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Nov. 27: BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG: Books of Wonder Launch of Maulik Pancholy’s NIKHIL OUT LOUD with Jesse Tyler Ferguson will air on FIOS 34, RCN 83, and Spectrum 56/1996

Lia Chang, co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, has launched her latest venture, BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, an Arts and Entertainment program produced weekly at the studios of MNN.org.

Lia Chang and Maulik Pancholy at the Books of Wonder Book Launch of his new middle grade novel, NIKHIL OUT LOUD in New York on October 11, 2022.

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, an award-winning filmmaker, and a photo activist and documentarian, who lifts up and amplifies BIPOC communities and artists and the institutions that support them. Bev’s Girl Films collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.

The twelfth episode of BACKSTAGE PASS with Lia Chang, executive produced and hosted by Lia, will air on November 27 at 6:30 pm (EST) on FIOS 34, RCN 83, and Spectrum 56/1996. If you miss the episode, it will be archived on my youtube channel.

Books of Wonder in New York. Photo by Lia Chang

On this edition of Backstage Pass with Lia Chang, I observed “National Coming Out Day” at Books of Wonder in New York with the launch of Nikhil Out Loud, the sophomore offering by Award winning actor and author Maulik Pancholy, that tells the story of a gay Indian American boy who learns the power of using his voice.

Maulik Pancholy at the New York Book Launch of his new middle grade novel, NIKHIL OUT LOUD, at Books of Wonder on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Maulik was joined by his friend and colleague, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, best known for his role as Mitchell on “Modern Family,” who received the 2022 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in Richard Greenberg’s Take Me Out, and can been seen in the remounted Broadway revival at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre through February 5, 2023. They chatted about Maulik’s inspiration for writing the book, the power of representation and so much more.

Maulik Pancholy and Jesse Tyler Ferguson at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Maulik Pancholy and Jesse Tyler Ferguson at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Maulik Pancholy and Jesse Tyler Ferguson at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Maulik Pancholy and Jesse Tyler Ferguson at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Maulik Pancholy and Jesse Tyler Ferguson at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Maulik Pancholy and Jesse Tyler Ferguson at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Maulik’s husband, Ryan Corvaia,  Founder & Owner, Dish Food & Events, surprised him with these adorable Nikhil Out Loud cookies.

Ryan Corvaia surprised his husband, Maulik Pancholy with NIKHIL OUT LOUD cookies. Photo by Lia Chang
Ryan Corvaia surprised his husband, Maulik Pancholy with NIKHIL OUT LOUD cookies. Photo by Lia Chang
Ryan Corvaia surprised his husband, Maulik Pancholy with NIKHIL OUT LOUD cookies. Photo by Lia Chang

The crowd who came for the book launch filled Books of Wonder to capacity and included his mom, his in-laws, cousins, friends and fans.

Maulik Pancholy with his mom at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Maulik Pancholy with his mom, husband, Ryan Corvaia and in-laws at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Maulik Pancholy with his HarperCollins Team at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Maulik was signing books for a line that spanned the length of the store when I left early to make my 8:00pm curtain for the Broadway revival of the Tanya Richardson Jackson helmed The Piano Lesson starring Samuel L. Jackson, John David Washington, Danielle Brooks, Michael Potts and more.

The packed house at Books of Wonder for Maulik Pancholy’s Book Talk with Jesse Tyler Ferguson in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang
Maulik Pancholy signing a copy of NIKHIL OUT LOUD at Books of Wonder in New York on October 11, 2022. Photo by Lia Chang

Since the launch in New York, Maulik has been on a book tour across the country. Tonight, Maulik will discuss and sign his new middle grade novel Nikhil Out Loud with Linda Hurtado Bond at 6:30 p.m. at the Oxford Exchange, 420 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. Click here for Tickets – $5 for admission or $17.99 for admission and a copy of the book.

Click here to purchase the book.

Maulik’s debut middle grade novel, The Best At It, is a Stonewall Honor Award winner and is in development for television at HBO Max.

About the book:
Thirteen-year-old Nikhil Shah is the beloved voice actor for Raj Reddy on the hit animated series Raj Reddy in Outer Space. But being a star on TV doesn’t mean you have everything figured out behind the scenes. . . .

When his mom temporarily moves them to the small town in Ohio where she grew up to take care of Nikhil’s sick grandfather, Nikhil feels as out of orbit as his character.

Nikhil’s fame lands him the lead in the school musical, but he’s terrified that everyone will realize he’s a fraud once they find out he has stage fright. And when a group of conservative parents start to protest, making it clear they’re not happy with an openly gay TV star being in the starring role, Nikhil feels like his life would be easier if only he could be Raj Reddy full-time.

Then Nikhil wakes up one morning and hears a crack in his voice, which means his job playing Raj will have to come to an end. Life on earth is way more complicated than life on television. And some mysteries—like new friendships or a sick grandparent or finding the courage to speak out about what’s right—don’t wrap up neatly between commercial breaks.

Maulik Pancholy is an award-winning actor whose career has spanned hit television shows, animated series, the Broadway stage, and films.

He played Alec Baldwin’s intrepid assistant Jonathan on the Emmy®, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award-winning NBC comedy 30 Rock; Sanjay on the Showtime hit series Weeds; and Neal on the NBC comedy Whitney. His numerous recurring and guest starring roles include Only Murders in the Building, The Good Fight, Dynasty, Star Trek: Discovery, Elementary, Friends from College, The Good Wife, Web Therapy, The Comeback, The Sopranos, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. For his work on television, he has been nominated for and won the Screen Actors Guild Award on multiple occasions.

Pancholy has entertained both children and adults as the voice of Baljeet on the Emmy® award-winning Disney animated series Phineas & Ferb, and as the title voice of Sanjay on Nickelodeon’s Sanjay & Craig. He is the voice of Ranjeet on Disney Junior’s Mira, Royal Detective and can be heard on the Netflix series Q-Force and the upcoming Netflix series Ghee Happy.

He has appeared in blockbuster films such as 27 Dresses and Hitch, and his many theater credits include starring on Broadway opposite Matthew Broderick and Martin Short in Terrence McNally’s It’s Only A Play, playing opposite Ed Harris in David Rabe’s Good For Otto, and starring in the Tony-nominated production of Bess Wohl’s Grand Horizons at the Helen Hayes Theatre on Broadway. Most recently, he starred in J.C. Lee’s To My Girls at 2nd Stage Theater, directed by Stephen Brackett.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer, activist and an Award winning filmmaker and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Lia is also the host and Executive Producer of BACKSTAGE PASS WITH LIA CHANG, a new Arts and Entertainment program that airs on Sundays at 6:30pm on FIOS 34, RCN 83, Spectrum 56/1996.

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. Her short film, When the World Was Young recently garnered a 2021 DisOrient Film Audience Choice Award for Best Short Narrative. 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. 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. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2022 Lia Chang Multimedia, unless otherwise indicated. 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, unless otherwise indicated. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at backstagepasswithliachang@gmail.com.