It was a cold and wet night for the Opening of Miss Saigon at the Arts Theatre which was probably fitting for such a tragic show. This is not a happy, tap your feet, feel good production and the ending is not what we hope for.
Vocally this production is wonderful with many strong singers. Jared Frost as Chris and Elena Amano as Kim were well suited and their voices complimented each other. Likewise Jemma McCulloch as Ellen showed enormous emotion in her performance of I Still Believe. Tom Dubois as John was suitably torn between his duty and his best mate and his rendition of Bui Doi was emotional. Newcomer Maria Gabriela Maglahus as Gigi was exquisitely vampy as befitted her role and her presence on stage was a dream to watch. Shane Huang as Thuy switched between menacing and love-lorn well. Stand out for me was Omkar Nagesh as The Engineer. Having seen him perform this role previously, I feel Omkar was better suited this time around being a little older and much more sleazy.
Technically there were a few opening night mishaps but they will work themselves out during the performance. I was disappointed with the costuming however. More attention to detail with regards to the uniforms perhaps would have helped and I have never seen a vet with shiny boots. It was a grubby war and the people and clothing should have reflected this more.
Overall it was a great night and it was wonderful to see the support for the performers on stage from their families and friends.
Miss Saigon continues at the Arts Theatre until 18th May.