by Don Tagala, ABS-CBN News
NEW YORK, NY — The musical that paved the way for Filipinos to shine on the international stage, Miss Saigon, is back on Broadway this Spring.
Miss Saigon’s 2017 Broadway revival will feature many of its acclaimed Filipino stars from the recent West End London production — including 20-year-old Eva Noblezada, reprising the most-coveted role of Kim.
“I am over the moon,” said Noblezada. “I’m ecstatic, and i’m ready to meet everybody. I’m so happy to be here.”
Noblezada will be joined by Saigon veteran Jon Jon Briones as The Engineer, Devin Ilaw as Thuy, and Rachel Anne Go as Gigi.
“I think it’s special for the Filipino community to see a show that not only represents them, but represents Asian culture,” said Noblezada. “It’s a good platform for Filipino-Americans who want to pursue acting.”
The ensemble has notable Fil-ams like Catherine Ricafort, Billy Bustamante, and “Apollo Stars of Tomorrow” champion, Lianah Santa Ana, who will play the role of Kim at certain performances as the understudy.
Many Filipino cast members have been inspired by Tony-winner Lea Salonga — who originated the role of Kim 27 years ago.
“She will always be an inspiration,” said Noblezada. “She’s gonna be someone that I always look up to, her amongst many other people that I use as my role models, like my mom, like my auntie who is also Filipina, who is also Kim.”
Her aunt Annette Calud Staudinger, who played “Celina” on Sesame Street in 90’s, took over from Salonga when she left Broadway.
The storm hits next week when the complete New York cast finally come together for rehearsals.
Noblezada says that nearly three decades later, Miss Saigon is still relevant in today’s world, because it’s about a real piece of history – the Vietnam war.
“It’s in your face, it’s raw and it’s gritty, and just stripped to the bone of what’s real. I think it’s gonna be an amazing adaptation to bring back to Broadway.”
Previews for Miss Saigon start on March 1st at the Schubert Theater.