La MaMa E.T.C. to Receive the 2018 Regional Theatre Tony Award

La MaMa E.T.C. (Experimental Theatre Club) in New York, NY, will be the recipient of the 2018 Regional Theatre Tony Award. The honor is accompanied by a grant of $25,000.

In a joint statement, Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League and Heather Hitchens, president of the American Theatre Wing, said: “La MaMA E.T.C. is a staple of the New York theatre scene. It is an exciting space where artists can grow, create, and push boundaries, and we are thrilled to be able to honor them this year.”

The award is bestowed based on a recommendation by the American Theatre Critics Association.

About La MaMa E.T.C.
La MaMa E.T.C. is one of the original theatres that gave birth to the Off-Off Broadway movement in the 1960s under the leadership of its founder and artistic director, Ellen Stewart. Since its inception it has embodied the celebration of diversity and art by supporting more than 150,000 artists from over 70 countries. Well-known artists such as Sam Shepard, Diane Lane, Lanford Wilson, Elizabeth Swados, Phillip Glass, Julie Taymor, Robert Wilson, Harvey Fierstein, Adrienne Kennedy and David and Amy Sedaris began their careers at La MaMa E.T.C.

Today La MaMa E.T.C. continues to celebrate diversity and encourage artists to take risks creating new theatre forms that transcend boundaries of language, race and culture. The theatre presents more than 70 productions a year, and houses four separate theaters, an art gallery, a dorm for traveling artists and an extensive archive catalog. La MaMa E.T.C. has expanded to become a global organization with partners around the world.

“La MaMa E.T.C. is a staple of the New York theatre scene,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League and Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing, in a statement. “It is an exciting space where artists can grow, create and push boundaries, and we are thrilled to be able to honor them this year.”

The 2018 Tony Awards
The American Theatre Wing’s 72nd Annual Tony Awards will be hosted by Sara Bareilles and Josh Groban, and air on the CBS Television Network on Sunday, June 10, 2018 (8:00-11:00 PM, ET/delayed PT) live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The Tony Awards, which honors theatre professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway, has been broadcast on CBS since 1978. The Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

TonyAwards.com

Casts of “The Band’s Visit,” “Carousel,” “Frozen,” “Mean Girls,” “My Fair Lady,” “Once on This Island,” “SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical,” “SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical,” and “Dear Evan Hansen” to Perform on 2018 Tony Awards

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Advertisements

A Conversation with Jonathan Raviv of THE BAND’S VISIT

Jonathan Raviv in his dressing room at The Barrymore in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

When the Tony Award nominations were announced on Tuesday morning, the cast of the Broadway production of The Band’s Visit was appearing live  on the Today Show.

Tony Shalhoub, Andrew Polk, Alok Tewari, Ari'el Stachel, Jonathan Raviv, Etai Benson, John Cariani and Bill Army at "The Today Show" on May 1, 2018. Photo: Instagram
Tony Shalhoub, Andrew Polk, Alok Tewari, Ari’el Stachel, Jonathan Raviv, Etai Benson, John Cariani and Bill Army at “The Today Show” on May 1, 2018. Photo: Instagram

During the live broadcast, the company learned of the 11 nominations they had garnered including Best Musical, Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for Theatre (David Yazbek), Best Book of a Musical (Itamar Moses) and Best Direction of a Musical (David Cromer).

Tony Shalhoub, Katrina Lenk and Ari’el Stachel are nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical,  Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role is a Musical and Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical respectively.

Tony nominees Tony Shalhoub, Katrina Lenk and Ari'el Stachel on The Tony Awards red carpet in New York on May 2, 2018. Photo: Instagram
Tony nominees Tony Shalhoub, Katrina Lenk and Ari’el Stachel on The Tony Awards red carpet in New York on May 2, 2018. Photo: Instagram

The Band’s Visit is also nominated for Best Orchestrations (Jamshied Sharifi), Best Sound Design of a Musical (Kai Harada), Best Scenic Design of a Musical (Scott Pask) and Best Lighting Design of a Musical (Tyler Micoleau).

The Band’s Visit opened at Broadway’s Ethel Barrymore Theatre on November 9, 2017, featuring music and lyrics by three-time Tony Award nominee and Drama Desk Award winner David Yazbek, a book by NY Drama Critics Circle, Lortel and Outer Critics Circle awards winner Itamar Moses, based on the screenplay by Eran Kolirin, and is directed by Drama Desk, Lortel & Obie Award winner David Cromer.

Katrina Lenk, Jonathan Raviv, Tony Shalhoub in THE BAND'S VISIT. Photo by Matthew Murphy
Katrina Lenk, Jonathan Raviv, Tony Shalhoub in THE BAND’S VISIT. Photo by Matthew Murphy

The Band’s Visit is a new musical based on the critically acclaimed screenplay which received 36 major international awards. An Egyptian Police Band arrives in Israel to play a concert. After a mix-up at the border, they are sent to a remote village in the middle of the desert. With no bus until morning and no hotel in sight, these unlikely travelers are taken in by the locals. Under the spell of the desert sky, their lives become intertwined in the most unexpected ways.

