by Don Tagala, ABS-CBN News
NEW YORK — The marquee is up, and the stage is almost set for the New York revival of Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil’s acclaimed Broadway musical, Miss Saigon.
It’s a story of love and survival, set in an epic Vietnam War in the mid 70’s.
Miss Saigon follows the story of a 17-year-old Vietnamese bar-girl named Kim — played by North Carolina Fil-Am Eva Noblezada — who meets and falls in love with Chris, an American GI – played by Alistair Brammer — just days before the fall of Saigon.
“Rehearsals are going really well,” said Noblezada. “Yesterday was the first day in the theater, and as you can see, it’s stunning. There’s no way you couldn’t enjoy being here.”
Making his Broadway debut is former cultural center of the Philippines actor Jon Jon Briones, who is reprising the role of The Engineer.
“Growing up in one of the poor areas in Manila — to say, if someone told me you’re gonna be on Broadway someday…it’s unbelievable,” Briones said.
Making her Broadway debut as Gigi is a dream come true for actress Rachelle Ann Go, who first came for a Miss Saigon show in the Big Apple years ago.
“I remember I was right in the middle of Times Square and I was saying, one day, I will live here, I will work here,” the Fil-Am actress shared. “And now it is happening. It’s a dream of mine, and it’s crazy.”
Playing Ellen is Katie Rose Clarke, who is no stranger to the Filipino community after playing Hanah in Allegiance the Musical, with Lea Salonga — the original Kim in Miss Saigon.
“I consider myself an honorary Filipino,” Clarke said. “It’s kind of a funny coincidence. I don’t know if it’s weird that I’ve done the white girl in Asian shows twice in a row, but it’s kind of my thing now…so I’m okay with it.”
Although surrounded by filipinos, the male lead of the show, Alistair Brammer, who is playing Chris says he is missing out on Filipino food.
Miss Saigon returns to its New York home, The Broadway Theater, on March 1. The show’s grand opening night is set on March 23.