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Show and Tell

Me and Miss Saigon


ivy rose padilla

I’m delighted that I had a chance to interview Ms. Ivy Rose Padilla before the Miss Saigon Musicale play going to start at St. James Theatre.

Thank you to Mr. Michael Highstead, the Production Manager of Wellington Musical Theatre, who handles the NZ Miss Saigon.

Ms. Padilla, which I recalls she was a member of all female band in the Philippines.


Ivy Rose Padilla ,who always dream to play Kim just like Lea Salonga in the hits musical Miss Saigon.

“I was just so excited when Miss Saigon opened on the West End with a girl from The Philippines in the lead role,” Ivy says. “I dreamt of being Lea Salonga; being in that show.”

Early in 2008, Ivy and her husband made a decision that would change all that. A desire to improve their work-life balance and the great outdoors saw them leave the crowded streets of Manila and shift to Wellington. They quickly settled into the lifestyle they had been looking for.


“Then when I heard that Miss Saigon was coming to Wellington I was, like, ‘are you kidding?’

I couldn’t believe it!” As Ivy walked into the audition for the lead female role of Kim in the record-breaking show, she caused some bemusement among the production team.

“I was talking to myself,” she laughs. “I was saying ‘you can do this, you can do this’. I was really psyching myself up for the moment.” It clearly worked.

Director Grant Meese says Ivy’s audition was “incredible”. He says the production is supremely fortunate to have found Ivy, as other New Zealand seasons of the show have been forced to hire overseas talent to perform what is an extraordinarily challenging singing and acting role.


Now Ivy, who works as an online learning specialist at WelTec and is studying in the same field, sees a bright future for herself on stage. “I’m going to throw myself completely into this role,” she says. “And I’m not going to stop there.

I’ll be looking to step up and put myself to the test when other opportunities come up. After all, I’ve been dreaming of this since I was four.”

Last Saturday, I’m one of the lucky person who watched the last show of Miss Saigon in St. James Theatre and all I can say the play is terrific and amazing.

Production designs and costumes of the cast are well budgeted and they have fantastic voices. I wish this play  could extend for more days. You can watch my interview with Ivy Rose Padilla here.


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