This week I took my buddy to see Miss Saigon at the Prince Edward Theatre, courtesy of londontheatre1.com. Cameron Mackintosh's hugely popular musical is back in the West End, returning after its record-breaking run 25 years ago. The acclaimed production won multiple Laurence Olivier and Tony Awards and also broke several Broadway records when it opened stateside, named the best musical of the year and is still the favourite for many all over the world. It's been performed by 27 companies in 300 cities and 15 different languages and I was thrilled to finally see the legendary production myself.
From Boublil and Schönberg - the creators of Les Misérables - Miss Saigon is based on Puccini's Madame Butterfly and tells the doomed story of star-crossed lovers during the final days of the Vietnam War. The tragic tale of a young Asian bargirl and American GI who fall in love before their lives are torn apart by the fall of Saigon in 1975 is beautiful, thrilling and tragic. The standout scene is the evacuation of the last US base from the Embassy roof by helicopter, watched by the screaming Vietnamese crowds below. Incredible set design and genuinely goosebump-inducing. The three leads are excellent - 18 year old Eva Noblezada as the female lead Kim (killer voice), Jon Briones as the charismatic Engineer and hottie Alistair Brammer as Chris. You should see for yourself why it's been a critical and commercial success the world over.