Outer Critics Circle Award Nominees Announced; “SpongeBob SquarePants,” “Pacific Overtures,” “Mlima’s Tale,” “Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train,” and “School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play” Among Nominated

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

Outer Critics Circle, the organization of writers and commentators covering New York theater for out-of-town newspapers, national publications and other media beyond Broadway, announced its nominees for the 2017-18 season.

Celebrating its 68th season of bestowing awards of excellence in the field of theatre, the Outer Critics Circle is an association with members affiliated with more than ninety newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations, internet, and theatre publications in America and abroad.

The winners will be announced on Monday, May 7th. The annual Gala Awards Dinner and presentation of awards to the winners will be held on Thursday, May 24th (3PM) at the legendary Sardi’s Restaurant.

Iestyn Davies, Mark Rylance, Huss Garbiya, and Melody Grove in "Farinelli and the King". Joan Marcus
Iestyn Davies, Mark Rylance, Huss Garbiya, and Melody Grove in “Farinelli and the King”. Joan Marcus

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY PLAY
The Children
Farinelli and the King
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Junk

The company of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Photo Credit: Manuel Harlan
The company of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Photo Credit: Manuel Harlan

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY MUSICAL
Escape to Margaritaville
Frozen
Mean Girls
Prince of Broadway
SpongeBob SquarePants

Kevin Mambo, Ito Aghayere, Sahr Ngaujah, and Jojo Gonzalez in MLIMA'S TALE. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Kevin Mambo, Ito Aghayere, Sahr Ngaujah, and Jojo Gonzalez in MLIMA’S TALE. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY PLAY
Admissions
Cost of Living
Hangmen
The Low Road
Mlima’s Tale

Chukwudi Iwuji and Crystal A. Dickinson. © Joan Marcus
Chukwudi Iwuji and Crystal A. Dickinson. © Joan Marcus

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL
Cruel Intentions
Desperate Measures
Jerry Springer – The Opera
Miss You Like Hell
Woody Sez

Sean Carvajal, Ricardo Chavira and Edi Gathegi. Photo: Joan Marcus
The Company of SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS. Photo by Joan Marcus

OUTSTANDING BOOK OF A MUSICAL
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Tina Fey – Mean Girls
Quiara Alegría Hudes – Miss You Like Hell
Kyle Jarrow – SpongeBob SquarePants
Peter Kellogg – Desperate Measures

OUTSTANDING NEW SCORE
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper & Rob Hyman, John Legend, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants, T.I., Domani & Lil’C, Jonathan Coulton, Tom Kitt – SpongeBob SquarePants

David Friedman & Peter Kellogg – Desperate Measures

Imogen Heap – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Quiara Alegría Hudes – Miss You Like Hell

Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez – Frozen

Sean Carvajal, Ricardo Chavira and Edi Gathegi. Photo: Joan Marcus

Sean Carvajal, Edi Gathegi, Ricardo Chavira, Stephanie DiMaggio, Erick Betancourt End Extended Run in Stephen Adly Guirgis’ JESUS HOPPED THE A TRAIN 

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A PLAY
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Angels in America
Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train
Lobby Hero
Three Tall Women
Travesties

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

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL
(Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Carousel
My Fair Lady
Once on This Island
Pacific Overtures

CSC’s PACIFIC OVERTURES Featuring George Takei, Ann Harada, Thom Sesma, Orville Mendoza, Steven Eng and More

Norm Lewis, Lea Salonga, Alex Newell, Hailey Kilgore, and Tamyra Gray. Joan Marcus
Norm Lewis, Lea Salonga, Alex Newell, Hailey Kilgore, and Tamyra Gray. Joan Marcus

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A PLAY
Jo Bonney – Cost of Living
Marianne Elliott – Angels in America
Patrick Marber – Travesties
Joe Mantello – Three Tall Women
John Tiffany – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL
Michael Arden – Once on This Island
Bill Castellino – Desperate Measures
Tina Landau – SpongeBob SquarePants
Casey Nicholaw – Mean Girls
Bartlett Sher – My Fair Lady

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHER
Camille A. Brown – Once on This Island
Christopher Gattelli – My Fair Lady
Christopher Gattelli – SpongeBob SquarePants
Steven Hoggett – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Justin Peck – Carousel

OUTSTANDING SET DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
Miriam Buether – Three Tall Women
Myung Hee Cho – In the Body of the World
Christine Jones – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Michael Yeargan – My Fair Lady
David Zinn – SpongeBob SquarePants

