See Miss Saigon

Rowan+Ferrier+and+Ryan+Sweatt+as+Chris+and+John++plot+a+way+for+Chris+to+see+Kim

Rowan Ferrier and Ryan Sweatt as Chris and John plot a way for Chris to see Kim

Samantha Wood

Concord High School’s production of the school version of Miss Saigon is fast approaching.
The production will run for three nights — May 14, 15 and 16 — at 7 p.m. in the Christa McAuliffe Auditorium at CHS. Tickets cost $10 for students and seniors and $12 for adults, and can be purchased in advance at the Music Department Office or at the door immediately prior to the show.
“I think it’s a beautiful and tragic story. The music is amazing and I think that any Concord High student would enjoy the show,” said junior Spenser Beaupre, cast as a member of the ensemble in the production.
CHS students playing main roles include Hannah Matillano as Kim (shown at lower left singing “The Dance”), Rowan Ferrier  as Chris, Ryan Sweatt as John, Pablo Rubin (Engineer), and Olivia Kinhan (Ellen), Kiersten Klose (Gigi), Lizzie Matillano (Mimi), Lainie Burgess (Yvette), Lindsay Irwin (Yvonne) and Austin Maheu (Thuy).
All of these people have been involved in the performing arts for years, as have members of the crew.
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Annika Vinje is serving as stage manager under director Clint Klose. Julia Lajoie is assistant stage manager. Jasmine Huffman, head choreographer, is assisted by Rubin. Stagehands are  Paige Cassidy, Alix Marrone, Samantha Lakin and Dannie Drewes.
Miss Saigon features music by Claude-Michel Schonberg, lyrics by Alain Boublil and Richard Maltby, Jr. The musical is set during the Vietnam War and follows a doomed romance between a Vietnamese woman, Kim, and an American soldier named Chris.
The original Broadway production opened in 1991 and was nominated for 11 Tony Awards, winning three. It ran for 10 years, closing in 2001. Numerous touring productions, as well as local theaters, have also performed the show.
The show has generated a number of protests, with some people calling it “historically inaccurate” or “offensive,” citing the portrayal and over-sexualization of Asian women in the club as well as themes of colonialism and privilege and a “glorified suicide.”
The CHS Drama Club, known as C.A.S.T., is producing the school version, which in movie terms would probably earn a rating of PG-13.
020“It also provides a little history about the Vietnam War that many may find interesting,” said Beaupre. “It’s a very moving show and I am so excited.”
Matillano, the show’s lead, said she’s finding the hardest part of her role “the amount of things I am responsible for. I have a lot of material to practice and memorize, and later on I have to worry about costume changes and props and working with different set pieces. I’m also required to attend all the rehearsals, so I have to balance that with regular schoolwork, which can be very stressful at times. But I am very excited.”
The show begins in a backstage club, Dreamland, run by the Engineer. In comes Kim, only seventeen and innocent. Her family died, so she ran away to work in the club where she meets Chris. The story follows how their lives turn out.
Many people are dedicating hours to making the production a success. Additional ensemble members include: Shauna Ashley, Delaney Collins, Franklin Didado, Rachel Ferrier, Juliet Greenwood, Hanna Lee, Skylar Mathews, Hannah Miller, Peter Newland, Sarah Nolin, Nathan Smith, Bea Spencer, Griffin Stuart and Bizzy Willing.
John Hatab is master builder in charge of set design. Props are being overseen by Samantha Wood and Amelia Ramsey. Kelley Crowe, Caitlin Klose and Eliza Richards are in charge of microphones.
Costumer Lynn Head is being assisted by Katharine Demers and Christina Kennard. Pat Richards is handling lighting and Alix Marrone, Samantha Lakin, Drewes and Ramsey fill out the painting and set building crew.
Drewes is also in charge of makeup. Jacob Dusseault and Tyler Shore are on spotlight.