Director Ruben Santiago-Hudson, John Douglas Thompson and Brandon Dirden. Photo by Lia Chang

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

Photography, Theater
John Douglas Thompson and Brandon Dirden. Photo by Lia Chang

John Douglas Thompson and Brandon Dirden. 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 Lesson, Seven Guitars, Gem of the Ocean), begins previews Wednesday, December 28th ahead of a Thursday, January 19th opening night at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street). Click here for tickets and more information.

André Holland and Carra Patterson. Photo by Lia Chang

André Holland and Carra Patterson. Photo by Lia Chang

The ensemble of nine cast members featuring seven veterans of August Wilson plays is currently in rehearsal at the MTC Rehearsal Studios in New York City.

Anthony Chisholm, Michael Potts and Brandon Dirden. Photo by Lia Chang

Anthony Chisholm, Michael Potts and Brandon Dirden. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast features Harvy Blanks (Jitney in WNYC’s Greene Space American Century Cycle recording, Two Trains Running at Two River Theater Company) as “Shealy;” Tony Award nominee Anthony Chisholm (Radio Golf, Gem of the Ocean, Two Trains Running, Jitney at Second Stage) as “Fielding,” Obie and Theatre World Award winner Brandon Dirden (The Piano Lesson, Clybourne Park, “The Americans”) as “Booster;” André Holland (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Moonlight,”American Horror Story”) as “Youngblood;” Carra Patterson (Significant Other, Wit, Straight Outta Compton) as “Rena,” Michael Potts (The Book of Mormon, Aubergine) as “Turnbo;” Keith Randolph Smith (Fences, King Hedley II) as “Doub;” Ray Anthony Thomas (Jitney and Fences in WNYC’s Greene Space American Century Cycle recordings, Between Riverside and Crazy) as “Philmore;” and Drama Desk Award winner John Douglas Thompson (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the Mark Taper Forum, Satchmo at the Waldorf) as “Becker.”

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. MTC has a long history of co-producing works by this legendary playwright (King Hedley II, Seven Guitars and Piano Lesson) and is proud to produce this Broadway debut.

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Directing is Ruben Santiago-Hudson, called “perhaps the foremost interpreter of the legendary August Wilson” by The New York Times.

The creative team for August Wilson’s Jitney includes David Gallo (scenic design); Toni-Leslie James (costume design); Jane Cox (lighting design), Darron L West (sound design); Bill Sims, Jr. (original music); and Thomas Schall (fight director).

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

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

For more information on MTC, please visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.

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 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.

Yale Rep Artistic Director James Bundy with Billy EuGene Jones, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy, director Timothy Douglas (in hat), Wayne T. Carr (foreground), Danny Johnson, Stephanie Berry, Rachel Leslie, and André De Shields at the opening night celebration at Atelier Florian. Photo by Lia Chang

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

Events, Photography, Theater
Lori Tan Chinn, André De Shields, Garth Kravits and Lia Chang at the opening night celebration at Atelier Florian. Photo by Lauren E. Banks

Lori Tan Chinn, André De Shields, Garth Kravits and Lia Chang at the opening night celebration at Atelier Florian. Photo by Lauren E. Banks

On December 1st, I took a road trip to New Haven with Garth Kravits, Lori Tan Chinn and Sir Shadow to celebrate André De Shields’ debut as Hedley in the opening night performance of August Wilson’s SEVEN GUITARS, directed by Timothy Douglas, at Yale Repertory Theatre (1120 Chapel Street). Mr. De Shields and Ms. Chin, who currently appears in “Orange is the New Black,” are castmates in Jerry Mitchell’s Broadway-bound HALFTIME. Other special guests included Tony Award-winning choreographer and producer and director George Faison (The Wiz) and August Wilson’s widow Constanza Romero.

André De Shields, August Wilson’s widow Constanza Romero and Timothy Douglas at the opening night celebration at Atelier Florian. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields, August Wilson’s widow Constanza Romero and Timothy Douglas at the opening night celebration at Atelier Florian. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast of SEVEN GUITARS includes Wayne T. Carr (Canewell), Antoinette Crowe-Legacy (Ruby), Stephanie Berry (Louise), André De Shields (Hedley), Danny Johnson (Red Carter), Billy Eugene Jones (Floyd Barton), and Rachel Leslie (Vera).

Yale Rep Artistic Director James Bundy with Billy EuGene Jones, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy, director Timothy Douglas (in hat), Wayne T. Carr (foreground), Danny Johnson, Stephanie Berry, Rachel Leslie, and André De Shields at the opening night celebration at Atelier Florian. Photo by Lia Chang

Yale Rep Artistic Director James Bundy with Billy EuGene Jones, Antoinette Crowe-Legacy, director Timothy Douglas (in hat), Wayne T. Carr (foreground), Danny Johnson, Stephanie Berry, Rachel Leslie, and André De Shields at the opening night celebration at Atelier Florian. Photo by Lia Chang

The production team includes music director Dwight Andrews, scenic designer Fufan Zhang, costume designer An-lin Dauber, lighting designer Carolina Ortiz Herrera, Sound Designerand composer Fan Zhang, technical director Ian Hannan, dramaturg Catherine María Rodríguez, dialect coach Ron Carlos, fight director Rick Sordelet, casting director Tara Rubin Casting, and stage manager Helen Irene Muller.

Director Timothy Douglas and André De Shields backstage at Yale Rep. Photo by Lia Chang

Director Timothy Douglas and André De Shields backstage at Yale Rep. Photo by Lia Chang

Pittsburgh, 1948. Following the untimely death of Floyd “Schoolboy” Barton, a local blues guitarist on The Edge of stardom, friends grapple with his legacy. The fifth chapter in August Wilson’s epic Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning cycle, SEVEN GUITARS strikes moving chords of the African American experience in the 20th century: faith, artistry, humor, oppression, brutality, and love.

 André De Shields backstage at Yale Rep. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields backstage at Yale Rep. Photo by Lia Chang

Performances continue through December 17th. Tickets range from $12-99 and are available online at yalerep.org, by phone at (203) 432-1234, and in person at the Yale Rep Box Office (1120 Chapel Street). Student, senior, and group rates are also available.

