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Alan Muraoka Directs All Asian-American Cast In LOVE! VALOUR! COMPASSION! At Cherry Lane 9/14

The National Asian American Theatre Company (NAATCO) will present a one-night-only all Asian-American performance of Terrence McNally's LOVE! VALOUR! COMPASSION!, directed by Alan Muraoka, on Monday, September 14 with a 6:00pm cocktail reception and a 7:00pm performance at the Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street) to benefit NAATCO. Joe Mantello, the original director of LOVE! VALOUR! COMPASSION! and Stephen Bogardus, a member of the play's original cast, are honorary chairs for the NAATCO benefit performance.

The performance is being staged as part of the National Asian American Theatre Company's 20th anniversary season of presenting classical and new works with cast comprised of all Asian-American actors and actresses.

Alan Muraoka previously directed NAATCO's OBIE Award winning, critically-acclaimed production of FALSETTOLAND, which debuted Off-Broadway at The Vineyard Theatre in 1998. Adored by critics and audiences alike, notably composer William Finn, FALSETTOLAND became an instant, sold-out and extended hit. The production was revived in 2007 for the first National Asian American Theatre Festival in New York.

LOVE! VALOUR! COMPASSION! is Terrence McNally's Tony Award-winning play about eight gay friends who spend the three major holiday weekends (Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day) of one summer together at a summer vacation house in Dutchess County where they struggle with infidelity, flirtations, soul-searching, AIDS, truth-telling and skinny-dipping.

The cast of NAATCO's LOVE! VALOUR! COMPASSION! features: Satya Bhabha as Ramon, Joel de la Fuente as Gregory, Francis Jue as John/James, Orville Mendoza as Buzz, Andy Pang as Arthur, Ralph Peña as Perry, James Yaegashi as Bobby, with stage directions by Ann Harada. Musical direction and accompaniment is by Joseph Thalken, who worked on the original Manhattan Theater Club version of the show and did all the piano recordings for MTC and the Broadway versions.

Directed by Joe Mantello, LOVE! VALOUR! COMPASSION! was first seen Off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club on October 11, 1994 - it then transferred to the Walter Kerr Theatre on Broadway where it ran for 28 previews, and 248 performances; it was nominated for 5 1994-1995 Tony Awards, winning for Best Play and Best Featured Actor in a Play (John Glover). The original Broadway cast of LOVE! VALOUR! COMPASSION! was Stephen Bogardus, John Glover, Anthony Heald, Nathan Lane, Randy Becker, John Benjamin Hickey, Justin Kirk.

Mr. Mantello and Mr. Bogardus are the honorary chairs for the one-night-only NAATCO production of LOVE! VALOUR! COMPASSION!. The benefit committee is co-chaired by Larry Schafer and William P. Steele, with a committee of Margo Amgott, Eric Achacoso, Ted Dawson, Richard Eng, Mel Gionson, David Hajjar, Ann Harada, Eric Heyer, Holly Hyans, Sharon Jensen, Mia Katigbak, Lani Kennedy & Lewis Kwit, Emily Lloyd, Sam Rudy, Diana Steele, Kevin Sterns, Timothy Walther, Alice J. Wong, and Henry Yuk. Catering will be provided by James Chew.

Terrence McNally (Playwright) has received four Tony Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, one Emmy, two Obies, two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Rockefeller Grant, the Lucille Lortel Award, the Hull-Warriner Award, and a citation from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has been a member of the Council of the Dramatists Guild since 1970. His many plays include BAD HABITS; THE RITZ; WHERE HAS TOMMY FLOWERS GONE; FRANKIE AND JOHNNY AT THE CLAIR DE LUNE; ANDRE'S MOTHER; THE LISBON TRAVIATA; LIPS TOGETHER, TEETH APART; A PERFECT GANESH (nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for Drama); BY THE SEA, BY THE SEA, BY THE BEAUTIFUL SEA; MASTER CLASS; CORPUS CHRISTI; SOME MEN; DEUCE; UNUSUAL ACTS OF DEVOTION. His musical theatre work includes THE RINK; KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN; RAGTIME; THE FULL MONTY; THE VISIT; A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE. He has adapted his own work for film ("The Ritz," "Frankie and Johnny," "Love! Valour! Compassion!") and TV (ANDRE'S MOTHER) and has written for opera ("The Food of Love," "Dead Man Walking").

Alan Muraoka's (Director) first NAATCO production of FALSETTOLAND won an OBIE Award, received critical acclaim and enjoyed a sold-out run at the Vineyard Theatre in 1998, and was revived in 2007 for the First National Asian American Theatre Festival. He directed the Tony-nominated actor John Tartaglia (AVENUE Q) in his one-man show, John Tartaglia AD-LIBERTY, which ran at Joe's Pub at The Public Theatre, and won numerous cabaret awards. Other New York directing credits: world premiere of KARAOKE STORIES (IMUA Theater Company), 4 annual concerts of THE LEADING MEN (BC/EFA), EMPTY HANDED (Musicals Tonight), and cabarets for Tony-nominated actress Stephanie D'Abruzzo and Ann Harada. Regionally, he has been the go-to director for Disney's HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, directing it in Oklahoma City (Lyric Theatre), St. Louis (MUNY), and Ft. Worth (Casa Manaña). This summer he returned to the Lyric Theatre in Oklahoma City to direct Disney's HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 2. He was the Associate Director for the world premiere of the Bill Russell/Henry Kreiger musical UP IN THE AIR (Kennedy Center), and he has directed for the Public Theater, the Village Theater in Seattle, and a three city Taiwanese tour of a rock musical called, MAKING TRACKS. As an actor, Mr. Muraoka is most recognizable for his role in the Emmy Award winning series, "Sesame Street," where he plays "Alan," the proprietor of Hooper's Store. He has appeared in six Broadway shows; the recent revival of PACIFIC OVERTURES, MAIL, SHOGUN, THE MUSICAL, MY FAVORITE YEAR, THE KING AND I (with Lou Diamond Phillips and Donna Murphy), and most notably MISS SAIGON.

Richard Eng and Artistic/Producing director Mia Katigbak founded NAATCO in 1989. Now in its 20th season, it is one of the country's leading theatre companies providing a stage for the talents of Asian-American theatre artists. NAATCO presents classical and contemporary works with all Asian-American casts and adaptations of these works by Asian American Playwrights. Most recently, NAATCO presented a revival of the Tennessee Williams classic OUT CRY and the world premiere of Karen Hartman's LEAH'S TRAIN. Other notable NAATCO productions since 1990 include OTHELLO, LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT, OUR TOWN, YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU, Archibald MacLeish's AIR RAID, Joseph Conrad's TALES OF UNREST, ANTIGONE, Catherine Filloux's EYES OF THE HEART, Christopher Fry's A PHOENIX TOO FAR, IVANOV, THE DISPUTE, and Michael Golamco's COWBOY V. SAMURAI. This fall, NAATCO will present a new adaptation of Chekhov's THE SEAGULL, performed in conjunction with the 2nd National Asian American Theatre Festival in New York.

NAATCO's one-night-only all Asian-American production of Terrence McNally's LOVE! VALOUR! COMPASSION! will be held at The Cherry Lane Theatre (38 Commerce Street) on Monday, September 14 with a 6:00pm cocktail reception and a 7:00pm performance. Tickets are $125 through $1,000 (tax-exempt to the full extent of the law) and are available by contacting NAATCO at (212) 244-0447 or online at www.naatco.org. Tickets must be purchased by September 4, 2009.

 



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