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Miss Saigon Opens at UH Hilo on Thursday

Miss Saigon, the award-winning musical about love and loss in the Vietnam War, opens at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Performing Arts Center Thursday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m. for a two-weekend run. Other show dates are April 11, 12, 17, 18 & 19 at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, April 13, at 2 pm.

Miss SaigonCreated by Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil in 1989 as a pop opera, Miss Saigon is directed by UH Hilo Performing Arts Department Professor Jackie Pualani Johnson with Armando Mendoza as Musical Director and faculty choreographer Celeste Staton. A cast of 37 performers bring to life the story of an American G.I. who falls in love with a Vietnamese girl just as Saigon is sieged by the North Vietnamese.

“This superb artistic team is joined by UH Hilo Performing Arts senior Katherine Wilson as vocal director and advanced student choreographers Kawehi Kanoho-Kalahiki and Kawai Soares, and assistant directors Kimo Apaka, a UH Hilo Performing Arts graduate, and Denyse Woo-Ockerman,” said PAC Manager Lee Dombroski.

The cast includes Norman Arancon as The Engineer, Rachel Edwards as Kim, Scott Wuscher as the American G.I., and the working girls of the Dreamland Bar: Gigi, Mimi, Yvette, and Yvonne, played by Lilinoe Kauahikaua, Angeline Jara, Bailey Woolridge, and Kawehi Kanoho-Kalahiki. Arancon is a faculty member at UH Hilo, and the women in the bar are created by UH Hilo students. Wuscher is a community member who returns to the UH Hilo stage to realize the turmoil of a soldier caught in the war’s emotional choices.

Tickets are reserved seating and priced at $20 General, $15 Discount and $10 UH Hilo/HawCC students (with a valid student ID) and children, up to age 17, and are available by calling the UH Hilo Box Office at 932-7490 or ordering online at artscenter.uhh.hawaii.edu.

UH Hilo Presents Miss Saigon

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Performing Arts Department presents Miss Saigon, the award-winning musical written by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil, opening April 10th at 7:30 p.m. for a two- weekend run at the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center (PAC).

Miss Saigon

A cast of 37 performers and conductor Armando Mendoza bring to life the story of an American G.I. who experiences war’s emotional choices when he falls in love with a Vietnamese girl just as Saigon is besieged by the North Vietnamese.

Advanced student choreographers and directors have joined faculty choreographer Celeste Staton and stage director Jackie Pualani Johnson to create several dances and scenes. They include Dance majors Kawehi Kanoho-Kalahiki and Kawai Soares, who devised original choreography for The Fall of Saigon and The Heat is on in Saigon, two iconic numbers that set the backdrop of the war.

The dances feature College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management faculty member Norman Arancon as The Engineer; Rachel Edwards, a Performing Arts Department Senior in her final semester as a music concentration major as Kim; community member Scott Wuscher as the American GI; and UH Hilo students Lilinoe Kauahikaua, Angeline Jara, Bailey Woolridge, and Kanoho-Kalahiki as the working girls of the Dreamland Bar: Gigi, Mimi, Yvette and Yvonne.

Miss Saigon also marks the full-scale musical debut of Performing Arts graduate Kimo Apaka and senior Denyse Woo-Ockerman, who completed the University’s stage directing course and will stage several songs in the production.

Tickets are available by calling 932-7490 or can be purchased online at artsctr@hawaii.edu.

For more information, contact Professor Johnson at 932-7491 or email jpjohnso@hawaii.edu.

Auditions for Miss Saigon – UH Hilo’s Spring Musical

Open auditions for college-age and older actors for the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Performing Arts Department’s spring musical, Miss Saigon¸ will be held on January 20 and 21, 2014 on the main stage of the UH Hilo Performing Arts Center beginning at 7 p.m.

Miss Saigon
All auditionees will be required to sing at the audition, either as a soloist if seeking a lead role, or in a group if interested in a chorus role. Soloists must bring sheet music for 16 bars of a song from the musical theatre genre while chorus auditionees will be taught a song from the show at the audition. A dance sequence will also be taught so comfortable clothing that allows movement is essential.

The Boubil-Schonberg-Maltby musical, based on Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, takes place in Vietnam in the mid-1970s as American troops vacate Saigon, leaving behind a war-ravaged country and unexpected love. The musical won numerous awards, including 1991 Tony awards for Best Actress and Best Actor in a Musical, and has toured the world ever since its premiere in 1989.

UH Hilo Professor Jackie Pualani Johnson directs the show, with retired Department of Education teacher and professional musician, Armando Mendoza, as musical director. UH Hilo dance instructor, Celeste Staton, choreographs, with Kawai Soares and Kawehi Kanoho-Kalahiki as student choreographers. Amy Horst, director of choral activities at UH Hilo, teams with senior Kait Wilson to work with singers. Ariana Bassett, the UH Hilo resident designer, is in charge of scenery and lighting.

“Several lead roles are available: The Engineer, half-Vietnamese and half-French, who is a raunchy master of ceremonies/pimp in a Saigon bar; Kim, a girl orphaned at 17 and forced to make a living dancing with soldiers in the Dreamland bar; Thuy, promised to Kim in marriage but now embittered and rising in Communist military ranks; Chris, the American G.I. who falls inexplicably in love with Kim; John, Chris’ G.I. friend who eventually follows his conscience; and Ellen, who married Chris years after his Vietnam tour and chooses to stand by his side,” Johnson noted.

Secondary roles call for strong actors/singers/dancers as Gigi, Mimi, Yvette, and Yvonne, who work at Dreamland and share Kim’s hopes for a better life. Finally, a young Eurasian boy, age 3-5, is needed to play Tam, the child arising from Kim and Chris’ union. Parents of young actors interested in this role should contact Professor Johnson to discuss the rehearsal and performance commitment at 932-7491 or by e-mail: jpjohnso@hawaii.edu.