Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Tony Award Winner Lea Salonga Leads Stellar Cast in First All-Filipino Concert for Philippine Development Foundation, “PhilDev Celebrates Broadway: Suites by Sondheim” at Alice Tully Hall

Lea Salonga

Lea Salonga

Tony Award Winner Lea Salonga leads stellar cast in first All-Filipino concert to benefit the Philippine Development Foundation (“PhilDev”), PhilDev Celebrates Broadway: Suites by Sondheim,” directed by Victor Lirio, on Monday, November 7th, 2011 at 7:30PM,at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center in New York. Tom Myron will serve as conductor and music director.

PhilDev, a US-based non-profit organization, develops much-needed programs and supports initiatives that accelerate the sustainable social and economic growth in the Philippines through science and technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship. In addition, it is the major conduit for Filipino Americans to support education and training, arts and culture, enterprise and livelihood, the environment, healthcare, rural development, governance, persons with special needs, and women’s and children’s issues in the Philippines.

Orville Mendoza

Orville Mendoza

The concert—conceived and co-produced by actor, director, and producer Victor Lirio, artistic director of Diverse City Theater Co. (DCT), and PhilDev Trustee Ronna Reyes Sieh—will be the first New York gala for PhilDev. It also marks the first all-Filipino concert at Lincoln Center presenting top Filipino-American talents who have all made marks on Broadway in leading roles.

Rona Figueroa

Rona Figueroa

The evening’s repertoire will be devoted to the works of internationally celebrated American composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim and will include songs from some of Sondheim’s iconic musicals such as Anyone Can Whistle, Company, A Little Night Music, Merrily We Roll Along, Saturday Night, Sunday in the Park with George, Sweeney Todd, West Side Story, among others.

Ariel Estrada

Ariel Estrada

In a letter Sondheim wrote to Lirio, he expressed: “I am delighted that you want to devote an evening to my work. Thank you so much for the compliment.”

Tony® Award winner Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Flower Drum Song, Disney’s Mulan and Aladdin) leads an impressive cast of Filipino-American Broadway stars. Joining her are Joan Almedilla (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables); Alan Ariano (Miss Saigon, The Encounter); Emy Baysic (Miss Saigon, Mamma Mia); T.V. Carpio (Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark, Across the Universe); Angel Desai (Company, The Tempest); Ali Ewoldt (Les Miserables, West Side Story); Rona Figueroa (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Lennon, Nine); Lydia Gaston (The King & I, Miss Saigon); Adam Jacobs (Les Miserables, The Lion King); Jose Llana (The King & I, Spelling Bee, The Flower Drum Song opposite Lea Salonga, Wonderland); Orville Mendoza (Pacific Overtures, Miss Saigon); Paolo Montalban (Pacific Overtures, The King & I, ABC/Disney’s Cinderella as Prince Charming opposite Brandy); Emily Morales (Lincoln Center’s South Pacific); Jennifer Paz (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Joseph … Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar); Diane Phelan (South Pacific, West Side Story) and company members Aaron Albano, Marie France Arcilla, Ester Barroso, Billy Bustamante, Liz Casasola, Karl Josef Co, Marc dela Cruz, Ariel Estrada, Albert Guerzon, Joanne Javien, Brian Jose, Jaygee Macapugay, Mel Maghuyop, Jake Manabat, Adam Marcelo, JP Moraga, Lora Nicolas, Catherine Ricafort, Enrico Rodriguez, Chris-Ian Sanchez, and Melissa Singson.

Jaygee Macapugay

Jaygee Macapugay

Victor Lirio, who also produced Salonga’s sold-out and critically-acclaimed Carnegie Hall concert debut in November 2005, commented: “Sondheim’s works are some of the greatest in the musical theater canon and it is a privilege to breathe life into some of his iconic works. I am grateful to him for giving us this tremendous opportunity. We are looking forward to sharing with the New York audiences our expression of his work.”

Alan Ariano

Alan Ariano

He added: “A vital part of PhilDev’s mandate is to raise the profile of the Filipinos in the global landscape. This is a dream cast. I am grateful to be working with them again in support of PhilDev’s mission. Furthermore, this concert will underscore the contributions Filipino artists have made to America’s rich and diverse theater culture.”

Last year, Lirio produced the first New York Filipino-American theater festival, The Pearl Project, at Theatre Row. He also directed a concert presentation of a musical based on Filipino writer and revolutionary Carlos Bulosan, Long Season, by Chay Yew and Fabian Obispo at PhilDev’s 2010 gala in San Francisco, attended by Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III.

Victor Lirio

Victor Lirio

Lirio founded Diverse City Theater, a non-profit theater company in New York City, in 2003. He directed the New York Times-acclaimed production of Warren Bodow’s Race Music, award-winning playwright Cassandra Medley’s Noon Day Sun (Time Out New York Critic’s Pick) earning several nominations for the Audelco Awards including Best Dramatic Production of the Year and Best Play. For DCT, he has developed and produced over 18 original plays, in nine critically-acclaimed productions in six seasons, since 2005.

Joan Almedilla

Joan Almedilla

Music director Tom Myron is an American composer, arranger, and conductor who is active in the fields of live concert performance and independent film. Tom’s work is heard regularly at Carnegie Hall and Jazz at Lincoln Center where he has written charts for singers Marilyn Horne, Kate Pierson, Rosanne Cash, Andrea McArdle, Phyllis Newman, Kelli O’Hara, Christiane Noll, among others; composer/pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi; cellist/composer David Darling; and popular ensembles such as the New York Pops, the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, and the band Le Vent du Nord. His film scores include Wilderness & Spirit, A Mountain Called Katahdin, and Henry David Thoreau: Surveyor of the Soul.