Jamal Story, Dion Graham, James Bundy, Timothy Douglas, Andre De Shields, Tad Schnugg, George Faison, Danny Johnson and Wayne T. Carr backstage at Yale Rep. Photo by Lia Chang

Jamal Story, Dion Graham, James Bundy, Timothy Douglas, Andre De Shields, Tad Schnugg, George Faison, Danny Johnson and Wayne T. Carr backstage at Yale Rep. Photo by Lia Chang

Backstage at Yale Rep:

Opening Night celebration at Atelier Florian

Danny Johnson, André De Shields, Lia Chang and Billy Eugene Jones at the opening night celebration at Atelier Florian. Photo by Lia Chang

Danny Johnson, André De Shields, Lia Chang and Billy Eugene Jones at the opening night celebration at Atelier Florian. Photo by Lia Chang

Production Photos: André De Shields, Billy Eugene Jones, Rachel Leslie, Stephanie Berry, Danny Johnson, Wayne T. Carr and Antoinette Crowe-Legacy in Yale Rep’s SEVEN GUITARS 

Broadwayworld.com Photo Flash: Starry SEVEN GUITARS Celebrates Opening Night at Yale Rep with Andre De Shields and More 

Two-time Tony Nominee André De Shields, Rachel Leslie, Billy Eugene Jones, Stephanie Berry, Wayne T. Carr, Danny Johnson and Antoinette Crowe-Legacy Open Tonight in Timothy Douglas Helmed SEVEN GUITARS at Yale Rep

New Haven Register: André De Shields adds dramatic voice to August Wilson’s ‘Seven Guitars’ at Yale Rep

Broadwayworld.com André Robin De Shields and More Headed to Yale Rep’s SEVEN GUITARS; Cast, Creatives Announced!

André De Shields’ CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. at Victory Gardens- Tech to Closing Night 

Black Theatre Network Honors CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. Star André De Shields

Video: Two-time Tony Nominee and Emmy Award Winner André De Shields in CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. at Victory Gardens, Aug. 26-28

Production Photos and Video: WOZ: A ROCK CABARET with Guest Star André De Shields at Victory Gardens through 7/17

André De Shields and Mathilde Mukantabana, Ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda to the United States of America, “Celebrate Rwanda” at The SUNY Global Center 

Two-time Tony Nominee André De Shields and Ambassador Mathilde Mukantabana featured in Celebrate Rwanda! Event at The SUNY Global Center on June 29

STC’s THE TAMING OF THE SHREW Opening Night with André De Shields, Maulik Pancholy, Telly Leung, Oliver Thornton and More

Photos: Santino Fontana, André De Shields, John Larroquette, Nikki Renée Daniels, Bryce Pinkham, John Behlmann, Christiane Noll and More in New York City Center’s Encores! 1776 

Closing Night Party of Encores! 1776 with André De Shields, Santino Fontana, John Larroquette, Nikki Renée Daniels, Bryce Pinkham, Ann Harada at New York City Center 

Click here for more articles on André De Shields.

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.

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

Ruben Santiago-Hudson Helms MTC’s JITNEY on Broadway Featuring Anthony Chisholm, André Holland, Brandon Dirden, John Douglas Thompson, Keith Randolph Smith and More

Photography, Theater
Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang

Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Photo by Lia Chang

Manhattan Theatre Club (Artistic Director Lynne Meadow and Executive Producer Barry Grove) is presenting the Broadway debut of August Wilson’s Jitney, directed by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson (The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars, Gem of the Ocean).

August Wilson’s Jitney will begin previews Wednesday, December 28 ahead of a Thursday, January 19 opening night at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre (261 West 47th Street). Click here for tickets and more information.

“This is a dream come true for me,” said Santiago-Hudson. “11 years I’ve been working to make this happen and now beginning on December 28th ..It’s on! Blessed. Grateful.”

The ensemble of nine cast members featuring seven veterans of August Wilson plays met the press at the MTC Rehearsal Studios in New York City on November 29, 2016.

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

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

The cast features Harvy Blanks (Jitney in WNYC’s Greene Space American Century Cycle recording, Two Trains Running at Two River Theater Company) as “Shealy;” Tony Award nominee Anthony Chisholm (Radio Golf, Gem of the Ocean, Two Trains Running, Jitney at Second Stage) as “Fielding,” Obie and Theatre World Award winner Brandon Dirden (The Piano Lesson, Clybourne Park, “The Americans”) as “Booster;” André Holland (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Moonlight,”American Horror Story”) as “Youngblood;” Carra Patterson (Significant Other, Wit, Straight Outta Compton) as “Rena,” Michael Potts (The Book of Mormon, Aubergine) as “Turnbo;” Keith Randolph Smith (Fences, King Hedley II) as “Doub;” Ray Anthony Thomas (Jitney and Fences in WNYC’s Greene Space American Century Cycle recordings, Between Riverside and Crazy) as “Philmore;” and Drama Desk Award winner John Douglas Thompson (Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the Mark Taper Forum, Satchmo at the Waldorf) as “Becker.”

2016-11-29-jitney_photo-by-lia-chang-1Only 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. MTC has a long history of co-producing works by this legendary playwright (King Hedley II, Seven Guitars and Piano Lesson) and is proud to produce this Broadway debut. Directing is Ruben Santiago-Hudson, called “perhaps the foremost interpreter of the legendary August Wilson” by The New York Times.

The creative team for August Wilson’s Jitney includes David Gallo (scenic design); Toni-Leslie James (costume design); Jane Cox (lighting design), Darron L West (sound design); Bill Sims, Jr. (original music); and Thomas Schall (fight director).

For more information on MTC, please visit www.ManhattanTheatreClub.com.

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

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

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 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.

Nehal Joshi, Lia Chang and Jaygee Macapugay. Photo by Garth Kravits

Jaygee Macapugay, Olivia Chun and Nehal Joshi at Broadway’s SCHOOL OF ROCK

Photography, Theater

2016-11-27-new-york_photo-by-lia-chang-104

Thanks to the School of Rock lottery, we scored two seats in the second row to experience the high octane action in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s smash hit musical School of Rock – The Musical at the Winter Garden Theatre last night.

Jaygee Macapugay and Olivia Chun play mother and daughter in SCHOOL OF ROCK, and share the same birthday - November 26. Photo by Lia Chang

Jaygee Macapugay and Olivia Chun play mother and daughter in SCHOOL OF ROCK, and share the same birthday – November 26. Photo by Lia Chang

Now in it’s second year on Broadway, School of Rock stars Eric Petersen as wannabe rock star, Dewey Finn.

