Maltby and Shire Musical, Set During Thai Political Upheaval, Will Feature Side Show Star

News   Maltby and Shire Musical, Set During Thai Political Upheaval, Will Feature Side Show Star
Emily Padgett, who played Daisy Hilton in the Broadway revival of Side Show, will lead the cast of of Waterfall, a new romantic musical set during the changing political landscape of Thailand in the 1930s, having its world premiere at Pasadena Playhouse in June. The production has Broadway in its sights.

Emily Padgett
Emily Padgett Photo by Dirty Sugar

Also toplining the Broadway-aimed musical by Richard Maltby Jr. and David Shire (Big; Baby; Starting Here, Starting Now) will be Thom Sesma (The Times They are A-Changin’, Man of La Mancha), J. Elaine Marcos (Annie; Priscilla: Queen of the Desert), and Thai pop singer Sukrit "Bie" Wisetkaew, who rose to fame on the Thai television talent contest "The Star."

Waterfall previews begin May 29, with the official press opening set for June 7.

Based on the Thai novel "Behind the Painting" by Sriburapha, the new musical will be directed by Tak Viravan, who also staged an earlier musical incarnation of the novel in Thailand.

The team has been workshopping the musical over the past two years. A February 2014 lab production in New York City starred Sierra Boggess. The creative team has since changed the name of the property to Waterfall.

Waterfall has 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). Tony nominee Dan Knechtges (Xanadu) will choreograph. After Pasadena the show is set for a fall 2015 run at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, with a possible fall 2016 Broadway premiere to follow.

According to the creators, "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."

The musical will be produced on Broadway by Scenario Company Ltd. and Jack M. Dalgleish.

The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 South El Molino Avenue, Pasadena, CA. Performances will be given Tuesday through Friday at 8 PM; Saturday at 4 and 8 PM, and Sunday at 2 and 7 PM. Tickets cost $47 to $87 and are available online at, by calling The Pasadena Playhouse at 626-356-7529, or visiting The Pasadena Playhouse Box Office.

Today’s Most Popular News: