Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang Photos: Playwright Ayad Akhtar, Josh Radnor and Aasif Mandvi Talk DISGRACED at The Drama Book Shop

Josh Radnor, Ayad Akhtar and Aasif Mandvi at a book talk and signing at The Drama Book Shop in New York on January 22, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Josh Radnor, Ayad Akhtar and Aasif Mandvi at a book talk and signing at The Drama Book Shop in New York on January 22, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

The Pulitzer Prize winning play Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar starring Hari Dhillon, Gretchen Mol, Danny Ashok, Karen Pittman and Josh Radnor, celebrated its 100th performance at the Lyceum Theatre this week, and will play its final Broadway performance on Sunday, March 1, 2015. In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, Disgraced received Obie and Joseph Jefferson Awards under the direction of Kimberly Senior, who helmed the two previous US productions.

Josh Radnor, playwright Ayad Akhtar and Aasif Mandvi discuss DISGRACED at The Drama Book Shop in New York on January 22, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Josh Radnor, playwright Ayad Akhtar and Aasif Mandvi discuss DISGRACED at The Drama Book Shop in New York on January 22, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

This afternoon, The Drama Book Shop in New York presented a book talk featuring playwright Ayad Akhtar and Josh Radnor, who costars in the current Broadway production. A book signing followed the conversation, moderated by Aasif Mandvi, who starred in Lincoln Center Theater’s Off-Broadway production.


Disgraced is the story of a successful Muslim-American lawyer and his wife — an artist influenced by Islamic tradition — enjoying their comfortable and successful life on New York’s Upper East Side. When a co-worker and her husband come to dinner, what begins as polite table conversation explodes, leaving everyone’s relationships and beliefs about race and identity in shards.

DISGRACED playwright Ayad Akhtar at The Drama Book Shop in New York on January 22, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

DISGRACED playwright Ayad Akhtar at The Drama Book Shop in New York on January 22, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Ayad Akhtar was born in New York City and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Akhtar is the author of American Dervish, published in 2012 by Little, Brown and Company in more than 20 languages worldwide, and a 2012 Best Book of the Year at Kirkus Reviews, Toronto’s Globe and Mail, Shelf-Awareness, and O (Oprah) Magazine. He is also a playwright and screenwriter. His play Disgraced premiered in New York at LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater in 2012, won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the 2013 Obie Award for Extraordinary Achievement and the 2013 Jeff Award for New Work, and is currently on Broadway through March 1, 2015. His latest plays, The Who & The What (LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater and La Jolla Playhouse) and The Invisible Hand (New York Theatre Workshop/The Repertory Theater of St. Louis) made their New York premieres in 2014. As a screenwriter, he co-wrote and starred in The War Within (Magnolia Pictures), which was released internationally and nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay. As an actor, Akhtar also starred as Neel Kashkari in HBO’s adaptation of Andrew Ross Sorkin’s book Too Big to Fail. He has received commissions from Lincoln Center Theater and fellowships from The Yaddo Foundation and The MacDowell Colony. He is a graduate of Brown University and Columbia School of the Arts.

Good pals Aasif Mandvi and Josh Radnor at The Drama Book Shop in New York on January 22, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Good pals Aasif Mandvi and Josh Radnor at The Drama Book Shop in New York on January 22, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Josh Radnor wrote, directed, and starred in two films, both of which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival before being released in theaters: The Audience Award-winning happythankyoumoreplease opposite Kate Mara, Malin Akerman, and Tony Hale and Liberal Arts opposite Elizabeth Olsen, Richard Jenkins, Allison Janney, and Zac Efron. He was last seen in Jill Soloway’s Afternoon Delight (Sundance, 2013) opposite Kathryn Hahn and Juno Temple. Recently finished a nine-season run playing Ted Mosby on CBS’s Emmy-nominated comedy How I Met Your Mother. His other television credits include guest appearances on ERSix Feet Under, and Law & Orderamong others. He was a series regular on ABC’s The Court starring Sally Field. He made his film debut in the original teen spoof Not Another Teen Movie. On Broadway he played the title character in The Graduate opposite Kathleen Turner. Off-Broadway and regionally, he has appeared at the Manhattan Theater Club, The Vineyard Theater, and Baltimore Center Stage, among others. In Los Angeles, he appeared in the Ovation Award-winning world premiere production of Jon Robin Baitz’s The Paris Letter. Most recently Josh appeared in New York Stage and Film’s world premiere production of Richard Greenberg’s The Babylon Line, directed by Terry Kinney.

Aasif Mandvi is well known for his work as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s Emmy-winning show, “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” He is currently writing, producing, and starring in HBO’s upcoming series, “The Brink” co-starring Jack Black and Tim Robbins. November marked the release of his memoir, No Man’s Land, a collection of humorous and personal stories published by Chronicle Books. Aasif received rave reviews for his performance as ‘Amir’ in the Lincoln Center production of Ayad Akhtar’s  Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Disgraced, and received an Obie Award for Sakina’s Restaurant, which he both wrote and starred in.

Photos: AALDEF Honors Mari Matsuda, Aasif Mandvi, and John Chou in 2014 at 40th Anniversary Celebration

Tickets ($37.50-$138) for Disgraced are available by calling Telecharge.com at 212-239-6200, online at www.telecharge.com, or at the Lyceum Theatre box office (149 West 45th Street).

