Lea Salonga premiered the role of Kim in the original 1989 MISS SAIGON, then Jon Jon Briones sang the role of The Engineer in the 2014 revival, and now another Philippino actor, Red Concepción, proudly takes the stage in the new 2018-2019 U.S. tour for which he promises "producer Cameron Mackintosh has spared no expense."
MISS SAIGON is a musical by the team that created LES MISERABLES, Shönberg and Boublil, who were inspired by a magazine photo showing a Vietnamese mother leaving her child at a departure gate to board an airplane headed for the United States where the child's father, an ex-G.I., might offer the child a better life. With that image of sacrifice in mind, they wrote the musical's book, based on the opera MADAMA BUTTERFLY by Puccini, about an American G.I. who leaves behind a young Asian wife and, unaware that he is a father, marries an American bride.
In the musical, with somewhat edgy lyrics by American Leonard Maltby, Jr., Kim is an innocent 17 year-old working as a dancer in a club run by The Engineer that caters to every depravity when Chris, a sergeant, falls in love with her. As Saigon falls, Chris is one of the last Americans leaving from the roof of the U.S. Embassy but Kim is lost in the crush. Three years later, Chris's friend John who works for an international children's relief organization, locates Kim who has escaped from Vietnam to Thailand with the aid of The Engineer, the hustler who sees Kim's infant son Tam as his passport to America. John attempts a reconciliation between Chris, Chris's American wife Ellen, Kim, and Tam.