Bie Sukrit International Fan-club

By Malie Bifc USA

Review of WATERFALL/ Bie Sukrit

*** focus more on Bie Sukrit ***

WATERFALL the musical had its official opening night on June 7, 2015

Photo by Jim Cox

Photo by Jim Cox

“Your leading man, Bie Sukrit, is making his American debut after winning the Thai reality show The Star. How did he come into the project?
David:  “The show was really written for him. Tak, the director-producer-bringer of American musicals to Thailand…Before he did that, he was like the Simon Cowell of Thailand. He created Bie, who is a real rock star there. You walk down the street with him and the girls go crazy.”  (Theatermania, 06/06/15)

Broadway World

photo by Nathan Sternfeld

“Sukrit suits the young Noppon perfectly, making the most of his naivete and longing to be an “American”. He is less convincing as Noppon matures from 1932-45, Sukrit is a talented actor/singer with a lot of charm and boyish appeal, who will blossom with more onstage experience.”  (Don Grigware, Broadway World/ Los Angeles 06/12/15)

photo by Jim Cox

photo by Jim Cox

“While musicals about history can be interesting, Waterfall is most compelling when it leaves the focus on Noppon and his friends rather than on pre–World War II politics. Despite some pitch problems, Sukrit is utterly winning, skillfully shouldering a musical in his second language and hitting the show’s comedic beats with ease. Similarly, his friends (Jordan De Leon, Colin Miyamoto and Lisa Helmi Johanson) are vivacious and entertaining, and their number “America Will Break Your Heart” is probably the most adeptly written song, combining social consciousness with pointed humor.” (Katie Buenneke, LA Weekly 06/08/15)

Noppon

Noppon & Thai traditional Thai dance … photo by Jim Cox

Bie Sukrit is Noppon, taking him from youthful excitement to steady adulthood with heart and a certain genuine quality making him particularly endearing. Emily Padgett creates in Katherine a woman thrown into a culture beyond her experience, a careful combination of enthusiastic tourist and wistfully aware outsider. Both sing well, and connect with an intensity that powers the rest of the piece. As Katherine’s aging, cautious diplomat husband, Thom Sesma provides an anchored balance to Noppon’s youthful enthusiasm — an image of both maturity and roundedness not without its own aura of romance. (Frances Baum Nicholson, sgvtribune 06/10/15)

Yelp gave WATERFALL 4 1/2 stars

WATERFALL new poster 061115

Yelp gave WATERFALL 4 1/2 stars! (poster by the Pasadena Playhouse)

Not so good reviews but interesting reading:

Waterfall,” the new cross-cultural, lushly romantic tuner at the Pasadena Playhouse, has admirable ambition, visual splendor and patchy dramaturgy. Working from a Thai source novel, stage veterans Richard Maltby Jr. (words) and David Shire (music) seek to explore cultural identity in personal and political contexts, set against a complex historical backdrop. Which is all too tall an order at this stage of the show’s development. Characterizations and plotlines will need to be firmed up if the next stop, Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre in October, is to be followed by a hoped-for Broadway success.

Most importantly, our protagonists aren’t ready for prime time. The likeable Sukrit, a pop star back home, has a fluid, restrained singing style. But the character he’s been handed is nothing more than a goofy bumpkin with an America fetish. Katherine, the wife, professes to see in him the soul of a vigorous new Siam, but we never can. When he’s supposed to age into a seasoned diplomat, it’s like a kid playing dress-up.” (Bob Virini, Variety 06/12/15)

Katherine and Thai traditional dance

Katherine and Thai traditional dance (photo by Jim Cox)

“Unfortunately, Sukrit enjoys little chemistry with Padgett, who plays the thankless role of a white goddess idolized by Noppon and his friends. Happily, she handles the part with ease and casual charm, demonstrating a crystalline soprano voice in the early ensemble number, “Dance,” at an embassy party, and later in “Work of Art,” the show’s dreary thematic reprise.

One of the Waterfall’s few bright spots is J. Elaine Marcos (Broadway’s recent Annie revival) as Nuan, Katherine’s passively cynical servant, who disapproves of her mistress and her student interloper. The show’s other highlight is an inspired admonition, “America Will Break Your Heart,” sung to Noppon by his friends, Santi, Surin and Kumiko (Lisa Helmi Johanson), an American-born Japanese caught between two cultures. Johanson brims with an insouciance that brings needed spark to the show, making us half wish the plot would veer off and tell her story instead.

But sadly we’re stuck with Noppon, who is feverishly in love with Katherine, despite enjoying limited and mostly superficial conversation with her. It might make sense if Noppon were destined to wake up to the artificial nature of his love affair with the U.S., despite having never been there. Unfortunately, that’s not where Waterfall is headed. Instead, we get a one-way trip down lover’s lane with a couple that comes across as little more than polite friends.” (Jordan Riefe, The Hollywood Reporter, 06/12/15)

REFERENCE:

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6 comments on “Review of WATERFALL/ Bie Sukrit

  1. Zer
    June 13, 2015

    Wow, interesting reading. I like the reviews, the honesty, the opinions of the critics, and what they had to say. Even though I haven’t seen Waterfall, just seeing certain clips of rehearsals, etc., it looked pretty good to me. I mean, if these critics are complaining about Bie looking too “young” and didn’t look “mature enough” for the part of Nopporn growing up, well, goodness, you think so (sarcasm)? lol. I mean, of course Bie isn’t going to hit certain pitches on the songs but he’s better than most people who go to a foreign country, learned the entire script with a 1-2 year time limit and did pretty darn well. Imagine Americans going over to Thailand to put on a show and have them speak Thai (although Thai is probably easier to learn then English, I presume). So they got it easy. Anyway, thanks for sharing Malie. I was kind of surprised at the reviews but you know, the U.S. is really picky about these things. Sometimes, I think they don’t want other countries to be better than them otherwise they look bad so they have to give lower ratings to make it seem that way. Either way, all I care about is that Bie did his best and he did great overall. I can’t imagine doing what he did in that time limit and with such a busy schedule too and all the traveling and learning new things. Haha, sorry, just going further in my comment. I’ll stop here. Thanks again!!!!! ^________^

  2. Paige
    July 1, 2015

    Malie, were you able to get a program or anything from the musical? I have some extras if you’d like one!

    • Malie BIFC
      July 11, 2015

      the only thing I have is a flyer with Bie’s picture on it. Did you see WATERFALL? how did you like it? according to khun Boy, they will be some changes on the script to make it more dramatic…

  3. Paige
    July 13, 2015

    I did, 3 times actually! I think there are for sure some places that can be improved/clarified, but it was nothing short of awesome!! It’s one of those shows that by the time you realize it’s been 2 hours and it’s almost over. All that you want is for it to start over again.

    We were able to go to one of the post show, talk back events. It was cool to hear all the changes that have already happened, and how detailed the creative team is working to make it perfect.

    The show starts and ends with Bie singing alone, with two dancers (a memory of him and Katherine,) dancing Behind the Painting. The songs that have been posted online, Work of Art and more specifically Once You Fall In Love, take on a totally new meaning after the show that I’m not sure you can even put into words.

    If you want to send me an email ( I think you should be able to see my email address on here,) I can send you a copy of the program.

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