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Miss Saigon

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fashionguru_23
Broadway Star
joined:4/21/08
Broadway Star
joined:
4/21/08
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/11/10 at 10:38pm
Melissa, what problems have you had with Dancap. I have seen all of the productions they have brought to Toronto, and I have never had a problem with them. Nor have anyone I know that have seen a Dancap show.
"The 54th Street[theatre] had a rep as. . .where old musicals went to die." -Smaxie
anfwesternboy
Understudy
joined:7/25/05
Understudy
joined:
7/25/05
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/12/10 at 01:43am
canmark, with operas they don't mic the production, so they don't have a soundboard or a complicated sound/speaker system like they do for musicals where they have to worry about mixing.

MelissaF
Leading Actor
joined:2/5/08
Leading Actor
joined:
2/5/08
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/12/10 at 02:11pm
Well, my initial problem began when I purchased tickets to South Pacific. When the tickets were mailed to me, they were the wrong date. I called the call centre, and they dont know how it happened, but offered to switch to the date I ordered them for, but many rows farther back than I was originally supposed to. When I emailed with a concern I had, I received a generic response email, not addressing my issues. I was extremely upset. I spend alot of money on the theatre. To be fair, I received a call today regarding the email I had sent in about Saturday's performance of Miss Saigon. They offered me ticekts to see it again, which I declined, as one was enough for me, even with the missing few songs. The manager I spoke to was quite apologetic, advised me there had been many calls of complaints, and tried to arrange a more suitable resoultion. So, in the end, despite all of my previous letdowns and issues, they tried to rectify things. I still dont understand why they let the show go so far into it, before fixing the problem, it would have avoided alot of complaints.
2012: American Idiot 01/14, In The Heights 02/11, Warhorse 02/18, The Book of Mormon 02/23, The Gershwins Porgy and Bess 02/24, Anything Goes 02/25, Godspell 02/26, Shrek 03/31, Ghost (West End)04/11, Singing In The Rain (West End) 04/12, Matilda (West End) 04/13, Leap of Faith 05/02, Evita 05/03, Jesus Christ Superstar 05/04, Newsies 05/05, The Book Of Mormon 05/06, West Side Story 06/02, Beauty and the Beast 07/07, Million Dollar Quartet 07/28, La Cage 10/13, 10/27 Sister Act, 31/10 Once, 11/01 Rock of Ages, 11/02 Spiderman, 11/03 Newsies, 11/15 Jekyll & Hyde
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Tag
Broadway Legend
joined:11/19/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
11/19/05
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/12/10 at 02:48pm
It wasn't a Dancap issue per se, but ultimately the decision to stop a show is that of stage management.
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fashionguru_23
Broadway Star
joined:4/21/08
Broadway Star
joined:
4/21/08
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/12/10 at 10:57pm
I agree with Tag. It isn't a directly Dancap issue with the sound...
"The 54th Street[theatre] had a rep as. . .where old musicals went to die." -Smaxie
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tourboi
Broadway Legend
joined:12/15/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
12/15/05
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/13/10 at 01:53pm
The problem here is that it's not a tour, and can not as such be held up to tour standards.

Pittsburgh CLO produces in the Bennedum Center in PGH. It's a huge space that many of my friends I've worked with who manage the sound on tours complain about, acoustically.

That said, a touring sound engineer is accustomed to tweaking sound as needed in each city. Someone from a regional company that doesn't move shows usually might not be as accustomed (assuming that they're using the sound engineer from PGH, and I could be wrong, and assuming that he/she has never toured... again, could be wrong).

Also we don't know if they're using the PGH CLO sound equipment (which is no doubt specifically set up for the Bennedum's space) or if they're using local Toronto rented equipment that might be different than that used in PGH, and therefore require some getting used to on the part of the crew.

So... I'd put more blame in the shabby producing habits of the CLO, not Dancap (who is merely presenting here, not producing).

That said... Dancap's error here was not having a proper "preview" period announced so that people could give them some slack while they work out the tweaks.

As for hoping SOUTH PACIFIC is better, SOUTH PACIFIC is a full fledged North American tour and the production is GORGEOUS. You will love it.
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stee
Chorus Member
joined:6/30/07
Chorus Member
joined:
6/30/07
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/16/10 at 01:42am
I saw this tonight and thought it was terrible!

