Miss Saigon comes to Lisbon

news: Miss Saigon comes to Lisbon

SOME CALL this musical the classic love story of our time. Set against the terror and chaos of the last days of Vietnam in 1975, Miss Saigon tells of the love between a young Vietnamese girl and an American soldier. Written by Boublil and Schönberg, its spectacular staging and powerful score have made it a worldwide triumph and now the show is coming to Lisbon.

Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg met in 1967 after Boublil, working for a musical publisher, heard one of Schönberg’s songs on the radio. From there the pair have succeeded in becoming the most successful composers of modern musical shows after Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Since opening in 1989, Miss Saigon has been produced in many cities around the world including Stuttgart and Toronto, where new theatres were designed specifically to house the show. In December 1994, the London production became the Theatre Royal’s (Drury Lane) longest running musical, eclipsing the record set by My Fair Lady.

It is a modern adaptation of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly and is often said to be set during the Vietnam War, but, in fact, the events centre more on post-war Vietnam. The story takes place during 1975 and 1978, and as such, the war is only referred to as a past event.

The show was inspired by a photograph, inadvertently found by Schönberg in a magazine, picturing a Vietnamese mother leaving her child at a departure gate at Tan Son Nhat Airport to board a plane for the US, where her father, an ex-GI, would be in a better position to provide for the child.

The plot, based on this real-life episode, tells the story of Chris, an American GI who meets Kim, a beautiful, war orphan and Vietnamese prostitute in a Saigon brothel. The two have a reluctant sexual encounter, but end up falling in love despite their initial apprehension. Chris is eventually forced to return to the US and, during the next three years, the two struggle to deal with the emotional aftermath of their affair.

Simultaneously, the plot follows the adventures of Tran, a Vietnamese pimp and Kim’s boss. Tran dreams of moving to the US and living the American dream, but after the war ends his ambitions are crushed under Vietnam’s new Communist government.

Miss Saigon has become one of the most popular musicals in English theatre history, playing to over 31 million people all over the world. Now the original version is coming to Lisbon from January 17, 2006 at the Coliseu de Recreios.

There are performances from Tuesday to Sunday at 9.30pm and a matinée performance is given at 4pm on weekends. Tickets are priced from 20 to 60 euros.

• For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.ticketline.pt