At the Nov. 2 4000th gala performance of Miss Saigon, Lea Salonga, who won the Tony Award playing the Vietnamese lover of an American G.I., was a conspicuous no-show. She had a good excuse — she's starring in the Philippines in Miss Saigon - but it looked as though the musical would close on Dec. 31 without a final appearance from her.
But not so fast. Following in the paw prints of Cats, another blockbuster musical that extended one more time before finally closing, Miss Saigon has tacked on four extra weeks, taking the show into 2001, The New York Times reported. What is more, Lea Salonga will return to the show during that final month. The actress certainly loves her signature role; she played a return stretch in the Broadway company in 1999.
Jonathan Pryce, Hinton Battle, Liz Callaway and Willy Falk, the original Broadway stars of Miss Saigon, appeared with the show's creative team at the 4,000th gala performance at the Broadway Theatre Nov. 2.
The 7 PM evening — packed with friends, family and industry people who have supported the show over the years, helping make it the sixth longest-running musical in Broadway history — included a full performance of the hit megamusical followed by an on-stage celebration at which producer Cameron Mackintosh was expected to speak. Also in attendance were to be songwriters and co-librettists Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil (whose Les Miserables is packing them in at the Imperial), director Nicholas Hytner, American lyricist Richard Maltby Jr. and others. The Broadway staging of the 1989 London hit opened April 11, 1991 and became an international sensation. The show's healthy run was celebrated at show No. 4000 because a reunion of the creative team and stars might not be possible on New Year's Eve, when people are preoccupied with the holiday