Login      
Miss Saigon
PREMIERE12/20/1989 — Theatre Royal, Drury Lane
COMPOSERClaude-Michel Schönberg   
LIBRETTISTSAlain Boublil   Richard Maltby Jr.   
Opera Modesto
View Company in Member Directory

View Performance Database Listing
DATETIMELOCATION
4/04/2008--Modesto, CA
4/25/2008--Modesto, CA
4/27/2008--Modesto, CA
Synopsis
Act 1

In April 1975 at "Dreamland," a Saigon bar and brothel, shortly before the end of the Vietnam War, it is Kim's first day as a bargirl. The seventeen-year-old peasant girl is hauled in by the Engineer, a French-Vietnamese hustler who owns the joint. Backstage, the girls ready themselves for the night's show, jeering at Kim's inexperience ("Overture / Backstage Dreamland"). The U.S. Marines, aware that they will soon be leaving Vietnam, party with the Vietnamese sex workers ("The Heat Is on in Saigon"). Chris Scott, a sergeant disenchanted by the club scene, is encouraged by his friend John Thomas to go with a girl. The girls compete for the title of "Miss Saigon," and the winner is raffled to a Marine. Kim's guilelessness strikes Chris. Gigi Van Tranh wins the crown for the evening and begs the marine who won the raffle to take her back to America, annoying him. The showgirls reflect on their dreams of a better life ("Movie in My Mind"). John buys a room for Chris and the virgin Kim ("The Transaction"). Kim is reluctant and shy, but dances with Chris, who tries to pay her to leave the nightclub. When the Engineer interferes, thinking that Chris does not like Kim, Chris allows himself to be led to her room ("The Dance").

Chris, watching Kim sleep, asks God why he met her just as he was about to leave Vietnam ("Why, God, Why?"). When Kim wakes up, Chris tries to give her money, but she refuses, saying that it is her first time sleeping with a man ("This Money's Yours"). Touched to learn that Kim is an orphan, Chris offers to take her to America with him, and the two fall in love ("Sun and Moon"). Chris tells John that he is taking leave to spend time with Kim. John warns him that the Viet Cong will soon take Saigon, but then reluctantly agrees to cover for Chris ("The Telephone Song"). Chris meets with the Engineer to trade for Kim, but the Engineer tries to include an American visa in the deal. Chris forces the Engineer at gunpoint to honor the original arrangement for Kim ("The Deal").

The bargirls hold a "wedding ceremony" for Chris and Kim ("Dju Vui Vai"), with Gigi toasting Kim as the "real" Miss Saigon. Thuy, Kim's cousin, to whom she was betrothed at thirteen, arrives to take her home. He has since become an officer in the North Vietnamese Army and is disgusted to find her with a white man ("Thuy's Arrival"). The two men confront each other, drawing their guns. Kim tells Thuy that their arranged marriage is now nullified because her parents are dead, and she no longer harbors any feelings for him because of his betrayal. Thuy curses them all and storms out ("What's This I Find"). Chris promises to take Kim with him when he leaves Vietnam. Chris and Kim dance to the same song as on their first night ("Last Night of The World").

Three years later, in 1978, a street parade is taking place in Saigon (since renamed Ho Chi Minh City) to celebrate the third anniversary of the reunification of Vietnam and the defeat of the Americans ("The Morning of The Dragon"). Thuy, now a commissar in the new Communist government, has ordered his soldiers to look for the still-corrupt Engineer. For the Communist Party, he goes by the name "Tran Van Dinh" and has spent the past three years working in the rice fields as part of a re-education program. Thuy orders the Engineer to find Kim and bring her to him. Although the intervening period is not shown, it is apparent that Kim and Chris have become separated in the three years separating the two acts. Kim has been hiding in an impoverished area, still in love with Chris and steadfastly believing that Chris will return to Vietnam and rescue her. Meanwhile, Chris is in bed with his new American wife, Ellen, when he wakes from a dream shouting Kim's name. Ellen and Kim both swear their devotion to Chris from opposite ends of the world ("I Still Believe").

The Engineer takes Thuy to where Kim has been hiding. Kim refuses Thuy's renewed offer of marriage, unaware that his men are waiting outside the door. Furious, Thuy calls them in and they begin tying up Kim and the Engineer, threatening to put them into a re-education camp. Again, Kim refuses to go with Thuy and shocks him by introducing Thuy to Tam, her three-year-old son from Chris ("Coo-Coo Princess"). Thuy calls Kim a traitor and Tam an enemy, and tries to kill Tam with a knife, but Kim is forced to shoot Thuy dead to protect Tam ("You Will Not Touch Him"). A horrified and heartbroken Kim flees with Tam ("This Is the Hour") and the Engineer laments being born Vietnamese and wishes to go to the USA ("If You Want to Die in Bed"). Kim tells the Engineer what she has done, and he learns that Tam's father is American ("Let Me See His Western Nose") – thinking the boy is his chance to emigrate to the United States. He tells Kim that now he is the boy's uncle, and he will lead them to Bangkok. As Kim swears to Tam that she would do anything to give him a better life, the three set out on a ship with other refugees ("I'd Give My Life for You").
Act 2

