Book by Claude-Michel Schonberg, Alain Boublil
Music by Claude-Michel Schonberg
Lyrics by Alain Boublil, Richard Maltby
adapted from Giacomo Puccini’s opera, Madame Butterfly


Opened at the Theatre Royal (West End)    September 20, 1989    4,264 performances
The Broadway Theatre (Broadway)    April 11, 1991    4,092 performances (Produced professionally all over the world. One of the most successful of all Musicals.)
Original Director: Nicholas Hytner
Original Choreographer: Bob Avian
Original Producer: Cameron Mackintosh
Original Leads: Kim: Lea Salonga     The Engineer: Jonathan Pryce
Cast Size: Male: 4    Female: 3    Ensemble: around 24-30   Total Cast Size:30-36
Orchestra: 18
Published Script: None
Production Rights: MTI (Music Theater International)
Recordings: Numerous. The original British is very good, with Salonga, still definitive in the role, and Pryce, also excellent.
Film: None.
Other shows by the authors: Les Miserable, Martin Guerre
Awards: 10 Tony nominations, winner of 3, for Best Actress (Salonga), Actor (Pryce)


This is a very large show, with leads that are quite difficult to sing. The story is very adult, as well, as is the language used. Some colleges may be able to do it. Only the largest regional theatres could try it. It’s a West End-Broadway show, on its way back to the West End in 2014 with a new production produced by Mackintosh. Maybe the opera house, at a later date.

Be Warned:

The rights are probably not available, or are limited at this time. If they were available, very few companies can pull this one off, anyway.

THE STORY: (Synopsis from Wikipedia.)

ACT ONE: In April 1975 at “Dreamland,” a sleazy Vietnamese club, shortly before the fall of Saigon, it is Kim’s first day as a bargirl. The seventeen-year-old orphan is greeted by the Engineer, a French-Vietnamese man who owns the club. Backstage, the girls ready themselves for the night’s show, jeering at Kim’s naïveté (“Overture”). The U.S. Marines, aware that they will be leaving Vietnam soon, party with the Vietnamese prostitutes at the club (“The Heat Is on in Saigon”). Chris Scott, a sergeant disenchanted by the club scene, is encouraged by his friend John Thomas to go with a girl. The girls compete for the title of “Miss Saigon,” and the winner is raffled to a Marine. Kim’s innocence strikes Chris. Gigi Van Tranh wins the crown for the evening and begs the Marine who won the raffle to take her back to America, annoying him. The showgirls reflect on their dreams of a better life (“Movie in My Mind”). John buys a room from the Engineer for the virgin Kim and Chris (“The Transaction”). Kim is reluctant and shy, but dances with Chris. Chris tries to pay her to leave the nightclub. When the Engineer interferes, thinking that Chris does not like Kim, Chris allows himself to be led to her room (“The Dance”).

Chris, watching Kim sleep, asks God why he met her just as he was about to leave Vietnam (“Why, God, Why?”). When Kim wakes up, Chris tries to give her money, but she refuses, saying that it is her first time sleeping with a man (“This Money’s Yours”). Touched to learn that Kim is an orphan, Chris tells her that she need not sell herself at the club, because he wants her to stay with him. The two pledge their love for each other (“Sun and Moon”). Chris tells John that he is taking leave to spend time with Kim. John warns him that the Viet Cong will soon take Saigon, but then reluctantly agrees to cover for Chris (“The Telephone Song”). Chris meets with the Engineer to trade for Kim, but the Engineer tries to include an America visa in the deal. Chris forces the Engineer at gunpoint to honour the original arrangement for Kim (“The Deal”).

The bargirls hold a “wedding ceremony” for Chris and Kim (“Dju Vui Vai”), with Gigi toasting Kim as the “real” Miss Saigon. Thuy, Kim’s cousin, to whom she was betrothed at thirteen, arrives to take her home. He has become an officer in the North Vietnamese Army and is angered to find her with Chris (“Thuy’s Arrival”). The two men confront each other, drawing their guns. Kim tells Thuy that their arranged marriage is now nullified because her parents are dead, and she no longer harbours any feelings for him because of his betrayal. Thuy curses them all and storms out (“What’s This I Find”). Chris promises to take Kim with him when he leaves Vietnam. Chris and Kim dance to the same song as on their first night (“Last Night of The World”).

