Saturday, May 28, 2011

Walnut Street Miss Saigon: Day 3 Fanclub Dinner

To see the photos in a full size slideshow or to download, click on the round Picasa icon in the right hand corner.

The fanclub dinner was a big success! We met at Marathon Grill, just two blocks from the theater. Present were fans from Houston, Michigan, northern and southern Jersey. We celebrated Eric's birthday belatedly with handmade E and K cookies. Everyone (including our lone male, Jake with the crooked little finger) got official Eric Kunze fanclub rings. Eric's fans are all so nice. We always have a great time together. Afterward we attended the show and were able to visit with the cast, including Angelica-Lee Aspiras and Melinda Chua, in the lobby following the performance.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Walnut Street Miss Saigon: Day Two

The second night of theater at Walnut Street!  Instead of sitting in the back row, this time I was in the front row.  What a difference!  What impressed me was the intensity each person brought to their roles, whether lead or chorus. This night I focused more on some of the other roles.  Especially impressive was Angelica-Lee Aspiras, playing a dual role (Gigi and Assistant Commissar).  Her interpretation of "Movie in My Mind" was one of the best I've heard.  Mel Sagrado Maghuyop as Thuy stood out as well.  Walnut Street should cast him in the upcoming "King and I".  I could clearly see the faces of the ensemble, during the Morning of the Dragon number, for example, fully committed to their characterizations.  This is the type of musical that, no matter how many times I have seen it, I always pick up something new with each performance.  I look forward to another new experience tonight.  Fanclub dinner at 5:00!  What fun!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Walnut Street Miss Saigon: Day One

Opening night, Wednesday, May 25th
The theater was sold out, except for one seat left in the upper balcony, back row, which I snapped up.  It was a treat to see the capacity crowd clap, whistle and roar in appreciation after the musical numbers.  Apparently, there have been standing ovations every night and this was no exception.  Every person stood, from the upper balcony to the front row. 

The reason for that is, this cast is exceptional.  Eric is joined by his Houston Kim, Melinda Chua.  They know each other inside and out, having done the show so often together, every move looks entirely natural and believable. They have worked with Philip Michael Baskerville before as well and he always turns in consistently excellent performances.   The part of the engineer always has been a scene stealer and show stopper, but the spin Bobby Martino puts on the role takes it up a whole other notch.  I don't know how he does it but he elicits real sympathy for his sleazy character expecially during the re-education sequence. 

Having seen Eric perform this role at the Muny and at TUTS in Houston, I felt he played his character in a slightly more hardened, jaded way than before.  That made his falling in love with Kim all the more poignant. 

The pivital helicopter scene is a challenge depending on the limitations of the venue.  Director Bruce Lumpkin is especially inventive here at the Walnut and is able to use smoke and mirrors for a realistic evacuation sequence.  I've seen the show produced four different times.  I've never been quite so moved to tears as this production.  Kudos to the entire cast, director and crew for their superb work! 
(written by Maggi Wunschl)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Miss Saigon's Official Opening Today

Toi, toi, toi!!!!! 
That's the opera equivalent of "break a leg", the pre-show good luck wish. It's to represent spitting, and properly done, it is said over the left shoulder of the recipient of the wishes.  So, to Eric and the cast of Miss Saigon on the opening of the show,  "toi, toi, toi".

Monday, May 23, 2011

And the raves are pouring in for Miss Saigon...

The buzz on the Walnut Street Facebook page is that the show is wowing audiences:

"I have been a subscriber for nearly a decade. While I truly enjoy most productions, rarely am I as blown away as I was by Miss Saigon. Thank you for a fabulous night of theatre."

"Another Standing O last night at MISS SAIGON! The "Heat is On" with this fantastic cast gracing the Walnut's stage. We're all very excited for Opening night next week!"

"Such an amazing production!!!! I am honored to have seen it!!!! And the cast was out of this world!!!!!"

And on Eric's Fanclub Facebook page:
"I saw the show last night at WST. Such an amazing voice!"

"I agree with Ella!! You were amazing!!!"

