'Miss Saigon' revival hasn't found new Kim yet
Search for new 'Miss Saigon' continues in NY
MANILA -- With less than a year before the opening of the revival of "Miss Saigon" in the West End, it seems the producers of the well-loved musical have yet to settle on who will take on the lead role of Kim, as one more round of auditions is reportedly being held in New York later this month.
Late last year, a group led by executive producer Trevor Jackson and director Laurence Connor went to the Philippines and held a casting search for the musical's revival.
Citing a casting notice sent to talent agents early this week, theater news site Broadway World reported Wednesday that auditions for the roles of "Kim" and "The Engineer" will be held in New York.
This latest round of auditions comes seven months ahead of the revival's opening night, reportedly on May 1 at the Prince Edward Theatre in London. The rehearsals, Broadway World reported, will begin on March 10 next year.
Auditions for "Miss Saigon" were earlier held in London last July after the Manila casting call in November 2012.
The casting search in the Philippines came 23 years after "Miss Saigon" producer Cameron Mackintosh recruited talents from the country to star in the original West End production.
Lea Salonga clinched the lead role as Kim, a 17-year-old orphan forced to become a bar girl in war-torn Vietnam, with Monique Wilson alternating. Isay Alvarez was also part of the original cast as Gigi, a hardened Saigon stripper.
When "Miss Saigon" held auditions in Manila last year, Mackintosh's Philippine representative Dong Alegre said the team was searching for "a new first Kim who will perform most of the shows, an alternate or second Kim, and a third Kim who’s normally chosen from the ensemble."
No casting reports have been announced since, although several names came up in a report detailing the female hopefuls who made it to the final round of the Manila auditions.
Among them were former Kapamilya singer Rachelle Ann Go, theater actresses Tanya Manalang and Apple Chiu, singer-actress Frencheska Farr, Emerald Bañares and Mary Jane Solomon.
It is unclear whether the New York round of auditions means that those who have earlier auditioned in Manila and London did not impress the production team and will no longer be considered for roles in the revival.