Murray Horwitz, André De Shields, Ken Page, Charlayne Woodard and Richard Maltby, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang

Multimedia: André De Shields, Ken Page, Charlayne Woodard, Johmaalya Adelekan, Rheaume Crenshaw, Tyrone Davis, Jr., Zurin Villanueva, Tony Perry, Frenchie Davis and Cynthia Thomas in 54 SINGS AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’: THE MUSIC OF FATS WALLER

Music, Performances, Photography, Theater

Feinstein’s/54 Below celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the Tony Award winning musical AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ with two performances of 54 SINGS AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’: THE MUSIC OF FATS WALLER, directed by its original Tony Award-winning director, Richard Maltby, Jr. on September 9.

1st Row: William McDaniel, Bejamin Nissen, Robert W. Schneider. 2nd Row: Tyrone Davis Jr., Andre De Shields, Richard Maltby,Jr., Murray Horwitz, Frenchie Davis, Ken Page, Johmaalya Adelekan, Charlayne Woodard, Tony Perry, Rheaume Crenshaw, Cynthia Thomas and Zurin Villanueva. Photo by Lia Chang

1st Row: William McDaniel, Bejamin Nissen, Robert W. Schneider.
2nd Row: Tyrone Davis Jr., Andre De Shields, Richard Maltby,Jr., Murray Horwitz, Frenchie Davis, Ken Page, Johmaalya Adelekan, Charlayne Woodard, Tony Perry, Rheaume Crenshaw, Cynthia Thomas and Zurin Villanueva. Photo by Lia Chang

The electrifying evening featured cast members from the Broadway company – two-Tony nominee André De Shields (The Full Monty, The Wiz, Play On), Ken Page (Cats, The Nightmare Before Christmas). and Charlayne Woodard (FX’s “Pose”).  Frenchie Davis (Dreamgirls) and Cynthia Thomas (Ain’t Misbehavin’) sang songs originated by Nell Carter and Armelia McQueen respectively.

Ken Page, Andre De Shields, Charlayne Woodard, William McDaniel, Cynthia Thomas and Frenchie Davis. Photo by Lia Chang

Ken Page, Andre De Shields, Charlayne Woodard, William McDaniel, Cynthia Thomas and Frenchie Davis. Photo by Lia Chang

Murray Horwitz, André De Shields, Ken Page, Charlayne Woodard and Richard Maltby, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang

Murray Horwitz, André De Shields, Ken Page, Charlayne Woodard and Richard Maltby, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang

The show also featured members of the Crossroads Theatre Company production of the musical helmed by Mr. De Shields in 2011, including Johmaalya Adelekan (Ragtime), Rheaume Crenshaw (Groundhog Day), Tyrone Davis Jr (Waitress), and Zurin Villanueva (Mean Girls), who were joined by Tony Perry.

Tyrone Davis Jr., Johmaalya Adelekan, Rheaume Crenshaw, Zurin Villanueva Tony Perry, Marshall Jones III. Photo by Lia Chang

Tyrone Davis Jr., Johmaalya Adelekan, Rheaume Crenshaw, Zurin Villanueva Tony Perry, Marshall Jones III. Photo by Lia Chang

Tyrone Davis Jr., Johmaalya Adelekan, Rheaume Crenshaw, Zurin Villanueva Tony Perry, Marshall Jones III. Photo by Lia Chang

Tyrone Davis Jr., Johmaalya Adelekan, Rheaume Crenshaw, Zurin Villanueva Tony Perry, Marshall Jones III. Photo by Lia Chang

Receiving five Tony Award nominations, AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ opened at the Longacre Theater in 1978 and played 1600 performances. The original company featured Nell Carter, André De Shields, Armelia McQueen, Ken Page, and Charlayne Woodard. The show was choreographed by Arthur Faria and featured arrangements by Luther Henderson. The show was conceived by Mr. Maltby and Murray Horwitz. A revival of the show hit Broadway in 1988.

Produced by Robert W. Schneider with associate producer Benjamin Nissen, 54 SINGS AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’ featured music direction by William McDaniel.