The Kid Band, who perform Andrew Lloyd Webber’s score live at every performance, includes new cast members Rachel Katzke as Katie the bass player and Walden Sullivan as Lawrence the keyboardist, along with returning cast members, Brandon Niederauer as Zack the guitarist and Raghav Mehrotra as Freddy on drums. Additional new SOR cast members include sassy Olivia Chun as super serious band manager Summer, Steven Booth as Ned, Annabelle Wachtel as Marcy, Terrance Bell, Jr. as Mason, Chloe Bryan as Madison, and Ellie Kim join the cast as a swing.

The new class of School of Rock – The Musical also features Will Blum as the Dewey alternate, Jenn Gambatese as Rosalie Mullins, Becky Gulsvig as Patty, Bobbi MacKenzie as Tomika, and Luca Padovan as Billy. The adult ensemble includes Emily Cramer, Natalie Charle Ellis, John Arthur Greene, Michael Hartney, Merritt David Janes, Nehal Joshi, Lulu Lloyd, Jaygee Macapugay, Cassie Okenka, Patrick O’Neill, Morgan Rose, Jesse Swimm, Josh Tower, and J. Michael Zygo. The kid’s ensemble features Paul Luke Bonenfant, Ava Della Pietra, Gabby Gutierrez, Gianna Harris, Jason Kisare, and Jersey Sullivan.

Check out the School of Rock cast on the 2016 Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Eric Petersen has been seen on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and in national tours, most notably as Shrek in Shrek: The Musical, Peter and the Starcatcher, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. On television, Petersen played Arlo Barth on TVLand’s “Kristie,” and has been seen on Disney Channel’s “Jessie,” “Pair of Kings” and “Kirby Buckets.”

Jaygee Macapugay makes her Broadway debut in SCHOOL OF ROCK. Photo by Lia Chang

Jaygee Macapugay makes her Broadway debut in SCHOOL OF ROCK. Photo by Lia Chang

Jaygee Macapugay makes her Broadway debut in School of Rock.  Her Off-Broadway credits include School of Rock  (Gramercy); Here Lies Love  (Imelda Marcos, Public Theater); Hello, Dolly!  (Irene Molloy, Signature).  Her regional credits include Smokey Joe’s Cafe  (Brenda, Maltz Jupiter), Miss Saigon  (MUNY, 5th Avenue, Casa Manana), The King & I  (KC Starlight).  International:  Where Elephants Weep.

Olivia Chun made her Broadway debut as the Royal Twin in Lincoln Center’s Tony award-winning revival of The King and I of LCT. Workshops: Annie Kidz (CAA), DoogeunDoogeun Hangul(KCC), Bway Prep (JCC) Short Film: Curbside Waltz. Twitter: @chun_olivia, Insta: @oliviachunofficial

Nehal Joshi has appeared on Broadway in the original revival of Les Miserables and the Roundabout’s ThreePenny Opera. His Off-Broadway credits include Working (Drama Desk Award), Falling for Eve, Whose your baghdaddy…Regionally, he has worked at Arena Stage, Dallas Theatre Center, ATL. TV: “The Wire” (HBO), Game: War of Warcraft: Catacylm.

Nehal Joshi, Lia Chang and Jaygee Macapugay. Photo by Garth Kravits

Nehal Joshi, Lia Chang and Jaygee Macapugay. Photo by Garth Kravits

After the show, we visited onstage with Nehal Joshi and birthday girls, Jaygee Macapugay and Olivia Chun, who play mother and daughter and share the same birthday, November 26th.

School of Rock – The Musical is based on the smash hit 2003 film of the same, featuring music from the movie, as well as an original score by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Glenn Slater, a book by Julian Fellowes and direction by Laurence Connor. School of Rock – The Musical opened to rave reviews on Sunday, December 6, 2015. School of Rock – The Musical was nominated for four 2016 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score (Lloyd Webber and Slater), Best Book (Fellowes), and Best Leading Actor in a Musical (Alex Brightman).

School of Rock – The Musical is a hilarious new musical that follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn a few extra bucks by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. There he turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. While teaching these pint-sized prodigies what it means to truly rock, Dewey falls for the school’s beautiful, but uptight headmistress, helping her rediscover the wild child within.

School of Rock features choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter, scenic and costume design by Anna Louizos, lighting design by Natasha Katz, and sound design by Mick Potter and music supervision by Ethan Popp.

Andrew Lloyd Webber, once again, has the rare distinction of having three musicals running simultaneously on Broadway: School of Rock – The Musical, CATS, and The Phantom of the Opera.

School of Rock – The Musical recently opened in London’s West End at the New London Theatre.

School of Rock – The Musical is produced on Broadway by Andrew Lloyd Webber for The Really Useful Group, Warner Music Group & Access Industries, The Shubert Organization, and The Nederlander Organization. Nina Lannan and Madeleine Lloyd Webber serve as Executive Producers. Click here to purchase tickets and for more information.

The School of Rock Digital Lottery, now open, will open daily at 12:01am ET for entrants to win a limited number of $37 same day tickets to that day’s performance(s) at schoolofrocklottery.com.

The complete rules and regulations for the new digital lottery are as follows: – A limited number of tickets for each performance will be sold via digital lottery. – The School of Rock Digital Lottery will open at 12:01am ET each day and will remain open until 10:59am ET for matinees and 2:50pm ET for evening performances. – Winners will be drawn daily at approximately 11:15am ET for matinees and approximately 3:15pm ET for evening performances. – Winners will be notified by e-mail immediately upon drawing. – To claim tickets, winners must present their photo ID at the Winter Garden Theatre box office at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the corresponding performance to purchase their tickets. – Seat locations and number of tickets awarded by the lottery are subject to availability.

