The cast of Miss Saigon’s Manila show includes two Filipino-Australians as Kim and The Engineer, and a Filipina in the role of Gigi.
As Miss Saigon’s Manila run draws ever closer, fans are getting more news about the Tony award-winning musical. The production will be making its first stop in the Philippines as part of its international tour. In fact, it’s even extended its run in the country due to high-demand. Now, GMG Productions has revealed the tour’s cast in an official press release. Among the talented roster are two Filipino-Australians in the roles of Kim and the Engineer. A local Filipino songbird will also star in the role of Kim’s fellow bar girl, Gigi.
Abigail Adriano will be playing the 17-year-old Vietnamese bar girl Kim, while Seann Miley Moore will play the scheming Engineer. Filipina performer Kiara Dario will also star in the momentous production as Gigi. Meanwhile, Nigel Huckle will take on the role of leading man and love interest, American G.I. Chris Scott. Other cast members include Sarah Morrison as Ellen, Lewis Francies as John, and Laurence Mossman as Thuy.
“This is a cast with incredible energy and heart who totally get the true story of Miss Saigon and its contemporary resonance. I have no doubt it’ll be one of the most unforgettable productions of Miss Saigon we have ever seen,” expressed the musical’s legendary producer, Cameron Mackintosh, in a statement.
Filipino Vocal Talents
It’s not the first time Miss Saigon is featuring an amazing roster of Filipino talent. In fact, it was its very first production that launched the career of Filipina songbird Lea Salonga. Since then, many other vocalists of Filipino descent have taken on the role of Kim on Broadway and West End. This includes Eva Noblezada, Monique Wilson, Joanna Ampil, and Carla Guevara-Laforteza.
Filipino-Australian singer Abigail Adriano made waves when she played Kim in Miss Saigon’s Australian production, making her a fitting choice for the international stage. Adriano started her performing career at the tender age of six, according to her official profile on Opera Australia. She then starred in a variety of productions for both theater and television. Her notable projects include Tim Minchin’s Matilda the Musical and the Netflix/ABC television series The Unlisted.
“When I found out that I got the role of Kim, I was jumping for joy, I was on the floor, I was everywhere,” she expressed in a video release from the Instagram of Miss Saigon’s Australian production. “I felt amazing, I felt everything all at once. This is a dream come true.”
The new production of Miss Saigon marks the first international tour of homegrown talent Kiara Dario. The songstress captivated audiences in Repertory Philippines’ Snow White and the Prince, which earned her a nomination for Best Performer in a Musical for the BroadwayWorld Philippines Awards.
As per her official profile for The L.O.V.E. Project, the young singer studied under the Marie Eugenie Theatre of the Assumption, UP Diliman, and Repertory Philippines. Throughout the years, she’s performed in a number of local productions. Some titles include 2016’s Annie, 2018’s Chitty Bang Bang, and 2019’s Ang Huling El Bimbo productions in Resorts World Manila.
“I first encountered the music of Miss Saigon at three years old,” the singer wrote in an Instagram post announcing her casting. “It was a musical that changed my life when I auditioned (and didn’t make it) in 2016, because it got me out of my theater hiatus and made me realize that theater is truly my life’s passion. […] It’s truly a full circle moment.”
Playing the Engineer
Filipinos have also been rocking the role of the Engineer in Miss Saigon; namely Jon Jon Briones (who starred in the musical’s 2014 West End and 2017 Broadway revivals) and Joanna Ampil (who played the very first female Engineer in a recent Sheffield Theatres production, as per ABS-CBN). For its new international tour, Filipino-Australian Seann Miley Moore will be reprising his role from the musical’s Australian production, taking the memorable character to new heights.
Opera Australia describes the performer as the “embodiment of queer Asian excellence,” since Miley Moore has proudly performed in various pride festivals across the globe. Besides being a brand and fashion ambassador for brands like Fenty Beauty and Lulu Lemon, Miley Moore stunned audiences with their performances in Eurovision 2022 and X Factor UK 2015.
“This show is Asian excellence and this cast is giving Slay-Asian pride!” Miley Moore said in a statement. “Miss Saigon is a story that resonates with so many of us and our families so seeing all of us together, ready to tell this story, is really empowering. The spotlight is now on our community, and we are going to own the stage and tell our truth.”
A Historic Team
It takes a whole team to successfully carry out one of the greatest musicals of all time, and the international production of Miss Saigon promises a show that Filipino theater fans are sure to enjoy.
Michael Boyle, Carlo Boumouglbay, Ellie Chan, Shannon Cheong, Celine Cleveland, David Duketis, Natasha Dumlao, Gelina Enriquez, Sara Haruta, Leyton Holmes, Jiho Hwang, Emily Huynh, Mikaila Imaguchi, Patrick Jeremy, Hamish Johnston, Nicholas Kong, Vi Lam, Winchester Lopez, Robbie Mejica, Bailey Nathan-Park, Tetsuya Okubo, Atsushi Okumura, David Ouch, Tony Oxybel, Paloma Renouf, Annabelle Rosewarne, Jack Connor Rowan, Trevor Santos, Louis Stockil, Asmara Soekotjo, Tamsyn Thomas, Brad Veitch, Aday Velasco, Louisa Vilinne, and Sam Ward complete Miss Saigon‘s company of 42 performers.
The musical will feature the original pieces by Claude-Michel Schönberg with lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr. and Alain Boublil, with additional lyrics by Michael Mahler. Laurence Connor directs the new production, with musical staging by Bob Avian and additional choreography by Geoffrey Garratt.
Production design is by Totie Driver and Matt Kinley based on an original concept by Adrian Vaux; costume design by Andreane Neofitou; lighting design by Bruno Poet; projections by Luke Halls; sound design by Mick Potter; and orchestrations by William David Brohn. Alfonso Casado Trigo and Guy Simpson lead the music supervision, with Richard Jones managing associate choreography and Jean-Pierre Van Der Spuy directing the Asian tour production.
New Miss Saigon tickets are available exclusively through TicketWorld. The Manila season is presented at The Theatre at Solaire by GMG Productions. For updates and exclusive announcements, visit www.gmg-productions.com or follow @gmg.productions on Instagram.
Banner photo from Miss Saigon Australia by Daniel Boud, courtesy of GMG Productions.