George Takei, who recently starred in the Broadway musical Allegiance, has been cast as “Reciter” in Classic Stage Company’s upcoming production of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s Pacific Overtures, to be directed by Tony Award winner (and 2016 Tony Award nominee) John Doyle, who this season takes the reins as Artistic Director of the vital East Village theater company.
Performances for Pacific Overtures begin April 5, 2017. Additional casting and creative team to be announced at a later date.
In the ground-breaking Pacific Overtures, Commodore Matthew Perrysails to Japan in 1853 on a U.S mission to open up trade relations at any cost. The musical tells the tale of a samurai and a fisherman who are caught up in the Westernization of the East. With Pacific Overtures, which first premiered on Broadway in 1976 (directed by Hal Prince), John Doyle continues his highly-acclaimed and award-winning exploration of Sondheim’s work, having directed the legendary composer’s Sweeney Todd and Company on Broadway, and Passion at CSC.
George Takei most recently starred as Sam Kimura in the Broadway musical Allegiance. Other theater credits include Shimon Wincelberg’s Undertow (Edinburgh Festival Fringe), Philip Kan Gotanda’s The Wash (Manhattan Theatre Club), Frank Chin’s The Year of the Dragon (American Place Theatre), Fly Blackbird! (Billy Rose Theatre, Metro Theatre), Pacific Overtures (Loft Theatre), Peter Shaffer’s Equus (East West Players) and in, England, Snow White (Brighton Dome) and Aladdin (Hexagon Theatre, Central Theatre). In an acting career spanning six decades, Takei is best-known for portraying Mr. Sulu in the original “Star Trek” series.
CSC is the award-winning Off-Broadway theater committed to re-imagining the classical repertory for contemporary audiences. For more than 45 years, CSC has been a home for New York’s finest established and emerging artists to grapple with the great works of the world’s repertory that speak directly to the issues of today. CSC serves an average of 35,000 Audience members annually, including more than 4,000 students through its nationally-recognized education programs. Recent productions include: Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, Lessing’s Nathan the Wise, Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children, Euripides’ Iphigenia in Aulis, transadapted by Anne Washburn; Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus adapted by David Bridel and Andrei Belgrader, starring Chris Noth; Shakespeare’s Hamlet starring Peter Sarsgaard; Turgenev’s A Month in the Country with Peter Dinklage and Taylor Schilling; Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Allegro; Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle with Christopher Lloyd, and Galileo with F. Murray Abraham; Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s Passion with Melissa Errico, Judy Kuhn and Ryan Silverman; Chekhov’s Ivanov with Ethan Hawke, The Cherry Orchard with Dianne Wiest and John Turturro, Three Sisters with Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jessica Hecht, Juliet Rylance and Peter Sarsgaard, Uncle Vanya with Maggie Gyllenhaal, Denis O’Hare and Peter Sarsgaard, and The Seagull with Dianne Wiest and Alan Cumming; David Ives’ The Heir Apparent, Venus in Fur with Nina Arianda (Broadway transfer 2011/2012, Tony Award nom., Best Play), The School for Lies with Hamish Linklater, and New Jerusalem with Richard Easton; Unnatural Acts, conceived by Tony Speciale; Anne Carson’s An Oresteia; and Shakespeare’s The Tempest with Mandy Patinkin, A Midsummer Night’s Dream with Bebe Neuwirth, and Richard III, Richard II and Hamlet with Michael Cumpsty. CSC productions have been cited repeatedly by all the major Off-Broadway theater awards: Obie, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Drama League, and the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Body of Work.
Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. 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. She is profiled in Examiner.com, Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.