Label: Super Doubles - SD 854062 • Format: 2x, CD • Country: Netherlands • Genre: Classical, Folk, World, & Country, Stage & Screen • Style: Theme
In many ways, Miss Saigon was built upon the success of Les Miserables. Like Les Miserables and its barricades, also created by John NapierMiss Saigon was immediately identified with the famous life-size helicopter landing on stage. The logo even included a stylized helicopter. Schonberg also Why God Why (From Miss Saigon) - The London Stage Orchestra & Chorus* - Musical Highlights a rhapsody for piano and orchestra based on the musical, much as he had written a symphonic suite for Les Miserables.
The plot, too, has many of the same elements, a mother's self-sacrifice for the sake of her child, set against a backdrop of political and social turmoil. While much more vital to the plot and more carefully delineated, the profiteering Engineer has some resemblance to Thenardier. The music itself does not break any new creative ground, though it has many memorable tunes, and always contributes to the unrelenting emotional intensity of the show.
However, in Les Miserables, both the solos and the ensembles were given about equal attention, but in Miss Saigon, the emphasis is definitely on the ensembles, particularly "The heat is on in Saigon," "Morning of the Dragon," "The fall of Saigon," and the satirical "The American dream," which appears to begin as a solo, but almost as if parodying both musical theater conventions and American-style beauty pageants, builds up with the entire chorus and orchestra joining in the jubilant ensemble, punctuated visually by a Cadillac flying on stage.
The Broadway was considerably smaller, requiring extensive reworking of the set which had to accommodate the above-mentioned helicopter and carand in London, Jonathan Pryce had created the role of the Engineer, but Actors Equity ruled that the part should instead be given to an actor of Asian descent.
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ACT 2 (Part 1) - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - The Seraglio Excerpt. Miss Saigon [Complete Recording]. Original London Cast. Polydor Decca
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