Broadway veteran Thom Sesma is evil personified as the villainous and malevolent “Scar” in DISNEY’S THE LION KING, currently in previews at the Mandalay Bay Theatre in Las Vegas. Based on the 1994 animated film of the same name, The Lion King bowed on Broadway in November 1997, directed by Julie Taymor with choreography by Garth Fagan. It features a score by Elton John and Tim Rice, with additional music and lyrics by a variety of artists, and a book by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi. The show won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, as well as the Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.
When the Las Vegas production of THE LION KING celebrates its official opening May 15, it will join seven other wildly successful companies of THE LION KING currently running around the world, including New York, London, Hamburg, Paris, Tokyo and Fukuoka, as well as the North American National Tour.
Ever the chameleon, the versatile Sesma is equally at home in the musical theater as well as on the legit stage. This month he’ll receive The Enquirer Acclaim Award, which celebrates the best of Cincinnati theatre, for his turn as a frustrated Korean immigrant widower in the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park’s production of Julia Cho’s Durango which opened the 2008 fall season last September.
Last seen on Broadway as the seductive powerhouse Captain Ahrab wielding a whip in The Times They are A-Changin’, Sesma has been on and off Broadway and on tour in Miss Saigon, Titanic, Search and Destroy, Man of La Mancha, Cymbeline, Rashomon, Baba Goya, In a Pig’s Valise, As Thousands Cheer, Othello, Ivanov, Howard Barker’s A Hard Heart, playing opposite Kathleen Chalfant and starring opposite Charles Busch in Shanghai Moon.
Preview performances 8 p.m. Tuesday through May 11 and May 13-14
Mandalay Bay, 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Preview performance schedule:
May 5, 6, 7, 8: 8 p.m.
May 9: 4 p.m. & 8 p.m.
May 10, 11: 8 p.m.
May 12: Dark
May 13, 14: 8 p.m.
Official opening: May 15 at 7:30 p.m.Lia Chang is an actor, performance and fine art botanical photographer and an award-winning multimedia journalist. Lia’s portraits and performance photos have appeared in Vanity Fair, Gourmet, German Elle, Women’s Wear Daily, The Paris Review, VIBE, TV Guide, Daily Variety, Interior Design, American Theatre, Life & Style, OUT, New York Magazine, InStyle, Timeout.com, Villagevoice.com, Playbill.com, Theatermania.com, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe, New York Times and Washington Post. A former syndicated arts and entertainment columnist for KYODO News, Lia is the New York Bureau Chief for AsianConnections.com. She writes about culture, style and Asian American issues for a variety of publications and this Backstage Pass with Lia Chang blog. As a photographer and videographer, Lia is frequently tapped to collaborate with artists, organizations and companies in establishing their documentary photo archive. She has been documenting her colleagues and contemporaries in the arts, fashion and journalism since making her stage debut as Liat in the National Tour of South Pacific, with Robert Goulet and Barbara Eden.