Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Eric is Chris in Miss Saigon



So far, I've seen Eric in three shows: Whistle Down the Wind, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Jesus Christ Superstar. Each of the characters in these shows were diametrically opposite of the other. Now I can add another character to my growing list of Eric Kunze performances. His versatility amazes me. So complete was his inner transformation I actually didn't recognize him when he first entered the vast Muny stage. This is a difficult role to play on an emotional level. There are layers of anger, passion, tenderness, fear and regret. His every word, every action, every note was perfect. I know I may sound a little (or a lot) prejudiced, but I believe everyone in the the 11,000 seat theater must have realized it too. When he was on stage the hugeness of the area felt as intimate as a living room. My estimation of him increases with each visit.

The chemistry between Eric and Ma-Anne Dionisio is exquisite. She portrays the heartbreaking anguish of her character perfectly, evidenced by the muffled sobs around us. I loved the use of asian percussion instruments in the pit, as well as the scenic design and liberal use of red as a backdrop. This must be one of the few venues where an actual helicopter can be used for the evacuation scene. I could feel my heartrate increase as it hovered over us and shone spotlights across the stage and the audience.

For a complete trip report with more photos, see my blog at: www.maggiwun.blogspot.com

9 comments:

Amy Willers (St. Louis, MO) said...

Eric was FABULOUS as Chris!!! This is the first time I have seen him perform. I am a huge fan now! He has a voice that gives you chills, I will be a regular visitor on this site so I can find out if he will be near St. Louis.

Alisa Baumer (St. Louis) said...

As a regular Muny attendee, I have to say that the production of "Miss Saigon" was one of the best the Muny has put on in the last 15 years! I saw the show the last time it was at The Muny in 2001, but this production was so much more visually stunning and amazing! Ma-Anne brought so much passion to the role of Kim and Francis Jue was incredible as the Engineer. What more can be said about Eric that hasn't already been said...he was amazing, as always! I've been a fan of Eric's since I first saw him perform at the Muny in "Jesus Christ Superstar" in 1996 and he amazed me then and in each production he has been in at the Muny since. His performance of Chris was filled with such raw emotion, fire, and passion. It was a perfect performance for a perfect July night in St. Louis.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious to know how they did this real helicopter bit? I have always wanted to see a MUNY show. Was the heat unbearable?

Maggi said...

They have fans which circulate the air before and after the show and during intermission. The sun is not an issue, since the shows start at 8:15. We were not extremely uncomfortable there with the heat. Regarding the helicopter, it took from backstage and flew and hovered over the audience during the evacuation scene.

Maggi said...

To the person who just left a comment, I am sorry but it disappeared when I published it. Please post it again and I will try again.
Maggi

DM said...

This picture of Eric is SO adorable - but really, he never takes a bad picture. Thanks for the updates, Maggi. Wish Eric luck for all of us.

Alisa Baumer said...

Great photo of Eric outside the backstage gate. Thanks for all of the updates and I hope your experience at The Muny was memorable, Maggi!

Anonymous said...

We absolutly LOVE the Muny, of course cooler weather is appreciated HAHA. Eric again did a fabulous job and as the others said his voice is unbelievable! I could listen to him forever. Does he have any CD's with some of his favorite musicals he sings? I really enjoyed Ma-Anne Dionisio and what a great job she did. Of course Francis Jue is always fun to watch. His expressions facial and body and wonderful, but when he is very excited about his roll he is totally fun to watch!! Thanks for all the Muny does and we look forward to more years.

Maggi said...

There is a link on the fansite to the Big City Broadway website where you can purchase "Broadway's Best", a DVD of a show produced by Eric in which he performs songs from most of his shows.