Review: Miss Saigon, starring Lianah Sta. Ana
The name of the show, Miss Saigon, is probably recognizable to most people even if they have little to no idea what the show is about. As told by the show's website, it is set "In the last days of the Vietnam War, 17-year-old Kim is forced to work in a Saigon bar run by a notorious character known as the Engineer. There, she meets and falls in love with an American G.I. named Chris, but they are torn apart by the fall of Saigon. For 3 years, Kim goes on an epic journey of survival to find her way back to Chris, who has no idea he’s fathered a son".
Eva Noblezada earned a Tony nomination for her Broadway debut in the role of Kim, but I got to see Lianah Sta. Ana play Kim, and she usually does twice a week. Lianah also makes her Broadway debut as Kim, and she does a fantastic job. Her voice is powerful and clear and she is a capable actress, showing the emotional journey her character goes through in a spectacular performance. A rotating cast of young boys play her son, Tam. I saw Elie Rapada and for a young age, was remarkably calm on stage with everything going on around him. He was also very happy to sign everyone's playbills at the stage door and was very sweet.
Chris is played by Alistair Brammer, who I later found out was British, though you wouldn't realize it as he has an excellent American accent. He does a very good job portraying a man who finds himself torn between someone he loved once and his wife. His wife who is named Ellen, is played by Katie Rose Clarke. She is a very capable actress and plays her character well.
Of course one of the most outstanding members of the cast was Billy Bustamante, the understudy for Jon Jon Briones who usually plays the role of the Engineer. He did a fantastic job in the role, especially in the number "The American Dream".
Other standout numbers in the show include "Sun and Moon", sung by Kim and Chris, "Maybe" sung by Ellen, "You Will Not Touch Him" sung by Kim and Thuy who is played by Devin Ilaw, and "Bui Doi" sung by John who is played by Nicholas Christopher.
The entire cast did a fantastic job and the production is truly one of the best of the season. Run to the Broadway Theatre to see it before closes on January 14th.