Miss Saigon Review

This spectacular and beautifully performed show wouldn’t be what it is without Emily Bautista portraying Kim and Anthony Festa playing Chris Scott. The onstage chemistry between the two actors is just one example of the incredible talent and work musical theatre actors present to the audience. Bautista’s passionate and strong voice creates a strong foundation for the whole show as her emotions clearly present themselves in her performance. The powerful and heartbreaking story of Miss Saigon would be incomplete without a Bautista, especially as her role as a mother later on in the story. The reality of what a mother would do for her child hits the audience through Bautista’s clear emotion through her voice. 

In this play they exhibit emotions such as pain, fear, trauma and the most obvious, love. Although most of the pain in Miss Saigon is emotional pain considering the setting takes place in the middle of a war there are aspects of physical pain as well. The show opens with Kim as a young 17 year old girl who gets roped into a job as a prostitute where she meets Chris Scott. The practically forced romance turns into love at the end of their first night together when they make a promise to love and be with each other. The two make plans to leave Saigon to America, however Kim’s arranged fiance, Thuy, claims that Kim belongs to him until the day she dies but Kim tells him that her parent’s promise to him died with them. They leave it at that and Chris goes to the embassy to get a visa for Kim but before he can, he is whisked away with other marines back to America before the fall of Saigon.  

Three years pass and now with the fall of Saigon, Kim lives believing that Chris will come back for her and their two year old son, Tam. Thuy, now a commissar uses his military power to track down Kim so he can force her to marry him, Kim reveals Tam and claims that she is still bound to Chris. Only wanting to marry Kim, Thuy sees that the only way for him to marry her is to kill Tam. Without further motive Thuy pulls a knife, before he can do anything however, Kim pulls the trigger of a gun. Filled with fear of punishment for her actions she takes Tam to Bangkok, where Chris in America learns of Kim finding safety as well as his new role as a father. During his three years in America, Chris settles with his wife Ellen. Although he constantly has nightmares and calls out Kim’s name in his sleep, she continues to stay by his side as a loving wife. Chris having felt he abandoned Kim and his then unborn child, he struggles to rid himself of his guilt. Chris and Ellen fly to Bangkok to meet Kim and Tam, however Kim takes initiative and goes to Chris’s hotel to meet him first, instead she meets Ellen. Kim is confused and frustrated with herself, she feels that all those years of hope have been wasted, with no hope left, she creates a plan to keep her child safe. Unable to take both Kim and Tam back to America with them, Chris sees that the only option would be to visit every so often. However, with only Tam’s life and safety in mind, when Chris meets Tam for the first time before Kim reunites with Chris she pulls the trigger of the same gun she used to defend her baby on herself so her baby would be safe once more. Without Kim, Chris is able to take Tam to America and raise him in the arms of comfort and safety. 

This play does not exhibit any dialogue throughout the show, only with the expression of music. It is a beautiful story telling of love and hope, and although it ends with death there is still hope left with Kim’s son as what his mother did was out of true love. One of the hardest pains in the show is when Chris and Kim are finally reunited with Chris cradling Kim’s dead body as he weeps for the woman that changed his life. The two undoubtedly had some love for one another which makes this scene entirely heartbreaking, knowing that they were unable to say goodbye.