Review by Markus Hamence – Friday 5 January 2024, Adelaide Festival Centre
Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s award-winning musical Miss Saigon is one of the most stunning theatrical experiences of our time. Direct from the West End and Broadway, this epic love story of passion and tragedy is now playing at Adelaide’s Festival Theatre.
Seen by 38 million people worldwide, this production is more thrilling than you have ever seen before with Australian critics calling it “spectacular: a phenomenon of musical and theatrical display” (Sydney Morning Herald), “vocally flawless and epic in its scale” (Australian Stage) and “complex, fresh and wildly entertaining” (The Queer Review).
From the creators of Les Misérables, the soaring musical score features hits including “The Heat is On in Saigon”, “The Movie in My Mind”, “Last Night of the World” and “The American Dream”.
Here I go… checked out the Opening Night of the show in Adelaide last night and, let me tell you, it’s even bigger and bolder than the hype and what I ever imagined. To start with, on arrival, the buzz at Adelaide Festival Centre was freakin huge! The theatre-goers were out in force (sold-out night) and they KNEW they were in for something spectacular. Produced by GWB Entertainment and Directed by Laurence Connor, they have delivered the finest piece of musical theatre you will find. It’s engaging from the curtain rise which reveals the most stunningly detailed sets, both large and multi-faceted as it twists and turns.
Now, I have never seen Miss Saigon before or even knew the actual story-line (somehow), so I went in wth no pre-conceived ideas of what I was in for, which actually makes theatre even more dynamic sometimes. I can tell you, I am now a huge fan of this tragic, but also beautiful, story.
The leads are 100% rockstars. Led by the immensely talented, and gregarious showman Sean Miley Moore (as the Engineer), he dazzles and parades and struts and grinds and shimmies across the stage like a fabulous flamboyant panther on heat – his sex appeal would know no boundaries. He has the vocal prowess to equally match this larger than life entity too, thankfully. This character must surely be a dream job for Seann as it appears a role he was born to play. His flawless and charismatic charm had us all in the palm of his hand. Bravo.
Abigail Adriano as Kim was breathtaking and gave us a heartbreaking performance. It was not difficult to connect with her pain but it was her voice that hit us hard and deep. Her soaring vocals filled the theatre, she is perfection and beauty rolled into one. Kim’s is not an easy role as the her story is deep and a rollercoaster of obstacles, Abigail brings it to the stage with an admired and well-respected flair.
NIgel Huckle with the role of Chris is exceptional. A strong performance with and even stronger voice. His talent to play the role with understanding and tenderness was evident and you couldn’t help but feel his torn heart and connect with him on the level that he was delivering. It’s an emotional role that was delivered with of confidence and authenticity.
I was super-duper impressed with Kerrie Anne Greenland playing Chris’ wife Ellen. The compassion in this role is pulp-able and Kerrie delivers in spades. Also adorned with a voice of an angel, one of her songs in particular that is HER MOMENT is ‘Maybe’ – incredible. A wonderful and believable performance.
Michael Nguyen Chang playing Tam as Kim’s young son is the cherry-on-top in regards to characters. He melt’s your heartstrings, not only as Michael’s remarkable abilities at such a young age but also how he impacted in the story-line and pulls it off with emotion, perfection and panache.
The cast is huge and impressive and bring to life the stage with acting, singing and choreography that is sharp and achieves the greatness and impact Miss Saigon deserves.
The orchestra are high-end with their craft, they serve us up the most delicious sounds and music, Adelaide Festival Theatre is so acoustically excellent. The music and songs of Miss Saigon are beautiful and powerful and their were times I wished to close my eyes to experience it only audibly, until I am reminding myself that it is also a visual spectacular.
The costuming (and previously mentioned sets) are immaculate, the detail and level of quality the department brought to the stage is impeccable. Certainly not only, but, especially the ‘American Dream’ segment.
The talent on and off the stage in this production of Miss Saigon is unbelievable. Technically Miss Saigon is a masterpiece. Visually spectacular and a piece of musical theatre that requires being experienced. GO AND SEE IT, it is a feast! It’s 5 Stars from me.
Miss Saigon plays the Adelaide Festival Centre until Sunday 28 January 2024. Tickets