Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Broadway Vet Gedde Watanabe and MISS SAIGON’s Jon Jon Briones Lead the Cast of East West Players’ Production of LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, May 12 – June 26

Gedde Watanabe

Gedde Watanabe

Broadway, Film and TV Vet Gedde Watanabe (Broadway’s Pacific Overtures, Sixteen Candles, Gung Ho) and Jon Jon Briones (London Revival of Miss Saigon, EWP’s A Little Night MusicAllegiance at The Old Globe) lead the cast of East West Players’ production of the Tony Award-winning musical La Cage aux Folles for a six week engagement, at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center of the Arts at 120 Judge John Aiso Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012, May 12 – June 26. Opening Night for La Cage aux Folles is Wednesday, May 18 at 8pm and includes a 7pm pre-performance cocktail reception, and a post-show reception with the cast and creative team.

Jon Jon Briones as Georges

Jon Jon Briones as Georges

East West Players (EWP), the nation’s longest-running professional theatre of color in the country and the largest producing organization of Asian American artistic work, ends its extended two year 50th Anniversary Season with this musical.

La Cage aux Folles, book by Harvey Fierstein, lyrics and music by Jerry Herman, and based on the book by Jean Poiret, was originally produced on Broadway at the Palace Theatre in 1983. Helmed by Tim Dang in his final production as producing artistic director at East West Players, with musical direction by Marc Macalintal (EWP’s ChessKrunk Fu Battle BattleThe Who’s Tommy) and choreography by Reggie Lee (EWP’s FolliesA Little Night Music). Generous support for this production is provided by the S. Mark Taper Foundation Endowment for East West Players and is produced in association with the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Additional funding is provided by The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation and the OUT Fund.

“Working with a fantastic ensemble lead by Gedde Watanabe and Jon Jon Briones, this show represents the presence of Asian Americans in the industry. One is a Broadway veteran, the other is on his way to debut on Broadway with a cast of emerging talent ready to make their mark,” stated Tim Dang, outgoing Producing Artistic Director of East West Players. “Our 50th Anniversary is a closing of one memorable chapter of EWP but the beginning of another. Taking the lead from one of the most memorable songs from the show, these are indeed the ‘best of times’”.

This multiple Tony Award winner for Best Musical about a gay couple who own a glitzy drag club is given a fresh, sleek and racy look that only East West Players can deliver.

The charmed lives of Georges, the suave owner, and Albin, his high-strung star performer, are turned upside down when George’s son, Jean-Michel, returns with his fiancée, Anne. Cultures collide as Georges and Albin are introduced to Anne and her ultra-conservative parents in this jubilant musical that inspired the movie, The Birdcage.

Jon Jon Briones (Georges) just completed starring as the Engineer in the 2014 revival of Miss Saigon in London’s West End, a role for which he has won many awards and was nominated for the prestigious Lawrence Olivier Award for Leading Actor in a Musical. He has appeared in EWP’s production of A Little Night Music as Fredric and also the Old Globe Theatre’s production of Allegiance. He will be making his Broadway debut in 2017 with Miss Saigon.

Gedde Watanabe (Albin) originated the role of the Boy in a Tree in the Broadway musical Pacific Overtures by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman. He is also best known for Sixteen Candles, Gung Ho and many more film and television projects.

Allen Lucky Weaver

Allen Lucky Weaver

Allen Lucky Weaver (Jacob) has performed Thuy in Miss Saigon and Angel in Rent in various regional productions across the country.

Other cast members include Michael Hagiwara as Edouard Dindon, Sharline Liu as Marie Dindon, Jinwoo Jung as Jean Michel, Audrey Cain as Anne, Grace Yoo as Jaqueline, and Cesar Cipriano as Francis.

The notorious Cagelles will be played by Christopher Aguilar, Carlos Chang, Jonathan Kim, DT Matias, and Alex Sanchez.

The design team includes: Set design by Victoria Petrovich, costume design by Anthony Tran, lighting design by Karyn D. Lawrence, and sound design by Cricket Myers. Props by Ken Takemoto. Stage Manager is Ondina V. Dominguez.

Previews are Thursday, May 12 through Saturday May 14 at 8pm and Sunday May 15 at 2pm. All preview seats are $28.

Opening Night for La Cage aux Folles is Wednesday, May 18 at 8pm and includes a 7pm pre-performance cocktail reception, and a post-show reception with the cast and creative team. Call theater for availability. “Pay-What-You-Can” Performance is on Thursday, May 19 at 8pm. A special talkback with the cast and creative team is on Sunday, May 29 immediately following the performance. The production runs until June 26.

Regular performances run Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling (213) 625-7000. Regular tickets range from $48-58. Student and Senior discounts available. Dates, prices and details are subject to change.

Special Event: Aloha Tim! Celebrate the final performances June 22-26 with outgoing artistic director Tim Dang with a Chinese buffet and drinks one hour before showtime Wednesday through Saturday night. At the closing performance Sunday matinee, the buffet and drinks will occur after the performance with the cast/crew.

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

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang. Photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek, which will screen at the Disorient Film Festival in Eugene Oregon in April. She is profiled in Examiner.comJade Magazine and Playbill.com.

All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2016 Lia Chang Multimedia, except otherwise indicated. 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 lia@liachangphotography.com

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