Miss Saigon

Miss Saigon is a stage musical that had its start back in 1989 in London's West End. It was created by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil (who also did Les Misérables). It holds the record as the 10th longest running Broadway show ever.

The story was losely based on the story of Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly but relocated to the era of the Vietnam war. It revolved around the romance of one young Vietnamese girl and an American GI.

Last month, Dancap Productions company put on Miss Saigon in Toronto. It was staged at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. This was the first time the show has been officially performed in Toronto since 1993.

Also returning with the show was Ma-Anne Dionisio for the main role of Kim (the girl). This was a role that Dionisio has not only played in Canada before, but also in British, Australian and American productions. I must say that her voice was lovely for the role.

Now I don't really want to give away the plot of the musical, but I can tell you that this is not one of those sing-dance-and-have-a-grand-ole-time type of shows. The characters had depth and there were plausible reasons fueling their actions. There were moments of joy, fear, anger, regret... and it was all played out so well. From the music to the acting, the cast put on quite a believable performance. They had me tearing up by the end too.

Here's a video from the original West End cast of Miss Saigon. They had a worldwide casting call for the lead roles. This led the producers to discover the wonderful Lea Salonga, one of the most well-known musical actresses of this generation. She was 18 when she played Kim.

I'll most definately see Miss Saigon again if I ever have the chance. That's a promise.


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