Tickets Now on Sale for Broadway Production of ALLEGIANCE, Starring George Takei, Lea Salonga and Telly Leung, in Cinemas Nationwide on Dec. 13 

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

Two-time Tony Nominee André De Shields, Rachel Leslie, Billy Eugene Jones, Stephanie Berry, Wayne T. Carr,  Danny Johnson and Antoinette Crowe-Legacy Begin Previews Tonight in Timothy Douglas Helmed SEVEN GUITARS at Yale Rep 

Inside the 2016 Urban Action Showcase and Expo with BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA’s Peter Kwong and Lia Chang; Full List of 2016 Honorees 

MTC Extends Qui Nguyen’s VIETGONE Starring Raymond Lee, Paco Tolson, Samantha Quan, Jon Hoche and Jennifer Ikeda through Dec. 4 

Greg Watanabe Stars in Perseverance Theatre’s Production of Jeanne Sakata’s HOLD THESE TRUTHS in Juneau through Dec. 4, and in Anchorage, Jan. 6-15 

Jose Llana and Laura Michelle Kelly Lead THE KING AND I at SHN Golden Gate Theatre in SF through Dec. 11 

Signature Theatre’s Brilliant and Scorching Revival of Athol Fugard’s ‘MASTER HAROLD’ … AND THE BOYS, Extends through Dec. 11 

Lynn Nottage’s SWEAT Featuring John Earl Jelks, Johanna Day, James Colby, Carlo Alban, Miriam Shor, Michelle Wilson and Will Pullen Extends at The Public through Dec. 18 

Suzan-Lori Parks’ THE DEATH OF THE LAST BLACK MAN IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD Extended at Signature Theatre through Dec. 18 

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.

THE GREAT BLUENESS Cast and Creative Team. Photo by Lia Chang

Mark Linn-Baker, Barbara Walsh, Garth Kravits and More Set for New Victory LabWorks’ Reading of Andrew Gerle’s THE GREAT BLUENESS on Nov. 10

Photography, Theater

The New Victory Theater, a leading presenter of Theater for Young Audiences, is presenting a special invitational reading of The Great Blueness, a new musical with book, music and lyrics by Andrew Gerle (Meet John Doe) on Thursday, November 10, 2016, as part of the 2016-17 New Victory LabWorks Artists series. Based on the book by Arnold Lobel (author of the beloved Frog and Toad series), The Great Blueness tells the story of a town where everything is grey, until the town Wizard discovers Blue and a magical new world of color unfolds.

John Carrafa, Mark-Linn Baker, Andre Gerle and Barbara Walsh. Photo by Lia Chang

John Carrafa, Mark-Linn Baker, Andre Gerle and Barbara Walsh. Photo by Lia Chang

Produced by Adrianne Lobel, the reading of The Great Blueness will be directed by two-time Tony nominee John Carrafa and stars Mark Linn-Baker as the Wizard, with Barbara Walsh as Mayor Charlotte, Garth Kravits as Councilman Amasa, Kat Nejat as Councilwoman Jerutha and Ava Della Pietra as Iris. The ensemble features Pamela Bob, Jeremy Geller, Laura Hall, David Hess, Tiffany Mann and Frank Viveros.

Mark-Linn Baker and Ava Della Pietra. Photo by Lia Chang

Mark-Linn Baker and Ava Della Pietra. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team for The Great Blueness includes Jody Schum (Musical Director), Reed Ridgley (General Manager), Xander Rovang (Second Keyboard), Rachel Windfield (Director’s Assistant), and Jennifer Wheeler Kahn (Production Stage Manager). The Great Blueness received its first reading this past summer as part of New York Stage and Film & Vassar’s 32nd Powerhouse Season.

Mark-Linn Baker, Barbara Walsh and Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Mark-Linn Baker, Barbara Walsh and Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Composer, playwright and pianist Andrew Gerle won the 2012 Kleban Award for outstanding librettist for his show GLORYANA, which also won a 2011 Richard Rodgers Award. He has also won three other Rodgers Awards for THE TUTOR (book and lyrics by Maryrose Wood).

With lyricist Eddie Sugarman, he won a Jonathan Larson Award for their show, MEET JOHN DOE (cast album on Broadway Records), and he received the first Burton Lane Fellowship for Young Composers from the Theater Songwriters’ Hall of Fame. His play RENOVATIONS was premiered in 2011 at the White Plains (NY) Performing Arts Center, and selections from his opera THE BEACH (libretto by Royce Vavrek) were premiered by the New York City Opera as part of their VOX reading series. Recent projects include an adaptation of The Tempest with legendary lyricist Tom Jones (The Fantasticks) and a score for Barrington Stage Company’s production of Much Ado About Nothing.

THE GREAT BLUENESS Cast and Creative Team. Photo by Lia Chang

THE GREAT BLUENESS Cast and Creative Team. Photo by Lia Chang

Gerle has been a Fellow at the MacDowell Artists’ Colony and a writer-in-residence at the Sundance Theater Institute at Ucross, the Rhinebeck Writers’ Retreat, and the Eugene O’Neill Musical Theatre Conference. As a musical director, he has worked on dozens of Off-Broadway, regional and touring productions, and was heard as the “hands” of Coalhouse Walker, Jr., in the recent Tony Award-winning revival of Ragtime. He has served as musical director and accompanist for such distinguished artists as Kitty Carlisle Hart, John Raitt, Jennifer Holliday, Shirley Jones, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Leslie Uggams and Liz Callaway. A CD of his jazz arrangements of the songs of Maltby & Shire with vocalist Christa Justus was released in 2010 under the PS Classics Label. He is the author of The Enraged Accompanist’s Guide to the Perfect Audition, which is becoming the go-to reference for professional and aspiring musical theater actors alike. He is on the faculty of Yale University, where he teaches musical theater performance and songwriting.

John Carrafa (Director) Good Vibrations (NY Stage and Film, Broadway). Academy (NY Music Theater Festival, Daegu International Music Theater Festival. Best Musical.) Fucking Hipsters (NY Musical Theater Festival), Cirque Berzerk (Microsoft Theater), The Rocky Horror Show (Strand Theater, ACT). Choregrapher: Into The Woods (Tony Nomination), Urinetown (Tony Nomination, Obie Award, Lucille Lortel Award and Dora Award, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Award Nominations), Dirty Blonde, Dance of the Vampires, Love Valour Compassion, Finding Nemo (Disney World), Encores! Series: The Pajama Game, Out of this World. TV: “The Knick,” “Empire,” “Transparent,” “Limitless,” “Nashville,” “Blue Bloods,” “Elementary,” “The Black List,” “Nurse Jackie”. Film: If I Stay, The Other Guys, Something Borrowed (World Dance Award), Bride Wars, The Polar Express (2005 Media Choreography Honors), The Last Days of Disco, The Thomas Crown Affair, Rebel in the Rye (2017).

