Category Archives: Theater

Apr. 13: Tony Winner André De Shields Guest Stars on “New Amsterdam” season 3 episode 7: “The Legend of Howie Cournemeyer”

André De Shields

Tony winner André De Shields (Hadestown) guest stars as Dale Rustin in “The Legend of Howie Cournemeyer,” the seventh episode of the third season of  NBC’s “New Amsterdam,” and the forty-seventh episode overall. It will air on Tuesday, April 13, 2021. (10pm EST)

It’s National HIV Testing Day and Max has offered free care to all HIV+ patients who come to New Amsterdam. Max learns the truth about New Amsterdam’s gay blood ban and resolves to do something about it. Bloom and Reynolds butt heads over their opposing bedside manners. Iggy eagerly awaits the return of a friend. Sharpe discovers that she may need more hands on with her niece.

André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang
André De Shields. Photo by Lia Chang

André De Shields is the triple crown winner of the 2019 awards season, having won the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Tony Awards for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his critically acclaimed performance as Hermes in Hadestown. The Actors’ Equity Foundation followed suit with the Richard Seff Award, honoring veteran stage actors’ best supporting performances of the year. In 2020, Mr. De Shields received the 2020 Grammy Award for Musical Theater Album for Hadestown, the 2020 AUDELCO for Lifetime Achievement, an honorary Doctor of Arts Degree from Boston Conservatory at Berklee and the 2020 Red Bull Theater Matador Award for Excellence in Classical Theater. In 2019, he received the 2019 Project1Voice Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2019 SAGE Joyce Warshow Lifetime Achievement Award, The York Theatre Company’s 2019 Oscar Hammerstein Award for Lifetime Achievement in Musical Theatre, and was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. He received the Key to the City of Baltimore from Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young in August, 2019. Prior to his Tony Award win, Mr. De Shields was best known for his show-stopping performances in four legendary Broadway productions: The WizAin’t Misbehavin’ (Emmy Award), Play On! (Tony Nomination), and The Full Monty (Tony Nomination). In a career spanning fifty one years, he has distinguished himself as an unparalleled actor, director, and educator, receiving in 2018 the 8th Annual Off Broadway Alliance Legend Award, and the 33rd Annual Bob Harrington Life Achievement Bistro Award. Among his other accolades are the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival’s Living Legend Award and the 2007 Village Voice Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Performance. His film and TV projects include Anton Ego in Ratatouille: The TikTok Tok Musical, the Algebra Tutor in “John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch”  on Netflix, Chubby in “Katy Keene” on the CW, Wyndham on “Almost Family.” He can be heard on the podcasts Live From Mount Olympus as Hermes and One Speckled Hen. He can next be seen as Gavin Plimsoll in Charles Busch’s  new film, The Sixth Reel. De Shields is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA, and SDC. andredeshields.com

ABOUT NEW AMSTERDAM
In the wake of the ambulance crash that ended Season 1, medical director Dr. Max Goodwin grieves the death of his wife, Georgia, and learns the difficulties of being a single parent – all the while continuing his commitment to solve systemic health care issues at the hospital. Add in his new responsibilities as a father and with cancer still lingering in the rearview mirror, everyone around Max must wonder how long he can sustain this impossible load. But “How can I help?” is not just Max’s catchphrase, it’s his reason for living. As long as he’s helping others, Max is able to find hope in the most hopeless of places. The cast includes Ryan Eggold, Janet Montgomery, Freema Agyeman, Jocko Sims, Tyler Labine,  Anupam Kher, Christine Chang and Daniel Dae Kim.

David Schulner and Peter Horton executive produce along with Michael Slovis, David Foster, Aaron Ginsburg and Shaun Cassidy.

Broadwayworld: VIDEO: See André De Shields in the Promo for Upcoming NEW AMSTERDAM Episode

Hui Tong and Kelly Ng’s CURTAIN UP! Wins DisOrient 2021 Award for Best Feature Documentary

Congratulations to Hui Tong and Kelly Ng, who produced and directed Curtain Up!,  on their DisOrient 2021 Award for Best Feature Documentary, announced tonight at the closing night ceremony of the Festival.In America, every child of immigrants has an assimilation story, but not all of them include an opportunity to premiere the kids’ adaptation of hit musical “Frozen,” and the struggles with identity that come with it.

For over ten years now, the PS 124 theater club in New York’s Chinatown has been the only Asian-American team to compete at the renowned Junior Theater Festival, a gathering of young thespians from across the world. It even earned the privilege of being one of a select few schools nationally to premiere the kids production of Frozen. As the kids gear up for the much-anticipated show, Curtain Up! follows their lives behind the scenes and the challenges that have surfaced.

What can theater help these children uncover about who they are? Which cultural stereotypes does these kids prove, and which do they debunk? What unexpected turns will these kids be confronted with, as they present their final elementary school performance, before graduating into middle schools?

Through rehearsals and time behind the scenes, the experience of growing up and the heartbreaks that come with it, this charming documentary tackles deep questions of identity and transitions from a kids-eye view and will leave an audience provoked. This charming documentary will also underscore – amidst high-pitched voices and youthful exuberance – how much we can learn from these nine- and ten-year-olds.

You can purchase a ticket for Curtain Up! until 11:59pm PST/2:59am EST and you can watch it Click here to purchase a ticket to watch the film.

Hui Tong
Hui Tong

Hui Tong – Director/Producer

Hui Tong is a documentary filmmaker from Beijing and currently based in Beijing. Six years ago he came to the U.S. for college and developed a strong interest in the intersection of history, arts, and identity. He has been making narrative and documentary shorts since high school, and in writing covered Asian American identity issues. Curtain Up! is his first feature-length documentary.

He has just finished his first book on the issue of identity, through the lenses of Asian American, Chinese American, mainland Chinese and overseas Chinese students.

Kelly Ng
Kelly Ng

Kelly is a journalist and documentary filmmaker from Singapore, drawn particularly to stories on minority communities, education and mental health. Her video and written stories have been published on, The Atlantic, NBC, and South China Morning Post, among others. She spent most of her journalism life in print before venturing into documentaries. Curtain Up! Is her filmmaking debut.

Kelly continues to work on documentaries outside her full-time job as a correspondent at Singapore’s The Business Times.

Curtain Up! Website

 

Video: #NYCITFF2021 Q & A with RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON’s Qui Nguyen and Marc Schultz

New Ohio Theatre, located in Manhattan’s West Village, is presenting the 2021 NYC Indie Theatre Film Festival, showcasing over 30 shorts, features and web series episodes, running March 10 – 14.

The NYC Indie Theatre Film Festival presents work from New York City independent theatre artists defying labels and branching out into digital media and film. For 2021 they’re taking the festival online and opening it up to include indie theatre artists from across the United States. They’re excited to take advantage of the internet’s wide reach to meet a new, national community of fellow theatre artists and showcase new perspectives and voices from across the country. North and South. Coast to coast. This time, it’s national.

The NYC Indie Theatre Film Festival celebrated Opening Night of its 2021 edition on March 10 with a free, online interview and Q&A with playwright and screenwriter Qui Nguyen, co-writer of the new Disney film, Raya and the Last Dragon. The talk was moderated by Festival Co-Producer Marc Stuart Weitz, who says, “Qui has a wonderful perspective on being an artist in New York City and in Hollywood, and I know our audiences will be fascinated by his experience.”

Qui Nguyen is a playwright, TV/Film writer, and Co-Founder of the OBIE Award-winning Vampire Cowboys. For the screen, he’s written for AMC’s “Dispatches from Elsewhere,” Netflix’s “The Society,” Syfy’s “Incorporated,” PBS’s “Peg+Cat,” and Marvel Studios. He’s currently a screenwriter for Walt Disney Animation Studios where he penned the recent Raya and the Last Dragon starring Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina. Past awards include a 2016 Daytime Emmy Award, a 2016 Steinberg Award for his play Vietgone, and GLAAD nominations for his plays She Kills Monsters and Soul Samurai.

New Ohio Theatre’s Artistic Director Robert Lyons says, “I’ve known Qui for a long time now. Including the good fortune of co-writing a piece with him. He’s a singular talent and that’s why we invited Vampire Cowboys into our Archive Residency program, where they premiered Six Rounds of Vengeance in 2015. He is perfect as our Guest Artist for this festival as a quintessential indie theatre guy who’s making good in LA.”

“I’m so thrilled to partner on this year’s edition of the festival to help broaden its reach to a wider audience,” says Festival Co-Producer Allyson Morgan. “As a longtime partner of the festival with F*It Club’s annual Film Race, I am excited to bring both my theatre and film festival experience together to celebrate a nationwide community of artists in 2021.”

Festival passes are $35 and include admission to all screenings, Q&As and panels during the festival. To purchase, view screenings and events, and for more info go to https://nycitff2021.eventive.org.

A complete list and schedule of films and events, along with prices for individual tickets and blocks, will be announced at the end of February.

New Ohio Theatre is a two-time Obie Award-winning theatre under the leadership of Robert Lyons, Artistic Director, and Jaclyn Biskup, Creative Director. The New Ohio serves New York’s most adventurous theatre audiences by developing and presenting bold work from today’s vast independent theatre community. They believe the best of this community, the small artist-driven ensembles and the daring producing companies who operate without a permanent theatrical home, are actively expanding the boundaries of where American theatre is right now and where it’s going. From their home in the West Village’s historic Archive Building, the New Ohio provides a high-profile platform for downtown’s most mature, ridiculous, engaged, irreverent, gut-wrenching, frivolous, sophisticated, foolish and profound theatrical endeavors. For info visit http://NewOhioTheatre.org.

 

Video: Entertainment Weekly Presents Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella Reunion w/ Brandy, Whoopi Goldberg, Paolo Montalbán, Victor Garber, Bernadette Peters, Jason Alexander, and Veanne Cox

“Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella” is currently streaming exclusively on Disney+. The beloved televised movie musical stars Brandy in the title role and Whitney Houston as “Fairy Godmother” alongside Whoopi Goldberg (Queen Constantina), Victor Garber (King Maximillian), Natalie Desselle Reid (Minerva), Bernadette Peters (Stepmother), Paolo Montalbán (Prince Christopher), Jason Alexander (Lionel), and Veanne Cox (Calliope).

Jason Alexander, Paolo Montalbán, Brandy Norwood, Whitney Houston, Bernadette Peters, Natalie Desselle Reid, and Veanne Cox in Cinderella (Disney)

Originally premiering on November 2, 1997 to sixty million viewers during “The Wonderful World of Disney” on ABC,“Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella” became an instant fan favorite, beloved by critics and audiences alike and earning 7 Emmy Award nominations. Celebrated for its diverse representation, sweeping musical acts, and unforgettable song book, the 1997 film features an incredible array of beloved and original songs by the iconic songwriting duo Rodgers & Hammerstein, including “Impossible,” “In My Own Little Corner,” “Ten Minutes Ago,” “A Lovely Night,” “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?” and more.

Cast members Brandy, Paolo Montalbán, Whoopi Goldberg, Victor Garber, Bernadette Peters, Jason Alexander and Veanne Cox gathered for a Entertainment Weekly reunion to reminisce with Marcus Jones and celebrate the release.

In “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” when Cinderella’s cruel stepmother prevents her from attending the Royal Ball, she gets some unexpected help from her Fairy Godmother. The 1997 movie was directed by Robert Iscove, written by Robert I. Freedman, and choreographed by Rob Marshall. Whitney Houston, Debra Martin Chase, Craig Zadan, and Neil Meron served as Executive Producers. Chris Montan was a Producer and Robyn Crawford was an Associate Producer.

Disney+ is the dedicated streaming home for movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and more. As part of Disney’s Media and Entertainment Distribution segment, Disney+ is available on most internet-connected devices and offers commercial-free programming with a variety of original feature-length films, documentaries, live-action and animated series, and short-form content. Alongside unprecedented access to Disney’s incredible library of film and television entertainment, the service is also the exclusive streaming home for the latest releases from The Walt Disney Studios. Disney+ is available as part of a bundle offer that gives subscribers access to Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. Visit DisneyPlus.com to subscribe and/or learn more about the service.

About Richard Rodgers And Oscar Hammerstein II

After long and highly distinguished careers with other collaborators, Richard Rodgers (Composer, 1902-79) and Oscar Hammerstein II (Librettist/Lyricist, 1895-1960) joined forces in 1943 to create the most successful partnership in American Musical Theatre. Prior to joining forces, Rodgers collaborated with lyricist Lorenz Hart on musical comedies that epitomized wit and sophistication (Pal JoeyOn Your ToesBabes In Arms, and more), while Hammerstein brought new life to operetta and created the classic Show Boat with Jerome Kern.

Oklahoma!, the first Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, introduced an integrated form that became known as “the musical play.” Their shows that followed included CarouselSouth PacificThe King and I, and The Sound of Music. Collectively, the Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals have earned Tony, Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, Pulitzer and Olivier Awards. The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization is a Concord Company, www.concord.com.

