Broadway on the Web: Justin Anthony Long, Jee Young Han and Jonathan Lee Invite Broadway Stars to Their "City of Dreams"

By Michael Gioia
23 Sep 2013

Jonathan Lee

"You know, in the beginning, I don't think any one of us realized how much time it was going to take and how much work it was going to be to do a ten-episode season," said Lee. "We initially started in [the summer of 2012] doing it, and I don't think we realized we'd still be doing it now, but other professional commitments come up where we've had to take a break from it several times."

The first season of "City of Dreams" is coming to its close with the two-part season finale one week away. Part one of the tenth episode, featuring Tony winner Porter, will hit YouTube and Oct. 1 with the second part, featuring Cinderella co-stars Osnes, Santino Fontana and Marla Mindelle, Newsies' LaVon Fisher-Wilson and Here Lies Love's Kelvin Moon Loh, among others, launching Oct. 9.

"With Laura [Osnes], actually, we had a mutual friend group, so it just landed. Jon Fletcher, who played Arthur Kelly Birmingham in Episode Two worked with Laura in Bonnie & Clyde, [and] we were just hustling and bustling and looking for someone," admitted Han. "In that specific episode we needed someone who is really current to make that scene [where Jamie, Julie and Julian offer a sneak peek at The Ballad of Ofagina] work. He just asked her, and she read the script and was totally interested. We're so grateful to work with people who don't really care about money. They just read our script and like what were doing."

Watch the second episode, "Unexpected Song," featuring Osnes:

With Long, Han and Lee working with limited resources, they rely on actors to volunteer their time and talent.

Thus far, the trio has enlisted Osnes (Cinderella), Eva Kaminsky (The Lyons), Andrew Kober (Hair), Tony-winning orchestrator Stephen Oremus (Kinky Boots), Moon Loh (American Idiot national tour), Tommy McDowell (American Idiot national tour), Will Blum (The Book of Mormon), Sarah Stiles (On a Clear Day You Can See Forever) and Rachel Potter (Evita), recently of "X Factor" fame, among others.

"With Rachel Potter, we just passed the script to her agent, and he passed it to her and she really liked it," said Lee. Potter plays an actress, resembling the character of Karen Cartwright from "Smash," who auditions for The Ballad of Ofagina with an inappropriate song choice — riffing contemporary pop music when the creative team asked for a legit piece.

Watch the fifth episode, "I Hope I Get It," featuring Potter: