This summer, Broadway vet Thom Sesma (Titanic, The Times They Are A’Changin’) is spending the summer in Bangkok, in a trio of shows, theatrically speaking. In July, he appeared as The King in the critically acclaimed Music Theatre of Wichita’s new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic The King and I.
The day after Miss Saigon closes, he begins a 29 hour reading of a musical called Behind The Painting, which hails from Thailand. It stars Thai pop sensation “Bie”, and was presented in Bangkok by Broadway producer Thakonkiat Veerawan. The American adaptation is by Richard Maltby (with whom Sesma worked with on Broadway’s Nick and Nora) and David Shire in collaboration with Thakonkiat (“Tak”) and is being produced by Tak and Jack Dalgliesh.
Signature’s production of Miss Saigon kicks off the 2013/2014 and also stars Signature newcomers Diana Huey as the Vietnamese bar girl Kim, Jason Michael Evans as the American GI Chris. They are joined by many of Signature’s most well-known actors, including Erin Driscoll (Spin, Company) as Ellen, Chris Sizemore (Chess, Sweeney Todd) as John, and Christopher Mueller (Spin, Brother Russia) as Thuy.
Cheryl Daro will play Gigi. Stephen Gregory Smith, James Gardiner, Gannon O’Brien, Vincent Kempski, Nicholas Yenson, Kevin Kulp, Ryan Sellers, Katie Mariko Murray, Tamara Young, and Eunice Bae round out the cast.
The production will be the first Miss Saigon in Washington in 15 years, said Schaeffer. “Audiences are in for an amazing experience – the reinvention of a beloved musical. Signature is pulling out all the stops on this production with a terrific cast, full-size orchestra, and a set that engulfs the entire 276 seat theatre. I can think of no better way to kick off our 24th season than with a new environmental production of Miss Saigon.”
Miss Saigon features an award-winning creative team that includes Karma Camp (choreographer), Adam Koch (scenic designer), Frank Labowitz (costume designer), Chris Lee (lighting designer), Matt Rowe (sound designer), and Anne Nesmith (wig designer). Gabriel Mangiante is the Music Director, and Kerry Epstein is Production Stage Manager.
Created by the acclaimed writers of Les Miserables (produced by Signature in 2008), this modern, rock-infused adaptation of Puccini’s 1904 opera Madame Butterfly explores the ongoing impact of love, loss, and the collision of cultures during the Vietnam War. Originally produced in London’s West End in 1989, the show played for an astonishing ten years – a run of over four thousand performances. Broadway success followed in 1991.
A 15-piece orchestra backs Miss Saigon‘s 18-member cast, bringing to life an electrifying score featuring hit songs including “The Heat Is On,” “I Still Believe,” “Why God Why?” and “The American Dream.”
This production will also premiere the new song “Maybe,” written for Ellen.
Signature Theatre is located at 4200 Campbell Avenue (22206) off I-395 at the Shirlington exit (#6). After the exit, blue Signature signs mark the way to the theatre. Free parking is available in two adjacent public garages. Please note that Campbell Avenue is a new street and some GPS online mapping systems do not yet recognize Signature Theatre’s address. For directions visit http://signature-theatre.org/map.htm.
CONTACT INFORMATIONSubscriptions/Groups: (703) 820-9771
Single Tickets: Ticketmaster (703) 573-SEAT (7328)
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Signature Theatre • 4200 Campbell Avenue • Arlington, VA 22206
Recipient of the 2009 Regional Theatre Tony Award®, Signature Theatre is a non-profit professional theater company in Arlington, Virginia dedicated to producing contemporary musicals and plays, reinventing classic musicals, and developing new work. Under the leadership of co-founder and Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer and Managing Director Maggie Boland, Signature has presented 38 world premiere productions and is renowned for combining Broadway-quality productions with intimate playing spaces.
In addition to hosting the finest talent from the DC metropolitan area and New York, Signature has been home to such theatre luminaries as Chita Rivera, George Hearn, Hunter Foster, Emily Skinner, Ann Reinking, Marc Kudisch, Judy Kuhn, John Kander and Fred Ebb, Cameron Mackintosh, Terrence McNally, and the company’s signature composer, Stephen Sondheim.
Since its founding in 1989, Signature has won 78 Helen Hayes Awards for excellence in the Washington, DC region’s professional theater and has been honored with 320 nominations.
Signature is partially supported by a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts and by a gift from the Arlington Cultural Affairs Division of Arlington Economic Development and the Arlington Commission for the Arts.Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia recently starred as Carole Barbara in Lorey Hayes’ Power Play at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., with Pauletta Pearson Washington, Roscoe Orman, Lorey Hayes, Marcus Naylor and Phynjuar.
