SJU Theater Company to Present 'Miss Saigon'

Story Highlights

  • Miss Saigon opens Thursday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. in Bluett Theatre, and runs through Sunday, Feb. 26.
  • Performances are in Bluett Theatre, Post Hall, on Overbrook Ave. near 56th street.
  • Tickets are $10 for SJU students, faculty, staff (showing proper identification), and senior citizens, and $18 for general admission. To reserve tickets, call 610-660-1181.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

PHILADELPHIA (Feb. 6, 2012) – The Saint Joseph’s University Theatre Company is turning up the heat this winter with a performance of the musical Miss Saigon. The show opens Thursday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. in Bluett Theatre, and runs through Sunday, Feb. 26.

The writers of Les Miserables, Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil, were inspired to write a contemporary version of Giacomo Puccini’s opera, Madame Butterfly, thus creating Miss Saigon. The musical takes place in the 1970s during the Vietnam War, and tells of a tragic love story between an American G.I. and a Vietnamese bar girl.

Renee Dobson, M.F.A., the show’s director and an associate professor of theatre in the department of music, theatre & film, says the SJU Theatre Company makes the musical unique. “What’s nice is that the characters in the musical are the ages of the students.” She adds, “It really strikes a chord and I think it gives it realism that you don’t usually have when you see it in a New York setting.”

The student performers have taken a further personal approach to the musical than memorizing lines. “The actors have been very conscientious about really researching the period, about watching films and documentaries that chronicle the war, and they’ve related it to themselves.” Dobson adds that the actors are interacting with the history of the war, and are learning about it from a personal point of view, which is influential, as it is a part of our history as Americans.

To ensure authenticity, Dobson enlisted professionals and guest artists to work with the students. Douglass Lutz, the musical director for The Walnut Street Theatre, has been brought in as the guest musical director. The set is also being brought in from The Walnut Street Theatre, after producing Miss Saigon last year. The10-person orchestra consists of students and professionals.

Performing Miss Saigon is vocally challenging, yet the students are fulfilling the demanding requirements. “It’s all structured very high,” Dobson says, “The actors are handling it, and I think it’s a good challenge, because they’re learning to meet it, and in many ways, exceed it.”

Performances run Feb. 16 through Feb. 25 at 8 p.m., with a matinee on Feb. 26 at 2 p.m. in Bluett Theatre, Post Hall, on Overbrook Ave. near 56th street. Tickets are $10 for SJU students, faculty, staff (showing proper identification), and senior citizens, and $18 for general admission. To reserve tickets, call 610-660-1181. For more information, or to order tickets online, visit the SJU Theatre Company’s website.




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