Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Christine Toy Johnson to play Bloody Mary in Ogunquit Playhouse’s Production of Rogers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific, June 20 – July 14

Christine Toy Johnson, Branch Fields, Jennie Sophia, Christopher Johnstone and Hsin-Yu Liao are set for The Ogunquit Playhouse production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s South Pacific, June 20 – July 14, 2012. Opening night is June 21, 2012 at 8pm. The Ogunquit Playhouse is located at 10 Main Street, Ogunquit, ME. Performances are Tuesdays-Sundays. Contact the Box Office at 207-646-5511 or http://www.ogunquitplayhouse.org for tickets and showtimes.

Christine Toy Johnson Photo by Bruce Alan Johnson

Christine Toy Johnson Photo by Bruce Alan Johnson


Helmed by Shaun Kerrison, this all-new production of South Pacific is based on the lavish and breathtaking 2008 Tony Award winning Lincoln Center Theatre production, and features musical direction by Ken Clifton and choreography by Victor Wisehart. Set on a tropical island during World War II, the musical tells the sweeping romantic story of two couples and how their happiness is threatened by the realities of war and by their own prejudices. Beloved songs include “Some Enchanted Evening,” “I’m Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair,” “This Nearly Was Mine” and “There is Nothin’ Like a Dame.” Don’t miss this American classic that critics hailed as “Flawless,” “Simply Wonderful” and “Gorgeous!”

Christine Toy Johnson, who plays Bloody Mary, is an award-winning actress, playwright and filmmaker. Highlights as a performer include featured roles on Broadway and Off-Broadway in The Music Man, Merrily We Roll Along,Pacific Overtures, Greaseand Falsettoland, the national tours of CATS, Flower Drum Song and Bombay Dreams, and at the New York Shakespeare Festival, Williamstown, the Huntington, Yale Rep, the Ordway, Denver Center Theatre Company, Minnesota Opera and New York City Opera etc. Nearly 100 television appearances include two years as “Lisa West” on “One Life to Live,” “Ugly Betty,” “The Big C,” “Fringe,” “Crossing Jordan,” “Nunsense,” “Nunsense 2,” and many episodes of various Law and Orders.”

As a playwright, her plays have been developed at the Roundabout Theatre Company, Crossroads Theatre Company, Diverse City Theatre Company, Queens Theatre in the Park and Leviathan Lab. She and her husband Bruce Johnson collaborated on the award-winning documentary feature (which she executive produced and co-directed), Transcending – The Wat Misaka Story.

Branch Fields will headline as Emile deBecque. In 2008, Mr. Fields joined the cast of South Pacific on Broadway, understudying the role of Emile deBecque in the Lincoln Center Theater production, which won seven Tony Awards. This marked Mr. Fields’ Broadway debut, sharing the stage with Matthew Morrison, Kelli O’Hara and Skipp Sudduth. He made his debut at New York City Opera in 2005 in Capriccio, and since has performed many roles including Zuniga in Carmen, Angelotti in Tosca and Gravedigger in Esther. He has sung with many regional companies throughout the U.S. including Santa Fe Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Carolina, Michigan Opera Theatre and Utah Symphony/ Utah Opera. In concert, Mr. Fields has performed with the Munich Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra and most recently with the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.

Jennie Sophia will reprise her role from the National Tour as the perky Nellie Forbush. She is a Chicago native and has performed many roles in regional theatres throughout the US including, Guys and Dolls (Sarah Brown), Brigadoon (Fiona), Oklahoma! (Laurey), Fiddler on the Roof (Hodel), Picnic (Madge), Cinderella (Cinderella), Circle of Friends (Aunt Cornelia), Passion (Mistress), Anything Goes (Hope), Kiss Me Kate (Lilli) and The Sound of Music (Maria).

Christopher Johnstone, who portrays Lieutenant Joseph Cable, recently toured with the 1st National Lincoln Center Tour of South Pacific. He has sung with the Mark Morris Dance Group, the Cincinnati Pops, the Boston Pops and the Long Beach Symphony among others. A graduate of the Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music, Mr. Johnstone has spent summers alongside some of the world’s top artists at Tanglewood and Castleton and has played TV roles on “All My Children” and TLC’s “Personal Justice.” Hsin-Yu Liao joins the cast as Liat, the role she most recently performed in the Broadway National Tour of South Pacific.

About the Ogunquit Playhouse:
The Ogunquit Playhouse is America’s Foremost Summer Theatre, a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, producing the finest Broadway musicals each season, with performances Tuesday through Sunday, from May 23 to October 21, 2012. Follow the Ogunquit Playhouse on Twitter (@OgunquitPH) and Facebook (facebook.com/OgunquitPlayhouse).For a complete list of show times, pricing and more information about the season visit www.ogunquitplayhouse.org.

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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

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