Serenbe's MISS SAIGON, Featuring Real Helicopter, Flattens Box Office Records
Serenbe Playhouse's Miss Saigon is crushing box office records and winning praise from critics and audiences alike.
Serenbe, recipient of the prestigious American Theatre Wing grant (2015), extended its fourth show in its 2016 season, Miss Saigon, to August 14, because the run was more than 50 percent sold prior to Opening Night.
Since opening on July 21, the show has garnered record-breaking audiences, and much critical praise. The production has enjoyed national media attention as well as local critical raves. Originally set up for 200 patrons, The Playhouse expanded the seating capability to 325, in addition to the extension, to accommodate the crowds. This resulted in a record-sized house of 325, breaking the previously set record of 237 patrons at Evitain the summer of 2015.
The Huey helicopter's landing every night has been a huge hit, and the stellar cast, the eleven-piece orchestra, and the design team have created a beautiful evening in the Wildflower Meadow.
Miss Saigon, with music by Claude- Michel Schonberg; lyrics by Richard Maltby, Jr., and Alain Boublil; adapted from the original French lyrics by Alain Boublil, is directed by Brian Clowdus, music direction is by Chris Brent Davis, and choreography is by Bubba Carr.
In the classic musical by Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil, based on Giacomo Puccini's tragic opera, Madame Butterfly, an American GI (Chris) falls desperately in love with a Vietnamese barmaid (Kim) during the Vietnam War, only to be separated by the fall of Saigon. Kim and Chris' love story is a harrowing tale of heartbreak and heroism, set against the backdrop of war-torn Vietnam, during a troubling era in our nation's history.
For the first time ever presented by a professional Atlanta theatre company, Serenbe Playhouse and its design team have recreated the lush wilderness of Vietnam, complete with an actual Vietnam-flown Huey helicopter landing nightly in the Wildflower Meadow at Serenbe.
Choreographer Bubba Carr (Cher's farewell tour/dance captain, "Fame", "So You Think You Can Dance", "Footloose"), Clowdus' long time collaborator, is thrilled by the joy and challenge of creating work for the site-specific company. Clowdus and Carr lead a creative team that includes music direction by Chris Brent Davis, assistant direction by Ryan Oliveti, scenic design by Adam Koch, costume design by Alan Yeong, sound and lighting design by Adam Howarth, and properties design by Stephanie Polhemus.
Out of hundreds of hopefuls from around the United States, one true star shined through as Kim, Niki Badua, who joins Miss Saigon having just completed the national tour of Mamma Mia. Opposite Badua is Chase Peacock, as Chris, returning to The Playhouse having appeared in last year's Evita as Magaldi. Ryan Ortega (apprentice class of 2013) returns to The Playhouse as Thuy.
The ensemble includes Erik Abrahamsen, Shelli Delgado, Hao Feng, Timothy Harland, Jin Huh,Brian Jordan, Hannah Kevitt, Nathan Lubeck, Skyler Passmore, Terrence Smith, and Austin Taylor. And The Playhouse introduces Linder Sutton, as Tam.
Performance times are Wednesdays through Sundays at 8pm. A few tickets remain for the final Wednesday and Thursday evening performances; the weekend is sold out. They are on sale now online at www.serenbeplayhouse.com (anytime); and by phone at 770-463-1110 (Box Office hours are Monday-Saturday, noon until 6pm). Serenbe Playhouse produces each show in a different outdoor location within the Serenbe community and Miss Saigon is being produced in the Wildflower Meadow, 10950 Hutcheson Ferry Road, Chattahoochee Hills, GA 30268. The Playhouse administrative offices are located at 9110 Selborne Lane, #210, Chattahoochee Hills GA, 30268.
Photo Credit: BreeAnne Clowdus