Miss Saigon is a tragic musical which takes the audience through the life, romance and heartbreaking circumstances surrounding Chris, an American soldier, and Kim, a young Vietnamese bargirl. About a couple who finds love in war, this story is sure to move even the most stone hearted people. So don’t miss this beautiful musical and book your Miss Saigon tickets now.
To write Miss Saigon, the writers took inspiration from two sources. Firstly it is based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera “Madam Butterfly”. Puccini’s opera was a tragic love story involving a common Japanese girl and an American lieutenant, who abandons her. Similarly, Miss Saigon is a story about the doomed romance between an American soldier serving in Vietnam and a Vietnamese bar girl. Secondly, the inspiration to write the musical came from a photograph that Claude-Michel Schönberg found in a magazine. It depicted a scene in which a Vietnamese mother was leaving her child at an airbase to board a plane headed for America, where the child’s father, an ex-soldier could provide her with a better life. This, according to Schonberg, was the “Ultimate Sacrifice”, since a mother would never, under normal circumstances, willingly part with her child. The notion of sacrifice is central to the plot of the play.
The music was primarily written by Schönberg whereas the lyrics are written by Boublil and Richard Maltby, Jr. It could be argued that in many ways it was very risky for two Frenchmen to write an English musical regarding an American soldier based in Vietnam, but then these two brilliant writers have thrived on taking risks and experimenting. By bringing Maltby Jr. on board, they had the added perspective of an American and his sensibilities regarding the story, which injected the right, feel to the narrative. From a production point of view, it was a major challenge to stage the musical. Being a large scale production, it involved a large cast, an elaborate set and even more elaborate props. Requiring almost forty characters, the musical had to depict the realities of war torn Vietnam in a realistic manner. For the original show, director, Nicholas Hytner had to find ways to stage seemingly impossible scenes, such as an evacuation scene via helicopter. This he was able to do with artistic imagination and visual panache. These are some of the things that set this musical apart from other productions.
Response and Recognition
When the show premiered on Broadway in 1991, it was being billed as the best musical that year. As it turned out, it was not just hype but actually true. The musical was a hit both critically and commercially. Breaking several Broadway records, it set new ones for advance-ticket sales at twenty four million dollars, the highest priced ticket at a hundred dollar and the record for repaying investors, which the producers were able to do in less than thirty nine weeks. The musical was nominated for a staggering eleven Tony Awards in most of the categories across the board. Though the musical lost out on the Tony Award for Best Musical, three actors won Tony Awards for their performances. So if you enjoy good quality theater, then don’t miss the chance to watch this legendary musical live and book your Miss Saigon tickets now. If not, then while the audience is enjoying “Why, God, Why?” a ballad in the first act, you will be asking yourself the same question for missing the show.