Multimedia: Sneak Peek of CTG’s World Premiere of David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER

Seated: Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Kendyl Ito, Daniel May. Standing: Trevor Salter, Sam Pinkleton, Emily Stillings, Billy Bustamante, Kristen Faith Oei, Jon Hoche, Leigh Silverman, Austin Ku, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis, Raymond J. Lee, Maria-Christina Oliveras, David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

I got a sneak peek of the world premiere of David Henry Hwang (play and lyrics) and Jeanine Tesori’s (music and additional lyrics) “Soft Power” at the New 42 Street Studios in New York today, where the cast performed a selection of songs from the new piece.

Sam Pinkleton, Jeanine Tesori, David Henry Hwang and Leigh Silverman. Photo by Lia Chang
Sam Pinkleton, Jeanine Tesori, David Henry Hwang and Leigh Silverman. Photo by Lia Chang

Check out video excerpts and photos below from the press preview.

This play with a musical will be produced by Center Theatre Group at the Ahmanson Theatre in association with East West Players from May 3 through June 10, 2018. Directed by Leigh Silverman and choreographed by Sam Pinkleton, the opening of “Soft Power” is set for May 16. Following its run at the Ahmanson, “Soft Power” will play San Francisco’s Curran from June 20 through July 8, 2018.

Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo by Lia Chang
Conrad Ricamora and Francis Jue. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast of SOFT POWER features Billy Bustamante (Miss Saigon), Jon Hoche (War Horse tour), Kendyl Ito (Matilda tour), Francis Jue (M. Butterfly), Austin Ku (Chinglish tour), Raymond J. Lee (Groundhog Day), Alyse Alan Louis (Amélie), Jaygee Macapugay (School of Rock), Daniel May (Thoroughly Modern Millie tour), Paul HeeSang Miller (Miss Saigon), Kristen Faith Oei (M. Butterfly), Maria-Christina Oliveras (Amélie), Geena Quintos (Miss Saigon), Conrad Ricamora (“How to Get Away with Murder”), Trevor Salter (Here Lies Love) and Emily Stillings (The King and I).

Seated: Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Kendyl Ito, Daniel May. Standing: Trevor Salter, Sam Pinkleton, Emily Stillings, Billy Bustamante, Kristen Faith Oei, Jon Hoche, Leigh Silverman, Austin Ku, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis, Raymond J. Lee, Maria-Christina Oliveras, David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
Seated: Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Kendyl Ito, Daniel May. Standing: Trevor Salter, Sam Pinkleton, Emily Stillings, Billy Bustamante, Kristen Faith Oei, Jon Hoche, Leigh Silverman, Austin Ku, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis, Raymond J. Lee, Maria-Christina Oliveras, David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team includes scenic design by David Zinn, costume design by Anita Yavich, lighting design by Mark Barton, sound design by Kai Harada, orchestrations by Danny Troob, dance arrangements by John Clancy, music supervision by Chris Fenwick, music direction by David O, hair and wig design by Tom Watson, make-up design by Angelina Avallone and casting by Heidi Griffiths, CSA and Kate Murray, CSA. The dramaturg is Oskar Eustis. The production stage manager is David Lurie-Perret.

Sam Pinkleton, Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Leigh Silverman, David Henry Hwang, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis. Photo by Lia Chang
Sam Pinkleton, Jeanine Tesori, Francis Jue, Leigh Silverman, David Henry Hwang, Conrad Ricamora, Alyse Alan Louis. Photo by Lia Chang
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo by Lia Chang
Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis. Photo by Lia Chang

A contemporary comedy explodes into a musical fantasia in the first collaboration between two of America’s great theatre artists: Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang (“M. Butterfly”) and Jeanine Tesori (“Fun Home”). “Soft Power” rewinds our recent political history and plays it back, a century later, through the Chinese lens of a future, beloved East-meets-West musical. In the musical, a Chinese executive who is visiting America finds himself falling in love with a good-hearted U.S. leader as the power balance between their two countries shifts following the 2016 election.

As original as it is topical, “Soft Power” overflows with the romance, laughter and cultural confusions of the golden age of Broadway. “Soft Power” is inspired by the legacy of classic American musicals such as “The King and I” as well as China’s current quest for international cultural influence, also known as “Soft Power.”

“Soft Power” is a Center Theatre Group co-commission with The Public Theater. “Soft Power” is produced in association with East West Players.

Hwang returns to Center Theatre Group where he premiered Pulitzer Prize finalist “Yellow Face” and his Tony-nominated revival of “Flower Drum Song.” Hwang’s other work includes the plays “M. Butterfly,” “Chinglish,” “Kung Fu,” “Golden Child,” “The Dance and the Railroad” and “FOB,” and the Broadway musicals “Aida” (co-author, Ahmanson 2001-2002 season) and Disney’s “Tarzan.” He is also America’s most-produced living opera librettist and a writer/producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series “The Affair.” Born and raised in Los Angeles, Hwang is a Tony Award winner (“M. Butterfly”) and three-time nominee, a three-time Obie Award winner and a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Recent honors include the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master American Dramatist, the 2012 Inge Award, the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright “Mimi” Award, a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award and the 2015 IPSA Distinguished Artist Award. He is Chair of the American Theatre Wing and sits on the boards of Young Playwrights Inc. and the Lark Play Development Center. Hwang was recently the Residency One Playwright at New York’s Signature Theatre and currently serves as head of playwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts. In 1998, East West Players named its new mainstage the David Henry Hwang Theater.

