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The Heat is On in “Saigon’

Lucas Huie and Nicole Gunderson

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Miss Saigon is an unorthodox, creative masterpiece with a storyline based around the Vietnam War. Its story is captivating with a well-developed set of characters, and the setting has an interesting choice of scenes and locations which calls for an amazing set of props.  Many things were done well in Miss Saigon, and many things were done not so well.

Miss Saigon is the story of an unlikely love story between a U.S. soldier and a Vietnamese prostitute.  Because of the war, the relationship becomes tense and complicated.  It is a very involving story giving perspectives of both the U.S. and the Vietnamese.

To kick off, the music was not catchy and tended to drag at some points. For example, a 20-minute scene in America was drawn out by songs with an extremely slow-paced song that didn’t add to the story whatsoever. It was very generic and this, coupled with the EXTREMELY drawn out storyline, caused the show to be boring at times.

The phenomenal use of props helped to make up for the pacing problem. The props were so creative and implemented so well that it made the whole show more enjoyable. Without spoiling much, there was a whole helicopter on set that actually flew.  There was also an entire wall on wheels that moved all over the stage: it was used to show the different points of view of the Vietnamese and the American soldiers. It created a phenomenal and a truly unique experience.

The whole experience leaves the audience satisfied but still wanting.  The show just doesn’t feel like all 2 hours and 40 minutes were filled with details essential to the story.  For example, there was a near 20-minute song that took place in the home of the engineer that, while somewhat entertaining, was very slow in pace and didn’t add much to the story.  It’s almost as if the writers added dialogue for the sake of adding dialogue, like the petty drama with the engineer and his “girls”.  Most of the songs were drawn out, and only a portion were truly enjoyable.

The acting, on the other hand, was done extremely well and the ending does its job in terms of invoking feeling–it’s hard to say anymore without spoilers. Because the show was cast perfectly, the scenes seemed believable as pointless as some of them were.

Miss Saigon is an experience—one that utilizes settings and ideas that haven’t been done often.  Although its story is hindered by pacing, feeling empty and half-assed, it is made up for with its phenomenal use of props and casting.  C+

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The Heat is On in “Saigon’