Playbill.com:Paolo Montalban Scrapbook: Prince Christopher Shares Personal Photos From Filming Cinderella Entertainmentweekly.com: Cinderella star Paolo Montalban reveals how Whoopi Goldberg and Victor Garber could be the prince’s parents

Broadwaydirect.com: CINDERELLA’S PAOLO MONTALBÁN ON THE IMPORTANCE OF ITS DIVERSE CAST

Broadwayworld.com: VIDEO: Paolo Montalbán Visits Backstage LIVE with Richard Ridge

Theatermania.com: A Waltz Down Memory Lane With Cinderella’s Prince, Paolo Montalbán

Asianjournal.com: ‘Cinderella’ Starring Brandy, Fil-Am Actor Paolo Montalban To Stream On Disney+

Video: Cinderella Medley by Todrick, Starring Brandy and Featuring Victor Garber, Paolo Montalbán, Jason Alexander, Bernadette Peters, Veanne Cox, and Whoopi Goldberg

Todrick Hall has shared his latest YouTube video starring Brandy and featuring the cast of the Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella film adaptation including Victor Garber, Paolo Montalbán, Jason Alexander, Bernadette Peters, Veanne Cox, and Whoopi Goldberg.

Brandy, Paolo Montalbán, Whoopi Goldberg and Victor Garber (l-r) star in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA (Disney+)

The music video is a Cinderella medley to celebrate the release of the film, currently streaming on Disney+.

The beloved televised movie musical stars Brandy in the title role and Whitney Houston as “Fairy Godmother” alongside Whoopi Goldberg as Queen Constantina, Victor Garber as King Maximillian, Natalie Desselle Reid as Minerva, Bernadette Peters as Cinderella’s Stepmother, Paolo Montalbán as Prince Christopher, Jason Alexander as Lionel, and Veanne Cox as Calliope.

Jason Alexander, Paolo Montalbán, Brandy Norwood, Whitney Houston, Bernadette Peters, Natalie Desselle Reid, and Veanne Cox in Cinderella (Disney+)

Originally premiering on November 2, 1997 to sixty million viewers during “The Wonderful World of Disney” on ABC,“Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella” became an instant fan favorite, beloved by critics and audiences alike and earning 7 Emmy Award nominations. Celebrated for its diverse representation, sweeping musical acts, and unforgettable song book, the 1997 film features an incredible array of beloved and original songs by the iconic songwriting duo Rodgers & Hammerstein, including “Impossible,” “In My Own Little Corner,” “Ten Minutes Ago,” “A Lovely Night,” “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?” and more.

In “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” when Cinderella’s cruel stepmother prevents her from attending the Royal Ball, she gets some unexpected help from her Fairy Godmother. The 1997 movie was directed by Robert Iscove, written by Robert I. Freedman, and choreographed by Rob Marshall. Whitney Houston, Debra Martin Chase, Craig Zadan, and Neil Meron served as Executive Producers. Chris Montan was a Producer and Robyn Crawford was an Associate Producer.

Check out The Making of – Cinderella Medley Video.

Todrick Hall is a singer, songwriter, dancer, actor, choreographer, producer and social media influencer with over 3 million subscribers and 650 million views.

Hall has released three Number 1 Albums: Straight Outta Oz Deluxe, Forbidden & his most recent album Haus Party which will begin a world tour this October.

His Broadway credits include: Waitress, Kinky Boots, Chicago, The Color Purple and Memphis. Hall is a recurring judge and resident choreographer on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” He has choreographed videos for Beyoncé; written and starred in the Virgin America safety video, was featured in Taylor Swift’s record breaking music video “Look What You Made Me Do” and most recently he starred in/co-executive produced her latest video “You Need to Calm Down.”

Hall can be seen on other television shows, including: “Queer Eye,” “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “Dear White People,” “Bring It,” “Dance Moms,” “Catfish,” “Bob’s Burgers,” “American Idol,” “Muppet Babies” and is the star of the documentary Behind the Curtain on Netflix. @Todrick

Playbill.com:Paolo Montalban Scrapbook: Prince Christopher Shares Personal Photos From Filming Cinderella Entertainmentweekly.com: Cinderella star Paolo Montalban reveals how Whoopi Goldberg and Victor Garber could be the prince’s parents

Broadwaydirect.com: CINDERELLA’S PAOLO MONTALBÁN ON THE IMPORTANCE OF ITS DIVERSE CAST

