Imelda Musical Goes to New York:
East West Players Hosts One Night Only Concert
to Benefit New York Premiere of IMELDA: A NEW MUSICAL

East West Players (EWP), the nation’s premier Asian American Theatre Organization, will host IMELDIFIC! A Concert to Benefit the New York Premiere of IMELDA: A NEW MUSICAL on Sunday August 24th. Scheduled to open in fall 2009 at the spacious Julia Miles Theatre, the New York premiere of IMELDA: A NEW MUSICAL will be produced by Pan Asian Repertory Theatre (Pan Asian Rep), in association with East West Players. As part of EWP’s collaboration, 100% of the proceeds raised will benefit the New York-bound original musical.

“We are honoring our commitment to collaborate with other theater organizations,” Producing Artistic Director Tim Dang said. “The last time that EWP had visibility in New York was at the first National Asian American Theatre Festival with The Three Filipino Tenors. It’s a logical progression to collaborate with an influential theater like Pan Asian Rep for a full production now. Tisa Chang (Artistic Producing Director of Pan Asian Rep) has always been at the top of championing new works for the stage.”

“It is fitting that two pioneering Asian American theaters - EWP in their fourth and Pan Asian Rep in our third decade - based on west and east coasts respectively, unite to create this tantalizing and powerful new musical on the political but controversial figure Imelda for diverse communities in its New York premiere,” Chang said. “Pan Asian Rep is delighted to forge a first time collaboration with the venerable East West Players with IMELDA: A NEW MUSICAL.”

First developed by East West Players and the Academy for New Musical Theatre, IMELDA: A NEW MUSICAL world premiered at East West Players, running for six weeks from May to June of 2005 to box-office success. Told in 30 fast moving scenes and 17 songs, the musical chronicles the rise and fall of the First Lady of the Philippines Imelda Marcos, who was known for her beauty, extravagance, political power and infamous footwear. Centering on recent Filipino history, the musical also tells a parallel story of Ninoy and Corazon Aquino who later becomes the President of the Philippines after her husband’s assassination. With book by Sachi Oyama, music by Nathan Wang, lyrics by Aaron Coleman, the 2005 production was directed by Tim Dang, with musical direction by Nathan Wang and choreography by Reggie Lee.

“Many people understand the woman who is Imelda and do not go beyond the surface. When we first presented IMELDA, there was a question how the play was going to be accepted. But after the success of the show, which brought such a large turn out from the Filipino American community, the buzz after was that it allowed people to view this great time in history and reminisce about these iconic Asian figures, the Kennedys of the East,” Tim continued. “IMELDA became our third highest-selling show and the top-grossing world premiere in East West Players history. It should do very well in New York, being Imelda’s favorite American city.”

Directed by Marilyn Tokuda with musical direction by Nathan Wang, IMELDIFIC! A Concert to Benefit the New York Premiere of IMELDA: A NEW MUSICAL promises to be a one night only musical extravaganza, featuring some of the best and brightest talents to grace the EWP stage. Members of the original IMELDA cast will perform memorable songs from the musical, along with performers Kerry Carnahan (SWEENEY TODD), Antoine Diel (SEUSSICAL), Randy Guiaya (VISIONS), Ethan Le Phong (PIPPIN, LES MISERABLES), Maegan McConnell (PIPPIN, WEST SIDE STORY), Jenni Selma (MISS SAIGON), Kathy Villanueva (WEST SIDE STORY) and Lito Villareal (SWEENEY TODD) who will perform songs from their own repertoires, spanning the genres of opera, blues, pop and musical theatre.

IMELDIFIC! A Concert to Benefit the New York Premiere of IMELDA: A NEW MUSICAL will be held at the David Henry Hwang Theater at the Union Center for the Arts at 120 Judge John Aiso St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 on Sunday, August 24th, 2008 at 2 pm. General tickets are $250 for VIP, $100 in the orchestra and $50 in the balcony. For more information on tickets, contact the East West Players office at or call (213) 625-7000.

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Copyright 2008, Roger W. Tang

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