THE BAND’S VISIT marks Jonathan Raviv's Broadway debut. Photo by Lia Chang
THE BAND’S VISIT marks Jonathan Raviv’s Broadway debut. Photo by Lia Chang

I caught up with Jonathan Raviv, who plays Sammy in The Band’s Visit, the day after the nominations were announced. Raviv was in the original cast of the critically acclaimed world premiere at the Atlantic Theater Company, which opened on December 8, 2016 and played a sold-out, limited engagement through January 8, 2017. 

Jonathan Raviv as Sammy in THE BAND'S VISIT. Photo by Matthew Murphy
Jonathan Raviv as Sammy in THE BAND’S VISIT. Photo by Matthew Murphy

Lia: How has your life changed since making your Broadway debut in The Band’s Visit?
Jonathan: I wouldn’t say my life has changed much actually. I’ve been busy with events with awards season coming up, but life doing 8 shows a week is the same on Broadway as it is off. I did move recently so that’s something. I guess the fact that I have a steady job and paycheck and a regular routine for the foreseeable future frees up brain space for other things and gives me stability that is rare for an actor; for that I’m very happy and grateful.

Lia: What was it like to learn about the Tony nominations on Live TV?
Jonathan: Finding out on Live TV was wild. We had no idea what was happening because we were about to perform as the nominations were coming out. Right before we started the performance Hoda and Savannah were interviewing Tony and Katrina and revealed to them that they were both nominated, that the show was nominated for best musical and that we had 7 nominations in total, but we didn’t know what the other 4 were. We were all waiting on the side ready to start the song and were obviously excited for Tony and Katrina and the best musical nomination, but we had to keep it together for the performance. After the song, we all came together to do the final sign off and Savannah and Hoda came up to us again and told us that the number had jumped from 7 to 11. Needless to say, we were shocked. 7 was great, but 11?! It was insane. Of course shortly thereafter, we got back inside from the plaza and found one of our dressers, Alex, who told us what all the nominations were. The whole thing was so exciting and surreal. It was a great day. Click here to watch the cast on The Today Show.

Lia: Last time we spoke, you mentioned that getting to speak Hebrew (your mother tongue) on the Broadway stage would be a notable debut. Please elaborate on the representation that is happening on the Ethel Barrymore Stage every night and how audiences have been affected, specifically reactions that you get at the stage door from young actors?
Jonathan: There are so many stories of people (adults and kids) of Middle Eastern descent DMing people in the cast on social media and telling us how happy they are to see themselves on stage. That means so much. Some of us were talking the other night about what it would have been like if this show existed when we were kids and how we would have felt so much more welcome in the American Theatre. I think about that kid in middle school hearing the album or coming to see the show and I think it’s so cool that we may be opening a door for them to feel included in an otherwise white-washed medium. I also think it’s great that we’re exposing American kids to this music and these instruments and showing them that these people that they may only see in one light on the news are the same as them.

Kristen Sieh, Jonathan Raviv, Ari'el Stachel at THE BAND'S VISIT at The Barrymore in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
Kristen Sieh, Jonathan Raviv, Ari’el Stachel at THE BAND’S VISIT at The Barrymore in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: What has the experience been like to work with this particular team of artists and the creative team?
Jonathan: This team from top down is the most talented group of people I have ever worked with. David Cromer is literally a genius (he won a MacArthur genius grant), David Yazbek is an amazing musician and a hilarious man, Itamar Moses is incredibly smart and well spoken and these group of musicians and actors amaze me every day with their intellect, humor and talent. It pushes me to be better and to always strive for more…it’s also incredibly humbling.

Jonathan Raviv in his dressing room at The Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonathan Raviv in his dressing room at The Ethel Barrymore Theatre in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: Have your parents or any other family members come to see the show? If so, what were their reactions?
Jonathan: Oh yeah, my parents came to opening night and were blown away by the show. They had seen it downtown and had mentioned then that they preferred the stage version to the movie (mostly because of Yazbek’s exquisite score), but on Broadway they said it was so much more fleshed out and richer. My brother also came to see both versions and he loved it. My sister and other family members in Israel are planning a visit soon. I’m really excited for them to come and see it.

Jonathan Raviv in his dressing room at The Barrymore in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
Jonathan Raviv in his dressing room at The Barrymore in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia: If you were to describe your show in one sentence, what would that be?
Jonathan: That’s tough. Everyone takes something different from it and reacts to it in their own way. If I had to describe it, I would say this show is about strangers forced to come together and learn about the other and, in the process, they end up learning something about themselves.

Lia: Have you been able to balance any other projects since you began previews in October?
Jonathan: I’ve been fortunate enough to do a few readings of new works, which I love.

