Act One Saigon - April 1975 It is a Friday night in Saigon, shortly before the fall of the city and the emergency withdrawal of the American troops from it. But tonight, backstage at an afterhours club called Dreamland, Vietnamese bar-girls are preparing for the night's "contest" which will see one of them win the title Miss Saigon - and in turn become the price in the evening's raffle. THE HEAT IS ON IN SAIGON in more ways than one. The Engineer is marshaling the proceedings, urging the girls to go out front and hustle for him and themselves. It may be their last chance to earn some dollars - and maybe a passport away from here - before the city falls. The club is packed with American marines, civilians and South Vietnamese officers. Among them are two friends, Chris and John, out to get drunk, laid or both. The Engineer introduces a new girl to them, Kim, to whom Chris is instantly attracted. The contest is won by Gigi, and as she is won in turn by one of the marines, she reflects on THE MOVIE IN MY MIND that she plays out in her fantasies, longing to flee this life and this place. Kim and the other girls share the fantasy of finding themselves a strong GI who will protect them. John secures Kim's services from the Engineer for his friend Chris (THE TRANSACTION) and they are formally introduced (THE DANCE). Kim quickly takes Chris out of the club and into her tiny bare room. Later that night, with Kim soundly asleep but the city still bustling outside the small window, Chris reflects on his confused feelings (WHY GOD WHY?). He leaves some money for Kim, and goes out onto the street. There, accosted by locals who beg him to help them leave the country, he realizes how corrupt it is. He returns to Kim's room where, seeing her, he sees the other, beautiful Saigon that will now forever be part of his memories of the place. She awakens, and refuses the money he has left (THIS MONEY'S YOURS). She tells him it was her first time; when Chris is skeptical and pressures her for more information, she goes on to tell him how she came to be here: her village was burned and her family blasted away. Chris is now her savior, the sunlight to her moon (SUN AND MOON). In the middle of the next day, Chris phones his friend John to tell him his news: he's moving in with Kim, and they are going to spend the next 48 hours together. But John informs him that events are moving rapidly on and Saigon could fall at any minute (THE TELEPHONE SONG). Despite the political climate, John agrees that Chris can spend another day away. The Engineer, meanwhile, tries to strike a new deal for Kim with Chris: in exchange for her, he wants a visa. Chris can only offer more cash, which the Engineer is forced to accept (THE DEAL). The bar girls help Kim to move into a new room that she will share with Chris. A shrine is set up, and he girls and Kim sing Vietnamese words traditionally used to celebrate weddings (THE WEDDING CEREMONY, DJU VUI VAI). The festivities are interrupted by a man to whom Kim had been promised when she was just 13 (THUY'S ARRIVAL). Kim refuses Thuy and he leaves angrily, and as Chris takes Kim in his arms, they sing of the love they have found in each other (THE LAST NIGHT OF THE WORLD). Ho Chi Minh City - April 1978 The action moves forward three years. Saigon has been renamed Ho Chi Minh City, and the victory of North Vietnam and the third anniversary reunification is being celebrated in a street pageant (THE MORNING OF THE DRAGON). Kim is in a small room that she shares with a number of other Vietnamese. In the early morning, she sings about the GI that she still believes will one day come back for her (I STILL BELIEVE). But Chris is back home on the other side of the world, and is asleep in his bed, haunted by nightmares. Next to him is Ellen, his wife. She, too, sings of her hopes that he'll finally leave whatever it is that is troubling him behind. The Engineer returns to Ho Chi Minh City from a re-education camp (BACK IN TOWN). Thuy, now the people's commissar, has offered him freedom if he finds Kim. The Engineer leads Thuy to her, but again she rejects his love because she is sworn to Chris. Thuy orders his soldiers to wreck the room, and beat up the Engineer. Kim reveals to Thuy that she has a two-year-old son, Tam, by Chris; when Thuy threatens the boy with a knife, Kim pulls out a gun and is forced to shoot Thuy (THUY'S DEATH/YOU WILL NOT TOUCH HIM). The pageant continues outside, with a giant statue of Ho Chi Minh being raised in the square. Kim escapes through the crowd, and makes her way to the Engineer's abode in the abandoned backroom of what was once Dreamland, where he is picking over his souvenirs of his days presiding over the place and dreaming of moving on to Bangkok and then America (IF YOU WANT TO DIE IN BED). Kim arrives with Tam, and telling the Engineer what has happened to Thuy, asks for help to leave the country. When the Engineer realizes that Tam is the son of a marine, he sees him as a route to freedom for them all: the child is American, so will be their entree to the USA (KIM AND ENGINEER). Kim's first concern, however, is the child (I'D GIVE MY LIFE FOR YOU). They prepare to join the boatpeople to leave the country. Act Two Atlanta - September 1978 John is addressing a conference in Atlanta on the plight of children born of American fathers in Vietnam (BUI-DOI). John now works for an agency that deals with the problems this has given rise to. Chris and his wife Ellen are at the conference. After his address, John is taken aside by Chris, and John tells him that his staff in Bangkok have located Kim working there as a bargirl, but she has a child and Chris is the father. John tells him that the best thing to do will be for Chris to go to Bangkok, accompanied by Ellen (THE REVELATION). But first, John insists, she must be told about Kim. Bangkok - October 1978 In a street in Patpong in Bangkok, the Engineer is seen hustling for customers with his rivals outside a sleazy nightclub called Le Moulin Rouge (WHAT A WASTE). John finds Kim working in a massage parlor, and tells her that Chris is with him in Bangkok (PLEASE). But he is unable to tell Kim the truth that Chris is now married to another woman and returns to the hotel to tell Chris and Ellen of the impossible situation. Kim, meanwhile, anticipating being reunited with Chris, recalls the moments when they were separated during the Fall of Saigon. With a huge crowd of Vietnamese pushing at the Embassy gates, Kim failed to get past the guards and the helicopters left without her (KIM'S NIGHTMARE). The Engineer gives Kim the hotel address where Chris is staying, and she runs to find him; at the same time, Chris and John are traveling through the city to find her. Kim arrives at Chris's room, and after being mistaken for a maid by Ellen, discovers the truth from her - that Chris is already married (ROOM 317). Kim urges her to take Tam back to America with them, but Ellen refuses. After Kim leaves, Ellen realizes that Chris must make a choice between them, and decided to fight for him (NOW THAT I'VE SEEN HER). Chris and John return, having failed to find Kim, and learn that Kim has already been there and that Ellen has told her everything (THE CONFRONTATION). Ellen tells Chris that Kim is expecting him to go see her that night. Chris and Ellen decide to go see Kim together to try to convince her that the best solution is that they will support her and the child in Bangkok. Kim has returned to the club and lies to the Engineer, telling him that she has seen Chris and he will arrive later that evening to take them all to America. The Engineer finally sees his dreams coming true (THE AMERICAN DREAM). Meanwhile, however, Kim is preparing for Tam to meet his father. As Chris arrives with Ellen and John, she disappears behind the bed curtain and a gunshot rings out. Her body falls out from behind the curtain as Chris walks in, and she dies in his arms (FINALE).
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