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China’s Romance of the Western Chamber Gets New York Premier

China’s Romance of the Western Chamber Gets New York Premier

It’s love at first sight for student Chang (Charles Pang, left) when he glimpses beautiful Ying-Ying (Jessica Wu, right) strolling through the gardens of the Buddhist monastery with her handmaiden Hong-Niang (Mari Uchina, center). photo by Charles Chessler

Bob Ost/Wildly Productive Productions and Xoregos Performing Company, with generous support by Granite Hills Press and The Confucius Institute of San Diego University, you are cordially invited to attend the NY Premiere of Romance of the Western Chamber, a musical adaptation (in English) of the fabled Chinese classic Xi Xiang Ji.

Romance of the Western Chamber

The Battle to save the village – villainous Flying Tiger (Mark Andrew Garner, right) versus noble General Du (Jee-Heng Liao, left)
photo by Charles Chessler

Previously produced in English for the first time in China in 2011, Romance of the Western Chamber is a musical adaptation of one of the country’s most popular and beloved classics. The story of a young Tang Dynasty couple from different classes, desperate to consummate their love despite the constraints of tradition and family disapproval, and often considered the Romeo & Juliet of the East, the production features book & lyrics by Howard Rubenstein and music by Max Lee, and will be directed by Shela Xoregos.

Romance of the Western Chamber

Can lovestruck student Chang (Charles Pang, left) win and woo the lovely highborn Ying-Ying (Jessica Wu, right) under the watchful eye of her disapproving mother Lady Tsui (Joy Tamayo, center)?
photo by Charles Chessler

This exciting N.Y. premiere will feature an ensemble entirely of Asian-American actors including Charles Pang and Jessica Wu (A Chorus Line) as the beleaguered lovers, Philippine-born soprano Joy Abalon-Tamayo as the disapproving mother, Mari Uchida as the classic Chinese matchmaker Hong-niang, plus Mark Andrew Garner, Albert Hsueh, Jee Heng Liao (Anything Goes Off-Broadway), Tony Romero (Tokyo Can Can Off-Broadway), Musa Hitomi (The Little Mermaid Off-Broadway), Takashi Hosoi (The King and I) and Ying Zhang (Warlovers at Theatre Row).

Romance of the Western Chamber

Lady Tsui (Joy Tamayo), reverent Superior (Tony Romero), noble General Du (Jee-Heng Liao), lovestruck Chang (Charles Pang), flirtatious Ying-ying (Jessica Wu), cunning Hong-Niang (Mari Uchida) and villainous Flying Tiger (Mark Andrew Garner) photo by Charles Chessler

The production aspires to an authentic 9th century Chinese flavor, though filtered through a 21st century western lens. It will feature music direction by Erich Rausch, scenic design by Sal Perrotta, lighting design by Joyce Liao, costume design by Jessa-Raye Court, choreography by Mandarin Wu, stage management by Mary-Cate Mangum, casting by Robin Carus Casting, and graphic design/marketing by Gary Hughes of OH! Creative Consultants.

Romance of the Western Chamber will play a strictly limited engagement of 14 performances, beginning Thursday, September 14 at TADA! Theater (located at 15 W. 28th Street, 3rd Floor)

Off Broadway

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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