The Broadway company of The Band’s Visit currently features Tony Award nominee Katrina Lenk, Dariush Kashani (Tony Award nominee Tony Shalhoub to play select May performances), John Cariani, Tony Award nominee Ari’el Stachel, George Abud, Etai Benson, Adam Kantor, Andrew Polk, Bill Army, Rachel Prather, Jonathan Raviv, Sharone Sayegh, Kristen Sieh, Alok Tewari, Pomme Koch, Ahmad Maksoud, Madison Micucci and James Rana. Musicians include Andrea Grody, Alexandra Eckhardt, Ossama Farouk, Philip Mayer, Sam Sadigursky, Jeff Theiss, Harvey Valdes and David Garo Yellin.

Adam Kantor, John Cariani, Jonathan Raviv, Yael Silver, Etai Benson at THE BAND'S VISIT at The Barrymore in New York. Photo by Lia Chang
Adam Kantor, John Cariani, Jonathan Raviv, Yael Silver, Etai Benson at THE BAND’S VISIT at The Barrymore in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

The performance schedule for The Band’s Visit is: Tuesday – Thursday at 7pm; Friday & Saturday at 8pm; with matinees at 2pm on Wednesday & Saturday; Sunday at 3pm. Click here for tickets.

Up Close and Personal with Jonathan Raviv, Star of The Boy Who Danced on Air

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.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2018 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

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

Baayork Lee. Photo by Lia Chang

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BIOGRAPHIES

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

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

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

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

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

JITNEY on Numerous Best Theater of 2017 Lists

Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Anthony Chisholm, John Douglas Thompson, Brandon J. Dirden, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks at the closing night curtain call of August Wilson’s JITNEY at MTC's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on March 12, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

Manhattan Theatre Club’s  critically acclaimed Broadway debut of August Wilson’s Jitney, which was named the 2017 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play in June, has landed on several Best Theater of 2017 lists.

Celebrating MTC’s JITNEY Win for 2017 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play

Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang
Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang

Helmed by Tony winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson, the cast featured Harvy Blanks as “Shealy;” Tony Award nominee Anthony Chisholm as “Fielding,” Obie and Theatre World Award winner Brandon Dirden as “Booster;” André Holland as “Youngblood;” Carra Patterson as “Rena,”  Michael Potts as “Turnbo,” Ray Anthony Thomas as “Philmore;” Keith Randolph Smith, as “Doub” and Tony Award nominee and Drama Desk Award winner John Douglas Thompson as “Becker.”

(1) New York Times: The Best Theater of 2017- Ben Brantley
‘JITNEY’ The first Broadway production of one of August Wilson’s earliest plays, this group portrait of workers at a gypsy cab company in a beleaguered African-American neighborhood in Pittsburgh, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, served up the most vibrant — and fine-tuned — ensemble work of the year.

André Holland, John Douglas Thompson, Ray Anthony Thomas, Carra Patterson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Anthony Chisholm, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks, Keith Randolph Smith and Brandon J. Dirden. Photo by Lia Chang
André Holland, John Douglas Thompson, Ray Anthony Thomas, Carra Patterson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Anthony Chisholm, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks, Keith Randolph Smith and Brandon J. Dirden. Photo by Lia Chang

(2) The Hollywood Reporter -David Rooney: The Best New York Theater of 2017
“Every major production of an August Wilson work is a stinging reminder of the loss of one of American drama’s most uniquely resonant voices. But this belated Broadway debut of the play that launched his magnificent 10-part chronicle of African-American experience in the 20th century — directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson with penetrating emotional depth and irrepressible humor — was something extraordinary. Gritty and lyrical, joyful and sorrowful, the play examines black struggle through the prism of a Pittsburgh gypsy-cab company in 1977, its denizens portrayed here by a peerless ensemble that found music in every note.”

John Douglas Thompson, André Holland and Cara Patterson in JITNEY. Photo by Lia Chang
John Douglas Thompson, André Holland and Cara Patterson in JITNEY. Photo by Lia Chang

(3) Variety: Marilyn Stasio’s 10 Best New York Theater Productions of 2017
4. “Jitney”
This was a pitch-perfect revival of August Wilson’s first play, an ensemble piece about gypsy cab drivers in Pittsburgh trying to make an honest living during the 1970s depression. “Moonlight” star Andre Holland and the powerful John Douglas Thompson squared off in a memorable battle royal.

Michael Potts, Anthony Chisholm, Harvy Blanks and André Holland in JITNEY. Photo by Lia Chang
Michael Potts, Anthony Chisholm, Harvy Blanks and André Holland in JITNEY. Photo by Lia Chang

(4) Asbury Park Press Best of Broadway and off-Broadway: Here are the top 10 shows of 2017-Bill Canacci
5. August Wilson’s “Jitney”
Set in Pittsburgh in 1977, “Jitney” tells the story of cab drivers trying to get by during tough economic times and the threat of gentrification. The business is run by Becker (John Douglas Thompson), a good man who is proud of what he has created and the service he provides to the community. This brilliant play takes a turn when Becker’s 39-year-old son Booster (Brandon J. Dirden) walks in after spending 20 years in jail for murder.