Other articles by Lia Chang:
The Chronicle Features Lorey Hayes’ Power Play
Febone1960.net Review: Power Play Powerful & Suspenseful
Celebrity Actress, Pauletta Pearson Washington returns home to North Carolina starring at 2013 National Black Theatre festival with Roscoe Orman (“Sesame Street,” Willie Dynamite) and all star cast in Lorey Hayes’ award-winning “Power Play”, a play about Politics, Passion and The Power of God
Video: Power Play’s Lorey Hayes and Lia Chang on The Carmen Mathis Show
Photos: Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Phylicia Rashad, John Earl Jelks, Leslie Uggams, Anthony Chisholm, S. Epatha Merkerson, Taraji P. Henson, Jesse L. Martin, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Kenny Leon and More Set for August Wilson American Century Cycle Recording Series at The Greene Space in NY, Aug. 26-Sept. 28, 2013
Photos: All-Access Pass to August Wilson’s Two Trains Running with John Earl Jelks, Harvy Blanks, Chuck Cooper, Anthony Chisholm, Owiso Odera, Roslyn Ruff and James A. Williams
Signature Theatre’s 2013-14 Season Features New Works by Albee, Hwang, Enos, Taylor, Wilson, Clarke and Jacobs-Jenkins
Photos: The 58th Annual Drama Desk Awards and After Party
Photos: Yellow Fever Playwright Rick Shiomi Explores New Territory with An All-Female Cast
Other articles on Thom Sesma:
Christine Toy Johnson, Thom Sesma, Ali Ewolt, Jose Llana, Ann Harada, Telly Leung and More Set for The Asian American Composers and Lyricists Project at The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre on May 19, 2013
Thom Sesma, Francis Jue, Robin de Jesus and John Tartaglia set for MUNY’s Aladdin, July 5-13
Thom Sesma is the keynote speaker for the Library of Congress celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) at the Mary Pickford Theater on May 17
Photos & Video Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas-In the Makeup Chair with Thom Sesma
Spotlight on Shanghai Moon’s Thom Sesma
Photos: Highlights of Shinsai: Theaters for Japan (3pm) with Andre Bishop, Mary Beth Hurt, Jennifer Lim, Angela Lin, Philip Kan Gotanda, Thom Sesma, Sab Shimono, Richard Thomas, Jay O. Sanders, and more
Photos: Highlights of Shinsai: Theaters for Japan (8pm) with Oskar Eustis, Patti LuPone, Lisa Emery, Ann Harada, Paolo Montalban, Thom Sesma, Sab Shimono, Henry Stram, Richard Thomas, John Weidman and more
Extended through 8/23- “In Rehearsal” Lia Chang Theater Portfolio at Library of Congress Featuring Robert Lee and Leon Ko’s Heading East Starring BD Wong, Thom Sesma as Scar in The Lion King Las Vegas
Photos: On the town with Rick Shiomi, Co-Editor of “Asian American Plays for a New Generation”, in D.C. & NY
Photos: Rick Shiomi Checks out Performing Arts Playwrights Series in the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection of Library of Congress
Lia Chang Theater Portfolio at Library of Congress Features Photos of Thom Sesma’s Makeup Transformation as Scar in Disney’s The Lion King Las Vegas, Robert Lee and Leon Ko’s Heading East Starring BD Wong, David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish, and Samrat Chakrabarti and Sanjiv Jhaveri’s Bakwas Bumbug! on View Through August 2
“In Rehearsal”: Lia Chang Theater Portfolio Features Rehearsal Photos of David Henry Hwang’s Broadway Bound Chinglish and Samrat Chakrabarti and Sanjiv Jhaveri’s “Bakwas Bumbug! on View in the Asian Division Reading Room at Library of Congress through 8/2
My portrait of “New York actor Thom Sesma’s Makeup Transformation into Scar in The Lion King” on view in HHC’s New York City: IN FOCUS, Vol. 2- 7/14
HHC Art Collection’s “New York City: In FOCUS, Vol.2” Photo Exhibit on view 6/23-/7/14,Opening Reception 6/23
Backstage at The Lion King Las Vegas with Thom Sesma
Thom Sesma as Scar in The Lion King at Mandalay bay
Thom Sesma, Peter Kim and Andrew Cristi star in Durango
Thom Sesma Stars in Jeanne Sakata’s Dawn’s Light: The Journey of Gordon Hirabayashi
Thom Sesma in The Epic Theatre Ensemble’s A HARD HEART
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive.