Broadway comes to Hong Kong for musical workshops and two performances of classics
Two Hong Kong drama teachers have brought Broadway stars Chelsea Williams and George Psomas to the city for a week of children’s workshops, after which their students will join them onstage to perform Broadway hits
With only the surest-selling shows making it to our shores – and no sign of the award-winning musical Hamilton arriving any time soon – Hong Kong can sometimes feel like a million miles from Broadway, the famed theatre district in New York.
Dove Tales’ Ben Margalith and Nathan Koval, a pair of Hong Kong-based American actors and drama teachers have set out to strengthen the links between the two cities’ theatre scenes by assembling a cast of faces from both Hong Kong and Broadway for a week of workshops and two performances this week.
A Night on Broadway will unite Corinna Chamberlain and Jordan Cheng, two of Hong Kong’s most prominent performers on the musical scene, with US stars Chelsea Williams (Mamma Mia, In Transit) and George Psomas (Fiddler on the Roof, South Pacific) jetting in from New York to sprinkle a little stateside stardust on the show.
“We couldn’t be prouder of this collaboration,” says Koval. “George and Chelsea have been rehearsing the concert in New York for the past few weeks and are very excited to perform for Hong Kong.”
Fluent in Cantonese, Chamberlain is best known for her work on the TVB comedy-drama Inbound Troubles! and appearance on local singing contest The Voice of the Stars, while Cheng, a best leading actor nominee at the Hong Kong Drama Awards, has starred in more than 50 theatre productions around the world.
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Over two nights at Chai Wan theatre Youth Square, they will guide the audience through renditions of best-loved musical hits andnewer favourites, including pieces from Oklahoma, The Sound of Music, West Side Story, Wicked, and – yes – Hamilton.
The visiting singers will also lead a series of two-hour workshops for youngsters in two groups aged eight to 12, and 13 to 18 each evening from Monday to Thursday.
After learning the ropes from the Broadway performers, the aspiring Neil Patrick Harrises and Bette Midlers will join their mentors on stage to perform in the 650-seat auditorium during the evening shows.
Koval, from Oregon, and Margalith, from California, arrived in Hong Kong five years ago and have made it their mission to inspire local children to take an interest in theatre, and perhaps even pursue a career in the performing arts. Since founding youth theatre company Dove Tales in 2015, they have toured a range of English-language productions, from Shakespeare classics to fairy tales, and drama workshops to schools throughout the city.
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“We want to provide the youth of Hong Kong an opportunity to learn from the best in the business. In Hong Kong, it can be difficult for local kids to get into the arts, as it’s not seen as a successful career,” Koval says.
“It’ll be cool to see local artists next to Broadway singers to show children that this is a possibility and inspire them to follow their dreams of going into performance.”
A Night on Broadway concerts will be held on January 31 and February 1 at 8pm at Y Theatre Youth Square. For tickets, HK$300, see Urbtix. Use promotional code “cats” to receive a 50 per cent discount.