Sunday, May 22, 2011

First Look! Photos of Walnut Street Miss Saigon

Production Photos by Mark Gavin
See more at the Walnut Street Theater website

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Walnut Street "Miss Saigon" opens this week! Fanclub dinner Friday, May27th

Our next chance to see Eric in action! Come to Philly and see this fabulous production.   We are holding fanclub dinners on Friday, May 27th and Friday, July 15th. Let me know if you want to join in the fun: maggiwun@yahoo

Monday, May 9, 2011

Eric answers questions about Miss Saigon

Dear Fans,
Eric was asked to participate in a high school project in the Philly area where Broadway actors are asked questions by the students about their careers and the business in general.  They asked Eric, who is starring in Miss Saigon at the Walnut Theater and because they will be attending. This is Eric's response to the questions asked:

I'm glad to be able to participate and hopefully help out with this project!
I first played the part of Chris in Miss Saigon with the Broadway company, and have since played the role in MANY productions across the country. I have never actually counted how many performances... I think that would be very daunting...however, being that the material is SO well written, the challenge of playing the role so many times NEVER gets old or boring in the least. It is both a challenge and a pleasure to sing this music night after night, providing respect for the piece and also the veterans and victims of the Vietnam War.

In my opinion, that point is one that Bruce focuses on with great intensity with his direction. He searches for the truth and drives it home through his directing- letting the audience experience and react to it their own way. I am always learning new things about both myself and this piece when I work with him.

I think its important for the students to realize that the climate of the world today is not too far from when this story takes place. It is still very relevant and holds its own to many generations that will see it.

I hope you and the students enjoy it!
Take care.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

"My Collection" in The Sondheim Review

More exciting Eric news today: Eric's CD, "My Collection" was given a very good review in the summer edition of "The Sondheim Review" by writer Andy Propst. The publication is available at bookstores and newsstands in NY or you can order it via this link

"Kunze's graceful tenor voice seems custom built for the big anthems of the British poperas, and a host of them are included on this disc that's a retrospective of his career, including a particularly satisfying "Gethsemane" (Jesus Christ Superstar), a robust "Why God Why?" (Miss Saigon) and an exceptionally well considered "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" (Les Miserables). There are a couple of nice surprises in the mix, too, such as Stephen Schwartz's haunting ballad "Fathers and Sons" from Working. Sondheim fans will want to make note of Kunze's perfectly phrased and terrifically intense "Finishing the Hat" from Sunday in the Park with George, which finds, interestingly, a slightly pop side to the pointillist underpinnings of the song." written by Andy Propst, "Singing Sondheim", Sondheim Review, 2011

Eric Kunze to star in "Miss Saigon" at Sacramento Music Circus

Good news for all you west coasters!  After his stint at the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia, Eric will be "Chris" in "Miss Saigon" at the Music Circus in Sacramento from August 23-28th.  Single tickets go on sale May 16th here.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Walnut Street Gala, Friday, May 13th

For those of you in the Philadelphia area, prior to his May17-July17th engagement in "Miss Saigon" with the Walnut Street Theater,  Eric Kunze will be part of a group of artists performing at their gala concert on Friday, May 13th.  This year's theme is Love Changes Everything, and it will take place at 7:00pm

Performers include (subject to change): Josie Andrews, Taylor Bright, Melinda Chua, Jeffrey Coon, Ben Dibble Joilet Harris, Eric Kunze, Ben Lipitz, Brandon O'Rourke, Katie O'Shaughnessey, Peter Schmitz and Denise Whelan.

Tickets are available for purchase now! $35 for Orchestra and Mezzanine Seating, $75 for premium seats plus a complimentary pre-show cocktail

$250 for Gala Tickets: VIP seating, complimentary pre-show cocktail, and access to the exclusive VIP Party which follows the concert – the stars will be in attendance!

To purchase tickets to the Gala, call the theatre at 215-574-3550 or visit our website. Proceeds go towards the Education and Outreach department, which helps support over 100,000 kids a year.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Eric Kunze: My Collection is available for digital download on Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby!

We are happy to report that you are now able to order Eric Kunze's music online.  Here is  Eric's Page on Amazon the download is also available on iTunes here and on CD Baby here.  You can order the actual CD either here from this website, or from CD Baby.  Amazon has the CD available for mailing as well but you will receive it sooner if you order it here from this website.  We promise to do next day shipping when at all possible.

Eric will soon be appearing from May 17th to July 17th at the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia as Chris in "Miss Saigon".  Tickets here.

Thank you all for your overwhelming response and support!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"15 Alluring Albums" - TheaterMania Reviews "Eric Kunze: My Collection"

Eric's CD got a great review from TheaterMania.

By Andy Propst:
Kunze's graceful tenor voice seems custom built for the big anthems of the British poperas, and a host of them are included on this disc that's a retrospective of his career, including a particularly satisfying "Gethsemane" from Jesus Christ Superstar and a terrifically considered "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" from Les Miz. There are a couple of nice surprises in the mix, too, such as Stephen Schwartz's haunting ballad "Fathers and Sons" from Working.

Here is a link to the entire article.

Sunday, May 1, 2011