Thomas Sung, Hwei Lin Sung, Heather Sung, Chanterelle Sung, Vera Sung and Jill Sung. Photo by Lia Chang

FRONTLINE to Premiere ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL on September 12; Coverage of Asia Society Screening

Film, Museum, Photography, Television

FRONTLINE (PBS) will present the broadcast premiere of Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, the underreported story of the only U.S. bank prosecuted in relation to the 2008 financial crisis, on Tuesday, September 12th at 10pm/9pm and will stream the documentary online for free on pbs.org/frontline. Check local listings here.

It’s the newest film from acclaimed documentary director Steve James (Hoop Dreams), who last worked with FRONTLINE in 2012 on the Emmy Award-winning documentary The Interrupters.

One of the past year’s most critically acclaimed documentaries during its robust international film festival run and a national theatrical release, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail tells the saga of the Sungs — a Chinese-American family who own and operate Abacus Federal Savings in New York’s Chinatown.

Oscar Tang, Agnes Hsu-Tang, Thomas Sung, Hwei Lin Sung, Heather Sung, Chanterelle Sung, Jill Sung and Vera Sung Photo by Lia Chang

Oscar Tang, Agnes Hsu-Tang, Thomas Sung, Hwei Lin Sung, Heather Sung, Chanterelle Sung, Jill Sung and Vera Sung
Photo by Lia Chang

On  Wednesday night, Asia Society presented a screening of Abacus: Small Enough to Jail.  Asia Society Executive Vice President Tom Nagorski moderated a Q & A after the screening  with Thomas Sung, Hwei Lin Sung, Vera Sung, Jill Sung, Chanterelle Sung and Heather Sung, and producer Mark Mitten. The program was presented in partnership with the Committee of 100 and made possible by Agnes Hsu-Tang and Oscar Tang.

Vera Sung, Chanterelle Sung, Hwei Lin Sung, Thomas Sung, Mark Mitten, Jill Sung and Heather Sung. Photo by Lia Chang

Vera Sung, Chanterelle Sung, Hwei Lin Sung, Thomas Sung, Mark Mitten, Jill Sung and Heather Sung. Photo by Lia Chang

At the time of the trial, Abacus was the 2,651st largest bank in the United States. It’s founder, Thomas Sung, says he started it with the goal to empower the local community and offer a personal alternative to big banks. “When we started the bank, it was our motivation to help a lot of people, a lot of immigrants,” says Sung, who sees himself in the image of George Bailey from It’s a Wonderful Life.

Agnes Hsu-Tang, Thomas Sung and Oscar Tang. Photo by Lia Chang

Agnes Hsu-Tang, Thomas Sung and Oscar Tang. Photo by Lia Chang

But in 2009, the Sung’s fired a loan officer after they discovered fraud. They reported the fraud to law enforcement, but soon found themselves and the bank under scrutiny. Two-and-a-half-years later, Abacus Federal Savings and two senior officers were accused of mortgage fraud by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, becoming the only U.S. bank prosecuted after the 2008 financial crash and the first bank indicted in New York since 1991.

“We felt that the provable evidence stopped at a certain level, but that the individuals who were charged were high enough in the corporation to charge the corporation,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. says in the film.

With riveting detail, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail follows how the indictment and subsequent trial forces the Sung family to defend themselves — and their bank’s legacy in the Chinatown community — over the course of a five-year legal battle.

Thomas Sung Photo by Lia Chang

Thomas Sung
Photo by Lia Chang

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail examines the case against the bank, hearing from prosecutors, jurors, defense lawyers, and Mr. and Mrs. Sung and their four daughters — whom James filmed for more than a year as they fought to clear their names.

Thomas Sung, Hwei Lin Sung, Heather Sung, Chanterelle Sung, Vera Sung and Jill Sung. Photo by Lia Chang

Thomas Sung, Hwei Lin Sung, Heather Sung, Chanterelle Sung, Vera Sung and Jill Sung. Photo by Lia Chang

“Tom is not easy to be pushed around, and my girls, they are tough, smart, capable women,” Hwei Lin Sung, Thomas Sung’s wife, says in the film.