Aside from the fact that I'm spoiled with small, intimate Broadway theaters, I found the cavernous Four Seasons centre to make the cheap production values stand out even further.

The sets weren't even the issue... they served their purpose, though I would say they were more "acceptable" than "remarkable."

The main 'lack' for me was in the staging and choreography, as well as with the orchestra. And I'm not even one of those people who talks about the orchestra sounding full or vibrant, versus weak and flimsy. This was probably one of the first shows where I really understood this kind of comment.

The choreography was equally dreadful. Not even tolerable, it gave me a sense of second-degree embarrassment, like watching a horrible amateur version of Miss Saigon put on by your local public library. (I'm speaking specifically of the "Morning of The Dragon" scene, also called "The Fall of Saigon." Hey Ensemble, Waiting for Guffman called, they want their scene back!)

The good parts? The three main leads, including and especially Ma Anne Dionisio. Otherwise... I'd rather pay $40 and go see one of those "Dinner and Musicals" in the 'burbs, or a 45 minute musical on a Cruise.

Edit: I was actually IMPRESSED when the "helicopter" came in, as I was honestly expecting a high schoolish hand-drawn helicopter on a banner, or a couple of guys wheeling out fake facade on a wheel barrow.

Sorry... this one was just terrible.
Updated On: 7/16/10 at 01:42 AM
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tourboi
Broadway Legend
joined:12/15/05
Broadway Legend
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12/15/05
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/17/10 at 03:11am
Were the sound issues mentioned here worked out?
Justaguy2
Understudy
joined:3/19/10
Understudy
joined:
3/19/10
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/18/10 at 04:58pm
I would imagine it was sorted out right away. Being the first musical in an opera house I'm not surprised there was a few issues. To who ever said that there wasn't much difference between Opera and an amplified musical. The difference is huge. Not even apples and oranges. More like apples and roast beef. Reverberation time needs to be shorter for musicals or the intelligibility will suffer. The energy from the PA will just bounce around in an opera house unless controlled. The orchestra pit is designed to carry throughout the hall acoustically so it will be hard to keep the vocals out in front of the orchestra. There are 4 balconies to get balanced and every surface is very reflective. It's likely to be a huge challenge. I'm guessing it's all solved now, or at least a lot better. Dancap want this to work so they can do shows in there every summer so they'll do what they have to do to make it work. Has anyone been in the last few days?
MelissaF
Leading Actor
joined:2/5/08
Leading Actor
joined:
2/5/08
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/18/10 at 08:24pm
I spoke with someone on Friday night who said he had seen the show during the week, and found that The Engineer was so loud, he couldnt understand him, but other than that, everything seemed better. I hope the show corrected it's issues. I always prefer to see a show succeed.
2012: American Idiot 01/14, In The Heights 02/11, Warhorse 02/18, The Book of Mormon 02/23, The Gershwins Porgy and Bess 02/24, Anything Goes 02/25, Godspell 02/26, Shrek 03/31, Ghost (West End)04/11, Singing In The Rain (West End) 04/12, Matilda (West End) 04/13, Leap of Faith 05/02, Evita 05/03, Jesus Christ Superstar 05/04, Newsies 05/05, The Book Of Mormon 05/06, West Side Story 06/02, Beauty and the Beast 07/07, Million Dollar Quartet 07/28, La Cage 10/13, 10/27 Sister Act, 31/10 Once, 11/01 Rock of Ages, 11/02 Spiderman, 11/03 Newsies, 11/15 Jekyll & Hyde
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PastorErnst
Broadway Star
joined:4/20/09
Broadway Star
joined:
4/20/09
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/18/10 at 08:32pm
I saw today's mat and, for the most part, the sound seemed to be fine. I blame the FSC for the hollow sound more than anything.
Justaguy2
Understudy
joined:3/19/10
Understudy
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3/19/10
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/18/10 at 09:30pm
Thanks for the updates. Probably good idea to give Sound Pacific a few days to deal with the hall too. I doubt they've played any other opera houses on the tour.

I agree that it's best to see shows succeed. I'm always puzzled by posters who seem to be hoping for a show to fail. Especially on the Broadway board. The more things that work in Toronto, the more things that happen in Toronto.
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stee
Chorus Member
joined:6/30/07
Chorus Member
joined:
6/30/07
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/20/10 at 02:23pm
I don't post regularly and don't want to make a habit of it, but just had to add this:

I would love for Toronto theater to succeed. And I love that Toronto has Mirvish and Dancap to bring in tours and provide musical theater for all the people who live here.

But not if it means seeing productions like Miss Saigon. I want to be mesmorized, and taken away into fantasy... not disappointed, and taken for my money!
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hubee
Featured Actor
joined:2/4/07
Featured Actor
joined:
2/4/07
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/21/10 at 01:15pm
I'm with Stee.

and PasterErnst, the FSC doesn't have to sound hollow. It never sounds hollow for an Opera or the ballet (even in their West Side Story where they did have singing). So it can be done, they just need to hire the right sound designer/engineer.

But yes, the sound didn't sound right to me this past weekend at Miss Saigon. Too bad because I thought the main cast had terrific singing voices.
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Benc7
Understudy
joined:8/22/09
Understudy
joined:
8/22/09
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/23/10 at 04:10pm
Full Disclosure:I didn't like this musical when it first premiered and I don't like it now. The only reason I went to see it was to hear how the Four Seasons Centre performed housing a musical rather than the opera I usually hear there. I think it's important that this venue not remain dark for months at a time; it's just too good to waste. But, this musical turned that great hall from a silk purse into a sow's ear. I've no quibble with the voices; everyone was top notch but, my god, the amplification was like being electrocuted!

I'm hoping South Pacific will fare better.
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canmark
Broadway Legend
joined:3/14/07
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/14/07
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/23/10 at 09:08pm
Interesting how most of the Broadwayworld.com posters have commented unfavourably about the sound, and were mixed-negative about the production overall, whereas the commercial reviews have been mixed (some positive, some negative), with little to no mention about the poor sound.


Toronto Star (3/4 stars) Miss Saigon: Love doesnít lose appeal
http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/theatre/article/835540--miss-saigon-love-doesn-t-lose-appeal

Globe and Mail (2/4 stars) Miss Saigon hasnít improved, but the stars have
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/arts/theatre/miss-saigon-hasnt-improved-but-the-stars-have/article1640165/

Eye weekly (4/5 stars)
http://www.eyeweekly.com/arts/theatre/article/97019--miss-saigon
- brief mention of the acoustics: "Kevin Gray plays the Engineer as more comic than menacing and would have greater impact if the reverberant acoustic of the Four Seasons Centre did not blur his words."
- more on the halls acoustics: "This production marks the first time the Four Seasons Centre, built for unamplified music, has been used for an amplified musical. The hall has a livelier acoustic than other venues that is kinder to higher- rather than lower-lying voices and tends to muddy the choral passages."

Now magazine (2/5 stars)
http://www.nowtoronto.com/stage/story.cfm?content=176004
Coach Bob knew it all along: you've got to get obsessed and stay obsessed. You have to keep passing the open windows. (John Irving, The Hotel New Hampshire)
Updated On: 7/23/10 at 09:08 PM
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stee
Chorus Member
joined:6/30/07
Chorus Member
joined:
6/30/07
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/24/10 at 01:22am
I think these statement sum it up best: "If anything, at times the production looks a bit Spartan" and "because this touring production, which originated with the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, is clearly a low-budget affair. Its fly-away little sets barely manage to fill the grand-opera-scale stage at the Four Seasons Centre.

To be honest, I think an Opera Hall is an Opera Hall and a theater is a theater. I would hate to see how something small and intimate like Next to Normal would turn out in such a huge venue. I think the nuanced performances would be washed out completely, or would end up looking like Catherine Zeta Jones performing at the Tony Awards. Scale is everything... and in the case of Four Season Center, the show and production values had better be big.

I'm curious to see how South Pacific will fare... I could see that filling up the space well. Or atleast, fingers crossed!
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tourboi
Broadway Legend
joined:12/15/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
12/15/05
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/25/10 at 08:41am
Again, it's not a "touring production." It's not a tour. It's a regional production that for some reason got booked into another city. Weird, uncommon, and a fluke.

