Overture panel on ‘Miss Saigon’ postponed

March 28, 2019 GMT

A panel discussion about the musical “Miss Saigon” scheduled for Overture Center at 7 p.m. Wednesday has been postponed indefinitely because of a misunderstanding among the participants about the goal of the discussion, according to a press release from the arts center.

″...It appears that we were not all on the same page as to our goals, objectives and the purpose for tonight’s event,” said a statement in the press release quoting Ed Holmes, Overture’s senior vice president for equity and innovation, who coordinated the event.


“This is uncharted territory for us. And although we were not able to proceed this evening, this is an important conversation for us to have, one that we will not shy away from,” Holmes said in the statement.

The panel, with the revised title “Perspectives on ‘Miss Saigon’: History and Community,” was announced last week in response to concerns from some people about the controversial history of “Miss Saigon.” The blockbuster musical has met with protests in some other cities by people who feel it presents Asian American stereotypes.

The Broadway tour of “Miss Saigon” is scheduled to come to Overture Center for performances April 4-7.

Lex Poppens, vice president of marketing and sales for Overture, said the arts center declined to comment beyond Holmes’ statement in the press release.

Holmes statement went on to say that “Our goal was to ensure that all voices were heard. As of this morning, we felt that we were too far apart on the purpose of the panel. We are working on rescheduling. An added benefit of discussing these issues at a later date is everyone will have the opportunity to see the show and be more informed about the content, which is the central focus of our anticipated discussion.”

Panelists were to have included: Nancy Vue-Tran, director of development grants for Madison-based Freedom Inc.; Josephine Lee, a professor of English and Asian American Studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; Sandra Gajic, president and CEO of Overture Center for the Arts; and Sarah Marty of the UW-Madison Arts Institute and artistic director of Four Seasons Theatre.

Holmes and Timothy Yu, professor of English and Asian American Studies at UW-Madison, were scheduled to give opening comments.