Miss Saigon Still Soars
When I first heard about the musical Miss Saigon in 1989- everyone was praising the helicopter alone. I wanted to know what the show was about but people just kept on referring to the huge gob-smacking special effect that appears on stage. Like the crashing chandelier in Phantom Of The Opera it is a sign of the times in that musicals have adopted movie traits in order to sell the show and give it a unique selling point. The one thing that grabs you now watching this current
The great thing is that these adjustments add something special to the celebrated classic rather than leave you feeling disappointed. This new found intimacy means that you feel more emotionally involved. You are transported back to 1975
You could call me a Miss Saigon fan as this is the fourth time I have seen this show. I have always been impressed by previous casts but there has always been this nagging feeling that some have overacted and not nailed the emotional core of the piece. No such problems here with the current touring
The part of the engineer, Kim's visa hungry boss has always been a scene stealer bringing welcome humorous elements to this sad tale. Jon Jon Briones is excellent, constantly playing up to the audience and making them laugh. He is at one time malevolent and at others torn between the dreams of Uncle Sam and his own country which is crumbling before his very eyes. His marvelous "American Dream" is filled with irony and this is wonderfully accompanied Gerald Scarfe's amusingly sharp animation.
John Partridge plays Chris' friend John with aplomb. He makes this supporting role much more pivotal than I remember it being before. His vocal delivery is truly astounding. Christian Rey Marbella, likewise shines and gains sympathy in the role of rejected Thuy. He portrays a real undying love for Kim and
The songs have become classics and they remain as moving as they were when you first heard them. "Movie In My Mind" still has the power to make an audience cry early on within the narrative. "Why God Why?" also moves you as it highlights the couples' love in a world gone mad. Even "Bui Doi", previously a bit too earnest now seems more measured thanks to John Partridge's superb delivery.
This excellent touring show proves beyond doubt that the heat is still definitely on in