Miss Saigon.

Miss Saigon is a stage musical based on Puccini's Madame Butterfly.



In April 1975 at "Dreamland," a Saigon bar and brothel, shortly before the end of the Vietnam War, it is Kim's first day as a bargirl. The seventeen-year-old peasant girl is hauled in by the Engineer, a French-Vietnamese hustler who owns the joint. Backstage, the girls ready themselves for the night's show, jeering at Kim's inexperience. The U.S. Marines, aware that they will be leaving Vietnam soon, party with the Vietnamese prostitutes. Chris Scott, a sergeant disenchanted by the club scene, is encouraged by his friend John Thomas to go with a girl. The girls compete for the title of "Miss Saigon," and the winner is raffled to a Marine. Kim's guilelessness strikes Chris. Gigi Van Tranh wins the crown for the evening and begs the marine who won the raffle to take her back to America, annoying him. The showgirls reflect on their dreams of a better life. John buys a room for Chris and the virgin Kim. Kim is reluctant and shy, but dances with Chris. Chris tries to pay her to leave the nightclub. When the Engineer interferes, thinking that Chris does not like Kim, Chris allows himself to be led to her room.

Chris, watching Kim sleep, asks God why he met her just as he was about to leave Vietnam. When Kim wakes up, Chris tries to give her money, but she refuses, saying that it is her first time sleeping with a man. Touched to learn that Kim is an orphan, Chris offers her to come and live with him. The two fall in love. Chris tells John that he is taking leave to spend time with Kim. John warns him that the Viet Cong will soon take Saigon, but then reluctantly agrees to cover for Chris. Chris meets with the Engineer to trade for Kim, but the Engineer tries to include an America visa in the deal. Chris forces the Engineer at gunpoint to honour the original arrangement for Kim.

The bargirls hold a "wedding ceremony" for Chris and Kim, with Gigi toasting Kim as the "real" Miss Saigon. Thuy, Kim's cousin, to whom she was betrothed at thirteen, arrives to take her home. He has since become an officer in the North Vietnamese Army and is disgusted to find her with a white man. The two men confront each other, drawing their guns. Kim tells Thuy that their arranged marriage is now nullified because her parents are dead, and she no longer harbours any feelings for him because of his betrayal. Thuy curses them all and storms out. Chris promises to take Kim with him when he leaves Vietnam. Chris and Kim dance to the same song as on their first night.

Three years later in 1978, a street parade is taking place in Saigon (since renamed Ho Chi Minh City) to celebrate the third anniversary of the reunification of Vietnam and the defeat of the Americans. Thuy, a commissar in the new Communist government, has ordered his soldiers to look for the still-corrupt Engineer. Thuy orders the Engineer to find Kim and bring her to him. Kim is still in love with Chris and has been hiding in an impoverished area, steadfastly believing Chris will return to Vietnam and rescue her. Meanwhile, Chris is in bed with his new American wife, Ellen, when he wakes from a dream shouting Kim's name. Ellen and Kim both swear their devotion to Chris from opposite ends of the world.

A week later, Thuy's soldiers find the Engineer somewhere up north. For the Communist Party, he goes under the name of "Tranh Van Dinh" and has spent the past three years working in the rice fields. The Engineer takes Thuy to where Kim has been hiding. Kim refuses Thuy's renewed offer of marriage, unaware that his men are waiting outside the door. Furious, Thuy calls them in and they begin tying up Kim and the Engineer, threatening to put them into a reeducation camp. Kim introduces him to Tam, her three-year-old son from Chris. Thuy calls Kim a traitor and Tam an enemy, and tries to kill Tam with a knife, but Kim pulls out a gun and kills Thuy. She flees with Tam and tells the Engineer what she has done. The Engineer refuses to help her until he learns that Tam's father is American – thinking the boy is his chance to emigrate to the United States. He tells Kim that now he is the boy's uncle, and he will lead them to Bangkok. The three set out on a ship with other refugees.

In Atlanta, Georgia, John now works for an aid organisation whose mission is to connect Bui-Doi (from Vietnamese trẻ bụi đời "street children," meaning children conceived during the war) with their American fathers. John tells Chris that Kim is still alive, which Chris is relieved to hear after years of having nightmares of her dying. He also tells Chris about Tam and urges Chris to go to Bangkok with Ellen. Chris finally tells Ellen about Kim and Tam. In Bangkok, the Engineer is hawking a sleazy club where Kim works as a dancer. Chris, Ellen, and John arrive in search of Kim. John finds Kim dancing at the club, and tells her that Chris is also in Bangkok. He then tries to tell her that Chris is remarried, but Kim interrupts. She is thrilled about the news and tells Tam that his father has arrived, believing that they are to go to America with Chris. Seeing Kim happy, John cannot bring himself to break the news to her, but promises to bring Chris to her.

The Engineer tells Kim to find Chris herself, because he doubts that Chris will come. Kim is haunted by the ghost of Thuy, who taunts Kim, claiming that Chris will betray her as he did the night Saigon fell. Kim suffers a horrible flashback to that night.

