Twenty-five years ago today, the first production of Miss Saigon opened at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane starring Lea Salonga. In 1994, I saw the show in Los Angeles at the Pantages Theatre starring Jennifer Paz (Melinda Chua alt.) as Kim. I remember thinking to myself “That’s what I want to do when I grow up.” My dreams came true full circle almost 10 years later when I was cast in the North American Tour with Jennifer. I lived that dream for a year and a half in the ensemble, covering the roles of Gigi and Kim.
It was such a wonderful time in my life. This show made me believe that there was room for me in the musical theatre world, and since then I’ve played many roles that both support and challenge my type. The friends I made because of this show are forever, and I have Miss Saigon to thank.
Here is a video of the musical farewell that my tour roommate Kyle Bruich and I recorded with the two kids who alternated the role of Tam (Jonathan Wade and Brianna Laxson). These kids are both taller than me now, and have been for awhile!
Please excuse the messy room in the video, haha!
Happy Birthday to Miss Saigon!