Murray Horwitz, Rheaume Crenshaw, Tyrone Davis, Jr., Ken Page, Johmaalya Adelekan, Charlayne Woodard, Richard Maltby, Jr., Cynthia Thomas, Tony Perry, Zurin Villenueva, Marshall Jones III and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Murray Horwitz, Rheaume Crenshaw, Tyrone Davis, Jr., Ken Page, Johmaalya Adelekan, Charlayne Woodard, Richard Maltby, Jr., Cynthia Thomas, Tony Perry, Zurin Villenueva, Marshall Jones III and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Check out the set list below:

Opening voiceover and record: “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” “Looking Good,” “Tain’t Nobody’s Biz-ness” – Rheaume Crenshaw, Johmaalya Adelekan, Tyrone Davis, Jr. and Tony Perry

“Honey Suckle Rose” – Ken Page and Frenchie Davis

“Handful of Keys” – Rheaume Crenshaw, Johmaalya Adelekan, Zurin Villaneuva, Tyrone Davis, Jr., Tony Perry

Rheaume Crenshaw, Tyrone Davis, Jr., Johmaalya Adelekan, Zurin Villeneuva, Tony Perry. Photo by Lia Chang

Rheaume Crenshaw, Tyrone Davis, Jr., Johmaalya Adelekan, Zurin Villeneuva, Tony Perry. Photo by Lia Chang

“Squeeze Me” – Cynthia Thomas

“Jitterbug Waltz” – Rheaume Crenshaw, Johmaalya Adelekan, Zurin Villaneuva, Tyrone Davis, Jr., Tony Perry

Rheaume Crenshaw, Tony Perry, Johmaalya Adelekan, Zurin Villeneuva and Tyrone Davis, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang

Rheaume Crenshaw, Tony Perry, Johmaalya Adelekan, Zurin Villeneuva and Tyrone Davis, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang

“Cash for Trash” – Frenchie Davis

“The Joint is Jumpin'” – Rheaume Crenshaw, Johmaalya Adelekan, Zurin  Villanueva, Tyrone Davis, Jr., Tony Perry

Johmaalya Adelekan, Tony Perry, Zurin Villenueva, Tyrone Davis, Jr. and Rheaume Crenshaw. Photo by Lia Chang

Johmaalya Adelekan, Tony Perry, Zurin Villenueva, Tyrone Davis, Jr. and Rheaume Crenshaw. Photo by Lia Chang

“Feet’s Too Big” – Ken Page

Ken Page. Photo by Lia Chang

Ken Page. Photo by Lia Chang

“Mean to Me” – Frenchie Davis

“Spreadin’ Rhythm” – Rheaume Crenshaw, Johmaalya Adelekan, Zurin Villanueva, Tyrone Davis, Jr., Tony Perry

Johmaalya Adelekan, Rheaume Crenshaw, Tyrone Davis, Jr., Zurin Villeneuva and Tony Perry. Photo by Lia Chang

Johmaalya Adelekan, Rheaume Crenshaw, Tyrone Davis, Jr., Zurin Villeneuva and Tony Perry. Photo by Lia Chang

“Lounging at Waldorf” – Rheaume Crenshaw, Johmaalya Adelekan, Zurin Villanueva, Tyrone Davis, Jr., Tony Perry

William McDaniel, Johmaalya Adelekan, Rheaume Crenshaw, Zurin Villeneuva. Photo by Lia Chang

William McDaniel, Johmaalya Adelekan, Rheaume Crenshaw, Zurin Villeneuva. Photo by Lia Chang

“The Viper’s Drag”- André De Shields, Rheaume Crenshaw, Johmaalya Adelekan, Zurin Villanueva, Tyrone Davis, Jr., Tony Perry

“Keepin’ Out of Mischief Now”- Charlayne Woodard

“Find Out What They Like” – Frenchie Davis and Cynthia Thomas

“Fat and Greasy” – André De Shields and Ken Page

Black and Blue

Johmaalya Adelekan, Tony Perry, Zurin Villenueva, Tyrone Davis, Jr. and Rheaume Crenshaw. Photo by Lia Chang

Johmaalya Adelekan, Tony Perry, Zurin Villenueva, Tyrone Davis, Jr. and Rheaume Crenshaw. Photo by Lia Chang

Finale – Rheaume Crenshaw, Johmaalya Adelekan, Zurin Villanueva, Tyrone Davis, Jr., Tony Perry

Click here for Marilyn Lester’s Cabaretscenes.org review.

Post-Show

Cynthia Thomas, Murray Horwitz, André De Shields, Ann Dubin, Mrs. Horwitz, Alex Horwitz, Charlayne Woodard, Richard Maltby, Jr. and Ken Page. Photo by Lia Chang

Cynthia Thomas, Murray Horwitz, André De Shields, Ann Dubin, Mrs. Horwitz, Alex Horwitz, Charlayne Woodard, Richard Maltby, Jr. and Ken Page. Photo by Lia Chang

Leslie Odom, Jr. Nicolette Robinson and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Leslie Odom, Jr. Nicolette Robinson and André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Leslie Odom, Jr., Charlayne Woodard and Nicolette Robinson. Photo by Lia Chang

Leslie Odom, Jr., Charlayne Woodard and Nicolette Robinson. Photo by Lia Chang

Taylor Mac, Charlayne Woodard, Richard Maltby, Jr. and Nicolette Robinson. Photo by Lia Chang

Taylor Mac, Charlayne Woodard, Richard Maltby, Jr. and Nicolette Robinson. Photo by Lia Chang

Johmaalya Adelekan, Lynn Ahrens, Cynthia Thomas and Tyrone Davis, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang

Johmaalya Adelekan, Lynn Ahrens, Cynthia Thomas and Tyrone Davis, Jr. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia Chang, Murray Horwitz, Lori Tan Chinn, André De Shields, Zurin Villanueva. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang, Murray Horwitz, Lori Tan Chinn, André De Shields, Zurin Villanueva. Photo by Garth Kravits

André De Shields, Eva Noblezada, Reeve Carney, Amber Gray, and Patrick Page Set for London Production of Broadway-Bound HADESTOWN, November 2 – January 26 

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

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The opening night curtain call for GETTIN' THE BAND BACK TOGETHER at The Belasco Theatre in New York on August 13, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang

Inside the GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER Opening Night Party with Garth Kravits, Marilu Henner, Mitchell Jarvis, Jay Klaitz, Brandon Williams and More

Performances, Photography, Theater
The opening night curtain call for GETTIN' THE BAND BACK TOGETHER at The Belasco Theatre in New York on August 13, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang

The opening night curtain call for GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER at The Belasco Theatre in New York on August 13, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang

Gettin’ The Band Back Together opened on Broadway at The Belasco Theatre (111 W 44th Street) on August 13. The production, which is directed by Tony Award winner John Rando and choreographed by Chris Bailey, began previews on July 19. Scroll down for my complete coverage of the night including curtain call, backstage and the after party photos at Dave and Buster’s. Click here for tickets.

Curtain Call

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Gettin’ The Band Back Together has original music and lyrics by Mark Allen and a book by Ken Davenport and The Grundleshotz with additional material by Sarah Saltzberg. The creative team includes Tony Award winners Derek McLane (Scenic Design), Emily Rebholz (Costume Design), Ken Billington (Lighting Design), John Shivers (Sound Design) in addition to Music Direction by Sonny Paladino and Casting by Eisenberg/Beans Casting.

Backstage

The cast of Gettin’ The Band Back Together features Mitchell Jarvis (Mitch Papadopoulos), Jay Klaitz (Bart Vickers), Manu Narayan (Dr. Rummesh “Robbie” Patel), Paul Whitty (Michael “Sully” Sullivan), Sawyer Nunes (Ricky “Bling” Goldstein), Marilu Henner (“Mitch’s Mom,” aka Sharon Papadopoulos), Kelli Barrett (Dani), Becca Kötte (Tawney), Garth Kravits (Ritchie), Tamika Lawrence (Roxanne Velasco), Noa Solorio (Billie), and Brandon Williams (Tygen Billows). The cast also includes Lindsey Brett Carothers, Ryan Duncan, Scott Richard Foster, Jenny Hill, Nehal Joshi, J. Elaine Marcos, Rob Marnell, Jasmin Richardson, Ian Ward, and Tad Wilson.