Hwei Lin Sung and Thomas Sung. Photo by Lia Chang

Hwei Lin and Thomas Sung. Photo by Lia Chang

The result is a dramatic, 90-minute documentary that The New York Times calls “a classic underdog tale,” and The Hollywood Reporter calls “both an affirmation and an indictment of the American Dream.”

Thomas Sung, Hwei Lin Sung, Heather Sung, and Chanterelle Sung. Photo by Lia Chang

Thomas Sung, Hwei Lin Sung, Heather Sung, and Chanterelle Sung. Photo by Lia Chang

After making its debut at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016, a theatrical version of Abacus: Small Enough to Jail was showcased in more than 30 film festivals and in dozens of theaters across the country. The FRONTLINE version of Abacus: Small Enough to Jail will premiere September 12, 2017, on PBS, and will stream online for free on pbs.org/frontline.

Thomas Sung and Mark Mitten. Photo by Lia Chang

Thomas Sung and Mark Mitten. Photo by Lia Chang

Credits
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail is a Mitten Media, Motto Pictures and Kartemquin Films Production for WGBH/FRONTLINE and Independent Television Service (ITVS). It is co-presented with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). The director is Steve James. The producers are Mark Mitten and Julie Goldman. The co-producers are Fenell Doremus and Nick Verbitsky. The executive producers are Gordon Quinn, Christopher Clements, Betsy Steinberg and Justine Nagan. The executive producer of FRONTLINE is Raney Aronson-Rath. The executive producer of ITVS is Sally Jo Fifer.

About FRONTLINE
FRONTLINE, U.S. television’s longest running investigative documentary series, explores the issues of our times through powerful storytelling. FRONTLINE has won every major journalism and broadcasting award, including 82 Emmy Awards and 20 Peabody Awards. Visit pbs.org/frontline and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr and Google+ to learn more. Founded in 1983, FRONTLINE is produced by WGBH Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Additional funding is provided by Ford Foundation, the Park Foundation, the John and Helen Glessner Family Trust and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation.

Find out when Abacus comes to a theater near you at www.abacusmovie.com/events.

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

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

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

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2017 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Advertisements
Joyce Sylvester, Lia Chang, Woodie King Jr. and Elizabeth Van Dyke Photo by Garth Kravits

NY Premiere Screening of Juney Smith’s Documentary KING OF STAGE: THE WOODIE KING, JR. Story

Film, Photography, Theater

Judging by the turnout at the Dwyer Cultural Center on Monday night for the New York premiere of King of Stage: The Woodie King, Jr. Story, a feature length documentary about the legendary theatre producer, it was evident that everybody loves Woodie King, Jr.

Marjorie Johnson, Charles Weldon, Richard Wesley, Woodie King, Jr., Dean Irby and a guest Photo by Lia Chang

Marjorie Johnson, Charles Weldon, Richard Wesley, Woodie King, Jr., A. Dean Irby and a guest
Photo by Lia Chang

In a post on Facebook, playwright Richard Wesley writes, ” Woodie King,Jr. he is one of the most important figures in the evolution of Black Theater in the last half century if not in the entire history of black performance in America. The recent premiere of KING OF STAGE is but the latest well-deserved testament to this great man.”

Elizabeth Van Dyke, Reed R. McCants, Woodie King Jr., Juney Smith and Joyce Sylvester Photo by Lia Chang

Elizabeth Van Dyke, Reed R. McCants, Woodie King Jr., Juney Smith and Joyce Sylvester
Photo by Lia Chang

Woodie King, Jr. is the founder and producing director of New Federal Theatre and National Black Touring Circuit in New York City. Woodie King, Jr. founded New Federal Theatre in 1970 and over the course of 47 seasons, has presented more than 200 productions. In addition to producing Broadway shows such as For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf, What the Winesellers Buy and Checkmates in which he also directed. This giant of a man facilitated theatre artists of every discipline. Many of the actors have become house hold names such as Glynn Turman, Phylicia Rashad, Viola Davis, Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson and so many more.

