Playhouse Square’s KeyBank Broadway Series is back with a bang, welcoming the timeless story of Miss Saigon. Featuring the music of Claude-Michel Schönberg, (the mind that brought us Les Miserables) with lyrics from Alain Boublil and Richard Maltby Jr, the show debuted in London in 1989 before opening on Broadway in 1991, eventually becoming one of New York City’s longest-running plays.
The play was originally inspired from a single photograph Schönberg accidentally saw in a magazine that closely depicted much of the core of this play.
Set in 1975, Miss Saigon tells the story of a young Vietnamese woman named Kim (Emily Bautista), living in Saigon during the heat of the Vietnam War. In a bar run by a notorious character known only as ‘The Engineer’ (Red Concepción), Kim meets an American G.I named Chris (Anthony Festa). This meeting, perhaps mundane on the surface, changes both characters’ lives forever. The story follows Kim and Chris through their fast-paced romance, capturing every twist, every turn; every bump in the road along the way.
Director Laurence Connor has put together a stunning spectacle for both first-time viewers or theater patrons falling in love with the show all over again.
The production sincludes a sensational cast of 42 members and a soaring score including hits like “Last Night of the World,” “The Movie in My Mind,” and “The Heat is On in Saigon.”
Bautista steals the show as Kim, portraying both a passionate, heartbroken young woman, who at the same time is also a devoted mother. Her powerful voice could change to soft and sweet with the flip of the switch when necessary (a trait of a top-notch performer).
Festa possesses an equally powerful voice, showcased beautifully throughout the entire show, communicating his unwavering love in Act One, flipping to confusion and fear in Act Two.
Audience favorite Concepción received rave reviews as ‘The Engineer’ in the UK Tour of Miss Saigon, and Cleveland loved him even more. His character is both slimy and disgusting yet lovable and goofy. (Perhaps the only way for that statement to make sense is to catch the show while it is in town!) Concepción always gave the audience a good laugh, even in a show full of tragedy.
It has been 19 years since the tour last came to Cleveland. Miss Saigon first came to Cleveland in 1996, only five years after its Broadway debut in 1991. Having been nearly 20 years since this amazing show has graced the stages of Playhouse Square make sure you revisit Saigon before it leaves us again!
This rollercoaster of a love story is in Cleveland from January 29 until February 17. Tickets can be purchased: RIGHT HERE.