Classic love story brought up-to-date in 'Miss Saigon' at Starlight

Miss Saigon, one of the most stunning theatrical spectacles of all time, will be produced by Starlight Theatre, September 7-13. In Miss Saigon, Puccini’s Madame Butterfly is brought to the modern world. This powerful pop opera is an emotional tale about forbidden love, the tragedies of war and the sacrifices made to achieve the American Dream.

Miss Saigon is a love story about the relationship between an American GI and a young Vietnamese woman during the American occupation of Saigon during the Vietnam War. The Tony Award-winning musical was created by Claude Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil, the visionaries behind Les Miserables, and features a series of sensational musical numbers including, “Why God Why?” and “The American Dream.” It remains the 11th longest-running Broadway musical in musical theatre history.

“For Starlight’s production of Miss Saigon, we have assembled a stellar cast under the direction of internationally recognized artists that includes Director Fred Hanson, Music Director Kevin Stites and Choreographer Baayork Lee,” said Denton Yockey, President and Executive Producer of Starlight. “They are each established leaders in the musical theatre industry, and I cannot underscore enough what a thrill and a tremendous privilege it has been to have them in Kansas City rehearsing and preparing this production.”

Starlight Theatre is the lead producer of Miss Saigon. After opening in Kansas City, the co-production will travel to the Bushnell Theatre in Hartford, the Fisher Theatre in Detroit and the Ordway Theatre in St. Paul. It is Starlight’s sixth and final production in its 2013 Broadway Series, and is presented by U.S. Bank.

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION The creative team for Miss Saigon includes: Director Fred Hanson who is based in New York and Rio de Janeiro. In Brazil, he has directed new production of Baby and Jekyll & Hyde. Hanson’s previous experience with Miss Saigon includes Associate Director to Nicholas Hytner on the original Broadway productions and directing his own versions for the St. Louis Muny, São Paulo and Tokyo (2004 & 2008).

Music Director Kevin Stites served as the Music Supervisor, Arranger and Music Director for the Broadway musical A Tale of Two Cities; the Music Supervisor and Incidental Music Composer for the Broadway musical and the national tour of The Color Purple; and the Music Director of the Broadway revival of Les Miserables.

Choreographer Baayork Lee debuted on Broadway at the age of 4 as Princess Ying Yaawolak in the original production of The King and I in 1951. Lee was a member of the original 1975 Broadway cast of A Chorus Line, which won nine Tony Awards and the 1975 Pulitzer Prize. She has started her own production company, the National Asian Arts Project, in order to open theatre doors for people of Asian descent.

The talented cast includes: Charlie Brady, Katie Boren, Meggie Cansler, Andy Danh, Robyn DeGuzman, Rona Figueroa, Nkrumah Gatling, Dan Gleason, Chris Ignacio, Eric Anthony Johnson, Austin Ku, Jonny Hsu Lee, Glen Llanes, Garen McRoberts, Orville Mendoza, Shoba Narayanan, Manna Nichols, Rommel Pierre O’Choa, Alfie Parker Jr., David Raimo, Peter Romagna, Michiko Sasaki, Christopher Shin, Richard M. Steele, Viet Vo, Allen Lucky Weaver, Tyrick Wiltez Jones, Jessica Wu, Anna-Lee Wright, Minami Yusui, Arianna Yi, Sam Simahk, Yuki Ozeki and Daphne Valenta.

Other artists and staff include: Denton Yockey, Executive Producer; Kirk Bookman, Lighting Designer; Braxton Cornelius, Sound Designer; Mary Traylor; Costumer; Joanne Weaver, Wig Designer; Susan Kikuchi, Associate Choreographer; Robert Thurber, Production Stage Manager; Kent Andel, Production Manager; Caroline Lakin, Company Manager; and Randy Moreland, Head Carpenter.

TICKET AND THEATRE INFORMATION Tickets to Miss Saigon are now on sale for $10 - $135. Tickets are available at kcstarlight.com, by calling 816-363-STAR (7827) or in person at Starlight Theatre, 4600 Starlight Road. Box Office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Discounted ticket prices for groups of 15 or more can be ordered by contacting Stacey Million, Starlight’s group sales manager, at groups@kcstarlight.com or 816-997-1137.

All performances begin at 8 p.m. Dining options for Miss Saigon include pre-show dining in the VIP Club catered by Plaza Catering that includes hot buffet items, extensive salad selections, a veggie garden bar, desserts, and special children’s menu. Reservations may be made in advance; walk-ups are also welcome. The menu for Miss Saigon is posted at www.kcstarlight.com. Other dining options include concession stand favorites and pre-packaged salads and sandwiches on the Encore Deck.

Pre-show tours of the stage, Starlight’s Walk of Stars, gardens and fountains are offered nightly along with pre-show performances at the Starlight Square stage. Free nightly, behind-the-scenes tours with information about Starlight and its rich history begin at 6:30 p.m., 6:45 p.m., and 7 p.m. at the top of the theatre behind Terrace Section 1. The Ovation Gift Store is open from 6 p.m. through end of show. Accessible parking and guest assistance getting in and out of the theater are available. For information about other Starlight services, visit kcstarlight.com.

NOTABLE DATES September 7 - Opening Night. Performance will be described for the blind and visually impaired by Kansas Audio-Reader Network. September 8 - Performance will be interpreted for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. September 12 - Young Professionals Night. Young professionals receive a pre-show Happy Hour, special seating and group ticket discount price to the performance. For tickets, email stacey.million@kcstarlight.com

ABOUT STARLIGHT THEATRE Starlight Theatre opened in 1951 and is the largest and oldest performing arts organization in Kansas City and the second largest outdoor producing theatre in the country. In addition to presenting and producing Broadway musicals and concerts, the not-for-profit organization offers extensive community outreach and educational programming which includes classes, scholarships and Starlight’s Blue Star Awards, the second largest musical theatre award program for local high schools and students in the country. Located on 16 acres, Starlight’s venue includes rehearsal halls, gift store, club area for dining, concessions, gardens, fountains and a 10-story, climate-controlled stage.

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