THE GREAT BLUENESS Cast and Creative Team. Photo by Lia Chang

THE GREAT BLUENESS Cast and Creative Team. Photo by Lia Chang

Designed to foster the creation of new work, New Victory LabWorks offers resources and opportunities for professional exchange among a broad spectrum of artists living and working in New York City. Managed by the New Victory Artistic Programming staff, New Victory LabWorks has grown to include a diverse spectrum of nearly 500 New York City-based arts professionals, including artists, practitioners, educators, presenters and producers.

THE GREAT BLUENESS Cast and Creative Team. Photo by Lia Chang

THE GREAT BLUENESS Cast and Creative Team. Photo by Lia Chang

New Victory LabWorks Artists also have access to the feedback and support of New Victory staff, as well as professional development and networking events with New Victory visiting companies and guest artists. All season long, the greater New Victory LabWorks community is invited to attend workshops, master classes and various networking events, as well as performances in the New Victory season, to promote local, national and international exchange and further their exploration of theater for family audiences.

Ava Della Pietra, Barbara Walsh, Garth Kravits and Kat Nejat. Photo by Lia Chang

Ava Della Pietra, Barbara Walsh, Garth Kravits and Kat Nejat. Photo by Lia Chang

For more information about New Victory LabWorks, please contact the New Victory Artistic Programming Department at LabWorks@New42.org.

About The New Victory Theater
The New Victory Theater brings kids to the arts and the arts to kids as New York City’s premier theater devoted to the highest quality performing arts for kids and families. Serving the city in all its diversity, The New Victory Theater on 42nd Street presents theater, dance, circus, opera and music from around the world at affordable ticket prices. In addition to its public performances, the New Vic is also the largest provider of live performance to NYC school kids, serving 40,000 students in grades PreK-12 from more than 200 schools, after school programs and day camps each year. The New Victory Theater’s contributions to the cultural landscape of the city have been honored by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities with the 2014 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, a national Arts Education Award from Americans for the Arts and a 2012 Drama Desk Award for “providing enchanting, sophisticated children’s theater that appeals to the child in all of us, and for nurturing a love of theater in young people.

Designs by Adrianne Lobel. Photo by Lia Chang

Designs by Adrianne Lobel. Photo by Lia Chang

Broadwayworld.com: Photo Flash: In Rehearsal with Mark Linn-Baker, Barbara Walsh, Garth Kravits and More for New Victory LabWorks’ Reading of Andrew Gerle’s THE GREAT BLUENESS

 

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.

Artist Arlan Huang in his studio during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Arts Gowanus Presents Paintings by Arlan Huang during 20th Annual Gowanus Open Studios Weekend

Photography
Paintings by Arlan Huang on view during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Paintings by Arlan Huang on view during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

This afternoon I headed out to Gowanus to check out artist Arlan Huang’s new paintings at his studio during the 20th Annual Gowanus Open Studios weekend.

Arlan Huang and his wife Lillian Ling during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Arlan Huang and his wife Lillian Ling during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

For one weekend each year, artists working in the former factories, warehouses and studio buildings in Gowanus invite the public to visit their studios, see their work, and talk about their process. This year 328+ artists participated in the Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 held on October 15‐16 from 12‐6pm.

Paintings by Arlan Huang on view during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Paintings by Arlan Huang on view during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Huang’s paintings have evolved over the years into a meditative practice where beauty is revealed at the edge of the painting’s possible destruction or dissolution. Brush marks in the forms of lines, dashes, and dots are layered until the right equation of visible and obscured form is achieved. Huang’s abstract paintings aim to capture what Allen Ginsberg called, “The dearness of the vanishing moment.” The 13 paintings below were created by Huang during his residency in the grounds of Zenkoji Temple, Japan last year. air-zenkouji.com

Paintings by Arlan Huang on view during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Paintings by Arlan Huang on view during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Huang finds meaning and memories in atmospheric and spatially dissolving compositions. His paintings challenge a concrete understanding of their fleeting formal structures. Hurt creates relational and autonomous forms that connect to the viewer’s physical body, while breaking the mold of painting’s rectilinear support.

Paintings by Arlan Huang on view during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Paintings by Arlan Huang on view during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Artist Arlan Huang in his studio during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Artist Arlan Huang in his studio during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Arlan Huang
Arlan Huang was born in Bangor, Maine, USA in 1948. He grew up in San Francisco, California. He currently lives in Manhattan. He is a painter and glassblower with permanent glass installations in New York, San Francisco and Japan. Recent accolades include: Joan Mitchell Creating A Living Legacy (CALL) award, 2014; Artist-in-Residence in the grounds of Zenkoji Temple, air-zenkouji.com, Japan, 2015; interviewed by Robin Clark (SFMOMA) for the CALL/VoCA talk series.

Arlan Huang’s Studio
168 7th Street 2A
Brooklyn, NY 11215
718-499-1584

Visitors are encouraged to create their own self‐guided tours during this FREE event. The Arts Gowanus website features an Online Directory of Artists of all participating artists with samples of their art and includes an interactive map. Visitors can select artists to visit by perusing this directory or pick up a printed map throughout the neighborhood during the GOS 2016 weekend.

Paintings by Arlan Huang on view during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Paintings by Arlan Huang on view during Gowanus Arts Walk 2016 on October 16, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

With the landscape of Brooklyn slowly changing for working artists, Gowanus remains one of the largest communities of visual artists, musicians, glassblowers, textile artists, graphic designers, and craftspeople. Today, Gowanus Open Studios is not only an opportunity for visitors in the tri‐state area to experience the diverse collection of creativity in the neighborhood, but also a symbol of artistic resilience in the face of unbridled real estate development and hyper‐gentriication. In addition to hosting Gowanus Open Studios, Arts Gowanus is working year‐round with city and local elected oficials to find ways to keep artists in Gowanus.

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.

André De Shields, Rebecca Naomi Jones and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

My Birthday Visit to MARIE AND ROSETTA with André De Shields, Garth Kravits, Anthony Chisholm and More at Atlantic Theater

Photography, Theater
André De Shields, Kecia Lewis and Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields, Kecia Lewis and Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Last night, I celebrated my birthday with André De Shields and Garth Kravits at Atlantic Theater Company’s world premiere production of George Brant’s play with music, Marie and Rosetta, at Atlantic Theater Company’s Linda Gross Theater. Helmed by Artistic Director Neil Pepe, Marie and Rosetta stars Kecia Lewis as Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Rebecca Naomi Jones as Marie Knight. Also in the house- Anthony Chisholm, Carla Brothers and Virginia Woodruff.

