Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang: Finding his way in The Yellow Wood

A new musical, The Yellow Wood, by Michelle Elliott and Danny Larsen, has taken root at The Acorn Theatre in New York. Directed by BD Wong and presented by the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF) and Gold Modern, performances run through October 1, 2007.

Randy Blair, Jason Tam and Caissie Levy in The Yellow Wood. Photo by Lia Chang

Randy Blair, Jason Tam and Caissie Levy in The Yellow Wood. Photo by Lia Chang

The triple threats Wong has assembled for his directorial debut include Jason Tam, Yuka Takara, MaryAnn Hu, Randy Blair, Caissie Levy, Paul Clausen, Jill Abramovitz, Elizabeth Lundberg, Sean Bradford, Dennis Moench, Scot Fedderly, and Marnie Schulenburg.
Jason Tam and Caissie Levy in The Yellow Wood. Photo by Lia Chang

Jason Tam and Caissie Levy in The Yellow Wood. Photo by Lia Chang

Jason Tam stars as seventeen-year-old Adam, a biracial Korean American with ADD. It’s a brand new school day, and Adam decides not to take his Ritalin to prove to himself he has beaten his disorder. He’s also saddled with taking care of his brainy little sister Gwen (Yuka Takara) on her first day at his school, navigating the class president elections with his best friend, Casserole (Randy Blair) and trying to memorize Robert Frost’s poem ‘The Road Not Taken’ to recite for his English class. Struggling to get past the first line ‘Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…’ his hyperactive imagination takes hold and manifests itself in all kinds of scenarios in a yellow wood that has appeared. While trying to get the poem completely memorized by seventh period, he makes a connection with Willis (Caissie Levy) who has ADD and has stopped taking her Ritalin too. Encouraging him to follow his impulsive urges, they embark on a fantastical journey, while he attempts to embrace his Koreanness, reconcile his dysfunctional family relationships and his ADD.
Jason Tam and MaryAnn Hu in The Yellow Wood. Photo by Lia Chang

Jason Tam and MaryAnn Hu in The Yellow Wood. Photo by Lia Chang


The Yellow Wood has a fresh appeal with tunes that continued to stick in my memory long after I had left the theater. As Adam, Tam effectively evokes angst and confusion, followed by acceptance and understanding as he comes to terms with all of his different parts. He and Caissie Levy as Willis have a sweet energy together as she encourages him to break out. Yuka Takara is a petite powerhouse as Gwen, Randy Blair is hysterical as Casserole, Jill Abramovitz is deliciously evil as the wicked English teacher and Mary Ann Hu’s rendition of the song ‘On a Roof in Korea’ has a special resonance.

Performances are at The Acorn Theatre at 410 West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenue. Limited engagement through October 1; remaining shows are September 25 @ 4:30pm, 28 @ 8pm, 29 @ 1pm and October 1 @ 4:30pm. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased through http://www.nymf.org or by calling 212-352-3101.

Other Articles by Lia Chang
NYMF: Prison Dancer starring Jose Llana, Jeigh Madjus, Marc delaCruz, Catherine Ricafort, Moses Villarama, Cosmo Clemens, Enrico Rodriguez, Albert Guerzon, Andrew Eisenman and Nathan Ramos at Theatre at St. Clement’s, July 20-28, 2012
Three Year Swim Club, Encounter, TEA, Christmas in Hanoi and Chess set for East West Players 47th Anniversary Season
Photos: All-Access Pass to Disney’s Aladdin at The Muny with Thom Sesma, Francis Jue, Robin De Jesus, John Tartaglia, Jason Graae, Curtis Holbrook, Eddie Korbich, Samantha Massell and Ken Page
Rick Shiomi helms Mu Performing Arts’ Asian American Cast of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods at Park Square Theatre in St. Paul, July 17-August 5, 2012
Daniel Hsia’s Shanghai Calling, Simon Yin’s Supercapitalist & Michael Kang’s Knots to Screen at 35th annual Asian American International Film Festival (AAIFF) in New York, which runs July 25 – August 5, 2012
Dian Kobayashi, Emily Kuroda and Jeanne Sakata set for Daniel Akiyama’s A Cage of Fireflies at 2012 Sundance Institute Theatre Lab
Epic Theatre Presents Jeanne Sakata’s Hold These Truths, starring Joel de la Fuente, May 20-21, 2012
Performing Arts Images from the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection on Display at the Library of Congress to Celebrate APA Heritage Month
Photos: Yellow Fever Playwright Rick Shiomi Explores New Territory with An All-Female Cast
Tony Award – winning Playwright Terrence McNally to be Honored at Westport Country Playhouse Annual Gala, September 24, 2012
Richard Thomas and Boyd Gaines to star in An Enemy of the People at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre during Manhattan Theatre Club’s 2012-2013 Season
Multimedia: Exclusive photos and video of Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas -In the Makeup Chair with Thom Sesma
Photos: BD Wong, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Brandon Victor Dixon, Tom Viola at “Passing It On: An Evening of Mentorship to Benefit Rosie’s Theater Kids”
Photos: Highlights of Shinsai: Theaters for Japan (3pm) with Andre Bishop, Mary Beth Hurt, Jennifer Lim, Angela Lin, Philip Kan Gotanda, Thom Sesma, Sab Shimono, Richard Thomas, Jay O. Sanders, and more
Photos: Highlights of Shinsai: Theaters for Japan (8pm) with Oskar Eustis, Patti LuPone, Lisa Emery, Ann Harada, Paolo Montalban, Thom Sesma, Sab Shimono, Henry Stram, Richard Thomas, John Weidman and more
Photos: In Rehearsal with Director Bartlett Sher and the cast of Shinsai: Theaters for Japan
David Henry Hwang Set as Signature Theatre’s Residency One Playwright for the 2012-2013 Season
Photos: In Rehearsal with BD Wong at Dixon Place for Live Concert Recording of Herringbone
Photos: David Henry Hwang, Oskar Eustis, BD Wong, Brian d’Arcy James, Francis Jue, Jennifer Lim and Leigh Silverman at WNYC’s The Greene Space
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang. Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography

Lia Chang. Photo by Brianne Michelle Photography


Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist.
All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2012 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

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow Backstage Pass with Lia Chang on WordPress.com