On Sunday, June 24, Tony Award nominee Eva Noblezada, best known for her portrayal of Kim in the musical Miss Saigon in London’s West End, then in the 2016 Broadway Revival, will present her final Girl No More cabaret as part of the Feinstein Cabaret series at AMP by Strathmore.
Producing the District for The District Now partnered with DC Metro Theater Arts to chat with Noblezada about the hallmark moments of her career. We also asked about her thoughts regarding the renewal of diversity efforts in the entertainment industry.
“I started singing when I was very young,” Noblezada explained. “I wasn’t actually introduced to Musical Theatre until I was 11! I fell in love.”
As the second noteworthy actress to play Kim – after Broadway legend Lea Salonga – Noblezada made quite the name for herself, garnering several award wins and nominations. We asked her to walk us through the moment she found about when she was chosen to play Kim in London.
“I found out I got Kim during my final audition in New York. My dad was there watching. It was a movie moment,” Noblezada explained. “I sang onstage and I was pulled into the auditorium and asked if I wanted to move to London. There were a lot of tears and grateful hugs. A feeling I’ll never forget.”
She then told us about being booked for Broadway’s Miss Saigon revival and the renewed excitement she felt:
“Finding out about Broadway was different. I had my arms full of shopping bags and I was on my way to my flat in London when I got the call. It was almost too casual of a phone call to break the news so I stuck with the nonchalant attitude until I got inside my apartment,” Noblezada said. “[Then] obviously in front of my boyfriend let out a huge scream, and again there were a lot of tears.”
Noblezada’s success is one of many stories in the present day that all tie into the larger movement that is called #RepresentationMatters, which is compelling producers to present either more shows with stories that use performers of color or new shows with more non-stereotyped characters of color within the story.
“We will always be in the days of #RepresentationMatters. Getting Saigon was obviously a huge honor, but I started to realize the inner pride. Also, I wanted to push for change. It was a massive moment for me that called for equivalent responsibility,” Noblezada said.
In addition to that, Noblezada, who is of Filipino and Mexican-American descent, gave some sound advice for any performers of color – or those from underrepresented communities – looking to pursue the arts.
“Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. The day you stop [caring] about what toxic people think you should be is the day you will flourish and fly higher than you dreamed,” Noblezada exclaimed. “Find inspiration around you. And especially for actors of color; never think you don’t have a community. There is always someone that will be there for you.”
We at Producing the District and DC Metro Theater Arts look forward to her show later this month, and we encourage you to join us on Sunday, June 24 at 8pm at AMP by Strathmore for her final presentation of Girl No More.
“I’ve never been to Maryland so this will surely be an adventure for me. Closing out a nearly ten-month long cabaret that I put together myself will be truly, truly special,” Noblezada said.
This article was simultaneously published by DC Metro Theater Arts and Producing the District.