André De Shields, Rebecca Naomi Jones and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

André De Shields, Rebecca Naomi Jones and Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

A huge influence on Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles and Jimi Hendrix, Sister Rosetta Tharpe (Lewis) was a legend in her time, bringing fierce guitar-playing and swing to gospel music. Tharpe was the queen of ‘race records’ in the 30’s and 40’s, a woman who played guitar as passionately as Clapton, who performed mornings at churches and evenings at the Cotton Club, who was a big enough star to fill a baseball stadium for her third wedding, but ended up buried in an unmarked grave in Philadelphia. Marie and Rosetta chronicles Sister Rosetta’s first rehearsal with a young protégée, Marie Knight (Jones), as they prepare to embark on a tour that would establish them as one of the great duet teams in musical history.

Rebecca Naomi Jones, André De Shields, Kecia Lewis. Photo by Lia Chang

Rebecca Naomi Jones, André De Shields, Kecia Lewis. Photo by Lia Chang

Marie and Rosetta, which recently received a 2016 Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, began previews on August 24, officially opened September 14 and has been extended through October 16 at Atlantic Theater Company’s Linda Gross Theater. Tickets can be ordered online at www.atlantictheater.org, by calling OvationTix at 866-811-4111, or in person at The Linda Gross Theater box office (336 West 20th Street between 8 and 9 Avenues).

MARIE AND ROSETTA director Neil Pepe, stars Rebecca Naomi Jones and Kecia Lewis, playwright George Brant. Photo by Lia Chang

MARIE AND ROSETTA director Neil Pepe, stars Rebecca Naomi Jones and Kecia Lewis, playwright George Brant. Photo by Lia Chang

Kecia Lewis recently starred in the title role of Mother Courage Off-Broadway. She made her Broadway debut as “Effie” in the original company of Dreamgirls, originated the role of “Asaka, Mother of The Earth” in Once on This Island and has appeared in the Broadway musicals Big RiverAin’t MisbehavinThe Gospel at ColonusThe Drowsy ChaperoneChicago and earned a Drama Desk Award nomination for her performance in Dessa Rose at Lincoln Center Theatre.

MARIE AND ROSETTA stars Kecia Lewis and Rebecca Naomi Jones. Photo by Lia Chang

MARIE AND ROSETTA stars Kecia Lewis and Rebecca Naomi Jones. Photo by Lia Chang

Rebecca Naomi Jones has performed in the Broadway musicals American IdiotPassing Strange, and most recently as Yitzhak in the hit revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. She has appeared Off-Broadway in Murder Ballad, Big Love and The Fortress of Solitude and recently starred in Martyna Majok’s play Cost of Living at Williamstown Theatre Festival.

Carla Brothers, Anthony Chisholm, Lia Chang and André De Shields. Photo by Garth Kravits

Carla Brothers, Anthony Chisholm, Lia Chang and André De Shields. Photo by Garth Kravits

MARIE AND ROSETTA

MARIE AND ROSETTA

Sister Rosetta Tharpe was widely acclaimed among the greatest Sanctified gospel singers of her generation; a flamboyant performer whose music often flirted with the blues and swing, she was also one of the most controversial talents of her day, shocking purists with her leap into the secular market – by playing nightclubs and theaters, she not only pushed spiritual music into the mainstream, but in the process also helped pioneer the rise of pop-gospel.

Marie and Rosetta features scenic design by Riccardo Hernández, costume design by Dede Ayite, lighting design by Christopher Akerlind, sound design by Steve Canyon Kennedy, music direction by Jason Michael Webb and casting by Telsey + Company.

Schedule:

Tuesday at 7pm, Wednesday-Saturday at 8pm, Saturday and Sunday at 2pm.

Wednesday matinee at 2pm on October 5, October 12.

Anthony Chisholm, Carla Brothers, André De Shields, Kecia Lewis, Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Anthony Chisholm, Carla Brothers, André De Shields, Kecia Lewis, Garth Kravits. Photo by Lia Chang

Garth Kravits (The Drowsy Chaperone) was recently featured as Goldberg in B-Side Productions’ The Wild Party by George Wolfe and Michael John LaChuisa. André De Shields (Ain’t Misbehavin’, The Wiz, The Full Monty, Play On!) is set for August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, directed by Timothy Douglas at Yale Repertory Theatre, Nov. 25 – Dec. 17.  Anthony Chisholm (Two Trains Running, Gem of the Ocean, Radio Golf) returns to Broadway in the Ruben Santiago-Hudson helmed production of August Wilson’s Jitney at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, with previews begin December 28 and opening night set for January 19, 2017. The play is the only work from Wilson’s The American Century Cycle never seen on Broadway. Set in the early 1970’s, the story follows a group of men who drive unlicensed cabs or jitneys.

Broadwayworld.com Photo Flash: André De Shields, Garth Kravits and Anthony Chisholm Visit #MARIEROSETTAATC at Atlantic Theater

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.

Doug Peck, Taylor Moore, Robert Reddrick, André De Shields, Kimberly Lawson, Anthony J. Mhoon and Donica Lynn. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields’ CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. at Victory Gardens- Tech to Closing Night

Dance, Photography, Theater
Matt De Caro, Monica Lopez Orozco, André De Shields, Lauren Molina. Photo by Lia Chang

Matt De Caro, Monica Lopez Orozco, André De Shields, Lauren Molina. Photo by Lia Chang

The Chicago theatrical community turned out to celebrate two-time Tony nominee and Emmy winner André De Shields (THE WIZ, AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’, THE FULL MONTY, PLAY ON!) during the three performance run of his self-penned CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P., in the Začek McVay Theater at Victory Gardens this weekend.

