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Généralités: Histoire, thèmes et particularités

Résumé

An American soldier named Chris marries Kim before departing for the US, and three years later, has married an American named Ellen and nearly forgotten her. When he discovers Kim is still alive and raising Thuy, a boy he fathered, he returns to Saigon to find her, but with the Viet Cong closing in on the city and two women wanting the only place in his heart, Chris has to make some large decisions before it's all over. (Based on Puccini's opera, Madame Butterfly.)

Synopsis complet

Particularités

1 Miss Saigon peut-être considéré comme un Top musical

2 Miss Saigon peut-être considéré comme un mega-musical.

3 Miss Saigon s'intéresse à un événement historique important: Guerre du Vietnam.

 

Historique du musical

Génèse du musical

By the time of the transfer of Les Misérables to the Palace Theatre on 4 December 1985 Alain and Claude-Michel were already working on an idea for a new musical. The idea stemmed from a news photograph that Claude-Michel had come across during a coffee break one autumn afternoon in Paris. It showed a Vietnamese woman parting with her child at Tan Son Nhut airport, so that child could have a better life with her G.I. father in America. It reminded him of Cio-Cio-San’s ultimate sacrifice in Madame Butterfly.

But Miss Saigon is not simply a re-telling of the Butterfly story. That was just a starting point from which to construct their own narrative, merging only some aspects of the story with their own original contemporary subject matter and contemporary characters. There was a sense of freedom in writing an original creation as compared to writing an adaptation. With Les Misérables they were tied to a fixed narrative, which was not only a great classic but a huge epic story and one which required the skilful compression of large chunks of narrative. With Miss Saigon, however, the technique was the reverse of compression, it was one of expansion. The Butterfly plot of a misunderstanding between two individuals of highly different cultures was retained but the story was projected into a tragic period of modern history when that basic misunderstanding between two people could reflect the deeper misunderstanding between their respective countries at war.

In many ways it was a very risky thing for two Frenchmen to be writing an English-produced musical of an American story about Vietnam. But Alain and Claude-Michel thrive on writing to the edge and taking risks – doing something completely new with each musical. Richard Maltby Jr. worked on the story and lyrics with Alain, and it was essential to have an American on board to inject a real understanding of American sensibility into the story. This was the first time that Alain was co-writing the lyrics in English and he found Richard an immensely sympathetic writing partner. As director, Nicholas Hytner found ways of staging seemingly impossible scenes, such as the evacuation from the American Embassy, with great imagination and visual flair.

Miss Saigon opened at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 20 September 1989. This is London’s oldest and most historically important theatre with a huge stage and a seating capacity of over 2,200. It was definitely the show of the moment and received mostly great reviews. Even the Guardian’s Michael Billington, normally known for his disdain of musicals, wrote that it was a first rate piece of popular theatre which proved that a musical could address a serious theme with sincerity, emotion and integrity. The show proved enormously popular with the public, becoming the longest running musical at that theatre closing only in October 1999 after a ten year run.

West End
Miss Saigon premiered in the West End at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on 20 September 1989 and closed after 4,264 performances on 30 October 1999. The director was Nicholas Hytner with musical staging by Bob Avian and scenic design by John Napier. In December 1994 the London production became the Theatre Royal's Drury Lane longest running musical, eclipsing the record set by My Fair Lady.

The original Kim was played by Lea Salonga, who became famous because of this role and won the Laurence Olivier Award and Tony Award. The original Engineer was portrayed by Jonathan Pryce who won a Tony Award for the role.

Broadway
The musical debuted on Broadway at the Broadway Theatre on 11 April 1991 and closed on 28 January 2001 after 4.092 performances. Directed again by Nicholas Hytner with musical staging by Bob Avian, scenic design was by John Napier, costume design was by Andreane Neofitou and Suzy Benzinger and lighting design was by David Hersey. As of September 2011, Miss Saigon is still the 11th longest-running Broadway musical in musical theatre history.

Other productions
Since its opening in London Miss Saigon was produced in many cities around the world including Stuttgart from 2 December 1994 till 19 December 1999 and Toronto, where new theatres were designed specifically to house the show. In the small island community of Bømlo, Norway with only around eleven thousand inhabitants, the show was set up in the outdoor amphitheater by the local musical fellowship and ran from 5 August to 16 August 2009. The local musical fellowship brought in a Bell Helicopter for the show. According to the Miss Saigon Official Site, Miss Saigon has been performed by twenty-seven companies in twenty-five countries and 246 cities, and it has been translated into twelve different languages.