Broadwayworld.com: VIDEO: Paolo Montalbán Visits Backstage LIVE with Richard Ridge

Theatermania.com: A Waltz Down Memory Lane With Cinderella’s Prince, Paolo Montalbán

Asianjournal.com: ‘Cinderella’ Starring Brandy, Fil-Am Actor Paolo Montalban To Stream On Disney+

Life Imitates Art for Emy Coligado with Dream Role in Mallorie Ortega’s THE GIRL WHO LEFT HOME

Emy Coligado. Photo by Dana Patrick

In 2018, Emy Coligado landed her dream role as Mary Santos in Mallorie Ortega’s The Girl Who Left Home (formerly Nanay Ko), a musical dramedy film about a Filipino-American who must put her dreams aside to keep her family restaurant from eviction.

The Girl Who Left Home also stars Haven Everly, Paolo Montalban, Liz Casasola, Lora Nicolas Olaes, Russwin Francisco, DonMike H. Mendoza, Toni Katano and Mitch Poulos.

A fan favorite on the Film Festival circuit last year, The Girl Who Left Home received the 2020 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Emerging Filmmaker Award and  the 2020 CAAMfest FOWARD Narrative Audience Award. GWLH will stream in 3 more film festivals this year:

March 4-14:  Seattle Asian American Film Festival  

Click here for tickets to watch nationwide.

March 19-28: Disorient Asian American Film Festival of Oregon

Click here for tickets to watch nationwide.

TBA

GirlWhoLeft.com Website

Emy Coligado got her start in the business in New York in musical theater and performed on Broadway in Miss Saigon. Coligado later discovered her love for comedy while in sketch comedy shows at Caroline’s Comedy Club and The Duplex. She moved to  LA to pursue tv/film, and is best known to television audiences from her recurring roles in the critically acclaimed FOX show, “Malcolm in the Middle” where she played Piama, the wife of the oldest son, Francis; and as Emmy on “Crossing Jordan.”

Emy Coligado and Christopher Masterson in “Malcolm in the Middle”. (FOX)

Other notable tv credits include “Claws,” “Fresh Off The Boat,” and “Shameless.” She has had a number of series regular roles on ABC and NBC pilots. Her films included The Three Stooges and Miss Congeniality 2 to name a few, and she has worked with directors such as the Farrelly Brothers, Wim Wenders & Howard Deutch.

In addition to GWLH, Coligado saw the release of two other films in 2020, Matthew Ya-Hsiung Balzer’s The Catch and Gina O’Brien’s First One In (on Amazon Prime), within a 2 month time span due to COVID.  Her latest guest starring roles include the new TV series Run The World (Starz) and Netflix’s Archive 81 series,  based on the supernatural horror podcast produced by James Wan’s Atomic Monster.

Emy’s performance in The Girl Who Left Home resonated with me, and she agreed to answer a few questions via email about her slate of indie releases.

Lia: How were you cast for each of the films released in 2020?

Emy: I booked The Catch through my manager and shot my scenes over nine days in Massachusetts in 2018. The Catch was challenging for me because my character, Lily McManus, didn’t have a ton of lines but her presence was very important to the story. Filling up the spaces is really left to the actor’s imagination and the director/cinematographer’s vision. Being comfortable with simplicity and quiet was something new for me.

First One In was exciting because it was a largely female cast with women of different backgrounds, body types, and ages. Having to play tennis and being the weakest player on the team was not a reach for me at all. It was fun because I didn’t have the pressure of having to look skilled. I could still concentrate on trying my best at keeping my eye on the ball and know that my natural lack of talent would come through. Haha! It was also wonderful to shoot in NYC (Long Island specifically) for the first time. I shot over a  ten day span in 2019.

I learned about The Girl Who Left Home (GWLH) through Backstage. I later found out that my tape was set aside because I wasn’t the right age range they were looking for. My friend Eymard Cabling knew the writer/director Mallorie Ortega. He recommended me and so they went back into their archives and found my audition.

Haven Everly, Emy Coligado and Paolo Montalban in Mallorie Ortega’s THE GIRL WHO LEFT HOME.
Emy Coligado

GWLH was special to me in many ways. I started my career in musical theater. I stopped singing for something like 15 years and concentrated on my tv/film career in LA. Then 2 years ago, I returned to NY in hopes of doing musical theatre again. GWLH is a musical film. So doing both wasn’t something I planned but was a happy melding of the two. It’s also a Filipino American story. I remember while I was shooting I had a whole new level of happiness. And what I realized was that my happiness was because I finally felt free. I was finally playing a role that was specifically Filipina and a lead role. I had never really had that opportunity in my 25 years of performing. So I guess you could say it was a dream come true that I didn’t dream of. My shooting schedule for GWLH was three weeks in Maryland.

