Monthly Archives: December 2017

Miss Saigon (11th and 12th performances).

Saturday 30th December 2017, and the last few shows of the year, brings me back to Cardiff Bay and the magnificent Millenium Centre for two more performances of Miss Saigon. With so many good shows throughout the year, it’s been amazing for me to have the opportunity to watch most of them in the comfort of a theatre so close to home.

The role of Kim today will be sung by Joreen Bautista this afternoon and Sooha Kim for the evening performance. Watching both shows in a day gives me the opportunity to see both girls in action, and just to say how brilliant both of them are, with such fabulous voices, it’s wonderful to listen to these girls play a fantastic part to go with it,as I’ve mentioned throughout the run so far.

On the occasion that I watch multiple performances, which is most shows, I have to mention the part the Ensemble play in each of these fabulous musicals. Miss Saigon has a host of musical numbers that the Ensemble come into play and I must say this cast are exceptional at what they do. With some wonderful voices ringing out over this incredible auditorium, along with some fabulously choreographed scenes throughout, they are worth their weight in gold. Most of them are used as understudies to the main cast, and in my history of watching most shows they give an incredible performance to supplement the occasion. With such a big cast they all work so well together on stage, to give each performance extra sheen. I always attempt to give the Ensemble a write up for most shows I watch, without them there would be no show. Again both shows today were out of this world, just brilliant.

Miss Saigon (10th performance).

With Christmas over for another year it’s Boxing Day today (26th December 2017), and I’m back at the Millenium Centre in Cardiff Bay for another performance of Miss Saigon. I arrived early here today to take advantage of the weather changes throughout the day, with the morning dry and bright I managed to indulge myself in another of my pastimes, walking around the Bay, taking photos.

I find I can relax more than ever with a simple, but effective long walk, before the trip back to work tomorrow. To improve the situation even more I get to watch a fabulous musical in the evening to go with it.

Miss Saigon is such an impressive show, full of action, a fabulous score and scenes to die for (literally). One of the most impressive sights is the sheer size of the set, lighting and sound rigs. I think it’s the first time I’ve ever seen the stage used to its full potential for a touring production. The sound system is also phenomenal, with speakers on every level, producing superb sound quality throughout the auditorium, the helicopter noises are so realistic and actually appear to be moving across the theatre to a distant specification. The lighting also needs to be mentioned, with enough scope to mimic explosions, fireworks, the movement of helicopter rotor blades and many other features.

If you add together the size of the set, the impressive sound system and the magnificent lighting, you have a truly amazing workplace for these talented actors and actresses to really put on a fabulous show, which makes me want to come back again and again for even more performances.

Talking about the cast, for tonight’s show we have the personnel in place as per the program, with the role of Kim played by Sooha Kim. Yet again the show was excellent, it just gets better and better, ten shows down the line and I’m still in tears for most of it, even when I know what’s coming up.

Miss Saigon (9th performance).

Saturday 23rd December 2017, and after my exceptionally brilliant 5th Anniversary day on Thursday, it’s back at the Millenium Centre in Cardiff Bay for another performance of Miss Saigon to lead into Christmas. The last few blogs have mentioned all of my favourite songs in Act one, which there are so many. I’m going to continue today with a few more, this time from Act two, and again there are so many excellent pieces to choose from.

The act starts with a real tear jerker in ‘Bui Doi’ sung by the superb voice of Ryan O’Gorman with back up from the Male Ensemble, every time I hear this it brings a tear to my eye, no matter how many performances I see, it happens to be one of my two top favourite songs in the whole show. As the show moves on we see the rejuvenated Engineer in Bangkok with ‘what a waste’, yet another brilliant song and a scene so full of activity, it adds to the spectacle of this incredible musical. The scene moves to another beautiful song from Kim and John with ‘To much for one heart’, a total change from the previous one, but wonderfully sung and yet again a few more tears to add to the collection.

The Wow factor carries on with a spectacular scene for ‘Kim’s Nightmare’, a massive section of the show with the entire cast, some incredible singing from everyone taking part, this has to be seen to believed. As the scene changes again we move on to the second of my top favourite songs in the show, Kim and Ellen start off with ‘Room 317’ a really emotional piece before Ellen has a solo called ‘Maybe’, an incredible song, full of emotion and beautifully sung, it’s this song that, for me is the best song in the show, and has me in tears every time. This is followed ‘ The Confrontation’ yet another fabulous song from Ellen and Chris.

The final song in my favourite selection is ‘An American Dream’ sung by the Engineer and the Ensemble, an upbeat dream of a song, with loads of visual references to go with it. This leads to the end of the show, which is yet another tearfest in its own right, with some superb music through to the shows climax.

I’ve been lucky to see both Kim’s in recent performances, and lately had the opportunity to see Emily Beth Harrington in the role of Ellen, as with Zoe Doano their singing voices have been superb, making ‘Maybe’ the stand out song of this fabulous musical.

Miss Saigon (7th and 8th performances).

Thursday 21st December 2017, a day off work to celebrate my 5th Anniversary of watching theatrical shows, mostly at the Millenium Centre here in Cardiff Bay. For the record I’ve seen 151 different shows, with 418 performances of those shows. And to break it down even more 342 of those have been at the Centre. Today therefore is a very special day for me, which gives me the chance to celebrate even more, with two performances of this excellent musical.

Today I’m carrying on with my musical appreciation of the fabulous songs on offer in this show. Continuing with the next scene we move to 1978 in Ho Chi Minh city ensemble with ‘Morning of the Dragon’, a fabulous song sung by the Ensemble and the Engineer, stunning music with equally stunning voices make this a scene never to be forgotten. Another beautiful piece just happens to come up next with Kim and Ellen giving us this amazing duet, so beautifully sung this always brings a tear to my eyes.

