For Immediate Release
August 12, 2016
Los Angeles, CA
Mama Bares Debut First Concert at East West Players,
August 25 through September 4
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, opens its 51st Anniversary Season Radiant with the world premiere of The Mama Bares in Concert: Once Upon a Play Date, developed by and featuring Broadway performers Joan Almedilla, Ai Goeku Cheung, Deedee Magno Hall, and Jennifer Paz, directed by Giovanni Ortega with musical direction by Marc Macalintal.
Navigating the world without losing sight of themselves as women, they chose to lean in to motherhood and their careers to pursue the next artistic outlet that showcased their new passion, virtuosic vocal range, and performance skills. Hence, their first music video “Rolls Royce,” a parody of the hit song “Royals” by Lorde, which was picked up by KIIS FM’s Manny on the Streets and FunnyOrDie.com. Hear Joan Almedilla, Ai Goeku Cheung, Deedee Magno Hall, and Jennifer Paz in a heart-warming musical journey as they share memories about family, relationships, careers, and motherhood.
“The Mama Bares are seasoned performers who individually have broken barriers in iconic roles outside of the Asian American canon and have fulfilled their dreams of reaching the Great White Way. Just like East West Players, they have reached the next chapter in their lives and we are proud to support their future endeavors,” says Artistic Director Snehal Desai.
The idea of Mama Bares was ‘conceived’ at an actual play date with their children.
“We love every opportunity to get together, eat, share stories about our families, have fun and celebrate motherhood. Once Upon a Play Date is all of these things (except the eating part) set to some of our favorite songs and a few special guests.” says Deedee Magno Hall. “We are grateful to East West Players for inviting us to debut our very first Mama Bares show, and we’re excited to share our stories of love, life and Legos!”
Special guests include their spouses musician David Cheung, American Idol finalist Anthony Federov, and Broadway veteran Cliffton Hall with media production by Charles Uy.
Joan Almedilla landed the role of Kim in the Broadway production of Miss Saigon, and went on to portray the role of Fantine on the Third National Tour of Les Miserables. Her other credits include the Broadway National Tour of Jesus Christ Superstar, Songs for a New World, and It’s Only Life. She has performed in several productions at East West Players including Road to Saigon, Krunk Fu Battle Battle, Chess, Tea with Music, and most recently, Criers for Hire.
Ai Goeku Cheung has appeared on Broadway in the role of Ellen in Miss Saigon. She later performed at East West Players in Beijing Spring, Little Shop of Horrors, and Manzanar the Musical.
Deedee Magno Hall was cast as Kim in the Broadway production and International Tours of Miss Saigon. Her other theater credits include the Broadway production and First National Tour of If/Then with Idina Menzel, and Nessarose in the First National Tour of Wicked. She made her East West Players debut as Mrs. Walker in The Who’s Tommy. Her television credits include Disney Channel’s The New Mickey Mouse Club, As The World Turns, Sister Act 2 to name a few. Deedee has recorded 4 albums with Hollywood Records’ pop group, The Party, & is currently the voice of Pearl on Cartoon Networks’ Emmy nominated animated series, Steven Universe, where she received a 2014 Behind the Voice Actor Award.
Jennifer Paz played the title role in Miss Saigon on the First National Tour, and received the 2008 Ovation Award for Best Lead Actress. She was nominated for a 2009 Ovation Award for her work in The Last Five Years with East West Players. Her Broadway and regional highlights include Les Miserables, Beauty and the Beast, The Who’s Tommy, Evita, In The Heights, and David Henry Hwang’s adapted Flower Drum Song. She is currently the voice of recurring character Lapis Lazuli on Cartoon Networks’ Emmy nominated animated series, Steven Universe. She also received a 2014 Behind the Voice Actor Award.
The creative team includes lighting design by Michael Evans and media design by Lily Bartenstein. Stage manager is Brandon Cheng.
All performances will be staged at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center of the Arts at 120 Judge John Aiso Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. The ten performance engagement begins August 25 through September 4, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8PM, and Saturday and Sunday matinee performances at 2PM. Tickets may be purchased online at www.eastwestplayers.org or by calling (213) 625-7000. Tickets range from $35-$50. Student and Senior discounts available. Dates, prices and details are subject to change.