Lia: Was there one particular film that resonated with you more? 

Emy: Most definitely GWLH. In the film, Mary loses her husband. The role is particularly special to me because my Dad had just passed away from pancreatic cancer. I moved out of LA and in with my mom to keep her company for 6 months. I had witnessed my own mom mourn her partner of more than 50 years. So loss was very much a part of my life during shooting. Art was imitating life or life was imitating art so to speak. The film is in dedication to Dad and an homage to Mom.

Lia: What was it like to pivot to virtual press and screenings?

Emy: I actually don’t have much experience with independent film to compare it to. But I will say, I enjoy doing interviews online. Getting ready is much easier. You only have to worry about the top half looking good. Commuting in traffic is out the window which I welcome any day. I do wish, however, that we could’ve done physical screenings. I was looking forward to GWLH especially because the cast and crew became so close. I haven’t attended a film festival with one of my own films yet so I hope that will be in my future.

GirlWhoLeft.com Website

Lia: How have you been managing through the pandemic?

Emy: Business-wise, not knowing when or if you’ll work again is something I have always dealt with. So that part of the pandemic, while not fun is also not new. Thank god for online readings. No, they aren’t the same but it is still a creative outlet & an opportunity to exercise my muscle. Personally, at this very moment I’m anxious. Life again is teaching me (and the world) that health is wealth. I’m not so much worried for my own but for some close people in my life. So I’m sending out good juju to them & anyone who needs it out there. I am so ready for 2021 & am just hoping for a year that is less “exciting.”

The Catch is a Manchester Film Festival official selection. It is available to view online in the UK in March 2021. Visit maniff.com

Lia Chang

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 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. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The CactusThe Language LessonThe Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

The Atlantic: In Conversation on “Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided to Go For It” with Rita Moreno and Director/producer Mariem Pérez Riera

Directed by Mariem Pérez Riera, Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It follows the star’s rich, decades-long career using vérité footage of Moreno today, archival footage of her roles and appearances, reenactments of her childhood, animation and new interviews. Despite becoming the first Latina actress to win an Oscar, studios continued to offer Moreno only roles as stereotypical ethnic minorities, ignoring her proven talent. Throughout her career, Moreno paved the way for Hispanic American performers by refusing to be pigeonholed into one-dimensional stereotypes. Film interviewees include George Chakiris, Hector Elizondo, Gloria Estefan, Tom Fontana, Morgan Freeman, Mitzi Gaynor, Whoopi Goldberg, Norman Lear, Eva Longoria, Justina Machado, Terrence McNally, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Karen Olivo and Tony Taccone. Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go For It is produced by Brent Miller, p.g.a., and is a production of American Masters Pictures and Act III Productions in association with Artemis Rising and Maramara Films.

Subject and star Rita Moreno and director and producer Mariem Pérez Riera sat down with Atlantic Culture writer Shirley Li. Their conversation touched on diversity and representation, instructive shared experiences from an exceptional life, why you are never as helpless as you think, and more.

Lia Chang

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 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. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2021 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Watch: American Masters: How It Feels To Be Free Documentary Celebrating Trailblazing Black Female Entertainers Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln, Diahann Carroll, Nina Simone, Cicely Tyson and Pam Grier on PBS

American MastersHow It Feels To Be Free tells the inspiring story of how six iconic African American female entertainers – Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln, Nina Simone, Diahann Carroll, Cicely Tyson and Pam Grier – challenged an entertainment industry deeply complicit in perpetuating racist stereotypes, and transformed themselves and their audiences in the process. The film, which is slated to premiere in early 2021 on PBS and on documentary Channel in Canada, features interviews and archival performances with all six women, as well as original conversations with contemporary artists influenced by them, including Alicia Keys, an executive producer on the project, Halle Berry, Lena Waithe, Meagan Good, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Samuel L. Jackson and other luminaries, as well as family members, including Horne’s daughter Gail Lumet Buckley.

Click here to watch the documentary.

