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TOPSY TURVY 2: A Reimagined (Digital) Disney Cabaret

“Hats off to Damon Jang for his tireless computer-generated graphics and information to help the audience string some cohesion from one presentation to the next. The enormous amount of time spent at the computer screen is a massive undertaking”

Joe Szekeres, Chief Toronto Critic,  Onstage Blog

https://www.onstageblog.com/reviews/2020/5/28/vancouver-bc-online-review-topsy-turvy-2-a-reimagined-disney-cabaret

ONCE ON THIS ISLAND (VANCOUVER PREMIERE)

“In casting this production, director Damon Bradley Jang drew from Vancouver’s diverse talent pool to find his actors. Jang says “we wanted to cast based on the culturally diverse community of performers who make up Greater Vancouver and might otherwise be underrepresented in the city. We fully acknowledge that the story is a largely set in Haiti but we wanted to use the story as a platform to address the more universal themes of love, death, and social prejudice. In the agreement, the writers have stipulated that the show can be done with a multi ethnic cast as long as these themes are presented.”- Jay Minter (On The List) http://www.jayminter.com/fabulist-theatre-once-on-this-island/

“Director Damon Bradley Jang, who also is the associate choreographer and uncredited set designer, brings together a splendid vision of emotion and colour to the musical written by the same team who brought us Seussical the Musical, Anastatia and Ragtime…..Associate choreographer Jang brings his vast musical theatre experience to stage some visually interesting, narrative-driven numbers such as “The Sad Tale of the Beauxhommes” and “Some Say.” The space is small, and it looked like blocking at times was crammed, but as the show settles, I'm sure they will find their footing and flesh out the stage. It’s worth saying there are 15 in this production. Moving at a lighting face pace, the 90 min production whisks the audience through a magical and heart-wrenching journey worthy of the gods themselves. – -Samantha Dowdell (Onstage Blog) https://www.onstageblog.com/reviews/2018/4/9/review-once-on-this-island-at-the-red-gate-revue-stage

“So how the hell is Once on This Island managing to rake it in at the box office in New York in this age of #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter? Well, the musical—music by Stephen Flaherty and book and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens—is overflowing with texture. It’s a fable: birds, trees, and gods all sing. This opens up glorious design possibilities. And the rhythms in the Caribbean-themed music are fabulous. Some of the songs—including “The Human Heart”, despite the extreme simplicity of its lyrics—are moving, thanks largely to the beauty of their melodies.

How well does this Fabulist Theatre production do with this wonky material? They do okay….Director Damon Bradley Jang tries to squeeze too large a cast onto the tiny Red Gate Revue stage and his blocking often forces central characters to upstage themselves.-Colin Thomas (Mapping the intuitive,https://colinthomas.ca/2018/04/07/once-on-this-island

 

“I was particularly impressed with the blocking and how director Damon Bradley Jang filled up the space. I’ve worked in the Revue stage before; a struggle for stagehands and a director’s nightmare. The only way to travel between the wings is across the stage and the stage itself is tiny with an oddly-shaped thrust with stairs leading down from it. Having the actors appear through the aisles in the audience would’ve required actors to run around through the lobby and even outside the building. There were three clear levels the actors worked on; the platform higher than the stage (where the gods were usually), the stage itself, and the stairs/audience area. The big cast was distributed well throughout these levels, and everyone had something to do in every scene. I feel like the limiting space at the Revue was utilized and filled up very cleverly.”-Jessica Kim- UBC Players CLub                                                                          http://www.ubcplayersclub.com/once-on-this-island-review/

“Traditionally, director Damon Jang told the Independent in an email, the role of Papa Ge is played “by a man, but portrayed by a woman in the Broadway revival version.” Rosofsky, he said, “was the best person for the part, so we cast her.” -Cynthia http://www.jewishindependent.ca/tag/damon-jang/

Song and dance bring two sides of this Island together                                                                                                  “The original script calls for an all-black cast, with lighter and darker skinned performers representing the island’s inhabitants. The Fabulist take features a cast from a range of ethnicities. “We are the first semi-professional company that is taking the change on, but we are using line changes created for a multi-ethnic cast by the original writers,” Jang said. The book is by Lynn Ahrens and the music by Stephen Flaherty.” – Shawn Connor (The Vancouver Sun)https://vancouversun.com/entertainment/local-arts/song-dance-and-diversity-bring-two-sides-of-this-island-together

