Book + Lyrics: Jenny C. Lares Music: Bobby Ge
In July 2019, I began to write an original musical in partnership with composer, Bobby Ge, who at the time was a graduate student at the Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University. Made possible by the Dean’s Incentive Grant, the Marin Alsop Grant, and the LAUNCH Grant from Johns Hopkins University Peabody Conservatory, the first half of Yappie the Musical was produced by Donna Ibale & Roger Wu Fu as a workshop performance on October 4, 2019 at the Cohen-Davison Family Theatre, Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, MD with the following cast:
GRACE - Isabella Xie MICHAEL - Mani Yangilmau HENRY - Cirron JAMIE - Kimberly Amar MOM - Davine Ker OLIVIA - Marela Kay Minosa JOSH/NICK - Nick Tucker ENSEMBLE - Jennifer Hasselbusch & Briana Christine Williams
A workshop premiere of the full musical was scheduled for May 2020, but was postponed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout 2020, we continued to work on the musical and transformed the grant-funded project into a concept album—all performed and recorded during social isolation.
While the concept album showcases only a few select songs from the musical, we hope the songs connect with you, make you want to sing and dance and march, and maybe even make you cry. If anything, I hope they can make you feel seen and heard.
STream/download The single–“One Path”– Now on Bandcamp and check out the music video:
Video editing by Lara Villanueva + Graphics by Joy Zhang
The full concept album will drop on Friday, May 28!
Follow us on social media for updates on the album and the release party:
More about the musical
An original musical written by Jenny C. Lares and Bobby Ge, Yappie the Musical follows the story of Grace, a young Asian professional living her best life in the corporate world. Or is she? Passed over for a promotion, Grace finds herself in the unlikeliest of places: auditioning for a musical. Having spent most of her life living up to the expectations of her family, Grace begins to question who she is, what she wants, and what it means to be Asian American. Yappie the Musical promises to be a fun journey asking hard questions about identity and stereotypes with tons of empathy, warmth…and lots of laughs.
More about the concept album:
Book + Lyrics: Jenny C. Lares Music: Bobby Ge Producer + Music Director: Roger Wu Fu Producer + Director: Donna Ibale Dramaturg: Marjorie Antonio Sound Engineer + Editing: Noah Tingen Vocalists: Isabella Xie, Mani Yangilmau, Kim Amar, Ahn Caintic, Davine Ker Musicians: Steven Chen, Eric Black, Hannah Silverberg, Sherry Du, Claire Hebeisen, Nikolai Klotchkov, Jacob Gutierrez, Randall Smith
Workshop Development Team
Abigail Wentz, Isabella Xie, Marela Kay Minosa, Cori Dioquino, Brian Lai, Jennifer Nguyen, Roger Wu Fu, Bobby Ge, Jenny C. Lares, Donna Ibale, Pooja Chalra, Nick Tucker, Davine Ker, Lance Bankerd.