Three years later in 1978, a street parade is taking place in Saigon (since renamed Ho Chi Minh City to celebrate the third anniversary of the reunification of Vietnam and the defeat of the Americans (“Morning of The Dragon”; also called “The Fall of Saigon”). Thuy, a commisar in the new Communist government, has ordered his soldiers to find the still-corrupt Engineer. Thuy orders the Engineer to find Kim and bring her to him. Kim is still in love with Chris and has been hiding in an impoverished area, all the while believing Chris will return to Vietnam and rescue her. Meanwhile, Chris is in bed with his new American wife, Ellen, when he wakes from a dream shouting Kim’s name. Ellen and Kim both swear their devotion to Chris from opposite ends of the world (“I Still Believe”).

The Engineer finds Kim and brings Thuy to her. Kim refuses Thuy’s renewed offer of marriage and introduces him to Tam, her three-year-old son with Chris. Thuy calls Kim a traitor and Tam an enemy, and tries to kill Tam with a knife, but Kim pulls out Chris’s gun and kills Thuy (“You Will Not Touch Him”). She flees with Tam (“This Is the Hour”) and tells the Engineer what she has done (“If You Want to Die in Bed”). The Engineer refuses to help her until he learns that Tam’s father is American (“Let Me See His Western Nose”) – thinking the boy is his chance to emigrate to the United States. He tells Kim that now he is the boy’s uncle, and he will lead them to Bangkok. The three set out on a ship with other refugees (“I’d Give My Life for You”).

ACT TWO: In Atlanta, Georgia, John now works for an aid organisation whose mission is to connect Bui-Doi (from Vietnamese trẻ bụi đời “street children,” incorrectly understood as meaning children conceived during the war) with their American fathers (“Bui Doi”). John tells Chris that Kim is still alive, which Chris is relieved to hear after years of having nightmares of her dying. He also tells Chris about Tam and urges Chris to go to Bangkok with Ellen. Chris finally tells Ellen about Kim and Tam (“The Revelation”). In Bangkok, the Engineer is hawking a sleazy club where Kim works as a dancer (“What A Waste”). Chris, Ellen, and John arrive in search of Kim. John finds Kim dancing at the club, and tells her that Chris is also in Bangkok. He then tries to tell her that Chris is remarried, but Kim interrupts. She is thrilled about the news and tells Tam that his father has arrived, believing that they are to go to America with Chris. Seeing Kim happy, John cannot bring himself to break the news to her, but promises to bring Chris to her (“Please”).

The Engineer tells Kim to find Chris herself, because he doubts that Chris will come (“Chris Is Here”). Kim is haunted by the ghost of Thuy, who taunts Kim, claiming that Chris will betray her as he did the night Saigon fell. Kim suffers a horrible flashback to that night (“Kim’s Nightmare”).

In the nightmare/flashback, Kim remembers the Viet Cong approaching Saigon. As the city becomes increasingly chaotic, Chris is called to the embassy and leaves his gun with Kim, telling her to pack. When Chris enters the embassy, the gates close, as orders arrive from Washington for an immediate evacuation of the remaining Americans. The Ambassador orders that no more Vietnamese be allowed into the Embassy. Kim reaches the gates of the Embassy, one of a mob of terrified Vietnamese trying to enter. Chris calls to Kim and is about to go into the crowd to look for her, but John is eventually forced to punch Chris in the face to stop him from leaving. Chris is put into the last helicopter leaving Saigon as Kim watches from outside, still pledging her love to him (“The Fall of Saigon”).

