Second Generation Productions' Making Tracks, the rock musical about the Asian-American experience, is a sold-out hit in its final weekend at the Taipei Theater in midtown Manhattan, Feb. 18-20.
Encouraged by generally positive reviews and word of mouth, theatregoers quickly bought up tickets for the extension weekend of the show, which was to close Feb. 14 but extended into the week of Chinese New Year (which was celebrated Feb. 16, when there was no performance). The final Making Tracks performance is Feb. 20 prior to a spring college tour and a trip to Taipei in summer 1999.
The musical had its world premiere Feb. 4 (after previews that began Jan. 30) at the seldom-used (for legit Equity shows) 234-seat Taipei Theater, in the lower level of the McGraw Hill Building, 1221 Avenue of the Americas, between 48th and 49th streets.
This is a revised version of the show that had a workshop production in January 1998 at Pace Downtown Theatre. The new staging is restructured and recast in a letter-of-agreement Actors' Equity staging.
Dance, original songs, music and multimedia enhance the story of the uneasy assimilation of Asian people -- including Japanese, Chinese and Korean -- in the United States. Lenny Leibowitz directs, with choreography by Shawn Ku, former dance captain of Broadway's The King and I. Collaborators Brian Yorkey, Matt Eddy and Welly Yang (book and lyrics) and Woody Pak (composer) weave stories of 19th-century railroad workers, San Francisco nightclubs, immigration "picture brides," World War II internment camps -- as well as Asian influence in the high-tech industry -- into 12 musical scenes. Ghosts, storytellers, laptop computers and lush costumes are part of the pageant.
The frame of the story involves a young, second-generation Asian American woman and "her discovery of the treasures of her family, history and culture," according to production notes.
The cast includes Cindy Cheung, Lydia Gaston, Mel Gionson, Tim Huang, Tom Kouo, Michael Minn, Mimosa, Kiki Mortisugu, Aiko Nakasone (of the original Rent cast), Rodney To, Virginia Wing and Welly Yang.
Designers are Sarah Lambert (set), Virg Nafarette (sound), Elaine McCarthy (multimedia) and Richard Tatum (lighting).
Second Generation Productions' producers are Gladys Chen and Romeo Joven. The nonprofit is devoted to "nurturing a richer and more daring world culture by infusing it with the vitality of Asian-American artists," according to a mission statement.
For information, call (212) 340-1095.
-- By Kenneth Jones