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
Katrina Lindsay – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Clint Ramos – Once on This Island
Paloma Young – Time and the Conways
David Zinn – SpongeBob SquarePants
Catherine Zuber – My Fair Lady

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
Kevin Adams – SpongeBob SquarePants
Neil Austin – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Paule Constable – Angels in America
Paul Russell – Farinelli and the King
Lap Chi Chu – Mlima’s Tale

OUTSTANDING PROJECTION DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
Tim Reid – 1984
Finn Ross – Frozen
Finn Ross – In the Body of the World
Finn Ross & Adam Young – Mean Girls
Finn Ross & Ash Woodward – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN
(Play or Musical)
Gareth Fry – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Kate Marvin – [Porto]
Fitz Patton – Napoli, Brooklyn
Marc Salzberg – My Fair Lady
Darron L. West – Mlima’s Tale

OUTSTANDING ORCHESTRATIONS
Jason Robert Brown – Prince of Broadway
Tom Kitt – SpongeBob SquarePants
AnnMarie Milazzo & Michael Starobin – Once on This Island
Jonathan Tunick – Carousel
Claire Van Kampen – Farinelli and the King

Sean Carvajal, Ricardo Chavira and Edi Gathegi. Photo: Joan Marcus
Sean Carvajal, Ricardo Chavira and Edi Gathegi. Photo: Joan Marcus

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A PLAY
Sean Carvajal – Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train
Andrew Garfield – Angels in America
Tom Hollander – Travesties
Gregg Mozgala – Cost of Living
Michael Urie – The Government Inspector

MaameYaa Boafo and Zainab Jah. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A PLAY
MaameYaa Boafo – School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play
Jessica Hecht – Admissions
Glenda Jackson – Three Tall Women
Lauren Ridloff – Children of a Lesser God
Katy Sullivan – Cost of Living

Lauren Ridloff and Joshua Jackson in CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD. Matthew Murphy
Lauren Ridloff and Joshua Jackson in CHILDREN OF A LESSER GOD. Matthew Murphy

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Harry Hadden-Paton – My Fair Lady
Joshua Henry – Carousel
David M. Lutken – Woody Sez
Conor Ryan – Desperate Measures
Ethan Slater – SpongeBob SquarePants

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Lauren Ambrose – My Fair Lady
Erika Henningsen – Mean Girls
Hailey Kilgore – Once On This Island
Taylor Louderman – Mean Girls
Patti Murin – Frozen

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY
Anthony Boyle – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Johnny Flynn – Hangmen
Nathan Lane – Angels in America
David Morse – The Iceman Cometh
Paul Sparks – At Home at the Zoo

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Jamie Brewer – Amy and the Orphans
Denise Gough – Angels in America
Harriet Harris – The Low Road
Laurie Metcalf – Three Tall Women
Mary Testa – The Government Inspector

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Norbert Leo Butz – My Fair Lady
Alexander Gemignani – Carousel
Gavin Lee – SpongeBob SquarePants
Nick Wyman – Desperate Measures
Tony Yazbeck – Prince of Broadway

Erika Henningsen, Ashley Park, Taylor Louderman and Kate Rockwell star in "Mean Girls." Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Erika Henningsen, Ashley Park, Taylor Louderman and Kate Rockwell star in “Mean Girls.” Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Kerry Butler – Mean Girls
Lindsay Mendez – Carousel
Lauren Molina – Desperate Measures
Ashley Park – Mean Girls
Emily Skinner – Prince of Broadway

Sharon Washington. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.
Sharon Washington. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

OUTSTANDING SOLO PERFORMANCE
Billy Crudup – Harry Clarke
Eve Ensler – In the Body of the World
Alison Fraser – Squeamish
John Lithgow – Stories By Heart
Sharon Washington – Feeding the Dragon

Sharon Washington’s FEEDING THE DRAGON Nominated for Outer Critics Circle Award in the category of Outstanding Solo Performance 

JOHN GASSNER AWARD
(Presented for an American play, preferably by a new playwright)
Kate Benson – [Porto]
Jocelyn Bioh – School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play
Lindsey Ferrentino – Amy and the Orphans
Meghan Kennedy – Napoli, Brooklyn
Dominique Morisseau – Pipeline

Please Note: “The Band’s Visit” was nominated for and received multiple awards from the Outer Critics Circle last season and therefore was not considered again for this year.

