New York

NYC Rehearsals Begin for Anti-Communist Musical ‘Tiananmen’

The all-Asian cast of Broadway veterans and newcomers began rehearsals in New York City on Tuesday for a rock musical criticizing the massacre of Chinese Communist Party student protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square.

Wuer Caixi, a student leader of the 1989 protests and a Chinese dissident now active as a pro-democracy activist in Taiwan, came up with the idea for Tiananmen: The New Musical and served as the production’s creative consultant. increase.

“When we demonstrated in 1989, I believed in democracy, and I still believe it’s the right thing to do for China,” Kaixi said in an email. “We look forward to seeing and hearing the event as a musical and hope it helps the world remember.”

The cast of Asian-American and Pacific Islander performers announced Thursday includes Kaitlyn Burke (“The Sound of Music”), Kai Anh Chi (“Miss Saigon”), Grace Choi (“Avenue Q”), Includes Troy Iwata (“Be More Chill”). ”). Also in musical theater is Austin Coo, who has been nominated for a 2021 Grammy Award for his album ‘Soft Power’.

Producers said they asked cast members not to comment on the show, citing concerns about possible reprisals from the Chinese Communist Party.

“Some of the actors have families in China, so there’s an element of horror to this show,” said lead producer Jason Rose. “This is clearly a show that China will not go crazy for.”

Featuring original rock songs as a tribute to the music of 1989, when it was trendy for rock singers to support student protesters. Writer Scott Elmegrin and composer Drew Fornarola collaborated on a song containing the refrain “They will hear us.”

“At a time when democracy faces great challenges in America and around the world, I hope this show inspires viewers to think about love, freedom, and big ideas worth fighting for.” The credits include the Off-Broadway show “Straight”.

The New York cast will perform two dramatic readings of “Tiananmen” on Sept. 20. The $750,000 stage production will premiere next year on his October 6th in Phoenix, Arizona, kicking off his five-week regional tour that producers have been anticipating. to Broadway.

Veteran Broadway actor Darren Lee will direct both the reading and premiere tours. He is also the choreographer for the Phoenix show.

“‘Tiananmen’ is a brave and necessary work that reminds us of a momentous event in world history that happened in Tiananmen Square at a time when China is trying to erase everything that happened there.” said Lee, a Chinese-American. . NYC Rehearsals Begin for Anti-Communist Musical ‘Tiananmen’

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