Full Cast Announced For LADY DAY & HEDWIG At ArtsWest
When the ArtsWest 2017-18 I AM Season reaches its conclusion with Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill, two powerful performers will take the stage to lead each production - respectively, Nicholas Japaul Bernard as Hedwig and renowned Seattle performer Felicia Loud as Billie Holiday. Presented together in rotating repertory under the title Practical Questions of Wholeness, these two plays will perform on alternating days from June 7 through July 8, 2018.
Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill is a moving, fictionalized account of one of Billie Holiday's final live performances. The role has special meaning for Felicia Loud, who performed in a previous production with Strawberry Theatre Workshop in 2009.
"Since Lady Sings the Blues I have had an adoration for Billy Holiday," said Loud. "This story is timeless. Everyone has a story of love, loss, courageousness, humor, and passion."
Loud also remembers feeling nervous at one of her previous performances because a renowned local theatre maker was watching from the audience - director Valerie Curtis-Newton, who will direct Loud in this new ArtsWest production. "Valerie Curtis-Newton: the name alone stands for creative being," said Loud. Up-and-coming Seattle performer Nicholas Japaul Bernard is excited for his leading role in the companion piece, the cult hit Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
"I think what's going to make this production special has to do with the voices in the room: a gay director, a gender queer/non-binary actor [Dani Hobbs, who will play Yitzhak], and a gay-black-disabled actor," said Bernard. "These three voices all have stake in this story and all have direct links to the subject matter."
"I'm excited to tell this story, I'm excited to collaborate with new artists," said Bernard. "I'm excited to let Seattle know that I'm here."
Joining Felicia Loud in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill and Nicholas Japaul Bernard and Dani Hobbs in Hedwig and the Angry Inch are a standout team of artists and designers, many of whom return to ArtsWest after previous productions: Hedwig Musical Director Chris DiStefano (ARTSWEST HOLIDAY CAST PARTY), Lady Day Musical Director Michael Owcharuk (THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF KAVALIER & CLAY, Book-It Repertory Theatre), Sound Designer Stephon Dorsey (PEERLESS), Lighting Designer Tristan Roberson (THE NANCE), Scenic Designer Christopher Mumaw (SWEENEY TODD), Costume Designer Ricky German (TWELFTH NIGHT, Seattle Shakespeare Company), Properties Master Andrea Spraycar (AN OCTOROON) and Wig Designer Sam Harrison (SAFE SPACE, Annex).
Practical Questions of Wholeness will present Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Fridays and Sundays, and Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill on Thursdays and Saturdays. On Saturday 6/16 and Saturday 6/23, the productions will be performed as a double-header with Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill at 3pm and Hedwig and the Angry Inch at 7:30pm. CAST Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill Felicia Loud - Billie Holiday
Hedwig and the Angry Inch Nicholas Japaul Bernard - Hedwig Dani Hobbs - Yitzhak CREATIVE Valerie Curtis-Netwon - Director, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill Michael Owcharuk - Musical Director, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill Mathew Wright - Director, Hedwig and the Angry Inch Chris DiStefano - Musical Director, Hedwig and the Angry Inch Sound Designer - Stephon Dorsey
Lighting Designer - Tristan Roberson
Scenic Designer - Christopher Mumaw
Costume Designer - Ricky German
Properties Master - Andrea Spraycar
Wig Designer - Sam Harrison
Practical Questions of Wholeness: Hedwig and the Angry Inch(by John Cameron Mitchell) and Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill (by Lanie Robertson)plays June 7 through July 8, 2018 at ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery (4711 California Ave SW, Seattle WA 98116). Tickets (ranging from $19 - $40) may be purchased online at www.artswest.org, by phone at 206.938.0339, or at the Box Office Thurs. - Sat. 2 -7:30pm.
ArtsWest is a vibrant center for both performing and visual arts located in the West Seattle Junction. This 149-seat theatre provides a unique setting for audiences and artists as stories of human emotion unfold in an intimate space. Winner of the American Theatre Wing's 2012 National Theatre Company Award, ArtsWest has produced such diverse work as Green Day'S AMERICAN IDIOT, CHINGLISH, last fall's critically acclaimed production of Henrik Ibsen's GHOSTS and the smash hit PETER AND THE STARCATCHER. ArtsWest produces artistic events that provoke conversation, incite the imagination and use live theater as a powerful agent of change. www.artswest.org.