World premiere on
September 20, 1989,
at the Theatre Royal, London.
April 11, 1991,
at the Broadway Theatre, NY,
with a record-breaking $37 million
in advance sales.
than 25 million people
have seen Miss Saigon worldwide.
than 10 million in the
U.S. alone have seen the show.
more than $750 million
in nine countries.
more than $425 million
in the U.S. in 22 cities.
of 27 major
Award Winner Productions
in English, Hungarian, Japanese,
German, Danish, and Dutch.
It is Friday night
in Saigon, shortly before the fall of the city and the final withdrawal
of the American troops from Vietnam. At a sleazy after-hours club called
'Dreamland', owned by a notorious Eurasian wheeler-dealer known as 'The
Engineer', Vietnamese bar girls are preparing for the nights 'contest'
for the title of Miss Saigon and the privilege of becoming the prize
in the evenings raffle. The engineer is marshaling the proceedings,
urging the girls to go out front and hustle for him and themselves.
It is their only way to earn enough money to survive and perhaps get
a passport out of the country before the city falls. Tonight he is introducing
a young virgin, Kim, 'fresh from the country'.
The club is packed
with American marines, civilians and South Vietnamese officers. Among
them are two GIs, Chris and John, out to get drunk, laid or both. Chris
sees Kim and is instantly taken by her. The contest is won by Gigi,
who, in turn, is won by one of the marines.
As the action freezes
on stage, Gigi is joined by all the other girls who fantasize about
finding a GI to take them away to their dream life in America, far from
the sordid nightclub and the impending disaster which will fall on the
city when the North Vietnamese army reach Saigon.
John tries to cheer
Chris up by buying him Kim's services for the night. After a tentative
meeting, they eventually dance together and Kim takes Chris to her tiny
bare room. Later that night, with Kim soundly asleep but the city still
bustling outside the small window, Chris reflects on his feelings. He
leaves some money for Kim, and goes out to the street. There, he is
accosted by locals who beg him to help them leave the country. He returns
to the room, and, looking at Kim for the last time, realizes she will
be his best memory of Saigon.
Kim awakens, as
Chris is about to leave the room. She refuses to take the money Chris
has left and tells him how she came to be there. Chris immediately decides
that he wants to spend his last few days in Saigon with her.
The next day, Chris
telephones John to tell him he's moving in with Kim and is spending
his last 48 hours in Saigon with her. John is horrified; events have
snowballed and Saigon is on the brink of invasion by the North Vietnamese
To maximize their
time together Chris strikes a deal with the Engineer to release Kim
from her duties at the club.
The bar girls help
Kim to move into her room that she will share with Chris. A Shrine is
set up for the occasion and the girls and Kim sing Vietnamese words
traditionally used to celebrate weddings. The festivities are interrupted
by Kim's cousin, a man to whom she was promised when she was just 13,
and is now an officer in the North Vietnamese army. Chris protects her
and sends Thuy away. He then takes Kim in his arms and proposes to take
her to America.
The action moves
forward three years. Saigon has been renamed Ho Chi Minh City and the
victory of North Vietnam and the third anniversary of reunification
is being celebrated in a street pageant.
Kim is in the small
room she shares with a number of Vietnamese. In the early morning, she
sings about the GI who she still believes will come back for her. But
Chris, who now believes Kim to be dead, is back home on the other side
of the world, asleep in his bed and haunted by nightmares. Next to him
is Ellen, his wife. She too sings of her hopes - that he'll finally
leave behind whatever is troubling him.
The Engineer returns
to Ho Chi Minh City from a reeducation camp. Thuy, now the people's
commissar, offers him his freedom in exchange for finding Kim. The Engineer
leads Thuy to her, but she again rejects his love because she is sworn
to Chris. Thuy orders his soldier to wreck her room and beat up the
Engineer. Kim reveals she that she has a three year old son, Tam, by
Chris; when Thuy tries to stab the boy, Kim pulls out a gun and is forced
to shoot Thuy. Afterwards, she and Tam run away.
When soldiers discover
that Thuy has been murdered, all hell breaks loose, and the Engineer
escapes to his hideout in the abandoned backroom of what was once 'Dreamland'.
He collects his few treasured possessions and prepares to join the boat
people in fleeing his war torn country.
Kim and Tam burst
in on the Engineer and tell him what has happened to Thuy, asking him
for help to leave the country. On discovering that Tam is the son of
a marine, The Engineer identifies him as a root for freedom for them
Transported by the
belief that the long-awaited reunion for her family will take place,
Kim sings to Tam, telling him that she will do anything for him. They
join the 'boat people' and leave the country.
In a street in
the sleazy district of Patpong, the Engineer and his rivals are seen
hustling for customers outside a nightclub called Le Moulin Rouge.
John finds Kim
working there as a bargirl, and tells her Chris is with him in Bangkok.
On seeing Tam and hearing of Kim's undying love for Chris, John is unable
to tell her that Chris is already married, and can only promise to send
him to see her.
Kim is confronted
by Thuy's ghost, who reminds her not only of her guilt but draws her
into memories which continually haunt her of the devastating fall of
Saigon when she and Chris separated, and, with a huge crowd of Vietnamese
pushing at the Embassy gates, she failed to get past the guards and
saw the last helicopter take off with Chris on board.
The Engineer, who
does not trust Chris or John, finds the address of the hotel where they
are staying, and Kim runs to find Chris.
and John are traveling through the city to find her.When
Kim reaches the hotel Ellen mistakes her for the maid. On learning the
truth, Kim is distraught and urges Ellen to take Tam back to America
with her, but she refuses.
After Kim leaves,
Ellen determines to fight for Chris. On Chris and John's return, Ellen
tells them what has happened, and despite Kim's wish to see Chris alone,
they decide to go together and persuade her to stay in Bangkok where
they will support her and the child.
Kim returns to the
club and lies to the Engineer, telling him that Chris will arrive later
that evening to take them all to America. The Engineer finally believes
his dreams will come true, and fantasizes about his inevitable success
in manipulating the American Dream to his own ends.
Meanwhile, Kim has
decided to sacrifice her own life so that her son can have a future
in America with his father, as previously promised. As Chris arrives
with Ellen and John, Kim disappears into her bedroom. A gunshot rings
out and her body falls to the floor. A distraught Chris runs in and
holds Kim in his arms for one last time as the curtain falls.