Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Lia Chang Photos: In Rehearsal with Jose Llana; Set for Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Debut on March 12

I spent the afternoon with Broadway vet Jose Llana at Carroll Music who was rehearsing for his Lincoln Center “American Songbook” debut set. The concert is  on Thursday, March 12, 2015, in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse, 165 West 65th Street, Rose Building, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10023. Showtime: 8:00 pm. Call CenterCharge at 212.721.6500 (10:00 am–9:00 pm) for ticket availability. $100 tickets include an afterparty.

Jose Llana and Jaygee Macapugay as Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos in HERE LIES LOVE. Photo by Lia Chang

Jose Llana and Jaygee Macapugay as Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos in HERE LIES LOVE. Photo by Lia Chang

Llana’s recent star turn as Marcos in David Byrne & Fat Boy Slim’s Here Lies Love at The Public Theater (dir. Alex Timbers), was his most charismatic and seductive to date, and garnered him a Lucille Lortel Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical.

I photographed Jose and company in rehearsal – check out the photos below.


Llana’s concert will be a virtual Here Lies Love reunion onstage with musical direction by Kimberly Grigsby (HLL musical director); musical arrangements and orchestrations by Matt Stine (HLL musical editor) and Cody Owen Stine; and HLL cast members Jaygee Macapugay (Imelda), Jeigh Madjus and Enrico Rodriguez as his background singers.

1st Row- Erico Rodriguez, Jaygee Macapugay, Jeigh Madjus. 2nd Row- Jack Bashkow, Simon Kafka, Kimberly Grigsby, Jose Llana, Matt Stine, Pete Donovan, Kevin Garcia. Photo by Lia Chang

1st Row- Erico Rodriguez, Jaygee Macapugay, Jeigh Madjus. 2nd Row- Jack Bashkow, Simon Kafka, Kimberly Grigsby, Jose Llana, Matt Stine, Pete Donovan, Kevin Garcia. Photo by Lia Chang

The musicians include Kimberly Grigsby (Piano), Kevin Garcia (Drums), Pete Donovan (Bass), Simon Kafka (Guitar) and Jack Bashkow (Reeds).

Jack Bashkow, Simon Kafka, Kimberly Grigsby, Pete Donovan and Kevin Garcia. Photo by Lia Chang

Jack Bashkow, Simon Kafka, Kimberly Grigsby, Pete Donovan and Kevin Garcia. Photo by Lia Chang

The program will be a celebration of Llana’s 19 year career that will include R&H, Adam Guettel, Leonard Bernstein, William Finn and, of course, David Byrne. There will also be a Tagalog song from his Filipino album along with some pop music for fun.

Jaygee Macapugay, Jeigh Madjus, Enrico Rodriguez, Simon Kafka and Jose Llana. Photo by Lia Chang

Jaygee Macapugay, Jeigh Madjus, Enrico Rodriguez, Simon Kafka and Jose Llana. Photo by Lia Chang

Jose Llana with Ann Harada, who made her Lincoln Center American Songbook Concert debut last February. Photo by Lia Chang

Jose Llana with Ann Harada, who made her Lincoln Center American Songbook Concert debut last February. Photo by Lia Chang

Jose Llana’s Broadway credits include Chip Tolentino in William Finn’s The 25th Annual Putnam Country Spelling Bee (Drama Desk Award, dir. James Lapine), El Gato in Wonderland, Wang Ta in David Henry Hwang’s adaptation of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song, Angel in RENT (dir. Michael Greif), Jessie-Lee in Streetcorner Symphony and his debut as Lun Tha in the 1996 Revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King & I opposite Donna Murphy and Lou Diamond Phillips. Off-Broadway appearances include Adam in Falling For Eve (York), Gabey in On the Town (dir. George C. Wolfe, Delacorte) and Adam Guettel’s Saturn Returns (dir. Tina Landau, Public Theater). Regional appearances include Bill Sikes in Oliver! (Papermill), Guillaume in Cameron Mackintosh’s Martin Guerre (Guthrie Theater), Tin Man in Ballad of Little Jo (Steppenwolf Theater, dir. Tina Landau, Jefferson Nomination – Best Supporting Actor) and Candide in Candide (Prince Theater, Barrymore Nomination – Best Actor). TV/Film appearances include HBO’s “Sex and the City opposite Margaret Cho and Hitch with Will Smith. Appearing on numerous cast albums Jose is also a best-selling recording artist on the VIVA Philippines label.  Training from Manhattan School of Music. Jose is a constant advocate for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and serves on the Advisory Committee for Broadway Impact for Marriage Equality.  www.josellana.com

