St. Alphonsus First Grader, Myles Nguyen, performs with Stevenson High School in Miss Saigon!

Congratulations to our First Grader, Myles Nguyen, as he performs in Miss Saigon as a cast member of Stevenson High School's production! For tickets, click on the following link:

Performances are scheduled for 7pm Friday and Saturday and 2pm Sunday. All tickets are $10.

'Miss Saigon' comes to Stevenson…/ct-lsr-miss-saigon-tl-1112-…

Stevenson performs Miss Saigon
Brandon Sak, a Buffalo Grove senior and the student director of Stevenson High School's "Miss Saigon," spent time researching the lives of actual American GIs to inform the performances of his actors. During a dress rehearsal on Monday, he discussed this weekend's show with SHS theater teacher Lauren Rawitz. (Ronnie Wachter / Pioneer Press)
Ronnie WachterContact ReporterPioneer Press
Helicopters, historical context and children mix in Stevenson's "Miss Saigon"

When Lauren Rawitz, Stevenson High School's theater teacher, spoke about her students' upcoming production of "Miss Saigon," there was one detail she asked to keep confidential — how the crew is going to land a helicopter on the stage of the Performing Arts Center during the "fall of Saigon" scene.

This weekend, Rawitz's students will perform a slightly age-appropriate version of the play that debuted in London in 1989 and has since won awards there, on Broadway and in Chicago.

The student director, Buffalo Grove senior Brandon Sak, went through records of actual American soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War, looked up bits of information about their lives, and prepared them as background for the ensemble actors. But Rawitz lamented that, because of space constrictions in the programs, none of the stories Sak assembled could be published for the audience to study.

Sak said the effort was worth it, to enlighten his cast.

"It's so easy to just see figures, and not understand what's behind that," he said. "These aren't just characters, these are depictions of the truth. That's what we're trying to do here, is show the truth."

Rawitz said Stevenson's version draws from the original script, not the more-modified school edition. The bikini-clad girls of the opening scene are now shorts-clad girls, but this weekend's visitors will still see a show that deals with war, suicide and women forced into prostitution, Rawitz said.

The entire play is musical — "there's maybe one spoken line," Rawitz said — and orchestra director Richard Green said conducting non-stop for two hours and 15 minutes straight is one of the greatest challenges of his 35 years at Stevenson.

"This is very operatic, and sort of rhapsodic," Green said. "The music is so beautiful, it calls for the best in every performer, including the conductor. When I'm conducting one song, I have to have the next on in my mind."

"Miss Saigon" will be the creation of more than 100 actors and actresses, musicians and crew, Rawitz said —including 6-year-old Myles Nguyen of Wheeling, who will play the role of Tam.

Performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. All tickets are $10.

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