SOUTH PACIFIC, on the other hand, is a tour, with a crew that is accustomed to tweaking things like sound for each venue. To those curious as to how it will fare in that venue, I say do check it out. I think you'll be very pleasantly surprised.
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NDR
Leading Actor
joined:11/16/06
Leading Actor
joined:
11/16/06
Miss Saigon
Posted: 8/2/10 at 12:52pm
Saw the show on Saturday.
I agree that Dancap really misrepresented the production.
It was a regional production of a Broadway show. Not a new production up to "Broadway" standards.
Ma-Anne Dionisio and Kevin Gray were phenomenal though. The rest of the leads were very good as well.
Where the show falls flat is the design and the ensemble. The design while passable at many points was quite ridiculous at other times. The "bed" for Ellen and Chris during "I Still Believe" was laughable - I would expect to see something so ugly and cheap at a high school production. The larger numbers (Morning of the Dragon, Fall of Saigon, etc.) were plagued with lackluster vocals from the ensemble, bad choreography and bad props. Some of the flags/banners were ripped and some of the ensemble members were off in their marching - common people - marching is not hard. Plus, the masks covered a lot of their mouths and made the sound - which was already not powerful enough - muffled. I felt like they needed 8 more guys onstage belting. I have to say that the Asian Male Ensemble was by the far the worst part. The parts where they were featured (beating Kim and the Engineer, for example) were almost inaudible from the 4th row and their commitment to their characters was almost non-existent. (I am not intending to be racist here - it was what it was).
Overall, the show was worth seeing if for nothing else other than the beautiful score and the performances from Ma-Anne and Kevin. If they were not there, I would have woefully disappointed.

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Tag
Broadway Legend
joined:11/19/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
11/19/05
Miss Saigon
Posted: 8/2/10 at 12:57pm
The show is now going to Schenectady, New York...so I guess it technically is a tour? I don't know if there are dates past Schenectady.
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tourboi
Broadway Legend
joined:12/15/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
12/15/05
Miss Saigon
Posted: 8/2/10 at 03:08pm
I don't think it's a tour in the "official" sense. It's never been announced as a tour. And Schenectady wasn't announced until the last minute. Perhaps it was a late booking to fill a hole in that theater's schedule.
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NDR
Leading Actor
joined:11/16/06
Leading Actor
joined:
11/16/06
Miss Saigon
Posted: 8/3/10 at 09:00am
It's a regional production that just so happened to get booked into two other cities.
A friend of mine who is in it said that directly to me. A bit of a strange scenario, but who knows.
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tourboi
Broadway Legend
joined:12/15/05
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Miss Saigon
Posted: 8/3/10 at 03:12pm
It's actually common at least once a year one of the regionals will produce something that a few other cities like and "book." A few years ago AMT in San jose (now defunct) produced CABARET (awful production IMHO) and it got brought to Seattle and Minneapolis through a "shared production" agreement.

I'm sure that DanCap offered them a decent check to go towards their costs to share production risk.
Justaguy2
Understudy
joined:3/19/10
Understudy
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3/19/10
Miss Saigon
Posted: 8/4/10 at 11:31pm
They are called "co-productions" in the business and they are different than tours. Each venue contributes to the production, sometimes equally, sometimes not equally. It depends on the contract. This is very common in regional theatres. The Citadel and The NAC or CanStage and Theatre Calgary...you get the picture. Shared costs usually mean better production values. It is less common for commercial theatre although Mirvish has done it quite a few times with MTC (Winnipeg) most recently with Boys in the Photograph and Medea.
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stee
Chorus Member
joined:6/30/07
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6/30/07
Miss Saigon
Posted: 8/11/10 at 01:18am
Call it a tour or a co-production.... It still blew!
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Tag
Broadway Legend
joined:11/19/05
Broadway Legend
joined:
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Miss Saigon
Posted: 2/12/13 at 12:02pm
Sad news, Kevin Gray who was the original Toronto Engineer (Mirvish version) and reprised the role in this most recent Dancap presentation has passed away.
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