Jeanine Tesori and David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
Jeanine Tesori and David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

Tesori’s Broadway credits include “Fun Home” (2015 Tony Award winner which played at the Ahmanson in 2017), “Violet,” “Caroline, or Change” (also at the Ahmanson), “Shrek The Musical,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (also at the Ahmanson), “Twelfth Night” (Lincoln Center Theater) and John Guare’s “A Free Man of Color.” Tesori also collaborated with Tony Kushner on “Mother Courage” starring Meryl Streep at the Delacorte. Her opera credits include “A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck” (libretto, Tony Kushner; Glimmerglass) and “The Lion, the Unicorn and Me” (libretto, J. D. McClatchy; Washington National Opera). Her songs are featured in the Netflix revival of “Gilmore Girls.” She is the artistic director/co-founder of A Broader Way, an arts empowerment program for girls from underserved communities; the founding artistic director of Encores! Off-Center; and a lecturer in music at Yale University and Columbia University. Tesori is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel May, Kristen Faith Oei, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos, Jon Hoche, Conrad Ricamora. Photo by Lia Chang
Daniel May, Kristen Faith Oei, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos, Jon Hoche, Conrad Ricamora. Photo by Lia Chang
Francis Jue, Paul HeeSang Miller, Billy Bustamante, Conrad Ricamora, Paul HeeSang Miller, Kristen Faith Oei. Photo by Lia Chang
Francis Jue, Paul HeeSang Miller, Billy Bustamante, Conrad Ricamora, Paul HeeSang Miller, Kristen Faith Oei. Photo by Lia Chang
Kendyl Ito, Kristen Faith Oei, Raymond J. Lee, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos. Photo by Lia Chang
Kendyl Ito, Kristen Faith Oei, Raymond J. Lee, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos. Photo by Lia Chang
Kendyl Ito, Kristen Faith Oei, Raymond J. Lee, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos. Photo by Lia Chang
Kendyl Ito, Kristen Faith Oei, Raymond J. Lee, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos. Photo by Lia Chang
Billy Bustamante, Daniel May and Paul HeeSang Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Billy Bustamante, Daniel May and Paul HeeSang Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Jon Hoche, Daniel May and Billy Bustamante. Photo by Lia Chang
Jon Hoche, Daniel May and Billy Bustamante. Photo by Lia Chang
Jon Hoche, Kendyl Ito, Kristen Faith Oei, Raymond J. Lee, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos, Daniel May, Paul HeeSang Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Jon Hoche, Kendyl Ito, Kristen Faith Oei, Raymond J. Lee, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Jaygee Macapugay, Geena Quintos, Daniel May, Paul HeeSang Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Billy Bustamante, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Kristen Faith Oei, Jon Hoche, Raymond J. Lee, Jaygee Macapugay, Kendyl Ito, Daniel May and Geena Quintos. Photo by Lia Chang
Billy Bustamante, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Kristen Faith Oei, Jon Hoche, Raymond J. Lee, Jaygee Macapugay, Kendyl Ito, Daniel May and Geena Quintos. Photo by Lia Chang
Billy Bustamante, Jon Hoche, Raymond J. Lee, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May, Kendyl Ito and Paul HeeSang Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Billy Bustamante, Jon Hoche, Raymond J. Lee, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May, Kendyl Ito and Paul HeeSang Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Billy Bustamante, Jaygee Macapugay, Kendyl Ito, Raymond J. Lee, Geena Quintos, Kristen Faith Oei, Daniel May and Paul HeeSang Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Billy Bustamante, Jaygee Macapugay, Kendyl Ito, Raymond J. Lee, Geena Quintos, Kristen Faith Oei, Daniel May and Paul HeeSang Miller. Photo by Lia Chang
Kendyl Ito, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May, Kristen Faith Oei. Photo by Lia Chang
Kendyl Ito, Paul HeeSang Miller, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May, Kristen Faith Oei. Photo by Lia Chang

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, which, under Artistic Director Michael Ritchie, programs seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

Jeanine Tesori, David Henry Hwang, Leigh Silverman, Michael Ritchie and Sam Pinkleton. Photo by Lia Chang
Jeanine Tesori, David Henry Hwang, Leigh Silverman, Michael Ritchie and Sam Pinkleton. Photo by Lia Chang

Tickets for “Soft Power” are available through Center Theatre Group or East West Players. To purchase Center Theatre Group tickets: call (213) 972-4400, visit www.CenterTheatreGroup.org, or go to the Center Theatre Group Box Office located at the Ahmanson Theatre. To purchase tickets through East West Players: call (213) 625-7000 or visit www.eastwestplayers.org. Tickets range from $30 – $130 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Ahmanson Theatre is located at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.

SOFT POWER costume designs by Anita Yavich.
SOFT POWER costume designs by Anita Yavich.
Kristen Faith Oei, Conrad Ricamora, Jon Hoche, Jaygee Macapugay, Billy Bustamante, Geena Quinto, Kendyl Ito, Daniel May, Lia Chang. Photo by Lia Chang
Kristen Faith Oei, Conrad Ricamora, Jon Hoche, Jaygee Macapugay, Billy Bustamante, Geena Quinto, Kendyl Ito, Daniel May, Lia Chang. Photo by Lia Chang

Single Tickets Now Available for the Bay Area Premiere of David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER at the Curran 

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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Single Tickets Now Available for the Bay Area Premiere of David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER at the Curran

Single tickets are now available for SOFT POWER, the play featuring a musical by David Henry Hwang (play and lyrics) and Jeanine Tesori (music and additional lyrics). SOFT POWER will make its Bay Area premiere at San Francisco’s Curran (445 Geary Street) June 20 – July 8, 2018. SOFT POWER is a Center Theatre Group co-commission with The Public Theater and will perform at the Curran following its world premiere at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. Tickets for SOFT POWER range in price from $29-$175 and are available by calling 415-358-1220 or visiting SFCURRAN.com/soft-power.

