Industry Reading of New Musical SHANGHAI SONATAS to Take Place This Week

The musical is based on the memoirs of Jewish refugee musicians who escaped Nazi Germany and found refuge in Shanghai in the 1930s and ’40s.

By: Oct. 24, 2022
Industry Reading of New Musical SHANGHAI SONATAS to Take Place This Week

Memor NYC, Inc. will present a development reading of Shanghai Sonatas, a new musical with music by Sean (Xiang) Gao, lyrics by Joyce Hill Stoner and book by Alan Goodson. Chongren Fan will direct the by-invitation only development reading on Friday, October 28 at 3PM at Theater 555, 555 W. 42nd Street, NYC. (For those who cannot attend October 28, limited space may be available at a presentation on Thursday, October 27 at 4PM.)

Conceptualized by its composer Sean (Xiang) Gao, Shanghai Sonatas is a new American musical based on the memoirs of Jewish refugee musicians who escaped Nazi Germany and found refuge in Shanghai in the 1930s and '40s. Music helped these artists to survive the war, and having taught classical music to the local Chinese, today, countless classical musicians of Chinese descent have become the driving force of the field worldwide. China has millions of music students who are directly or indirectly related to this part of the history.

For the October 27 and 28 presentations, the company will feature George Abud, Eric Bondoc, Cáitlín Burke, Sydney Chow, Tari Kelly, Sara LaFlamme, Jonny Lee Jr., Benjamin Magnuson, Neal Mayer, Robert Petkoff, Julian Remulla, Leenya Rideout, Allison Strong and Xiaoqing Zhang. Stage directions will be read by Anzi DeBenedetto. Asher Denburg is the music director.

With an eye-towards a New York production, Shanghai Sonatas is produced by Memor NYC, Inc. (Willa Ao & Fanghua Jiang), co-produced by Sean (Xiang) Gao. ShowTown Theatricals is the General Manager. Casting is by Alexandre Bleau.

For more information about Shanghai Sonatas, visit



(Music & Artistic Director). Named as Musical America's Top 30 Professionals of the Year in 2021, Sean (Xiang) Gao is one of the world's most successful presenters, producers, composers, and pedagogues. He has solo performed violin for many world leaders and with 100 plus orchestras worldwide. As the Trustees Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of Delaware, Mr. Gao is the founding director of the Master Players Concert Series & Festival. Shanghai Sonatas - the new musical conceptualized and composed by Sean is being developed by Tony-winning producers and touring as a concert production. (Mr. Gao is represented by the California Artists Management.)

Joyce Hill STONER

(Lyrics) has written lyrics or music for 22 musical theatre productions including I'll Die If I Can't Live Forever, (Off-Broadway), which was purchased by Samuel French and called "the best mini-musical in town" by The New York Times. Her other productions include Turn Back Columbus (Please Don't Discover Us!) (Toronto); Murder At The Last Resort (Cleveland); in NYC: 1-900-The-Show, As She Dreams It, and The Roswell Follies: An Alien Revue (NYC fringe festival). Additional musicals concerned Whistler, N.C. Wyeth, C.W. Peale, women's suffrage, and The Underground Railroad. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild and was in the Lehman Engel BMI Workshop in the 1970s.


(Book) is a playwright, translator, lyricist, actor, and director based in Los Angeles. His plays have been presented at new play festivals around the country. In addition to his original work, he translates plays and lyrics from German, Hungarian, and Swedish into English. As an actor he has performed in many theatres throughout California, as well as in Europe; and has been seen in over a dozen American and European films. His activities as a director have been centered in Vienna, where he has directed in diverse genres, from clown theatre to chamber opera. He is a longtime member of the Dramatists Guild, Actors' Equity Association, and SAG-AFTRA.

Chongren Fan

(Director) is a New York-based bilingual director who's from Shanghai, China. He is the Artistic Director of Yangtze Repertory Theatre and Artist-in-Residence at Pan Asian Rep. Recent productions: Damon Chua's The Emperor's Nightingale (Theatre Row, 2019 OBA Award nomination); Friedrich Dürrenmatt's Romulus the Great (TBG Theatre); Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig's 410[GONE] (TFTNC); Marie Jones' Stones in His Pockets (Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre). He has been a Jonathan Alper Directing Fellow at Manhattan Theatre Club, Resident Artist at Mabou Mines, and guest lecturer at Barnard College and Yale School of Drama.


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