Back in 1978 Bangkok, Kim joyfully dresses in her wedding clothes (“Sun and Moon: Reprise”) and leaves the Engineer to watch Tam while she is gone. She goes to Chris’s hotel room, where she finds Ellen. Kim mistakenly thinks that Ellen is John’s wife, but Ellen reveals that she is Chris’s wife. Kim is heartbroken and refuses to believe Ellen. Ellen asks Kim if Chris is the father of Tam, and Kim says that he is. Kim says that she does not want her son to live on the streets as a rat, but Ellen tells Kim that they will do what they can to support him. Kim pleads to Ellen that they take Tam with them to America, but Ellen refuses, saying that Tam needs his real mother, and Ellen wants her own children with Chris. Kim angrily demands that Chris tell her these things in person, and runs out of the room (“Room 317″). Ellen feels bad for Kim, but is determined to keep Chris (“Now That I’ve Seen Her”). Chris and John return, having failed to find Kim. Ellen tells them both that Kim arrived and that she had to tell Kim everything. Chris and John blame themselves, realising that they were gone too long. Ellen also tells them that Kim wants to see Chris at her place, and that she tried to give away her son to them. John realises that Kim wants Tam to be “an American boy.” Ellen then issues an ultimatum to Chris: Kim or she. Chris reassures Ellen, and they pledge their love for each other. Chris will leave Tam and Kim in Bangkok but offer them monetary support from America. John warns that Kim will not find it acceptable to have Tam stay in Thailand (“The Confrontation”). Back at the club, Kim lies to the Engineer that they are still going to America (“Paper Dragons”). The Engineer imagines the extravagant new life that he will lead in America (“The American Dream”). Chris, John, and Ellen find the Engineer and he takes them to see Kim and Tam.

In her room, Kim tells Tam that he should be happy because he now has a father. She tells him that she cannot go with him but will be watching over him (“This Is the Hour (Reprise)”). Chris, Ellen, John, and the Engineer arrive just outside her room. The Engineer comes in to take Tam outside to introduce Tam to his father. While this is happening, Kim steps behind a curtain and shoots herself. As she falls to the floor, everyone rushes into the room at the sound of the gunshot and find Kim mortally wounded. Chris holds Kim in his arms and asks what she has done and why she did this, as she explains that the gods have guided him to his son. Chris begs her not to die, as she asks him to hold her one last time. After sharing one final kiss, Kim says her final words to Chris, echoing what he said to her from the song “Sun and Moon” (“How in one night have we come so far?”) and she dies in his arms (“Finale”).


“Backstage Dreamland”, “The Heat is On in Saigon”, “The Movie in My Mind”, “The Transaction”, “The Dance”, “Why, God, Why”, “This Money’s Yours”, “Sun and Moon”, “The Telephone Song”, “The Deal”, “The Wedding Ceremony”, “Thuy’s Arrival”, “Last Night of the World”, “The Morning of the Dragon”, “I Still Believe”, “Back in Town”, “Thuy’s Death” / “You Will Not Touch Him”, “This is the Hour”, “If You Want to Die in Bed”, “Let Me See His Western Nose”, “I’d Give My Life for You”,
“Bui Doi”, “The Revelation”, “What a Waste”, “Please”, “Chris is Here”, “Kim’s Nightmare”, “Fall of Saigon”, “Sun and Moon” (Reprise), “Room 317″, “Now That I’ve Seen Her”, “The Confrontation”, “Paper Dragons”, “The American Dream”, “This is the Hour”, “Finale”

Hits include “I Still Believe”, The American Dream” (“The Movie In My Mind”, “Sun and Moon”, “The Wedding Ceremony”, “Last Night of the World”, “I’d Give My Life For You” are beautiful numbers, though occasionally the lyrics are not of the same quality as the music, as in “The Last Night”, in particular. “Bui Doi” is a powerful and important idea, a fine song. A superior score, easily the author’s best.)


As always, feel free to ignore or skip my opinions and rating. If you do, however, don’t be surprised if your production of Miss Saigon misses…Saigon…and everything else.

Well, here’s more controversy. I think this show is a far better Musical than Les Miserables. In fact, I don’t even think it’s close. This show tells a clearer, simpler story, and is a better evening of theater,

That said, the music is often all-too reminiscent of Les Mis. I get that every composer has a style, but some composers recycle their tricks, once they’ve been shown to work. In this case, in the Les Mis school, we have some pretty windy, overwrought ballads (“Why, God Why”, and the scene that follows, are particularly egregious examples).

