Lea Salonga Interviews New West End MISS SAIGON Star Jon Jon Briones
Iconic Tony Award-winning original star of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg's MISS SAIGON, Lea Salonga, interviews one of the headliners of the new West End revival of the hit mega-musical, Jon Jon Briones, as part of a new article.
Shedding some light on when she herself played opposite Briones in a production of MISS SAIGON in 1999, Salonga shares, "I found that his Engineer was laser-focused, intense, sleazy, ambitious, very scary and exciting to play off of."
Explicating how this new production differs from the original mounting, Briones opines, "The set is brought closer to the audience to make it more intimate, which also makes the intentions clearer and sharper."
Additionally, Briones says, "A good way to describe it would be, in film speak, a tight shot. It is grittier because the music, tempo, lighting, etc., have been tweaked, rendering my performance more desperate, relentless and hungry. I carry a switchblade throughout the show. A moment was added in the song 'If You Want to Die in Bed' where I kill someone. These things contribute to create this darker version."
Detailing the audience's reaction to the revival, Briones adds, "The crowd was on its feet even before anyone came out to take a bow. Our director, Laurence (Connor), told me [backstage] that the energy outside was crazy and like... opening night! Actually, even before the show started, the live announcement welcoming the audience was greeted by cheering and screaming, which set the tone for the evening. It was like a rock concert. London definitely missed this show!"
Check out the original article on the matter here.
From This Author Pat Cerasaro