Reed R. McCants, Woodie King, Jr. and Juney Smith Photo by Lia Chang

Reed R. McCants, Woodie King, Jr. and Juney Smith
Photo by Lia Chang

Juney Smith of Rainbow Media Group, wrote and directed King of Stage, with Reed R. McCants of Black History Mini Docs who served as Director of Photography and Editor. King of Stage was executive produced by New Federal Theatre’s Woodie King, Jr., Juney Smith and Reed R. McCants.

Lia Chang, Woodie King, Jr. and Elizabeth Van Dyke Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang, Woodie King, Jr. and Elizabeth Van Dyke
Photo by Garth Kravits

Like many of the people in the audience (which spilled over into a second room) I have benefitted as an actor and as a photographer from Woodie’s tireless support of artists of color in all creative mediums. I am forever grateful. Check out who came to see the film.

In a post on Facebook, playwright Richard Wesley writes, ” Woodie King, Jr. he is one of the most important figures in the evolution of Black Theater in the last half century if not in the entire history of black performance in America. The recent premiere of KING OF STAGE is but the latest well-deserved testament to this great man.”

Rome Neal, Juney Smith, Woodie King, Jr. and Ron Scott. Photo by Lia Chang

Rome Neal, Juney Smith, Woodie King, Jr. and Ron Scott. Photo by Lia Chang

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

Joyce Sylvester, Lia Chang, Woodie King Jr. and Elizabeth Van Dyke Photo by Garth Kravits

Joyce Sylvester, Lia Chang, Woodie King Jr. and Elizabeth Van Dyke
Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

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

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2017 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Kelly McCreary and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields, Kelly McCreary, Jonah Broscow, Andrew Lippa and More Preview Bay Street’s 2017 Summer Lineup at Curtain Up! Gala Benefit Honoring Richard Kind and Jules Feiffer

Awards, Benefits, Photography, Theater
Bay Street’s Artistic Director Scott Schwartz, Executive Director Tracy Mitchell and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Bay Street’s Artistic Director Scott Schwartz, Executive Director Tracy Mitchell and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Bay Street Theater & Sag Harbor Center for the Arts held Curtain Up!, the 6th Annual Honors Benefit at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater in New York on May 15th.

Scott Schwartz. Photo by Lia Chang

Scott Schwartz. Photo by Lia Chang

Hosted by Bay Street’s Artistic Director Scott Schwartz, the evening previewed the 2017 summer MainStage Season lineup:

The Man in the Ceiling, Book by Jules Feiffer, Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa, with direction by Jeffrey Seller. 5/30-6/25

“His imagination is just what his family needs… Jimmy Jibbett is a boy cartoonist. A hopeless aptitude if you listen to his father, who wants Jimmy to play ball like a real boy. You’d think his mother would stick up for him, but she’s too busy, running here, there, everywhere. Besides she’s got her brother Lester to worry about.”

Intimate Apparel by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, which Schwartz will direct. 7/4-7/30

“It’s a delicate line between love and desire… Esther Mills is a skilled African American seamstress and has her own successful business in 1905 making lingerie for both society ladies and “ladies of the night.” But she is lonely. As she searches for something more in her life, she unearths truths long hidden in the deepest recesses of her heart.”

A reworked production of As You Like It, set in the Jazz Age with additional music by Stephen Schwartz. A co-production with New York City’s Classic Stage Company, As You Like It will be helmed by John Doyle and feature two-time Tony nominee André De Shields as Touchstone. 8/8-9/3

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Guest artist Gabrielle Stravelli kicked off the evening with the world premiere of two songs from As You Like It, composed by Academy Award winner Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, Godspell)- “Lover and His Lass” (with Steven Eng and Kelvin Moon Loh from CSC’s Pacific Overtures) and “Blow, Blow, Thou Winter Wind”.

