Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang Photos: Hudson Yang, Randall Park, Eddie Huang, Richard Lui, Lori Tan Chinn and More at #FreshOffTheBoat Viewing Party at The Circle NYC

The #FreshOffTheBoat Viewing Party at The Circle NYC on February 4, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

The #FreshOffTheBoat Viewing Party at The Circle NYC on February 4, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Last night the New York Asian American community packed The Circle NYC nightclub in midtown, 1000 strong to watch the two-episode preview of ABC’s groundbreaking new Asian American family comedy “Fresh Off the Boat,” inspired by celebrity chef Eddie Huang’s bestselling memoir.

“Fresh Off the Boat” stars Randall Park as Louis, Constance Wu as Jessica, Hudson Yang as Eddie, Forrest Wheeler as Emery and Ian Chen as Evan. Eddie Huang provides the voice over narration.

Randall Park at the #FreshOffTheBoat Viewing Party at The Circle NYC on February 4, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Randall Park at the #FreshOffTheBoat Viewing Party at The Circle NYC on February 4, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

The line to get in to the club snaked around the block and at least 150 people had to be turned away.

Bobby Kwak, The Circle NYC club owner and host with #FreshOffTheBoat star Hudson Yang and his dad Jeff Yang at the #FreshOffTheBoat Viewing Party at The Circle NYC on February 4, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Bobby Kwak, The Circle NYC club owner and host with #FreshOffTheBoat star Hudson Yang and his dad Jeff Yang at the #FreshOffTheBoat Viewing Party at The Circle NYC on February 4, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

The evening was organized by Jeff Yang, who writes the Tao Jones column for the Wall Street Journal Online, and is Hudson’s dad.


Yang and Eddie Huang took to the stage to thank the audience for coming out to support and usher in this new era of Asian American representation on television. ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat,” is this season’s buzzed about new TV show and the first sitcom in two decades to feature an Asian American family on primetime.

Pilot Synopsis — It’s 1995 and 11-year-old hip-hop loving Eddie Huang has just moved with his family from Chinatown in Washington D.C. to suburban Orlando. Eddie’s dad, Louis, has dragged the family to the ‘burbs to pursue his version of the American dream, opening Cattleman’s Ranch Steakhouse, a struggling western-themed restaurant. Louis thinks that the best way to get customers in the door is to hire a white host to greet them and make them feel comfortable. Eddie’s mom, Jessica, has agreed to the move, but she finds Orlando a strange place — from the rollerblading stay-at-home moms, to the hospital-like grocery stores, to the fact that the humidity has ruined her hair.

Lia Chang, Orange is the New Black's Lori Tan Chinn, Karen Lee, Phil Nee and Erin Quill at the #FreshOffTheBoat Viewing Party at The Circle NYC on February 4, 2015. Photo by GK

Lia Chang, Orange is the New Black’s Lori Tan Chinn, Karen Lee, Phil Nee and Erin Quill at the #FreshOffTheBoat Viewing Party at The Circle NYC on February 4, 2015. Photo by GK

After the pilot aired, MSNBC anchor Richard Lui led a cast talkback with executive producer Melvin Mar, Eddie Huang and stars Hudson Yang, who plays Eddie, and Randall Park, who plays his father Louis Huang.

“Home Sweet Homeschool” —
Louis and Jessica clash over how to raise the kids and how to run the restaurant. When the boys get straight A’s in school, Jessica decides that their school must be too easy and takes it upon herself to give them more homework and tutor them after class. She takes the same strict approach at the restaurant (no extra croutons for anyone!), so it’s up to Louis to get her to lighten up on everyone.

Richard Lui, Greg Pak, Jeff Yang and Erin Quill during the talkback at the #FreshOffTheBoat Viewing Party at The Circle NYC on February 4, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Richard Lui, Greg Pak, Jeff Yang and Erin Quill during the talkback at the #FreshOffTheBoat Viewing Party at The Circle NYC on February 4, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

After the second episode aired, there was a talkback with Jeff Yang, Erin Quill (original cast, AVENUE Q), Greg Pak (writer, BATMAN/SUPERMAN; STORM) and MSNBC anchor Richard Lui.

“Fresh Off the Boat” was written by Nahnatchka Khan, who also serves as executive producer. Jake Kasdan and Melvin Mar are executive producers, and Eddie Huang is producer. The series is produced by 20th Century Fox Television.

“Fresh Off the Boat” will premiere on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 (8:00-8:30 p.m., ET).

MSNBC anchor Richard Lui, #FreshOfftheBoat executive director Melvin Mar, star Randall Park and Jeff Yang at the #FreshOffTheBoat Viewing Party at The Circle NYC on February 4, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

MSNBC anchor Richard Lui, #FreshOfftheBoat executive director Melvin Mar, star Randall Park and Jeff Yang at the #FreshOffTheBoat Viewing Party at The Circle NYC on February 4, 2015. Photo by Lia Chang

Click below for comprehensive coverage by vulture.com and nbcnews.com.
vulture.com: Watching Fresh Off the Boat With 999 Asian-Americans
nbcnews.com: ‘Today, We’ve Arrived’: Fresh Off the Boat Makes TV History

Facebook: www.facebook.com/FreshOffTheBoatABC
Twitter: www.twitter.com/FreshOffABC
Hashtag: #FreshofftheBoat

