Maltby & Shire

The collaboration of Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire is one of the longest-running “acts” in show business, outlasting the partnerships of Gilbert & Sullivan, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Lerner & Loewe and—well, just about any other team you could name. That fact speaks to the deep artistic affinity between the two men, who began writing theater scores at Yale in the late 1950s and now, more than a half century later, are unveiling their latest creation, Waterfall.

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Waterfall: A World in Transition

Everyone enjoys a good love story told well and on this alone, Waterfall delivers. But beyond its captivating story of forbidden love, Waterfall possesses a socially conscious essence as it moves from Bangkok to Tokyo in the 1930s, exploring issues of culture and identity, race, globalization, immigration and the eternal tug of war between tradition and modernity. These themes not only capture the tensions of the times, but seem quite familiar and relevant to the present.Siburapha Behind the Painting

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Waterfall at Seattle’s Thai Festival

This past Saturday, The 5th Avenue Theatre was honored to be a sponsor of the 2015 Thai Festival. Hosted by the Thai Association of Washington, this cultural event featured live performances, arts and crafts, and a delicious variety of Thai food. Here are some photos from the day!

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Why Do New Musicals Matter?

TAK VIRAVAN ON HIS LOVE OF MUSICAL THEATER

Musical theater is one of our great indigenous art forms, born entirely of an American culture of entertainment and exported around the world. It has the power to tell incredible stories, touch the soul and bring light to joy. It is this gift that Waterfall co-director Tak Viravan loves, and the reason that he believes the creation of new musicals is of the utmost importance.

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From an Artist’s Perspective: Thom Sesma on Waterfall

“I’ve been associated with Waterfall from its initial reading around a coffee table in Manhattan in 2011,” says Thom Sesma, the Broadway star who plays the role of Chao Khun, Katherine’s older husband in the romantic new musical. Sesma fell in love with the work and participated in several subsequent readings and workshops in the years that followed, leading finally to a collaboration between Pasadena Playhouse and The 5th Avenue Theatre this year.

“I’ve been associated with Waterfall from its initial reading around a coffee table in Manhattan in 2011,”

Thom Sesma…says Thom Sesma, the Broadway star who plays the role of Chao Khun, Katherine’s older husband in the romantic new musical. Sesma fell in love with the work and participated in several subsequent readings and workshops in the years that followed, leading finally to a collaboration between Pasadena Playhouse and The 5th Avenue Theatre this year. The musical is a unique collaboration between Broadway greats and Thai entertainment powerhouses, from Tony Award-nominated writing duo Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire to media mogul Tak Viravan and pop superstar Bie Sukrit. “It’s not without its challenges,” Sesma laughs. “There’s language and cultural differences that need to be bridged within the very distinct context of creating an American musical. But given that the show, at least on one level, is about cultural distinctions, the challenges are always worth it—for the piece itself, and for each individual artist. Broadening one’s horizons intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, if you will, is nourishment for a creative person. It’s even more so for a creative team, and invaluable for a piece like this.”

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