Wednesday, 21 October 2009

The Heat is On in Saigon

Although far from being my favourite musical (I didn’t really like the music that much) I do remember sitting watching it years ago thinking, ‘Miss Saigon’ would work so much better on the big screen.
It is epic is scope and a lot of the subtext of a woman's plight in Vietnam during the war was lost the further back you sat.
Plus the Helicopter scene would work so much better.

Well it looks like it is going to be made into a war movie musical extravaganza of very expensive proportions.

Tom Cruise’s former producing partner Paula Wagner is producing it with the original show producer, the legendary Cameron Mackintosh.

If that is not your thing, then the news that ‘Precious’ director Lee Daniels may be directing this, which shows that people believe he is more than a one trick pony.
He has not said yes, but it would be a great project for him.

Given that a few people have said he should direct a musical, solely based on the fantasy sequences in ‘Precious’, this may be cause for celebration. Also, given his ability with women, this could be made to be even stronger than the stage show especially if told mainly from Kim’s perspective.

The story is tragic and horrible and really sends home the atrocities that happened in Vietnam, especially to the local women.
The musical, a reworking of the opera Madame Butterfly set during the Vietnam War, sees a young G.I. called Chris fall in love with bargirl Kim in 1975 Saigon. The two are in love, but Chris is about to head home to the US and with the evacuation of the US embassy in Saigon they are ripped apart.
I would love to see the original Kim take to the stage, but Lea Salonga may be too old, as would Naoko Mori who played Kim in London when she was 17.
It would, however, be great to find a Vietnamese singer/actress to play the part, none of this ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ bullshit please. I am sure most of the world wouldn't care, but some of us do (Salonga was Philippine and Mori was Japanese)

This could be a very exciting production. Should Daniels take the job, he could be in a position to create a very honest and perhaps brutal portrayal of life for women in Vientman, and hopefully without jazz hands.

No comments: