Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang: Mu Performing Arts’ Little Shop of Horrors on 2 ‘Best of‘ Lists; Women in Arts Panel on 1/29, in Conjunction with Mu Daiko’s 15th Anniversary Concert and Tour

Congratulations to Mu Performing Arts, currently celebrating its 20th Anniversary mainstage season, which continues its string of ‘Best of’ top end of year picks with last year’s musical offering, Little Shop of Horrors. In the last three seasons, seven out of nine productions have been listed on end of year lists.

Sara Ochs as Audrey and Randy Reyes as Seymour in the Mu Performing Arts production of Little Shop of Horrors.   Photo by Michal Daniel

Sara Ochs as Audrey and Randy Reyes as Seymour in the Mu Performing Arts production of Little Shop of Horrors. Photo by Michal Daniel


Graydon Royce of The Minneapolis Star Tribune, writes,
“Little Shop of Horrors,” Mu Performing Arts
“Heart, charm and humor wrapped up in a dopey musical about a human-eating plant.This show demonstrated how far Mu has come. Jennifer Weir directed and actors Randy Reyes, Sara Ochs and Kurt Kwan led the cast.”
http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/stageandarts/136113038.html
Megan Snyder, Kim Egan and Sheena Janson as Audrey II in the Mu Performing Arts production of Little Shop of Horrors. Photo by Michal Daniel
Dominic P. Papatola of the St. Paul Pioneer Press writes,
“Theater 2011: ‘Best’ missed the test. Here are 10
productions that made a difference”
“As I wrote in my March review, “If you’re in the mood to call out differences, you could note that Mu Performing Arts’ production of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ features an Asian-American cast and that the role of homicidal houseplant Audrey II — usually voiced by a deep-voiced male — is played by a sultry femme fatale. But if you’re simply in the mood to enjoy a top-notch production of Howard Ashman’s comedy-horror musical, then nothing in the above sentence matters.” Helped along by stellar leading performances by Sara Ochs (as the dim-but- lovable Audrey) and Randy Reyes (as the geeky flower-shop employee Seymour), Jennifer Weir’s sprightly staging made the seemingly subversive casting choices seem perfectly logical and normal. In that regard, “Little Shop” was a great step forward both for Mu and for local audiences.” http://www.twincities.com/stage/ci_19640357

Women in Arts Panel (January 29) and Mu Daiko 15th Anniversary Concert (February 9-12) and Tour (February 16-19)

In February, Mu Performing Arts presents Mu Daiko, Minnesota’s foremost taiko drumming ensemble, as it returns to the Mcknight Theatre At Ordway Center For Performing Arts, 345 Washington St. in St Paul, MN., to present its 15th anniversary concert. Starring Hanayui from KODO, legendary Odaiko soloist, Yoshikazu Fujimoto and featuring North American guest artists, Tiffany Tamaribuchi and Megan Chao Smith. The first weekend of performances (February 9-12) will feature Mu Daiko in concert. The second weekend (February 16-19) will feature Mu Daiko along with special guests. Click below for information on performance schedules, tickets and special guest artists.
Mu Daiko 15th Anniversary Concert and Minnesota Tour, February 9-19, 2012

In conjunction with Mu Daiko’s 15th Anniversary Concert, Mu Performing Arts is hosting a free community forum, entitled “Women in the Arts,” that discusses women and their roles and impact on the arts, on January 29, 2012, at St. Catherine University, St. Paul Campus, Mendel 106 Lecture Hall, near the corner of Prior and Randolph Avenue in St. Paul at 1pm. Co-sponsored by St. Catherine University, the event is a continuation of Mu’s forum series that expands on issues touched upon by the company’s mainstage productions throughout the year.

Mu has organized a diverse panel of notable women, including Mu Daiko Artistic Director Iris Shiraishi, whose work and leadership have influenced the arts, as well as the role of women in society. The forum will be moderated by Hui Niu Wilcox, Ph.D., an Associate Professor of Sociology, Women’s Studies and Critical Studies of Race/ Ethnicity at St. Catherine University.

The Mu Performing Arts 2011-2012 season is sponsored by General Mills.
Mu Performing Arts Website

Related Articles
Mu Daiko 15th Anniversary Concert and Minnesota Tour, February 9-19, 2012
Photos: Yellow Fever Playwright Rick Shiomi Explores New Territory with An All-Female Cast
Photos: Opening Night of Mu Performing Arts’ Katie Hae Leo’s Four Destinies
Photos: Backstage at Mu Performing Arts’ Four Destinies by Katie Hae Leo
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
Up Close and Personal with Rick Shiomi, Award-winning Playwright & Artistic Director of Mu Performing Arts
Photos: On the town with Rick Shiomi, Co-Editor of “Asian American Plays for a New Generation”, in D.C. & NY
Temple Press: Rick Shiomi recounts his tour for “Asian American Plays for a New Generation”
Mu Blog: Rick Shiomi’s Book Tour Logbook
knightarts.org: Reading on the road inside the book tour
Broadwayworld.com Photo Flash: Library of Congress’ IN REHEARSAL Exhibit
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
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 “Asian American Plays for a New Generation”, A New Anthology of Asian American Plays Is Subject of Book Talk
broadwayworld.com: Chinglish in Rehearsal
asiancemagazine.com: New Anthology of Asian American Plays Book Talk
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

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