Performances are Tuesdays at 7PM, Wednesdays at 2PM and 7PM, Thursdays at 7PM, Fridays at 8PM, Saturdays at 2PM and 8PM, Sundays at 3PM.

www.disgracedonbroadway.com

Related Articles:
Bloomberg.com:`Disgraced’: Charlie Rose (01/30)
Photos: AALDEF Honors Mari Matsuda, Aasif Mandvi, and John Chou in 2014 at 40th Anniversary Celebration
Jan. 22: DISGRACED Discussed with Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Ayad Akhtar, Josh Radnor and Aasif Mandvi at The Drama Bookshop
Ayad Akhtar’s THE INVISIBLE HAND Stars Usman Ally, Justin Kirk, Jameal Ali and Dariush Kashani at New York Theatre Workshop through January 4, 2015
Multimedia: Yellow Face Reading & Book Signing w/ David Henry Hwang, Kathryn Layng, Francis Jue, w/ guest Edward Albee

Other Articles by Lia Chang:
Rajiv Joseph Wins Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award for New Play Guards at the Taj; Set for World Premiere at Atlantic Theater Company in May
2015 Sundance Film Festival Lineup
Jan. 25: 11th Annual Asian American Pacific Filmmakers Experience in Park City at Club 301 – The Funn Networks Space
Asian American Film Lab Receives Manhattan Chamber of Commerce Community Benefit Grant
Stephen Adly Guirgis’ BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY Extends through March 22
Vineyard Theatre Presents World Premiere of Michael Mayer Helmed BROOKLYNITE Featuring Ann Harada, Nick Choksi, Matt Doyle, Nicolette Robinson, Andrew Call and More, January 30 – March 22
Tony Award-Winner Lillias White Stars with Scott Wakefield in The York Theatre Company’s World Premiere of TEXAS IN PARIS, January 27 – March 1
Star Trek’s George Takei to Headline 5th Annual Korematsu Day at City Arts and Lectures-Nourse Theatre in San Francisco on Jan. 30
Feb. 3: BD Wong and Russell Wong Guest Star on ‘NCIS: NEW ORLEANS’, Episode 1.13 – The Walking Dead
FEB. 4: “Fresh Off the Boat” Live Community Viewing Party at THE CIRCLE NYC with Hudson Yang
2015 Sundance Film Festival Lineup
Two-Time Tony Award Nominee André De Shields, Bowman Wright, E. Faye Butler, KenYatta Rogers, Jessica Frances Dukes and Michael Anthony Williams Set for Arena Stage’s King Hedley II, February 6- March 8, 2015
Remembering Garland Lee Thompson, Sr. (1938-2014); Memorial Set for February 14, 2015
Duwende Performs at Rockwood Music Hall on February 16; Photos of Concert with m-pact at The Bitter End
“Swimming Awkward Moment,” works by Arlan Huang on view at Trestle Gallery, February 20 – March 27
Novelist Jessica Hagedorn, Neal Katyal of Hogan Lovells, and John W. Kuo of Varian Medical Systems, to receive AALDEF 2015 Justice in Action Awards on February 23
Baryshnikov Arts Center Presents New York Premiere of Carmen De Lavallade’s Solo Show AS I REMEMBER IT in February 2015
Photos: Joe Mantegna and Danny Ramm Talk about ‘Criminal Minds’ Season 10 Episode Honoring Veterans and the late Meshach Taylor
Photos: Tony Award Winning Playwright David Henry Hwang, NEFA, Graham Sheffield CBE and Susan Stockton Receive 2015 ISPA Awards
Photos: Late Night at HERE LIES LOVE with Jaygee Macapugay, David Byrne, Jose Llana, Conrad Ricamora, Melody Butiu and More
Photos: Andrew Rannells and Zuzanna Szadkowski Visit Richard Thomas, Anna Chlumsky, Julie Halston and Annaleigh Ashford at YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU
Lia Chang Picks: Arthur Dong’s Forbidden City: Chinese-American Nightclubs, 1930-1970
THE WIZ Turns 40- Photos from Original Broadway Production and BC/EFA Gypsy of The Year Celebration Featuring André De Shields, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Ken Page, Charl Brown, Carly Hughes, Christina Sajous, Alton Fitzgerald White, Lillias White and More
Up Close and Personal with Jose Llana; HERE LIES LOVE Star Set for Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Debut on March 12, 2015
Unsuk Chin’s Opera Alice in Wonderland, Featuring Libretto Co-Written with David Henry Hwang, Set for UK Premiere at the Barbican Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Novels on March 8, 2015
Lincoln Center Theater’s The King and I, Starring Ken Watanabe, Kelli O’Hara, Ruthie Ann Miles, Conrad Ricamora, Jon Viktor Corpuz, Paul Nakauchi and More Kick off Rehearsals; Previews Begin March 12
Tam Mutu, Kelli Barrett, Tom Hewitt, Paul Nolan, Lora Lee Gayer, Melody Butiu, Julian Cihi and More Set for Broadway Bound Dr. Zhivago
Photos: Tommy Tune, Bob Avian, Lee Roy Reams, Christine Toy Johnson, Orville Mendoza, Lori Tan Chinn, Raul Aranas, Virginia Wing and More Celebrate 2014 Paul Robeson Citation Award Recipient Baayork Lee Crafting a Career

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang Photo by GK

Lia Chang Photo by GK

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.
All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2015 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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