The show also featured performances by André De Shields (As You Like It), “Grey’s Anatomy” star Kelly McCreary, Julia Motyka and Edward O’Blenis (Intimate Apparel); and Jonah Broscow and Andrew Lippa (The Man in the Ceiling).

At the Gala, 2017 Arts Visionaries Honoree awards were presented to actor Richard Kind and playwright Jules Feiffer by Robert M. Rubin and Roger Rosenblatt.

Jonah Broscow and Andrew Lippa, who play Jimmy Jibbett and Uncle Lester respectively in The Man in the Ceiling, previewed two numbers – Jonah sang “Will He Like Me?” and Andrew sang “I Do What I Do”.

Director Jeffrey Seller and composer/actor Andrew Lippa joined Jules Feiffer onstage and shared the process of bringing The Man in the Ceiling to Bay Street.

Jeffrey Seller, Andre Lippa and Jules Feiffer. Photo by Lia Chang

Jeffrey Seller, Andre Lippa and Jules Feiffer. Photo by Lia Chang

The 6th Annual Honors Benefit: Curtain Up! is sponsored by Hamptons Magazine.

For more information or to purchase a 2017 Mainstage Season subscription, log on to www.baystreet.org or call the Box Office at 631-725-9500 Tues.-Sat. 11 am-5 pm.

Bay Street Theater & Sag Harbor Center for the Arts is a year-round, not-for-profit professional theater and community cultural center which endeavors to innovate, educate, and entertain a diverse community through the practice of the performing arts. We serve as a social and cultural gathering place, an educational resource, and a home for a community of artists.

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

Kelvin Moon Loh, Lia Chang, Steven Eng. Photo by Barry Gordon

Kelvin Moon Loh, Lia Chang, Steven Eng. Photo by Barry Gordon

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.

Jon Jon Briones and Eva Noblezada. Photo by Lia Chang

Dancing the Night Away with the Cast of MISS SAIGON

Events, Photography, Theater

Miss Saigon, helmed by Laurence Connor, opened in its original home, The Broadway Theater featuring four of its London stars, Jon Jon Briones as The Engineer, Eva Noblezada as Kim, Alistair Brammer as Chris and Rachelle Ann Go as Gigi on March 23rd. The cast also includes Katie Rose Clarke as Ellen, Nicholas Christopher as John, Devin Ilaw as Thuy.

The original production of Miss Saigon opened at the same theater on April 11, 1991 and played there through January 28, 2001. Miss Saigon began previews on March 1st, and will play a limited engagement through January 13, 2018 before launching a North American tour later in the year.

Opening Night Arrivals

Check out all the photos from the opening night party at Tavern on the Green.

Also featured in the cast of Miss Saigon are Carol Angeli, Emily Bautista, Mike Baerga, Billy Bustamante, Viveca Chow, Julian DeGuzman, Colby Dezelick, Taurean Everett, Paige Faure, Graham Scott Fleming, Casey Garvin, Nkrumah Gatling, Dan Horn, Ericka Hunter, Adam Kaokept, Lina Lee, Paul HeeSang Miller, Robert Pendilla, Catherine Ricafort, Casey Lee Ross, Jason Sermonia, Julius Sermonia, Antoine L. Smith, Sam Strasfeld, Tiffany Toh, Kimberly-Ann Truong, Kei Tsuruharatani, Christopher Vo, Travis Ward-Osborne, Charlie Williams, Anna-Lee Wright, Warren Yang, and Minami Yusui.

Miss Saigon has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg with lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr. and Alain Boublil, adapted from original French lyrics by Alain Boublil, with additional lyrics by Michael Mahler.

The new production is directed by Laurence Connor with musical staging by Bob Avian and additional choreography by Geoffrey Garratt. Production design is by Totie Driver and Matt Kinley based on an original concept by Adrian Vaux; costume design by Andreane Neofitou; lighting design by Bruno Poet; sound design by Mick Potter; and projections by Luke Halls. Orchestrations are by William David Brohn; musical supervision by Stephen Brooker and musical direction by James Moore. Casting is by Tara Rubin Casting / Merri Sugarman CSA.