The show suffers from too much music, way too much. Singing everything rarely works, folks. You end up forcing actors to sing silly plot points as if they were high drama, and Miss Saigon certainly falls prey to this issue. An example of this is “Thuy’s Arrival”, an addled and overwrought scene saddled with juvenile rhymes and sing-songy music, the modern version of recitative, a moment sung in an attempt to heighten drama that would have been more interesting and powerful if spoken. Same goes for the scene where Thuy uses the Engineer to locate Kim, and demands she marry him, and then has her arrested. This scene should not be sung. The writers just aren’t very good at recitative. I’m afraid when it comes to recit, most opera is bad opera. Song is best used in Musicals as emotional highlights, to establish mood, to entertain, and to forward plot only when they can still work as songs. A “song” like “Please” is really little more than overblown recit shaped like a song, and would have worked better as dialogue. This extensive piece continues in this manner for quite a while, with lines being sung like “I’m on my way.” Really not very good. Chris’s last cry of “No!!!!!!!!” at the end also seems silly, melodrama gone wrong. At least it’s spoken, sort of.

Lyrics like “You will not touch him, don’t touch my boy, he’s what I live for, he’s my only joy…”, or “No, can’t you see, it can’t work, it can’t be…” give me a headache, frankly. So square, so predictable. At one point, they rhyme “home” and “phone”, a non-rhyme of course, and a bit embarrassing at this level of production. But though there are numerous annoying lapses like these, Maltby’s lyrics are still superior to Kretzmer’s, in Les Mis.

Additionally, there are numbers that don’t do much for the show as a whole, like “The Morning Of The Dragon,” an attempt to recapture some of the political energy of Les Mis and perhaps Evita, which it all-too resembles, a rather lame reason for a Dance number, and again, an example of a terrible use of recitative to tell a story. “Now That I’ve Seen Her” feels like it was an afterthought, its music inferior to the rest of the show.

Too many songs, too long, too much music (especially the choral/orchestral mess at the end of Act I, real second-rate corn)…and I still like the show? Yes, I do. Quite, actually.

This show has far more interesting music than Les Mis. There are ballads that are not windy and overwritten, at least not to the extent of their first hit show, and more than a few are quite beautiful. This show is more of an aesthetic experience than Les Mis. It is potentially more interesting to look at, and far more pleasing to the ear.

As to the story, I have to say that both Kim and Chris strike me as a little more than innocents, perhaps they are a bit, well, slow. Chris is an emotionally juvenile man-child, and Kim, well, I guess she’s in love all those years, thinking her American marine will return to her. Some of the methods used to communicate story is not great dramaturgy. A long phone call for Chris to discover Saigon is falling apart, a moment of high drama burned with a phone call. Some of the weakness in character development is excusable. This is an adapted opera, Madame Butterfly, that is itself a melodrama, of course. And there’s always the Engineer, a nastier version of Fagin. It’s a fine role, fun and charismatic if essentially one-note. (I do like the moment where we get a glimpse into the man’s childhood, selling his mother to the French and deluded by the American Dream, I think this may be the show’s strongest piece.)

There are two Musicals that came out within a few years of each other that were adapted from Puccini’s masterful operas, Rent (La Boheme), and Miss Saigon (Madame Butterfly). My hats off to anyone with the arrogance to adapt Puccini, and the ability to do it successfully! And a second number in Musicals in three years or so about Bangkok? (“One Night In Bangkok” from Chess, “What A Waste”, here.) Life is strange. And I’ll take that helicopter effect over a floating chandelier any day.

I do think the show should send Bert Brecht a letter of thanks for the Engineer character, clearly a refugee from any one of his plays.

MY RATING: ** (An excellent show, well worth considering.)




The score is essentially sung-through. The orchestrations are particularly dense and rich, and help create drama where there is often mere repetition. The show requires a capable and experienced Musical Director to handle this much music, with this large a cast, a fine musician and organizer.

Voices tend toward the legit. Big ranges, healthy belts up high, but with a pop sensibility – the sort of voice in vogue in Broadway shows since the 70s.

Kim – Mezzo with a belt, and beautiful control of the dynamics and emotion she projects vocally.

Chris – A tenor with a big upper register, clear ringing high notes, a warm mid-range, and fine emotional expression when he sings.

The Engineer – Lyric baritone with a big range, great top notes, character-driven voice that is at the same time legit.

Thuy – Tenor, emotional, clean mid-range, some good top notes.

Ellen – Mezzo with a pop belt.

John – sings “Bui Doi”. A lyric baritone with strong high notes, a dynamic voice, emotional expression.

