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World Premiere of Soft Power Begins Performance

The new musical from David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori plays the Ahmanson Theatre.

The cast of Soft Power rehearses ahead of performances beginning today at the Ahmanson Theatre.
(© Joan Marcus)

Soft Power, the new musical from David Henry Hwang (book and lyrics) and Jeanine Tesori (music and additional lyrics), begins its world-premiere run tonight at Los Angeles's Ahmanson Theatre.

The cast features Billy Bustamante, Kara Guy, Jon Hoche, Kendyl Ito, Francis Jue, Austin Ku, Raymond J. Lee, Alyse Alan Louis, Jaygee Macapugay, Daniel May, Paul HeeSang Miller, Kristen Faith Oei, Maria-Christina Oliveras, Geena Quintos, Conrad Ricamora, Trevor Salter, and Emily Stillings.

A contemporary comedy explodes into a musical fantasia in the first collaboration between two of America's great theater artists: Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly) and Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home). "Soft Power" rewinds our recent political history and plays it back, a century later, through the Chinese lens of a future, beloved East-meets-West musical, in which a Chinese executive who is visiting America finds himself falling in love with a good-hearted U.S. leader — Hillary Clinton — as the power balance between their two countries shifts following the 2016 election.

The creative team includes scenic design by David Zinn, costume design by Anita Yavich, lighting design by Mark Barton, sound design by Kai Harada, orchestrations by Danny Troob, dance arrangements by John Clancy, music supervision by Chris Fenwick, music direction by David O, hair and wig design by Tom Watson, and make-up design by Angelina Avallone. Casting is by Heidi Griffiths, CSA and Kate Murray, CSA. Dramaturgy is by Oskar Eustis, and the production stage manager is David Lurie-Perret.