Blue Eyed Girl interviews . . . MISS SAIGON’s Jon Jon Briones

(From www.imdb.com)

It was in May this year that I made my first ever visit to see the 25th Anniversary production of MISS SAIGON which had recently opened in London. I had never seen the show before (Bad I know!). Literally, I didn’t know the story or any of the characters. All I knew was that there were 2 songs in the show called “Why God Why” and “Last Night of the World” and that there was a certain very iconic scene involving a helicopter!

I came out of the Prince Edward Theatre that night having been completely blown away by one of the most epic productions I had ever seen. However, in amongst all of the awe inspiring production that I had just witnessed, there was one particular performance which stood head and shoulders above them all – and it was given by a performer who had been with the show since it first debuted in 1989. He made me laugh, cry, tense, nervous and joyous – and for me that is the mark of an extremely talented individual. This performer is also the main reason I would re-visit the show – he was THAT good!

It is an absolute honour for me to announce that my newest interviewee, from the cast of MISS SAIGON, is the phenomenal JON JON BRIONES (The Engineer)

 
Tell us a little known fact about yourself – something we wouldn’t know by looking at you

I studied Electrical Engineering for 5 years until I got cast in Miss Saigon in 1989.

Who or what inspired you to get into the Theatre Industry?

Seeing West Side Story on TV when I was probably 8 years old.

What was the first song/album you ever bought?
Top Gun soundtrack.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Be classy even in defeat.
 

You are currently starring in the 25th Anniversary revival of Miss Saigon. Do you think this production does justice to the iconic original?

I believe this production does it justice and more.

How are you enjoying working with your fellow new cast members?

I’m in love with this cast. It’s a privilege to come to work every day.

Do you have a favourite moment in the show? Or maybe a particular song that you love to perform?

I love them all but if I have to choose, it would be If You Want to Die in Bed.

What has been the best moment of your time so far with this version of the show? And what are you most looking forward to in the year ahead?

I always love rehearsals – figuring out things and discovering things and the surprises that you encounter when you discover something you didn’t 8 years ago. As for the year ahead, I’m looking forward to travelling in Europe with my family.

In 10 words or less, why should people come and see you, along with the fantastic cast at Miss Saigon?

Come on, it’s Miss Saigon.

—–     As I said earlier, the new production of Miss Saigon – currently playing at the Prince Edward Theatre in London – is truly a piece of epic theatre brilliance. The whole production, from sets to costumes to scenery and special effects, fits together like a perfect jigsaw puzzle. But for me, it is Jon Jon along with the rest of this stellar cast that make this new incarnation of MISS SAIGON an absolute must see! Check out http://www.miss-saigon.com/ for more details, including tickets!

A personal thanks must go to Jon Jon for taking time out of his extremely busy schedule to take part in this interview – I am eternally grateful to you Sir and simply cannot thank you enough.

Signing off for now

Blue Eyed Girl Xxx 

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ALBUM REVIEW – Katy Treharne’s "THINK OF ME"

 
They say you always remember the moments when you encounter someone special in your life. And I can honestly say I have been truly blessedto meet some amazing people, particularly West End performers ever since I have had my little Blog.
But one performer in particular stands out to me – not just for her stunning voice, but for the warmth of her heart and kindness of her spirit.
 
It was August 2012 at Her Majesty’s Theatre London. I had just seen Peter Joback perform as the Phantom for the second time (and what would be the final occasion I would see him in the role) and I was waiting at the Stage Door to congratulate him on his performance. But it was not just Peter I was waiting to see, as that was the night that I was first witness to the amazing talent of KATY TREHARNE who, to this day, is one of the best Christines’ I have ever seen at “Phantom of the Opera“.
 
Fast forward nearly 2 years, and I have been truly blessed to encounter Katy on several occasions both as a performer on stage but also as a supporter of so many wonderful charities – which included the amazing West End has Faithevent in April 2013 (as well as the follow up last December). And now, as Katy continues to strive for excellence in all parts of her career – she has now released her debut album, appropriately titled “THINK OF ME.”
 
Now to the untrained ear, this album may appear to just contain a series of covers with a very small hint of original material. However, knowing Katy like I do, I can tell you that this album gives you such a personal insight into the passion, pride and enchanting beauty that just exudes from her and spreads to everybody that she encounters. These 11 songs have been meticulously chosen to represent every aspect of Katy’s life and career – and that is what makes this album so truly special.
 
From the majestic musical anthems for which she made her name, in the shape of “Think of Me” (Phantom of the Opera) and “I’ve Never Said I Love You” (Dear World); her proud Welsh roots in “Calon Lan” and her love of Disney (and one of my personal favourites!) in NEWSIES “Watch What Happens”; to her love and passion for her Faith in “Open Heaven” (from new musical Love Beyond) and “Speechless” (originally by one of Katy’s favourite artists – Sandi Patty)
 
Add to that a Dan and Laura Curtis original, a timeless Italian ballad, an Ivor Novello classic and hits from SMASH and The Wizard of Oz – and you have one of the most versatile collections you will ever hear by such an enchanting soprano voice.
 
What this diverse collection also proves is that Katy is certainly one of those talented voices who really can sing anything! From up tempo to ballads; love to fear and regret; hope and joy to some of the most passionate musical deliveries you will ever hear. YES – it’s all here!
 
This is one collection of songs that needs to be a part of every ones CD collection – songs that will appeal to everybody, no matter who you are or where you are from, delivered by one of the most stunning voices that has ever come out of the UK!
 
TRACK LISTING
Think of Me
I’ve Never Said I Love You
Open Heaven
Watch What Happens
Speechless
What Love Is For
Calon Lan
O Mio Babbino Caro
My Dearest Dear
Second Hand White Baby Grand
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
 
You can get your own copy of Katy’s beautiful album from all good CD/Download providers – I promise you this is one purchase you will NOT REGRET!.
Signing off for now
Blue Eyed Girl Xxx