Gigi – Mezzo with a warm, beautiful mid-range, good emotional expression.

Ensemble – All must belt, harmonize fairly well.


Miss Saigon is not really a dance show, but it does have some movement. Most of it demonstrates the depravity of the Engineer and his world. Women dance as strippers and compete for Marines. The movement, indeed the entire look of the show is a cross between East and West, much as say The King & I was, but much darker, edgier, more contemporary. A Choreographer is not going to be very stressed out by the show’s demands. There isn’t that much to do.

A Choreographer is likely to have a hand in staging “Backstage Dreamland”, “The Heat is On in Saigon”, “The Morning of the Dragon”, “If You Want to Die in Bed”, “Fall of Saigon”, and “The American Dream”.

“Backstage Dreamland” and “The Heat Is On In Saigon” are really a single extended number. We’re in a stripper joint in Saigon, and the girls prepare, and then come out to perform for the soldier boys, competing for a “prize”, “Miss Saigon.” It is all loose, sexual, more a stage picture being built from the independent movement of several dozen bodies than a choreographed “dance” of any kind. Make sure each girl is a bit unique in her movement, that the Marines present are legitimately rooting for some girl to win.

“The Morning Of The Dragon” presents the company in uniformed Communist attire, after the reunification of Vietnam. They march to the beat, side-stepping occasionally, in something that looks all-too-much like numbers from Evita. There is some dance called for as the number gains in fury, exhibitions of acrobatics as a part of the celebration, a sense of violent, slashing victory. This is one of the very few spots where a Choreographer will have something worth doing. The dance should be brutal, I think, frightening. We should fear for the people at this military “exercise.” There is a sense of brutality and cruelty not far hidden below the surface, of totalitarian excesses to come.

“If You Want To Die In Bed” is, again, staged rather than choreographed. It is a long sequence revolving around the Engineer, that might have been lifted, at least the lyrics, from The Threepenny Opera. (A vastly superior show.) The trick to the sequence is to allow events to swirl around the Engineer, and keep him somehow as the focus of things.

“Fall Of Saigon” may be the most carefully staged sequence in the show. It is the famous scene where the helicopter lowers, takes on fleeing Americans, and lifts as Kim and other Vietnamese watch. A chain-link gate separates them from the copter and Americans, and we must see it all clearly. But again, really staged rather than choreographed.

“The American Dream” is a grim celebration of American excess, a fantasy where a car descends from the Gods. (Again, this could have been lifted from Brecht’s The Good Person Of Setzuan.) The engineer practically has sex with the car as he sings. A darkly funny number that will allow for some movement, seductive and pointed, seducing the Engineer and the world to the dream that there is a land where all men are wealthy.

As you can see, there’s not a ton for a Choreographer to do. Really, the show could almost do without one.


Kim – Late teens-early 20s. A beautiful Vietnamese young woman. Incredibly (literally, I’m afraid) naive. Compelling in her emotional expression, which must be tireless. Must be appealing enough we buy her later as a stripper. Dedicated completely to those she loves, she gains great strength form this. Cast for voice, type, acting. Must be fantastically good. A star.

Chris – 20s, an American G.I., handsome, emotional rather than intelligent. Chris is a match for Kim is naivete. In the end, more than a bit of a coward, he never returns for Kim, but rather marries another woman, breaking his vows. The entire show depicts Americans as rather shallow. Chris is the poster child. Cast for voice, type, acting.

The Engineer – 30s-40s. A conniving, greedy, single-minded, viscous pimp, drug-seller, and general operator, half-French, half Vietnamese. Almost amusing in his transparent attempts to rook the world. Cast for acting, voice, some movement. A star.

Thuy – 20s-30s. Single-minded small-souled man in love with Kim, who believes a promise their parents made betroths her to him. Not above using the power he acquires at the ascension of the Communists to physically punish Kim for her affair with Chris. Cast for voice, type, acting.

Ellen – 20s-30s, the right girl for Chris, sensible, reasonable, in love with him. American, intelligent, reasonably open-minded. Cast for voice, type, acting.

Tam – About 3 years old, or should look it. Kim and Chris’s son.

John – Mid 20s-40s. Chris’ friend, an American G.I., who later becomes an activist on behalf of the children left behind when the Americans pulled out of Vietnam. Cast for voice, type, acting.