Jose Llana

Jose Llana

Tickets can be purchased at the Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center box office located at 70 Lincoln Center Plaza in New York City, online at www.lincolncenter.org, or by calling CenterCharge at 212-721-6500. Ticket prices are $100, $150, $250, and $500. Limited patron/VIP subscriber seats of $1,000 are available which includes a pre-concert VIP reception by contacting Rene Encarnacion at rene@phildev.org or 650-288-3937. 100% of net proceeds will benefit Philippine Development Foundation.

Adam Jacobs

Adam Jacobs

ABOUT PHILDEV:
Formerly known as Ayala Foundation USA, PhilDev is a public charity registered with the United States Internal Revenue Service as a 501 (c) 3 tax-exempt organization. It focuses on building an ecosystem of science and technology-based entrepreneurship and innovation for social and economic development in the Philippines. As part of its commitment to diaspora philanthropy, PhilDev also generates resources from U.S.-based donors for non-profit organizations in the Philippines.
For more information about PhilDev, visit www.phildev.org.

Other articles by Lia Chang
Portraits of New York Chinatown After 9/11 Featured in “Post 9/11”: Commemorative Display at Library of Congress Asian Reading Room, 8/30-9/15
Up Close and Personal with Rick Shiomi, Award-winning Playwright & Artistic Director of Mu Performing Arts
Goodman Theatre World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Broadway Bound “Chinglish” Scores 5 Jeff Award Nods
Mu Performing Arts 2011-2012 20th Anniversary Season: Four Destinies, Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them, Into the Woods, & Mu Daiko 15th Anniversary Concert
Photos: Christine Toy Johnson, Angela Lin, Louis Ozawa Changchien, Jake Manabat, David Shih in Jen Silverman’s Crane Story at The Cherry Lane
The Playwrights Realm Presents Jen Silverman’s CRANE STORY at the Cherry Lane Theatre, 9/6-10/1
The Play Company Presents the Off-Broadway Run of Jonas Hassen Khemiri’s INVASION! at The Flea featuring Francis Benhamou, Andrew Guilarte, Bobby Moreno, Nick Choksi, 9/6-10/1
Henry Chang, Paula Bomer, Juliann Garey & Alex Shakar during Lit Crawl at Scratcher on 9/10
Extended through 8/23- “In Rehearsal” Lia Chang Theater Portfolio at Library of Congress Featuring Robert Lee and Leon Ko’s Heading East Starring BD Wong, Thom Sesma as Scar in The Lion King Las Vegas
Lia Chang Theater Portfolio at Library of Congress Features Photos of Thom Sesma’s Makeup Transformation as Scar in Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas, Robert Lee and Leon Ko’s Heading East Starring BD Wong, David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish, and Samrat Chakrabarti and Sanjiv Jhaveri’s Bakwas Bumbug! on View Through August 2
OCA Awards Gala Photos: David Henry Hwang, Tamlyn Tomita, BD Wong, Dr. Bobby Fong & Tammy Duckworth
Broadwayworld.com Photo Flash: Library of Congress’ IN REHEARSAL Exhibit
Photos: Rick Shiomi Checks out Performing Arts Playwrights Series in the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection of Library of Congress; Attends “Asian American Plays for a New Generation” Book Signing in NY on 7/29
broadwayworld.com: Chinglish in Rehearsal
Coming to America through The Angel Island Immigration Station
Celebrating my mom – AN ACTIVE VISION: BEVERLY UMEHARA…LABOR ACTIVIST…1945-1999
H I R O S H I M A in Benefit Concert for Japan on 9/21 at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in NY
Photo Preview of BD Wong and the Cast of Heading East at the Asia Society, May 24-26, 2010
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, performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multimedia journalist.
As a photographer and videographer, Chang has been documenting her colleagues and contemporaries in the arts, fashion and journalism since making her stage debut as Liat in the National Tour of South Pacific, with Robert Goulet and Barbara Eden. Chang was featured as Joy in the Signature Theater Company’s revival of Sam Shepard’s 1965 Obie award winning play, Chicago directed by Joseph Chaikin at the Public Theater. She 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 and Taxman. Chang currently plays Nurse Lia on “One Life to Live”.

Chang’s portraits and performance photos have appeared in Vanity Fair, Gourmet, German Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, The Paris Review, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre, Broadwayworld.com, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle, Timeout.com, Villagevoice.com, Playbill.com, Theatermania.com, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Boston Globe, New York Times and Washington Post.
Selections of Chang’s archive of Asian Pacific Americans in the arts, fashion, journalism, politics and space are now in the newly created LIA CHANG THEATER PORTFOLIO in the ASIAN PACIFIC AMERICAN PERFORMING ARTS COLLECTION housed in the Library of Congress Asian Division’s Asian American Pacific Islander Collection. Photographs by Lia Chang are in the permanent collections of the Angel Island Immigration Station, Asian American Federation of New York (AAFNY), the Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA) in San Francisco, Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA), the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation Art Collection and the New York Historical Society.
A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Chang is the New York Bureau Chief for AsianConnections.com. She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog.

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