Director Ruben Santiago-Hudson treats Wilson’s work with care and respect, which should not be surprising. He won a Tony in 1996 for Wilson’s “Seven Guitars,” and brilliantly directed the 2012 off-Broadway production of Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson.” He also directed a production of “Jitney” at Red Bank’s Two River Theater.

“Jitney,” which concluded its limited run on March 12, won the 2017 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play.

Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Anthony Chisholm, John Douglas Thompson, Brandon J. Dirden, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks at the closing night curtain call of August Wilson’s JITNEY at MTC's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on March 12, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Anthony Chisholm, John Douglas Thompson, Brandon J. Dirden, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks at the closing night curtain call of August Wilson’s JITNEY at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on March 12, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

(5) The Wrap: 11 Best Theater Productions of 2017, From Oscar Isaac to ‘A Doll’s House Part 2’-Robert Hofler
6. “Jitney,” by August Wilson (Broadway) Wilson’s early play finally made it to Broadway in a near-definitive production directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson.

Awoye Timpo, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Ayisha Hunt, Laura Wilson, James Latus. Photo by Lia Chang
Awoye Timpo, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Ayisha Hunt, Laura Wilson, James Latus. Photo by Lia Chang

(6) Forbes.com: The Best Theater Of 2017: Broadway And Beyond
Simply the best acting ensemble on a Broadway stage all year. It was, unfortunately, last season’s token non-white show, but it made the most of that position, building a brilliant platform for August Wilson’s unique voice. If nothing else, it was a potent reminder that Time And The Conways and its ilk aren’t the only choice for revivals – a reminder Broadway producers will hopefully take to heart.

MTC's Artistic Director Lynne Meadow, Director Ruben Santiago-Hudson and MTC's Executive Director Barry Grove at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre after the Tony Awards Ceremony on June 11, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
MTC’s Artistic Director Lynne Meadow, Director Ruben Santiago-Hudson and MTC’s Executive Director Barry Grove at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre after the Tony Awards Ceremony on June 11, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

In her acceptance speech for the Tony Award, MTC’s Artistic Director Lynne Meadow said,  “Thank you so much! The actors, my partner, Barry Grove and I are so thrilled, and on behalf of all of us at Manhattan Theatre Club, and our co-producing partners. We want to tell you, it was a complete privilege and an honor to produce this show. Thank you to a fantastic acting company and an amazing company of designers; they’re great. And special thanks to our director, the great Ruben Santiago. Ruben was determined that Jitney would make its Broadway bow, and he was an inspiration to all of us. He brought out the best in all of us, and we are so grateful to him. August Wilson wrote ten plays, one for every decade in the 20th century that chronicled African American life and culture. Jitney is a shining example of his brilliance, his poetry, his deep insight into the human heart, and his belief in the importance of coming together in community, to overcome adversity, and to celebrate our humanity, our shared humanity. Thank you so much!”

After the Tony Awards ceremony at Radio City Musical Hall, director Ruben Santiago-Hudson was the first to arrive at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, followed by Constanza Romero and Jitney cast members Harvy Blanks, Anthony Chisholm, Brandon J. Dirden and Carra Patterson. Lynne Meadow and Barry Grove brought up the rear with the Tony Award in tow.

Ruben Santiago-Hudson said, “We got the big one. It was not possible without everyone here that works at MTC from the front of the house, backstage, security, everybody – you all made us feel like family and we can never forget that. And hopefully, as we move forward, we bring you all – the memory and the love that you have instilled in us. More than anything I’m grateful to Lynne and Barry, Eric Falkenstein and all the people that continue to fight for Jitney to continue living. John Legend, we thank you, wherever John is. Like Bill Sims Jr. said, “We ain’t done yet y’all!. So Party on!”

Jitney began previews on December 28th and opened on January 19th at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.

Barry Grove, André Holland, John Douglas Thompson, Ray Anthony Thomas, Carra Patterson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Constanza Romero, Anthony Chisholm, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks, Keith Randolph Smith, Lynne Meadow and Brandon J. Dirden at the opening night party at the Copacabana on January 19, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
Barry Grove, André Holland, John Douglas Thompson, Ray Anthony Thomas, Carra Patterson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Constanza Romero, Anthony Chisholm, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks, Keith Randolph Smith, Lynne Meadow and Brandon J. Dirden at the opening night party at the Copacabana on January 19, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

Inside the Opening Night Party with JITNEY Director Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Company 

Anthony Chisholm and Keith Randolph Smith. Photo by Lia Chang
Anthony Chisholm and Keith Randolph Smith. Photo by Lia Chang

Set in the early 1970s, this richly textured piece follows a group of men trying to eke out a living by driving unlicensed cabs, or Jitneys. When the city threatens to board up the business and the boss’ son returns from prison, tempers flare, potent secrets are revealed and the fragile threads binding these people together may come undone at last.

