MOM THEATRE BLOGGER: MISS SAIGON: London Show Review by Robin Gorman Newman

MS_Logo_A4L_Vis_AW.inddMISS SAIGON tells the heart wrenching,tender tragic tale of young bar girl Kim, orphaned by war, who falls in love with a American GI named Chris – but their lives are torn apart by the fall of Saigon.  Each makes touch choices that ultimately dictates their fate and future relationship.

In a word…this show is stunning on every level!  Musically, visually and emotionally.

Based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly, I saw it 20 year ago when I was first in London, and it’s remained one of my favorite musicals of all time.  It starred a young Lea Salonga, who went on to considerable fame and awards, and it ultimately came to Broadway also starring her. Eva Noblezada now plays the role of Kim in London, and I must admit, I wasn’t sure how anyone could truly step into Salonga’s shoes.  But, Noblezada does not disappoint.  She is truly lovely and engaging as Kim.   You feel both her inner strength and pain deeply when she sings like I Still Believe and You will Not Touch Him.  She and Chris Peluso (Chris) have palpable chemistry, and their duets including Last Night of the World are sweet and unforgettable.

When I was planning a summer trip to London with my 12 year old son, high on my list was taking him to see MISS SAIGON.  While it’s an adult theme (with a few racy numbers), the music is so lush and beautiful, and I knew he’d love the special effects — don’t want to spoil the reveal here — but I was right!  He still talks about it.

Eva-Noblezada-as-KimOther featured players in the cast include:  Carolyn Maitland as ‘Ellen’; Natalie Mendoza as ‘Gigi’ and Sangwoong Jo as ‘Thuy,’ Jon Jon Briones as ‘The Engineer,’ and Hugh Maynard as ‘John’.  All are outstanding, and Briones both slimy (as he should be) and magnetic as the conniving Engineer.

Jon-Jon-Briones-as-The-EngineerThe full cast is Jon Jon Briones; Michael Carolan; Richard Carson; Natalie Chua; Siobhan Dillon; Callum Evans; Maria Graciano; Nathan Graham; Simon Hardwick; Sangwoong Jo; Kurt Kansley; Sooha Kim; Kittiphun Kittipakapom; Aaron Lee Lambert; David Kar-Hing Lee; Mitch Leow; Ela Lisondra; Michael Macalintal; Tanya Manalang; Christian Rey Marbella; Liam Marcellino; Hugh Maynard; Natalie Mendoza; Kanako Nakano; Thao Therese Nguyen; Eva Noblezada; Saori Oda; Claire Parrish; Kiel Payton; Chris Peluso; Ethan Le Phong; Katherine Picar; Romeo Salazar; Ariel Reonal; Jon Reynolds; Marsha Songcome; Eloisa Amalia Tan; Gavin Tsang; Thao Vilayvong; Amadeus Williams; Gerald Zarcilla and Yuval Zoref.

In November 2014, MISS SAIGON won 11 awards in the Awards including Best Leading Actor; Best Featured Actor; Best Leading Actress; Best Featured Actress; Best Choreography; Best Costume Design and Best Direction in a New Production of a Musical.
This new production of MISS SAIGON opened in May 2014 and has been a triumphant success with record-breaking advance bookings. After opening in London, the new production most recently opened in Japan and Korea with other productions planned in Australia, Europe and the U.S.

MISS SAIGON has Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg with Lyrics by Richard Maltby Jnr and Alain Boublil, adapted from Original French Lyrics by Alain Boublil with Additional Lyrics by Michael Mahler. This new production is directed by Laurence Connor with Musical Staging by Bob Avian and Additional Choreography by Geoffrey Garratt, Production Design by Totie Driver and Matt Kinley based on an Original Concept by Adrian Vaux, Costume Design by Andreane Neofitou, Lighting Design by Bruno Poet, Sound Design by Mick Potter and Orchestrations by William David Brohn. Musical Supervision is by Stephen Brooker and John Rigby. Musical Direction is by Alfonso Casado Trigo.

Find out more and book online at and by telephone: 0844 482 5155.   It is playing at the Prince Edward Theatre where it will take its final bow on February 27, 2016.

If you are planning a trip to London, this is a must see.  If you’re not venturing overseas, keep an eye out for it on Broadway.

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