Thom Sesma's Summer in Bangkok, Star of Signature’s Miss Saigon
This summer, Broadway vet Thom Sesma (Titanic, The Times They Are A’Changin’) is busy appearing in three shows all hailing from Thailand. 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.
Production Photos: Music Theatre of Wichita’s The King and I Starring Thom Sesma, Kim Huber, Alan Ariano, Karl Josef Co, Kay Trinidad, Tami Swartz at Century II Performing Arts Center through July 14, 2013
Tonight, Sesma revisits the role of The Engineer for the first time since leaving the Second National Tour of the Tony Award-winning musical Miss Saigon in 1997, in Signature’s production of Miss Saigon, directed by Signature Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer at the MAX Theatre, 4200 Campbell Avenue in Arlington, VA., August 16- September 22, 2013.
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
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Signature Theatre • 4200 Campbell Avenue • Arlington, VA 22206
THOM SESMA (The Engineer) theatre credits include leading roles on Broadway and in national tours:The Times They Are A-Changin’, The Lion King, Search & Destroy, Titanic, Miss Saigon, Chu Chem and others. Off-Broadway credits include NSYF/Public Theatre (Cymbeline, Othello), the Roundabout, Second Stage, The Drama Department, The Mint, NAATCO, Epic Theatre and others. Numerous regional credits including time well spent in plays, musicals and classical theatre at The Old Globe, Yale Rep, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse, The McCarter, Two Rivers Theatre Co., Arena Stage, Baltimore Center Stage, Great Lakes Theatre Festival, many more. Some TV and Film credits: “The Good Wife,” “Single Ladies,” “Third Watch,” “Law & Order,” “Canterbury’s Law,” “Over/ Under,” Lay The Favorite, Building Girl, and getting shot point-blank in the head in “Person of Interest”. Directing credits include Jennifer Camp’s Natural History (Walnut Street Theatre), Life (x) 3 (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis), and Outcry (NAATCO), along with Hair,Lend Me a Tenor, The Drawer Boy, Once in a Lifetime, Waiting for Lefty, Phantom!, Me and My Girl, and others in various regional, university and stock theatres across the country. Best credit yet: Married Penelope Daulton on April 20. Proud member AEA, SAG-AFTRA and SDC. Colossians 3:12-17
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.