M. Butterfly, Flower Drum Song) and Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home). Directed by Leigh Silverman (Violet) and choreographed by Sam Pinkleton (Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812), SOFT POWER rewinds our recent political history and plays it back, a century later, through the Chinese lens of a future, beloved East-meets-West musical. In the musical, a Chinese executive who is visiting America finds himself falling in love with a good-hearted U.S. leader as the power balance between their two countries shifts following the 2016 election.

David Henry Hwang, Conrad Ricamora, Billy Bustmante, Jon Hoche, Kendyl Ito and Francis Jue.
David Henry Hwang, Conrad Ricamora, Billy Bustmante, Jon Hoche, Kendyl Ito and Francis Jue.

The cast of SOFT POWER features Billy Bustamante (Miss Saigon), Jon Hoche (War Horse tour), Kendyl Ito (Matilda tour), Francis Jue (M. Butterfly), Austin Ku (Chinglish tour), Raymond J. Lee (Groundhog Day), Alyse Alan Louis (Amélie), Jaygee Macapugay (School of Rock), Daniel May(Thoroughly Modern Millie tour), Paul HeeSang Miller (Miss Saigon), Kristen Faith Oei (M. Butterfly), Maria-Christina Oliveras (Amélie), Geena Quintos (Miss Saigon), Conrad Ricamora (The King and I, “How to Get Away with Murder”), Trevor Salter (Here Lies Love) and Emily Stillings (The King and I).

Austin Ku, Raymond J. Lee, Alyse Alan Louis, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May and Paul HeeSang Miller.
Austin Ku, Raymond J. Lee, Alyse Alan Louis, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May and Paul HeeSang Miller.

The creative team includes scenic design by Tony Award winner David Zinn, costume design by Drama Desk Award winner Anita Yavich, lighting design by Mark Barton, sound design by Tony Award nominee Kai Harada, orchestrations by Drama Desk Award winner and Tony Award nominee Danny Troob, dance arrangements by John Clancy, music supervision by Chris Fenwick, music direction by David O, hair and wig design by Tom Watson, make-up design by Angelina Avallone and casting by Heidi Griffiths, CSAand Kate Murray, CSA. The dramaturg is Oskar Eustis. The production stage manager is David Lurie-Perret.

Kristen Faith Oei, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Geena Quinto, Trevor Salter and Emily Stillings.
Kristen Faith Oei, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Geena Quinto, Trevor Salter and Emily Stillings.

As original as it is topical, SOFT POWER overflows with the romance, laughter and cultural confusions of the golden age of Broadway. SOFT POWER is inspired by the legacy of classic American musicals such as The King and I as well as China’s current quest for international cultural influence, also known as SOFT POWER.

Hwang is a playwright, screenwriter, television writer, and librettist, whose stage works includes the plays M. Butterfly, Chinglish, Yellow Face, Kung Fu, Golden Child, The Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, as well as the Broadway musicals Elton John & Tim Rice’s Aida (co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 revival) and Disney’s Tarzan. He is also America’s most-produced living opera librettist, whose works have been honored with two Grammy Awards, and he co-wrote the Gold Record “Solo” with the late pop star Prince. Hwang is currently a Writer/Consulting Producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series “The Affair,” and his screenplays include Possession, M. Butterfly, and Golden Gate. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Hwang is a Tony Award winner (M. Butterfly) and three-time nominee, a three-time Obie Award winner and a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Recent honors include the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master American Dramatist, the 2012 Inge Award, the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright “Mimi” Award, a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award and the 2015 IPSA Distinguished Artist Award. He is Chair of the American Theatre Wing and sits on the boards of Young Playwrights Inc. and the Lark Play Development Center. Hwang was recently the Residency One Playwright at New York’s Signature Theatre and currently serves as head of playwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts. In 1998, East West Players named its new mainstage the David Henry Hwang Theater.

Tesori returns to Curran, where in January 2017, Fun Home was the first performance following the theater’s extensive renovation. Broadway credits include Fun Home (2015 Tony Award winner), Violet, Caroline, or Change, Shrek The Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Twelfth Night (Lincoln Center Theater) and John Guare’s A Free Man of Color. Tesori also collaborated with Tony Kushner on Mother Courage starring Meryl Streep at the Delacorte. Her opera credits include A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck (libretto, Tony Kushner; Glimmerglass) and The Lion, the Unicorn and Me (libretto, J. D. McClatchy; Washington National Opera). Her songs are featured in the Netflix revival of “Gilmore Girls.” She is the artistic director/co-founder of A Broader Way, an arts empowerment program for girls from underserved communities; the founding artistic director of Encores! Off-Center; and a lecturer in music at Yale University and Columbia University. Tesori is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

#CURRAN2018
Curran’s 2018 season, #CURRAN2018, includes the reigning Tony Award-winning musical, DEAR EVAN HANSEN; the pre-Broadway engagement of HEAD OVER HEELS, the Bay Area premiere of SOFT POWER by Tony Award-winners David Henry Hwang(Play and Lyrics) and Jeanine Tesori (Music); and the return of Taylor Mac in TAYLOR MAC’S HOLIDAY SAUCE. Throughout the season, Curran’s popular series of provocative, topical and entertaining one-night-only events, SHOW & TELL, will continue with an all-star lineup from the White House to the Great White Way. SHOW & TELL’s lineup features Former FBI Director James Comey (Monday, April 23) and former White House photographer Pete Souza (Thursday, May 10) to the writers and creative minds behind SOFT POWER, David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori (Thursday, May 17) and Broadway legend Patti LuPone (Wednesday, June 13).

Season subscriptions- including tickets to all four #CURRAN2018 productions, as well as tickets to one complimentary SHOW & TELL event of the buyer’s choosing-range in price from $116-$744 and are available now by visiting SFCURRAN.com/soft-power or calling 415-358-1220. As this is the first time the new Curran is offering a season subscription, buyers will have the rare opportunity to select their exact seat locations. Buyers will also get preferred access to all additional special programming, fee-free exchanges on subscription tickets, and a free membership to the Curran Club with additional perks including invitations to member-only events, special offers, and exclusive discounts.

Billy Bustamante, Jon Hoche, Kendyl Ito, Francis Jue, Austin Ku, Raymond J. Lee, Alyse Alan Louis, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May, Paul HeeSang Miller, Kristen Faith Oei, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Geena Quintos, Conrad Ricamora,Trevor Salter and Emily Stillings Set for World Premiere of David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER 

Billy Bustamante, Jon Hoche, Kendyl Ito, Francis Jue, Austin Ku, Raymond J. Lee, Alyse Alan Louis, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May, Paul HeeSang Miller, Kristen Faith Oei, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Geena Quintos, Conrad Ricamora,Trevor Salter and Emily Stillings Set for World Premiere of David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s SOFT POWER

David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang
David Henry Hwang. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast has been announced for the upcoming world premiere of “Soft Power” by David Henry Hwang (play and lyrics) and Jeanine Tesori (music and additional lyrics). This play with a musical will be produced by Center Theatre Group at the Ahmanson Theatre in association with East West Players from May 3 through June 10, 2018. Directed by Leigh Silverman and choreographed by Sam Pinkleton, the opening of “Soft Power” is set for May 16. Following its run at the Ahmanson, “Soft Power” will play San Francisco’s Curran from June 20 through July 8, 2018.

The cast of SOFT POWER features Billy Bustamante (Miss Saigon), Jon Hoche (War Horse tour), Kendyl Ito (Matilda tour), Francis Jue (M. Butterfly), Austin Ku (Chinglish tour), Raymond J. Lee (Groundhog Day), Alyse Alan Louis (Amélie), Jaygee Macapugay (School of Rock), Daniel May (Thoroughly Modern Millie tour), Paul HeeSang Miller (Miss Saigon), Kristen Faith Oei (M. Butterfly), Maria-Christina Oliveras (Amélie), Geena Quintos (Miss Saigon), Conrad Ricamora (“How to Get Away with Murder”), Trevor Salter (Here Lies Love) and Emily Stillings (The King and I).

David Henry Hwang, Conrad Ricamora, Billy Bustmante, Jon Hoche, Kendyl Ito and Francis Jue.
David Henry Hwang, Conrad Ricamora, Billy Bustmante, Jon Hoche, Kendyl Ito and Francis Jue.
Austin Ku, Raymond J. Lee, Alyse Alan Louis, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May and Paul HeeSang Miller.
Austin Ku, Raymond J. Lee, Alyse Alan Louis, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May and Paul HeeSang Miller.
Kristen Faith Oei, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Geena Quinto, Trevor Salter and Emily Stillings.
Kristen Faith Oei, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Geena Quinto, Trevor Salter and Emily Stillings.

The creative team includes scenic design by David Zinn, costume design by Anita Yavich, lighting design by Mark Barton, sound design byKai Harada, orchestrations by Danny Troob, dance arrangements by John Clancy, music supervision by Chris Fenwick, music direction by David O, hair and wig design by Tom Watson, make-up design by Angelina Avallone and casting by Heidi Griffiths, CSA and Kate Murray, CSA. The dramaturg is Oskar Eustis. The production stage manager is David Lurie-Perret.

A contemporary comedy explodes into a musical fantasia in the first collaboration between two of America’s great theatre artists: Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang (“M. Butterfly”) and Jeanine Tesori (“Fun Home”). “Soft Power” rewinds our recent political history and plays it back, a century later, through the Chinese lens of a future, beloved East-meets-West musical. In the musical, a Chinese executive who is visiting America finds himself falling in love with a good-hearted U.S. leader as the power balance between their two countries shifts following the 2016 election.

As original as it is topical, “Soft Power” overflows with the romance, laughter and cultural confusions of the golden age of Broadway. “Soft Power” is inspired by the legacy of classic American musicals such as “The King and I” as well as China’s current quest for international cultural influence, also known as “Soft Power.”

“Soft Power” is a Center Theatre Group co-commission with The Public Theater. “Soft Power” is produced in association with East West Players.

Hwang returns to Center Theatre Group where he premiered Pulitzer Prize finalist “Yellow Face” and his Tony-nominated revival of “Flower Drum Song.” Hwang’s other work includes the plays “M. Butterfly,” “Chinglish,” “Kung Fu,” “Golden Child,” “The Dance and the Railroad” and “FOB,” and the Broadway musicals “Aida” (co-author, Ahmanson 2001-2002 season) and Disney’s “Tarzan.” He is also America’s most-produced living opera librettist and a writer/producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series “The Affair.” Born and raised in Los Angeles, Hwang is a Tony Award winner (“M. Butterfly”) and three-time nominee, a three-time Obie Award winner and a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Recent honors include the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master American Dramatist, the 2012 Inge Award, the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright “Mimi” Award, a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award and the 2015 IPSA Distinguished Artist Award. He is Chair of the American Theatre Wing and sits on the boards of Young Playwrights Inc. and the Lark Play Development Center. Hwang was recently the Residency One Playwright at New York’s Signature Theatre and currently serves as head of playwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts. In 1998, East West Players named its new mainstage the David Henry Hwang Theater.

Tesori’s Broadway credits include “Fun Home” (2015 Tony Award winner which played at the Ahmanson in 2017), “Violet,” “Caroline, or Change” (also at the Ahmanson), “Shrek The Musical,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (also at the Ahmanson), “Twelfth Night” (Lincoln Center Theater) and John Guare’s “A Free Man of Color.” Tesori also collaborated with Tony Kushner on “Mother Courage” starring Meryl Streep at the Delacorte. Her opera credits include “A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck” (libretto, Tony Kushner; Glimmerglass) and “The Lion, the Unicorn and Me” (libretto, J. D. McClatchy; Washington National Opera). Her songs are featured in the Netflix revival of “Gilmore Girls.” She is the artistic director/co-founder of A Broader Way, an arts empowerment program for girls from underserved communities; the founding artistic director of Encores! Off-Center; and a lecturer in music at Yale University and Columbia University. Tesori is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s preeminent arts and cultural organizations, is Los Angeles’ leading nonprofit theatre company, which, under Artistic Director Michael Ritchie, programs seasons at the 736-seat Mark Taper Forum and 1600 to 2000-seat Ahmanson Theatre at The Music Center in Downtown Los Angeles, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. In addition to presenting and producing the broadest range of theatrical entertainment in the country, Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s leading producers of ambitious new works through commissions and world premiere productions and a leader in interactive community engagement and education programs that reach across generations, demographics and circumstance to serve Los Angeles.

Bank of America is the season sponsor for Center Theatre Group’s 2017-2018 season the Ahmanson Theatre and Delta Air Lines is the official airline sponsor.

Tickets for “Soft Power” are available through Center Theatre Group or East West Players. To purchase Center Theatre Group tickets: call (213) 972-4400, visit www.CenterTheatreGroup.org, or go to the Center Theatre Group Box Office located at the Ahmanson Theatre. To purchase tickets through East West Players: call (213) 625-7000 or visit www.eastwestplayers.org. Tickets range from $30 – $130 (ticket prices are subject to change). The Ahmanson Theatre is located at The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.

 

 

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Ali Ewoldt, Raymond J. Lee, Telly Leung, Shoba Narayan and Erin Quill Set for BroadwayCon 2018: FAN TAN FANTASTIC Panel at Jacob Javits on Jan. 27

On Saturday, January 27, Erin Quill will moderate a panel at BroadwayCon 2018 called FAN TAN FANTASTIC- Asian American performers how far we have come and how much further we intend to go – featuring Asian American Broadway stars Ali Ewoldt (Phantom of the Opera), Raymond J. Lee (Groundhog Day), Telly Leung (Aladdin) and Shoba Narayan (Hamilton) at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center at 10AM.

BroadwayCon 2018 will take place January 26–28, 2018 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 655 West 34th Street, New York, NY 10001. Click here for tickets and here for more information. 

Ali Ewoldt as Christine Daaé. Photo by Matthew Murphy
Ali Ewoldt as Christine Daaé. Photo by Matthew Murphy

Ali Ewoldt is 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

Andrew Call as Gus, Raymond J. Lee as Ralph and Andy Karl as Phil in GROUNDHOG DAY.
Andrew Call as Gus, Raymond J. Lee as Ralph and Andy Karl as Phil in GROUNDHOG DAY.

Raymond J. Lee recently originated the role of Ralph in Groundhog Day on Broadway. Other Broadway credits: Honeymoon In Vegas, Anything Goes, Mamma Mia! Off-Broadway: Two Gentlemen of Verona (The Public), The Wild Party (Encores!). Regional: Tiger Style! (La Jolla), Stuck Elevator (A.C.T.), Nerds (PTC), Great Wall (Village Theatre), Spelling Bee (PCS), Seussical(MUNY). TV/Film: “Billions,” “Succession,” “Smash,” “The Jim Gaffigan Show,” “Fame,” “Red Oaks,” The Mikado Project, Ghost Town. Thanks for having me BroadwayCon 2018! For more information, please visit www.raymondjlee.com and follow @raymondjlee

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

Telly Leung 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.

Shoba Narayan in "Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812". Photo by Nick Gaswirth
Shoba Narayan in “Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812”. Photo by Nick Gaswirth

Shoba Narayan will be starring as Eliza Hamilton in the HAMILTON Tour (Philip Company) in 2018. Originally from Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, Ms. Narayan is a New York- based actor, singer, and dancer. She was also in the original cast of the 12-Time Tony Nominated musical Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 on Broadway. Her previous TV credits include: QUANTICO, GOSSIP GIRL, HALAL IN THE FAMILY, THE GOOD WIFE and LIMITLESS. She has played supporting roles in films such as GROWING UP SMITH (starring Jason Lee), COIN HEIST (starring Sasha Pierterse), PRICE FOR FREEDOM (starring Navid Negahban) and MISTRESS AMERICA (starring Greta Gerwig). Narayan is also a Bharatanatyam (South Indian Classical) dancer and teacher. She has performed extensively throughout the US and India, and has placed first in international dance competitions. Youtube videos of her performances have gathered upwards of 500,000 hits.

Erin Quill
Erin Quill

Erin Quill graduated from Carnegie Mellon with a BFA in Performance. She was a member of the OBC of Avenue Q, played Madame Rita in the 50th Anniversary Production of Flower Drum Song, and toured with The King and I as Lady Thiang. As an activist and blogger, she has been quoted or sourced for information by BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, The NY Times, The LA Times, International Business Times, Playbill.com, BroadwayWorld.com, Backstage.com and many more. Her blog, www.FairyPrincessDiaries.com came to prominence with her post ‘Moises Kaufman can Kiss my Ass and here’s why’ and has been on the forefront of Asian American Representation on stage, Television and Film ever since.