Jitney was also nominated in the categories of Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play (John Douglas Thompson), Best Scenic Design of a Play (David Gallo), Best Costume Design of a Play (Toni-Leslie James) Best Lighting Design of a Play (Jane Cox) and Best Director of a Play (Ruben Santiago-Hudson).

Jitney scooped up three Drama Desk Awards out of six nominations in the categories of Outstanding Play Revival, Outstanding Director for Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Outstanding Music for Bill Sims Jr. Other awards include a special citation from the New York Drama Critics’ Circle for director Ruben Santiago-Hudson and the ensemble cast; the 2017 Drama League Award for Outstanding Revival, the 2017 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Revival and the 2017 Drama League Award for Outstanding Revival of a Play.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette August Wilson’s ‘Jitney’ captures best play revival at 2017 Tony Awards

Billboard.com: John Legend Wins Tony Award for ‘Jitney,’ Is One Emmy Away from EGOT Status

Actors’ Equity Foundation Honors Anthony Chisholm, Katrina Lenk, Will Pullen and Barbara Barrie 

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

Complete List of 2017 Tony Nominees

August Wilson’s JITNEY Receives 6 Tony Nominations including Best Revival 

OSLO, JITNEY, COME FROM AWAY, HELLO DOLLY! Among 2017 Drama Desk Award Winners

Livestream the 2017 Drama Desk Awards at The Town Hall Tonight 

Ruben Santiago-Hudson and the cast of JITNEY, OSLO, THE BAND’S VISIT & More Among 2017 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award Winners 

HELLO DOLLY!, COME FROM AWAY, JITNEY, OSLO and More Garner Outer Critics Circle Awards

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

MTC’s Broadway Debut of August Wilson’s JITNEY Garners Nominations for Six Drama Desk Awards, Two Drama League Awards and an Outer Critics Circle Award

August Wilson’s JITNEY Starring Harvy Blanks, Anthony Chisholm, Brandon Dirden, Andre Holland, Carra Patterson, Michael Potts, Keith Randolph Smith, Ray Anthony Thomas and John Douglas Thompson, Ends Run on Broadway

Inside the Opening Night Party with JITNEY Director Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Company 

Getting to Know the Cast of August Wilson’s JITNEY at Manhattan Theatre Club; Previews Begin Dec. 28

Inside Rehearsals of MTC’s Broadway Debut of August Wilson’s JITNEY; Previews Begin December 28

Meet the Cast of MTC’s Broadway Debut of August Wilson’s JITNEY, Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Featuring Harvy Blanks, Anthony Chisholm, Brandon Dirden, André Holland, Carra Patterson, Michael Potts, Keith Randolph Smith, Ray Anthony Thomas, John Douglas Thompson 

André De Shields, Billy Eugene Jones, George Faison, Constanza Romero, Lori Tan Chinn and More Celebrate August Wilson’s SEVEN GUITARS Opening Night at Yale Rep 

MAURICE HINES TAPPIN’ THRU LIFE, Dominique Morriseau’s SKELETON CREW, Marjorie Johnson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Tina Fabrique, Joe Morton and Debra Ann Byrd Among 2016 AUDELCO Winners 

Photos: All-Access Pass to August Wilson’s Two Trains Running with John Earl Jelks, Harvy Blanks, Chuck Cooper, Anthony Chisholm, Owiso Odera, Roslyn Ruff and James A. Williams 

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.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

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

SaveSave

Celebrating MTC’s JITNEY Win for 2017 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play

MTC's Artistic Director Lynne Meadow, Director Ruben Santiago-Hudson and MTC's Executive Director Barry Grove at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre after the Tony Awards Ceremony on June 11, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

On June 11, 2017, the audience of Manhattan Theatre Club’s viewing party at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre went wild when the critically acclaimed Broadway debut of August Wilson’s Jitney, directed by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson was announced as the winner of the 2017 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play by Orlando Bloom at Radio City Music Hall.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Lynne Meadow and Barry Grove accept the award for Best Revival of a Play for August Wilson's Jitney onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)
NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 11: Lynne Meadow and Barry Grove accept the award for Best Revival of a Play for August Wilson’s Jitney onstage during the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions)

MTC’s Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and Executive Director Barry Grove led the procession to the stage and were joined by director Ruben Santiago-Hudson, cast member John Douglas Thompson, August Wilson’s widow, Constanza Romero, producers John Legend and his Get Lifted partner Mike Jackson,  Eric Falkenstein, Ron Simons, and cast members Harvy Blanks, Anthony Chisholm, Brandon J. Dirden and Carra Patterson.

