Review: Miss Saigon

This post was written by Cincy Chic contributor Kelly Maglocci

An untold tale, as old as time.

The story, set in 1975 and originally played in the early 90’s, casts light upon cultural issues that are more relevant now than ever; how women are treated, immigration, refugees that would do anything for a better life in America, the destructive, enduring effects of war and our comfortable distance from it all.

Kim, a Vietnamese prostitute, is swept off her feet by an endearing, American G.I, Chris. After a night of passion and promises, the two are separated as the Americans evacuate Vietnam after the war. The tragic love story that ensues 3 years later as the characters converge in Bangkok and discover how much has changed, yet stayed the same, is fatal.

Kim, a victim of the war, is still in love with Chris, her life revolving around honoring his memory, while he has created a new life in America. You see that Kim never gave up hope and can’t help but feel that she deserves so much better.

The vibrancy of the costumes and high energy of the musical number “The American Dream” dramatically contrasts the formal solemnness of “Bui Doi,” a song about the abandoned, orphaned children left by American soldiers after the war. The interactive set, expert light design and captivating cast culminated in the portrayal of an escape from reality and the illusion of opulence.

Kim’s powerful solos “I’d Give my Life for You” and “Little God of my Heart” show just how deep a mother’s love goes and there was nothing she would not do in the plight to give her son a better life.

The bone chilling and heart wrenching ending leaves you feeling sad and hopeless.

Miss Saigon opens our eyes to the reality of the catastrophic nature of war and American responsibility- a harsh truth to face.

Playing at the Aronoff now though April 21.

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