Miss Saigon Returns to Manila With Love and Lessons That Resonate With the Filipino Soul

Miss Saigon Returns to Manila With Love and Lessons That Resonate With the Filipino Soul


After more than 20 years, Miss Saigon graces the Philippines once again, not only as a musical masterpiece but as a source of inspiration for today’s Filipinos

Last week, the Philippines received the news of Miss Saigon‘s grand return, a globally acclaimed musical that promises to offer a unique chance for Filipinos to learn, reflect, and be inspired by the unfolding narrative. Before its much-anticipated comeback, let’s delve into all the details about the upcoming musical and explore why it holds newfound significance for Filipinos today.

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A grand theatrical return

The musical's show at Australia

GMG Productions, in partnership with GWB Entertainment, revealed the thrilling announcement that Filipino theater enthusiasts can anticipate the arrival of Cameron Mackintosh’s newest interpretation of Boublil & Schönberg’s Miss Saigon at the Theatre at Solaire in Parañaque City this March 2024. GMG Productions continues its streak of bringing theatrical magic to the Philippines, following the successful runs of Hamilton and The Sound of Music.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be bringing my spectacular new production of Miss Saigon to Manila. Without a doubt, it is the best production of Saigon I have ever produced, with one of the most brilliant casts that have ever performed the show around the world. I can’t envisage another show of this scale being done in Manila for the foreseeable future,” Mackintosh said in a statement. 

In 2000, Mackintosh brought the show to the Cultural Center of the Philippines, where Filipinos had their first look at Lea Salonga in the role of Kim.

In tune with the Filipino spirit

“Following the incredible success of Hamilton, and continuing with GMGP’s commitment to bringing the absolute pinnacle of musical entertainment to Manila, I could not be more excited to be presenting Miss Saigon at the Theater at Solaire.”

Carlos Candal, CEO of GMG Productions

The Filipinos’ reaction to the announcement was displayed with overwhelming excitement, emphasizing their strong bond to this musical masterpiece. The initial production gracing London’s West End stage dates back to 1989, catapulting our very own Lea Salonga into stardom. Meanwhile, the West End’s revival from 2014 to 2016 bore witness to the talents of Filipino performers Rachelle Ann Go, Eva Noblezada, and Tanya Manalang.

Candal remarked, “Filipinos have a deep connection with Miss Saigon because it has been the stage where countless Filipino artists have had their moment to shine,” naming other Filipino talents who have joined the production, including Jon Jon Briones and Joanna Ampil. “We’re excited to welcome a new company of world-class performers to share the new staging of this phenomenal production,” he added.

More than just a masterpiece

Miss Saigon at Australia

Retelling Giacomo Puccini’s timeless opera, Madame Butterfly, Miss Saigon transports its audience to 1970s Vietnam. Within this musical, viewers are introduced to Kim, a young Vietnamese woman, as she navigates the chaos of Saigon during the Vietnam War and embarks on a passionate love story with Chris, an American G.I. While the story might have been set decades ago, Filipinos can certainly relate to this musical today. 

At the heart of the play’s narrative, we witness the characters grappling with the challenges set against the backdrop of wartime. While it’s undeniable that there’s nothing positive about wars, the Filipino people, living through our history of enduring hardships of yesterday and today, can draw strength and inspiration from the character of Kim. The musical also delves into the theme of hope’s transformative power by vividly illustrating how it can serve as a driving force, even in the most challenging of circumstances. Lastly, the concept of sacrifice, a fundamental facet of Filipino values, is clearly exemplified through the selfless acts of the characters, particularly through Kim’s choices for her loved ones. 

Miss Saigon makes its way back to Manila

As the curtains rise and the actors of this award-winning musical return to the Philippine stage, we eagerly anticipate how it will inspire Filipinos to face life’s challenges with hope, bravery, and a profound sense of our shared humanity.

Photos: MISS SAIGON AUSTRALIA (via Instagram)

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