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17-Year-Old Eva Noblezada to Star in MISS SAIGON in the West End

The Daily Mail writes that Cameron Mackintosh has cast 17-year-old Eva Noblezada -- a Charlotte, NC native -- in the lead role of Kim in the upcoming West End revival of Miss Saigon. Noblezada was discovered by casting director Tara Rubin at the 2013 Jimmy Awards in New York City.

"She's performed in shows at her school, but she has never done a big professional musical before," Mackintosh told the Mail, adding that Noblezada reminded him of another newcomer 25 years ago when he was casting the original production of Miss Saigon. "Eva's going to be our new Lea [Salonga]," he said.

Read the original report here.

Noblezada's aunt, Annette Calud, appeared in the Broadway production first as a bar girl and later in the role of Kim. Noblezada currently attends the NorthWest School of the Arts in Charlotte. The plan is for her to perform four shows a week when Miss Saigon begins in May next year, with understudies covering the rest of the performances so she can keep up with her studies.

Noblezada will join previously announced cast members Jon Jon Briones as the Engineer, Alistair Brammer as Chris, Hugh Maynard as John, Tamsin Carroll as Ellen and Rachelle Ann Go as Gigi.

Mackintosh's new production of MISS SAIGON, directed by Laurence Connor, will open at the Prince EdwardTheatre in London on May 3, 2014. MISS SAIGON, which celebrates its 25th anniversary next year, features music by Claude-Michel Schönberg with lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr. and Alain Boublil, adapted from the original French lyrics by Boublil.

This new production of MISS SAIGON is directed by Connor with musical staging by Bob Avian and additional choreography by Geoffrey Garratt; production design by Totie Driver and Matt Kinley, from an original concept byAdrian Vaux; costume design by Andreane Neofitou; orchestrations by William David Brohn; lighting design by Bruno Poet and sound design by Mick Potter.

Set in 1975 during the final days of the American occupation of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), MISS SAIGON tells the epic love story between Chris, an American G.I., and Kim, a young Vietnamese bargirl, which is loosely based on Giacomo Puccini's "Madame Butterfly."

Since its London premiere in 1989, "Miss Saigon," which originally starred Tony and Olivier Award winner Lea Salonga as Kim, has become one of the most successful musicals in history, and enjoyed a phenomenal 10-year run at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. The mega-musical has been performed in 28 countries and in more than 300 cities in 15 different languages. It has won more than 40 awards, including two Olivier Awards, three Tony Awards and four Drama Desk Awards; it has been seen by more than 35 million people worldwide.

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Pictured: Eva singing "With You" from GHOST. Photo source: Facebook.

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