Fans flock to Miss Saigon previews in London

By Rose Eclarinal, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at May 05 2014 03:02 PM | Updated as of May 07 2014 12:05 AM

LONDON - Fans, including Filipinos, flocked to the previews of the hit musical "Miss Saigon" in London's West End.

The Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg musical made history when it premiered at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in 1989.

Set during the Vietnam War, the tragic love story about an American GI and a Vietname bar girl catapulted then 17-year-old Lea Salonga to stardom.

After 25 years, Miss Saigon is back. Fans descended on West End to see the revival, including some Pinoys who traveled from the Philippines.

Filipina Shereen Benidy flew in for a tour and "Miss Saigon" with her children.

"Nakita naming before ng husband ko so this time it's for the kids. We want to support Filipino talent, so we wanted to see how great Filipino artists are here," Benidy said.

There were those early birds who purchased tickets from the first online sale.

"I bought this ticket last year," a Filipina said.

Debbie, a Filipino based in London, said, "I heard so much about Miss Saigon but I missed it when it was Lea Salonga, that's why I'm so happy that my daughter treated me. I know it's a very good show and most of them are Filipino"

"Let's face it, Miss Lea Salonga is legendary… it's musical that gave her the Olivier award, right? So everyone is basically quite curious, how's the remake of Miss Saigon after like 10 years," Rodrigo, a Miss Saigon fan, said.

The new production, which boasts of an international cast from 18 countries, didn't let fans down. It feature a enw song "Maybe" sung by the character "Ellen" played by Tamsin Carroll.

"The whole atmosphere, the adventure, the love, everything about the show is just brilliant.... A huge fan, yeah, definitely my favourite musical," Amanda Edmondson, a Miss Saigon fan, said.

Among the Filipino cast in the production are Fil-Am Eva Noblezada, who plays Kim, singer Rachelle Ann Go who plays Gigi and the Engineer played by veteran actor Jonjon Briones.

The show is set for its press night on May 21.