MISS SAIGON Revival to Open in London in 2014; Directed by Laurence Connor
BroadwayWorld.com confirmed exclusively back in December 2012 that a highly anticipated revival of the mega-musical "Miss Saigon" was in the works by producer Cameron Mackintosh with auditions taking place for the lead role of 'Kim' (a part created by Lea Salonga). Today, Michael Riedel reports in the New York Post that the show will open in 2014, likely in Mackintosh's Prince Edward Theatre (currently home to "Jersey Boys"). Riedel also confirms our previous reports that directing the revival will be Laurence Connor, who also co-directed the revival of "Les Miserables" that is now touring and which will hit Broadway in 2014.
The first international auditions for the London revival production of "Miss Saigon," which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2014, were held at the Philippine Opera Company's headquarters in Manila on November 19 to 22, 2012. More than 1,000 aspirants showed up; and at least seven female auditionees were shortlisted. After the auditions, Mackintosh told The Philippine Star that "Yes, I'm going to restage 'Miss Saigon' in London as soon as I find the theater. In fact, yes, you're right...we have started preliminary auditions. When we did the show in London 25 years ago, we spent over a year looking for the cast. I hope that in the next 18 months it would be back in London. The new version has just opened here in Japan and it's a phenomenal success. It's going to be a different production but still the same great 'Miss Saigon.'
Created by the acclaimed writers of "Les Miserables," this modern, rock-infused adaptation of Puccini's 1904 opera "Madame Butterfly" explores the ongoing impact of love, loss and the collision of cultures during the Vietnam War. Originally produced in London's West End in 1989, the show played for an astonishing ten years--a run of over four thousand performances. Broadway success followed in 1991.
Laurence Connor started his career as an actor in which he took part in various plays, musicals and recordings. It was while performing in the musical "Les Miserables" that he was asked to direct his first musical, "A Slice of Saturday Night," which played for a one-night charity gala at the Liverpool Empire Theatre. Since then Laurence has worked as a resident and associate director on several shows in London including "The King & I," "The Phantom of the Opera" and "Oliver!" In 2005, Laurence directed a new touring production of "Miss Saigon", which has been recreated in Korea and Australia winning major awards including The Manchester Evening News award for Best Touring Musical and Green Room award for Best Director, and co-directed the 25th Anniversary tour of "Les Miserables" and the 25th Anniversary concert of "Les Miserables" at the O2. Laurence recently directed "The Phantom if the Opera" at the Royal Albert Hall, "Oliver!" National UK tour, "The Phantom of the Opera" 25th anniversary production and an Arena tour of "Jesus Christ Superstar."