Based on the book “How It Feels To Be Free: Black Women Entertainers and the Civil Rights Movement” by Ruth Feldstein, the film tells the story of how these six pioneering women broke through in an entertainment industry hell-bent on keeping them out and situates their activism as precursors to contemporary movements like #TimesUp, #OscarsSoWhite and #BlackLivesMatter. Award-winning director Yoruba Richen (The Green Book: Guide to FreedomPOV: Promised LandIndependent Lens: The New Black) examines the impact these trailblazing entertainers had on reshaping the narrative of Black female identity in Hollywood through their art and political activism while advocating for social change. The film highlights how each woman — singer, dancer and actress Lena Horne; jazz vocalist, songwriter and actress Abbey Lincoln; Tony-winning actress, singer and model Diahann Carroll; jazz, blues and folk singer Nina Simone; actress and model Cicely Tyson; and actress Pam Grier — harnessed their celebrity to advance the civil rights movement.

“These revolutionary Black women embody stories of courage, resilience and heroism. They fought for representation and economic, social and political equality through their artistry and activism,” said Michael Kantor, American Masters series executive producer. “We are proud to share the stories of how each left an indelible mark on our culture and inspired a new generation.”

Director Yoruba Richen said, “At this unprecedented time of racial reckoning and as Hollywood is reassessing its role in perpetuating racist stereotypes, now is the perfect moment to tell the stories of these path-breaking women who have inspired generations of Black female superstars—like Keys, Halle Berry, Issa Rae, Ava DuVernay and Lena Waithe—who continue to push boundaries and reshape how African American women are seen onscreen.”

Executive producer Alicia Keys added, “I am proud to be a part of such a meaningful, important project. Art is the most powerful medium on the planet, and I continue to be inspired by and learn from these powerful, brave and stereotype-shattering women who leveraged their success as artists to fearlessly stand up against racism, sexism, exclusion and harassment. I honor their courage by celebrating their stories and continuing the work they started.”

Harry Gamsu, Vice President of Non-Scripted Content Acquisitions, Fremantle, said, “Throughout the course of history, the stories of Black women have been consistently overlooked and ignored. Now we are witnessing incredible stories like these being told by Black women, and we are honored to be a partner in helping bring these voices to a global audience.”

Launched in 1986 on PBS, American Masters set the standard for documentary film profiles, accruing widespread critical acclaim and earning 28 Emmy Awards — including 10 for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series and five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special — 14 Peabodys, an Oscar, three Grammys, two Producers Guild Awards and many other honors. To further explore the lives and works of masters past and present, the American Masters website offers streaming video of select films, outtakes, filmmaker interviews, the American Masters Podcast, educational resources and more. The series is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET.

American Masters: How It Feels To Be Free is produced by Yap Films in association with American Masters Pictures, ITVSChicken & Egg Pictures and documentary Channel in Canada. Michael Kantor, Alicia Keys, Lacey Schwartz Delgado, Mehret Mandefro, Elliott Halpern and Elizabeth Trojian are executive producers. Yoruba Richen is director. Michael Kantor is executive producer of American MastersFremantle holds global distribution rights (ex-US and Canada) to the documentary. 

Lia Chang

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 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. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs. All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2021 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Conrad Ricamora Joins THE RESIDENT on FOX as Dr. Jake Wong

Conrad Ricamora (The King and I, Here Lies Love, “How to Get Away with Murder”) begins his recurring guest starring role as Dr. Jake Wong in the “Mina’s Kangaroo Court” episode of “The Resident” airing Tuesday, Jan. 19 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. 

Conrad Ricamora. Photo: How to Get Away with Murder/ABC.

Entering its fourth season, “The Resident” will shine a light on the daily heroism of our health care workers. The provocative medical drama follows the doctors and nurses at Chastain Memorial Hospital, as they face personal and professional challenges and fight for their patients’ health.

“The Resident” follows a group of doctors at Chastain Memorial Hospital, as they face personal and professional challenges on a daily basis. Matt Czuchry (Dr. Conrad Hawkins), Emily Vancamp (Nurse Practitioner Nicolette Nevin), Bruce Greenwood (Dr. Randolph Bell), Manish Dayal (Dr. Devon Pravesh), Shaunette Renée Wilson (Dr. Mina Okafor), Malcolm-Jamal Warner (Dr. AJ Austin), Jane Leeves (Dr. Kit Voss) and Morris Chestnut (Dr. Barrett Cain) make up the ensemble cast.

