Miss Saigon - Review [28th September 2014, Evening]
Similar to Once, I was skeptical about going to see this show; the mega musical operetta’s are not really my thing, but I was still looking forward to seeing the lost mega musical; Miss Saigon.
The physical production was incredible; I can’t remember the last time I saw such a spectacle on stage, I mean the set was so impressive. The lighting design was beautiful (especially in The Movie in my Mind) and so it was a beautiful production to watch.
While the melodies were soaring and wonderful, the lyrics we often very clunky and cringe worthy (I’m talking about Why God Why?). And the pacing of the show was so sporadic; with Les Miserables I can sort of forgive that they have allot to get through, but in this show we don’t. Chris and Kim falling in love didn’t even happen, they just did, so I found it really difficult to get behind anything Chris said about loving Kim. And then all of a sudden BOOM he’s with Ellen?! I know that three years passed and that was covered well (in Les Mis the time jumps are barely acknowledged) but could we not have had a small song to cover Chris meeting her?
Which sort of brings me to another point; clearly the composers have not heard of ‘leave them wanting more’, as so many songs went on for far too long, there were quite a few songs about 3/4 into it I was drifting off slightly which was a shame.
And the opening of act two, while I praise the rest of the staging and movement which was exquisite, was so out of place and odd. The projections of the children really took me out of the moment and it looked more like a modern day live8 concert I did not appreciate it.
I had higher hopes for Alistair Brammer as Chris, I could not get behind his character at all and frankly his performance just reminded me of how much of an idiot/ lier Chris is. While it’s obvious that he is more than vocally good (and reminded me of Aaron Tveit) the constant vibrato was rather distracting.
Eva Noblezada was a beautiful Kim and gave a very good performance. Her emotions really came through when talking about Chris and I really felt for her.
The Engineer, played by Jon Jon Briones was a very strange character and, for me, John Jon’s performance did not make me like the loveable-smarmy character I think it was written to be. (And why did he bow last? A vanity thing I know but very strange it wasn’t Kim)
Would I see it again? Probably not on my own out of choice, but yes with other people because it was a great story and spectacle production that rivals.