Sonny Paladino, Garth Kravits, Jay Klaitz and Mitchell Jarvis. Photo by Lia Chang

Sonny Paladino, Garth Kravits, Jay Klaitz and Mitchell Jarvis. Photo by Lia Chang

Mitch Papadopoulos always wanted to be the next Bruce Springsteen, but he left those daydreams behind for a day job. When this big-shot banker is handed a pink slip on his 40th birthday, he’s forced to move back in with his mom in New Jersey.

Garth Kravits and Brandon Williams. Photo by Lia Chang

Garth Kravits and Brandon Williams. Photo by Lia Chang

A run-in with his former music rival leads to a threat of foreclosure on Mitch’s family home, unless he can win The Battle of the Bands-a rematch over 25 years in the making. So he dusts off his guitar, gathers his old gang, and sets out to win back his house, his pride-and maybe even the high school sweetheart he left behind-proving it’s never too late to give your dreams one last shot.

After party at Dave and Buster’s

Gettin’ The Band Back Together is produced by Ken Davenport, Hunter Arnold, Roy Putrino, Scott Abrams, Sandi Moran, Carl Daikeler, Broadway Strategic Return Fund, Rob Kolson, Marie Barton Stevenson, H. Richard Hopper, Richard Roth, Marguerite Hoffman, Diego Kolankowsky, Gary Nelson, Brian Cromwell Smith, Witzend Productions, David Bryant, Darrell Hankey, Trevor Coates, Ladybug Productions, Jim Wagstaffe, Laura Z. Barket, Judith Manocherian, John McGrain, Steve Reynolds, Sal Buscemi, Douglas K. Atamian, Rich Battista, Frederic J. Siegel, BF Investments, and Sean Attebury. The Associate Producers for the production are Kayla Greenspan and Valerie Novakoff.

Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Noa Solorio. Photo by Lia Chang

Noa Solorio. Photo by Lia Chang

Noa Solorio. Photo by Lia Chang

Noa Solorio. Photo by Lia Chang

Free original cast recording available at: www.GettinTheBandBackTogether.com

Town of Sayreville, NJ Becomes Co-Producer on GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER

Mitchell Jarvis, Garth Kravits, Marilu Henner, Jay Klaitz, Brandon Williams and More Kick Off Previews of GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER 

Garth Kravits Returns to Broadway in John Rando Helmed GETTIN’ THE BAND BACK TOGETHER

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

Garth Kravits and Lia Chang. Photo by Jaygee Macapugay

Garth Kravits and Lia Chang. Photo by Jaygee Macapugay

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

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Michelle Wilson, Nedra McClyde, Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Lileana Blain-Cruz, Lynda Gravatt, Marie Thomas, Harriett D. Foy and Juliana Canfield. Photo by Lia Chang

Inside New York Theatre Workshop’s Opening Night Party of THE HOUSE THAT WILL NOT STAND with Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Juliana Canfield, Harriett D. Foy, Lynda Gravátt, Nedra McClyde, Marie Thomas and Michelle Wilson

Events, Photography, Theater
Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Faye Dunaway, Lileana Blain-Cruz and Nedra McClyde. Photo by Lia Chang

Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Faye Dunaway, Lileana Blain-Cruz and Nedra McClyde. Photo by Lia Chang

Last night, New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW) celebrated the opening night of the New York premiere of The House That Will Not Stand by Marcus Gardley (X: Or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation) at Phebe’s.

Michelle Wilson, Nedra McClyde, Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Lileana Blain-Cruz, Lynda Gravatt, Marie Thomas, Harriett D. Foy and Juliana Canfield. Photo by Lia Chang

Michelle Wilson, Nedra McClyde, Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Lileana Blain-Cruz, Lynda Gravatt, Marie Thomas, Harriett D. Foy and Juliana Canfield. Photo by Lia Chang

Helmed by NYTW Usual Suspect and Obie Award winner Lileana Blain-Cruz (Red Speedo; Pipeline), the play began previews on July 11 at New York Theatre Workshop (79 E. 4th Street New York, NY 10003), and will have performances through Sunday, August 12.

