Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Thom Sesma, Emily Padgett, J. Elaine Marcos and Thai Superstar Bie Sukrit lead the cast of the world premiere of WATERFALL at The Pasadena Playhouse, May 29 – June 28 and Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre, October 1-25

Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang

Thom Sesma. Photo by Lia Chang

Bie Sukrit and Emily Padgett. Photo by Joan Marcus

Bie Sukrit and Emily Padgett. Photo by Joan Marcus

Thom Sesma (Broadway: The Times They are A-Changin’Man of La Mancha), Emily Padgett (Broadway: Side Show, Rock of Ages), J. Elaine Marcos (Broadway: Annie, Priscilla: Queen of the Desert), and Thai superstar Bie Sukrit lead the cast of the world premiere of WATERFALL, an epic new Broadway bound musical love story, at The Pasadena Playhouse (Artistic Director Sheldon Epps and Executive Director Elizabeth Doran), 39 S. El Molino Avenue in Pasadena, May 29 – June 28, 2015. Tthe official press opening is on June 7, 2015.  The production will then play Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre October 1-25, 2015.

WATERFALL marks a groundbreaking collaboration between American and Asian theatrical artists. The musical, based on a contemporary classic Thai novel, Behind the Painting by Sriburapha, features book and lyrics by Tony Award-winner Richard Maltby Jr. (Ain’t Misbehavin’, Miss Saigon) and music by Oscar- winner and two-time Tony Award nominee, David Shire (Baby, Big, written in collaboration with Richard Maltby, Jr.) The production will be directed by Broadway and Thai theatrical impresario Tak Viravan and choreographed by Tony Award-nominee Dan Knechtges (Xanadu, Lysistrata Jones). Casting for WATERFALL is by Stewart/Whitley.

J.Elaine Marcos

J.Elaine Marcos

Sheldon Epps, Artistic Director of The Pasadena Playhouse, says, “We are blessed to have brought together a tremendously gifted company for this world premiere production. I know that this gifted group of actors will offer their vitality and energy to this wonderful material and that they will bring this beautiful and romantic story to life. I look forward to having this dazzling cast on our stage and I know that they will provide a wonderful finale to a truly terrific season.”

Director Tak Viravan of WATERFALL, says, “”I am so excited and thrilled to be working with this beautiful and talented cast, and I feel blessed to be among this amazing creative team, many of whom I have been idolizing ever since I knew musical theatre. WATERFALL has been a wonderful journey, and I’m sure will continue to be so. I hope its beauty will touch everyone who comes to experience it. It is such a beautiful and special world.”

Tak Viravan is the leading figure of Thailand’s burgeoning theatre scene, where he has directed 14 musicals and plays and has presented many international touring productions. WATERFALL is adapted from an earlier musical, Behind the Painting, which Viravan directed in Thailand. He has also been a producer for several Broadway musicals, including the Tony-nominated revival of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (2011) and Nice Work If You Can Get It. Viravan is one of the most prominent and influential figures of Thailand’s entertainment industry, where he is also known as a television producer/director and for music and artist management.

Emily Padgett (Katherine) was most recently seen in her critically acclaimed performance as Daisy Hilton in the 2014 Broadway revival of Side Show. Her other Broadway credits include Grease (Sandy), Rock Of Ages (Sherrie), and Legally Blonde. Emily originated the role of Alex Owens on the National Tour of Flashdance and appeared in the 25th Anniversary Tour of Cats. She has also appeared on television in the FX series “Louie”. @MissEmPadgett

Thai superstar Bie Sukrit (Noppon) will make his American stage debut in WATERFALL. From his discovery in 2006 on the Thai television talent contest, “The Star,” Bie has become one of Thailand’s most famous and recognizable young talents, starring on stage, screen and television. As a recording artist, his credits include several top-selling albums and sold out concert tours. Bie created the role of Noppon in the musical Behind the Painting, the earlier version of WATERFALL.

Thom Sesma’s (Chao-Khun) Broadway credits include the original 1983 Broadway production of La Cage aux Folles, Chu Chem, Nick & Nora, Search and Destroy, Man of La Mancha, and The Times They are A- Changin’. Thom’s additional New York credits include the recent Off-Broadway production of Craving for Travel.

