Miss Saigon

Tag
Broadway Legend
joined:11/19/05
Miss Saigon
Posted: 2/4/10 at 07:23am
July 2010 via Dancap via Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera @ The Four Seasons Centre. Interesting...
The Heat Is On In Saigon
cherios
Understudy
joined:2/18/09
Miss Saigon
Posted: 2/4/10 at 11:02am
So do you think Dancap is having a stronger effect on Mirvish this year? Perhaps causing the delay in the announcement of the 2010-11 season?
fashionguru_23
Broadway Star
joined:4/21/08
Miss Saigon
Posted: 2/4/10 at 11:20am
Very interesting...I'm excited to see this, and Pittsburgh always does great productions!
"The 54th Street[theatre] had a rep as. . .where old musicals went to die." -Smaxie
wallybag
Featured Actor
joined:3/19/07
Miss Saigon
Posted: 2/4/10 at 03:20pm
I got to get tickets for this show i got my tickets for South Pacific.This would explain Mirvish`s Slow start, Maybe he has an Ace up his sleeve. Mirvish is a better business man than Dancap. the next few weeks should be interesting.
anfwesternboy
Understudy
joined:7/25/05
Miss Saigon
Posted: 2/5/10 at 02:48pm
Doesn't Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera have a reputation for putting on chintzy regional musical productions?
bonfire
Chorus Member
joined:7/10/09
Miss Saigon
Posted: 2/6/10 at 01:15pm
big score for dancap. having 2 big theatre names is making them both step up their game. good news for us the audience.
canmark
Broadway Legend
joined:3/14/07
Miss Saigon
Posted: 2/6/10 at 07:40pm
This sounds like a good lineup. Miss Saigon and South Pacific are both big shows with big casts and set in exotic locales, and have the potential to draw in Asian audiences. (Being Asian-Canadian myself, I often wonder why I see so few Asian people at the theatre, esp. given the large Asian population in Toronto.)

I'm curious about the casting and creative behind Miss Saigon, though. I think I read in the National Post that the design of the show will be similar to the production at the POW in the '90's. I was kind of hoping for a new interpretation of the show. And with the sometimes controversy over the casting of the Engineer, it will be interesting to see who it will be. And who will play Kim and Chris.

Although I don't think I'll be ordering my tickets early, I will definitely be going to both these shows.
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: 2/6/10 at 07:40 PM
frontrowcentre2
Broadway Legend
joined:2/20/05
Miss Saigon
Posted: 2/7/10 at 11:40pm
This is the kind of programming that I had long hoped would take place in the summers at the Opera House: A summer series of light opera and musical theatre.

While the score of MISS SAIGON may not require the highly skilled voices of grand opera, it at least connects (via MADAM BUTTERFLY) and certainly SOUTH PACIFIC has long been an opera cross-over.

It would be nice to see other operatic musicals showcased there for limited runs each summer: CAROUSEL, THE MOST HAPPY FELLA, LES MISREABLES, SWEENEY TODD ... add your own faves.

Cast albums are NOT "soundtracks."
Live theatre does not use a "soundtrack." If it did, it wouldn't be live theatre!

I host a weekly one-hour radio program featuring cast album selections as well as songs by cabaret, jazz and theatre artists. The program, FRONT ROW CENTRE is heard Sundays 9 to 10 am and also Saturdays from 8 to 9 am (eastern times) on www.proudfm.com

tourboi
Broadway Legend
joined:12/15/05
Miss Saigon
Posted: 2/8/10 at 12:35pm
Pittsburg CLO is hit or miss....
Updated On: 2/8/10 at 12:35 PM
Tag
Broadway Legend
joined:11/19/05
canmark
Broadway Legend
joined:3/14/07
Miss Saigon
Posted: 6/9/10 at 09:02pm
Miss Saigon cast (from the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera website):
http://www.pittsburghclo.org/shows/cast/24/refer:clo-shows

Video interview with Kevin Gray (The Engineer) and Aaron Ramey (Chris):
http://www.pittsburghclo.org/shows/view/24/refer:clo-shows

Review from the Pittsburgh Tribune:
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/ae/theater/s_685184.html

==========

Just found this on YouTube: Ma-Anne Dionisio performing "I'd Give My Life For You" in concert.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjgnKy64sz8
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: 6/9/10 at 09:02 PM
canmark
Broadway Legend
joined:3/14/07
Miss Saigon
Posted: 6/29/10 at 08:01pm
Dancap is offering discounts on the lower-priced seats to Miss Saigon: $30 (5th level), $45 (4th level), $60 (orchestra circle/rear orchestra). No discount code needed; link on the Dancap website: http://www.dancaptickets.com/
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)
MelissaF
Leading Actor
joined:2/5/08
Miss Saigon
Posted: 6/30/10 at 08:00pm
Cant wait to see this next week!!
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
anfwesternboy
Understudy
joined:7/25/05
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/7/10 at 03:48pm
Wow that looks like a really chintzy production.
tourboi
Broadway Legend
joined:12/15/05
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/7/10 at 04:19pm
It's PGH CLO, so I wouldn't be surprised. They're either chintzy, or they rent tour sets and copy (step for step!) the broadway/tour versions. Very little originality or creativity goes on within that company.

