Epic Musical “Miss Saigon” Returns to the Broadway Theatre

Epic Musical “Miss Saigon” Returns to the Broadway Theatre

Eva Noblezada as Kim and Alistair Brammer as Chris in "Miss Saigon" (©Michael Le Poer Trench)

Landing in NYC after its critically acclaimed run on the West End in London, “Miss Saigon” is back on Broadway in its first revival.

“Miss Saigon” tells the tale of a 17-year-old orphaned Vietnamese woman named Kim (Eva Noblezada) who is forced to work in Dreamland, a sleezy Saigon bar—that peddles as much sex as it does alcohol—run by The Engineer (Jon Jon Briones). While there, she meets an American soldier named Chris (Alistair Brammer). They immediately fall for each other, only to be torn apart by the harsh realities of the Vietnam War. Three years later, and an ocean apart, Kim is determined to reunite with Chris because they have a son together (that he doesn’t know about) and she wants the best for their child. Heartbreaking and sweeping in scope, “Miss Saigon” may be set in the 1970s, but feels as timely as ever.

In her Broadway debut, Eva Noblezada is mesmerizing as Kim. Besides her impressive vocal skills, Noblezada is gripping to watch as a woman who goes through hell and back to provide a better life for her son than she’s been able to live for herself. Alistair Brammer, in his Broadway debut as well, is winsome as Chris—deftly balancing the character’s machismo and vulnerability.

Jon Jon Briones may play The Engineer, but he himself should be called The Chameleon. I so admired the way Briones seamlessly transitioned The Engineer from moment to moment, adapting his body language and mannerisms in the blink of an eye to portray this character’s sedulous sense of self preservation. His rendition of “The American Dream” was equally entertaining and horrifying, showcasing just how out of control the American Dream could get (and has gotten…). Briones is energetic and enigmatic, evoking pathos for a character that you have every right to loathe.

Honestly, for as big of a theater nerd as I am, the only things I knew about “Miss Saigon” before seeing this production were that this musical is a wartime epic, the song “Last Night of the World” and, at some point, there is a helicopter. I know the helicopter is not the main purpose of the show, but boy, was that an exhilarating and marvelously executed sequence that I will remember forever. Major kudos to the set designers (Totie Driver and Matt Kinley), lighting designer (Bruno Poet), sound designer (Mick Potter) and projection designer (Luke Halls) for collectively creating one of the biggest moments on the Broadway stage this season.

I was so engrossed in this show that I forgot many times throughout the night that I was sitting among a packed house. From the intricately designed set and beautiful music (music by Claude-Michel Schönberg and lyrics from Alain Boublil and Richard Maltby, Jr.), to the massive amount of talent showcased by the entire ensemble, “Miss Saigon” made for a wholly enjoyable trip to the theater.

“Miss Saigon,” presently in previews at the Broadway Theatre, officially opens March 23, 2017, and will play a limited engagement through January 13, 2018, before embarking on a North American tour. Get your tickets for this Broadway smash here.

The cast of "Miss Saigon"... and helicopter. (©Michael Le Poer Trench)

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