Cast and Creatives Join B.D. Wong in Upcoming Broadway Pacific Overtures
By Ernio Hernandez
The cast and creative team for the upcoming Roundabout Theatre Company-Gorgeous Entertainment Inc. presentation of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's Pacific Overtures at Broadway's Studio 54 have been announced.
Amon Miyamoto, who directed the all-Japanese production of the work as part of the Lincoln Center Festival in July 2002, will direct the new Broadway staging set to begin previews Nov. 12 and open Dec. 2. Tickets go on sale Sept. 12.
Eric Bondoc (Tokyo Can-Can), Evan D'Angeles (Miss Saigon), Joseph Anthony Foronda (Pacific Overtures - Donmar Warehouse), Yoko Fumoto (The King and I), Alvin Y. F. Ing (Heading East), Fred Isozaki (The King and I), Francis Jue (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Darren Lee (Seussical The Musical), Hoon Lee (Urinetown), Michael K. Lee (Jesus Christ Superstar), Ming Lee (Miss Saigon), Telly Leung (Flower Drum Song), Paolo Montalban (Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella), Alan Muraoka (My Favorite Year), Mayumi Omagari (Beauty and the Beast), Hazel Anne Raymundo (The King and I), Yuka Takara (Mamma Mia!), Kim Varhola (Thoroughly Modern Millie) and Scott Watanabe (The Phantom of the Opera) will join Tony Award winner B.D. Wong (M. Butterfly) in the cast. More casting is to be announced.
Pacific Overtures follows the introduction of Japan to westernization from the landing of Commodore Matthew Perry in the "Floating Kingdom" of Nippon in 1853 over 150 years. The new revival will be performed in English with Asian-American actors.
The musical features the music and lyrics of Sondheim and a book by John Weidman with additional material by Hugh Wheeler. Paul Gemignani (Assassins) handles music direction.World-renowned costume designer Junko Koshino will join the design team for Pacific Overtures which also features Rumi Matsui (sets), Brian MacDevitt (lighting) and Dan Moses Schreier (sound).
Wong, who will play the role of Reciter, recently starred in the HBO series "OZ." and is currently part of the cast of NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." The San Francisco-born and bred actor made his Broadway debut in M. Butterfly — which earned him the Outer Critics Circle Award, Theatre World Award, Drama Desk Award, Clarence Derwent Award, and the Antoinette Perry (Tony) Award (a feat only accomplished by him). He has also appeared on stage in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Shanghai Moon as well as on screen in "Jurassic Park," "The Salton Sea," "Seven Years in Tibet," "Father of the Bride" (and its sequel) and (in voice) on Disney's "Mulan."
Pacific Overtures debuted at Broadway's Winter Garden Theatre on January 11, 1976, and ran for 193 performances. Originally directed by Hal Prince, the work garnered nine Tony nominations, winning two: Best Costume Design (Florence Klotz) and Best Scenic Design (Boris Aronson).
The Sondheim score includes "The Advantages of Floating in the Middle of the Sea," "There Is No Other Way," "Four Black Dragons," "Chrysanthemum Tea," "Poems," "Welcome to Kanagawa," "Someone in a Tree," "Lion Dance," "Please Hello," "A Bowler Hat," "Pretty Lady" and "Next."
The staging of Pacific Overtures will mark the third production — following Cabaret and the recent Sondheim-Weidman Tony Award-winning musical revival of Assassins — to fill the former disco-turned-theatre Studio 54 since Roundabout purchased the venue as its new musical home.
For more information on the Roundabout and its productions, visit www.roundabouttheatre.org.
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