intermissionmag.com

The Fabulous Fox Theater - Grand Center, Saint Louis

Miss Saigon
(See production photos here)

As seen April 24, 2019

Reviewed by Isabelle Heidbreder

Miss Saigon has been hijacked by The Engineer!

On foot, by helicopter, by car, by bicycle or by rickshaw, rush to see Miss Saigon at the Fabulous Fox Theater (runs Apr 23 through May 5)!

Miss Saigon has everything a musical lover dreams of: sex, love, war, politics, betrayal, chaos, murder, suicide enveloped in a heartwrenching score and lyrics. Conceptualized by the creators of Les Misérables (Boublil and Schönberg), lyricists Richard Maltby, Jr. and Michael Mahler, it’s golden heritage includes world-class master producer, Sir Cameron Mackintosh which ensures that this Broadway revival of the original 1989 London production will continue to grow its audience of 36 million people worldwide.

The beautiful and strong voices of Emily Bautista as Kim, Anthony Festa (Chris), Stacie Bono (Ellen) J. Daughtry (John) and the talented ensemble carried throughout the production. Spectacular and erotic dance numbers, unbelievably clever sets, and the painstaking reproduction of historic images from the evacuation of Saigon (including the US helicopters evacuating the US embassy and the desperate crowds at its gates), and the oh-so-adorable toddler, Tam (played by Jace Chen), made the story come to life.

The plight of the “bui-doi” children of American GIs and Vietnamese mothers is well-worth telling, but let us not forget that under another name, in another place, at another time, the same children are born out of every war.

But it is The Engineer’s American dream that made the show for me: Red Concepción ruthlessly stole every scene in which he appeared. He was sleezy, greedy, raunchy, and disgusting and yet so desperate and touching as one would hope a pimp could be. He WAS The Engineer of everything! He made Miss Saigon!

My thoughts are with the young mom sitting in front of me with her 10-year old daughter last night because her daughter got an eye-full, or rather two eyes-full of the rather explicit bordello scenes right at the opening of the show! In as non-threatening a way as possible, I have to say, “Lady, you’ve gonna have a lot of explaining to do!!!” This might not be a show for children under the age of say, 18?

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