The new production of Miss Saigon at Her Majesty's Theatre in Melbourne Tours
After the London production closed in 1999 and also following the closure of the Broadway production in 2001 the show in its original London staging embarked on a long tour of the six largest venues in Britain and Ireland stopping off in each city for several months. The tour opened at the Palace Theatre, Manchester and also played in the Birmingham Hippodrome, the Mayflower Theatre Southampton, the Edinburgh Playhouse, the Bristol Hippodrome and The Point Theatre in Dublin. This successful tour drew to a close in 2003 and a brand new production was developed by original producer Cameron Mackintosh on a smaller scale so that the show could be accommodated in smaller theatres. This new tour started in July 2004 and ended in June 2006.

The first US tour started in Chicago, Illinois in October 1992 and was then expected to travel to those cities which could accommodate the large production. The tour also played venues such as the Wang Center in Boston from 14 July to 12 September 1993, the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Florida in the Spring 1994, and the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC in June 1994. Cameron Mackintosh said: "Corners haven't been cut. They've been added. There are only a dozen theaters in America where we can do this."

A second North American tour was in Summer 2002 – Spring 2005, playing such venues as the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Newark, New Jersey in November 2003, Raleigh, North Carolina in February 2005, and Gainesville, Florida in November 2003.

 

Détails

Liste des chansons

Acte I
Overture / Backstage Dreamland – Gigi, Kim, The Engineer and Bar Girls
"The Heat is On in Saigon" – Soldiers, Bar Girls, The Engineer, Kim, John, Chris and Gigi
"The Movie in My Mind" – Gigi, Kim and Bar Girls
"The Transaction" – The Engineer, John, Soldiers, Chris and Kim
"The Dance" – Kim, Chris and The Engineer
"Why, God, Why?" – Chris
"This Money's Yours" – Chris and Kim
"Sun and Moon" – Kim and Chris
"The Telephone Song" – Chris and John
"The Deal" – The Engineer and Chris
"The Wedding Ceremony" – Gigi, Kim, Bar Girls and Chris
"Thuy's Arrival" – Thuy, Chris and Kim
"Last Night of the World" – Chris and Kim
"The Morning of the Dragon" – Soldiers, The Engineer, Two Guards and Thuy
"I Still Believe" – Kim and Ellen
"Back in Town" – The Engineer, Kim, Thuy and Soldiers
"Thuy's Death" / "You Will Not Touch Him" – Thuy and Kim
"This is the Hour" – Chorus
"If You Want to Die in Bed" – The Engineer
"Let Me See His Western Nose" – Kim and The Engineer
"I'd Give My Life for You" – Kim

Acte II
"Bui Doi" – Chorus and John
"The Revelation" – Chris, John and Ellen
"What a Waste" – The Engineer, Hustlers, Tourists, John and Kim
"Please" – John and Kim
"Chris is Here" – The Engineer, Kim, Club Owner and John
"Kim's Nightmare" – Thuy
"Fall of Saigon" – Soldiers, Chris, Kim, John and Citizens
"Sun and Moon" (Reprise) – Kim
"Room 317" – Kim and Ellen
"It's Her or Me" – Ellen (recent productions have replaced this with "Now That I've Seen Her")
"The Confrontation" – Chris, Ellen and John
"Paper Dragons" – The Engineer and Kim
"The American Dream" – The Engineer
"This is the Hour" (Reprise) – Kim
Finale – Chris and Kim

Liste des rôles

Kim – A seventeen-year-old girl, recently orphaned and forced to work at "Dreamland." She corresponds to Butterfly in the original opera.
The Engineer, aka Tran Van Dinh – The slightly sleazy but likable owner of "Dreamland." He is half-Vietnamese and half-French. He corresponds to Goro.
Christopher Scott, aka "Chris" – An American G.I. sergeant about to leave Saigon to return to America. He corresponds to Pinkerton.
John Thomas – Chris' friend, also a G.I. He corresponds to Sharpless.
Thuy – Kim's cousin and betrothed, to whom Kim was promised by her parents when the two were thirteen. Has since become an officer in the Communist Vietnamese government. He is a composite character, corresponding in part to both The Bonze and Prince Yamadori.
Ellen – Chris' American wife. She corresponds to Kate.
Gigi Van Tranh – A hardened Saigon stripper; initially voted as "Miss Saigon".
Tam – Kim and Chris' three-year old son. He corresponds to Dolore, or "Sorrow".

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Controversy
In the London production of Miss Saigon, Lea Salonga originally starred as Kim, with Jonathan Pryce as the Engineer. When the production transferred from London to New York City, the Actors' Equity Association refused to allow Jonathan Pryce, a white British actor who had played the Engineer, to recreate the role in America. As Alan Eisenberg, executive secretary of Actors' Equity explained, "The casting of a Caucasian actor made up to appear Asian is an affront to the Asian community. The casting choice is especially disturbing when the casting of an Asian actor, in the role, would be an important and significant opportunity to break the usual pattern of casting Asians in minor roles."[6] This ruling led to criticism from many including British Equity, and caused producer Cameron Mackintosh to cancel the show despite massive advanced ticket sales. Actors' Equity was concerned about casting discrimination because despite a large, well-publicized international search among Asian actresses to play Kim, there was no equivalent search for Asian actors to play the major Asian male roles (namely Engineer and Thuy) in Miss Saigon. To add to the controversy, Pryce was considered by many to have "star status", a clause that allows a well-known foreign actor to recreate a role on Broadway without an American casting call.[6] However, after pressure from Mackintosh, the general public, and many of its own members, Actors' Equity was forced to reverse its decision, and Pryce starred alongside Salonga and Willy Falk (as Chris) when the show opened on Broadway.

Miss Saigon has experienced criticism from the Asian American community for various racial issues.[7] Originally, Pryce and Burns, white actors playing Eurasian/Asian characters, wore eye prostheses and bronzing cream to make themselves look more Asian,[8] which outraged some who drew comparisons to a "minstrel show."[6] The libretto of Miss Saigon also contains lyrics that many Asians might consider offensive, such as the Engineer's lines: "Greasy chinks make life so sleazy/ in the States I'll have a club that's four-starred" (American Dream) and "Why was I born of a race that thinks only of rice and hates entrepeneurs?" (If You Want to Die in Bed).[8] Furthermore, Miss Saigon contains simplistic portrayals of Asians that perpetuate various stereotypes of Asian women, such as the sexually available vixen, or the submissive China Doll. Miss Saigon, like its predecessor Madame Butterfly, is also a prime example of orientalism in Western arts.


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Mais aussi, quelques versions régionales ou mineures, ... de Miss Saigon

 

Multimedia on-line

Vidéos on-line

The Last Night of The World

Miss Saigon (2014-05-Prince Edward-London)

Eva Noblezada et Alistair Brammer chantent The Last Night of The World de Miss Saigon au The Alan Titchmarsh Show, diffusé le 10/10/2014.

Qualité: ***** Intérêt: *****
Langue:
Anglais Durée:


Interview de Lea Salonga et Eva Noblezada

Miss Saigon (2014-05-Prince Edward-London)

Interview de Lea Salonga et Eva Noblezada sur BBC Breakfast le 17 septembre 2014

Qualité: ***** Intérêt: *****
Langue:
Anglais Durée:


Olivier Awards 2015

Miss Saigon (2014-05-Prince Edward-London)

Miss Saigon Olivier Awards 2015 - "I'd Give My Life For You"

Qualité: ***** Intérêt: *****
Langue:
Anglais Durée:


Trailer

Miss Saigon (2014-05-Prince Edward-London)

Qualité: ***** Intérêt: ****
Langue:
Anglais Durée:


Trailer: annoce du cast

Miss Saigon (2014-05-Prince Edward-London)

Qualité: ***** Intérêt: ***
Langue:
Anglais Durée: 0:08:14


 

Principaux CD du musical

1) 1989-09-Original London Cast

2) 1992-??-Japanese Cast

3) 1993-??-Japanese Cast Live

4) 1994-??-Hungarian Cast




5) 1994-12-Stuttgart Cast

6) 1995-11-Complete Symphonic Recording

7) 1996-??-Danish Cast

8) 1996-??-Dutch Studio Cast




9) 1996-11-Dutch Cast Live



Liste détaillée des principaux CD