Connect with us

Front and Center with Magda Katz

Meet Melissa Li and Kit Yan This Years Kleban Winners For Most Promising Musical Theatre Librettist



Melissa Li and Kit Yan began as a duo in 2008, by 2013, they began to develop the show Interstate, which tells the story of a queer Asian American band on their first cross-country tour and how they inspire a South Asian trans teen in Kentucky. For this project, they were nominated for 7 NYMF Awards for Excellence and won 5 awards, including Outstanding Lyrics and a Special Citation for Representation & Inclusion.

T2c talked to this talented duo and learned a lot about what’s next!

Li and Yan, just won the Kleban Award for the Most Promising Musical Theatre Librettist. Their musicals Interstate and MISS STEP are what solidified their win. On Sunday they’ll present their digital variety show Unremarkable!, featuring Marc delaCruz, Ruthie Ann Miles, Stephanie Hsu, and more.

Kit a spoken word artist and Melissa a singer-songwriter, believe their work is to bring social justice and LGBTQ awareness! MISS STEP was commissioned by The 5th Avenue Theater’s first draft program and won a 2019 Vivace Award from the Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Foundation. Most recently, they completed a Keen Company Commission. Their work has been supported by The 5th Avenue Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Weston Playhouse, Goodspeed’s Musicals Johnny Mercer Colony, The Village Theater, Musical Theater Factory, Dixon Place, and many others.

Individually, Li is a recipient of the Jonathan Larson Award, a Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow, and a Lincoln Center Theater Writer-in-Residence. Her own musicals include Cancelled and Surviving the Nian.

Yan is the 2019 Bret Adams and Paul Reisch Vivace award winner and together with Li, was named a fellow at the Dramatists Guild Foundation, Playwright’s Center, and Company One/Pao Arts. His solo show Queer Heartache won 5 awards at the Chicago and SF Fringe Festivals. He is a current Playwright’s Center Many Voices Fellow.

The Kleban Foundation which was established in 1988 under the will of Edward L. Kleban, best known as the Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning lyricist of the musical A Chorus Line. Kleban’s makes provisions for annual prizes, which gives $100,000, payable over two years.

Video by Magda Katz

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:


Marilyn Maye Brings A Younger Audience To The Great American Songbook



The “Queen of Cabaret”, Marilyn Maye  had  returned to Dizzy’s at Jazz at Lincoln Center for 4 nights with 2 shows a night this December. Dizzy’s is one of the most beautiful rooms in New York City and it was dazzled by Marilyn Maye’s performance. The room was filled with many young people who have  never heard of Ms. Maye, but by the end of the show they were on their feet cheering her. Marilyn acknowledged  her young audience and welcome them for coming to hear some great songs, they have never heard before.

How lucky  are these young people to be able to be in the audience of  one of the great performer still performing.

If you missed her at Dizzy’s she will be coming back to New York’s Birdland, December 29, 30, 31st and Jan 1.
Continue Reading


Meet and Greet With Notre Dame de Paris



Notre Dame de Paris, for more than two decades has sold more than 15 million tickets in 23 countries. After 25 years it is finally playing in New York City.

Performed in French with English supertitles, this 30-member international cast, along with a live orchestra, will play for seven performances from July 13-24, 2022 at the David H. Koch Theatre at Lincoln Center. Opening on Bastille Day, Thursday, July 14, with a special Gala performance.

Angelo Del Vecchio

The cast will feature Angelo Del Vecchio as Quasimodo

Hiba Tawaji

Hiba Tawaji as Esmeralda

Daniel Lavoie

Daniel Lavoie as Frollo

Gian Marco Schiaretti

Gian Marco Schiaretti as Gringoire

Yvan Pedneault as Phoebus


Jay as Clopin

and Emma Lépine as Fleur de Lys.

The principal cast has performed Notre Dame de Paris in several incarnations in the past.

Luc Plamondon, Richard Cocciante

In 1998, Italian singer and composer Richard Cocciante and legendary French Canadian songwriter Luc Plamondon adapted the title for their unique musical extravaganza, combining elements of musical theatre, dance, and acrobatics. The production originally debuted at the Palais des Congrès in Paris in 1998, where in its first year, it sold more than 1 million tickets and over 3 million albums, making it the most successful musical production ever, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

The score of Notre Dame de Paris has also produced two hit singles: “Belle,” which has received airplay in 17 countries, and “Vivre,” recorded in English as “Live (for the One I Love),” and a major hit for Céline Dion.

Notre Dame de Paris is directed by Gilles Maheu and choreographed by Martino Müller.

Continue Reading

Front and Center with Magda Katz

Talkin’ Music-Judith Clurman and Katie Jenkins



Judith Clurman conducts her excellent Essential Voices USA with dignity and beauty in “May You Heal,” a collection of five newly commissioned choral works that offer music of comfort, peace, renewal and self-awareness.

The fine singers of Essential Voices USA offer richly satisfying performances on each piece, and are joined by talented cellist Raman Ramakrishnan and pianists James Cunningham and Lee Musiker.

Katie Jenkins

Composer Katie Jenkins offers rich vocal writing in her “Dona Nobis Pacem;” she dedicates the piece to the memory of those lost to Covid-19. The collection also includes Mark Sirett’s elegant “Responsibility,” a setting of works by Hillel the Elder; the rhythmically stimulating “I Celebrate Myself,” by Bill Cutter, and “When Science Triumphs,” David Chase’s heartfelt setting of the words of three research scientists dedicated to fighting disease – Dr. Anthony Fauci , Dr. Mathilde Krim, and  Dr. Jonas Salk. The centerpiece of the collection is “May You Heal,” with elegant music by Canadian composer Mark Sirett, and heartfelt lyrics by Bruce L. Ruben. The beautiful piece, for mixed chorus, piano, and cello, expresses what the world is feeling today, as we hopefully move on from Covid-19: May You heal, May you be well again, May you lean on friends and family, May you return to health and wholeness.  All the scores are available through Hal Leonard. The Acis recording can be streamed online on all major platforms. Check

Continue Reading
Advertisement pf_06-2


Copyright © 2023 Times Square Chronicles

Times Square Chronicles