Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

June 5-7: National Asian Artists Project To Present All-Asian Production of OLIVER! Featuring Raul Aranas, Anthea Neri, Bonale Zohn Fambrini, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Cindy Cheung, Scott Watanabe, Virginia Wing, David Shih and More

Raul Aranas

Raul Aranas

The National Asian Artists Project is presenting an All-Asian production of OLIVER! at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 W. 42nd Street) in The Romulus Linney Courtyard Theatre, Thursday, June 5th at 7:30PM, Friday, June 6th at 7:30PM and Saturday, June 7th at 2PM and 7:30PM. Tickets are $75, $50 & $25 and are on sale now at Ticket Central. Tickets can be purchased through Ticket Central or by calling 212-279-4200, or in person at 416 W. 42nd Street (12-8pm daily).

Anthea Neri

Anthea Neri

The OLIVER! cast stars Raul Aranas as Fagin, Anthea Neri as Nancy and Bonale Zohn Fambrini as Oliver, and features Cindy Cheung as Widow Corney, Scott Watanabe as Mr. Bumble, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop as Bill Sikes, David Shih as Mr. Sowerberry, Virginia Wing as Mrs. Bedwin, Timothy TV Cao as The Artful Dodger, Tony Romero as Dr. Grimwig, Connor Johnston as Noah Claypole/Mr. Brownlow, Kendyl Ito as Bet/Old Sally, Fay Ann Lee as Mrs. Sowerberry, and Rebecca Lee Lerman as Charlotte Sowerberry.  Helmed by  Steven Eng, NAAP’s benefit production will be fully staged, complete with sets and costumes, and will feature choreography by Broadway legend Baayork Lee, the original ‘Connie Wong’ in the original cast of Chorus Line.

Furthering their mission to showcase the work of Asian-American theatre artists through performance, outreach and educational programming, National Asian Artists Project (NAAP) has produced over the past four years Oklahoma, Carousel, and Hello Dolly! as part of their Re-Discover Series using all Asian casts. The setting for this year’s production moves across the pond to Charles Dickens’ London with the production of the classic award-winning musical, OLIVER!. With book, music and lyrics by Lionel Bart, OLIVER! has become one of the most popular and best-loved musicals in the world. The 1983 London revival of Oliver! transferred to Broadway in 1984. It opened at The Mark Hellinger Theater and ran from April 29, 1984 through May 13, 1984, for 17 performances and 13 previews.

The 65-member cast includes 20 children, 25 professional actors and 20 members of the NAAP Broadway Community Chorus. The ensemble of OLIVER! features Whit Lee on Violin, John Yi as Knife grinder, Allen “Lucky” Weaver, Jeffrey Wei, Rommel Pierre O’Choa, Loresa Lanceta, Robyn DeGuzman, Shoba Narayanan, Jung Kim. Fagin’s Gang includes Matthew Chan, Sarah Chiu, Zoe Eng, Emerson Fok, Justin Lai, Derek Lee, Isabel Ma, Stanley Ng, Eden Rolle, and Phoebe Young. James Ignacio, Michelle Lu, Selina Ng, David Ning, Julia Rosenburg, Kirsten Shyu, Emily Gu Siegel, Aaron Zheng, Tina Zheng will play the orphans.

The production and design team includes Kevin Farrell (Musical Director) Joe Sheridan (Production Stage Manager), Jimm Halliday (Costume Designer), Susan Kikuchi (Associate Choreographer), Kyle Garvin (Assistant Choreographer), Jose Simbulan (Children’s Musical Director), Cassey Kikuchi Kivnick (Assistant Director), and Kirk Bookman (Lighting Designer.

Tickets are $75, $50 & $25 and are on sale now at Ticket Central. Tickets can be purchased through Ticket Central or by calling 212-279-4200, or in person at 416 W. 42nd Street (12-8pm daily).

The Pershing Square Signature Center, the permanent home of Signature Theatre, is a three-theatre facility on West 42nd Street designed by Frank Gehry Architects to host Signature’s three distinct playwrights’ residencies and foster a cultural community. The Center is a major contribution to New York City’s cultural landscape and provides a venue for cultural organizations that supports and encourages collaboration among artists throughout the space. In addition to its three intimate theatres, the Center features a studio theatre, rehearsal studio, a bookstore, and Signature Cafe and Bar, open to public from noon-midnight Tuesdays – Sundays. For more information on renting the Center, please visit

NAAP exists to be a leader in educating, cultivating and stimulating audiences and artists – current and future – through showcasing exceptional work by vibrant artists of Asian descent. Art constantly evolves and NAAP strives to command a place at the fore with a uniquely compelling American voice.

