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Fil-Am Larissa Maestro as Kim in the Street Theatre Company's 'Miss Saigon' in Concert  

By Erie Maestro
Mon 26th November 2012



 
Nashville, Tennessee.-November 25 — Filipino-American Larissa Maestro made her stage debut as the Vietnamese girl Kim in the Street Theatre Company’s production of “Miss Saigon in Concert” in Nashville.
 
Larissa Maestro as Kim
 

The concert-style production played to a full house every night for its week of six shows from November 14 to 19. The impressive cast of 24 lead actors and ensemble members, the marvelous eight-piece live orchestra, and an excellent production team brought this Broadway hit into a fantastic showcase  of songs and acting, unhampered by lavish sets, props and costumes.
 
 Street Theatre poster
 

Artistic Director Cathy Street, quoted in the Nashville Music City website, said “The thing about the in-concert style is that when you strip away the sets and costumes, you are left with the story. And quite frankly, the story is what theatre is all about at its simplest level.” http://www.visitmusiccity.com/media/pr_streettheatremisssaigon
 
 Miss Saigon cast
 

Miss Saigon is a modern day version of Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly” where, set in the context of the near-end of the Vietnam War, an American Marine named Chris and a Vietnamese girl named Kim fall in love but get separated during the fall of Saigon and the defeat of the American forces in 1975. The tragic love story ends with Kim keeping her promise to Tam, her young son with Chris, and the ultimate sacrifice she makes.
 
Larissa Maestro shared the stage with Michael Holder (as Chris, the American GI), Danny Tran (as Thuy, the North Vietnamese Army officer), Kenny Eiland (as The Engineer), Kristi Mason (as Ellen, Chris’s American wife), and Josh Waldrep (as John, Chris’s soldier friend) and with other actors in the ensemble.  Miss Saigon (the musical created by Claude-Michel Schonberg, Alan Boublil and Richard Maltby, Jr. ) in Concert was produced by Cathy Street as director, Rollie Mains as music director and Alexis Lherrison as stage manager.  The Street Theatre Company operates as a non-profit arts organization dedicated to fostering professional, affordable and accessible theatre in Nashville since 2004.
 
 
 

Jeffrey Ellis, in his review of the Miss Saigon in Concert for www.broadwayworld.com wrote, “Maestro’s scenes with six-year-old Ethan Morris as Kim’s son Tam are heartbreakingly real and their final scene together is lovely, if not draining.” http://nashville.broadwayworld.com/article/BWW-Reviews-Street-Theatre-Companys-MISS-SAIGON-IN-CONCERT-Superb-and-Moving-20121116-page2
 
Lindsay George, in her review for ArtsNash, wrote that “Maestro may be new to the theatre stage, but she brings such emotion and passion to Kim that at times her entire body shakes with Kim’s anger or fear.  Her doe-eyed and innocent appearance makes her a perfect match for the role.” And in Kim’s  meeting with Ellen, Chris’s wife,  in the song “Room 317”, George wrote that “Maestro delivers such a palpable devastation that the scene becomes the show’s most intense and intimate.” http://artsnash.com/theater/street-miss-saigon/
 
One would be hard-pressed to find a Filipino who does not know the story of “Miss Saigon”  or who does not recognize Lea Salonga, the first Kim. There have been many productions of this Broadway smash hit that have been mounted in different parts of the world, with Kim usually being played by a Filipino girl. Larissa Maestro herself loved this show and its songs since childhood and had gone, with her sister Amanda, to watch Lea Salonga as Kim on stage  in New York when they were younger.
 
 
Larissa Maestro Scherer
 

Larissa Maestro, trained at the Berklee College of Music, is a skilled cellist, guitarist, and arranger with 10+ years professional music experience.  She has recorded and performed with artists and bands that included Wanda Jackson, Ray Price, Caitlin Rose, The Protomen, and My So-Called Band. She has her own band Poly, which features uncommon and ethnic instruments, and they have just released their first record last August 2012. http://polylovesyou.bandcamp.com/album/3-songs-by-poly ;  Last year, she directed and performed the part of Eponine in a local revue of the Broadway classic Les Miserables to benefit YEAH Rock camps in Nashville.  
 
l-r Michael Holder, Larissa Maestro, Cliff Scherer, Ruby Maestro-Manalang,Jane Maestro-Scherer, Amanda Maestro-Scherer and Mark Maestro

Larissa’s proud parents are Jane Maestro and Dr. Clifford Scherer from Ithaca, New York.

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