MISS SAIGON, Mackintosh, Pryce, and Briones
Last Edit: BroadwayTonyJ 10:53 am EDT 04/20/24
Posted by: BroadwayTonyJ 10:52 am EDT 04/20/24
In reply to: re: Maryann and Mendez and Radcliffe and Ricamora - WaymanWong 07:12 pm EDT 04/19/24

Cameron Mackintosh, who is a successful and savvy businessman, presented Miss Saigon on the London stage in 1989. It was a big, expensive production that featured mostly unknown or little known actors, including a very young Lea Salonga. Mackintosh felt that he needed a "name" actor for the male lead, the Engineer, (who is half-Vietnamese and half-French) to guarantee ticket sales. He hired the distinguished Welsh actor Jonathan Pryce for the role. The show was a huge success in London, opened on Broadway in 1991 with Pryce and Salonga, and was again highly successful.

After Pryce departed the production, the engineer was played exclusively by Asian or Asian-American actors. Miss Saigon for nearly 35 years has been produced widely all over the world and has brought employment for hundreds (if not thousands) of actors with Asian ethnicity. If Macintosh had gambled by hiring an Asian actor without the drawing power of a Jonathan Pryce, there is no telling if the show would have been as successful. The original London and Broadway productions of Miss Saigon were commercial ventures and Macintosh chose to make what turned out to be a very wise business decision.

The 2017 revival of Miss Saigon with Briones and Noblezada received mixed reviews, ran a respectable 340 perfs and 24 previews, but was a financial failure. When Briones failed to get nominated for his various performances on stage and TV, it was because other actors received more votes.

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