After regaling the audience at her farewell concert, Rachelle Ann Go left for London last week to start rehearsals for the revival of Miss Saigon in May at the West End where the Cameron Mackintosh megahit musical started its journey to history back in 1989, packed full with Filipino talents in major roles including Lea Salonga as Kim (with Monique Wilson as alternate) and Isay Alvarez as Gigi.
At the concert, Rachelle kind of gave a preview of how she would perform in London when she sang selections from popular musicals such as Cats, Wicked, Les Miserables and, of course, Miss Saigon, doing the Gigi iconic song Movie In My Mind. No, Rachelle didn’t wear any sexy outfit, something that she just might (she has to!) in Miss Saigon. In one scene, bar girl Gigi is shown in bikinis, a “must,” and it will be a baptism of fire for Rachelle who has so far maintained a wholesome image.
Asked before she left how she’s preparing for that scene, Rachelle said she was not.
“But that’s the part that I’m dreading the most,” she admitted. “I guess I’m putting it away from my mind and silently hoping na may bagong outfit si Gigi ngayon,” adding, “we’ll see how it goes.”
Rachelle is a virtual newcomer on the theater scene having done only two musicals so far, The Little Mermaid and Tarzan, both for Atlantis Productions. But she did start dreaming of doing Miss Saigon when, as a kid, she watched it in Canada. Dream come true.
As moral support, Miss Saigon graduates sent off Rachelle with encouraging messages, to wit:
• Isay Alvarez: Enjoy what Britain has to offer…the culture and the sights.
• Janine Desiderio (one-time Kim): I know she will do well because she is armed with an enormous amount of talent! Just follow your instincts, girl! We’ll be cheering you on from here!
• Robert Seña (who played Thuy): Observe, learn and keep the Light burning.
• Jamie Rivera (another Kim): Enjoy your performances and stay focused, make the most out of your stay in London. Learn, travel, make friends and always pray. Have a good one.