Miss Saigon’s Jon Jon Briones Gets Rave Reviews on Broadway


Jon Jon Briones
Jon Jon Briones as the Engineer; Screenshot from Miss Saigon trailer

Reviews are in for the current revival of Miss Saigon on Broadway!

Opening March 23 at the Broadway Theater in New York, the show comes back after 26 years. This revival stars Fil-Am theater actress Eva Noblezada in the title role and features home-grown talent Rachelle Ann Go as Gigi.

While Hollywood publication Variety reports that this revival has met strong ticket sales, reviews from reputable critics have been mixed.

Regarding Jon Jon Briones as The Engineer, however, most reviews have been glowing. Chief Theater Critic for The New York Times, Ben Brantley, calls Briones “likeable and undeniably talented”, while Marilyn Stasio from Variety says that his performance was “flat-out brilliant”.

Jon Jon Briones
Jon Jon Briones as the Engineer; Screenshot from Miss Saigon trailer

The raves don’t end there! Check out what top global publications and critics have to say about Mr. Briones:

“Mr. Briones gives a far more realistic performance than [Jonathan] Pryce did. This Engineer, who runs the Saigon brothel where the show’s leading lovers meet, is a human cockroach, a slippery survivor of poverty, wars and Communist rehabilitation camps. He is equally contemptible and charming, with appropriately fluid body language that serves him well in his solos of survival and ambition, which are the musical’s most memorable numbers.” – Ben Brantley, THE NEW YORK TIMES

“The Engineer is played here by talented Filipino actor Jon Jon Briones […], who makes the avaricious fixer his own. Whether plying horny G.I.s with booze, coke and girls, weaseling his way around the Vietnamese People’s Army brass, or later, seething about the Bangkok bosses who treat him like refugee scum, the Engineer is a deliciously amoral profiteer, a parasitic carnival barker who feeds on others’ misfortunes. But despite his leering eyes, lascivious gestures and snake-like moves, the wiry Briones also humanizes the dissolute character. In the Engineer’s own sordid way, he’s another casualty of war, poverty and oppression.” – David Rooney, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

“…who’s brilliant as an unctuous cock o’ the walk for whom no amount of strutting can hide the sleaziness, mendacity and desperation. The show’s high point (which is really its low point) — “The American Dream” number that requires The Engineer to fornicate with that virginal Cadillac — is more chilling than I’ve ever seen it.” – Jeremy Gerard, DEADLINE

“…he clearly takes great pride in the role, giving his slimy character a touching layer of empathy.” – Breanne Heldman, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

“…just wait for his big getaway in “The American Dream,” a show-stopper — and a career-maker for Briones.” – Marilyn Stasio, VULTURE

“Briones and Noblezada are the evening’s astonishing powerhouses; they are as committed to the characters—and brilliantly so—as any director (Laurence Connor) could wish. They soar, perhaps award-winningly, above the bizarre material they have to perform. The fault does not lie with them, or the wonderful orchestra and musicians. […]

[“The American Dream”] the archetypal showstopper, and Briones performs it with grandiloquent brio, including a freshly inserted line about “making America great again” which got the biggest roar of the night.” – Tim Teeman, THE DAILY BEAST

“…fully inhabits his character, a resourceful pimp eager to make his way to America. Briones is the focal point of this “Miss,” part-character and part-narrator, emceeing his way across Asia with gyrating hips and snarky asides. The 11 o’clock number, “The American Dream,” gives the actor ample opportunity to showcase his talent, as he struts around a procession of satin-clad chorus members, finally climbing atop the hood of a Cadillac that has emerged from the gaping maw of a distorted Statue of Liberty, while hailing the power of the dollar.” – Robert Kahn, NBC NEW YORK

“Briones, Noblezada and Brammer are giving high intensity performances that stand on par with their predecessors (including Lea Salonga and Jonathan Pryce).

[…] Briones, as the show’s most compelling and unhinged character, is aggressive, authoritative, unpredictable and absolutely electrifying.” – Matt Windman, AMNEWYORK

Miss Saigon is on Broadway for a limited run until January 14, 2018.

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