‘Miss Saigon’ an incredible spectacle

 By Rachel Teseneer
Times-News correspondent

   DURHAM — A breathtaking love story captivated audiences at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) Tuesday night.
“Miss Saigon,” from the creators of “Les Miserables,” follows the story of a young Vietnamese girl who falls in love with an American GI. Three years later, the two have been torn apart and Kim struggles to survive and find her beloved. Set during, and the years after, the Vietnam War, “Miss Saigon” will stick out in audiences’ minds long after the show has ended.
The young lovers, Kim (Emily Bautista) and Chris (Anthony Festa) have remarkable chemistry onstage. Their voices effortlessly melded together and completely enraptured the audience from the start. The emotion given to the characters by Bautista and Festa could have carried the entire show. But there was no need to — an ensemble of 42-plus a spectacular set created an incredibly immersive production.
   The set alone is good reason to see “Miss Saigon.” The buildings are darkly lit, with tinges of red and yellow. Saigon is built to look like anyone could step in and be instantly transported. Most noteworthy of all is the helicopter scene. With whirring blades and blazing lights, the helicopter is revealed onstage. It is an amazing feat of set design and adds one final reason to indulge in Miss Saigon.

Tickets start at $31 and can be purchased online through ticketmaster at DPACNC.COM, at the box office at 123 Vivian St., Durham, or by calling the box office at 919-680-2787. Show dates are 7:30 p.m. today, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Saturday; and 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

Note: Miss Saigon is not appropriate for everyone. There is a brief use of strobe lights, strong language and adult themes throughout.

Rachel Teseneer is a junior at North Carolina State University and a Teens & 20s writer.

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