ali Ewoldt with four dynamic dancers. We are equally thrilled to develop Part II right in front of our audiences in order to give Royal Family’s patrons a unique chance to watch this work evolve. Anyone who has ever tried to find their place in the world will find the story of Anne of Green Gables inspiring, and we are so happy to bring Anne Shirley to life at Royal Family.” – Artistic Director, Chris Henry

Ali Ewoldt (Anne – Part I) Ali Ewoldt recently completed more than two years as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. She made her Broadway debut as Cosette in Les Miserables, a role she also played on the National Tour, and appeared in Lincoln Center’s recent Tony Award Winning revival of The King and I. Ali has played Maria in numerous productions of West Side Story across the nation and the world, including in Houston on the 2009 Broadway Revival’s 1st National Tour. Her other credits include: The Fantasticks (Luisa) Off-Broadway, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Philia) at The Muny in St. Louis, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s The King and I (Tuptim), and McCarter Theatre’s A Christmas Carol (Fan/Mrs. Bonds). Ali performed her solo concert at Feinstein’s/54 Below in New York and has sung in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, The Town Hall and at Canyon Ranch. Her symphony work includes The NY Pops Carnegie Hall at Carnegie Hall, The American Pops Orchestra, The Houston Symphony and The Boston Pops with Maestro Keith Lockhart. Ali’s TV/Film credits include “The Michael J. Fox Show,” “Yield, Drama: The Web Series” and the short film Mia. She has a BA in psychology from Yale University. www.aliewoldt.com

Anne of Green Gables: Part I‘s creative team includes Amanda Armstrong, Lars Jacobsen, and Bart Kuebler (Original Music), Cheyenne Sykes (Lighting, Scenic, and Costume Design), Chelsie McPhilimy (Projection Design), Chet Miller (Sound Design), Jessica Wu (Associate Director), Lorna Ventura (Choreographer), and Chris Henry (Writer/Director).

Doreen Montalvo (Anne – Part II) is so happy to be back at Royal Family after appearing in WOMEN ON FIRE: Scorching the Dividing Lines last fall. Before that, she played Gloria Fajardo on the 1st National Tour of On Your Feet, and performed the role of Amalia in the world premiere of American Mariachi at The Old Globe and The Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Broadway credits include: On Your Feet (Original B’way Cast), In The Heights (Original B’way Cast/Drama Desk Award winner), Off Bway: Curvy Widow (Heidi) at Westside Theatre, Giant (Lupe) at The Public Theatre, La Lupe (Lupe) at PRTT, In The Heights at 37 Arts. TV/Film: “Law & Order,” “Elementary,” “Madame Secretary,” “Tale of Timmy Two Chins,” “Smash,” “All My Children,” “One Life to Live”. She has recently released her solo CD “American Soul/Latin Heart” (pre-Grammy selection), and is a cabaret performer, having performed in NYC at 54 Below, The Metropolitan Room, The Duplex, The Laurie Beechman Theatre and all over the Caribbean, South America, and the Mississippi. www.Doreenmontalvo.com

Anne of Green Gables marks the first time that Royal Family has adapted a pre-existing work as well as their first-ever production for a multi-generational, family-friendly audience. Join us this winter for Part I and Part II of a three-part theatrical series, bringing this beloved classic to life for a whole new generation!

Ali Ewoldt to Star in Royal Family Productions’ World Premiere of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES: PART I, January 24 – February 11

Ali Ewoldt
Ali Ewoldt
Ali Ewoldt

After a successful workshop in 2017, Royal Family Productions is presenting  the World Premiere of Anne of Green Gables: Part I starring Broadway’s Ali Ewoldt (Phantom of the Opera, Les Mis) as Anne. Based on Lucy Maud Montgomery’s beloved novel, this production is adapted and directed by Chris Henry with choreography by Lorna Ventura and will begin performances on January 24th – February 11, 2019 with an opening night set for Monday, January 28 at 6:30pm. There will also be a workshop presentation of Anne of Green Gables: Part II (January 31 – February 10). Both shows will be performed at The Royal Family Performing Arts Space is located at 145 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036. Tickets are $29 – $59, $250 (VIP) and can be purchased by visiting www.royalfamilyproductions.org

Ms. Henry’s Anne of Green Gables is a one-woman, movement-fueled, theatrical experience for all-ages featuring dynamic choreography by Lorna Ventura. Anne of Green Gables: Part I stars Ali Ewoldt and shares the journey of Anne Shirley; an imaginative, red-headed, hot-tempered, eleven-year-old orphan, and what happens when she is accidentally brought to the home of quiet siblings Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert in Prince Edward Island. Ms. Ewoldt is joined by dancers Brooke Averi, Kiersten Foster, Mindy Lai,Kara Menendez, and Stephanie Young.