Lia Chang

Lia Chang

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia recently starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the 2013 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, Lorey Hayes, Marcus Naylor and Phynjuar, and made her jazz vocalist debut in Rome Neal’s Banana Puddin’ Jazz “LADY” at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in New York.  She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

Other articles by Lia Chang:
June 2: Nelson T. Eusebio III and Kurt Uy’s INS & Outs and Yield to Screen in Planet Connections Film Festival at Paradise Factory
Christine Toy Johnson and Raul Aranas Lead the Cast of the National Asian Artists Project’s (NAAP) Benefit Presentation of Hello Dolly!, at The Pershing Square Signature Center
Photos: Late Night with Holy Land’s Jojo Gonzalez
Jun. 4-29: Tony Award–winner BD Wong, Sab Shimono, Julyana Soelistyo, Stan Egi, Orville Mendoza, Paolo Montalban and More Set for A.C.T.’s U.S. Premiere of Orphan of Zhao, a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse 
June 22 – July 27: Blair Underwood, Richard Thomas and Kristen Connolly Lead the Cast of The Old Globe’s Othello, helmed by Barry Edelstein 
June 4: Garth Kravits, Lena Hall, Lesli Margherita, Wesley Taylor and More Strip Down with The Skivvies at 54 Below 
May 31 – June 22: Annette O’Toole Leads Cast of Wendy Wasserstein’s “Third” Helmed by Michael Cumpsty at Two River Theater Company 
June 5-7: National Asian Artists Project To Present All-Asian Production of OLIVER! Featuring Raul Aranas, Anthea Neri, Bonale Zohn Fambrini, Mel Sagrado Maghuyop, Cindy Cheung, Scott Watanabe, Virginia Wing, David Shih and More 
May 28 – June 29: Lisa Joyce, Henry Kelemen and CJ Wilson Join Mary McCann in Atlantic Theater Company’s OUR NEW GIRL
Jun. 23: The Black Stars of The Great White Way Broadway Reunion: Live The Dream at Carnegie Hall Features Chapman Roberts, Norm Lewis, André De Shields, Chuck Cooper, Brandon Victor Dixon and More
May 23: Frankie’s Centennial Savoy Ball Features the George Gee 17-Piece Swing Orchestra, Live Argentine Tango and More at The Edison Ballroom 
May 20: George Gee Swing Orchestra CD – “Swing Makes You Happy!” Party at Swing 46 Jazz & Supper Club
Photos: The George Gee Swing Orchestra at SWING46; Launches Indiegogo Campaign for New CD, Swing Makes You Happy
Branden Jacob-Jenkins’ Appropriate, Lisa Kron’s Fun Home, Sonya Tayeh, Emmanuel Brown, Mia Katigbak, K. Todd Freeman, John Earl Jelks Among 2014 OBIE Award Winners
Asia Flores Debuts Royal72Co Fashion Line at Pa’ina Lounge
Photos: André Braugher, Ami Brabson, Christine Toy Johnson, Antoinette LaVecchia, Richard Topol, Victor Williams, Nikkole Salter, Elizabeth Van Dyke at Oni Faida Lampley’s Tough Titty at the Paradise Factory
Photos: Harriet Harris, John Tartaglia, Christine Toy Johnson, Alan Muraoka, James Saito and More celebrate Ann Harada’s Debut at Lincoln Center in the American Songbook Series  Lucille Lortel Awards for Here Lies Love, Fun Home, The Open House, Good Person of Szechwan
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder Leads 2014 Tony Award Nominations; Bryan Cranston, LaTanya Richardson, Neil Patrick Harris, Mark Rylance, Audra McDonald, Leigh Silverman among nominees Signature Theatre to Be Honored with the 2014 Regional Theatre Tony Award
Photos: Bryan Cranston, Peter Jay Fernandez, Roslyn Ruff, Tamara Tunie, Leslie Uggams, Ruben Santiago-Hudson Celebrate All The Way Opening Night
Photos: André De Shields, Michael Shannon, Rajiv Joseph, Christine Sherrill, Doug Peck, Alexis J. Rogers, Karen Ziemba and More Celebrate 2013 Jeff Equity Awards
Photos: Backstage and Opening Night of Signature’s World Premiere of David Henry Hwang’s Kung Fu
Photos: David Henry Hwang, Annie Baker and Rajiv Joseph honored at Sixth Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards
Q & A with Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play’s Garth Kravits
Photos: The 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards and After Party Celebrating my mom – AN ACTIVE VISION: BEVERLY UMEHARA…LABOR ACTIVIST…1945-1999 Crafting a Career Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2014 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

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