Arts & Culture
Cast of Filipino Talents Takes Over 'Miss Saigon' U.K. & Ireland Tour
Our very own talents will reprise the unforgettable roles of the Engineer and Thuy, and alternate for Kim.
IMAGE Matthew Murphy / Miss Saigon / Cameron Mackintosh

It’s not uncommon anymore to find Filipino performers on the international stage, especially in musical theater, which is why it came as no surprise when notable British producer Cameron Mackintosh announced a Filipino-filled cast to join his forthcoming production of Miss Saigon. The tour sets sights on theaters across United Kingdom and Ireland.

No stranger to productions like these, Red Concepcion plays The Engineer, the swindling owner of “Dreamland,” the bar in which Kim works. Concepcion’s professional portfolio includes a win at the ALIW Awards for his performance in Priscilla Queen of the Desert. He confirmed the news on social media by sharing a Broadway World article and ending the post with: “The heat is on!”

A post shared by Red Concepcion (@red_concepcion) on

Korean Sooha Kim fills in the part of bargirl Kim. In certain performances, senior high school student, Joreen Bautista from Pampanga, takes her role. The young actress tells us, "It feels bittersweet to be leaving home but reaching for my dream at the same time, although the excitement outweighs my nervousness." This is Bautista's first major production after playing the role of Lucinda in Into the Woods and Ti Moune in Once on This Island in a string of small-time school productions and theater workshop showcases.

Playing the part of Kim’s betrothed, Thuy, is Gerald Santos. Santos—best known for being the youngest winner of Pinoy Pop Superstar—proves his vocal prowess with the five studio albums he’s already released.

Some Kim talk with Ms. Lea Salonga ?

A post shared by Joreen Bautista (@joreenbautista) on

The legendary musical is set in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh) during the final days of the Vietnam War. It tells the story of a naïve Vietnamese bargirl falling for an American GI. Together with Ashley Gilmour and Zoe Doano as Chris and Ellen, respectively, the cast also welcomes Filipinos Christian Rey Marbella and Ela Lisondra.

In the past, Lea Salonga notably starred as Kim on both West End and Broadway, a performance that bagged her a Tony Award. She was ecstatic upon learning of the inclusion of Filipinos in this Miss Saigon run. "The cat's out of the bag!" she writes on her Facebook page. "Congratulations to Red Concepcion, Gerald Santos, and Joreen Bautista! Also woot to C Rey Marbella and Elsa Lisondra!"

Former pop star Rachelle Ann Go also continues to wow as the character of Gigi in the Broadway leg of the same production.

The Miss Saigon website recently released a schedule of upcoming shows, with additional venues just confirmed. The tour runs from July 1 to July 22.


h/t: Broadway World

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