Center Theatre Group's world premiere of Soft Power, David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori's new “play with a musical,” begins performances May 3 at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. The limited engagement, which continues through June 10, will be followed by a run at San Francisco's Curran June 20–July 8.
The cast includes Conrad Ricamora (The King and I, How to Get Away with Murder), Francis Jue (M. Butterfly), Raymond J. Lee (Groundhog Day), Billy Bustamante (Miss Saigon), Jon Hoche (War Horse tour), Kendyl Ito (Matilda tour), Austin Ku (Chinglish tour), Alyse Alan Louis (Amélie), Jaygee Macapugay (School of Rock), Daniel May (Thoroughly Modern Millie tour), Paul HeeSang Miller (Miss Saigon), Kristen Faith Oei (M. Butterfly), Maria-Christina Oliveras (Amélie), Geena Quintos (Miss Saigon), Trevor Salter (Here Lies Love), and Emily Stillings (The King and I).
Soft Power, directed by Leigh Silverman and choreographed by Sam Pinkleton, rewinds recent political history and plays it back, a century later, through the Chinese lens of a future, East-meets-West musical. In the musical, a Chinese executive visiting America falls in love with a good-hearted U.S. leader as the power balance between their two countries shifts following the 2016 election.
The production also features sets by David Zinn, costumes design by Anita Yavich, lighting design by Mark Barton, sound design by Kai Harada, orchestrations by Danny Troob, dance arrangements by John Clancy, music supervision by Chris Fenwick, music direction by David O, hair and wig design by Tom Watson, make-up design by Angelina Avallone, and casting by Heidi Griffiths, CSA and Kate Murray, CSA.
Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis serves as dramaturg.