Jose Llana, Yuka Takara, More Are Part Corner of Chinatown and Broadway Gala Celebrating Flower Drum Song

Benefits and Galas   Jose Llana, Yuka Takara, More Are Part Corner of Chinatown and Broadway Gala Celebrating Flower Drum Song
Baayork Lee and Richard Jay-Alexander direct the December 2 event benefiting the National Asian Artists Project.
Jose Llana
Jose Llana Monica Simoes

National Asian Artists Project's 2018 gala, The Corner of Chinatown and Broadway, celebrates the 60th anniversary of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song.

Baayork Lee Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Helmed by Executive Artistic Director Baayork Lee and Richard Jay-Alexander, the event is held December 2 at The Golden Unicorn (18 East Broadway).

Performers include Broadway’s Jose Llana (The King and I, Flower Drum Song) and Yuka Takara (A Chorus Line, Flower Drum Song), the award-winning Theatre Club from P.S. 124, alumni and NAAP kids, the NAAP Broadway Community Chorus, members from the original casts of the Broadway and 2002 revival of Flower Drum Song, as well as honorees Alvin Ing and Yuriko Kikuchi.

Yan Li serves as the music director, with Viet Vo as the master of ceremonies. Tony-winning playwright David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly) is the Honorary Chairman.

The gala begins at 5:30 PM with cocktails, followed by a 6:30 PM dinner (a traditional eight-course Chinese banquet). Throughout the evening will be entertainment informed by the history of Flower Drum Song.

"I am excited to welcome everyone to NAAP’s first Banquet fundraiser, celebrating the 60th anniversary of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song,” Lee said in an earlier statement. “As a kid performing in this production on Broadway and now being able to honor Yuriko Kikuchi with a Lifetime Achievement Award makes my heart swell with such love for her. She was my inspiration to become a dancer. I watched her dance Eliza in ’Uncle Tom's Cabin’ in The King and I and again in the ’Flower Boat’ in Flower Drum Song and knew I wanted to be just like her—a dancer. This Banquet brings together everyone who believe in NAAP and our mission.”

“I am very excited about this year’s fund-raising gala,” added Jay-Alexander. “It was a brilliant idea on Baayork’s part and I’ve worked in venues all over the world, but never in a Chinese restaurant. Well, there’s a first time for everything. NAAP does great work and it needs our support—both in constituents and fiscally. Audiences and families need to know about them.

National Asian Artists Project's mission is to showcase the work of Asian-American theatre artists through performance, outreach, and educational programming.

Tickets are $150 and are available for purchase online here.

(Updated December 2, 2018)

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