Lileana Blain-Cruz and Faye Dunaway. Photo by Lia Chang

Lileana Blain-Cruz and Faye Dunaway. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast for The House That Will Not Stand includes Helen Hayes Award nominee Joniece Abbott-Pratt (NBC’s “Blindspot,” Netflix’s “Luke Cage”), Juliana Canfield (He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box), Helen Hayes Award nominee Harriett D. Foy (Amélie), Helen Hayes Award winner Lynda Gravátt (This Flat Earth), Nedra McClyde (Marvin’s Room), Marie Thomas (Having Our Say) and Tony Award nominee Michelle Wilson (Sweat).

Jim Nicola, Michelle Wilson, Nedra McClyde, Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Lileana Blain-Cruz, Lynda Gravatt, Marie Thomas, Harriett D. Foy, Juliana Canfield and Jeremy Blocker. Photo by Lia Chang

Jim Nicola, Michelle Wilson, Nedra McClyde, Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Lileana Blain-Cruz, Lynda Gravatt, Marie Thomas, Harriett D. Foy, Juliana Canfield and Jeremy Blocker. Photo by Lia Chang

In the heat of summer in 1813, Louisiana passed from France to the United States. On the eve of the transfer, in a house in mourning, freedom hangs in the balance for a steely widow and her three eligible daughters, all free women of color. Inspired by Federico García Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba, Marcus Gardley’s lyrical, nuanced play, The House That Will Not Stand, is directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz.

Marie Thomas, Carmen de Lavallade, Count Stovall and Lynda Gravatt. Photo by Lia Chang

Marie Thomas, Carmen de Lavallade, Count Stovall and Lynda Gravatt. Photo by Lia Chang

Faye Dunaway, Carmen de Lavallade, Count Stovall, Ayad Akhtar, Ed Iskandar, Carl Cofield, Jeremy O. Harris, Purva Bedi, Angel Desai and more were on hand for the celebration.

Ayad Akhtar, Ed Iskandar and Jeremy Blocker. Photo by Lia Chang

Ayad Akhtar, Ed Iskandar and Jeremy Blocker. Photo by Lia Chang

Marie Thomas

Lynda Gravatt

Juliana Canfield

Joniece Abbott-Pratt

Harriett D. Foy

The creative team includes scenic designer Adam Rigg (The Mad Ones), costume designer Montana Levi Blanco (Red Speedo), lighting designer Yi Zhao (Pipeline), and sound design and original music by Justin Ellington (Until the Flood). Movement is by Raja Feather Kelly (The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World). The dialect and vocal coach is Dawn-Elin Fraser (Once on this Island). Terri Kohler (In the Blood) will serve as stage manager.

Single tickets for The House That Will Not Stand are $65, with $45 tickets available for performances from July 13-August 12.

Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis, online at NYTW.org or by phone from the NYTW Box Office at 212-460-5475. Standard ticketing fees apply.

Additionally, a CHEAPTIX $25 day-of ticket rush will be available for young people, seniors, artists and Lower East Side residents. Rush tickets are subject to availability and are sold cash-only, limit two per person. Proper identification is required for all rush tickets. Youth (ages 25 and under) and seniors (ages 65+) may present an ID indicating date-of-birth; Artists may present an ID and a program or union card; Lower East Side residents may present an ID that includes your address.

The performance schedule for The House That Will Not Stand is as follows: Tuesday and Wednesday at 7pm, Thursday and Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm & 8pm, Sunday at 1pm and 7pm. Exceptions: there will be no no performance on Tuesday, July 31; and no 7pm performance on Sunday, August 12.

Michelle Wilson, Nedra McClyde, Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Lileana Blain-Cruz, Lynda Gravatt, Marie Thomas, Harriett D. Foy and Juliana Canfield. Photo by Lia Chang

Michelle Wilson, Nedra McClyde, Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Lileana Blain-Cruz, Lynda Gravatt, Marie Thomas, Harriett D. Foy and Juliana Canfield. Photo by Lia Chang

Michelle Wilson, Nedra McClyde, Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Lileana Blain-Cruz, Lynda Gravatt, Marie Thomas, Harriett D. Foy, Juliana Canfield and Michael R. Jackson. Photo by Lia Chang

