"Unlikely Lovers": NAATCO's Falsettoland, with Jue, Ma, Narayan and Sanders, Begins June 14

News   "Unlikely Lovers": NAATCO's Falsettoland, with Jue, Ma, Narayan and Sanders, Begins June 14
The National Asian American Theatre Company's production of William Finn and James Lapine's Falsettoland — featuring an all-Asian cast — begins previews June 14 at the Dimson Theatre.
Manu Narayan stars in Falsettoland.
Manu Narayan stars in Falsettoland. Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Directed by Alan Muraoka, the award-winning musical will officially open June 17 and play through July 1. The cast boasts MaryAnn Hu as Cordelia, Christine Toy Johnson (The Music Man) as Dr. Charlotte, Francis Jue (Thoroughly Modern Millie) as Mendel, Jason Ma (Miss Saigon) as Marvin, Manu Narayan (Bombay Dreams) as Whizzer, Ann Sanders (Avenue Q) as Trina and Ben Wu as Jason.

Falsettoland features set design by Sarah Lambert, lighting design by Stephen Petrilli and musical direction by Brent Sawyer. Director Muraoka also directed NAATCO's 1998 production of Falsettoland. As an actor, Muraoka played the Engineer in Broadway's Miss Saigon.

Falsettoland — the final part of Finn's Marvin trilogy (In Trousers, March of the Falsettos and Falsettoland) — centers around the planning of a bar mitzvah for Marvin and Trina's son Jason, while Marvin's lover Whizzer becomes stricken with a then-mysterious, fatal disease. Song titles include "The Baseball Game," "What More Can I Say," "Something Bad Is Happening," "Unlikely Lovers," "You Gotta Die Sometime" and "What Would I Do?" The original Off-Broadway cast boasted Faith Prince, Michael Rupert, Chip Zien, Janet Metz, Heather Mac Rae and Stephen Bogardus. Falsettoland became the second half of the Broadway musical Falsettos (March of the Falsettos was the first act).

Show times are Tuesdays-Fridays at 7 PM and Saturdays and Sundays at 3 and 7 PM.

The Dimson Theatre is located at 108 East 15th Street. Tickets, priced $20, are available by calling (212) 279-4200. For more information visit www.naatco.org. *

NAATCO is also currently presenting a production of Federico Garcia Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba through June 23 at the Baruch Performing Arts Center's Nagelberg Theater. That production, also featuring an all-Asian cast, includes Obie Award winner Ching Valdes-Aran in the title role with Kati Kuroda, Natsuko Ohama, Ali Ahn, Carmen Herlihy, Maile Holck, Mia Katigbak, Sue Jean Kim, Jeanne Sakata and Sophia Skiles. Chay Yew, who adapted the piece, also directs.

Both Falsettoland and Bernard Alba are presented as part of the first National Asian American Theater Festival, which "will bring together 25 Asian American performing arts companies and solo artists to New York for two-weeks of performances throughout New York City from June 11 to 24."

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