Why did I want to see Miss Saigon? Wanting to see Miss Saigon comes from Les Mis. I discovered Miss Saigon through Les Mis. When I heard that those who wrote the music to Miss Saigon wrote the music to Les Mis, I knew I eventually wanted to watch Miss Saigon. I had no idea if I ever would see Miss Saigon- it felt like it hadn’t been on tour for a very long time. During Charlotte’s 2018-2019 season, I discovered Miss Saigon was coming. It was the main musical I wanted to see- tickets to see Miss Saigon with my mom and dad were in my stocking at Christmas. I was excited that I was going to see it. Miss Saigon is a tragic love story. So glad Les Mis taught me that I can love tragedies.
- Engineer- Eymard Cabling
- Kim- Emily Bautista
- Chris- Anthony Festa
- Gigi- Christine Bunuan
- John- J. Daughtry
- Ellen- Stacie Bono
- Thuy- Jinwoo Jung
- Tam- Jace Chen
In the last days of the Vietnam War, 17-year-old Kim is forced to work in a bar run by a notorious character known as the Engineer. There she meets and falls in love with an American G.I. named Chris but they are torn apart by the fall of Saigon.-Blumenthal Performing Arts
Major or Minor Spoilers:
Eymard Cabling showed out the villainous side of the Engineer perfectly. You can clearly see it in the beginning of the musical to the end. He does give you a laugh from time to time. I loved how I had that laugh- it was needed.
Emily Bautista’s Kim was both a victim and a fighter. I saw her Kim both ways. In the beginning, her Kim was more of a victim. I almost cried during “Movie in the Mind”- that song was shared with Christine Bunuan’s Gigi. It showed both of them as victims. Emily’s Kim had this vulnerable side of things. She had incredible chemistry with Anthony’s Festa’s Chris- I felt like they were in love- I wanted them to stay together even though I knew it wasn’t to be. I was emotionally connected to her Kim- I could see a strength in Kim. She was a fighter when it came to her son, Tam- that was admirable in so many ways. She wanted him to have a better life.
As I said with Emily Bautista, Anthony Festa’s Chris had incredible chemistry with her. Their chemistry made me want them to stay together- I did not want it to end to in tragic circumstances. “Sun and Moon” made me cry- I was not expecting that during that song. His vocals were incredible- you first noticed it during “Why God Why”. Tragic love stories are tough- if you have two actors like Anthony and Emily who feel like they are in love, you want them to stay together- you don’t want it to be tragic.
J. Daughtry’s John truly didn’t shine until Bui Doi. He was just perfect during that number. The hardest thing about Stacie Bono as Ellen is having you feel anything for her- the problem had to do with Emily and Anthony. I struggled with Ellen. I loved Kim and Chris as a couple- Emily and Anthony being the Kim and Chris that they are, it made it difficult to get into Stacie’s Ellen.
The staging was incredible to watch. Yes, at times, it can be difficult to watch- it was the emotional connection to Kim and Chris that kept me going. I loved some of the spectacle and dance I saw in some of the scenes. One moment made me wish I was in another section of the theatre- there was a scene with lights pointing directly at you that you had to block out the brightest lights to see what was going on. It made me uncomfortable- don’t know if that was the scene’s intention- to make you feel uncomfortable or was it the seat I was in?
In terms of the songs- I did cry at times, which I had a feeling it would knowing how Les Mis affected me. “Movie in my Mind” almost made me cry, “Sun and Moon”/ “Last Night of the World”/ “I’d Give My Life For You” all made me cry. I did not think the song,”Sun and Moon”, would make me cry, but it did- it does tell me just how incredible Anthony and Emily were- it made me want their romance to work out despite knowing it was going to be tragic. The ending did satisfy me- tragic love stories are rough in the ending due to how it turns out, but they still need to be satisfying. SPOILER: At the end of the musical, Kim sacrificed herself to give Tam a better life. Chris saw this, and ran to Kim. She ended up dying in Chris’ arms- I believe at the end, Chris realized that he still was in love with Kim- based on his reaction at the end of this scene.
I did feel heartbroken, terrified, love, joy and uncomfortable watching Miss Saigon.