All the hits are here — Man in the Mirror, Billie Jean, Bad, Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough, Can You Feel It etc — and more (yes, Heal the World is in there, too).
After the juggernaut onslaught of The Book of Mormon, another musical has just arrived from Broadway much more unobtrusively — but is even more unmissable. It is in an entirely different emotional register, too: where the Mormons have a literally missionary zeal, Once creeps under your skin to achieve a kind of ecstasy in its quiet, insistent yearning for life’s missed opportunities, but the lessons we can learn from them.
Miss Saigon is full of glimpses of, and glances towards, other shows from South Pacific to Pacific Overtures, too, as well as its operatic source. But it remains a striking, occasionally strident, example of musical theatre craftsmanship. I wish it hadn’t been burdened here by over-production, but there’s no question that audiences are getting their money’s worth, and that it will be a massive hit all over again.