As musicals go, they couldn’t be more different. One is a tragic love story set in the aftermath of the Vietnam war, the other a glamorous love-letter to Broadway. But Miss Saigon and 42nd Street both have the magic formula when it comes to captivating audiences and winning over critics for decades.
If you’ve never seen them — or you love them and want to revisit their brilliance — here’s your chance, as we’re screening both at Vue this autumn. On 30 September, you can see a special 25th Anniversary Gala Performance of Miss Saigon recorded at London’s Prince Edward Theatre during a record breaking run. Then, on 10 and 12 November we’re screening 42nd Street - “the greatest musical of all time” (The Daily Mail) - filmed live at London’s Theatre Royal.
This spectacular, sell-out 25th Anniversary Gala Performance of the global stage sensation Miss Saigon also features appearances by the original cast.
Miss Saigon: 25 Anniversary Performance Book Now
Telling the story of Peggy Sawyer, a talented young performer with stars in her eyes who gets her big break on Broadway.
42nd Street Book Now
And if that’s given you the musicals bug, December sees the release of the film adaptation of Cats — with a cast that includes Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift and James Corden.
Cats is out 20 December - find out more here.
So much musical excitement. But exactly what is it that makes these shows such enduring hits?
Songs you can’t stop singing
Like, duh. A musical lives or die by its songs. We’re talking tunes you’re humming in the shower for weeks afterwards. Songs you know every word to (and are convinced you can belt out just as well as the cast). Love power ballads? Miss Saigon is packed with stirring numbers like I Still Believe and Last Night of The World. Toe tapping jazz numbers more your thing? 42nd Street features all time classics like We’re In The Money and… erm, 42nd Street. We won’t stop you joining in.
A totes emosh storyYou want to come away from a musical with all the feelings, so a compelling, high-stakes story is a must. In tragic love story Miss Saigon, romance blossoms between American G.I Chris and 17-year old Kim at the end of the Vietnam war — but the pair are then torn apart. In 42nd Street, Peggy Sawyer is a small-town girl with big dreams, who gets a shot to go from chorus line to centre stage. You’ll be totally invested in the character’s journeys — and when you watch them on the big screen you’ll catch every flicker of emotion.
The wow factorStunning set designs, sparkling costumes, awe-inspiring visuals… the best musicals leave you wondering how on earth they pulled it all off. In Miss Saigon, there are some jaw-dropping special effects, including a famous helicopter scene that feels more Hollywood movie than West End musical. Meanwhile 42nd Street is a dazzling spectacle of light, glitter and kaleidoscopic routines that The Times called “an utterly moreish extravaganza of glitz.”
Crazy dance movesA wise man once said, ‘it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing’ — and that’s never truer than in a musical. Slick choreography elevates a show, and these two productions have it in spades. Miss Saigon features the original choreography of Bob Avian, cleverly bringing to life everything from Saigon’s seedy nightlife to dramatic fight scenes. Or, if it's 50 perfectly synchronised dancers high kicking around a stage you fancy watching (who wouldn’t!?) then 42nd Street has you covered.
Other musicals to watch at Vue:
Considered one of the greatest films in cinema history, The Wizard Of Oz returns to Vue cinemas.
The Wizard of Oz Book Now
The 1952 classic Singin' in the Rain comes to the big screen at Vue.
Singin' in the Rain Book Now