In Atlanta, Georgia, John now works for an aid organization whose mission is to connect Bui-Doi (from Vietnamese tr? b?i d?i "street children," meaning children conceived during the war) with their American fathers ("Bui Doi"). John tells Chris that Kim is still alive, which Chris is relieved to hear after years of having nightmares of her dying. He also tells Chris about Tam and urges Chris to go to Bangkok with Ellen, and Chris then finally tells Ellen about Kim and Tam ("The Revelation"). In Bangkok, the Engineer is hawking a sleazy club where Kim works as a dancer ("What A Waste"). Chris, Ellen, and John arrive in search of Kim. John finds Kim dancing at the club, and tells her that Chris is also in Bangkok. He then tries to tell her that Chris is remarried, but Kim interrupts. She is thrilled about the news and tells Tam that his father has arrived, believing that they are to go to America with Chris. Seeing Kim happy, John cannot bring himself to break the news to her, but promises to bring Chris to her ("Please").[a]

The Engineer tells Kim to find Chris herself, because he doubts that Chris will come ("Chris Is Here"). Kim is haunted by the ghost of Thuy, who taunts Kim, claiming that Chris will betray her as he did the night Saigon fell. Kim suffers a horrible flashback to that night ("Kim's Nightmare").

In the nightmare and flashback to 1975, Kim remembers the Viet Cong approaching Saigon. As the city becomes increasingly chaotic, Chris is called to the embassy and leaves his gun with Kim, telling her to pack. When Chris enters the embassy, the gates close, as orders arrive from Washington for an immediate evacuation of the remaining Americans. The Ambassador orders that no more Vietnamese be allowed into the Embassy. Kim reaches the gates of the Embassy, one of a mob of terrified Vietnamese trying to enter. Chris calls to Kim and is about to go into the crowd to look for her. John is eventually forced to punch Chris in the face to stop him from leaving. Chris is put into the last helicopter leaving Saigon as Kim watches from outside, still pledging her love to him ("The Fall of Saigon").

Back in 1978 Bangkok, Kim joyfully dresses in her wedding clothes ("Sun and Moon [Reprise]") and leaves the Engineer to watch Tam while she is gone. She goes to Chris's hotel room, where she finds Ellen. Ellen reveals that she is Chris's wife. Kim is heartbroken and refuses to believe Ellen, but the truth soon sinks in. Ellen asks Kim if Chris is the father of Tam, and Kim confirms that he is. Kim says that she does not want her son to continue living on the streets and pleads that they take Tam with them back to America, but Ellen refuses, saying that Tam needs his real mother, and Ellen wants her own children with Chris. Kim angrily demands that Chris tell her these things in person, and runs out of the room ("Room 317"). Ellen feels bad for Kim, but is determined to keep Chris ("Now That I've Seen Her").[b]

Chris and John return, having failed to find Kim. Ellen tells them both that Kim arrived and that she had to tell Kim everything. Chris and John blame themselves, realizing that they were gone too long. Ellen also tells them that Kim wants to see Chris at her place, and that she tried to give away her son to them. John realizes that Kim wants Tam to be "an American boy." Ellen then issues an ultimatum to Chris: Kim or her. Chris reassures Ellen, and they pledge their love for each other. Chris and Ellen agree to leave Tam and Kim in Bangkok but offer them monetary support from America, while John decries their decision as selfish ("The Confrontation"). Back at the club, Kim tells the Engineer that they are still going to America ("Paper Dragons"). The Engineer imagines the extravagant new life that he will lead in America ("The American Dream"). Chris, John, and Ellen find the Engineer and he takes them to see Kim and Tam.

In her room, Kim tells Tam that he should be happy because he now has a father. She tells him that she cannot go with him but will be watching over him ("This Is the Hour [Reprise]").[c] Chris, Ellen, John, and the Engineer arrive just outside her room. The Engineer comes in to take Tam outside to introduce him to his father. While this is happening, Kim steps behind a curtain and shoots herself. As she falls to the floor, Chris rushes into the room at the sound of the gunshot and finds Kim mortally wounded. He picks up Kim and asks what she has done. Replying that the gods guided him to his son, Kim asks Chris to hold her once more and they share one last kiss. Kim then repeats something that he said to her on the first night they met: "How in one night have we come so far?", and dies in Chris's arms as everyone watches ("Finale").
MOST PRODUCED SINCE 2000
RANKTITLEPRODUCTIONS
590Miss Saigon1
590120 Songs for the Marquis de Sade1
5904:48 Psychosis1
590A Blizzard On Marblehead Neck1
590A Cask of Amontillado1
590A Chorus Line1
This work ranks as the #274 most produced North American title since 2000.
Don’t see your company’s next performance?
Join OPERA America as an Organizational Member to post your productions to the National Opera Calendar and Performance Database. Learn more.

 
STORED ADMIN COOKIE *
actor id: 0
name:
company:
email
ind id: 0
memb level: 0
expiration date: 12:00:00 AM
current url: /Applications/schedule/details.aspx
Login As
* Visible only to OPERA America Administrators for testing purposes. Shows security cookie contents.
 
 
————
National Opera Center
330 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001
212.796.8620   •   Info@operamerica.com
CONNECT WITH US
                 

PARTNERS
 
Terms of Service   •   Privacy Policy   •   Copyright Policy   © Copyright 1995–2021 OPERA America Inc.