Baayork Lee to Direct All Asian-American Cast of Oklahoma!

National Asian Artists Project and Nikole Vallins will present a fully staged reading of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! Oct. 25 at the Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row.

Baayork Lee
Baayork Lee (Photo by Aubrey Reuben)

Directed by Baayork Lee (Broadway's A Chorus Line), the one-night-only performance will feature an all Asian-American cast led by Broadway veteran Lori Tan Chinn as Aunt Eller. Show time is 7 PM.

The cast will also include Manna Nichols (Laurey), Andrew Cao (Curly), Marie France Arcilla (Ado Annie), Marc DeLa Cruz (Will Parker), Kelvin Moon Loh (Jud), David Shih (Ali Hakim), Celia Mei Rubin (Gertie), Herman Sebek (Carnes) and Mel Maghuyop (Ike Skidmore) with Rebecca Hirota, Emy Baysic, Brooke Ishibashi, Joanne Javien, Whitney Lee, Marcus Shane, Billy Bustamante and Brian Jose.

Musical staging will be provided by Nina Zoie Lam; the associate director is Steven Eng.

“The setting is Oklahoma territory in the early 1900s, just on the cusp of joining the union and creating a new, unified identity in an unknown frontier. It is a time when hardworking people of the land band together to create a community, and a perfect setting to explore and rediscover what it means to be American,” stated director Lee, who is also on the NAAP Board of Directors. “For these reasons, Oklahoma! became the ideal work to initiate NAAP’s Rediscover Series, an opportunity to explore classic works with an Asian American company of artists.”

The Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row is located at 410 West 42nd Street at 9th Avenue. Tickets are $21.25 and available through Telecharge.com. *

Founded by theatre artists Baayork Lee, Steven Eng, and Nina Zoie Lam, National Asian Artists Project exists "to be a leader in educating, cultivating, and stimulating audiences and artists—current and future—through showcasing exceptional work by vibrant artists of Asian descent. It is a community of artists, educators, administrators, community leaders, professionals, and much more. As a not-for-profit organization, NAAP recognizes the need to build bridges between the work of artists of Asian descent and the many communities that the work can serve, from underserved school students to seasoned arts patrons." For more information visit www.NAAProject.org.