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AFTER auditions for eight straight days for almost 900 hopefuls, the team of “Miss Saigon” has finally selected two brand new Filipino talents for the legendary musical.
This was announced by Claude Michel Schonberg, composer for the hit show, during auditions held in Manila recently, as reported by “TV Patrol” news program over ABS-CBN.
“The comeback for the audition of ‘Miss Saigon’ had been very, very good and (we’re) very, very pleased. We found two brand new people and that’s very exciting because they are two parts that are very difficult to cast. But as usual, in the Philippines, the best can be expected,” Schonberg said.
Schonberg did not name the two hopefuls who passed the gruelling auditions and what part they will play for the musical.
Cameron Mackintosh, producer of “Miss Saigon,” will announce the two new cast members for the new production soon.
Bobby Garcia, Filipino partner for “Miss Saigon,” said that they saw many potential talents during the Philippine audition.
“We saw almost 900 people sa open call. They were literally given a minute to sing. Of course, it’s a stressful situation. Madaming magaling. The whole panel saw a lot of people, so we had lots of call backs,” Garcia said.
Aside from two aspirants who passed the auditions, others were also cast for smaller roles.
“There’s a lot that they are interested in for the smaller roles of the musical,” Garcia added.
In 1998 Lea Salonga was discovered for the coveted role of Kim in “Miss Saigon.”
Salonga, then 18, became an international star following her impressive performance in the musical that also earned her prestigious acting awards in theater.
After it debuted in London in 2015, “Miss Saigon” is set to be staged in Broadway in 2017. It will feature Filipino-born and LA resident Jon Jon Briones as The Engineer and Eva Noblezada as Kim.
“It’s hard to believe that it has been nearly 25 years since ‘Miss Saigon’ first opened in New York but if anything, the tragic love story of the show has become even more relevant today with the conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
“This new production, directed by Laurence Connor, takes a grittier, more realistic approach than the original production while still delivering the power and epic sweep of Boublil and Schonberg’s tremendous score.
“Of all my shows, ‘Miss Saigon’ is the one that I have received the most requests from the public to bring back, and I am thrilled that Broadway audiences will get to see this tremendous new production that audiences and critics in London have embraced since it opened last year,” said Mackintosh.
And I am delighted that our wonderful London stars, Jon Jon Briones and Eva Noblezada, will be bringing their stunning performances across the Atlantic,” Mackintosh added.