BWW Flashback: Past Stars of MISS SAIGON You Thought Were Only In Your Mind
Tomorrow night, Miss Saigon officially flies back to Broadway at its original home, The Broadway Theatre. The original production of Miss Saigon opened on April 11, 1991 and played through January 28, 2001. Miss Saigon has its official opening Thursday, March 23 at 6:30 pm, and will play a limited engagement through January 13, 2018 before launching a North American tour later in the year.
Miss Saigon tells the story of the last days of the Vietnam War, when 17 year-old Kim is forced to work in a Saigon bar run by a notorious character known as the Engineer. There she meets and falls in love with an American GI named Chris but they are torn apart by the fall of Saigon. For three years Kim goes on an epic journey of survival to find her way back to Chris, who has no idea he has fathered a son.
Stars of the original Broadway cast included Lea Salonga, Jonathan Pryce, and Hinton Battle, but with a show being on Broadway for almost 10 years (with runs in the West End, on tour, and countless international productions) the original run saw quite a few replacements, including some you may not know about. BroadwayWorld is taking you back in time to show you some past performances you thought were just movies in your mind!
Billy Porter - "John," Broadway
Before he was kicking up his heels in Kinky Boots, Tony-award winner Billy Porter starred as John in the Broadway production of Miss Saigon. See him perform with the cast on the Today show in 1999!
Will Chase - "Chris," Broadway, Manila, US National Tour
Will Chase began his Broadway career with Miss Saigon as the replacement for Chris in 1998 until the show closed in 2001. Chase was also a member of the Manila tour cast starring alongside Lea Salonga and the second US national tour. See him show his Will Power with Dee Dee Lynn Magno on the Today show in 1999!
Ramin Karimloo, "Chris," UK Tour
Known for giving almost any Broadway hit a bluegrass twang, Broadway and West End favorite Ramin Karimloo starred as Chris in the UK tour production of Miss Saigon. See him sing "Why God, Why?" with a broadgrass twist!
Will Swenson, "Chris," US National Tour
Jon Jon Briones, "The Engineer," West End, Manila, West End revival, Broadway revival
Before joining both the West End and Broadway revivals, Jon Jon Briones replaced Leo Valdez in the 2000 Manila cast. And even before that, Briones was an original ensemble member of the 1989 West End cast. Check out this interview with The New York Times in which he talks about the journey of the role of The Engineer.
Other notable replacements in the original Broadway production include Jersey Boys' Matt Bogart, who replaced as Chris, and The Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables' Norm Lewis, who replaced as John. In the US national tour, some audiences were able to see The Bridges of Madison County's Steven Pasquale.