Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Broadway Stars Pay Tribute to Alan Muraoka at National Asian American Theatre Co. Gala on September 10, 2012

Alan Muraoka Photo by Lia Chang

Alan Muraoka Photo by Lia Chang

John Tartaglia, Stephanie D’Abruzzo and Carey Anderson (all from Broadway’s AVENUE Q) along with Gwen Hollander (LITTLE WOMEN), Christine Toy Johnson (FALSETTOLAND),Francis Jue (THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE, PACIFIC OVERTURES), singer/songwriter Phoebe Kreutz, Raymond J. Lee (ANYTHING GOES), Adam Levinskas, Jose Llana (THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE, RENT), Orville Mendoza (PETER AND THE STARCATCHER), Olivia Oguma (MAMMA MIA) and actress Lexi Windsor will all be on hand to perform and pay tribute to director and actor Alan Muraoka (“Sesame Street”, Broadway’s MISS SAIGON, THE KING AND I) at an evening to benefit National Asian American Theatre Company (NAATCO) on Monday, September 10 at 416 W. 42 St. in New York.

The event will be hosted by Ann Harada (AVENUE Q), with a special guest appearance by Terrence McNally. The evening will be directed by Thom Sesma, with musical direction by Michael Lavine.

The event begins at 6 p.m. with cocktails, followed by the performance at 7 and dessert at 8:30. Tickets range in price from $125-$250-$500-$1000 and can be purchased by going online at

As a director, Alan Muraoka received critical acclaim for his all-Asian American production of the William Finn musical FALSETTOLAND for the National Asian American Theatre Company (NAATCO), which enjoyed a sold-out run at the Vineyard Theatre in NYC. The production was revived in June 2007 for the First National Asian American Theatre Festival held in New York City. Alan’s other NAATCO credits include having staged benefit readings of INTO THE WOODS and LOVE! VALOUR! COMPASSION! He directed the Tony-nominated actor John Tartaglia (AVENUE Q) in his one-man show, “John Tartaglia AD-LIBerty,” which ran at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theatre, and won numerous cabaret awards. Other New York directing credits include KARAOKE STORIES (Imua Theater Company); “Christmas Eve With Christmas Eve 1-3” and “The Leading Men 1-4” all benefit concerts for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, which starred many of Broadway’s current male talent; “Empty Handed,” a benefit concert starring the puppeteers of Broadway’s AVENUE Q; and cabarets for Tony-nominated actress Stephanie D’Abruzzo and Ann Harada. On television, Alan has directed for “Sesame Street” and for the “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” on NBC.

As an actor, Alan is most recognizable for his role in the Emmy Award winning series, “Sesame Street,” where he plays “Alan,” the proprietor of Hooper’s Store. He has appeared in six Broadway shows; the recent revival of PACIFIC OVERTURES, MAIL, SHOGUN: THE MUSICAL, MY FAVORITE YEAR, THE KING AND I (with Lou Diamond Phillips and Donna Murphy), and most notably MISS SAIGON, where he played the lead role of the Engineer.

NAATCO (National Asian American Theatre Company) puts into service its total commitment to Asian American theatre artists to more accurately represent onstage the multi- and intercultural dynamics of our society. NAATCO’s mission is to assert the presence and significance of Asian American theatre in the United States, demonstrating its vital contributions to the fabric of American culture, by presenting the following repertory: European and American classics as written with all Asian American casts; adaptations of these classics by Asian American Playwrights; and new plays – preferably world premieres – written by non-Asian Americans, not for or about Asian Americans, but realized by an all Asian American cast. NAATCO’s work has been acknowledged by an OBIE Award (for their productions of William Finn’s FALSETTOLAND and Brecht’s HE WHO SAYS YES/HE WHO SAYS NO), the Village Voice (for THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA), Off-Off-Broadway Review (for SCHOOL FOR WIVES) and the Rosetta LeNoire Award from Actors’ Equity Association in recognition of its contributions toward increasing diversity and non-traditional casting in American theatre.

Other Articles by Lia Chang
Photos: 4 Wedding Planners’ Illeana Douglas, Kimberly-Rose Wolter and Michael Kang at Screen Actors Guild Foundation Conversations Series in NY
André De Shields Returns to The Laurie Beechman Theatre with I Put A Spell on You, October 5 and 12
MTC’s An Enemy of The People Starring Boyd Gaines and Richard Thomas Begin Previews at Samuel J. Friedman Theatre
Tony Award – winning Playwright Terrence McNally to be Honored at Westport Country Playhouse Annual Gala, September 24, 2012
Signature Theatre’s World Premiere of Sam Shepard’s Heartless Starring Lois Smith, Gary Cole, Jenny Bacon, Betty Gilpin, and Julianne Nicholson Extends through September 30, 2012
Photos: Tonya Pinkins, André De Shields, S. Epatha Merkerson, Billy Porter and George C. Wolfe at 54 Below
Sean Dugan Set for West Coast Premiere of George C. Wolfe’s Tony Award-Winning Production of The Normal Heart at A.C.T., September 13 – October 7, 2012
Illeana Douglas, Kimberly-Rose Wolter and Michael Kang Set for 4 Wedding Planners Screening in Screen Actors Guild Foundation Conversations Series in NY on August 21, 2012
Multimedia: Screen Actors Guild Foundation’s Conversations with Derek Ting, Linus Roache and Michael Park of $upercapitalist
10 minutes with Sullivan & Son’s Jodi Long, Award Winning Actor and Filmmaker
Lily Mariye’s Model Minority, Jayshree Janu Kharpade’s Fire in Our Hearts, Eliaichi Kimaro’s A Lot Like You, Vincent Sandoval’s Señorita, and Liang Cheng’s My Spiritual Medicine among AAIFF’12 Award Winners
David Henry Hwang to Receive the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award at the 5th Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards on October 29, 2012
Faith Prince and Jason Graae: The Prince & the Showboy in Concert at 54 Below, August 21-25, 2012
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
Photos: Yellow Fever Playwright Rick Shiomi Explores New Territory with An All-Female Cast
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

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