Community Sponsors:
18MR.org
A Little Mandarin
A3 at Time Warner
Asian American Alumni of Princeton
AsianAmerican ArtsAlliance
Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY)
Asian American Journalists Association
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
Beijing Club of New York
Center for Asian American Media
Chloe + Isabel by Tiffany Yu
Dartmouth Asian Pacific American Alumni Association
Four Seasons International Corp.
George Gee Swing Orchestra
Harvard Asian American Alumni Alliance
Kollaboration New York
Little Dumplings Videos: Fun with Mandarin
Museum of Chinese in America
The Nerds of Color
Nielsen’s Asian American Link
NYU APA INSTITUTE
Taiwanese American Professionals – New York (TAP-NY)
UF Association of Asian Alumni

Special Thanks to Bobby Kwak and Joe Ko of The Circle!
http://thecirclenyc.com/

#FreshOffTheBoat Articles
Feb. 9: The Greene Space at WNYC presents Preview Screening of ABC’s FRESH OFF THE BOAT; Conversation with Amy Chua, Awkwafina & Jay Smooth, moderated by Jeff Yang
salon.com: Eddie Huang is our Richard Pryor: “Fresh off the Boat” and TV history in the making
slate.com:“It Takes More Than Lunchables to Assimilate” Arthur Chu, Jennifer Lai, and Phil Yu discuss the Fresh Off the Boat premiere.
asamnews.com: An Inside Look at The Fresh Off the Boat Launch Party in New York
takepart.com: ‘Fresh off the Boat’ Made People Uncomfortable Before It Even Aired
latimes.com: ABC sitcom ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ is a satire that works
ew.com: Fresh Off the Boat’s showrunner talks joking about race (without being racist)
Feb. 4: “Fresh Off the Boat” Live Viewing Party at THE CIRCLE NYC with Hudson Yang; ‘Fresh On The Air’ by Jeff Yang and Louie Chin
ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat” starring Randall Park, Constance Wu, Hudson Yang, Forrest Wheeler, and Ian Chen, Premieres on February 4 & 10

June Jee, Ernabel DeMillo, Kyung Yoon and Lia Chang at the #FreshOffTheBoat Viewing Party at The Circle NYC on February 4, 2015. Photo by GK

June Jee, Ernabel DeMillo, Kyung Yoon and Lia Chang at the #FreshOffTheBoat Viewing Party at The Circle NYC on February 4, 2015. 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.

Other articles by Lia Chang:
BAMcinématek presents John Carpenter’s BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA on February 13; Funko to Release Big Trouble in Little China Pop! and ReAction Figures
Variety.com: Ken Jeong to Star in ABC Medical Comedy Pilot ‘Dr. Ken’
MTC Run of World Premiere of The World of Extreme Happiness by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, starring Jennifer Lim, Francis Jue, Telly Leung, Jo Mei, James Saito and Sue Jin Song, Begins Previews February 3 
The Drama Book Shop Video: Playwright Ayad Akhtar, Josh Radnor and Aasif Mandvi Talk DISGRACED
The American Playwriting Foundation Creates The Relentless Award to Honor the late Philip Seymour Hoffman
Production Photos: Stephen Adly Guirgis’ BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY at Second Stage Theatre
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Advantageous, Oh Lucy!, Meru, Umrika, The Chinese Mayor, The Stanford Prison Experiment Among 2015 Sundance Film Festival Award Winners
The Drama Book Shop Video: Playwright Ayad Akhtar, Josh Radnor and Aasif Mandvi Talk DISGRACED
Photos: Lillias White, Scott Wakefield, Ebony Jo-Ann, Tina Fabrique, Marjorie Johnson, Akin Babatundé, Alan Govenar and More at TEXAS IN PARIS at The York Theatre Company
New York City Blizzard Does Not Deter Broadway Icon Chita Rivera From Performing in Concert Taping for THIRTEEN’s Great Performances Series
Video Preview: BD Wong and Russell Wong Guest Star on ‘NCIS: NEW ORLEANS’, Episode 1.13 – The Walking Dead Airs February 3
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
Broadway Barkada’s 4th Annual “So This Is Love” Concert at The Cutting Room on February 8
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
Feb. 20-Mar. 27: Trestle Gallery Presents “Swimming Awkward Moment,” the newest works by painter Arlan Huang
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
Mar. 4: Tony Award-Winner Lillias White, Carol Fredette & More to be Honored at 30th Annual Bistro Awards at Gotham Comedy Club
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
Broadway Bound Doctor Zhivago Featuring Tam Mutu, Kelli Barrett, Tom Hewitt, Paul Nolan, Lora Lee Gayer, Melody Butiu and More Kicks Off Rehearsal; Previews Begin March 27
The Old Globe Presents World Premiere of Christopher Gattelli Helmed IN YOUR ARMS Featuring Vignettes written by David Henry Hwang, Rajiv Joseph, Douglas Carter Beane, Nilo Cruz, Christopher Durang, Carrie Fisher, Terrence McNally, Marsha Norman, Lynn Nottage, and Alfred Uhry, September 16 – October 25
Rajiv Joseph Wins Laurents/Hatcher Foundation Award for New Play Guards at the Taj; Set for World Premiere at Atlantic Theater Company in May
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
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
Photos: Fashion Designer Josie Natori at New Boutique in Nolita; Honored by Asian Cultural Council
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.

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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