André De Shields under the Victory Gardens marquee in Chicago on August 28, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields under the Victory Gardens marquee in Chicago on August 28, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Former castmembers and colleagues in the audience included Linda Kimbrough (THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JAMES); Monica Lopez Orozco (CAMINO REAL); WONDERFUL TOWN stars Lauren Molina (FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE) and Matt De Caro (CAMINO REAL); Bobbye Natkin, Cordis Fejer, Cookie Gluck (WARP/Organic Theatre Company); Kimberly Lawson, Mario Mazzetti, Scott Gryder, Nick Sula, Sarah Wurz, David Lipschutz (WOZ);  Eric Nathan and Velma Austin (Mr. De Shields won his first Jeff Award for directing THE COLORED MUSEUM starring Ms. Austin, in 1987 at Victory Gardens).

Also in the house, Tyrone L. Robinson and Chris Sams (upcoming Drury Lane Theatre’s SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE), Black Ensemble Theater Founder and CEO Jackie Taylor, Jim Corti, Artistic Director at the Paramount Theatre, William Osetek, Artistic Director for Drury Lane Theatre and Chicago theater critic Jonathan Abarbanel.

From the heat of urban insurrection in Baltimore, Maryland to the incandescent glare of New York’s Great White Way, “Jelly Belly” has many stories to tell. Through song, dance, and spoken word, Victory Gardens Theater’s Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellow André De Shields shared his riveting solo-performance which follows his adventure from inner city impoverishment to self-actualization.

Kimberly Lawson, Robert Reddrick, André De Shields, Donica Lynn and Anthony J. Mhoon. Photo by Lia Chang

Kimberly Lawson, Robert Reddrick, André De Shields, Donica Lynn and Anthony J. Mhoon. Photo by Lia Chang

CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P.’s cast stars André De Shields, Donica Lynn and Kimberly Lawson.

Doug Peck, Robert Reddrick, André De Shields, Kimberly Lawson, Anthony J. Mhoon and Donica Lynn. Photo by Lia Chang

Doug Peck, Robert Reddrick, André De Shields, Kimberly Lawson, Anthony J. Mhoon and Donica Lynn. Photo by Lia Chang

Directed by Dennis Začek and Samuel G. Roberson Jr., the creative team for CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. features Doug Peck (musical direction), Jake Huppert (sound design), Brandon Moorhead (lighting design), Austin Pettinger (costume design) and Charles Smith (dramaturge). The band includes Anthony J. Mhoon (bass) and Robert Reddrick (percussion), and guest percussionist Taylor Moore. Tina Jach is the stage manager and Nebi Berhane is Mr. De Shields’ personal assistant.

Taylor Moore, Robert Reddrick, André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Taylor Moore, Robert Reddrick, André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

Presented by Dennis Začek and Grippo Stage Co., Inc., CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. originally premiered as part of Victory Gardens’ 2015 IGNITION Festival of New Plays.

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

In a career spanning forty-seven years, André De Shields has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, choreographer and educator. He is the recipient of three Jeff Awards, one as Director for Victory Gardens’ 1987 production of The Colored Museum, and two as Featured Performer in a Musical for the Goodman Theatre productions of Play On! (1998) and Mary Zimmerman’s The Jungle Book (2013). In fact Mr. De Shields’ professional career began at Chicago’s Shubert Theatre, now the Bank of America Theatre, in the 1969 production of Hair. From there he moved on to The Me Nobody Knows at the Civic Opera House, and ultimately became a member of The Organic Theatre Company, where he created the role of Xander the Unconquerable, Ruler of the Sixth Dimension in the cult sensation Warp. A multiple Tony Award nominee, he is best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway musicals: The WizAin’t Misbehavin’Play On! and The Full Monty.

His numerous accolades include an Emmy Award for the NBC Special based on Ain’t Misbehavin’, the 2007 Village Voice OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance, the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award, a 2012 Fox Foundation Fellowship in Distinguished Achievement, Florida Atlantic University’s 2014 Making Waves Award, the Theatre School at DePaul University 2015 Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Riant Theatre’s 2016 Pioneer of the Arts Award, the Black Theatre Network’s 2016 Winona Lee Fletcher Award, nine AUDELCO Awards. and two Doctor of Fine Arts degrees honoris causa one each from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the State University of New York-College at Buffalo. A triple Capricorn, Mr. De Shields is the ninth of eleven children born and reared in Baltimore, Maryland. www.andredeshields.com

Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago. Photo by Lia Chang

Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago. Photo by Lia Chang

Black Theatre Network Honors CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. Star André De Shields

Video: Two-time Tony Nominee and Emmy Award Winner André De Shields in CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P. at Victory Gardens, Aug. 26-28

Production Photos and Video: WOZ: A ROCK CABARET with Guest Star André De Shields at Victory Gardens through 7/17

André De Shields and Mathilde Mukantabana, Ambassador of the Republic of Rwanda to the United States of America, “Celebrate Rwanda” at The SUNY Global Center 

Two-time Tony Nominee André De Shields and Ambassador Mathilde Mukantabana featured in Celebrate Rwanda! Event at The SUNY Global Center on June 29

STC’s THE TAMING OF THE SHREW Opening Night with André De Shields, Maulik Pancholy, Telly Leung, Oliver Thornton and More

Photos: Santino Fontana, André De Shields, John Larroquette, Nikki Renée Daniels, Bryce Pinkham, John Behlmann, Christiane Noll and More in New York City Center’s Encores! 1776 

Closing Night Party of Encores! 1776 with André De Shields, Santino Fontana, John Larroquette, Nikki Renée Daniels, Bryce Pinkham, Ann Harada at New York City Center 

Click here for more articles on André De Shields.

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

Samuel G. Roberson Jr., Chay Yew, Lia Chang, André De Shields.

Samuel G. Roberson Jr., Chay Yew, Lia Chang, André De Shields.

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.

Lia Chang, Marissa Chang-Flores, Russell Chang, Asia Flores, Tami Chang and Carlos Flores.

Asia Flores Receives Associate of Arts degree in Fashion Design at 2016 FIDM Graduation at the STAPLES Center

Awards, Events, Photography
Tami Chang, Lia Chang and Marissa Chang-Flores. Photo by Lia Chang

Tami Chang, Lia Chang and Marissa Chang-Flores. Photo by Lia Chang

Congratulations to our niece Asia Flores, who received her Associate of Arts degree in Fashion Design during the 2016 FIDM Graduation Ceremony at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles on June 20, 2016. Asia’s grandpa Russell Chang; her parents, Marissa Chang-Flores and Carlos Flores; her aunties Lia Chang and Tami Chang; her Auntie Pauline Chang and her cousin Leah Baptista, were in attendance. Below are highlights of the day.