In her acceptance speech, MTC’s Artistic Director Lynne Meadow said,  “Thank you so much! The actors, my partner, Barry Grove and I are so thrilled, and on behalf of all of us at Manhattan Theatre Club, and our co-producing partners. We want to tell you, it was a complete privilege and an honor to produce this show. Thank you to a fantastic acting company and an amazing company of designers; they’re great. And special thanks to our director, the great Ruben Santiago. Ruben was determined that Jitney would make its Broadway bow, and he was an inspiration to all of us. He brought out the best in all of us, and we are so grateful to him. August Wilson wrote ten plays, one for every decade in the 20th century that chronicled African American life and culture. Jitney is a shining example of his brilliance, his poetry, his deep insight into the human heart, and his belief in the importance of coming together in community, to overcome adversity, and to celebrate our humanity, our shared humanity. Thank you so much!”

After the Tony Awards ceremony at Radio City Musical Hall, director Ruben Santiago-Hudson was the first to arrive at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, followed by Constanza Romero and Jitney cast members Harvy Blanks, Anthony Chisholm, Brandon J. Dirden and Carra Patterson.  Lynne Meadow and Barry Grove brought up the rear with the Tony Award in tow.

Ruben Santiago-Hudson said, “We got the big one. It was not possible without everyone here that works at MTC from the front of the house, backstage, security, everybody – you all made us feel like family and we can never forget that. And hopefully, as we move forward, we bring you all – the memory and the love that you have instilled in us. More than anything I’m grateful to Lynne and Barry, Eric Falkenstein and all the people that continue to fight for Jitney to continue living. John Legend, we thank you, wherever John is. Like Bill Sims Jr. said, “We ain’t done yet y’all!. So Party on!”

John Legend attends the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions
John Legend attends the 2017 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 11, 2017 in New York City. Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions

Jitney began previews on December 28th and opened on January 19th at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.

Barry Grove, André Holland, John Douglas Thompson, Ray Anthony Thomas, Carra Patterson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Constanza Romero, Anthony Chisholm, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks, Keith Randolph Smith, Lynne Meadow and Brandon J. Dirden at the opening night party at the Copacabana on January 19, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
Barry Grove, André Holland, John Douglas Thompson, Ray Anthony Thomas, Carra Patterson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Constanza Romero, Anthony Chisholm, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks, Keith Randolph Smith, Lynne Meadow and Brandon J. Dirden at the opening night party at the Copacabana on January 19, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast featured Harvy Blanks as “Shealy;” Tony Award nominee Anthony Chisholm as “Fielding,” Obie and Theatre World Award winner Brandon Dirden as “Booster;” André Holland as “Youngblood;” Carra Patterson as “Rena,”  Michael Potts as “Turnbo,” Ray Anthony Thomas as “Philmore;” Keith Randolph Smith, as “Doub” and Tony Award nominee and Drama Desk Award winner John Douglas Thompson as “Becker.”

Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Anthony Chisholm, John Douglas Thompson, Brandon J. Dirden, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks at the closing night curtain call of August Wilson’s JITNEY at MTC's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on March 12, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Anthony Chisholm, John Douglas Thompson, Brandon J. Dirden, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks at the closing night curtain call of August Wilson’s JITNEY at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on March 12, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

Jitney ended its limited run on March 12, 2017.

John Douglas Thompson, André Holland and Cara Patterson in JITNEY. Photo by Lia Chang
John Douglas Thompson, André Holland and Cara Patterson in JITNEY. Photo by Lia Chang

Set in the early 1970s, this richly textured piece follows a group of men trying to eke out a living by driving unlicensed cabs, or Jitneys. When the city threatens to board up the business and the boss’ son returns from prison, tempers flare, potent secrets are revealed and the fragile threads binding these people together may come undone at last.

Michael Potts, Anthony Chisholm, Harvy Blanks and André Holland in JITNEY. Photo by Lia Chang
Michael Potts, Anthony Chisholm, Harvy Blanks and André Holland in JITNEY. Photo by Lia Chang

Jitney was also nominated in the categories of Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play (John Douglas Thompson), Best Scenic Design of a Play (David Gallo), Best Costume Design of a Play (Toni-Leslie James) Best Lighting Design of a Play (Jane Cox) and Best Director of a Play (Ruben Santiago-Hudson).

MTC's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Photo by Lia Chang
MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre. Photo by Lia Chang
MTC's Tony Award viewing party at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York on June 11, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
MTC’s Tony Award viewing party at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York on June 11, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
Constanza Romero, Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Jeannie Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang
Constanza Romero, Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Jeannie Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang

Jitney scooped up three Drama Desk Awards out of six nominations in the categories of Outstanding Play Revival, Outstanding Director for Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Outstanding Music for Bill Sims Jr. Other awards include a special citation from the New York Drama Critics’ Circle for director Ruben Santiago-Hudson and the ensemble cast; the 2017 Drama League Award for Outstanding Revival, the 2017 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Revival and the 2017 Drama League Award for Outstanding Revival of a Play.

