This Saturday, we will be watching Miss Saigon! I am just getting excited knowing that most of the casts are pinoys!
Courtesy of :www.melbournestage.com
Miss Saigon | Cameron Mackintosh
The entire company of MISS SAIGON has arrived in Melbourne after five weeks of intensive rehearsals in Sydney, to commence their final onstage preparations towards the first performance on Saturday 17th March 2007.
Her Majesty’s Theatre is a buzz with activity on stage and backstage as the cast familiarize themselves with their new home and surroundings in readiness for their Melbourne debut.
This awe-inspiring entirely new production of MISS SAIGON, created by Cameron Mackintosh, is as exciting and even more emotionally involving than his original production, using cutting edge visual techniques and a brilliant new set to vividly recreate the streets of Vietnam and Bangkok.
MISS SAIGON is an epic love story about the relationship between Chris, an American GI and Kim, a young Vietnamese woman during the final days of the U.S. occupation of Saigon. Kim is working in a sleazy Saigon nightclub owned by a notorious wheeler-dealer known as ‘The Engineer’. John, another American GI, buys his friend Chris the services of Kim for the night. That night will change their lives forever.
The Australian producers, Michael Coppel Ventures & Louise Withers and Associates are extremely proud that MISS SAIGON features 34 talented Australian artists, plus two stars from MISS SAIGON’s international cast – Leo Tavarro Valdez and Laurie Cadevida.
Leo Tavarro Valdez has played ‘The Engineer’ in over 2000 performances in five countries. Laurie Cadevida is playing Kim, as she has done on the US tour of MISS SAIGON for the past three years; and Australia’s Jennifer Trijo will also play the role of Kim at certain performances. David Harris, well known in Australian musical theatre, plays the role of Chris. Juan Jackson joins the cast after three years with the Australian Opera, performing the role of John. Sophie Katinis, known to television audiences plays Ellen, with RJ Rosales, who has returned to Australia after performing in Manila and Singapore, playing Thuy and Christina Tan playing the role of Gigi. Seven local Melbourne children share the role of Tam.
Making up the stellar ensemble cast are: Rick Lau, Stephen Mahy, Rhoda Lopez, Anthony Harkin, Matt Lee, Samantha Lau, Luke Sherrell, Marcus Rivera, Fely Irvine, Ed Deganos, Jennifer De Leon, Darren Tyler, Stephanie Delaney, Lorry D’Ercole, Kaylie Yee, Michael Snell, Soolin Ong-Tan, Nick Jones, Mitchell Winter, Shingo Usami, Raymond Balisoro, Daniel Aguilar, Kaeng Chan, Ethan Ihanh, Ben Osborne, Jim Williams, Rowena Vilar and Leah Lim.
MISS SAIGON has music by Claude-Michel Schönberg with lyrics by Richard Maltby Jnr and Alain Boublil, adapted from original French lyrics by Alain Boublil.
Laurence Connor directs this stunning new production with choreography by Geoffrey Garratt, based on Bob Avian’s original work.
Further enhancing this creative team is the internationally renowned illustrator Gerald Scarfe who has created his own inimitable take on the famous show stopping production number, “The American Dream”.
MISS SAIGON will only be in Melbourne for a limited 16-week season, with no extension possible.
Performances will commence at Melbourne’s beloved Her Majesty’s Theatre on Saturday 17 March in the lead-up to the gala opening night on Thursday 29 March 2007.
Laurie Cadevida – playing Kim
Laurie Cadevida, born and raised in Los Angeles, Califonia, will play the role
of Kim. Other Miss Saigon productions and shows she has been a part of include: US National Tour (Kim), the Armory Theatre (Kim) and Aida
(Amneris), Lenape PAC (Mimi/Kim u/s), the Pajama Game (Poopsie) and the Robberbride Groom. Laurie was a two-time champion on PAX TX’s Ed McMahon’s Next Big Star and has performed in LA venues such as the Staple’s Center and Dodger Stadium.
Jennifer Trijo – playing Kim
Jennifer Trijo was born in Manila, Philippines and despite having been raised in Sydney, Australia; she is still fluent in her native tongue. Miss Saigon is Jennifer’s debut in professional theatre. She has just completed her 3rd year at the University of New South Wales studying a double degree in Music and Education. She will complete her final year upon completion of this tour. She is also a dedicated chorister having been a member of the Collegium Musicum Choir for 3 years. Outside of her studies, she participates in workshops to further improve her skills including NIDA’s Voice Intensive; and an Alexander Technique Acting workshop run by David Letch at Screenwise.
Jennifer has been involved in community theatre and her credits include: the role of Linda Low in Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song (Aha Productions); and Bizet’s Carmen-The Musical (Alexander Productions) at Sydney Theatre. She is also a very proactive performer in the Filipino and Australian community and has been a supporting act for many prominent Filipino artists during their Sydney Tours including: Kuh Ledesma; Zsa Zsa Padilla; Vina Morales; The Hunks; Martin Nievera; Gary Valenciano; Southborder; and Nina. She holds pageant titles including Miss Philippine Independence 2001, and Miss Teen Philippines Sydney 1999, as well as being the pioneer recipient of the Good Shepherd Performing Arts award 1999.