Director Damon Jang’s Fabulist Theatre has a “mandate,” as declared right on the back page of the playbill for its latest production, Once on this Island.  The company aims to showcase talents of “all races, ages, genders and abilities”-Lincoln Kaye Vancouver Observer https://www.vancouverobserver.com/culture/theatre/star-crost-lovers-la-cr-ole

SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD

Not having seen a production of SFANW with but four actors playing all the roles, I have nothing to compare. But I can imagine. The choice to expand the cast and flesh out scenes with 11 additional actors and harmonies and costumes and staging was inspired. The choreography or "musical staging" as Damon Jang calls could not help but add visual depth and breadth to a spare, 4-person performance, no question                                                                                                                                                                                                    

-Baird Blackstone, Broken Legs Review                                                               http://brokenlegreviews.blogspot.com/2017/03/songs-for-new-world-haunt-honour-our.html

“Originally written for two men and two women, in this production the cast has been expanded to fourteen. A veritable rainbow of nationalities, the diversity Jang and Littlejohn have assembled on the PAL Studio stage is laudable. It is also one of the more powerful connections to this show’s refugee/immigrant theme. “-Mark Robbins, Vancouver Presents

https://www.vancouverpresents.com/theatre/review-songs-for-a-new-world/

“The performance, which is being produced by newcomer Fabulist Theatre and directed by Damon Jang, is reportedly a “rare kind of show” with a song cycle somewhere “between a musical” and “a revue” that explores themes of immigration, war, motherhood, poverty and the “singular moments that transform our lives.” Fabulist Theatre said it’s “committed to producing shows that promote diversity in all forms and creating opportunities for a wide variety of performers, both amateur and professional.”                    --Alan Campbell Richmond News     https://www.richmond-news.com/arts/richmond-perfomers-sing-songs-for-a-new-world-1.12736143

“There are a few other nice glimmers of light throughout the show. Kate MacColl does a beautiful rendition of “Stars and the Moon”, where she reminisces to her daughter about the romantic choices she’s made in life. Young Arta Negahban has great pizazz and gets to shine in some of the choreographic moments, including showcasing a fantastic front walkover. And the intriguing “The World Was Dancing”, nicely captures the interesting romantic dynamics between two young men (Michael Czyc and Damon Bradley Jang) who also have girlfriends. “

BETTER THAN THIS

“We’re also trying to capture and salute the pioneer women of musical theatre,” said Jang, who choreographed the theatrical revue and recently won a Broadway World Vancouver Award for his work. -Christine Beyleveldt // Editor-in-Chief – The Capilano Courier http://www.capilanocourier.com/2019/02/26/better-premieres-havana-theatre/

“Fabulist Theatre is presenting Better Than This, running Feb. 28 to March 9 at the Havana Theatre in Vancouver – and a Burnaby talent is a driving force behind the musical. Damon Jang, a co-founder of the theatre company, is also choreographing the show.”

Julie McLean, The Burnaby Now https://www.burnabynow.com/entertainment/better-than-this-traces-the-evolution-of-women-s-roles-in-musical-theatre-1.23619390

Fabulist Theatre’s production of the musical Once on this Island begins this Friday, 06 April 2018 (running to 14 April 2018); the show’s director Damon Jang, and its choreographer Marion Landers talk to Joseph Planta about the music, dance, diverse cast, and more.

Jang choreographs the Fabulist Theatre production, onstage at the Havana Theatre from Feb. 28 to March 9 “By celebrating iconic female characters from Eliza Doolittle (My Fair Lady) to Alison Bechdel (Fun Home), Better Than This examines why certain tropes persist and looks at changing the narrative around the female voice in musicals,” says a press release about the production.

https://www.burnabynow.com/entertainment/better-than-this-traces-the-evolution-of-women-s-roles-in-musical-theatre-1.23619390

DRACULA

Director Damon Bradley Jang loves the film noir genre and opted for a modern, neo-noir aesthetic for the soundscape and costumes. Casting, as is typical for Fabulist Theatre, is decidedly non-traditional for this latest incarnation of Dracula. – Darpan Magazine https://darpanmagazine.com/events/arts/fabulist-theatre-presents-dracula-a-modern-radio-play/?page=6

 

Director Damon Bradley Jang loves the film noir genre and opted for a modern, neo-noir aesthetic for the soundscape and costumes,” the company says in a press release. “Casting, as is typical for Fabulist Theatre, is decidedly non-traditional for this latest incarnation of Dracula.”- Tom Zillich The Peace Arch Newshttps://www.peacearchnews.com/entertainment/dracula-audio-drama-stars-surrey-actors-in-spooky-re-imagining-of-a-classic/