Miss Saigon tells the story of the last days of the Vietnam War, when 17 year-old Kim (Eva Noblezada) is forced to work in a Saigon bar run by a notorious character known as the Engineer (Jon Jon Briones). There she meets and falls in love with an American GI named Chris (Alistair Brammer) but they are torn apart by the fall of Saigon. For three years Kim goes on an epic journey of survival to find her way back to Chris, who has no idea he has fathered a son.

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

Christopher Vo and Lia Chang. Photo by Tim Wildin

Christopher Vo and Lia Chang. Photo by Tim Wildin

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

Joshua Dela Cruz, Jeremy Stolle, Liz Casasola, Ali Ewoldt, Rodney Ingram, Alan Muraoka, Derek Gregor and Rona Figueroa. Photo by Lia Chang

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Star Ali Ewoldt Celebrates Feinstein’s/54 Below Solo Debut with Liz Casasola, Joshua Dela Cruz, Rona Figueroa, Derek Gregor, Rodney Ingram, Jeremy Stolle and More

Music, Performances, Photography, Theater
Gary Adler, Ali Ewoldt, JJ Johnson and MaryAnn McSweeney. Photo by Lia Chang

Gary Adler, Ali Ewoldt, JJ Johnson and MaryAnn McSweeney. Photo by Lia Chang

Ali Ewoldt, currently starring as Christine in Broadway’s The Phantom of the Opera, was luminous and enchanting in her sold-out Feinstein’s/54 Below solo debut, helmed by Alan Muraoka and featuring musical direction by Gary Adler on March 12th.

Special guests artists who shared the stage with Ms. Ewoldt included Liz Casasola, Joshua Dela Cruz (Aladdin), Rona Figueroa (Les Miserables, Nine), Jeremy Stolle (The Phantom of the Opera), Derek Gregor of Carner & Gregor and her newest Phantom co-star Rodney Ingram (Aladdin), who joins the show on March 20th as Raoul. The band featured Gary Adler on keys, JJ Johnson on violin and MaryAnn McSweeney on bass.

Joshua Dela Cruz, Jeremy Stolle, Liz Casasola, Ali Ewoldt, Rodney Ingram, Alan Muraoka, Derek Gregor and Rona Figueroa. Photo by Lia Chang

Joshua Dela Cruz, Jeremy Stolle, Liz Casasola, Ali Ewoldt, Rodney Ingram, Alan Muraoka, Derek Gregor and Rona Figueroa. Photo by Lia Chang

Her set list was a compendium of her career to date including “Home” (Yeston/Kopit Phantom), “Secret of Happiness” (Daddy Long Legs), “I Have Dreamed” (The King and I), “I Yi Yi Yi” (I Like You Very Much–Andrews Sisters with Liz Casasola and Rona Figueroa), “Pakiusap” (Filipino Kundiman Song (art Song)), “Advice to a Young Firefly” (Carner & Gregor), “Yes, My Heart” (Carnival), “Castle on a Cloud” (Les Miserables), “Before and After You”/”One Second” and “A Million Miles” (Bridges of Madison County with Joshua Dela Cruz), “A Lovely Night”/”On The Steps of The Palace” (Cinderella/Into The Woods), Duet Medley (with Rodney Ingram), “Try to Remember” (The Fantasticks), “Phantom” Ukulele Medley (with Jeremy Stolle), ‘Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” (The Phantom of the Opera) and “Somewhere” (West Side Story). AliEwoldt.com

Full company: JJ Johnson, Rona Figueroa, Jeremy Stolle, Alan Muraoka, Ali Ewoldt, Liz Casasola, Rodney Ingram, MaryAnn McSweeney, Gary Adler, Derek Gregor, Adelaide Sleeman. Photo by Lia Chang

