Hold onto your helicopter: ‘Miss Saigon’ returns to Broadway
That familiar sound of thwak, thwak, thwak is coming back to Broadway -- the musical "Miss Saigon," complete with iconic helicopter, will land in New York again.
Mega-producer Cameron Mackintosh said Thursday that the current West End revival will jump over from London with its two stars and 40-person cast, appearing in the spring of 2017 at a Shubert theater to be named later.
Mackintosh will wait for the current West End run to end in February. The plan is then for the show to play on Broadway through January 15, 2018, and go on a national tour that year.
"I'm planning it all so it all makes sense. I'm looking at a five-year-plan," Mackintosh said. "Of all my shows, it's much harder to pull this one together. It's a very famous title but it isn't one you can do on this kind of scale very often."
Alain Boublil's and Claude-Michel Schonberg's musical will star 19-year-old North Carolina native Eva Noblezada as Kim and Filipino-born and L.A resident Jon Jon Brione as the Engineer, who was in the original London company as a teenager. In between playing Kim, Noblezada will star as Eponine in "Les Miserables" in the West End.
"Miss Saigon," a tragic Vietnam War love story inspired by Giacomo Puccini's opera "Madame Butterfly," originally ran for a decade in London from 1989. On Broadway, it ran for over 4,000 performances, from 1991 until early 2001.
Mackintosh said that when "Miss Saigon" came out a quarter of a century ago, the scars of the Vietnam war were very deep but the musical was very much about an American war.
"What's happened in the ensuring 25 years is the Vietnam element of the background to the story is, in a way, less relevant because virtually all of the nations are now embroiled in similar conflicts. It's no longer about an American problem," he said.
"Claude-Michel and Alain could have set this story in half a dozen different territories and it would be equally relevant," he said. "History has caught up with `Miss Saigon."'
The latest revival, a grittier and less operatic version directed by Laurence Connor, opened in London in May 2104 and set a new record for the largest single-day ticket sales in West End and Broadway history.
"Miss Saigon" is part of a string of mega-musicals led by Mackintosh that includes "Cats," "Mary Poppins," "Les Miserables" and "The Phantom of the Opera."
Lea Salonga, who played Kim during the show's last Broadway run is currently starring on Broadway in "Allegiance" and next said she will star in a production of "Fun Home" in late 2016 in her native Philippines.
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