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Kennedy Kanagawa
Mari Uchida

Kennedy Kanagawa

Kennedy Kanagawa

Meet one of the artists, disruptors, educators, groundbreakers, innovators, and storytellers who all helped make the world a better place for LGBTQ+ people.

If you were lucky enough to catch the Broadway revival of Into the Woods, you no doubt fell in love with Milky White, a sad-sack cow that much of the musical’s drama hinges on. Mute and malnourished, Milky White was brought to hilarious life thanks to Kennedy Kanagawa, an out actor, singer, dancer, and puppeteer.

“Making my Broadway debut in one of my all-time favorite musicals and receiving a Drama Desk nomination for it” was Kennedy’s best moment of 2023. “Into the Woods was a dream come true, and the response to portraying Milky White was beyond anything I would have imagined. It was an absolute joy to connect with audiences in New York and around the country.”

However, even ensconced in diverse, liberal Broadway circles, Kanagawa can sometimes feel out of place. “It has been always been a challenge finding a place for myself within the entertainment industry as a gay Asian-American immigrant,” he says. “Representation on the stage and screen is extremely important to me, and I strive to promote visibility with every project I work on.”

Kanagawa’s new project is a departure from the fairy tale-skewering Into the WoodsTiananmen: A New Musical is a love story set amid the Chinese uprisings of 1989. “I am proud to bring this powerful story to the stage,” Kanagawa, who occupies the leading role of Peiwen, told Playbill. “We have an amazing cast, and I can’t wait for our hard work to come to life at the Phoenix Theatre Company this October.” @thisiskennedy

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Neal Broverman