In the nightmare/flashback, Kim remembers the Viet Cong approaching Saigon. As the city becomes increasingly chaotic, Chris is called to the embassy and leaves his gun with Kim, telling her to pack. When Chris enters the embassy, the gates close, as orders arrive from Washington for an immediate evacuation of the remaining Americans. The Ambassador orders that no more Vietnamese be allowed into the Embassy. Kim reaches the gates of the Embassy, one of a mob of terrified Vietnamese trying to enter. Chris calls to Kim and is about to go into the crowd to look for her, but John is eventually forced to punch Chris in the face to stop him from leaving. Chris is put into the last helicopter leaving Saigon as Kim watches from outside, still pledging her love to him.

Back in 1978 Bangkok, Kim joyfully dresses in her wedding clothes and leaves the Engineer to watch Tam while she is gone. She goes to Chris's hotel room, where she finds Ellen. Kim mistakenly thinks that Ellen is John's wife, but Ellen reveals that she is Chris's wife. Kim is heartbroken and refuses to believe Ellen. Ellen asks Kim if Chris is the father of Tam, and Kim confirms. Kim says that she does not want her son to continue living on the streets and pleads that they take Tam with them back to America, but Ellen refuses, saying that Tam needs his real mother, and Ellen wants her own children with Chris. Kim angrily demands that Chris tell her these things in person, and runs out of the room. Ellen feels bad for Kim, but is determined to keep Chris. Chris and John return, having failed to find Kim. Ellen tells them both that Kim arrived and that she had to tell Kim everything. Chris and John blame themselves, realising that they were gone too long. Ellen also tells them that Kim wants to see Chris at her place, and that she tried to give away her son to them. John realises that Kim wants Tam to be "an American boy." Ellen then issues an ultimatum to Chris: Kim or her. Chris reassures Ellen, and they pledge their love for each other. Chris will leave Tam and Kim in Bangkok but offer them monetary support from America. John warns that Kim will not find it acceptable to have Tam stay in Thailand. Back at the club, Kim lies to the Engineer that they are still going to America. The Engineer imagines the extravagant new life that he will lead in America. Chris, John, and Ellen find the Engineer and he takes them to see Kim and Tam.

In her room, Kim tells Tam that he should be happy because he now has a father. She tells him that she cannot go with him but will be watching over him. Chris, Ellen, John, and the Engineer arrive just outside her room. The Engineer comes in to take Tam outside to introduce Tam to his father. While this is happening, Kim steps behind a curtain and shoots herself. As she falls to the floor, everyone rushes into the room at the sound of the gunshot and find Kim mortally wounded. Chris picks up Kim and asks what she has done. She asks him to hold her once more and repeats something that he said to her on the first night they met: "How in one night have we come so far?" and dies in his arms.

Musical numbersEdit

Act I
  • "Overture/Backstage Dreamland" – Gigi, Kim, The Engineer and Bar Girls
  • "The Heat is On in Saigon" – Soldiers, Bar Girls, The Engineer, Kim, John, Chris and Gigi
  • "The Movie in My Mind" – Gigi, Kim and Bar Girls
  • "The Transaction" – The Engineer, John, Soldiers, Chris and Kim
  • "The Dance" – Kim, Chris and The Engineer
  • "Why, God, Why?" – Chris
  • "This Money's Yours" – Chris and Kim
  • "Sun and Moon" – Kim and Chris
  • "The Telephone Song" – Chris and John
  • "The Deal" – The Engineer and Chris
  • "The Wedding Ceremony" – Gigi, Kim, Bar Girls and Chris
  • "Thuy's Arrival" – Thuy, Chris and Kim
  • "Last Night of the World" – Chris and Kim
  • "The Morning of the Dragon" – Soldiers, The Engineer, Two Guards and Thuy
  • "I Still Believe" – Kim and Ellen
  • "Back in Town" – The Engineer, Kim, Thuy and Soldiers
  • "Thuy's Death" / "You Will Not Touch Him" – Thuy and Kim
  • "This is the Hour" – Chorus
  • "If You Want to Die in Bed" – The Engineer
  • "Let Me See His Western Nose" – Kim and The Engineer
  • "I'd Give My Life for You" – Kim
  • "Exodus" - Chorus
Act II
  • "Bui Doi" – John and Chorus
  • "The Revelation" – Chris and John
  • "What a Waste" – The Engineer, Hustlers, Tourists, John and Kim
  • "Please" – John and Kim (Original Production)
  • "Too Much For One Heart" - John and Kim (2014 London production)
  • "Chris is Here" – The Engineer, Kim, Club Owner and John
  • "Kim's Nightmare" – Thuy
  • "Fall of Saigon" – Soldiers, Chris, Kim, John and Citizens
  • "Sun and Moon" (Reprise) – Kim
  • "Room 317" – Kim and Ellen
  • "Now That I’ve Seen Her" – Ellen (Original production "Her or Me")
  • "Maybe" - Ellen (2011 Holland / 2014 London production)
  • "The Confrontation" – Chris, Ellen and John
  • "Paper Dragons" – The Engineer and Kim
  • "The American Dream" – The Engineer
  • "This is the Hour" (Reprise) – Kim
  • "Finale" – Chris and Kim

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