‘Miss Saigon’ is one of the greatest musicals in London. It’s a show full of emotions, passion and great scenes and songs. Sadly it’s closing next year, the last performance will be on 27th February 2016, so book your tickets now before you miss the chance to discover this amazing and human story. The production is amazing, with huge effects and a superb cast. It will go to Broadway, where I hope it’s a success too. And here in London we’ll have ‘Aladdin’ at the Prince Edward Theatre. Sure it will be a fantastic musical too and I’ll love it, but I can tell for sure that ‘Miss Saigon’ will be really missed. I got up very early but I got some day seats for £20 on the front row. It was hard but it really worth it.
Last year, the new production of ‘Miss Saigon’ was presented in London. It was a great new that a great show was coming back to town. The entire new production started their performances at the Prince Edward Theatre on May 2014. For almost a year, the producers were searching around the world for the best actors and actresses. Also, at the end of the year, the show celebrated 25 years since it was first produced. Since then, lost of countries in the world have discovered the story of Kim and Chris. I’m lucky to have seen the show twice with the two different casts in London.
The musical is about the war in Vietnam. I honestly think that is a show that more people should discover. It has a lot of humanity, love and passion. It’s really moving and inspiring, you leave the theatre with a mixture of emotions that it’s hard to explain. Kim is all alone and needs a job, the Engineer offers her to work at his club. There she meets Chris, an American G.I. and they fall in love, but he needs to go back to America with lots of dream of bringing Kim too there. But it won’t be easy. This show is about how hard are the wars. It’s moving to see John, a G.I. that realises that he wants to help all the children in Vietnam. They are innocent victims of a cruel world. It’s a musical with lots of human stories that could be real and sadly could be happening even today in the world.
The cast is brilliant. I must start with Eva Noblezada. She’s a real star, with an extraordinary voice and an ability to transmit lots of emotions only with her voice. I adore her, it’s an actress who deserves a successful career and, as Lea Salonga, everything will start with ‘Miss Saigon’. I saw Carolyn Maitland as Ellen and she is amazing too. A huge range of voice and her character is so lovely. She is a great wife, in love with her husband that understands the situation. Also, Natalie Mendoza left me speechless. Last year I discovered Rachelle Ann Go and I love her since then, but Mendoza is also great as Gigi. It’s an amazing character to perform with one of the best songs on the show such as ‘Movie In My Mind’.
In the case of the guys, I’ll start with Jon Jon Briones, who plays the Engineer. He is the funny part of the show. There are a lot of dramatic and sad scenes, but when he appears you know that something “funny” is going to happen. But my favourite actor in the show, without doubt, is Hugh Maynard. His voice is amazing; his performance of ‘Bui Doi’ gave me goosebumps. Also, Chris Peluso performs a great Chris too. I was worried I wouldn’t like it because I adored Alistair Brammer, but he definitely does a great job too. And I can’t forget about Sangwoong Jo, who performs Thuy. His English is not really good (mine neither, so I can’t complain about that) but he has a huge voice too and he puts so much passion and effort performing that I really enjoyed his character. I must recognise that it’s one of my favourites of the show since I saw Kwang-Ho Hong. I loved his story and even being a cruel man, it’s powerful.
The songs are amazing. Since I discovered the soundtrack when I saw the show for the first time last year, I’ve kind of been obsessed. There are a few songs that have become one of my favourites like ‘Movie In My Mind’, ‘You Will Not Touch Him’, ‘Bui Doi’, ‘Maybe’ or ‘Why God Why?’. Maybe I could recognise that there are too much ballads but I don’t mind because they are really powerful like ‘Last Night Of The World’ and ‘I’d Give My Life For You’. But the best of the songs by far is the performance, watching the cast doing all the best to reach the notes and feel the emotions of the lyrics. It’s a great job by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg. After creating ‘Les Misérables’ they created ‘Miss Saigon’. Both of them are great musicals in history that I’m sure that all musical fans adore.
The score of ‘Miss Saigon’ has so many emotions. Most of the ballads are about love, the love that Kim and Chris feel, but also the love from Kim to Tam and Ellen to Chris. You can also feel fear, like in ‘Kim’s Nightmare’ or ‘You Will Not Touch Him’. This combined with the effects on stage and the actors playing the roles with so much passion it’s just breathtaking. And also sadness and happiness, so you leave the Prince Edward Theatre overwhelmed, with lots of feelings and with lots of memories of huge scenes that just happened in front of your eyes. I really wish they make a movie adaptation someday like ‘Les Misérables’. It would be the best way that people discover Kim’s story. It’s a message about peace and love that everybody must learn and share.
This revival is huge. The scenes are fantastic; you have the feeling that you are in Vietnam all the time. The effects are spectacular and unique, I won’t forget the ‘Kim’s Nightmare’, but don’t worry, I won’t spoil about it. The scenes are beautifully composed; it’s such a theatrical experience. The stage is huge, so gives lots of possibilities that have been very well used. This time I brought my sister with me and she was so impressed, almost in shock. We had a great time watching ‘Miss Saigon’. It’s a musical that definitely has arrived to my heart and soul. I won’t forget it and I’ll miss Saigon once is closing next February.
Have a look at the stunning trailer here: