Broadway on the Web: Justin Anthony Long, Jee Young Han and Jonathan Lee Invite Broadway Stars to Their "City of Dreams"

By Michael Gioia
23 Sep 2013

Han on set with Billy Porter

The trio — along with singer, songwriter and actress Joanna Burns, who writes original songs for "City of Dreams" and also plays the stage manager for The Ballad of Ofagina — are hoping to produce a second season, but with aspirations for higher quality and a bigger platform.

"That'd be amazing if someone offered us a chance to [turn] it into a network show," said Long, "but our main goal right now is to put work out that we're proud of that we can do with minimal budget and say, 'This is what we can do with so much money…'" The creators and stars have spent over $5,000 dollars to bring the series' first season to life.

"City of Dreams" — taking a riff from its title — is set in the Big Apple, but instead of serving audiences with the fictionalized life of "Broadway," it delves into the life of the struggling actor, who must (like the character of Julie) work as a Times Square Chicago dancer handing out fliers to make ends meet.

"We thought it'd be funny," said Long about the "City of Dreams" concept. "There are so many actors who are not at that [professional] level or they're trying to be at that level… Ninety-five percent of the industry is unemployed, and it's an uphill climb, and there's a lot of funny things that can happen along they way."

Watch the ninth episode, "Don't Rain on My Parade," below, and watch Oct. 1 to learn the outcome of The Ballad of Ofagina:

( staff writer Michael Gioia's work appears in the news, feature and video sections of as well as in the pages of Playbill magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @PlaybillMichael.)