Love. Trauma. Scandal. War.

These are the words I would use to describe the show “Miss Saigon” which is currently on their North American tour and have stopped in Spokane from now until Oct. 27 in the First Interstate Center for the Arts.

The show follows a young woman during the Vietnam War who falls in love with an American soldier. From the beginning the relationship is doomed.

Kim, the main character, starts working for The Engineer as a bar girl.  Enter Chris, the American soldier, who buys Kim for the night and after that they fall in love. Kim has a son and Chris goes back to the United States and the show goes on from there.

 The production as a whole was stunning but the big highlight for me was the sets and visual effects.

From the moment the curtain goes up to the final bows every scene is visually stunning. They managed to use their sets, lights, projections and props to create as close to an immersive experience as one could get in a show like this one.

Some of the highlights were the real helicopter that is above the stage, the beautiful white car that comes on stage and the money projections during The Engineer’s number about the American dream, the ginormous gold fixtures in the background of some scenes and so much more.

The effects and visuals are what made the audience and I almost feel like we were in Vietnam living out Kim’s story with her.

On top of the sets and visuals the cast was phenomenal. Emily Bautista, who plays the main woman Kim, sang her heart out on the stage as she told this tragic story and through this I was able to feel her emotions with her and almost feel like I too was experiencing what she was going through.

The other stand out performance, that kind of caught me off-guard, was J. Daughtry as John. He had one number at the beginning of act two that blew me away called “Bui Doi.” He truly has the voice of an angel.

I had one qualm with the show. Even though it was an opera and filled with music there wasn’t really a standout number. There wasn’t a “One Day More” or “Cell Block Tango” or “Non-Stop” -- there wasn’t a number that made me want to jump out of my seat and cheer them on.

However, even though there wasn’t a standout number the musical as a whole was still incredibly entertaining and moving and I would highly recommend going to see it.

This show will stun audience members with its jaw dropping sets and effects and move you to tears with an amazing plot.

As the lady I sat next to in the theater said as we were walking out “Wow! That was wonderful.”

The show will be running at The First Interstate Center for the Arts until Sunday Oct. 27 and student rush tickets will be available. For more information about the show and what’s next in Best of Broadway’s season you can find it here:  

Riley Utley is a news editor. Follow her on Twitter: @rileyutley.

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