Full company: JJ Johnson, Rona Figueroa, Jeremy Stolle, Alan Muraoka, Ali Ewoldt, Liz Casasola, Rodney Ingram, MaryAnn McSweeney, Gary Adler, Derek Gregor, Adelaide Sleeman. Photo by Lia Chang

Ms. Ewoldt joined the Broadway Company of The Phantom of the Opera last June as its new leading lady, the first Asian American to assume the role of Christine Daaé, the innocent young soprano on Broadway.  Born outside of Chicago and raised in Pleasantville, NY, Ms. Ewoldt made her professional debut at age 10 in Yeston/Kopit’s Phantom and fell madly in love with musical theater. She made her Broadway debut in 2006 in Mr. Mackintosh’s first Broadway revival of LES MISERABLES as Cosette. She joined the company direct from playing Tuptim in the Chicago Lyric Opera production of The King & I, and appeared in the original cast of the 2015 Tony award winning revival at Lincoln Center Theater. Other credits include Luisa in The Fantasticks (Off-Broadway), Maria in West Side Story (first national tour), Lili in Carnival! (Musicals Tonight) and the national tour of Les Miserables.

You can catch Ali in The Phantom of the Opera at the Majestic Theatre, 245 West 44th St in New York. Click here for tickets.

PHANTOM STAR Ali Ewoldt Set for Solo Debut at Feinstein’s/54 Below with Special Guests Joshua Dela Cruz, Liz Casasola, Rona Figueroa, Rodney Ingram, Jeremy Stolle and Carner & Gregor on March 12

PHANTOM, Starring James Barbour, Ali Ewoldt, and Jordan Donica, Celebrates 12,000 Performances on Broadway on Nov. 28

Photo: Backstage with Ali Ewoldt and Jordan Donica at Broadway’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA 

Ali Ewoldt and Jordan Donica Begin Their Star Turns in Broadway’s THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA 

Paolo Montalban, Kate Baldwin, Ali Ewoldt, Alan Ariano, Rona Figueroa, Sam Simahk and More set for Lyric Opera’s THE KING AND I 

Photos: Ali Ewoldt, Arielle Jacobs, Joel Perez, Chris Vasquez, Adam Jacobs, Telly Leung and Alan Muraoka at Christine Toy Johnson and Jason Ma’s Barcelona at The Theatre at CAP21 

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

Jerry DeVore, Clarke Thorell, Marva Hicks and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

Broadway Inspirational Voices’ Marva Hicks & Clarke Thorell – Jazz: A High Standard at The Sheen Center

Music, Photography, Theater
Brian Whitted, Jerry DeVore, Marva Hicks and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

Brian Whitted, Jerry DeVore, Marva Hicks and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

The Sheen Center presented Broadway Inspirational Voices members Marva Hicks & Clarke Thorell – Jazz: A High Standard in concert on January 23, 2017. The pair performed in the first of a series of concerts celebrating an array of musical genres and highlighting the talents of individual members, curated by Broadway Inspirational Voices’ Michael McElroy. The concerts are curated and hosted by Michael McElroy, and will culminate in a live premier presentation of their newest YouTube music series “Broadway Our Way.”

Michael McElroy. Photo by Lia Chang

Michael McElroy. Photo by Lia Chang

With musical director Brian Whitted on piano, Jerry DeVore on bass and Joe Spinelli on drums.

Jerry DeVore, Clarke Thorell, Marva Hicks and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

Jerry DeVore, Clarke Thorell, Marva Hicks and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

Set List
I Got A Feelin I’m Fallin’
Marva Hicks and Clarke Thorell
(Arrangement courtesy of Jeffrey Klitz)

Jerry DeVore, Marva Hicks and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

Jerry DeVore, Marva Hicks and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

From This Moment On
Marva Hicks

Clarke Thorell. Photo by Lia Chang

Clarke Thorell. Photo by Lia Chang

Blusette
Clarke Thorell

Brian Whitted, Jerry DeVore, Marva Hicks and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

