New in 2017 Direct from its smash London run, a revival of the award-winning musical love story set in 1975 during the final days of the American occupation of Saigon.
From the producers: Set in 1975 during the final days of the American occupation of Saigon, "Miss Saigon" is an epic love story about the relationship between an American GI and a young Vietnamese woman. Orphaned by war, 17-year-old Kim is forced to work as a bar girl in a sleazy Saigon nightclub, owned by a notorious wheeler-dealer known as "The Engineer." John, an American GI, buys his friend Chris the services of Kim for the night—a night that will change their lives forever.
"Miss Saigon" originally premiered in the West End in 1989; it came to Broadway two years later and ran for nearly ten years. The musical represented authors Schönberg and Boublil's second major success, following "Les Misérables" in 1985. The current revival opened at the West End’s Prince Edward Theatre in May 2014 and closed in February 2016.
Newcomer Eva Noblezada and Jon Jon Briones will star as Kim - the role that launched Lea Salonga's career - and the Engineer, respectively. They reprise their performances from the West End premiere of the Laurence Connor-helmed production.
The show is completely sung-through, which was common in the '90s but feels a bit dated today. Further, much of those songs are sweeping, melodramatic ballads which starts to make one crave an upbeat number. In general, this new iteration, has a more appropriately gritty feel, from the physical set to the portrayal of Americans and the consequences of war. Still, it's a pretty darn schmaltzy show to begin with.
Sure, it's a brash, broad-strokes saga with questionable racial and gender representation and a taste for salacious vulgarity. But director Connor's grittier approach exposes teeth in the material that I don't recall previously being so sharp. However, that doesn't mean there's any less urgency or investment in the love story, which is grounded with transfixing emotional transparency. This is brawny, crowd-pleasing entertainment.