A Musical in 2 Acts, 6 Scenes. Book by Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg. Additional material by Richard Maltby, Jr. Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg. Lyrics by Richard Maltby, Jr., Alain Boublil, adapted from original French lyrics by Alain Boublil. Directed by Nicholas Hytner. Musical staging by Bob Avian.
Drury Lane Theatre, London - September 20, 1989
Broadway Theatre New York - April 11, 1991 (4,125 perfs)
Kim is a new recruit to the Saigon brothel run by the Engineer. The American army is soon to leave Saigon but meanwhile the nightclub is full of American soldiers including Chris and his friend John.
The Engineer, too, wishes to leave Saigon but needs that all-important American visa so that he can increase his sphere of operations. Perhaps Chris can help him - through Kim?
Chris and Kim leave for her home where they can be on their own and make love. Chris falls for Kim in a big way and rings John for the latter to arrange for Chris to have his leave so that he can spend it with Kim.
Kim's cousin, Thuy, arrives. He is Kim's intended husband - a marriage arranged by the family. Kim, however, does not want to leave Chris and the two are cursed by Thuy.
Three years pass and Vietnam is reunified. The people are celebrating but even so, the Engineer has not got his visa and Kim is now living in a shanty village with her two year old son. Thuy has come looking for her threatening her with reprisals for besmirching the family. In her anguish, Kim shoots him with a pistol.
Chris, meanwhile, is back in America with his new wife, Ellen. He hasn't told Ellen about his past. He has a Vietnamese baby by Kim who arrives in Bangkok and visits an organisation for the repatriation of half-American babies, the "bui-doi".
John contacts Chris who is determined to go and see Kim and his child. He arrives in Bangkok. Kim goes to the hotel where Chris and Ellen are staying and she tells Ellen the precise situation. Ellen tells Kim that there will be help but Chris has a new life - with Ellen, there is no room for Kim or the child. Kim is devastated but won't believe this until Chris tells her himself in person.
Chris comes to her room backstage at the club where Kim has dressed her son in his best clothes. She slips behind a curtain and shoots herself. Now Chris will have to take his son to America - and the American Dream!
(in order of appearance)
Ho Chi Minh City, April 1978:
U.S.A., September 1978:
Bangkok, October 1978
Saigon, April 1975
Bangkok, October 1978:
- The Heat Is On in Saigon - The Engineer, Girls, Marines, Company
- The Movie in My Mind - Gigi, Kim, Girls
- The Transaction - John, The Engineer, Chris, Company
- Why God Why? - Chris
- Sun and Moon - Kim, Chris
- The Telephone - John, Chris, The Engineer
- The Ceremony - Kim, Chris, Girls
- The Last Night of the World - Kim, Chris
- The Morning of the Dragon Company, Thuy, The Engineer
- I Still Believe - Kim, Ellen
- Back in Town - Kim, The Engineer, Thuy
- You Will Not Touch Him - Kim, Thuy
- If You Want to Die in Bed - The Engineer
- I'd Give My Life for You - Kim, Company
- Bui-Doi - John, Company
- What a Waste - The Engineer, Company
- Please - John, Kim
- The Guilt Inside Your Head (The Fall of Saigon, April 1975) - Thuy, Kim, Chris, John, Company
- Sun and Moon (reprise) - Kim
- Room 317 - Ellen, Kim
- Now That I've Seen Her - Ellen
- The Confrontation - Ellen, Chris, John
- The American Dream The Engineer, Company
- Little God of My Heart - Kim, Tam
Scenes and Settings
Scene I: Saigon, 1975.
Scene 2: Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), April 1978.
Scene 1: U.S.A., September 1978.
Scene 2: Bangkok, October 1978.
Scene 3: Saigon, April 1975.
Scene 4: Bangkok, October 1978.
Original London Cast - Geffen 7599-24271-2