“Seoul of Broadway” @ Joe’s Pub

“Be the change you want to see.” — It’s a phrase that often gets thrown at artists of color when they point out the obvious lack of diversity in their field. Though the sentiment is over-simplistic, there is great value in artists creating the diverse work that is so desperately needed. That value was shown in Seoul of Broadway, a benefit concert at Joe’s Pub that showcased and celebrated the work of Korean and Korean-American musical theatre writers.

Gen Parton Shin, Daniel J Edwards, Lynn Craig, and Christine Lee performing “Let It Turn Blue.”

Highlights included “In My Dress,” a sweet song performed by Ali Ewoldt about a circus sideshow performer who feels beautiful in the dress she wears. Another was “Let It Turn Blue,” a hilarious number in which actress Christine Lee plays a teenage girl awaiting the results of her pregnancy test. The night closed off with a bang, when Lynn Craig performed “Open Your Eyes.” In the song, a Yale professor encourages her student to follow his passions. If only all college professors could inspire their students by belting an F like a boss.

Lynn Craig performing “Open Your Eyes.”

I was also impressed by how different all the musicals were. Fantasy elements featured in three musicals, while the myth of Persephone and Hades was the focus of another. There were contemporary musicals dealing with young people finding their place in the world, and others where characters were contemplating their death. There was even one song that was performed entirely in Korean.

To see such a wide breadth of narratives, written and performed by artists we often don’t see represented, wasn’t just a testament to their talent. Seoul of Broadway was also an excellent preview of what’s to come in musical theatre.

Clockwise from bottom left: Daniel J Edwards and Q Lim performing “Together We Will Go” from Elementals, Catherine Cheng Jones performing “Candy Dad” from Missing Parents, and Ali Ewoldt performing “In My Dress” from Julia Pastrana: The Monkey Woman of Sinaloa.

For more information about Seoul of Broadway, click here.

Top 5 Reasons to Celebrate the Holidays with NOT THE MESSIAH (He’s a Very Naughty Boy)

The Eric Idle-helmed New York City premiere of NOT THE MESSIAH (He’s a Very Naughty Boy) plays at Carnegie Hall next week on December 15 & 16. Here are our top five reasons to catch the performance before we launch into the throes of the holiday season!

Approved Image edited 2 - NOT THE MESSIAH

1) Settle the score with your holiday ‘cheer’

It’s December 9th and let’s just say I’m not looking forward to the next 15 days of Christmas carols, wrapping present fails, frigid weather, the end of The Colbert Report, office parties, and the bi-annual ritual of figuring out what present to get my parents, who “only want peace and love” for Christmas.  So it’s great to know there’s at least one way to satisfyingly celebrate the holidays.

2) Make Christmas funny

Sure, we’ve already gotten used to the idea of ironically celebrating the holidays, whether it’s with an ugly sweater party, a mock Nativity scene, or smuggling in a bottle of vodka into A Christmas Spectacular (not suggested). But NOT THE MESSIAH is GUARANTEED is make you laugh. Based off Monty Python’s Life Of Brian and written by Python collaborators Eric Idle and John Du Prez, it will feature comic classics like “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” as well as a pastiche of pop, country, showtunes, hip-hop, and Greek chorus. If that’s not enough to get intrigue you then maybe…

3) …Eric Idle, Victoria Clark, Marc Kudisch, and Lauren Worsham will!

I mean, I was already sold on this concert with the title and such, but then the Lord Baby Jesus blessed my Christmas choices when he announced (sorry, when He announced) that Eric Idle, Victoria Clark, Marc Kudisch, and Lauren Worsham would be performing! Victoria Clark can do no wrong. She just dazzles in every freaking role and we need to just make her the queen of something already. Kudisch has a voice that melts butter and the comedic chops to match, and the recently-Tony nominated Lauren Worsham is a certain rising Broadway star.

Eric Idle performs in Not The Messiah. Photo provided by Michelle Tabnick Communications
Eric Idle performs in Not The Messiah. Photo provided by Michelle Tabnick Communications

4) A top-knotch concert orchestra and chorale

The Orchestra of St. Luke’s is celebrating its 40th anniversary as one of the nation’s most versatile and innovative orchestras. It plays more about 70 performances per year and commissions new works regularly. Likewise, The Collegiate Chorale has an equally illustrious reputation: it was founded in 1941 and regularly performs at events at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and festivals around the world! In other words, they got this.

5) It’s a gift anyone would enjoy!

Maybe even my parents? Maybe even my parents…

The Collegiate Chorale presents the New York City premiere of Eric Idle and John Du Prez’s Not The Messiah (He’s a Very Naughty Boy) at Carnegie Hall, December 15-16, 2014 at 8pm.  Tickets start at $30 and are available at, by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800, or at the Box Office at 57th and Seventh.

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