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  Review Round-Up
Miss Saigon
Miss Saigon

Miss Saigon
Drury Lane- Oakbrook
Thru - Mar 8, 2009

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Drury Lane- Oakbrook

Chicago Tribune- Highly Recommended

"...To a large extent, the mission of this theater is to produce exciting, accessible Broadway musicals in a theater that’s closer to most of its patrons’ homes, offering them lower prices than the Loop and free parking, and allowing them to interact with these popular shows in a more intimate fashion. That’s exactly what Rachel Rockwell’s production, which is far more formatively ambitious and emotionally intense than the recent Marriott Theatre version, achieves."
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Chris Jones



Chicago Sun Times- Highly Recommended

"...it is the musical's gorgeous, aria-like duets and riveting solos that thrill most in this show inspired by Puccini's "Madame Butterfly" but retrofitted to the events of the Vietnam War. Two of the leads -- Joseph Anthony Foronda (sly, raucous and mocking in the crucial role of "The Engineer," the Eurasian pimp hellbent on getting to the United States), and Melinda Chua Smith (deeply touching as Kim, the Vietnamese girl who falls madly in love with Chris, an American soldier) -- have played their roles before and display the special command that comes from long experience. They are superb."
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Hedy Weiss



Daily Herald- Highly Recommended

"...Welcome news for suburban theatergoers. Drury Lane Oak Brook's well-sung, wisely staged revival of "Miss Saigon" suggests that the renaissance that began at the theater last winter with the sizzling "Sweet Charity," followed by the glorious "Boys from Syracuse" and top-drawer "Mame," shows no signs of tapering off."
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Barbara Vitello



NewCity Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...Drury Lane’s production, in a lean and fluid staging by director Rachel Rockwell and choreographer Stacey Flaster, also thrills the ears and eyes as there isn’t a weak voice in the cast—the women are particularly strong belters—while musical director Roberta Duchak sustains tension throughout the show’s many shifting tempos. And the production looks gorgeous: designer Kevin Depinet’s structure of slatted bamboo walls sets the right mood and becomes a neutral canvas upon which Jesse Klug’s sumptuous lighting and Mike Tutaj’s smart projections easily create atmosphere (from a fiery sunrise to a boysenberry-colored sunset)."
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Fabrizio O. Almeida



Windy City Times- Recommended

"...The spectacle in this Miss Saigon might not be as grand as its original production. Yet Drury Lane comes through where it counts emotionally, and that's more important."
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Scott C. Morgan



Chicago Free Press- Recommended

"...Joseph Anthony Foronda (who played the role in the 2000 touring production) embodies smarmy opportunism as the fortune-hunting pimp who fantasizes a Yankee future. As the lovers, Kevin Vortmann and Melinda Chua Smith are ardent but no more impressive apart than together. Whether this story is cynical, sentimental or inevitable depends entirely on the observer. That’s both the show’s greatest strength and its most obvious weakness."
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Lawrence Bommer



EpochTimes- Highly Recommended

"...When one thinks of "Miss Saigon", the Tony Award winning musical/operetta by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michael Schonberg ( who also brought us "Les Miserables") ,one thinks of large scale, big theater productions and that is what we were presented for many years. A few seasons back, Marriott Theatre at Lincolnshire showed us that the spectacle of a BIG show could be put on in an intimate regional theater and not lose the grandness, and now, under the innovative direction of Rachel Rockwell and the sensational choreography of Stacey Flaster, The Drury Lane Oakbrook has topped that! What a production!"

Al Bresloff



Copley News Service- Highly Recommended

"...Miss Saigon” will stretch a Drury Lane audience accustomed to lighter and less demanding fare. And the theater budget certainly is being stretched by the huge cast and impressive production values. But the results are there for everyone to appreciate and admire."

Dan Zeff



Centerstage- Highly Recommended

"...Everything about this production is first rate, from Ms. Rockwell's decision to move much of the story as close to the audience as possible to Roberta Duchak's lush 11-piece orchestra to Stacey Flaster's dynamic choreography, and Kevin Depinet and Jesse Klug's dramatic set and lighting designs. Broadway actors Melinda Chua Smith and Kevin Vortmann soar musically as Kim and Chris."





ChicagoCritic- Highly Recommended

"...Several highlights mark this smart production: Stacey Flaster’s fresh choreography particularly in “The American Dream” show stopper and the “The Morning of the Dragon.” Joe Foronda is the show’s anchor as the Engineer—the street wise hustler bent on getting to the USA. Foronda’s long experience works to give depth and edge to this sleazy character. His performance alone makes it worth seeing the show! The deft staging, lighting and sound are among the show’s strengths."
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Tom Williams



Chicago Stage Standard- Highly Recommended

"...Director Rachel Rockwell knows that the heart of good musical theatre is not chandeliers, barricades or even helicopters but real people and emotions. That those heart-tugging emotions have been heightened to such exquisite heights here is a great feather in the caps of its production team, cast and crew. An accomplished actress, dancer and choreographer, Rachel Rockwell here serves notice that she is also a director of unlimited depth and vision."

Joe Stead