By Malie Bifc USA
Back in November 2014, WATERFALL, an epic new Broadway Musical held a press conference at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, CA. Management from the Pasadena Playhouse, including Jack Dalgleish (Producer), Boy Takonkiet Viravan (Director), Tony Award Winner Richard Maltby Jr., and Academy Award Winner, David Shire participated at the conference.
JACK M. DALGLEISH (Producer) said he met Boy Takonkiet Viranvan in 2009 as they co-produced one of the musicals at West End of London. He later had opportunities to see a few musicals directed by Boy Takonkiet, one of them was Kang Lhang Parp, the musical in which he was quite impressed with the musical both as spectator and musical producer.
“Back in 2010, Tak (Takonkiet) and I came up with an idea. We wanted to turn Kang Lhang Parp the musical international. Our sight was Broadway. I introduced Tak to Richard Maltby Jr. whom at first acted as our adviser. Richard was also very impressed with Kang Lhang Parp. As a result, Richard is WATERFALL’s book and lyricist. Music is composed by David Shire . We have been working on the musical for 3 years now. WATERFALL is scheduled to premier at the Pasadena Playhouse in May 2015. Other people may think that it’s still a long way to go… but to us it’s just around the corner. After the Pasadena Playhouse, we plan to go to Seattle, then Broadway right after.
Boy Takonkiet Viranvan said he is very honored to be working with Richard Maltby Jr. and David Shire, both of whom he had admiration of their works since he was in high school. He never thought and dreamed that he would have the opportunity to work with them 30 years later.
Richard Malby Jr. and David Shire were asked the reason for his involvement with the musical. Richard Maltby Jr. replied… “Kang Lhang Parp has very interesting literary works”.
Listen to khun Boy (cr. Jane Sasipol on youtube for the clip)
Why did Behind the Painting become WATERFALL?
Boy Takonkiet said the production team decided to change the musical name last summer for the reason that “we wanted to make it clear to people that the content of the musical is no longer the same as in the book.”
The musical’s lead actor, Bie Sukrit Wisetkaew…
Boy Takonkiet clarified that the production team in US made their own decision. He did not submit Bie’s name nor made a push for Bie.
“I showed Richard a recording of Kang Lhang Parp, the first question Richard asked was “who is that kid?”. I said “he is a reputable Thai pop star”. When Bie took the lead role in Kang Lhang Parp the musical, he was not that popular, yet… but after the musical, he became quite well known. Richard asked if he would come and perform over here. In fact, I was quite shocked. I asked Richard “why?”. He said Bie had the honesty and sincerity in him which is hard to find in US performers. I was quite pleased as a Thai person. After tough training and preparation, Bie will perform at the the Pasadena Playhouse as lead actor of WATERFALL. Fans can come and see him in May of 2015.”
After the press conference, khun Boy was asked about Thai actor/ actress in the musical… which there will be only one Thai actor in the musical and why…
Boy Takonkiet… “Other actors or actresses from Thailand cannot be apart of the musical due to American labor union which is called “Actors’ Equity”. Actors’ Equity’s policy allows only American to perform live theatrical performance but there are two exceptions:
We used both of the reasons (to make the case for Bie)… the first reason was, it’s hard to find an actor who fit the character and has the ability to carry the role, including someone who believes in love (the way Nopporn does in the story). We feel that it would be very hard to find an American with Asian national origin to believe in that kind of love. At the same time, Bie is a big star in Thailand. He is also well know in China. After the team looked at him, they all said “yes”. I was even told that they never said “yes” quickly to anyone.”
Boy Takonkiet on Bie Sukrit Wisetkaew’s preparation
“Bie has been training very hard. He is getting a lot better with his English. From didn’t know how to speak, he can now speak and sing in English. Bie will be here in April 2015 for the rehearsal and will stay till he performs.”
WATERFALL to go Broadway, NY…
“Shows at the Pasadena Playhouse is regional or pre-Broadway shows. After the Pasadena, we are going to Seattle in October. After that it’s Broadway. We have to wait and see. We are following each and every step accordingly.”
How hard Boy Takonkiet work before he gets to this point…
“It’s hard work for everyone. Everyone who produces musicals, all dream to produce Broadway musical. For me, it was a distant dream. Finally, I was presented with the opportunity. Whether I’ll reach my destination, that would be another story. At the moment, we have traveled the right course step by step, starting from writing the script, built on the story line, reading presentation in October 2013 and lab presentation in February 2014. In May 2015, we will be playing at the Pasadena Playhouse, a regional theater . We are going to Seattle in October. These are the steps that each Broadway musical has to take. Whether we get to Broadway and get to stay, it’s something else.”
Will Thai people be able to accept the changes in the story line since this is a timeless story that Thai people love?
“Like we said, we changed the name to let people know that this is a different story. The musical was inspired by Kang Lhang Parp. We changed to name to WATERFALL because WATERFALL came from Mitake waterfall which is the most important scene and the turning point of the story.” Boy Takonkiet ended.
One of the songs that Bie Sukrit/ Nopporn will sing in the musical is “Once you fall in love”.
Click the link below for the original version of the news clip
P.S. khun Prim’s puppies