Three more songs spring into life before the end of act one. ‘You will not touch him’, is another extremely moving piece, a duet between Kim and Thuy, a really powerful performance from both, bringing a tear yet again as the scene ends. The scene moves on to the Engineer and his next piece’ If You Want to Die in Bed’ a change of tempo to a more comical approach which lifts you a little after the past few sad scenes. We end act one on another tearfest moment as Kim sings ‘I’d give my love to you’ another beautiful piece of music, bringing the act to a fitting end, which makes me crave more, bring on act two.

I have to say a massive thank you to the Development staff at the Centre for making my day even more special, all of them have been so generous to me over the year and I have to thank them all so much. Also the bar staff and management have been equally amazing throughout the year, and especially today. In fact I’ve made so many friends here over the years, most of them have been VSA’s and volunteers who take time to meet and greet, generally making me feel so welcome every time I’m here,a huge thank you to those guys as well. In all the staff here at the Centre are the best people you could ever meet. Long may this friendship with this incredible theatre continue.

Miss Saigon (5th and 6th performances).

Saturday 16th December 2017, finally to the weekend, the snow has gone and I’m back in Cardiff Bay for two more performances of the brilliant Miss Saigon at the equally brilliant Millenium Centre.

For the afternoon performance we have Joreen Bautista as Kim, with Barnaby Hughes as John. The Evening has Sooha Kim in the role of Kim.

Today I’d like to talk about some of my favourite songs in the show, which, for me, could take a while, as there are so many fabulous musical numbers written into this stage production. The show explodes into life with ‘The heat is on’ sung by this incredible cast, just to get you in the mood for things to come, followed by a beautiful piece of music ‘TheMovie in my mind’ sung by Gigi (Na-Young Jeon) and Kim (Joreen Bautista or Sooha Kim). I love this song it’s always beautifully sung and brings a tear to my eye. So does the next with ‘Why God Why’ from Chris (Ashley Gilmore), yet another with a fabulous voice, so impressed with the quality of the performers on show.

Moving on to the next of my favourites which happens to be in the next scene, ‘Sun and Moon’ is another beautiful, harmonious piece sung by Chris and Kim, before moving onto ‘The Wedding Ceremony’ later in the scene, sung by the girls along with Kim and Chris, and if that’s not enough the scene ends with ‘Last Night of the World’, a fabulous song sung again by Chris and Kim. So much great music and that’s only half way through the first act, which is based around Saigon in 1975.

I think I’ll leave it there for today, otherwise I’ll go on all night, so I will carry on with more great songs on a later blog, plenty of time to go in the run.

Miss Saigon (3rd and 4th performances).

After a rather hectic start to the morning with 4 inches of snow in Rhymney, I’ve finally made it to Cardiff Bay to watch two performances of Miss Saigon at the Millenium Centre. Really can’t wait to see this fabulous production again, it’s lavish, beautiful, full of amazing scenes, great music played by an incredible orchestra, with a host of truly magnificent singers throughout.

A few cast changes for the Matinee with Joreen Bautista as Kim, and Vinny Coyle playing Chris, again both actors are just brilliant in their respective roles. The show seems to grow in stature every time you watch. You think it can’t get better, then it surprises you, and suddenly it does get better. I’m really lucky in that I get to see it once more today, this time with Sooha Kim in the role of Kim, (who just happens to be brilliant as well).

With all the shows I watch I never seem to get bored, in fact the more I see them the more enthralled I get, even when I watch two in the same day. The theatre has a massive influence on myself at the moment, so much so I’m approaching my 5th anniversary of watching amazing shows, mostly at the best theatre in the world (The Millenium Centre in Cardiff Bay).

Today’s performances were again outstanding, so much passion put into each and every show. The scenes with Ellen, Chris and Kim in both acts really bring tears to my eyes, very powerful, tense drama. It’s also worth a visit just to watch Ryan O’Gorman and the Ensemble sing Bui Doi at the start of act two, again brilliantly sung and so powerful. A brilliant show worth watching again and again.

Miss Saigon (1st and 2nd performances).

Saturday 2nd December 2017, and after the success of Tiger Bay – the Musical (which I only saw 8 times) it’s time for a change and another new show. Miss Saigon is touring the country and has made its way to the Millenium Centre in Cardiff Bay for the next 6 weeks. Yet another show I have yet to see live, watching on dvd is nowhere near as good as actually being in the theatre, with all the atmosphere and the hype surrounding such a major musical work. I also cannot wait to listen to the amazing voice of Ryan O’Gorman, having watched him as Tom Collins in Rent, and realising what an incredible voice this guy has.

What can I say, fabulous show, stunning voices from a fabulous cast. Music at its best played by an incredible orchestra. The biggest set I’ve ever seen at the Centre, complete with a stunning lighting rig. May I also say the sound system was extraordinary, with speakers on every level, giving you the impression of having your very own speaker, with exceptional quality to go with it.

The shows producers have come up with two stunning actresses to play Kim. The matinee saw Joreen Bautista and the evening performance from Sooha Kim. An incredible performance from Red Concepcion as the Engineer with some fabulous singing from Ashley Gilmore (Chris) and Ryan O’Gorman (John). May I also add some outstanding voices from all of the cast, who really make this show so delightful to watch and listen to.

Most of the scenes in this production are incredible, with so many unforgettable moments, including the iconic helicopter scene, which, literally takes your breath away and has to be witnessed first hand to be fully appreciated, just incredible. Need to see this fabulous show again, hopefully more on the way next week.