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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GROUNDHOG DAY Will Play Final Broadway Performance on September 17

Andrew Call as Gus, Raymond J. Lee as Ralph and Andy Karl as Phil in GROUNDHOG DAY.

The Olivier Award-winning Best New Musical Groundhog Day, which opened on Broadway to critical acclaim this spring, will end its run at the August Wilson Theatre (245 West 52nd Street) on Sunday, September 17, following 176 performances and 32 previews. Click here for tickets.

Andy Karl and cast. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Andy Karl and cast. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

An 18-month National Tour has been scheduled starting next year and details of a London production will be announced soon.

Groundhog Day won the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical and was nominated for seven Tony Awards including Best Musical.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 05: Andy Karl (L) and Tim Minchin attend the Tony Honors Cocktail Party Presenting The 2017 Tony Honors For Excellence In The Theatre And Honoring The 2017 Special Award Recipients - Arrivals at Sofitel Hotel on June 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jenny Anderson/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 05: Andy Karl (L) and Tim Minchin attend the Tony Honors Cocktail Party Presenting The 2017 Tony Honors For Excellence In The Theatre And Honoring The 2017 Special Award Recipients – Arrivals at Sofitel Hotel on June 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jenny Anderson/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

For his outstanding performance as Phil Connors, three-time Tony Award nominee Andy Karl won the 2017 Olivier, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Actor in a Musical.

Andy Karl and Barrett Doss. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Andy Karl and Barrett Doss. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Groundhog Day stars Andy Karl as Phil Connors and Barrett Doss as Rita Hanson. They lead an ensemble cast that features Rebecca Faulkenberry, John Sanders, Andrew Call, Raymond J. Lee,Heather Ayers, Kevin Bernard, Gerard Canonico, Rheaume Crenshaw, Michael Fatica, Katy Geraghty, Camden Gonzales, Jordan Grubb, Taylor Iman Jones, Tari Kelly, Josh Lamon, Joseph Medeiros, Sean Montgomery, William Parry, Jenna Rubaii, Vishal Vaidya, Travis Waldschmidt, and Natalie Wisdom.

GROUNDHOG DAY video clip photo montage. Courtesy of Raymond J. Lee.
GROUNDHOG DAY video clip photo montage. Courtesy of Raymond J. Lee.

The production’s creative team is director Matthew Warchus (director), Tim Minchin (composer and lyricist), Danny Rubin (book writer), Peter Darling (choreographer), Ellen Kane (co-choreographer), Rob Howell (set and costume designer), Christopher Nightingale (orchestrator and musical supervisor), Hugh Vanstone (lighting designer), Simon Baker (Sound Designer), Paul Kieve (illusions), Finn Caldwell(additional movement), Andrzej Goulding (video designer), Campbell Young Associates (hair and wig design) and Jim Carnahan (casting). David Holcenberg is the music director.

Vishal Vaidya, Rheaume Crenshaw, Andrew Call and Ray Lee backstage at GROUNDHOG DAY at the August Wilson Theatre in New York on April 5, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
Vishal Vaidya, Rheaume Crenshaw, Andrew Call and Ray Lee backstage at GROUNDHOG DAY at the August Wilson Theatre in New York on April 5, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

Groundhog Day is produced by Whistle Pig, Columbia Live Stage, and The Dodgers, with Michael Watt.

Courtesy of Groundhog Day (Facebook)
Courtesy of Groundhog Day (Facebook)

The National Tour of Groundhog Day is being booked by The Booking Group.

The 1993 Columbia Pictures film, with a screenplay by Danny Rubin and Harold Ramis, based on a story by Rubin, and directed by Ramis, starred Bill Murray. Now widely regarded as a contemporary classic,Groundhog Day was cited by the Writers Guild of America as one of the 101 Greatest Screenplays ever written and in 2000 was voted by readers of Total Film as one of the ten best comedies of all time.

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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Andrew Call Leads GROUNDHOG DAY in Place of Injured Star Andy Karl Tonight

Andrew Call

Sending healing thoughts to newly minted Olivier Award winner Andy Karl, the star of Groundhog Day, who injured himself at the Friday night performance of the new musical, and is unable to perform today’s matinee.

Andrew Call
Andrew Call

The April 15th matinee performance has been cancelled. Broadway vet Andrew Call will play the role of Phil Connors at tonight’s 8PM performance. Refunds and exchanges at point of purchase. The production is currently scheduled to open on Monday.  Further information about the performance schedule will follow.

Andrew Call as Gus, Raymond J. Lee as Ralph and Andy Karl as Phil in GROUNDHOG DAY.
Andrew Call as Gus, Raymond J. Lee as Ralph and Andy Karl as Phil in GROUNDHOG DAY.

Andrew Call usually performs in the ensemble and as Gus, one of the funniest characters on Broadway. Call starred as Sonny in Fox’s Emmy-winning “Grease Live!” He has appeared on Broadway in Rock of Ages, American Idiot, Cry-Baby, Glory Days and High Fidelity. His Off-Broadway credits include Brooklynite, Found and Altar Boyz. He plays Reed in the Amazon series “Z: The Beginning of Everything.”

