fresh no ads
Original 'Miss Saigon' cast members attend Manila gala, recall fond memories |

Arts and Culture

Original 'Miss Saigon' cast members attend Manila gala, recall fond memories

Kristofer Purnell -
Original 'Miss Saigon' cast members attend Manila gala, recall fond memories
Jamie Rivera and Pinky Amador at the gala night of the 2024 Philippine run of 'Miss Saigon' held in The Theatre at Solaire on March 26, 2024.
GMG Productions

MANILA, Philippines — It has been 35 years since "Miss Saigon" debuted on London's West End, and to this very day, the musical still captures the hearts of viewers all around the globe.

This sentiment rings true for Filipinos because the original production launched Lea Salonga into superstardom when she starred as Kim opposite Jonathan Pryce's Engineer and Simon Bowman's Chris.

The original staging also saw a number of Filipinos in the ensemble, including Isay Alvarez, Cocoy Laurel, Pinky Amador, Jon Jon Briones, Jenine Desiderio, Robert Seña and Jamie Rivera.

"Miss Saigon" is an adaptation of Giacomo Puccini's opera "Madama Butterfly," which is set at the tail-end of the Vietnam War, where a romance blossoms between a bargirl and an American soldier. 

"Miss Saigon" is back on Philippine shores since the turn of the millenium, when it was again fronted by Salonga, with a new batch of actors with Filipino heritage taking on key roles.

These include Filipino-Australians Abigail Adriano and Seann Miley Moore as Kim and the Engineer, respectively, Filipino-Kiwi Laurence Mossman as Thuy and homegrown actress Kiara Dario as Gigi.

Rivera, Desiderio and Amador were among the special guests who attended the gala performance of "Miss Saigon" last March 26, where they recalled their fond memories from doing the musical and keeping their friendship even to this day.

Related: New 'Miss Saigon' cast continues legacy of past Filipino stars

"I'm very happy maraming makakaalam ng 'Miss Saigon,'" Rivera told members of the media on the red carpet. "Nagkaroon ako ng 'Miss Saigon' family."

Desiderio reciprocated Rivera's feelings. She is excited for the musical being back in the Philippines, especially as it brought back memories for them from three decades ago.

Both actresses even said they are still very close with Alvarez and Seña, who got married a few years after working on the production.

Amador mentioned that she attended the 10th and 25th anniversary shows of "Miss Saigon," as she noted the musical is now celebrating its 35th year.

"Nakakatuwa na hanggang ngayon marami pa ring tumatangkilik ng kuwentong ito," Amador said."Hanggang ngayon marami pa ring nabibigyan na Filipino actors, singers, performers ng pagkakataon to display their talent on the world stage. Alam natin na world-class ang Pilipino."

Rivera shared her favorite song from "Miss Saigon" is the penultimate song of Act I, "I'd Give My Life For You." She said it is her favorite not just because she also played Kim, but she can relate to it more now as a mother, which is why she still sings it in her shows.

Desiderio and Amador, meanwhile, said their favorite song was "Sun and Moon," with the former singer saying the intimate number is the one song that everybody likes.

RELATED: 'Miss Saigon' cast embrace full circle moments in Philippine return

vuukle comment





Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with