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UA prepares for 'Miss Saigon'


Arizona Daily Wildcat

Photo courtesy of Joan Marcus Mika Nishida and Will Swenson are two of the actors in the Broadway production of "Miss Saigon." The show opens tonight at UA Centennial Hall and will run through February 20.

By Maggie Burnett
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
February 10, 2000
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The acclaimed Broadway hit "Miss Saigon" opens tonight at UA Centennial Hall, ending months of anticipation for students and faculty.

Speculation has surrounded the production because of a discrepancy between the size of the set and the relatively small capacity of the venue.

For some UA students, the waiting will soon end, as "Saigon" unveils the largest set ever housed at Centennial Hall.

Arizona-Sonora Resident Assistant Todd Dragoo organized a group of fellow hall residents and purchased a large block of tickets for the event.

"With help from the Residence Life art fund, we've made available 25 discounted tickets for Arizona-Sonora residents for Sunday's show," he said.

Critics predict the production will not disappoint audiences.

"This show is incredible. I've been involved in professional theater for 18 years, and this one blows my socks off," said Ed Brown, director of operation at UA Presents. "This is the largest show to play in southern Arizona, without a doubt."

"Saigon," produced by Cameron Mackintosh, made its 1989 world premiere in London. Since then, the show has toured in 35 cities - 23 of which are in the United States.

But the majesty of the show has not subsided.

In addition to the mastery of "Miss Saigon's" theatrical performance, close to 70 crew members, both traveling and local, have contributed to stage design and technical support.

"Saigon" typically runs as a four-week series. In order to accommodate smaller populations like that of Tucson, however, travel time and stage construction have been cut down to two weeks.

But audiences should not wait for another production of "Saigon's" magnitude.

"There will never be another show this big. It's too expensive," said "Saigon" press representative Mike Cohen. "This is the biggest show Tucson will ever see."

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