Trump's America has caught up with Miss Saigon, says Cameron Mackintosh
Theatre impresario Sir Cameron Mackintosh today said “life has caught up” with Miss Saigon as his Broadway reprise of the classic musical was hailed for resonating with the current political climate in the US.
The show, first staged in 1989 and written by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, transplants the Madam Butterfly story to war-torn Vietnam in 1975.
Now Sir Cameron has transferred Miss Saigon from the Prince Edward Theatre, bringing over actors Eva Noblezada, Alistair Brammer, Jon Jon Briones and Rachelle Ann Go who starred in the West End production.
It opened on Broadway last night and critics and audiences have drawn comparisons with Donald Trump’s policies over refugees and his proposed Mexican border wall.
Sierra Boggess, Michael Grandage and Imogen Lloyd Webber attended the opening night of Miss Saigon at the Broadway Theatre near Manhattan’s Times Square.
Among Miss Saigon’s parallels with modern-day politics is a remark by the Eurasian pimp The Engineer (played by Briones) to “Make America Great again”, the US president’s slogan.
Sir Cameron told the Standard: “What’s interesting is that life has caught up with Miss Saigon. We haven’t tried to make the show by rewriting it. Now the kind of things happening with the Vietnam war and in the plot are happening worldwide today. That gives the show a timely but also timeless connotation.”
AM New York wrote “the show is more relevant and heartbreaking today than when it premiered on Broadway in 1991” while Deadline Hollywood said it was “sensational in every way”. The New York Times also cited “topical echoes” in an otherwise negative review that declared “the show still mostly comes across as singing scenery”.