TALKS: The Asian American Composers & Lyricists Project’s Christine Toy Johnson

symphonyspace_460x285The Asian American Composers and Lyricists Project and ReImagined World Entertainment will present “Arriving In Asian America,” a song cycle collectively written by members of the project with original words and music by Adam Gwon, Timothy Huang, Christine Toy Johnson, Ming Aldrich-Gan, Hyeyoung Kim (with Michael Cooper), Leon Ko, Robert Lee, Yoonmi Lee (with Gaby Gold), Yan Li, Jason Ma, J. Oconer Navarro, Kamala Sankaram, Tidtaya Sinutoke (with Ty Defoe) and Jeff Tang. Directed by Dax Valdes. We spoke with Christine about what to expect and why she’s passionate about #DiversityOnStage.

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TALKS: Chairs and Long Table’s Jeena Yi

Photo Credit: Matthew Dunivan

Photo Credit: Matthew Dunivan

One of the reasons I love being apart of Arts in Color is seeing the successes of of up and comers and recent grads. We’ve been really fortunate to feature many students of color who are now makin’ it here in NYC, being apart of this crazy thing that we all love-theater! One of those recent grads is Columbia Alum Jeena Yi! Check out what she had to say about her most recent role in Ma-Yi Theater Company’s Chairs and a Long Table!

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TALKS: Indian Ink’s Bhavesh Patel

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Bhavesh Patel/Credit: Deborah Lopez

Bhavesh Patel’s star has been on the rise. You might remember him from War Horse at Lincoln Center. Or maybe you recognize him from one of the numerous guest spots he’s done over the past few years, including Elementary, Blue Bloods, White Collar, and The Good Wife. This month he can be seen in Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of Indian Ink. Read on to find out more about the show, acting with the great Rosemary Harris, and what Bhavesh’s parents thought of him becoming an actor.

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TALKS: Generations’ Elijah Caldwell

ElijahCaldwellArts in Color readers might remember Elijah Caldwell from last year’s behind the scenes peek at Showcase or as AIC’s tweeter. This month, he can be seen in Generations, currently playing at Soho Rep and extended for a second time! Read on to find out more about the show, his experiences with an all-black cast, and why you should come see this unique play.

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TALKS: Royal Fables’ Catherine Ang

Cathy as Sleeping Beauty/ Credit: Nick Luckenbaugh

Cathy as Sleeping Beauty/ Credit: Nick Luckenbaugh

Chinese-Filipina American actress Catherine Ang debuted the role of Sleeping Beauty in Royal Fables at the Access Theater on October 30th. Read the Q&A below to find out more about the show and Cathy’s experience creating a new kind of Sleeping Beauty!

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TALKS: Father Comes Home from the Wars (Part 1, 2 & 3)’s Jacob Ming-Trent

Jacob Ming-TrentJacob Ming-Trent is a household name across Broadway stages, regional theaters and even in London! State side you might have seen him compete to win a new truck in Hands on a Hardbody or perhaps you recognize him from the fairytale world of Shrek the Musical. This month Jacob can be found on stage in the new play by Pulitzer Prize & Tony Award winner Suzan-Lori Parks, Father Comes Home From the Wars (Part 1, 2 & 3) at The Public Theater. Check out the Q&A below to find out more about the show, Jacob’s experience in the play, working with Suzan-Lori Parks and more! Continue reading

TALKS: Fortress of Solitude’s Rebecca Naomi Jones

Rebecca Naomi Jones HeadshotYou know Rebecca Naomi Jones from American Idiot, Passing Strange, Murder Ballad and SO much more. This half Jewish, NY native has been making strides in the musical theater scene ever since she hit the stage and we cannot get enough. Lucky for us she’s gracing us with her presence this month at The Public Theater in the new musical Fortress of Solitude. Read on to find out about the classic music theater role she’d love to play, her pre show routine, working with the legendary Andre De Shields & more!

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TALKS: Grease’s Telly Leung

tellyheadTelly Leung. Name sound familiar? Well if not, it should be! Telly is an absolutely phenomenal performer of color who has been featured on Glee as Wes, a bevy of shows on Broadway (Godspell, Flower Drum Song) and regionally at Music Circus, PCLO and numerous others.

He is a Caregie Mellon University alum and is currently playing the role of the Teen Angel in Papermill’s popular production of Grease!

Keep reading for my exclusive audio interview with the Broadway and TV star!

 

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NEWS: Alive! 55 Plus and Kicking

images-1I recently had the chance to see Alive! Over 55 and Kicking , at the Dempsey Theater in Harlem. I thought the musical-revue was both inspiring and uplifting, not just because of the performance but because of the mission behind the musical.

The cast of Alive! is made up of individuals that are ages 55 and older, the oldest member being in his late 70’s! The musical covers songs that speak on perseverance and endurance, as cast members share their life stories and situations in which they overcame.

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TALKS: The Songs of Lyons & Pakchar’s Douglas Lyons

Douglas LyonsWhat are you doing on the evening of Monday April 14th? Well you should be heading to 54 Below at 9:30 to check out Who We Are: The Songs of Lyons & Pakchar featuring music by Douglas Lyons and Ethan Pakchar. You may have recently seen Lyons on Broadway in Beautiful: The Carol King Musical, and Pakchar is a guitarist and composer who has played for Broadway shows such as Wicked and Book of Mormon. Together, they have developed a catalogue of pop/R&B music that will be performed by many incredible artists including Tony Award winner Lillias White (The Life, Fela), Ben Platt (“Pitch Perfect,” The Book of Mormon), Naturi Naughton (3LW, “Notorious,” “Fame”), Katie Thompson (Giant), Robin De Jesus (In the Heights), Christine Dwyer (Wicked),Mykal Kilgore (Motown), Nic Rouleau (The Book of Mormon), Felicia Boswell (Memphis), Tamika Sonja Lawrence(If/Then), Daniel Torres (Evita), John Brink (Les Misérables) and many more.

Find out more about Douglas Lyons, his upcoming show, and his collaboration with Ethan Pakchar below!

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TALKS: Next to Normal’s Kevin Ray Johnson

New Headshot by William WaybournKevin Ray Johnson is one of few Black actors to be cast in the Pulitzer Prize winning rock musical Next to Normal on the regional level. In fact, including his most recent production, he’s been in the production four times! Each time performing the role of the Doctor from as far as Alaska to, currently, Maryland. There also happens to be another artist of color in the show!

Keep reading to learn more about his experience and how race does/n’t play a part of the process.

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NEWS: ‘Token’ a new web-series

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(L to R) Vandit Bhatt, Nick Maccarone, Sarah Stephens, Natasha Soto-Albors

“Token” a new web-series created by Sarah Stephens will hit the inter-webs this spring.   A show similar to the popular Canadian TV series “Slings and Arrows”, but with a cast of characters truly as diverse as the world we live in, it’s a step in the right direction as we take the lead in telling our own stories.  Arts in Color got an opportunity to speak with Stephens to discuss her inspiration behind the web-series and it’s relevance to our community today.

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