“As someone who was adopted, the story of a fiery, strong, imaginative orphan girl really resonated with me throughout my childhood and well into my college years. I am delighted to take this material and adapt Ms. Montgomery’s text for the Royal Family stage with my collaborator Lorna Ventura. We have stripped down the book to its essence and have broken it up into three parts. In January, we are excited to host this World Premiere of Anne of Green Gables: Part I as a one-woman movement-fueled piece starring the amazing Ali Ewoldt with four dynamic dancers. We are equally thrilled to develop Part II right in front of our audiences in order to give Royal Family’s patrons a unique chance to watch this work evolve. Anyone who has ever tried to find their place in the world will find the story of Anne of Green Gables inspiring, and we are so happy to bring Anne Shirley to life at Royal Family.” – Artistic Director, Chris Henry

Ali Ewoldt in her dressing room at The Majestic in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
Ali Ewoldt in her dressing room at The Majestic in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Ali Ewoldt (Anne) Ali Ewoldt recently completed more than two years as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. She made her Broadway debut as Cosette in Les Miserables, a role she also played on the National Tour, and appeared in Lincoln Center’s recent Tony Award Winning revival of The King and I. Ali has played Maria in numerous productions of West Side Story across the nation and around the world, including in Houston on the 2009 Broadway Revival’s 1st National Tour. Her other credits include: The Fantasticks (Luisa) Off-Broadway, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Philia) at The Muny in St. Louis, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s The King and I (Tuptim), and McCarter Theatre’s A Christmas Carol (Fan/Mrs. Bonds). Ali performed her solo concert at Feinstein’s/54 Below in New York and has sung in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, The Town Hall and at Canyon Ranch. Her symphony work includes The NY Pops Carnegie Hall at Carnegie Hall, The American Pops Orchestra, The Houston Symphony and The Boston Pops with Maestro Keith Lockhart. Ali’s TV/Film credits include “The Michael J. Fox Show,” “Yield, Drama: The Web Series” and the short film Mia. She has a BA in psychology from Yale University. www.aliewoldt.com

Anne of Green Gables: Part I‘s creative team includes Amanda Armstrong, Lars Jacobsen, and Bart Kuebler (Original Music), Cheyenne Sykes (Lighting, Scenic, and Costume Design), Chelsie McPhilimy (Projection Design), Chet Miller (Sound Design), Jessica Wu (Associate Director), Lorna Ventura (Choreographer), and Chris Henry (Writer/Director).

Royal Family will also offer a glimpse into Anne of Green Gables: Part II with its workshop presentation taking place between January 31 – February 10. Anne of Green Gables: Part II continues the journey with Anne as she navigates her new life in Avonlea – by going to school, making new friends, and trying to control her temper. Cast TBA.

Anne of Green Gables marks the first time that Royal Family has adapted a pre-existing work as well as their first-ever production for a multi-generational, family-friendly audience.

Lia Chang
Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2019 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lia Chang. Photo by Lori Tan Chinn
Lia Chang. Photo by Lori Tan Chinn

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com

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

LAINIE SAKAKURA
LAINIE SAKAKURA

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

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

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

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

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

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PHANTOM Star Ali Ewoldt, Matthew Hydzik and Natalie Cortez Lead McCallum Theatre’s WEST SIDE STORY: IN CONCERT, March 9 -11

Ali Ewoldt. Photo by Lia Chang

Ali Ewoldt, who currently stars as Christine in Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera, will play Maria alongside Matthew Hydzik as Tony and Natalie Cortez as Anita, both of whom appeared in the 2009 Broadway revival of West Side Story, in the McCallum Theatre’s exclusive upcoming concert production of West Side Story, in Palm Desert, CA, March 9-11. Produced and directed by Chad Hilligus, this limited engagement will feature an onstage 40-piece orchestra under the baton of Grammy-winning conductor Richard Kaufman.

They will be joined by John Arthur Greene as Riff, Mikey Winslow as Action, Christopher Riceas Baby John, Alex Ringler as Diesel, Ryan Ghysels as A-Rab and Clay Thomson as Snowboy.

German Alexander will lead the Sharks as Bernardo and will be joined by Dean Andre de Luna as Chino, Maya Post as Rosalia, Tanairi Sade Vazquez as Consuela, Alexandra Blake Redelico as Francisca and Adrian Arrieta as Pepe.
This special presentation is part of the McCallum’s Leonard Bernstein Centennial Celebration. The 1957 classic has lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Arthur Laurents.

Located in Palm Desert, CA, the McCallum Theatre is celebrated by artists and audiences alike as the premier performing arts venue in the Coachella Valley. Consistently ranked among California’s most popular venues, the 1,127-seat McCallum was rated by Pollstar magazine as the top ticket-selling venue in the state and No. 8 in the world for the first quarter of 2017.

Tickets may be purchased at www.McCallumTheatre.com or by calling the McCallum Box Office at (760)340-2787.

Peter Jöback, Ali Ewoldt and Rodney Ingram Set for a Week of Celebrations for PHANTOM’s 30th Anniversary on Broadway

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

Lia Chang. Photo by Lori Tan Chinn
Lia Chang. Photo by Lori Tan Chinn

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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