Spoiler alert: It’s a breathtaking journey from start to finish.
I wipe the tears from my eyes as Melbourne’s Her Majesty’s Theatre erupts into a standing ovation, and I smile, knowing that this incredible production is headed to Adelaide on January 4th. And I can’t wait to tell everyone about it.
Miss Saigon is the latest box office success story for GWB Productions, and its opening night in Melbourne was nothing short of spectacular.
The crowd reflected the broad appeal of the classic tale, filled with spectacular drag queens, Real Housewives, elderly theatre lovers in their Sunday best, more casual lovers of the stage, and everyone in between. Simply put, it’s a show that literally has something for everyone.
This isn’t just a musical; it’s a journey, a powerful narrative that has left an indelible mark on my heart. And now, as this masterpiece prepares to grace Adelaide’s Festival Theatre from January 2, I feel compelled to share my experience.
GWB Entertainment’s announcement that Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed production of Boublil and Schönberg’s musical is coming to Adelaide has set the stage for a blockbuster summer. The show, a melting pot of talent from the Asia-Pacific region, promises to be a season highlight. With tickets already on. sale through Ticketek, the anticipation in Adelaide is palpable.
Miss Saigon, a recipient of numerous theatre awards, including two Olivier Awards, three Tony Awards, and four Drama Desk Awards, is a testament to the enduring power of great storytelling. The Australian cast, led by the phenomenal Seann Miley Moore, Abigail Adriano, and Nigel Huckle, brings a fresh vibrancy to this beloved classic.
Director Torben Brookman’s excitement mirrors my own. His words, “Adelaide audiences are in for an absolute treat with the best production of this incredible show that I’ve ever seen – the heat will be on in Adelaide this summer!” resonate deeply after witnessing the spectacle in Melbourne. Cameron Mackintosh’s pride in bringing this “spectacular new production” to Adelaide, with its “brilliant cast,” only heightens the anticipation.
Miss Saigon’s story is a poignant narrative of love, loss, and survival. Set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, it tells the tale of Kim, an orphaned Vietnamese woman, and Chris, an American G.I. Their love story, marred by the chaos of war, is both heart-wrenching and beautiful.
The Melbourne production was a sensory feast. The set pieces were stunning, the music spellbinding. Abigail Adriano, as Kim, was a revelation. Her portrayal was imbued with innocence and strength, her voice filling the theatre with raw emotion. Nigel Huckle’s Chris was equally compelling, their chemistry palpable.
Seann Miley Moore’s portrayal of The Engineer was a masterclass in character interpretation. His rendition of ‘The American Dream’ was a standout, a perfect blend of extravagance and relevance.
The musical numbers were the soul of the production. ‘The Ceremony (Dju Vui Vai)’ left a haunting impression, while ‘The Movie In My Mind’ and ‘Maybe’ were delivered with stunning vocal prowess.
The production’s respect for authenticity was evident in its casting and portrayal of customs and rituals. It was a respectful nod to the source material and the cultures it represents.
The helicopter scene, a pinnacle of theatrical ingenuity, was breathtaking. It symbolized not just the technical prowess of the production but also its ability to weave human drama with spectacular staging.
The ensemble cast brought the era and story to life with remarkable energy and precision. The role of Tam, shared by young talents like Archer Wang, added a layer of innocence and poignancy to the narrative.
Kerrie Anne Greenland’s Ellen was a portrait of conflicted emotions, her rendition of ‘Maybe’ a highlight of the evening. The entire cast, from Abigail Adriano’s heartrending Kim to Seann Miley Moore’s captivating Engineer, delivered performances that were nothing short of extraordinary.
As the show prepares to make its way to Adelaide, I can’t help but feel a sense of privilege for having witnessed it in Melbourne. It’s more than a musical; it’s an experience that transcends the boundaries of theatre, leaving a lasting impact on its audience.
Miss Saigon is a reminder of the power of storytelling, the magic of music, and the resilience of the human spirit. As Adelaide awaits its arrival, I urge everyone to experience this phenomenal production. It’s not just a show; it’s a journey that will stay with you long after the curtain falls.
Dates: From 2 January, 2024
Venue: Festival Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre
Photo credit: Daniel Boud