Broadway in Spokane season-opener pass over Saigon brings one actor to the promised land his man or woman yearns for

Red Concepción engineered his first-ever trip to America by landing a role in Miss Saigon. - MATTHEW MURPHY PHOTOwith the aid of Dan Nailen

Crimson Concepción engineered his first-ever experience to the usa by way of touchdown a position in miss Saigon. – MATTHEW MURPHY photograph
Matthew Murphy photograph
crimson Concepción engineered his first-ever journey to the usa through touchdown a function in leave out Saigon.
Red Concepción wasn’t amazed while casting administrators for the today’s British and U.S. excursions of miss Saigon came to his native Philippines. His dad and mom have been each musical-theater actors, and the soundtrack of miss Saigon become in normal rotation at his house developing up.

“in the records of pass over Saigon, there is continually been Filipinos,” Concepción says, noting that the unique “Kim” from the 1989 London surest and its later Broadway debut changed into Manila native Lea Salonga. “on every occasion they solid a pass over Saigon, they visit the Philippines. I went to a livestock call, and were given referred to as back to be the Engineer.”

The Engineer is without difficulty the slimiest man or woman in the epic remodeling of Puccini opera Madame Butterfly, updated to take region in Vietnam in the ’70s and telling the tale of a snakebit romance between a U.S. soldier and a young Vietnamese bar female. The Engineer owns Dreamland, a bar and brothel where U.S. soldiers pay the the us-obsessed Engineer for get admission to to the younger women.

when Concepción landed the element, the 33-12 months-old actor changed into excited on the risk to take his profession to a brand new stage — and take a trip to the us for the first time.

“All of the places in this tour, it’s the primary time i’ve ever been to them,” Concepción says. “people are telling me i am seeing extra of the U.S. than a few people [have seen]. i am getting, like, a crash course in america, and seeing all of it.”

The instructions started out nicely earlier than he did the excursion of the UK remaining yr — especially while he learned just how huge a role the Engineer is. despite the fact that he grew up a theater kid, he’d in no way truely visible leave out Saigon earlier than he auditioned. And as soon as he turned into solid, he found out that his dad and mom had not performed all the miss Saigon soundtrack at some point of his adolescence.

“I grew up with pass over Saigon, taking note of maximum of the music of it,” Concepción says. “My mom would bypass over the Engineer’s songs because they weren’t baby-suitable.

“So I had no concept that the function changed into that huge! i’d by no means seen it, all I had finished was concentrate to a number of the songs. That type of got here as a surprise. At the first day of rehearsal, i used to be like, ‘Oh my god, that is a large position!'”


omit Saigon, Oct. 23-27

Jesus Christ celeb, Nov. 20-24

An American in Paris, Jan. 14-15, 2020

Jimmy Buffett’s break out to Margaritaville, Jan. 21-26, 2020

The Simon & Garfunkel tale, Feb. 26, 2020

Chicago, Feb. 29-March 1, 2020

as soon as in this Island, March 17-18, 2020

Jersey Boys, April 2-5, 2020

The book of Mormon , may additionally five-10, 2020

imply women, Aug. 11-sixteen, 2020
A huge function and a dream come true for the actor who has discovered a way to tempo himself on those yr-lengthy tours so he can see as an awful lot of the cities in which the show lands as feasible while nonetheless being in preventing form for performances. The Engineer is a demanding role requiring quite a few making a song and dancing, at the vanguard of a large cast and one of the legendarily ornate degree productions in Broadway records.

one of the challenges for the actor turned into locating a manner to deliver the reality that the Engineer is “very charming and charismatic” in spite of the reality he is “virtually a pretty terrible person.” The target audience desires to be drawn to the Engineer even because it’s repelled by his deeds. Concepción absolutely enjoys how a great deal the Engineer takes from iconic American film characters, and he’s used that to inform the way he moves in individual, in addition to how he talks.

“The Engineer is this sort of complicated individual, so every day you may form of discover new matters,” Concepción says.

On occasion, in the midst of a overall performance, Concepción catches himself surprised that he is part of a solid traveling the world in one in every of theater’s most famend indicates, specifically whilst the plot arrives at his favourite music from listening to the pass over Saigon soundtrack developing up.

“‘I still agree with,’ which is sung by means of Kim and Ellen, that is my preferred quantity,” Concepción says. “I form of must, like, forestall myself from taking note of it due to the fact I usually get, like, moved. And i have a absolutely active number after it. however i like it.” n

Miss Saigon • Oct. 23-27; Wed-Fri at 7:30 pm, Sat at 2 pm and 7:30 pm, sun at 1 pm and 6:30 pm • $60-$116 • First Interstate middle for the arts • 334 W. Spokane Falls Blvd. • broadwayspokane.com •

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