Kimberly Grigsby, Jose Llana and Matt Stine. Photo by Lia Chang

Kimberly Grigsby, Jose Llana and Matt Stine. Photo by Lia Chang

KIM GRIGSBY – Musical Director/Piano
Music directing/conducting credits include, on Broadway: Spider- Man: Turn Off The Dark (music and lyrics by Bono and The Edge); Spring Awakening (music by Duncan Sheik); The Light in the Piazza (lyrics & music by Adam Guettel); Caroline, or Change (music by Jeanine Tesori); The Full Monty (lyrics & music by David Yazbek); You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown; and Twelfth Night (music by Jeanine Tesori); and Off-Broadway, Brooklynite! (music and lyrics by Peter Lerman); The Fortress of Solitude (music and lyrics by Michael Friedman); Here Lies Love (music and lyrics by David Byrne); Coraline (lyrics & music by Stephin Merritt); Mother Courage and Her Children (music by Jeanine Tesori); Two Gentlemen of Verona; Songs From an Unmade Bed (various composers, lyrics by Mark Campbell); The Immigrant (music by Steven Alper); Radiant Baby (music by Debra Barsha); and Twelfth Night (music by Duncan Sheik). For the Lincoln Center Songbook Series, Kimberly has appeared with Michael Winther, Duncan Sheik, Michael Friedman and the 2005 concert of Spring Awakening. Other collaborations include My Life Is A Fairy Tale and Orphan of Zhao, both with lyrics & music by Stephin Merritt for Lincoln Center Festival; Telaio: Desdemona (by Susan Botti); and the premiere of Jeanine Tesori’s The Lion, The Unicorn and Me for Washington National Opera. Ms. Grigsby holds degrees from Southern Methodist University and Manhattan School of Music.

Directions
The Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse is on the 10th floor of the Rose Building, between Broadway and Amsterdam. The building may be reached via stairs, elevator, and escalator to the west of the entrance to The Juilliard School. If coming from Lincoln Center’s main plazas, take the pedestrian bridge across 65th Street and turn left past the escalator to enter the building.

To reach the Kaplan Penthouse by subway, take the uptown 1 local service to 66th Street–Lincoln Center. The M5, M7, M10, M11, M66 and M104 bus lines also stop within one block of Lincoln Center.

cropped-lia-chang_photo-by-carlos-flores-3.jpgLia 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. She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

Related articles:
Jose Llana Set for Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Debut on March 12
Up Close and Personal with Jose Llana; HERE LIES LOVE Star Set for Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Debut on March 12, 2015
Photos: Late Night at HERE LIES LOVE with Jaygee Macapugay, David Byrne, Jose Llana, Conrad Ricamora, Melody Butiu and More
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
Photos: Maurice Hines, Jonathan Groff, Mercedes Ellington, Charles Randolph-Wright at The Laurie Beechman for André De Shields’ I PUT A SPELL ON YOU
Photos: Tonya Pinkins, André De Shields, S. Epatha Merkerson, Billy Porter and George C. Wolfe at 54 Below
Apple Video Podcast: New York Post Writer Michael Riedel Interviews David Byrne, Jaygee Macapugay, Jose Llana and Conrad Ricamora of Here Lies Love
Lucille Lortel Awards for Here Lies Love, Fun Home, The Open House, Good Person of Szechwan
Jose Llana, Ruthie Ann Miles, Melody Butiu, Conrad Ricamora and More Open in David Byrne- Fatboy Slim’s Here Lies Love on May 1
NYMF: Prison Dancer starring Jose Llana, Jeigh Madjus, Marc delaCruz, Catherine Ricafort, Moses Villarama, Cosmo Clemens, Enrico Rodriguez, Albert Guerzon, Andrew Eisenman and Nathan Ramos at Theatre at St. Clement’s, July 20-28, 2012
Tony Award Winner Lea Salonga Leads Stellar Cast in First All-Filipino Concert for Philippine Development Foundation, “PhilDev Celebrates Broadway: Suites by Sondheim” at Alice Tully Hall
Photos: Jose Llana, Stephanie Umoh & cast of Falling for Eve
The Making of the Flower Drum Song Cast Album
Flower Drum Song, An American Story