Vishal Vaidya, Rheaume Crenshaw, Andrew Call and Ray Lee backstage at GROUNDHOG DAY at the August Wilson Theatre in New York on April 5, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
Vishal Vaidya, Rheaume Crenshaw, Andrew Call and Ray Lee backstage at GROUNDHOG DAY at the August Wilson Theatre in New York on April 5, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

According to an official statement from the production, “At approximately 10:30 in the second act of Groundhog Day, during the song Philanthropy, Andy Karl injured himself during the performance and left the stage. The show was stopped. Andy insisted on finishing the show and after a 15-minute break went on stage with a cane. Following the performance, Andy was taken to see a doctor. We will update you on further news as we hear it.”

Karl’s wife, fellow Broadway performer Orfeh, confirmed the star’s injury on Twitter following the performance, which sources have indicated was caused by a stunt mishap involving a ladder. The extent of the actor’s injury has yet to be reported.

Groundhog Day, the Olivier Award-winning new musical featuring music and lyrics by Tim Minchin and a book by Danny Rubin, and directed by Matthew Warchus, opens this coming Monday, April 17, on Broadway at the August Wilson Theatre (245 West 52nd Street). Performances began on March 16.

Andy Karl and cast. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Andy Karl and cast. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Meet Phil Connors (Andy Karl), a disgruntled big-city weatherman mysteriously stuck in small-town America reliving the same day over and over and over again-with no consequences, no regrets, no tomorrows, and no hangovers. But once he starts getting to know associate TV producer Rita Hanson (Barrett Doss), he discovers it’s a day of second, third and fourth chances.

Andy Karl. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Andy Karl. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The Groundhog Day ensemble cast features Rebecca Faulkenberry (Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark, Rock of Ages), John Sanders (Matilda, Peter and the Starcatcher), Andrew Call (Found, American Idiot), Raymond J. Lee (Honeymoon in Vegas, Anything Goes), Heather Ayers (Young Frankenstein, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever), Kevin Bernard (Billy Elliot, Curtains), Gerard Canonico (Spring Awakening, American Idiot), Rheaume Crenshaw (Amazing Grace, Alternating Currents), Michael Fatica (She Loves Me, Newsies), Katy Geraghty (Shrek, A Christmas Carol regionally), Camden Gonzales (Matilda The Musical Toronto / National Tour), Jordan Grubb (Mary Poppins National Tour), Taylor Iman Jones (American Idiot National Tour), Tari Kelly (Something Rotten!, Anything Goes), Josh Lamon (Finding Neverland, Hair), Joseph Medeiros (Matilda, Doctor Zhivago, Wicked), Sean Montgomery (Matilda The Musical, White Christmas National Tour), William Parry(Sunday in the Park with George, Passion), Jenna Rubaii (National Tours of American Idiot and Saturday Night Fever), Vishal Vaidya (1776 at Encores!, The Secret Garden at Shakespeare Theatre Company), Travis Waldschmidt (Matilda The Musical, Wicked), and Natalie Wisdom (Billy Elliot, Matilda The Musical National Tour).

Director Matthew Warchus, composer and lyricist Tim Minchin, choreographer Peter Darling, co-choreographer Ellen Kane, set and costume designer Rob Howell, orchestrator and musical supervisor Christopher Nightingale, lighting designer Hugh Vanstone and Sound Designer Simon Baker, many of the creators of the international sensation Matilda The Musical, have joined forces with writer Danny Rubin to collaborate on this new stage musical of the hit 1993 film based on Rubin’s story.

Andy Karl. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Andy Karl. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The production’s creative team is completed by Paul Kieve (illusions), Finn Caldwell (additional movement), Andrzej Goulding (video designer), Campbell Young Associates (hair and wig design) and Jim Carnahan (casting).

Andy Karl and Barrett Doss. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Andy Karl and Barrett Doss. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The 1993 Columbia Pictures film, with a screenplay by Danny Rubin and Harold Ramis, based on a story by Rubin, and directed by Ramis, starred Bill Murray. Now widely regarded as a contemporary classic, Groundhog Day was cited by the Writers Guild of America as one of the 101 Greatest Screenplays ever written and in 2000 was voted by readers of Total Film as one of the ten best comedies of all time.

Barrett Doss and Cast. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Barrett Doss and Cast. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Groundhog Day was first performed at The Old Vic in London on Wednesday, July 20, 2016.

Pre-sales for Groundhog Day‘s Original Broadway Cast Recording, soon to be available on Masterworks Broadway/Broadway Records kicked off on March 17 on iTunes and Amazon. The album will released digitally on April 14 and in stores on May 5. It is produced by Chris Nightingale, Michael Croiter, and Tim Minchin.

GROUNDHOG DAY video clip photo montage. Courtesy of Raymond J. Lee.
GROUNDHOG DAY video clip photo montage. Courtesy of Raymond J. Lee.

A limited number of $39.50 general rush tickets will be available at the August Wilson Theatre and can be purchased day of when the box office opens. There is a limit of two tickets per customer. Tickets are non-transferable, subject to availability. Seat locations will vary, and sometimes may be partial view. Cash or credit cards will be accepted for rush tickets.

Additionally, a limited number of tickets per performance will be sold to winners of a digital lottery drawing. Tickets are $39.50 and limited to two per person. Seat locations will vary, and sometimes may be partial view. For details and entrance to the digital lottery, visit www.GroundhogDayMusical.com/lottery. Entrants will be notified of their status by 12:00pm the day prior to the performance. Tickets must be claimed and paid for online via a provided link no later than 10:00pm the day prior to the performance.

Raymond J. Lee, Garth Kravits and Andrew Call. Photo by Lia Chang
Raymond J. Lee, Garth Kravits and Andrew Call. Photo by Lia Chang

Raymond J Lee, Rheaume Crenshaw, Andrew Call and Vishal Vaidya at GROUNDHOG DAY 

Photos: Michael Mayer Helmed BROOKLYNITE Featuring Ann Harada, Matt Doyle, Nicolette Robinson, Andrew Call, Nick Cordero and More

Photos: Orville Mendoza, Nick Blaemire, Danny Pudi, Barrett Wilbert Weed, Betsy Morgan & More Star in Hunter Bell, Lee Overtree & Eli Bolin’s FOUND at Atlantic Theater Company

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.

Raymond J Lee, Rheaume Crenshaw, Andrew Call and Vishal Vaidya at GROUNDHOG DAY

Vishal Vaidya, Rheaume Crenshaw, Andrew Call and Ray Lee backstage at GROUNDHOG DAY at the August Wilson Theatre in New York on April 5, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

The Broadway premiere of Groundhog Day, the new musical featuring music and lyrics by Tim Minchin and a book by Danny Rubin, and directed by Matthew Warchus, is currently in previews and will open on Monday, April 17th at the August Wilson Theatre (245 West 52nd Street). Previews began Thursday, March 16.

Andy Karl and cast. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Andy Karl and cast. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Meet Phil Connors (Andy Karl), a disgruntled big-city weatherman mysteriously stuck in small-town America reliving the same day over and over and over again-with no consequences, no regrets, no tomorrows, and no hangovers. But once he starts getting to know associate TV producer Rita Hanson (Barrett Doss), he discovers it’s a day of second, third and fourth chances.

Andy Karl. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Andy Karl. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The Groundhog Day ensemble cast features Rebecca Faulkenberry (Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark, Rock of Ages), John Sanders (Matilda, Peter and the Starcatcher), Andrew Call (Found, American Idiot), Raymond J. Lee (Honeymoon in Vegas, Anything Goes), Heather Ayers (Young Frankenstein, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever), Kevin Bernard (Billy Elliot, Curtains), Gerard Canonico (Spring Awakening, American Idiot), Rheaume Crenshaw (Amazing Grace, Alternating Currents), Michael Fatica (She Loves Me, Newsies), Katy Geraghty (Shrek, A Christmas Carol regionally), Camden Gonzales (Matilda The Musical Toronto / National Tour), Jordan Grubb (Mary Poppins National Tour), Taylor Iman Jones (American Idiot National Tour), Tari Kelly (Something Rotten!, Anything Goes), Josh Lamon (Finding Neverland, Hair), Joseph Medeiros (Matilda, Doctor Zhivago, Wicked), Sean Montgomery (Matilda The Musical, White Christmas National Tour), William Parry(Sunday in the Park with George, Passion), Jenna Rubaii (National Tours of American Idiot and Saturday Night Fever), Vishal Vaidya (1776 at Encores!, The Secret Garden at Shakespeare Theatre Company), Travis Waldschmidt (Matilda The Musical, Wicked), and Natalie Wisdom (Billy Elliot, Matilda The Musical National Tour).

Director Matthew Warchus, composer and lyricist Tim Minchin, choreographer Peter Darling, co-choreographer Ellen Kane, set and costume designer Rob Howell, orchestrator and musical supervisor Christopher Nightingale, lighting designer Hugh Vanstone and Sound Designer Simon Baker, many of the creators of the international sensation Matilda The Musical, have joined forces with writer Danny Rubin to collaborate on this new stage musical of the hit 1993 film based on Rubin’s story.

Andy Karl. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Andy Karl. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The production’s creative team is completed by Paul Kieve (illusions), Finn Caldwell (additional movement), Andrzej Goulding (video designer), Campbell Young Associates (hair and wig design) and Jim Carnahan (casting).

Andy Karl and Barrett Doss. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Andy Karl and Barrett Doss. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The 1993 Columbia Pictures film, with a screenplay by Danny Rubin and Harold Ramis, based on a story by Rubin, and directed by Ramis, starred Bill Murray. Now widely regarded as a contemporary classic, Groundhog Day was cited by the Writers Guild of America as one of the 101 Greatest Screenplays ever written and in 2000 was voted by readers of Total Film as one of the ten best comedies of all time.

Groundhog Day was first performed at The Old Vic in London on Wednesday, July 20, 2016.

Barrett Doss and Cast. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Barrett Doss and Cast. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

Pre-sales for Groundhog Day‘s Original Broadway Cast Recording, soon to be available on Masterworks Broadway/Broadway Records kicked off on March 17 on iTunes and Amazon. The album will released digitally on April 14 and in stores on May 5. It is produced by Chris Nightingale, Michael Croiter, and Tim Minchin.

Vishal Vaidya, Rheaume Crenshaw, Andrew Call and Ray Lee backstage at GROUNDHOG DAY at the August Wilson Theatre in New York on April 5, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
Vishal Vaidya, Rheaume Crenshaw, Andrew Call and Ray Lee backstage at GROUNDHOG DAY at the August Wilson Theatre in New York on April 5, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

A limited number of $39.50 general rush tickets will be available at the August Wilson Theatre and can be purchased day of when the box office opens. There is a limit of two tickets per customer. Tickets are non-transferable, subject to availability. Seat locations will vary, and sometimes may be partial view. Cash or credit cards will be accepted for rush tickets.

Additionally, a limited number of tickets per performance will be sold to winners of a digital lottery drawing. Tickets are $39.50 and limited to two per person. Seat locations will vary, and sometimes may be partial view. For details and entrance to the digital lottery, visit www.GroundhogDayMusical.com/lottery. Entrants will be notified of their status by 12:00pm the day prior to the performance. Tickets must be claimed and paid for online via a provided link no later than 10:00pm the day prior to the performance.

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.