Miss Saigon, an epic, stunning adaptation of Puccini’s opera, Madame Butterfly, by the writers behind Les Miserables, a musical by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil and lyrics by Boublil and Richard Maltby, Jr. Reworking Puccini’s story by setting it during the Vietnam War, Miss Saigon is a powerful and poignant tale of love in a war-torn country.
Americans are losing the war and villagers were searching for refuge from the Viet Cong in Saigon. One of the villagers is Kim, a poor 17-year-old girl who saw the horrible death of her family. She becomes a stripper to survive at the Dreamland club, owned by The Engineer. She meets young American GI, Chris Scott while working at the Dreamland club. Kim and Chris fall in love but, when Saigon falls, the American GI is evacuated.
Chris eventually marries an American woman, Ellen while still fighting with the horrors of the war and having to leave Kim in Vietnam.
After two years, Chris’s got news from a friend, fellow G.I., John Thomas, informing Chris that he and Kim had a child. Ellen, Chris’ wife is having a hard time accepting this part of Chris’ life and both of them went to Bangkok to meet with Kim and her young son. Kim is ascertained that her son, Tam, deserves a better life, requests Chris to take him back to America with him. Kim takes her own life, believing she has no choice, knowing that Chris will be forced to take care of their son.
Miss Saigon is a tragic story of love that breaks the heart in pieces with it’s passionate, intense and heart-snatching honesty. Miss Saigon is a theatrical experience that will linger with you for years to come.
On 20 September 1989, the musical gave its first performance at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, and after over four thousand performances, on 30 October 1999, it ended its run. In 1991, it opened on Broadway at the Broadway Theatre and eventually played in many other cities and embarked on tours.
It was claimed that Miss Saigon had set a new world record for opening day ticket sales, with sales in excess of £4m as reported, prior to the opening of the 2014 London revival.
Following Les Misérables in 1985, the musical represented Schönberg and Boublil second major success. Miss Saigon remains Broadway’s thirteenth longest-running show as of September 2015.