Other Articles by Lia Chang:
Stephen Adly Guirgis’s BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY Starring Stephen McKinley Henderson, Victor Almanzar, Elizabeth Canavan, Rosal Colón, Liza Colón-Zayas, Michael Rispoli and Ron Cephas Jones, has performances through March 22 at Second Stage Theatre
Photos: “Swimming Awkward Moment,” the newest works by painter Arlan Huang at Trestle Gallery through March 27
Photos: Michael Mayer Helmed BROOKLYNITE Featuring Ann Harada, Matt Doyle, Nicolette Robinson, Andrew Call, Nick Cordero and More, Extends through March 29
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s AN OCTOROON, Starring Maechi Aharanwa, Pascale Armand, Danielle Davenport, Amber Gray, Ian Lassiter, Austin Smith, Haynes Thigpen, and Mary Wiseman, Extends Again Off-Broadway Through March 29
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley presents Rajiv Joseph’s THE LAKE EFFECT Starring Adam Poss, Nilanjana Bose, Jason Bowen through March 29
Photos: Wendell Pierce, Kevin Mambo, Toccarra Cash, Thaddeus Daniels, Wendell Franklin and Megan Robinson Set for The Billie Holiday Theatre Production of Jackie Alexander’s Brothers from the Bottom through March 29 
Signature Theatre Company’s Founding Artistic Director James Houghton To Step Down After 2015-16 25th Anniversary Season
Photos: John W. Kuo, Jessica Hagedorn, and Neal Katyal Receive AALDEF 2015 Justice in Action Awards
Suzan-Lori Parks’ FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS, PARTS 1, 2 & 3 is the 2015 Winner of the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History 
Photos: Francis Jue, Telly Leung, Jennifer Lim, Jo Mei, James Saito, Sue Jin Song, Harriet Harris and More at Opening Night of The World of Extreme Happiness
Video: Viola Davis, Charles Dutton, Laurence Fishburne, James Earl Jones, Suzan-Lori Parks, Phylicia Rashad and More Share Stories in American Masters-August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand Documentary
Photos: National Black Theatre Festival 2013; NBTF runs August 3-8, 2015 and will include Act III – A Celebration of Life Reception saluting the late theatre icon Garland Lee Thompson, Sr.
Mar. 8- 29: Pursuit of the Perfect Plate: tokyo fish story Premieres at South Coast Repertory starring Lawrence Kao, Jully Lee, Eddie Mui, Sab Shimono and Ryun Yu
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
Apr. 13: THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE Original Cast Album Release Concert at Joe’s Pub will feature André De Shields, Adam Chanler-Berat, Kevin Mambo, Kyle Beltran, Ken Barnett, Britton Smith, Akron Watson and Juson Williams
Rebecca Naomi Jones kicks off run as Yitzhak in HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH on April 14
Video: BETWEEN RIVERSIDE & CRAZY’s Stephen Adly Guirgis, actor Stephen McKinley Henderson and director Austin Pendleton set for THEATER TALK
THE GET DOWN, Baz Luhrmann’s New Drama Series Set in 1970s NYC That Gave Birth to Hip-Hop, Punk and Disco, to Premiere on Netflix in 2016
The American Playwriting Foundation Creates The Relentless Award to Honor the late Philip Seymour Hoffman
Variety.com: Ken Jeong to Star in ABC Medical Comedy Pilot ‘Dr. Ken’
Photos: Hudson Yang, Randall Park, Eddie Huang, Richard Lui, Lori Tan Chinn and More at #FreshOffTheBoat Viewing Party at The Circle NYC
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
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: Ellen Burstyn, Baz Luhrmann, John Leguizamo, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Stephen McKinley Henderson, John Patrick Shanley, David Henry Hwang, Liza Colón-Zayas, Kenneth Lonergan and More Celebrate Stephen Adly Guirgis at The Mimi Awards
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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