It was in May this year that I made my first ever visit to see the 25th Anniversary production of MISS SAIGON which had recently opened in London. I had never seen the show before (Bad I know!). Literally, I didn't know the story or any of the characters. All I knew was that there were 2 songs in the show called "Why God Why" and "Last Night of the World" and that there was a certain very iconic scene involving a helicopter!
I came out of the Prince Edward Theatre that night having been completely blown away by one of the most epic productions I had ever seen. However, in amongst all of the awe inspiring production that I had just witnessed, there was one particular performance which stood head and shoulders above them all - and it was given by a performer who had been with the show since it first debuted in 1989. He made me laugh, cry, tense, nervous and joyous - and for me that is the mark of an extremely talented individual. This performer is also the main reason I would re-visit the show - he was THAT good!It is an absolute honour for me to announce that my newest interviewee, from the cast of MISS SAIGON, is the phenomenal JON JON BRIONES (The Engineer)
Tell us a little known fact about yourself - something we wouldn't know by looking at youI studied Electrical Engineering for 5 years until I got cast in Miss Saigon in 1989.
Who or what inspired you to get into the Theatre Industry?Seeing West Side Story on TV when I was probably 8 years old.
What was the first song/album you ever bought?
Top Gun soundtrack.
What is the best piece of advice you've ever been given?Be classy even in defeat.
You are currently starring in the 25th Anniversary revival of Miss Saigon. Do you think this production does justice to the iconic original?I believe this production does it justice and more.
How are you enjoying working with your fellow new cast members?I'm in love with this cast. It's a privilege to come to work every day.
Do you have a favourite moment in the show? Or maybe a particular song that you love to perform?I love them all but if I have to choose, it would be If You Want to Die in Bed.
What has been the best moment of your time so far with this version of the show? And what are you most looking forward to in the year ahead?I always love rehearsals - figuring out things and discovering things and the surprises that you encounter when you discover something you didn't 8 years ago. As for the year ahead, I'm looking forward to travelling in Europe with my family.
In 10 words or less, why should people come and see you, along with the fantastic cast at Miss Saigon?Come on, it's Miss Saigon.
----- As I said earlier, the new production of Miss Saigon - currently playing at the Prince Edward Theatre in London - is truly a piece of epic theatre brilliance. The whole production, from sets to costumes to scenery and special effects, fits together like a perfect jigsaw puzzle. But for me, it is Jon Jon along with the rest of this stellar cast that make this new incarnation of MISS SAIGON an absolute must see! Check out http://www.miss-saigon.com/ for more details, including tickets!
A personal thanks must go to Jon Jon for taking time out of his extremely busy schedule to take part in this interview - I am eternally grateful to you Sir and simply cannot thank you enough.
Signing off for now
Blue Eyed Girl Xxx