Miss Saigon: A Musical with a Heart

I havent seen a lot of musicals. In fact, only 7 so far. No, I dont mean musical movies but musicals LIVE on stage. And if I were allowed to only watch ONE musical in MY LIFETIME, it would be, MISS SAIGON. No doubt.  

I might be subjective in my pick–because the original lead cast for the role Kim, a young Vietnamese woman who gave up her life for her son, was a Filipina, Leah Salonga, who later won Tony and Oliviers Best Actress Award for her moving, soulful portrayal of the role. Cameron McKintosh and his hang searched and travelled countries for open audition—to find the perfect role of Kim. And they did—in Manila: Leah Salonga who was then 17 years old.

Anyway, I saw Miss Saigon today at Four Seasons here in Toronto. I didnt cry but tears welled up around my eyes. Obviously, I held them back. Im a cry baby and when I cry, its like Niagara falls.

What makes Miss Saigon so powerful are the songs, the melodious lines of every note that would prick your conscience, heart and soul. Ma-Anne Dionisios (another Filipina) performance didnt just give justice to the role she played but moved and captured the audience to total silence. WE, too, suffered with her, sacrificed with her and truly loved with her.

She made us believe that its okay to dream and love—even in war—and hold on to those till the end. The musical is a tearjerker, yes, but those tears you shed while watching were not meant to just fall. They fall because you werent just moved by what you heard and saw but also because, a part of your life is right there in front you. Thats how powerful Miss Saigon is—so powerful and moving that for two hours and a half—you are in an emotional turmoil.

Four of the ladies who were in my row were crying and perhaps, thinking that some of songs in the musical are true to them.

Miss Saigons songs are very impressive. The words go deep to your bones and give you a feeling like its you—are the one singing them. The songs that are still playing in my head now are: Sun and Moon, Last Night of the World, I Still Believe, Id Give My Life for You and This Is The Hour.

Would I watch it again? Yes, for sure. Before it ends on August 1.

I couldnt find good quality photos of Ma-Anne playing Kim so I posted Leahs. I hope next time Ill be there I could secretly break the rule of NO Photos in the theater. Just one. Just one. If Ma-Anne is reading this, I hope shell leave a message and gives me a backstage pass next time I see the show. :))

 Peter Polycarpou, Claire
Moore, Simon Bowman, Lea Salonga, Jonathan
, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London, September 20, 1989

KIM: “How in one night have we come … so far.”

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