Jennifer has recently begun to make a name for herself in the Cabaret Circuit after garnering several talent quest titles over the years resulting in performances of solo cabaret sets at venues including Illawarra Catholic Club; Cabbravale Diggers; and Toukley RSL. She has been a featured vocalist in Wayne Cornell’s touring “Back to the Tivoli” shows at Twin Towns Services Club; Central Coast Leagues; and Casino RSL. Jennifer has been a singer in the Showband “Family von Trapp” for 2 years beginning in 2005 and has performed extensively throughout the Eastern Coast of Australia in Corporate and Club performances.
Leo Tavarro Valdez – playing The Engineer
At six, Leo sang solo “God Bless You Merry Gentlemen” in his church Christmas program. Later, encouraged by his mother, he won singing honors at school, and also in Port Washington High School, Wisconsin, USA where he spent time as an American Field Service Scholar. After three years at University studying architecture, he went on to become one of the Philippines’ best known performers. His name there is a byword in radio, television and in the world of musical theatre. He has won three Best Male Performer Awards from ALIW, the country’s highest entertainment award-giving body. The Philippine National Press Club Annual TINIG (Voice) Awards named him three times as “one of the most outstanding singers in the country”.
He has released six record albums, three of which have turned gold. Leo represented the Philippines in the first Asian Song Festival where he won the grand prize. He was awarded the best singer award and the song “Magsimula Ka” won the best song award. He is at ease performing before an intimate crowd or at the big stadiums of 20,000 or more, and has done shows and concerts all over Asia, Europe and America. His theatre credits include Ravana in “Ramahari”, and the Good God Manama in “Tales of the Manuvu”, both presented by the Cultural Centre of the Philippines. He has starred in the most successful musical extravaganzas at the Manila Metropolitan Theatre: “Hindi Kita Malimot”, “Dahil Sa Iyo”, “Gomburza”, “Ewagan” and “Sarungbanggi” where the audience honored the cast with standing ovations at every performance. 1993 was a major turning point when he played the role of Jean Valjean in a repertory Philippines production of “Les Misérables”.
The acclaim of critics and the audience gave him encouragement to audition for “The Engineer” in one of the most successful theatre productions of all time, “Miss Saigon”. He played the role for almost a year at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in London. Back in the Philippines he essayed the role of Freddie Trumper in the New Voice Company production of “Chess, The Musical”. In 1996, Leo reprised the coveted role of “The Engineer” in the Sydney production of “Miss Saigon”. After the stint in Sydney, Leo was busy doing television shows and concert tours all over the Philippines. Concert tours of major cities in Asia, Australia, and America followed before Leo returned to “Miss Saigon” in London, playing “The Engineer” for the next two years until the production closed in October 1999. Leo also starred in the sell-out production of “Miss Saigon” in the Far East (Manila, Hong Kong & Singapore) for a year and reprised the role for the two year UK National Tour right after he was honored in his country with a Lifetime Achievement Award in the field of Performing Arts. Whenever the opportunity arises he is most happy doing charity fund-raisers either for the church or civic minded groups helping the underprivileged. Ever thankful of the support of his family and friends, Leo credits the Divine Almighty for all the wonderful things that he has been continuously blessed with.
RJ Rosales – playing Thuy
RJ’s professional career started when he joined the ensemble of the original Australian production of ‘Miss Saigon’ in 1996, a major turning point for RJ who was a banker with a BS Mathematics degree. Afterwards, he moved to Singapore and has established himself as a much- sought- after artist both in theatre and television. His theatre credits include lead roles in ‘Chang and Eng- the Musical’ (Singapore, 99,’01, Thailand ‘01 and Malaysia ’02), ‘The Student Prince’, ‘Man of Letters’, ‘Cabaret , and ‘Forbidden City’. TV credits are Channel 5’s ‘ABC’s of Health’, ‘Spin’ and recently ‘Style Doctors’.
In the concert scene, he has performed to sold out solo concerts at the Jubilee Hall, the Esplanade Concert Hall and at The Waterfront, DBS Theatre, and numerous Community Chest Charity Galas. Other accolades include several print and tv ads.
RJ’s career in the Philippines is also extensive, as a singer, actor, host celebrity endorser and recording artist and has worked with the biggest names in the country. He has appeared in numerous TV shows, live concerts and theatre productions, and recorded for various soundtracks. Recently, he was seen in the MMFF Best Movie for 2005, “Blue Moon” where he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
He has also held concerts in the US, Australia, Japan and Thailand(with the Bangkok Symphonic Orchestra).
As a recording artist, he recorded the single ‘A Perfect World’ and the complete recording of ‘Chang and Eng-the Musical’ in Singapore. And in the Philippines, the hit movie theme song, ‘Together Forever’ ,and his single ‘Tulad Ng Dati’ a top 10 Hit in YESfm’s Chart, with its music video making it to the top5 in KoolFM’s countdown. Currently his ‘Tulad ng Dati’ MTV can be seen on TFC (The Filipino Channel) around the world.
RJ is thrilled to be back home in Australia and to be again part of the production which started it all for him. Proudly taking on the role of Thuy this time, the critically acclaimed international artist has indeed come full circle.