When Cain’s elective surgery patient returns with complications, Mina and Raptor butt heads over how to handle the situation. Conrad and Devon treat a local Congresswoman who withholds information that could prevent her from receiving proper treatment, causing Devon to open up about his grief. In the wake of losing many colleagues to the virus, Bell worries who would be there for him in a moment of crisis and finds himself mining his own past to find his estranged former stepson, elite plastic surgeon Dr. Jake Wong (Conrad Ricamora).  Bell attempts to bring Dr. Wong to Chastain to increase the number of world-class surgeries at the hospital and to repair their complicated past. Meanwhile, Logan Kim finds himself on the chopping block when the doctors are questioned about his actions during the pandemic.

Conrad Ricamora and the cast of SOFT POWER. Photo by Joan Marcus

Conrad Ricamora appeared for six seasons on “How to Get Away with Murder,” playing Oliver Hampton. He originated the role of Xue Xing in David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori’s revolutionary new musical Soft Power, which is a Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Ricamora’s nominations for Soft Power include a Lucille Lortel Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical,  a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical, and his second GRAMMY® nomination for his work as a soloist on the original cast recording. He received his first GRAMMY® for his turn as Lun Tha on the original cast recording of  Lincoln Center’s Tony Award®-winning Broadway revival of The King and I.

Conrad Ricamora as Lun Tha in Lincoln Center’s revival of THE KING AND I. Photo by Paul Kolnik
Conrad Ricamora in HERE LIES LOVE. Photo by Joan Marcus

As an activist, the Human Rights Campaign and Equality California both honored Ricamora with their Visibility Award, which recognizes the outstanding efforts of those who use their talent and visibility to help better the lives of LGBTQ people.

After graduating from acting school in 2012, he was cast as the revolutionary Filipino leader Ninoy Aquino in the award-winning David Byrne/Fat Boy Slim musical Here Lies Love, for which he won a Theatre World Award and a received a Lortel Award Nomination for Best Actor. His other Off Broadway and regional credits include Allegiance (Old Globe); Tartuffe, Woyzeck, FuddyMears (Clarence Brown Theatre); Romeo and Juliet (Utah Shakespeare Festival); The Taming of the Shrew (North Carolina Shakespeare Festival). Ricamora can also been seen in the feature films Light Of The Moon and Talladega Nights. He also voiced Houyi in Netflix’s Over the Moon.

“The Resident” is produced by 20th Television. The series’ executive producers include Todd Harthan, Andrew Chapman, Peter Elkoff, Amy Holden Jones, Rob Corn, Antoine Fuqua and Oly Obst.

Lia Chang

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 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. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The Cactus, The Language Lesson, The Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2021 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

Watch: Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman Perform ‘Deep Moaning Blues’ in MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM  

Watch Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman’s sensational performance of Deep Moaning Blues, as Gertrude ‘Ma’ Rainey and Levee in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Tensions and temperatures rise over the course of an afternoon recording session in 1920s Chicago as a band of musicians await trailblazing performer, the legendary “Mother of the Blues,” Ma Rainey (Academy Award® winner Viola Davis). Late to the session, the fearless, fiery Ma engages in a battle of wills with her white manager and producer over control of her music. As the band waits in the studio’s claustrophobic rehearsal room, ambitious trumpeter Levee (Chadwick Boseman) – who has an eye for Ma’s girlfriend and is determined to stake his own claim on the music industry – spurs his fellow musicians into an eruption of stories revealing truths that will forever change the course of their lives.

Michael Potts, Colman Domingo, Viola Davis, Glynn Turman, Chadwick Boseman. Photo by David Lee/Netflix

Adapted from two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s play, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom celebrates the transformative power of the blues and the artists who refuse to let society’s prejudices dictate their worth. Directed by George C. Wolfe and adapted for the screen by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, the film is produced by Fences Oscar® nominees Denzel Washington and Todd Black. Colman Domingo, Glynn Turman, Michael Potts, Taylour Paige and Dusan Brown co-star alongside Grammy® winner Branford Marsalis’ score.

Watch the film on Netflix.

Dec. 19: The August Wilson Society (AWS) and Howard University Will Present August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Virtual “Jam Session” Featuring Ebony Jo-Ann, Ruben Santiago Hudson, Phylicia Rashad, George C. Wolfe and Colman Domingo 

Lia Chang

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 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. She stars in and served as Executive Producer for the short independent films Hide and Seek, Balancing Act, Rom-Com Gone Wrong, Belongingness and When the World was Young. She is also the Executive Producer for The CactusThe Language LessonThe Writer and Cream and 2 Shugahs.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2020 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com