REVIEW: Miss Saigon

Bob Compton Photography

Bob Compton Photography

I’d been waiting over a decade to see Miss Saigon and last night the Ordway made my wish come true.  Due to this anticipation and years of listening to the Broadway soundtrack, my expectations were high and I am pleased to report that they were met.

Miss Saigon follows the love story between a young girl, Kim, and an American GI, Chris. Years after leaving Vietnam, Chris discovers his war bride Kim is still alive and is now raising his son. He returns to Saigon to find her, but with the Viet Cong closing in on the city and other ties at home binding him, Chris is forced to make some challenging decisions before leaving Vietnam again.

Notable performances included Manna Nichols, who was a perfect Kim.  In addition, Nkrumah Gatling’s performance of Bui- Doi was absolutely outstanding and Meggie Cansler shined as Ellen.  Who was most outstanding, however, was Orville Mendoza as the Engineer.  Much like Javert in Les Miserables and the phantom in Phantom of the Opera, the Engineer ‘s performance is one of those important roles that can make or break a musical.  You need a level of sneer, creep, convincing acting along with a strong voice to pull it off and Mendoza delivered.

My only critiques are that the sound mixing was off and unbalanced in the first act but they seemed to have this sorted out by the second act.  In addition, there was a distracting video glitch during Bui- Doi and a few instances of mic ruffling throughout.  These are probably opening night glitches and will likely be resolved for the rest of the remaining St. Paul performances.

If you enjoy musicals, Miss Saigon is one you really can’t miss.  Especially since there are discount tickets available!

Miss Saigon is at the Ordway through October 13th.  Don’t miss it!