The East Side

Book by Julia Riew, Jared Leong, John Lim
Music and Lyrics by Julia Riew
Orchestrations by Ian Chan

As New York City Chinatown becomes increasingly gentrified, 17-year-old Ryan and his immigrant mother, Ms. Chen, must decide whether to reimagine their restaurant to appeal to American interests, or go bankrupt. Jaded by life at the restaurant, distracted by romance, and full of idealistic fantasies, Ryan struggles to balance spending time with friends, studying for the SATs, working at the Dumpling House, and investing in his hobbies. The East Side is a new coming-of-age musical about family, authenticity, gentrification, and Asian-American identity.

Performance History

January 22, 2022 (workshop)
The Nora, Cambridge, MA
Produced by Central Square Theater supported by the National Endowment for the Arts
Music Direction by Ian Chan
Direction by Michael Hisamoto

April 11-14, 2019
Farkas Hall, Cambridge, MA
Produced by Harvard College Asian Student Arts Project
Music Direction by Ian Chan and Julia Riew
Direction by KeeHup Yong and Julia Riew


“The East Side” from The East Side. Performed by Jason Yoo.
“The Things I’ve Always Known” from The East Side. Performed by Bo Choi and Jason Yoo.