I had the pleasure of attending the Canberra Premiere of Miss Saigon last night at the ANU Arts Centre.
Miss Saigon has for a long time been on my wish list of musical productions to see and I must say it was worth the wait.
The cast and orchestra were outstanding. Jacinta Le, who plays Kim, steals the show with her powerful and emotional performance. This role seemed ‘personal’ for Kim as a Vietnamese-Australian thus giving the part natural passion. Dean Salonga, the lead male character, is no stranger to Miss Saigon having performed in the ensemble in a profession production in Sydney. Dean as the Engineer, the sleazy pimp, you love to hate, brought Broadway to the ANU Centre with a number of showstoppers with ‘The American Dream’ a standout.
The helicopter seen is gripping with the audience made to feel part of the anguish and desperation as Saigon falls. The Bui Doi seen is also very emotional.
Kelda McManus as Director has excelled here and has delivered Canberra with a lavish, thought provoking and spectacular production that Canberrans will treasure for many years to come.
The only negative is that it is a shame that we do not have better and affordable theatre facilities in Canberra for amateur theatre as this is a big production that would have been better presented in a theatre more fitting of this extravaganza.
Congratulations to the Phoenix Players, Supa Productions and everyone else involved.