MTC's Tony Award viewing party at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York on June 11, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
MTC’s Tony Award viewing party at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre in New York on June 11, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette August Wilson’s ‘Jitney’ captures best play revival at 2017 Tony Awards

Billboard.com: John Legend Wins Tony Award for ‘Jitney,’ Is One Emmy Away from EGOT Status

Actors’ Equity Foundation Honors Anthony Chisholm, Katrina Lenk, Will Pullen and Barbara Barrie 

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

Complete List of 2017 Tony Nominees

August Wilson’s JITNEY Receives 6 Tony Nominations including Best Revival 

OSLO, JITNEY, COME FROM AWAY, HELLO DOLLY! Among 2017 Drama Desk Award Winners

Livestream the 2017 Drama Desk Awards at The Town Hall Tonight 

Ruben Santiago-Hudson and the cast of JITNEY, OSLO, THE BAND’S VISIT & More Among 2017 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award Winners 

HELLO DOLLY!, COME FROM AWAY, JITNEY, OSLO and More Garner Outer Critics Circle Awards

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

MTC’s Broadway Debut of August Wilson’s JITNEY Garners Nominations for Six Drama Desk Awards, Two Drama League Awards and an Outer Critics Circle Award

August Wilson’s JITNEY Starring Harvy Blanks, Anthony Chisholm, Brandon Dirden, Andre Holland, Carra Patterson, Michael Potts, Keith Randolph Smith, Ray Anthony Thomas and John Douglas Thompson, Ends Run on Broadway

Inside the Opening Night Party with JITNEY Director Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Company 

Getting to Know the Cast of August Wilson’s JITNEY at Manhattan Theatre Club; Previews Begin Dec. 28

Inside Rehearsals of MTC’s Broadway Debut of August Wilson’s JITNEY; Previews Begin December 28

Meet the Cast of MTC’s Broadway Debut of August Wilson’s JITNEY, Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Featuring Harvy Blanks, Anthony Chisholm, Brandon Dirden, André Holland, Carra Patterson, Michael Potts, Keith Randolph Smith, Ray Anthony Thomas, John Douglas Thompson 

André De Shields, Billy Eugene Jones, George Faison, Constanza Romero, Lori Tan Chinn and More Celebrate August Wilson’s SEVEN GUITARS Opening Night at Yale Rep 

MAURICE HINES TAPPIN’ THRU LIFE, Dominique Morriseau’s SKELETON CREW, Marjorie Johnson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Tina Fabrique, Joe Morton and Debra Ann Byrd Among 2016 AUDELCO Winners 

Photos: All-Access Pass to August Wilson’s Two Trains Running with John Earl Jelks, Harvy Blanks,Chuck Cooper, Anthony Chisholm, Owiso Odera, Roslyn Ruff and James A. Williams 

Lia Chang and Carra Patterson. Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang and Carra Patterson. 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.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

James Earl Jones to Be Honored with the 2017 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre

James Earl Jones is a 2017 recipient of a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.
James Earl Jones is a 2017 recipient of a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.
James Earl Jones is a 2017 recipient of a Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

Two-time Tony Award winner and stage and screen icon James Earl Jones will receive this year’s Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

Jones’s voice is known by people of all ages and walks of life, from Star Wars fans who have long recognized him as the voice of Darth Vader, to children for whom he is Mufasa from Disney’s The Lion King.

“In 1957 when I came to NY to study acting, my father – the actor Robert Earl Jones – took me on a ‘Grand Tour,’” Jones said. “The first night was to the opera Tosca starring Leontyne Price. I loved the singing, but I didn’t understand the format of opera. The second night was Swan Lake starring Margot Fontaine. The movement of the bodies just seemed like magic. The third night was Pal Joey. I was captivated by the warmth of the light on stage. I was not inspired to sing and dance, but I knew I wanted to be in the warmth of the stage light. The fourth night was Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. By contrast, it created a cold world, coldness between human beings, but the ideas that Arthur Miller was able to evoke onstage were blazing hot. I knew I wanted to be a part of this and to explore the stage.”

In a statement, Heather Hitchens, President of the American Theatre Wing, and Charlotte St. Martin, President of The Broadway League, said, “James Earl Jones has given us a lifetime of unforgettable performances on the stage, and his voice resonates through generations. His legacy is unmatched and his work has had an impact not only on Broadway but across the entire galaxy!”

About James Earl Jones
In 1957 James Earl Jones made his Broadway debut. Since that time he has performed on stage, television, and in films and continues to receive accolades from every corner of the entertainment industry. In addition to having won two Tony Awards for his work on Broadway in The Great White Hope and Fences, Jones has garnered much praise for more recent stage roles including those he performed in the Broadway productions of On Golden Pond, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Driving Miss Daisy, The Best Man, You Can’t Take It With You, and The Gin Game.

Among his numerous and distinguished awards, Jones has received the National Medal of Arts, The John F. Kennedy Center Honor, and most recently in 2011, The Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented him with an honorary Oscar.