Michelle Wilson, Nedra McClyde, Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Lileana Blain-Cruz, Lynda Gravatt, Marie Thomas, Harriett D. Foy, Juliana Canfield and Michael R. Jackson. Photo by Lia Chang

Jaime Lincoln Smith, Lia Chang, Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Charlie Hudson III, Nedra McClyde, Lilean Blain-Cruz. Photo by Lia Chang

Jaime Lincoln Smith, Lia Chang, Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Charlie Hudson III, Nedra McClyde, Lilean Blain-Cruz. Photo by Lia Chang

Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Lileana Blain-Cruz, Lia Chang, Harriet D. Foy. Photo by Charlie Hudson III

Joniece Abbott-Pratt, Lileana Blain-Cruz, Lia Chang, Harriet D. Foy. Photo by Charlie Hudson III

Joniece Abbott-Pratt. Photo by Lia Chang

Joniece Abbott-Pratt. Photo by Lia Chang

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.

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Rona Siddiqui, Kirsten Childs and Ashley D. Kelley. Photo by Lia Chang

Inside The Dramatists Guild Awards Night with Kirsten Childs, Charles Busch, Jocelyn Bioh and More

Awards, Photography, Theater

The Dramatists Guild of America held their annual awards ceremony at the Hilton Midtown in New York last night during the Guild’s National Conference.

Stephen Schwartz, Lynn Nottage, Christine Toy Johnson and Kirsten Childs. Photo by Lia Chang

Stephen Schwartz, Lynn Nottage, Christine Toy Johnson and Kirsten Childs. Photo by Lia Chang

Samuel French, BMI and The Dramatists Guild Foundation presented the awards night hosted by Doug Wright, President of The Dramatists Guild of America.

Doug Wright, Carl Andress, Charles Busch, Jeffry Melnick. Photo by Lia Chang

Doug Wright, Carl Andress, Charles Busch, Jeffry Melnick. Photo by Lia Chang

Tina Fallon, Perryn Leech, Rory James Leech and Lynn Ahrens. Photo by Lia Chang

Tina Fallon, Perryn Leech, Rory James Leech and Lynn Ahrens. Photo by Lia Chang

This year’s awards were presented to Jocelyn Bioh, recipient of the Hull-Warriner Award for her play School Girls; or the African Mean Girls Play; Kirsten Childs, recipient of the Frederick Loewe Award for Dramatic Composition for her score to Bella: An American Tall Tale; Charles Busch, recipient of the Flora Roberts Award; James Anthony Tyler, recipient of the Horton Foote Playwriting Award; Isaac Gomez​ and R. Eric Thomas​,co-recipients of the Lanford Wilson Award and Sawyer Rayne Garrity​ and Andrea Pena, recipients of the DLDF Defender Award. Doug Wright presented a surprise award of an honorary lifetime membership to The Dramatists Guild to Jane Chu, former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Christine Toy Johnson, Lynn Ahrens, Paula Vogel and Stephen Schwartz. Photo by Lia Chang

Christine Toy Johnson, Lynn Ahrens, Paula Vogel and Stephen Schwartz. Photo by Lia Chang

Lynn Ahrens  and Stephen Flaherty​ introduced Rory James Leech, who delivered a powerfully, moving speech.

Rory James Leech. Photo by Lia Chang

Rory James Leech. Photo by Lia Chang

Kia Corthron presented the 2018 Horton Foote Award to James Anthony Tyler. The Horton Foote Award includes a check for $25,000 and is presented to a dramatist whose work seeks to plumb the ineffable nature of being human, and is sponsored by the Richenthal Foundation.

Kia Corthron and James Anthony Tyler. Photo by Lia Chang

Kia Corthron and James Anthony Tyler. Photo by Lia Chang

James Anthony Tyler was a 2014-2015 Dramatists Guild Fellow. His plays include Some Old Black Man (Berkshire Playwrights Lab, upcoming NYC premiere in February, 2018), Dolphins and Sharks (LAByrinth Theater Company and Finborough Theatre in London), and Artney Jackson (The New Black Fest). He has received a Theatre Masters Visionary Playwrights Award, The Playwrights’ Center’s Many Voices Fellowship and a Working Farm Writers Group Residency at Space on Ryder Farm. Tyler has an MFA from Howard University and NYU, and is a 2017 graduate of Juilliard.

