Congrats to Christine Toy Johnson and Jason Ma on their latest new musical collaboration, BARCELONA, starring Ali Ewoldt as Antoinette/An Wei, Arielle Jacobs as Julianna, Stacia Fernandez as Kathryn, Joel Perez as Antoni Gaudi and Chris Vasquez as Rafael, which was presented as an industry presentation, under the direction of Alan Muraoka in The Theatre at CAP21 on October 2, 2014.
The 29-hour reading, a creative process which began over two years ago, was produced as part of Johnson and Ma’s 2014 artists residency at CAP21.
The new original musical, BARCELONA, featuring book and lyrics by Christine Toy Johnson and a music and lyrics by Jason Ma, is an inspiring story about the enduring power of love, inspiration and art – and the family ties that bind them. Julianna (Arielle Jacobs), an American novelist consumed with guilt over causing the accident that killed her sister Antoinette (Ali Ewoldt), receives a necklace from her dead sister in a dream she has about famed architect Antoni Gaudi (Joel Perez) – and goes to Barcelona to try to discover what it all means. The fascinating tale features a lush score by Jason Ma, and takes the audience on a time traveling journey from Gaudi’s era (1879 and 1926) into 2014.
The cast also features Alan Ariano, Eric Badiqué, Adam Hyndman, Dea Julien, Rita Markova, Kelsey Ryan Moore, Q. Smith, and Ryan Vasquez as The Voices of La Sagrada Familia, with musical direction by Yan Li.
Adam Jacobs, Telly Leung, Tim Huang, Lily Fan, Jhett Tolentino, Nelson Eusebio, Pun Bandhu, Liz Cassola, Eileen Rivera and I were among the invitation only audience who were transported to BARCELONA in The Theatre at CAP21.
Johnson (book writer/lyricist) is an award-winning writer, actor, filmmaker and advocate for inclusion based in NYC. Her work has been developed with/produced by the Roundabout Theatre Company, Crossroads Theatre Company, Diverse City Theatre Company, The Barrow Group, Weston Playhouse, Gorilla Rep, Cap21, New Perspectives Theatre Company, the Atlanta Black Theatre Festival, A-Squared Productions, etc and is included in the Library of Congress Asian Pacific American Performing Arts Collection. Alumna: BMI Musical Theatre Writing Workshop. Member: Dramatists Guild, ASCAP, AEA, SAG-AFTRA, Asian American Composers and Lyricists Project (founder).
Ma (composer/lyricist) is a composer, lyricist, filmmaker, theater artist. He has provided theater music for The Old Globe, Ma-Yi Theater Company, Leviathan Lab, Ugly Rhino and written music/lyrics and book for the full-length musical GOLD MOUNTAIN. He wrote the score for the short film YIELD, and as a principal at Red Phone Productions produced, and provided story, film scores and song for THE BARRELMAN CAPER and the award-winning INS & OUTS. He is currently in postproduction writing music for the short film MILDRED, DAUGHTER OF VENUS.
Collaborative Arts Project 21, a.k.a. CAP21, was founded in 1993 by Frank and Eliza Ventura to create a home where theatre artists could bring their work to life and continue honing their skills in a collaborative environment. As a professional theatre company with a conservatory, CAP21 is dedicated to creating new work, developing new talent and building new audiences.
Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia 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, 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.
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