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The Magic of Miss Saigon 
In one of the classic love stories that touches the heart, it's bold, beautiful and enchanting
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  IT has been called “the epic love story of our time,” and judging from the responses of theatergoers over the years that description is more than appropriate. 
    The North American tour of Miss Saigon, the three-time Tony Award-winning production, continues at the Cadillac Palace Theatre through December 8, featuring a sensational international cast of 42 Asian and Western performers.  
    Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed new production of Boublil and Schönberg’s legendary musical first opened in North America more than 27 years ago. “The tragic love story at the heart of the show has become even more relevant today with innocent people being torn apart by war all over the world,” Mackintosh says.” This brilliant new production, directed by Laurence Connor and featuring the original dazzling choreography by Bob Avian, takes a grittier, more realistic approach that magnifies the power and epic sweep of Boublil and Schönberg’s tremendous score.”
   In the story of Miss Saigon, a young Vietnamese woman named Kim (Emily Bautista) is orphaned by war and forced to work in a bar run by a heartless character known as the Engineer (Red Concepción). While there she meets and falls in love with an American G.I. named Chris (Anthony Festa), but they are torn apart by the fall of Saigon. For three years of uncertainty, Kim goes on an epic journey of survival to find her way back to Chris, who has no knowledge that he has fathered a son.
   The cast––which also includes Stacie Bono, J. Daughtry, Jinwoo Jung and Christine Bunuan––is strong, diverse and appealing. They not only are sensational as actors but lend their remarkable voices to the soaring musical score that includes tunes such as “The Heat is on Saigon,” “The Movie in My Mind,” “Too Much for One Heart,” “I’d Give My Life for You,” “Last Night of the World” and “The American Dream.”
   In Mackintosh’s revived version of Miss Saigon, the Totie Driver/Matt Kinley sets are stunning; the Bob Avian/Geoffrey Garratt choreography is fluid; costumes by Andreane Neofitou are period-perfect; the lighting by Bruno Poet is exquisite; and the musical supervision by Stephen Brooker and James Moore is superb.
  As Miss Saigon treks across the U.S., critics already have embraced it as “thrilling, soaring and spectacular,” and as “a dynamite Broadway revival.” And, yes, the dramatic “helicopter scene,” one of the most spectacular scenes in theater history, is still at the heart of the show. As Mackintosh says: “Now, for the first time in 17 years as it continues to wow audiences in major cities around the world, theatergoers across America will be able to see one of the most spectacular musicals ever written in all its glory.”

Photograph by Matthew Murphy
––Walter Leavy
For more information and tickets, go to www.broadwayinchicago.com.
Emily Bautista and Anthony Festa in a scene from Miss Saigon.