Lynn Nottage presented the 2018 Frederick Loewe Award to Kirsten Childs​. The Frederick Loewe Award, given by the Frederick Loewe Foundation and presented annually by the Dramatists Guild Council to a composer, recognizes achievement in a theatrical score presented in New York during the previous theatrical season. Past winners include Benj Pasek & Justin Paul, Jeanine Tesori, Amanda Green & Trey Anastasio, Alan Menken, Michael John LaChiusa, Robert Lopez, Trey Parker & Matt Stone, John Kander, Tom Kitt, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Scott Frankel.

Rona Siddiqui, Kirsten Childs and Ashley D. Kelley. Photo by Lia Chang

Rona Siddiqui, Kirsten Childs and Ashley D. Kelley. Photo by Lia Chang

Kirsten Childs is the composer/lyricist/librettist of Bella: An American Tall Tale, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, Miracle Brothers, Fly(with Rajiv Joseph and Bill Sherman), and Funked Up Fairy Tales. For her work she has received Obie, Kleban, Larson, Richard Rodgers, Audelco, and Gilman/Gonzalez-Falla awards, as well as Lortel and Drama Desk nominations. She is a professor in NYU’s Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program, a member of both the Dramatists Guild Council and the Dramatists Guild Foundation, and is proud to be a mentor in Theatre Development Fund’s Open Doors program.

Ashley D. Kelley​ performed “Impossible” from Bella: An American Tall Tale with Music Director Rona Siddiqui​.

Ashley D. Kelley and Rona Siddiqui. Photo by Lia Chang

Ashley D. Kelley and Rona Siddiqui. Photo by Lia Chang

Martyna Majok​ presented the 2018 Lanford Wilson Award to Isaac Gomez​ and R. Eric Thomas​. The Lanford Wilson Award is named after the Pulitzer Prize-winning, Tony-nominated playwright-and longtime Dramatists Guild Council member-who passed away in 2011. The award was established by a generous contribution from Wilson’s estate, and a matching contribution from the Guild; it is presented annually by the Dramatists Guild Council to a dramatist based primarily on their work as an early career playwright. Previous recipients are Francine Volpe, Michael Lew, Chisa Hutchinson, Lauren Gunderson, Christopher Chen, and Martyna Majok.

Isaac Gomez, Martyna Majok and R. Eric Thomas. Photo by Lia Chang

Isaac Gomez, Martyna Majok and R. Eric Thomas. Photo by Lia Chang

Isaac Gomez is a Chicago-based playwright originally from El Paso, Texas/Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. His play La Ruta will be receiving its world premiere at Steppenwolf Theater Company this fall. Current commissions: South Coast Repertory, Goodman Theatre, Steep Theatre, StepUp ChicagoPlaywrights. For more information on awards, plays, and affiliations, visit isaacgomez.org.

R. Eric Thomas’ productions include: Mrs. Harrison (Azuka), Miriam1234 (City Theater) and Time Is On Our Side (About Face & Simpatico). In addition to winning two Barrymores, Time… was a finalist for the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award. Forthcoming: TYA development at Act II Theatre, Safe Space (Cohesion Theater Company), Nightbird (NNPN commission/InterAct).

Craig Lucas presented the 2018 Flora Roberts Award to Charles Busch. The Flora Roberts Award, administered by the Dramatists Guild Foundation, is presented to a dramatist in recognition of distinguished work in the theatre and to encourage the continuation of that work. Previous recipients include Mac Wellman, Dael Orlandersmith, Charles Fuller, Arthur Kopit, Philip Kan Gotanda, Michael Weller, Polly Pen, Craig Lucas, Ed Bullins, Adrienne Kennedy, and Tina Howe.

Doug Wright, Jeff Melnick, Charles Busch and Craig Lucas, Carl Andress. Photo by Lia Chang

Doug Wright, Jeff Melnick, Charles Busch and Craig Lucas, Carl Andress. Photo by Lia Chang

Charles Busch is the author and star of such plays as The Confession of Lily Dare, Cleopatra, The Divine Sister, The Lady in Question, Red Scare on Sunset and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, which ran five years and is one of the longe