Dynamic Song Performance

Kristina Nikols, Thespian Thoughts Host, reviews “Miss Saigon”

Kristina Nikols, Thespian Thoughts Host, reviews “Miss Saigon”

Episode: 43

Host: Kristina Nikols


“Miss Saigon is simply delectable.”

Review by: Kristina Nikols

“Miss Saigon,” currently playing at the Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theater in Claremont, is simply delectable. The spacious venue, with a full stage and a variety of seating options, provides a complete entertainment experience. The evening starts off with a satisfying dinner as the air fills with the relaxing sounds of guitarist Michael Ryan. Just as the diners complete their meal the evening’s raison d’etre begins: the award winning musical “Miss Saigon.”

Miss Saigon takes place at the end of the Vietnam War when Kim (Nicole Santiago-Barredo), a Vietnamese girl, finds herself working in a brothel for The Engineer (Eymard Cabling).


On her first night on the job she meets Chris (Eduardo Enrikez), an American GI. They fall in love and make plans to depart to America, but complications arise during the chaotic downfall of Saigon.

Director Neil Dale puts together a beautiful piece with constant movement and action. Act I opens slowly and could be sharper at times, but the show comes together with a powerful ACT II.


Everyone in the cast of twenty-four does a fine job dancing, singing, and playing multiple characters. Transitions are seamless with intricate, eye-catching set design by Dwight Richard Odle, adapted by Neil Dale and Orlando Montes. Dale’s choice of incorporating footage of the Vietnam War babies is a great touch. Choreographer, Janet Renslow, creates invigorating dance numbers, including one that beautifully incorporates the use of masks. The most pivotal scene depicts the fall of Saigon; it is executed masterfully with phenomenal set design and choreography that even includes a helicopter and moving gates. Anguish emanates from the entire ensemble who exquisitely capture the turmoil and desperation of the moment.

Eduardo Enrikez and Nicole Santiago-Barredo have wonderful chemistry together as Kim and Chris. Nicole’s subtle strength and specificity in all her actions are gorgeous to watch. Eymard Cabling’s solos as The Engineer are the highlight of the show; with mischief and guile, as well as playfulness and soul, Eymard absolutely shines!



If you are looking for a nice evening out with good food and musical entertainment, venture to the Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theater in Claremont. “Miss Saigon” plays until September 30th. Please visit their website and scroll below for additional details.

Music by Claude-Michel Schonberg
Lyrics by Richard Maltby Jr. and Alain Boublil
Adapted from the original French lyrics by Alain Boublil
Additional Material by Richard Maltby Jr.
Orchestrations by William D. Brohn

Directed by: Neil Dale
Choreographed by: Janet Renslow
Orchestra Conductor: David Lamoreux
Music Direction by: Desmond Clark
Assistant to the Director and Choreographer: Danielle Martin
Costumes: Fullerton Civic Light Opera
Set Design: Dwight Richard Odle, adapted by Neil Dale and Orlando Montes
Lighting Design: Jean Yves Tessier

Originally produced on stage by Cameron Mackintosh

*Eymard Cabling
Nicole Santiago-Barredo
Eduardo Enrikez
Colette Peters
James Oronoz
Joseph Andreas
Stella Kim
Kyle Leeper
Marie Gutierrez
Elaine Loh
Shay Louise
Andrea Somera
Amanda Mae Steele
Chaz Feuerstine
Arthur Johansen
Orlando Montes
Jayson Puls
Justin Matthew Segura
Eric Taylor
Marius Beltran
Lorenzo Caunan
Fernando Christopher
Garrick Macatangay
Peter Varvel

*Member of Actor’s Equity

Candlelight Pavilion
455 W. Foothill Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711

August 24, 2012 – September 30, 2012
Thursday – Saturday evenings at 6p.m.
Sunday evenings at 5p.m.
Saturday & Sunday matinees at 11a.m.

Adults: $48 – $68
Tickets include meal, show, and sales tax.
Appetizers, desserts, beverages, and waiter’s gratuity are additional.

Due to adult content, this show is not recommended for those under 18 years of age.

Free on-site parking.

909-626-1254, ext. 1

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