But I'm hopeful that SAIGON is a change from that theme.
anfwesternboy
Understudy
joined:7/25/05
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/7/10 at 05:07pm
If I paid more than $100 for that production I'd feel really duped.
tourboi
Broadway Legend
joined:12/15/05
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/7/10 at 10:16pm
Well, again, I'd wait until I saw how the performances and what not are.
MelissaF
Leading Actor
joined:2/5/08
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/11/10 at 12:27am
So, tonight I saw Miss Saigon. I paid $85 per ticket. The first act began, and from the first song it was evident there was a problem. I was in the third row of the orchestra, and could not hear singing. There seemed to be loud feedback. As the third song ended, you could hear an actor who had a microphone attached say "that was crazy". The audience looked at one another. After the fourth song, the curtain came down. We were advised that the show was new, and had technical difficulties that you be reapired momentarily. 15 minutes later it was announced that the sound board blew. The show resumed at the fifth song, despite the audience not properly hearing the first four, or from the crowd yelling "Start Over". I never properly got into the show, and was disappointed at the way it was handled. My mom could not go to the washroom, as she was told there was no re-enrty IF the show started while she was away from her seat. The whole evening was obnoxious.
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
canmark
Broadway Legend
joined:3/14/07
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/11/10 at 09:57am
Which performance did you see, MelissaF? I was at the Friday night perf (the first one), and while there were some audio issues it wasn't as disasterous as you describe.

But partly due do the dim audio and partly due to the direction and performances, the show had a rather pallid tour production quality to it. Where it should have had urgency or vibrancy, it was just going through the motions (that the audio was dim in the male chorus numbers like The Heat is on in Saigon didn't help matters). I was only emotionally moved in one scene (where Kim is protecting her child from the threatening Thuy).

Ma-Anne Dionisio (Kim) and AaronRamey (Chris) sang well; the others were adequate. Lighting was fine; sets were ordinary. I appreciated that they tried to do something different with The American Dream (substituting Jonathan Pryce's Cadillac humping with a movie palace theme and girls dressed as Marilyn Monroe) even if it didn't entirely work. And appreciated the helicopter (a wind effect would have been nice) which I thought they might simulate with a video (but overall that scene, which should be emotionally wrenching... well, it was not). Choreography was lacking overall.

I wonder what people who were not familiar with the show got out of it. Ut didn't look like a show capable of running 10 years on Broadway.

On the plus side, I was happy to see some of my fellow Asian peeps in the audience. Usually I can count on my fingers the number of Asian people in the audience. Miss Saigon shows that Asians will come out to certain shows.

Am hoping for better with South Pacific. That show has the chance to really shine in this lovely theatre (am eagerly anticipating a soaring This Nearly Was Mine, for example, and a rousing There Is Nothing Like A Dame). Let's hope it does.


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: 7/11/10 at 09:57 AM
MelissaF
Leading Actor
joined:2/5/08
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/11/10 at 10:40am
I was at the Saturday night 7:30 show.

I had never seen the show before, and found myself lost, as I missed the first 4 songs...certainly not the way to enjoy a show. At one point in the first act a flag came tumbling to the ground, and I could hear people around me commenting "Oh come on, what else will go wrong". People were laughing. I didnt appreciate the audience being advised it was a preview show. It was not marketed as a preview show, and many people around me were complaining about how unprofessional it was. Was the soundboard not checked prior to the performance? If there was obvious problems from the opening number, why not hold the show, instead of getting 4 songs in? I find Dancap doesnt care about patrons (based on previous bad experience) so I can nothing but rant here.

