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Ellen Lee's East Bay Livin'





Saturday, July 30, 2005

Miss Saigon, Part 3

(UPDATED)

Don't worry, this isn't going to become the Miss Saigon blog. It just happens that it's taken up most of my time this week.

One of the numbers we've been working on is "Morning of the Dragon," which I have to admit I didn't fully appreciate when I saw it on Broadway. Now I do. It's challenging because the rhythm keeps changing and there are so many moving parts, which must be performed with military precision, and we have to sing and dance at the same time (pretty much my first time; in opera, we tend to "stand and bark") and the music (in three different parts) doesn't always match the cheoreography. The piece comes after the war has ended and the U.S. Marines have left. We all wear head-to-toe black (I think -- or it might be a military costume) and I get to dance with a ribbon and then re-enter carrying a gun. Whoo-hoo!

Our choreographer, James DuBeq, is from Miss Saigon's national tour, so much of the staging and cheoreography is the same. The actors who plays Chris (the American G.I. who falls in love with Kim) and the Engineer (the pimp) have also performed with the national tour and we met them for the first time today.

We also have a new director. Grant Rosen was hired to direct the national tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream, and was replaced today by Daren A.C. Carollo, who directed Contra Costa Civic Theatre's Jekyll and Hyde, which I discussed here (you need to scroll down).

We haven't seen the set yet, but it sounds incredible. It comes to us from Southern California, where Fullerton Civic Light Opera recently produced it (you can see pictures of it here). It features a helicopter (blades and all, we're told) that actually flies across the stage and lands, as well as a pink Cadillac for one of the show's over-the-top final numbers. I am not sure how all of this will fit inside the Regional Center for the Arts, but the production crew is working hard to make sure it does!

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