For decades many Filipinos, especially in the provinces, were deprived of ever seeing the stage production “Miss Saigon” wherein our very own Miss Lea Salonga along with a supporting cast of other Filipino talents highlighted the British musical along with such stars as Jonathan Pryce and Simon Bowman. Since the play was launched in 1989, and after more than thousand performances in England and in Broadway theaters in New York, the only way to watch the play was to fly to either country and watch it there.
However, on November 12 and 13, at select SM cinemas around the Philippines, including SM City Mall Cagayan de Oro, Filipino fans (and the new generation who never even heard of Miss Saigon) can now watch a live recording of Miss Saigon when it was performed last September 22, 2014 at London’s Prince Edward Theater for its 25th Anniversary.
Miss Saigon is a musical production created by Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil. It first captured the hearts of millions worldwide when it premiered in 1989 at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, a West End Theater in London. What caught the attention of the Filipino nation was that one of its main cast was famous pop singer Lea Salonga who starred alongside Simon Bowman and the famous actor Jonathan Pryce. Many Filipino singers and supporting cast were also selected into the play such as Rachelle Ann Go (as Gigi) and Tanya Manalang (as alternate to Lea Salonga).
Trailer Courtesy of YouTube:
Miss Saigon tells the tragic love story of 17-year old Vietnamese Kim and American Soldier Christopher “Chris” Scott during the Vietnam War in the 1970’s just before the fall of Saigon. Miss Saigon would literally go on to have more than 4,000 shows in London and in New York’s Broadway before taking the final bow on February 2016.
The filmed version to be shown at the SM Cinemas will be the 25th Anniversary performance last September 22, 2014 at London’s Prince Edward Theater, played to a sold out crowd months in advance. This time, Kim will be played by Filipino performer Eva Noblezada while the Engineer – originally played by Jonathan Pryce – will be played by Filipino Jon Jon Briones.
Rachelle Ann Go as Gigi will still be there, along with other Filipino supporting cast. Chris will now be played by Alistair Brammer while Hugh Maynard will play John and Tamsin Carroll as Ellen.
Included in the filming is the 35-minute finale of the 25th anniversary gala featuring most of the original cast including Lea Salonga, Bowman, and Pryce.
Sixteen different SM Cinema locations have been announced for this special screening: SM Southmall (Las Pinas City), SM BF Paranaque, SM Bacoor, SM Mall of Asia, SM Aura, SM Megamall, SM Manila, SM Marikina, SM Fairview, SM North EDSA, SM Clark, SM Cebu, SM S’Maison, SM Seaside Cebu, SM Cagayan De Oro, and SM Lanang. Tickets are priced at P320 to P355, depending on cinema location.