Actors Justin Anthony Long, who is featured in the upcoming Martin Scorsese film "The Wolf of Wall Street," Jonathan Lee, who is currently playing Thuy on the road with the Kansas City Starlight mini-tour of Miss Saigon, and Jee Young Han, who has appeared on the television series "The Good Wife" and "30 Rock," have no Broadway credits to their names. However, the trio of "dreamers" has managed to wrangle a long list of Broadway stars — including Kinky Boots Tony Award winner Billy Porter and Cinderella two-time Tony nominee Laura Osnes — to appear on their theatrical-themed web series "City of Dreams."
"In the beginning, it was hard because we didn't have anything up, and nobody knew who we were and what the show was going to be, [and] we weren't very successful reaching out to [actor's] agents," explained Lee. "But now that people are seeing that other relevant Broadway stars [and] celebs are doing it, they're paying a little more attention, which is exciting. People are liking it, and it's catching fire."
The theatrical-themed web series "City of Dreams" began as a passion project for the trio — an outlet to showcase their work and aesthetic, in both performing and writing, when they weren't finding work elsewhere. But how can three twentysomethings catch the attention of award-winning Broadway actors and creatives to take part in the project, ensuring that their series makes its way around the web? Trial, error and persistence.
Long, Han and Lee put their heads together, began writing and started to film "City of Dreams," where they star as three aspiring actors who move to New York City to pursue their big Broadway dreams. Han and Lee play brother-and-sister duo Julie and Julian Wong, respectively, with Long as their friend and collaborator Jamie Carmel.
"We wanted to create work for ourselves [and] were talking about all these shows about this great, talented person who doesn't have the chance," said Long, "but [then we thought], 'What if they aren't that talented? Wouldn't that be funny?' So we started building the idea around that, and one day decided to sit down and write an episode."
In the pilot, audiences meet Julie, Julian and Jamie, who — when faced with encountering pretentious actors at their friend's annual "Gay-b-cue" — make up a lie that they are developing a musical aiming for Broadway entitled The Ballad of Ofagina, in which they all star.
Watch the pilot below:
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