I hope South Pacific fares better....I have tickets for that as well.
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
Justaguy2
Understudy
joined:3/19/10
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/11/10 at 08:51pm
Just a quick comment about sound and the soundboard crashing. First, keep in mind that this is the first musical presented in the new Opera house. The Four Seasons is a very acoustically "live" hall because that's what you want for Opera and Ballet but musical theatre with a sound system is a different beast. Friday was the first performance and I doubt they had much time to tech this show. As such, I'm not surprised that the sound might not have been perfect. I'm sure the balance of the "dim" vocals will be sorted out after a few performances. As far as the soundboard crashing goes, this is not that rare. Sound, like most aspects of musical theatre, has become very complex and modern soundboards are computers. Computers crash. Windows anyone? In fact it wasn't that long ago that this happened at La Cage on Broadway:

http://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.php?thread=1015018#4006771

From reading that post, it doesn't sound like too many people were upset about what happened. Of course it helps having Kelsey Grammer telling jokes while you wait for things to get sorted out.

It's unfortunate but it's also what makes live theatre "live". Technology can fail, actors can get sick or hurt during a show, the power can go out, any number of things can happen. Many times huge things happen and the audience doesn't even know because it gets sorted out before it compromises a show. Stuff happens....as they say. At the end of the day, if it does happen, most people walk away excited to say that they were there the night that ______ happened.

The one things that is odd is that Dancap didn't bill the first few performances as previews. Especially seeing as this isn't a "tour" and it's the first time this sort of thing has been done in the Opera House. I'm sure critics weren't there Friday or Saturday otherwise Nestruck and Ouzounian would have been all over this by now and there's no mention of it on either papers site. I bet next week it will be running smoothly. In the future, I advise that you never go see a show in the first week of its run. Give it at least a few shows to get settled.
canmark
Broadway Legend
joined:3/14/07
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/11/10 at 09:11pm
But given that there were problems on both the Friday night and the Saturday night performances, for a show that had completed a run in Pittsburgh, you do have to question what was going on. Yes, this is the first "musical" in the Four Seasons Centre, but it's not the first live performance there. And is an opera that different from a musical?

Also, you would think the Four Seasons Centre management itself (not to mention the Dancap people) would be concerned about the quality of the venue and the professionalism of the presenter. Yes, it's live, but if people are paying $100 to see a 'Broadway' show (I went on a $60 ticket), then it's discouraging to see something with so many problems, esp. if Dancap hopes to develop a loyal following to his shows. And it doesn't look good for the theatre to have patrons (many who may be first time visitors) have a bad experience.

I was at the first preview of Rock of Ages, for example, and there were no problems. But this was no "preview."

South Pacific is a national tour and one expects it to be a well-oiled machine when it rolls into town. Hopefully they will be forewarned to check and double check their sound system. I haven't bought my tickets yet, but will likely go for one of the earlier performances.

Edit to add: MelissaF, don't judge this show by this performance. I saw the original Broadway version (back in '92, I think) and it was much better. The original cast album/CD (with Lea Salonga and Jonathan Pryce) is excellent (although somehow I lost my copy years ago, but it all came back to mind during the performance). I also saw the original Toronto production (with the same Ma-Anne Dionisio and Kevin Gray), but I don't remember much about it. Read the lyrics and listen to the cast CD--there's plenty of story and emotion right there.

Just found a YouTube video of a pretty darn good high school production. Very good audio, too.

Why, God: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lhmd5-ubJRI
Sun and Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1q7Ie5F1OVE

Compare with the original London Chris and Kim, Simon Bowman and Lea Salonga.
Sun and Moon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqqvXwSVgX
Last Night of the World: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGmqX8EAvrw

Here's the whole show from that school: http://www.youtube.com/user/SamTSchweikert#g/c/4A5EC92D92C318FB

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: 7/11/10 at 09:11 PM
MelissaF
Leading Actor
joined:2/5/08
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/11/10 at 09:12pm
Ive been going to the theatre for half of my life, and seen many previews in NYC. I obviously understand that things happen, but the manner in which it was handled aggravated the situation. They knew there was a problem right off the bat. They shouldnt have let the show go on for 4 songs, before taking a 15 minute break. 85 per ticket is alot of money to go down the drain when you cant hear or understand a show. I couldnt help but laugh at the end, when the curtain went down, someone asked if it was really over, a technical difficulty.
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
Tag
Broadway Legend
joined:11/19/05
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/11/10 at 09:40pm
And is an opera that different from a musical?

YES.
MelissaF
Leading Actor
joined:2/5/08
Miss Saigon
Posted: 7/11/10 at 09:59pm
Thanks for the links Canmark...
I guess that was so much of my frustration...I've seen almost every show that Dancap had brought to Toronto, some mltiple times, and they really didnt seem to care about the patrons....I'm sure I wont get much by way of a response to a letter I wrote...Im sorry I paid $85 ( I purchased three tickets)...
I have tickets to South Pacific next month...I hope it runs smoothly...
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
fashionguru_23
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

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