At 4:30pm, the temperature was in the 90's. Photo by Lia Chang

At 4:30pm, the temperature was in the 90’s. Photo by Lia Chang

2016 FIDM Graduation at the Staples Center. Photo by Lia Chang

2016 FIDM Graduation at the Staples Center. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia Chang and her niece Asia Flores made the big screen at the 2016 FIDM Graduation at the Staples Center.

Lia Chang and her niece Asia Flores made the big screen at the 2016 FIDM Graduation at the Staples Center.

Asia Flores at the 2016 FIDM Graduation at the Staples Center in LA on June 20, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Asia Flores at the 2016 FIDM Graduation at the Staples Center in LA on June 20, 2016. Photo by Lia Chang

Lia Chang, Marissa Chang-Flores, Russell Chang, Asia Flores, Tami Chang and Carlos Flores.

Lia Chang, Marissa Chang-Flores, Russell Chang, Asia Flores, Tami Chang and Carlos Flores.

Carlos Flores, Kathy Pietra, Marissa Chang-Flores, Asia Flores, Tami Chang, Pauline Chang, Leah Baptista and Russell Chang. Photo by Lia Chang

Carlos Flores, Kathy Pietra, Marissa Chang-Flores, Asia Flores, Tami Chang, Pauline Chang, Leah Baptista and Russell Chang. Photo by Lia Chang

Back Row- Lia Chang, Leah Baptista, Pauline Chang, Asia Flores, Carlos Flores and Tami Chang; Seated- Kathy Pietra, Marissa Chang-Flores and Russell Chang.

Back Row- Lia Chang, Leah Baptista, Pauline Chang, Asia Flores, Carlos Flores and Tami Chang; Seated- Kathy Pietra, Marissa Chang-Flores and Russell Chang.

Asia Flores. Photo by Lia Chang

Asia Flores. Photo by Lia Chang

fidm.edu

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

Lia Chang and her niece Asia Flores at the 2016 FIDM Graduation at the Staples Center in LA on June 20, 2016.

Lia Chang and her niece Asia Flores at the 2016 FIDM Graduation at the Staples Center in LA on June 20, 2016.

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.

UWS DANCE with Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang

An Afternoon of Pure Joy at Lainie Sakakura’s UWS DANCE

Dance, Photography, Theater
UWS DANCE with Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang

UWS DANCE with Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang

I had an afternoon of pure joy at Lainie Sakakura’s UWS DANCE last week. Lainie and her young students were gracious enough to let me photograph their class, held on Thursday afternoons at Ripley Grier-Studios on 72nd St in New York.

Lainie is a 22+ year Broadway veteran, a choreographer, teacher, director and writer.

Her teaching career of over 25 years includes American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, New York University, CAP 21, University of the Arts, Jacob’s Pillow, Steps NYC, Broadway Dance Center, Alonzo King LINES Ballet Center, CCCEPA, New Jersey Ballet, and she was the proprietor of her own school, Dance Theatre Arts in CA.

UWS DANCE with Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang

UWS DANCE with Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang

Her professional performing career started with joining Ballet Hispanico in 1988 after training with San Francisco Ballet for 8 years. Since then, she has been in the Original Cast of six Broadway shows including FOSSE and CHITA RIVERA, THE DANCER’S LIFE. Also in NYC – Radio City Music Hall Rockette; ARMIDA, Metropolitan Opera; 3 shows for City Center Encores! and many other shows, productions and tours too numerous to name. Currently in the Tony Award winning Broadway revival of THE KING AND I at Lincoln Center.

She is an Award winning choreographer and is the recipient of the 2015 Joe Callaway Award for Best Choreography – Off Broadway RED EYE OF LOVE with co-choreographer Alex Sanchez; Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Choreography – DAMN YANKEES and Nominated for Best CHoreography – HOT MIKADO both at the Marriott Theatre in Chicago. She recently choreographed and associate directed THE MERMAN SONGBOOK at the 92Y Lyrics and Lyricist Concert Series; choreographed two new shows for Holland America Lines; Jimmy Buffett’s Concert Tour; Allen Knee’s Syncopation (NY Times, “sheer movement provides its dramatic momentum, visual grace and defining metaphor”). She recently directed, produced and wrote ALVIN ING – GOT A LOT OF LIVIN’ TO DO, a cabaret show, at The Duplex. BroadwayWorld.com.

Robert Longbottom, Jodi Long, Jose Llana, Virginia Wing, Darren Lee, Hazel Anne Raymundo, Lainie Sakakura and More Celebrate Alvin Ing’s 84th Birthday -“GOT A LOT OF LIVIN’ TO DO” at The Duplex Cabaret Theatre 

UWS DANCE with Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang

UWS DANCE with Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang

UWS DANCE with Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang

UWS DANCE with Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang

Lainie has two daughters, Avelina and Isa, and is a passionate co-chair of the PS 87 Culture & Community Committee which promotes multicultural awareness in our community with five events a year including International Dinner Dance, Winter Holiday Festival, Pan Asian Lunar New Year, Black History and Fiesta Latina.

THE KING AND I’s Lainie Sakakura Ushers in the Year of the Monkey at P.S. 87 with Broadway Pals Ann Harada, Jose Llana, Telly Leung, Amaya Braganza, Sam Tanabe, Belinda Allyn, James Ignacio and YoonJeong Seong 

Laine shared, “Lia beautifully captures all the aspects of teaching children… how they learn, the friendships that form, putting on shoes, doing their hair, standing in line, waiting for the next moment, laughing, struggling, then doing something unexpectedly wonderful, the pride that fills their face, the silliness and seriousness of it all and the loving relationships I have with them all. They fill me with joy and I’m always honored to teach and help shape the way they see the world even for just one afternoon a week.”

Pre-Ballet (3-5yr old)

Tap (3-5yr old)

UWS DANCE with Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang

UWS DANCE with Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang

Tap (6-8 yr old)

UWS DANCE with Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang

UWS DANCE with Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang

Ballet (6-8 yr old)

UWS DANCE with Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang

UWS DANCE with Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang

Jazz (6-10 yr old)

UWS DANCE with Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang

UWS DANCE with Lainie Sakakura. Photo by Lia Chang