Miss Saigon in 2014: London Stage, Filipino Casts

In May 3, 2014 London’s West End will relive one of the best musical of our time ,     Miss Saigon.Miss Saigon

After 25 years Broadway lovers will again feel the heat , smell the tension and revel on Saigon’s red district  Once again they will be awed by the helicopter, enormous Ho Chi Minh statue and a posh car from Sweden. And of course,  they will again be moved by Miss Saigon‘s epic songs about love and tragedy midst the Vietnam war.

Miss Saigon is very close to the Filipino’s hearts. This production housed a lot of Filipino talents from the original West End cast , Broadway cast and International cast. As we all know, our very own Lea Salonga was the first one to portray the lead role as “Kim” in Miss Saigon. She was joined by Isay Alvarez (Gigi) and Monique Wilson (Alternate for Kim).

Now time and again, Filipino talents made their way to this grand production. Yesterday’s news announced that Jonjon Briones (Engineer), Eva Noblezada (Kim)  and our home grown Rachelle Ann Go (Gigi) landed in major roles for the revival of Miss Saigon. Miss Saigon

Filipinos bagging the lead roles again? Is this a coincidence?

A big NO of course. As an avid Miss Saigon fan, I’ve watched the production’s documentary on Miss Saigon’s beginnings. Famous composers of Miss Saigon  Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil has been around US even Vietnam in pursuit of the perfect “Kim”. And the search ended here in the Philippines. From then on, the production has kept an eye on Filipino talents and more castings followed.

Miss Saigon had its “homecoming” performance here in the Philippines as well. It was staged in CCP last 2000 and Lea Salonga herself played the role as Kim. I was lucky enough to be one of the spectators of this most anticipated stage play that time. Tickets were from P400 to P5000.

Miss Saigon is a Cameron Mackintosh production.