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Exclusive Photo Coverage: Meet MISS SAIGON's Next Bumper Crop of Talents

Co-written by Jeffrey Aguiman

Manila, Philippines, November 23, 2012 -  Although it is still unclear when the much-awaited London revival of Cameron Mackintosh's mega-musical "Miss Saigon" would get a green light from the big boss,  Mackintosh's trusted creative team, made up of executive producer Trevor Jackson, stage director Laurence Connor, musical supervisor Stephen Brooker, and choreographer Geoffrey Garratt, had opted to visit the country to hold the first-ever international auditions for "Miss Saigon" after several years.

"We're potentially looking for a lot of people because Cameron Mackintosh has a lot of different projects. For instance, 'Miss Saigon' would need to have three Kims in it (because of vacation schedules): We're looking for the main actor, also the first understudy, and the second understudy. The same applies to all the lead characters. We'll see," Brooker told  BroadwayWorld.com.

"We've seen nearly over a thousand people in four days [November 19-22]; and at various levels, everybody can sing. I've never known a country that has so many good singers. Obviously, there's a wonderful culture of singing here in the Philippines. It's wonderful to see that amount of commitment, and how much love there is for music," Brooker added.

During the final stage of the Manila auditions held yesterday, Rachelle Ann Go (Disney's "The Little Mermaid"), Frencheska Farr ("Emir"), Apple Chiu ("Rock of Ages"), Tanya Manalang ("The King and I"), Aicelle Santos, Emerald Banares, and Mary Joy Solomon were the last seven female aspirants that were asked to stay and sing for the auditioning panel. 

Go, Manalang, Banares, and Solomon sang the musical's power ballad "I'd Give My Life For You" (sung by Kim in the musical); Farr, Chiu, and Santos sang parts of "The Movie in My Mind" (sung by Gigi, Kim, and the Vietnamese bar girls). 

Shortlisted male auditionees Bran Vargas, Khaya Maseko, Albert Job Bautista ("Rent"), Topper Fabregas ("Sweet Charity"), Noel Rayos ("Walang Sugat"), Eden Ang, Red Concepcion ("Equus"), Richardson Yadao, Lorenz Martinez ("The King and I"), Carlon Matobato, and Victor Sy, among others were asked to dance for Garratt.

Below are mostly headshots of potential "Kims" and "Gigis"; and some of the male talents that danced for the auditioning panel. Photos were taken by Broadwayworld (Philippines) photographer Jory Rivera at the Opera Haus, the audition venue.

Mackintosh's team will be studying its options.  No final casting choices were announced after the auditions.

Exclusive Photo Coverage: Meet MISS SAIGON's Next Bumper Crop of Talents

Exclusive Photo Coverage: Meet MISS SAIGON's Next Bumper Crop of Talents
Emerald Banares, Tanya Manalang, Apple Chiu, Frencheska Farr, Rachelle Ann Go, Mary Joy Solomon (not in the photo: Aicelle Santos)

Exclusive Photo Coverage: Meet MISS SAIGON's Next Bumper Crop of Talents
Rachelle Ann Go

Exclusive Photo Coverage: Meet MISS SAIGON's Next Bumper Crop of Talents
Frencheska Farr

Exclusive Photo Coverage: Meet MISS SAIGON's Next Bumper Crop of Talents
Apple Chiu

Exclusive Photo Coverage: Meet MISS SAIGON's Next Bumper Crop of Talents
Aicelle Santos

Exclusive Photo Coverage: Meet MISS SAIGON's Next Bumper Crop of Talents
Emerald Banares

Exclusive Photo Coverage: Meet MISS SAIGON's Next Bumper Crop of Talents
Tanya Manalang

Exclusive Photo Coverage: Meet MISS SAIGON's Next Bumper Crop of Talents
Mary Joy Solomon

Exclusive Photo Coverage: Meet MISS SAIGON's Next Bumper Crop of Talents
Bran Vargas

Exclusive Photo Coverage: Meet MISS SAIGON's Next Bumper Crop of Talents
Khaya Maseko

Exclusive Photo Coverage: Meet MISS SAIGON's Next Bumper Crop of Talents
Albert Job Bautista

Exclusive Photo Coverage: Meet MISS SAIGON's Next Bumper Crop of Talents
Topper Fabregas

Exclusive Photo Coverage: Meet MISS SAIGON's Next Bumper Crop of Talents
Noel Rayos

Exclusive Photo Coverage: Meet MISS SAIGON's Next Bumper Crop of Talents
Eden Ang

Exclusive Photo Coverage: Meet MISS SAIGON's Next Bumper Crop of Talents
Red Concepcion

Exclusive Photo Coverage: Meet MISS SAIGON's Next Bumper Crop of Talents
Richardson Yadao

Exclusive Photo Coverage: Meet MISS SAIGON's Next Bumper Crop of Talents
Lorenz Martinez

Exclusive Photo Coverage: Meet MISS SAIGON's Next Bumper Crop of Talents
Victor Sy

Exclusive Photo Coverage: Meet MISS SAIGON's Next Bumper Crop of Talents
Dong Alegre, Geoffrey Garratt, Stephen Brooker, Laurence Connor, Trevor Jackson

Exclusive Photo Coverage: Meet MISS SAIGON's Next Bumper Crop of Talents

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Oliver Oliveros Oliver Oliveros received a master's degree in public relations and corporate communication from New York University while serving as regional director for BroadwayWorld.com, where he accepted an Award for Excellence: Best International Editor in 2013.

In the last 20 years, Oliver has been handling either public relations, corporate communication, or integrated marketing communications for numerous brands (including Pepsi), Broadway shows, Broadway stars, non-profit organizations, and mainstream celebrities.

He is the editor-in-chief of Fil-Am Who’s Who magazine, and a board member, handling publicity and communications, for the annual The Outstanding Filipino Americans in New York Awards held in Carnegie Hall.


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