Garrett Bolden

By Carissa Alcantara

The Clash Season 1 Finalist and Kapuso Soul Balladeer Garrett Bolden makes his theater debut in the musical stage production of “Miss Saigon” in Guam. 

Garrett, 29, is set to play the role of John Thomas, an American GI deployed in Saigon at the time of the Vietnam War, and the best friend of Chris Scott.

He admitted that his journey in joining Miss Saigon was unexpected and a brand-new experience for him. “I didn’t plan on auditioning. Nagkataon po na a friend of mine, sinabi niya na there’s an audition for a theater, which is something na bago po sa akin. Although I did theater before, that was high school days, pero ‘yung talagang experience po on a professional level, this is going to be my first.”

Garrett revealed that his personal connection with his audition piece helped him get the role. “First time kong marinig ‘yung song, which is ‘Bui Doi.’ It actually hit me somewhere kasi the song is very relatable sa akin kasi I had this time before na I was looking for my real dad. So siguro ‘yung nabigay kong feelings doon sa audition song, ‘yun po ‘yung naging way para ma-consider nila ako for the next stages of auditions.”

The Sparkle star also took dance lessons to prepare for his stint in Miss Saigon, “Kinondisyon ko po ang sarili ko na kapag teatro, hindi lang po ito kantahan. It’s actually your whole body going to portray the character and the message, and it’s something that I am excited po. For sure po maninibago ako pero I’m willing to learn po lahat ng dapat kong matutunan to portray this role.”

Lastly, he feels that Miss Saigon’s story is still relevant up to this day, “Para po sa akin, ang interpretation po ng Miss Saigon is it’s not actually about the love story, but it’s about abandonment. Kasi I myself experienced it, there was a long time when I was looking for my father. In this Miss Saigon story, ang dami palang mga batang naabandona and you know it’s important for a child to know who his father is, who their parents are. And napakalaki ng impact no’n sa bata.”

Garrett has also several awards, including New Male Recording Artist of the Year at the 11th PMPC Star Awards for Music; Awit Awards 2020 People’s Choice Award, Favorite New Male Artist, and Outstanding Achiever in the Music Industry at the 2020 Philippine Top Choice for Excellence.

During a Zoom with the entertainment press, Garrett admitted that his only theater experience was in second-year high school.

“Although I did theater before pero that was in highschool days, pero yung talagang experience po as professional level parang this is going to be my first,” he added.

Given the name of Ka Soul Balladeer, Garrett revealed that doing theater was one of his goals since he’s been working with theater actors Aicelle Santos, Christian Bautista, and Mark Bautista.

Garreth also received professional advice from Aicelle who played the role of Gigi in 2019.

“When she found out about Miss Saigon, she was really excited, and then I asked for advice, then she shared with me her experiences as a cast of Miss Saigon, and what to expect, what to not expect, and what to come prepared for, and what to learn prior to doing the rehearsals,” he mentioned.

Garrett said he still feels the pressure and excitement as he plays John in the award-winning stage play.

Sparkle’s Senior Talent Manager Vic Del Rosario revealed why the producers of Miss Saigon chose Garrett to play the male lead role.

“With our initial meetings with the producer, one thing they like about Garrett is his story, kasi nga as we all know naman GI baby si Garrett diba? Medyo close yung story niya sa Miss Saigon, kumbaga parang eto yung legit na GI talaga yung isa sa mga cast nila, that’s one of the deciding factors nung mga producers,” Vic mentioned.

Garrett left the country on Aug. 5. He and the other cast members of “Miss Saigon” will be rehearsing for the whole month of August. “Miss Saigon” will debut in Guam in September.

Source: Manila Bulletin (