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

For more information on the Tony Awards, visit TonyAwards.com and Facebook.com/TheTonyAwards, and follow @TheTonyAwards on InstagramTwitter, and Snapchat. Join the conversation using the hashtags #TonyAwards2017 and #TheatreInspires.

Tony Awards 2017: Performers and Presenters

August Wilson’s JITNEY Receives 6 Tony Nominations including Best Revival

Baayork Lee to Receive the 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award

MTC’s THE LITTLE FOXES Receives 6 Tony Nominations including Best Revival

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

David Henry Hwang, Jefferson Mays, and Linda Cho (l. to r.) attend the Tony Honors Cocktail Party Presenting The 2017 Tony Honors For Excellence In The Theatre And Honoring The 2017 Special Award Recipients - at Sofitel Hotel on June 5, 2017 in New York City. Credit: Getty Images for Tony Awards Pro

The American Theatre Wing’s 71st Annual Tony Awards, hosted by Tony and Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey, will air live from Radio City Music Hall on the CBS Television Network on Sunday, June 11, 2017 (8:00-11:00 PM, ET/delayed PT). Sunday.

This year’s Tony nominees gathered at the Sofitel New York Hotel June 5 to celebrate ahead of the awards ceremony.

The 2017 American Theatre Wing’s Tony Awards are presented by The Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing. At The Broadway League, Robert E. Wankel is Chairman and Charlotte St. Martin is President at the American Theater Wing, David Henry Hwang is Chairman and Heather A. Hitchens is President.

Bob Wankel, Charlotte St. Martin, Nina Lannan, Alan Wasser, Heather Hitchens, and David Henry Hwang (l. to r.) attend the Tony Honors Cocktail Party Presenting The 2017 Tony Honors For Excellence In The Theatre And Honoring The 2017 Special Award Recipients - at Sofitel Hotel on June 5, 2017 in New York City. Credit: Shevett Studios
Bob Wankel, Charlotte St. Martin, Nina Lannan, Alan Wasser, Heather Hitchens, and David Henry Hwang (l. to r.) attend the Tony Honors Cocktail Party Presenting The 2017 Tony Honors For Excellence In The Theatre And Honoring The 2017 Special Award Recipients – at Sofitel Hotel on June 5, 2017 in New York City. Credit: Shevett Studios
Baayork Lee at the Sofitel Hotel on June 5, 2017 in New York City. Credit: Shevett Studios
Baayork Lee at the Sofitel Hotel on June 5, 2017 in New York City. Credit: Shevett Studios

General Manager Nina Lannan and General Manager Alan Wasser received the 2017 Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre.  The Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award will be presented to director, actress, chorographer Baayork Lee. The 2017 Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre will be presented to James Earl Jones.   This year, a Special Tony Award will be presented to Gareth Fry and Peter Malkin for their outstanding Sound Design on The Encounter.

Tony Awards 2017: Performers and Presenters

August Wilson’s JITNEY Receives 6 Tony Nominations including Best Revival

Baayork Lee to Receive the 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award

MTC’s THE LITTLE FOXES Receives 6 Tony Nominations including Best Revival

SaveSave

Baayork Lee to Receive the 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang, Photo by Garth Kravits

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

SaveSave

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

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

Last night, the NAAP Broadway Community Chorus presented an evening of Jerry Herman with special guests Cindy Cheung and John D. Haggerty at the Gibney Dance Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center in New York.

The Chorus included Amy Ashley
, Ben Bartels
, Kiet Cao
, Ya Han Chang
, Amanda Chin
, Peggy Chin
,Shan Chuang,

 Eric Elizaga
, David Eng
, Angelita Esperanza
, Francine Espiritu
, Shino Frances, 
Alyssa Ishihara, 
Karin Kawamoto
, Yuko Kudo, 
Makiko Kuri
, Sandra W. Lee, 
Rina Maejima, 
Mio Nakanishi
, Seira Nakanishi
, Carla Ogden, 
Charles Pang, 
Lloyd Mario Prian
, Jeremy Rafal
, Lil Rhee
, Melissa Rivera
, Keiko Tomita
, Hiroko Uchino, 
Viet Vo, 
Sayaka Wada
, Tomo Watanabe
, Katie Wei
, Mandarin Wu
, Jing Zhang and 
Ying Zhang.

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

With musical director Sean Cameron at the helm, the evening featured selections from Hello Dolly!, Mame, Mack & Mabel and La Cage Aux Folles.

Set List:
Hello, Dolly!
Put On Your Sunday Clothes
Ribbons Down My Back
It Only Takes a Moment
Before the Parade Passes By
I am what I am
Song on the Sand
The Best of Times
Look what happened to Mabel
I Won’t Send Roses
Time Heals Everything
Tap Your Troubles Away
It’s Today
Moon Song
Bosom Buddies
That’s how Young I Feel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click below to read more about Baayork.

Baayork Lee to be Honored with 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award

Website: http://www.naaproject.org

Baayork Lee to be Honored with 2017 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lia Chang 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.