Meet the Pioneers: Jake Rutland, Wesley and Ming-Li

Joining our previously announced cast members are three more intrepid pioneers: Jake Rutland (Louis Hobson), Wesley (Kyle Robert Carter) and Ming-Li (Steven Eng). Jake leaves his home to try and get some independence from his older brother. Jake becomes a proprietor around town, choosing to focus on business (and fleecing the miners) rather than gold mining. Wesley is Jake’s slave who journeys with Jake across the country to start a new life, aspiring to purchase his own freedom through a secret career as a milliner. Ming-Li comes to America with his younger brother, planning on staying only long enough to raise money to support their family back in China.

Louis Hobson just finished up a run in our annual ACT co-production, Assassins, in which he portrayed the infamous John Wilkes Booth. In addition to Assassins, Louis has been in a number of other shows at The 5th including Jacques Brel…, A Room with a View, Spamalot, West Side Story, Miss Saigon and Hair. Louis played the role of Doctor Madden on Broadway in Next to Normal, and was also seen on Broadway in Bonnie & Clyde, Leap of Faith and People in the Picture. His film and TV credits include C.O.G., Laggies, Lucky Them, The Man in the High Castle and Captain Fantastic. Louis is the cofounder of Indie Theatrical.

Kyle Carter WebKyle Robert Carter was most recently seen on our stage during this season’s production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Kyle also joined us last season in both Grease and Jasper in Deadland. He portrayed Benny in both the national tour and regional productions of In the Heights, and has been seen as Eddie Souther regionally in Sister Act. Off-Broadway, Kyle was in Storyville.

Steven Eng Web

Steven Eng is joining us again after his 5th Avenue debut earlier this season in Waterfall. Based out of New York, Steven has entertained audiences nationally and internationally. He was in The King and I in London, and has been seen in regional productions of Pacific Overtures, Richard II, Henry IV, Parts One and Two and Miss Saigon. (Steven has a Masters degree in Classical Acting which means lots of Shakespeare!) He has performed regionally at NY Philharmonic, Pasadena Playhouse, Huntington Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, Alliance Theatre, ShakespeareNYC and many others. Steven is the co-founder of the National Asian Artists Project, and is a member of the NYU Tisch School of the Arts faculty.

Don’t miss Louis, Kyle and Steven, and the other prospectors, in our ‘revisal’ production of Lerner & Loewe’s Paint Your Wagon. The show runs June 2 through June 25. Visit our website for more information and to purchase tickets.

Our Favorite Things of 2015—From Your Education Department at The 5th Avenue Theatre

2015 has been a truly incredible year full of engaging and inspiring educational programming for audiences of all ages. Each of us in the Education Department here at The 5th is grateful for the opportunity to work with an amazing community of students, patrons and donors who support our work year after year. Continue reading “Our Favorite Things of 2015—From Your Education Department at The 5th Avenue Theatre”

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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Member Events Provide a Unique Look Behind the Scenes!

All season-long our 5th Avenue Members have special access to events that bring them closer to the art on our stage. These opportunities allow our Members to explore productions beyond the performance, and literally bring them on stage, backstage and into the rehearsal process.

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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.”

Continue reading “From an Artist’s Perspective: Thom Sesma on Waterfall