Red Concepcion, Gerald Santos to join Miss Saigon UK tour

by Mari-An Santos
Apr 14, 2017
Red Concepcion (left) will play The Engineer while Gerald Santos is cast as Thuy in the Miss Saigon UK tour.

Five Filipinos have been initially announced as part of the Miss Saigon UK tour. Aside from the UK, the cast will also tour Ireland.

Theatre veteran Red Concepcion shared his elation at being cast to headline the UK Tour of Miss Saigon.

On his Twitter account, he posted on April 11: “Im proud to announce that I will be playing The Engineer in the UK tour of Miss Saigon! So stoked!!”

Red is the older brother of Sam Concepcion. He was recently seen onstage in PETA’s Caredivas and Resorts World Manila’s restaging of Annie. He has also received an Aliw Award and Gawad Buhay Award for his role in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

Meanwhile, 2006 Pinoy Pop Superstar champion Gerald Santos posted on Twitter: “It’s official guys, i’ll play the role of THUY for @MissSaigonUK tour this July! Thank you Lord!”

Joreen Bautista will be the alternate for Sooha Kim as the lead. This will be the 17-year-old Kapampangan lass’ first big theatre break. On her Instagram account, she announced: “I have a heart like the sea.. a million dreams are in me!” Officially announced! I will be playing Alternate Kim in the upcomin Miss Saigon UK Tour!”

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Christian Rey Marbella is also cast as alternate Engineer. Marbella, a native son of Cebu, auditioned for the Miss Saigon Manila production in 2000 and landed his big break as part of the ensemble. He was eventually invited to join the Asian tour and then, the UK touring companies.

He has played alternate Engineer before and was part of the recently concluded West End run at the Prince Edward Theatre. He is even in the Miss Saigon: The 25th Anniversary Performance movie (now on DVD) alongside fellow Pinoys Jon-Jon Briones, Eva Noblezada, Rachelle Ann Go, Ariel Reonal, Ela Lisondra, among others.

Ela Lisondra, who also trained in dance at the University of the Philippines, came back to the Philippines after being part of the ensemble of the West End revival. She was last seen in 9Works Theatrical’s American Idiot and UP College of Music’s Putri Anak.

The UK tour of Miss Saigon will be staged from July 1-22 at the Curve Theater in Leicester, England.

Miss Saigon tells the story of the last days of the Vietnam War, 17 year-old Kim is forced to work in a Saigon bar run by a notorious character known as the Engineer. There she meets and falls in love with an American GI named Chris but they are torn apart by the fall of Saigon. For three years, Kim goes on an epic journey of survival to find her way back to Chris, who has no idea he's fathered a son.

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FILIPINOS’ HISTORY WITH MISS SAIGON. Filipino theatre performers and Miss Saigon have a history that dates back to the beginning.

Cameron Mackintosh’s production of the musical by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg premiered in London’s West End in 1989. It brought international fame to Lea Salonga, who was the first actress to play the role of Kim. Her performances in the West End and later, Broadway, productions won her the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical as well as a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical.

In 2014, Rachelle Ann Go was part of the West End revival as Gigi. She is currently playing the same role in the Broadway revival at the Broadway Theatre that opened in March 2017.

Miss Saigon has been performed in 28 countries, including in the Philippines.

Among the many Filipinos that have played roles are: Monique Wilson, Leo Valdez, Joanna Ampil, Jenine Desiderio, Pinky Amador, Jamie Rivera, Ima Castro, Robert Sena, Isay Alvarez, Michael Williams, Junix Inocian, Tanya Manalang, and Robbie Guevara.

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Red Concepcion (left) will play The Engineer while Gerald Santos is cast as Thuy in the Miss Saigon UK tour.
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