By Malie Bifc USA
Noppon, the love-struck Thai student who proclaims, “I’m American!”
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.
This political backdrop should come as no surprise to those familiar with Thai novelist Siburapha’s body of work. Based on his best-selling book Behind the Painting, this musical tells a beautiful love story while staying true to what Siburapha was known for: his dedication to social justice and his ability to write captivating love stories while embedding sometimes dangerous messages that spoke to inequality, politics, and cultural identity.
During the 1920s and ’30s, American culture and influence began to penetrate the Asian world. From manufactured goods to music, dance, and film, American…
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