J. Elaine Marcos’ (Nuan) Broadway credits include The Wedding Singer, Sweet Charity, Wonderful Town, Flower Drum Song, Miss Saigon and A Chorus Line. She also played the role of Lily St. Regis in the recent revival of Annie on Broadway.

The cast of WATERFALL also features Celia Mei Rubin as Ensemble (Broadway’s Matilda The Musical, London West End’s Parade), Colin Miyamoto as Surin/Ensemble (National Tours of Beauty and the Beast and How I Became a Pirate), Darryl Semira as Ensemble (Broadway’s Mamma Mia! and Bombay Dreams), Eymard Cabling as Siamese Ambassador/Ensemble (National Tour of Miss Saigon and International Tour of The King and I), Jordan De Leon as Santi/Ensemble (Drury Lane Theatre’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Kansas City Starlight Theatre’s Footloose), Kay Trinidad as Ensemble (Broadway’s The Little Mermaid, Off-Broadway’s Bare), Kenway Kua as Ensemble (Broadway’s Wicked and The Frogs), Kimberly Immanuel as Pree/Ensemble (Regional credits include Crazy For You and Love’s Labour’s Lost, the Musical) , Koh Mochizuki as Ensemble (Broadway’s Mary Poppins and Aida), Leon Le as Ensemble (Broadway’s Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, Theatre Under The Star’s West Side Story), Lisa Helmi Johanson as Kumiko/Ensemble (Off-Broadway, National and International Tour of Avenue Q), Marcus Choi as Japanese Attache/Thai Minister/Ensemble (Broadway’s Wicked and Flower Drum Song), Minami Yusui as Ensemble (National Tour of Mary Poppins, Meadow Brook Theatre’s Lysistrata Jones), Riza Takahashi as Ensemble (The MUNY’s The King and I and Thoroughly Modern Millie), Rona Figueroa as Ensemble (Broadway’s Miss Saigon and Les Miserables), and Steven Eng as Takamoto/Ensemble (London West Ends’ The King and I, North Shore Music Theatre’s Pacific Overtures).

The creative team for WATERFALL includes John McDaniel (Music Supervisor/Conductor), Sasavat (Ja) Busayabandh (Scenic Designer), Wade Laboissonniere (Costume Designer), Ken Billington (Lighting Designer), Dan Moses Schreier (Sound Designer), and Caite Hevner Kemp (Projection Designer).

WATERFALL is an epic love story, set in Bangkok and Tokyo between the turbulent years of 1933 and 1939, as a monarchy falls in Thailand and Japan is on the brink of war. A young Thai student falls in love with the American wife of a Thai diplomat, and the story of their forbidden love parallels history as the new democracy of Siam moves into the vortex of the increasingly anti-American Japan. With a gloriously romantic score, WATERFALL is a modern love story of timeless scale.

WATERFALL will be produced on Broadway by Scenario Company Ltd. and Jack M. Dalgleish. Foresight Theatrical serves as general managers. Production dates for Broadway will be announced once a theatre has been confirmed.

The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101. The performance schedule is Tuesday through Friday at 8:00 p.m.; Saturday at 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.; and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Tickets, priced from $47.00 to $87.00, are available online at PasadenaPlayhouse.org; by calling The Pasadena Playhouse at 626-356-7529; or visiting The Pasadena Playhouse Box Office, Tuesday – Sunday from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. during non-performance dates. On performance dates the Box Office is open Tuesday – Saturday from 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, visit PasadenaPlayhouse.org.

cropped-lia-chang_photo-by-carlos-flores-3.jpgLia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon and Taxman. She has guest starred on “One Life to Live,” “As the World Turns,” and “New York Undercover.” She is profiled in Jade Magazine.

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All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2015 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at liachangpr@gmail.com

2 comments on “Thom Sesma, Emily Padgett, J. Elaine Marcos and Thai Superstar Bie Sukrit lead the cast of the world premiere of WATERFALL at The Pasadena Playhouse, May 29 – June 28 and Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre, October 1-25

  1. jeanne baker
    May 27, 2015

    I have a group of Thai guests coming from Thailand to to see the “Waterfall”
    musical on June 12th.
    How do we also join in the 16th Talk Back Tuesday night?
    Please contact me asap.
    Thank you
    Jeanne Baker
    530-227-4234

  2. Lia Chang
    May 27, 2015

    Jeanne,
    You need to contact the theater company. http://www.pasadenaplayhouse.org/contact.html

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