Nominations Talley for 3 or more:

SpongeBob SquarePants – 11; Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – 10; My Fair Lady -9; Mean Girls – 8; Desperate Measures – 7; Angels in America – 6; Carousel – 6; Once On This Island – 6; Three Tall Women – 5; Cost of Living – 4; Frozen – 4; Prince of Broadway – 4; Farinelli and the King- 3; In the Body of the World– 3; Mlima’s Tale – 3; Miss You Like Hell – 3; Travesties – 3.

2018 Lucille Lortel Award Nominations Announced including KPOP, “Bella: An American Tall Tale,” “Mary Jane,” “The Lucky Ones,” “Pipeline,” “School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play” and “Pacific Overtures” 

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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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Ethan Slater, Gavin Lee, Lilli Cooper and Danny Skinner Set for Broadway’s SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS at the Palace Theatre This Fall

Danny Skinner, Lilli Cooper and Ethan Slater in The SpongeBob Musical Photograph: Joan Marcus

Following a critically lauded run in Chicago during Summer 2016, SpongeBob SquarePants will open on Broadway at The Palace Theatre (1564 Broadway – Broadway at 47th Street) this Fall. Preview performances begin Monday, November 6th with an official opening on Monday, December 4th.

Danny Skinner, Lilli Cooper and Ethan Slater in The SpongeBob Musical Photograph: Joan Marcus
Danny Skinner, Lilli Cooper and Ethan Slater in The SpongeBob Musical
Photograph: Joan Marcus
Gavin Lee, Ethan Slater, Lilli Cooper and Danny Skinner
Gavin Lee, Ethan Slater, Lilli Cooper and Danny Skinner

SpongeBob SquarePants cast will include Ethan Slater as SpongeBob SquarePants, Gavin Lee as Squidward, Lilli Cooper as Sandy Cheeks and Danny Skinner as Patrick.

The full cast will be announced at a later date.

A legendary roster of Grammy Award winners. A visionary director and Tony Award®-winning design team. One of the world’s most beloved and unforgettable characters. Turn them all loose on Broadway and what do you get? SpongeBob SquarePants!

Acclaimed Steppenwolf director Tina Landau and the groundbreaking designers behind Fun Home, Hedwig, and Spring Awakening have brilliantly reimagined Bikini Bottom for the Broadway stage, bringing the spirit of SpongeBob to life with humanity, heart, and pure theatricality. With an original score from some of the biggest names in pop and rock,SpongeBob SquarePants explodes with energy.

Stakes are higher than ever before as SpongeBob and all of Bikini Bottom face the total annihilation of their undersea world. Chaos erupts. Lives hang in the balance. And just when all hope seems lost, a most unexpected hero rises up and takes center stage.

SpongeBob SquarePants is a musical production conceived and directed by Tina Landau, book by Kyle Jarrow, orchestrations, arrangements & music supervision by Tom Kitt, with choreography by Christopher Gattelli.

SpongeBob SquarePants is a one-of-a-kind musical event with original songs by Yolanda Adams, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of AEROSMITH, Sara Bareilles, Jonathan Coulton, Alexander Ebert of Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, The Flaming Lips, John Legend, Lady Antebellum, Cyndi Lauper, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, They Might Be Giants and T.I., and a song by David Bowie. With additional lyrics by Jonathan Coulton.

The design team includes scenic and costume design by David Zinn, lighting design by Kevin Adams, projection design by Peter Nigrini, sound design by Walter Trarbach, hair and wig design by Charles G. LaPointe and casting by Telsey + Company/Patrick Goodwin, CSA.

Nickelodeon and Sony Masterworks Broadway have recorded the cast album of SpongeBob SquarePants and will announce its release shortly.

SpongeBob SquarePants will be produced by Nickelodeon with The Araca Group, Sony Music Masterworks and Kelp on the Road.

Since its launch in July 1999, SpongeBob SquarePants has reigned as a pop culture phenomenon. The series has been the most-watched animated program with kids 2-11 for more than 15 consecutive years, and over the past several years, it has averaged more than 100,000,000 total viewers every quarter across all Nickelodeon networks. SpongeBob SquarePants is the most widely distributed property in Viacom history, seen in more than 208 countries and territories and translated in 55+ languages. Paramount Pictures’ second feature film based on the property, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, in 2015 at #1 opening weekend. A third feature has been announced for 2019, timed to the series’ landmark 20th anniversary. The character-driven cartoon chronicles the nautical and sometimes nonsensical adventures of SpongeBob, an incurably optimist and earnest sea sponge, and his undersea friends.

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