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Miss Saigon (1995 Studio Cast - Highlights) Cast Recording
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Top Customer Reviews
1. Is the music itself good? Yes. The music is great and is composed by the award-winning composer Claude Michel Schonberg, author of Les Mis and Martin Guerre. Even if you've never seen or even heard of Miss Saigon, you'll enjoy this CD. The music is good enough to stand on its own.
2. Are the vocals good? Yes. Pretty much. Of all Miss Saigon recordings, this one has the best vocals. The songs are performed with more strength and feeling than in the London recording where the actors seem to be singing just to get the recording over with. My only complaint about this recording (and a big one) is Peter Cousens. He's got a great voice, but he just isn't right for the role of Chris. In my opinion, the best man for the role is Will Chase (who performs the role on Broadway so perfectly, I cannot even begin to describe his performance in words. Such a shame he was never recorded!) But, of the two Chrises recorded, Peter Cousins is the better one. Other than that the casting is great. Especially good is the engineer. While Jonathan Pryce is a great singer and actor, he just can't portray the engineer's unending greed with the passion and humor that Kevin Gray shows in this recording. His performance of "The American Dream" will keep you laughing for a while after the song is over.
3. Is the highlights CD enough to capture the essence of the musical? I think no audio recording can capture the whole essence of the musical. It's the combination of all aspects (acting, staging, visuals, costume, correography, etc.) that make this musical great.Read more ›
It features a superb cast, drawn from MISS SAIGON productions worldwide, as well as a fantastic orchestra.
Heading this recording as the beautiful young Kim is Joanna Ampil. Ampil originated the role of Kim in the Sydney production and then went on to take over the role in London. Her voice is oddly-similar to Lea Salonga's, though her style is quite different. Joanna Ampil is fetching in all her numbers, though her "I'd Give My Life for You" is her crowning glory.
Peter Cousens originated the role of Chris in the Sydney production before being lured to London to take the title role in PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. Cousens has a rich, soulful voice, most evident in "Why God Why?". His duets with Ampil in "Sun and Moon" and "The Last Night of the World" are magical.
Ruthie Henshall is superb as Ellen. Henshall appeared as one of the bar-girls in the London production before being chosen to take over the role of Ellen, which catapulted her to fame in the West End. Henshall's heart-rending "Now That I've Seen Her" gives me chills every time, and her duet with Ampil in "I Still Believe" positively trembles with dramatic tension.
Kevin Gray appeared on Broadway as the Engineer, and he repeats his acclaimed performance for this recording. His snarly, oily delivery is just what the character needs, and his "American Dream" walks the tightrope between comedy and tragedy.
On the whole, MISS SAIGON fans are going to find a lot to love about this recording, featuring a stellar international cast.
Of course, I have an additional grievance, which is that this complete/highlight version of "Miss Saigon" provides the version of the musical that made it to this side of the Atlantic instead of what we heard on the original two discs. I really disagreed with changing the ending, because I have always thought that Kim killing herself to force Chris to take their son was immensely more powerful than killing herself because he had already decided to do so and leave the boy's mother behind. When I first show the show live and was confronted with this massive change, which also, for all intents and purposes, wrecks Ellen's big number "Now That I've Seen Her" (previously known as "It's Her or Me"), it effectively ruined the climax of the show.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I haven't seen the musical, but I do think this CD will stand alone for people who haven't seen it, but like the music. The big songs are here and good voices sing them. Read morePublished 15 months ago by J. Sexton
It's just too bad that the actors here -- who are excellent --are inevitably compared with the ones in the Original London Cast (who are WAY better). Read morePublished on January 22, 2004
But get the Original London Cast Recording - that's THE best recording of this excellent musical!Published on January 21, 2004
I saw this show last summer at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta! After seeing the show, listening to the beautiful music, and really getting into the story, I was hooked. Read morePublished on January 8, 2004
Just cover your ears when you hear Joanna Ampil's speech-101-class articulation (so annoying)! Otherwise, her strong voice and the wonderful score are great to listen to.Published on August 16, 2003 by cherye
I am a huge fan of Miss Saigon, and I finally got around to buying this album only recently.
I think that it is a shame that this is the only complete version, because on a... Read more
This CD has some excellent examples of good vocalizations and beautiful music. I was suprized to find the detailed synopsis included in the liner notes. Read morePublished on September 17, 2001