Brian Whitted, Jerry DeVore, Marva Hicks and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

The Very Thought of You
Marva Hicks

Clarke Thorell and Jerry DeVore. Photo by Lia Chang

Clarke Thorell and Jerry DeVore. Photo by Lia Chang

Cloudburst
Clarke Thorell

Just One of Those Things
Marva Hicks

Brian Whitted, Jerry DeVore, Joe Spinelli and Clarke Thorell. Photo by Lia Chang

Brian Whitted, Jerry DeVore, Joe Spinelli and Clarke Thorell. Photo by Lia Chang

Dindi
Clarke Thorell

Day In Day Out
Marva Hicks

Brian Whitted, Marva Hicks, Jerry DeVore, Clarke Thorell and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

Brian Whitted, Marva Hicks, Jerry DeVore, Clarke Thorell and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

Centerpiece
Marva Hicks, Clarke Thorell, Brian Whitted

Brian Whitted and Clarke Thorell. Photo by Lia Chang

Brian Whitted and Clarke Thorell. Photo by Lia Chang

De-Lovely
Clarke Thorell

Clarke Thorell. Photo by Lia Chang

Clarke Thorell. Photo by Lia Chang

Here’s That Rainy Day
Clarke Thorell

Marva Hicks. Photo by Lia Chang

Marva Hicks. Photo by Lia Chang

Sentimental Mood
Marva Hicks

Marva Hicks. Photo by Lia Chang

Marva Hicks. Photo by Lia Chang

Our Love Is Here to Stay
Marva Hicks

Marva Hicks, Jerry DeVore, Clarke Thorell and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

Marva Hicks, Jerry DeVore, Clarke Thorell and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

It Don’t Mean A Thing…
Marva Hicks and Clarke Thorell

Brian Whitted, Marva Hicks, Jerry DeVore, Clarke Thorell and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

Brian Whitted, Marva Hicks, Jerry DeVore, Clarke Thorell and Joe Spinelli. Photo by Lia Chang

Marva Hicks has appeared on Broadway in The Lion KingMotown the Musical, Lena Horne: The Lady and her Music and Caroline, or ChangeOff-Broadway: Little Shop of Horrors (City Center Encores! Off-Center), Cabin in the Sky (City Center Encores), Thunder Knocking on the Door (Minetta Lane) Caroline or Change (The Public) The First Breeze of Summer (The Signature Theatre). Regional: Arena Stage in Thunder Knocking on the Door (Helen Hayes Award), Cuttin Up, The Women of Brewster Place, co-produced with the Alliance Theatre (Suzi Award), Crowns, and Sophisticated Ladies. Bess (Austin Circle of Theatres B. Iden Payne Award) in the Zach Scott Theatre’s Jazz/Blues production of Porgy and Bess. TV: “Search Party,” “Dare Devil,” “House of Cards,” “One Life to Live,” “Mad About You,” “Star Trek: Voyager”. FILM: Labor Day, Assunder, Virtuosity, Preaching to the Choir. Marva has recorded on Polygram Records. TOURS: Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson.  She is currently touring in the symphony pops concert, Louis and Ella And All That Jazz. Currently playing the role of “Kruger” in The Front Page, Clarke Thorell made his Broadway debut in The Who’s Tommy. He originated the roles of “Corny Collins” in Hairspray, “Jim Farrell” in Titanic, and “Rooster” in the Broadway revival of ANNIE. As a vocalist, he has performed with Sting, Dave Brubeck, Liza Minnelli, ABBA, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Red Clay Ramblers, Pete Townshend, and is a proud member of Michael McElroy’s Broadway Inspirational Voices.

Upcoming performances
Monday, January 30 @ 7:30pm
Lisa Lynne Mathis and Chris Dilley – Inspirational
Monday, May 1 @ 7:30pm
Crystal Monee Hall and Marcus Paul James – Gospel
Monday, May 8 @ 7:30pm
Celisse Henderson and Eliseo Roman – Folk
Monday, May 15 @ 7:30pm
Michael McElroy and Capathia Jenkins – Broadway
Monday, May 22 @ 7:30pm
Broadway Our Way – Ensemble presentation of Broadway Inspirational Voices’s newest CD

Click here for tickets.

