Theatre Review: ‘Miss Saigon,’ at Walnut St. Theatre

(Eric Kunze and Melinda Chua star in "Miss Saigon," now at the Walnt Street Theatre.  Photo by Mark Garvin, provided)

(Eric Kunze and Melinda Chua star in “Miss Saigon,” now at the Walnt Street Theatre. Photo by Mark Garvin, provided)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The Walnut Street Theatre is winding up its mainstage season with an elaborate production of “Miss Saigon,” one of the most praised musicals on record.

The opening night audience greeted the production with a standing ovation, but it wasn’t unanimous.

“Miss Saigon” is a tragic tale of a doomed romance involving an Asian woman abandoned by her American GI lover during the Battle of Saigon.  It’s another success from the creators of “Les Misérables” and one of the longest-running musicals in theatre history, with British and Broadway runs in excess of four thousand performances.

The Walnut Street Theatre production is as elaborate as many in recent memory, with a complex foundation and impressive lead actors.  The score, though, is heavy and overworked in this 2½-hour performance.

Bruce Lumpkin, the theatre’s veteran director, is responsible for much of the show’s gloss.

This “Miss Saigon” set to run through July 17th, and it will certainly add to the show’s legions of admirers.

The Walnut Street Theatre is located at 825 Walnut Street in center city Philadelphia.

Reviewed by Bob Nelson, KYW Newsradio 1060

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