After two days of recording in January, followed by six months of squeezing in studio time, the original cast album for THE FOUR IMMIGRANTS: AN AMERICAN MUSICAL MANGA is finally here! On Monday, we celebrated with a release party at the Opal Nightclub in downtown Mountain View, hosted by TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. Of course, I have had access to the album's files for a few weeks now, as we were waiting for the CDs to be published. But the excitement from folks at the party was so invigorating and uplifting, I was filled with gratitude. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of the journey of THE FOUR IMMIGRANTS so far. Now, with this album, more people will be able to experience the music of the show. And hopefully, it will help us get to a second production soon enough!
Last night, The Four Immigrants: An American Musical Manga received the following San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards:
- Original Script, Min Kahng
- Original Music, Min Kahng
- Entire Production, Bay Area
- Entire Production, South Bay
- Stage Direction, Leslie Martinson
- Music Direction, Billy Liberatore
I'm am so pleasantly stunned and honored by this recognition! Thank you to all of the many collaborators and supporters who have been a part of the journey of The Four Immigrants!
- Entire Production Bay Area
- Entire Production South Bay
- Original Script - Min Kahng
- Original Music - Min Kahng
- Stage Direction - Leslie Martinson
- Music Direction - William Liberatore
- Choreography - Dottie Lester-White
- Costume Design - Noah Marin
- Lighting Design - Steven Mannshardt
- Set Design - Andrew Boyce
Winners will be announced at the ceremony on March 26, 2018!
I spent the past weekend at 25th Street Recording in Oakland with the Four Immigrants cast, musicians and creative team to record the original cast album for the show*. To be honest, going into the weekend, I was feeling fairly anxious. I have recorded two cast albums before, and both of them demanded so much time and attention that my impression of the recording process was that it was always mentally draining. So, I braced myself for a similar experience this time. I'm delighted to say that, while the recording sessions were definitely still demanding, the entire process actually went very smoothly and with minimal hiccups.
It was immediately clear to me that this was because I had such a great team of people around me. We were fortunate not only to have the entire cast back, but each musician in our 6-person ensemble had played in the pit for the show as well! This enabled us to jump right back into the material even after almost half a year had passed since the last time we performed it. Perhaps the biggest help was that I had a team of people to help take on some of the administrative and decision-making roles. For my past albums, I wore the hats of producer, manager, and music director combined. For The Four Immigrants, we split up these responsibilities among five people, and, by doing so, were able to keep things focused, organized and on track. This made a world of difference. Having a team of people you trust. Working with them and leaning on them. This sense of relying on others to help us get through to the end is, interestingly enough, one of the major themes in the show as well. I'm so grateful to all of the individuals who lent their skills, talent, time, and funds to this project. I wouldn't be able to do it alone.
*We are still trying to raise funds to help with the final production and distribution costs of the album. If you would like to make a donation, click here.