Broadway Inspirational Voices members with Clarke Thorell, Marva Hicks and Michael McElroy. Photo by Lia Chang

Broadway Inspirational Voices members with Clarke Thorell, Marva Hicks and Michael McElroy. Photo by Lia Chang

Broadway Inspirational Voices (BIV) is a diverse choir of Broadway artists united to change lives through the power of music and service.

The company was founded by Michael McElroy in 1994 as the Broadway Gospel Choir and in 1999 reincarnated to its current name. In 2010, BIV became a 501(c)3 non-profit organization whose mission consists of providing HOPE to INSPIRE and TRANSFORM youth in need through music and the arts.

In addition to numerous concerts, the Grammy nominated choir has performed with award winning artists such as Mariah Carey, the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, STING, Elton John, Vanessa Williams, Heather Headley, Billy Porter. BIV has been featured on The David Letterman ShowThe Rosie O’Donnell Christmas Special, multiple Tony Awards Telecast, Smash and America’s Got Talent.

Broadway Inspirational Voices’ first album Great Joy: A Gospel Christmas was released on Sh-K-Boom Records and received a Grammy Award nomination. The choir just released their second holiday Christmas CD, Great Joy II: Around the World.  broadwayinspirationalvoices.org

Michael McElroy, Clarke Thorell, Brian Whitted, Marva Hicks, Joe Spinelli, Jerry DeVore and Andrew Levine. Photo by Lia Chang

Michael McElroy, Clarke Thorell, Brian Whitted, Marva Hicks, Joe Spinelli, Jerry DeVore and Andrew Levine. Photo by Lia Chang

Named after the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, best known for his popular radio and TV ministry in the 1950s and 60s, The Sheen Center for Thought & Culture is a project of the Archdiocese of New York with the mission of showcasing works in the performing and visual arts, lectures and symposia that highlight the true, the good, and the beautiful as they have been expressed throughout the ages. The state-of-the-art complex has a 274-seat proscenium theater equipped with five-camera high-definition livestream capability and a multi-track recording studio with thirty-two onstage inputs; an 80-seat black box theater; four rehearsal studios; and an art gallery. This facility is the newest arts center in Manhattan in 35 years and a great addition to the growing artistic community in the East Village/NoHo. www.sheencenter.org

Click here for the Lia Chang archives and here for the Lia Chang Photography archives.

 

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

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

Events, Photography, Theater
Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Anthony Chisholm, John Douglas Thompson, Brandon J. Dirden, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks. 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. Photo by Lia Chang

Manhattan Theatre Club’s Broadway debut of August Wilson’s Jitney, directed by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson (The Piano LessonSeven GuitarsGem of the Ocean), opened to rave reviews at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street) in New York on January 19, 2017. Check out my full coverage of the festivities on the Red Carpet, at curtain call, backstage, the press room and the after party at The Copacabana.

Anthony Chisholm, John Douglas Thompson, Brandon J. Dirden, Carra Patterson, Andre Holland, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks. Photo by Lia Chang

Anthony Chisholm, John Douglas Thompson, Brandon J. Dirden, Carra Patterson, Andre Holland, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast features 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 Drama Desk Award winner John Douglas Thompson as “Becker.”

Brandon J. Dirden, Carra Patterson, André Holland. Photo by Lia Chang

Brandon J. Dirden, Carra Patterson, André Holland. Photo by Lia Chang

Only one of the ten plays in two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s masterful The American Century Cycle has never been seen on Broadway – until now. 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 is being produced in association with John Legend and his Get Lifted partner Mike Jackson,  Eric Falkenstein, Ron Simons and Ken Wirth.

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

The Red Carpet

Post-show and Backstage