Dates: 8 - 13
Reviewer: Ross Michael Pink
MISS SAIGON, the classical Broadway musical, rolled into Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Theatre to the enthusiastic delight of Vancouver fans.
The performance opened to a sell out crowd and clearly earned every tribute that has marked its stellar theatrical path.
Who would have thought
that a story about war, tragic love and suffering would become the sixth
longest running show in Broadway history, grossing 1.3
MISS SAIGON is the "thinking person's” musical with universal themes that reflect the human suffering of war.
This amazing story,
based on the Puccini Opera, Madame Butterfly, was cleverly crafted by
Frenchmen Alain Boublil and Claude -Michel Schonberg, and is
is set in 1975 in Saigon, Vietnam in the final days leading up to the
US military evacuation after the war. In this love story, Kim, the Vietnamese
beauty, played alternately by Karen Alvarez and Jennifer
meets and falls in love with a dashing US soldier, played beautifully by Allan Gillespie, in the gaudy, aptly named, Dreamland Bar.
After the fall of Vietnam to the Communists, Kim and the bar owner, The Engineer, played brilliantly by Jon Jon Briones, flee to Bangkok, Thailand.
Clearly, Briones is
a major star and clearly carries the show with his magnificent singing
and excellent stage presence. His song, The American Dream, is a show
stopper as they say on Broadway and dazzled the Vancouver audience.
Special mention should
go to the special effects and lighting crew which created scenes that
brought the drama of war seemingly into the theatre, particularly
Musicals like MISS SAIGON, remind us once again of the power and pageantry of the stage.
© 2003, Ross Michael Pink