Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Miss Saigon"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2007 by Bob Guenthner

"Miss Saigon"

Reviewed by The Old Grump
a k a Bob Guenthner

CHRIS....MICHAEL WARNER
KIM....JENNIFER SCHAFFER
ENGINEER....JOHN F. KING
JOHN....KENNET HARMON
GIGI....KRISTEN HUBERDEAU
MIMI....KIRA COWAN
YVETTE....EMILY BUCKLEY
YVONE....ALEX TRIPP
THUY....MATTHEW TORRANCE
ELLEN....KENDRA KACHADOORIAN
TAM....PETER WANG
ASSISTANT COMMISSAR....JAMES VALENTIN
CAPT. SCHULTZ....BOB HOLLIS
CLUB OWNER....DAVE BRENNER
MARINE CAPTAIN....SHANE DONOVAN
OFFICER....MATTHEW MAGGIO

It has been over a year since I dragged my old body out of my home and went to a show. One of my neighbors graciously kept me company. She went with me in case I couldn't find my way home. Since Miss Saigon is one of my all time favorites, I decided it was worth the trouble. I have seen this show 14 times, from Broadway, to Providence, to Boston, to NSMT, and again on the local scene. I was not disappointed. From start to finish I was thrilled by what I was seeing. I could hardly believe that this many wonderful voices were on one stage. The sets were equal to the voices. Trying to pin down the better performances is a difficult task. I could rave over each one. I'll just settle for the obvious. The lack of Asians took a little getting used to, but after a short period of time, I grew to except this.

Michael Warner handled the difficult songs with ease. He has one of the better tenor voices that can be heard on any stage. To be honest, when mentally casting the show before the auditions, I forgot about Mike. I am very happy he decided to be Chris.

Kenneth was wonderful as Chris's friend.

All of the girls pleased me no end in their Bikinis. I may be old in body, but my mind is young and active.

Kristen sang the sad "THE MOVIE IN MY MIND" with feeling. I will admit to having a tear form in the corner of my eye. This song really sets the story line for the show, and without a perfect rendition such as this one, it would have been a disappointing start.

Now for Jennifer!! This girl ran passed me when she did Oklahoma at Company. I couldn't get her autograph or snap. When she toured in Fiddler, she burst out of the stage door like a rampaging full back and almost knocked me down, and I out weighed her by 150 pounds or more. John King corralled her and dragged her over to me. Jennifer was spectacular as Ado Annie in Oklahoma, virtually stealing the show. She more than equaled that in this one. She has a lovely voice to go with her cute as a button looks. Perfect for this part. Perfect for just about any part.

Speaking of wonderful voices, Kendra has one. Her "NOW THAT I'VE SEEN HER" was a show stopper.

What can I say about John that I haven't said before. He was my first mental choice for the Engineer. I sent him an Email begging him to do this role. Before John, my all time Engineer was Kevin Gray, a brilliant singer, actor. Now it is a toss up. John was lovably sleazy as the pimp and drug pushing character. Of course his voice is just about perfect, and his body acting had me in stitches when called for. His rendition of "THE AMERICAN DREAM" had the audience as well as yours truly rolling in the aisles with laughter.

Mike Joseph's orchestra was up to the task. When isn't it?

I bought tickets to the final performance. Now I have to find a baby sitter to keep me company. If you can beg, steal or borrow a seat to see this show, it is a must. I always thought Company Theatre would never be able to top RAGTIME, but they succeeded. My congratulations and thanks to everyone involved in putting it on.

"Miss Saigon" (27 July - 19 August)
THE COMPANY THEATRE
30 Accord Park, NORWELL MA
1 (781)871-ARTS

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