Gigi – 30s-40s. A long-time stripper, heard-edged, but who still dreams of being taken away by a G.I. To a life in America. Cast for voice, type, acting.

Club Owner – 40s-50s, spoken role. A cold, dangerous man.

Ensemble – American G.I.s, Vietnamese strippers, Vietnamese soldiers. All must sing, do some (not much) movement.


Actually, in looking at the original production, the sets were shockingly minimal! This is where they saved money – the cast was enormous. The original production uses floor to ceiling screens that rolled up and down as needed, and surrounded the extremes of the stage, very effectively. They’d go up to reveal actors entering, and to allow set pieces in. The center floor is essentially bare. The more difficult sets can be trucked in on wagons or risers through open screens, removed the same way.

We start backstage at a club, the girls getting ready to go on. Not much is needed here. We move onto the stage, perhaps a bar appears in a corner bars for the girls to dance on. Again, keep the look of the show spare. Don’t try to fill the stage picture with stuff. The bars are pulled of to show Kim’s room, small, a bed pretty much. It can be rolled or wagoned in.

The dual phone scene is played in two isolated lights, and the set can be nearly non-existent. Use bodies in motion to communicate a consulate abandoning ship. Set up the backstage again while the lights are down, so you can rise directly into the next scene.

Empty the stage, rolling up various screens to reveal Communist statues and soldiers. The statue of Ho Chi Minh can be stationary, center behind the center screen, as they did in the original. Soldiers marcjh onto a bare stage, essentially.

Kim’s rooms again, trucked on, perhaps at a side of the stage to allow the Communists to occupy the bulk of the stage.

Act II – A dais and a movie screen lowered from the rafters (small), to show the homeless children left behind by G.I.s, in Vietnam. This rises, the dais is removed and gaming is brought on, a little like a Vegas showroom, but the sense is its outdoor, in Bangkok. Showy, with neon and lights blazing.

All of that is removed as Kim’s smaller room is revealed, very tiny, almost a hut of wood and blankets inside the back of a club. The lights drop, this is pulled, and a chain-link fence is seen stretching across the stage, as the famed helicopter (an effect with lights, and a thing that descends and lifts that looks like a copter, perhaps on the grid or cherry picker, perhaps hydraulic) makes its quick entrance and exit. The biggest effect of the night, the most difficult and expensive aspect of your set. Must be convincing.

Lights go, and Kim’s room is lit again. (I would really place this at the side and downstage, so it can stay intact and not need to be moved on and off and on again, here.)

A hotel room, a European-ish hotel, with a nice bed, a door. Probably trucked in from up center. Remove it by pulling it back to leave the stage bare for the next scene, “The American Dream”. Again, a car descends from the heavens, on the same hydraulic or cherry picker instrument as the copter was. This comes from up center, and from 10 feet above the floor down to the floor, while moving in (in both cases) toward center.

Then, lights up on Kim’s hovel one last time.

These are sets that are partial, and reliant on an interesting art design. They often must be quickly brought in and removed, they can’t be huge sets. Cut aways are the order of the day, on risers built to serve as wagons.

A job for a very experienced designer, who may need help with the mechanics of the copter/American car.


Lots of American military G.I. Uniforms (probably to be rented), and pole dancers dressed revealingly (which can be built and bought). Kim is dressed conservatively, in a dress. Chris, his wife, and John are civilians in typical American costuming for the 70s, later. The Engineer is a Vietnamese pimp, dressed in over-the-top saturated colors, a jacket. You’ll also need a lot of Communist Vietnamese uniforms, and they may need to be built if you can’t rent them. A large show, not for a beginner to costume. And remember, your leads sing a lot and must be able to breathe,


Flags for the Communists, a lot of them, and guns.


You’ll need a rich, complex plot. The lighting generates a large percentage of the mood of the show, as well as directing the audience’s attention. You will need to be able to isolate selected spots on stage with harsh, white light that does not spill much. You’ll need to present an almost mad, saturnalia-feel for the club, and later in Bangkok. Spot lights on strippers, or clubs, or bars, or whatever, perhaps in motion. There are likely to be hundreds of cues. A job for an expert.


Mostly unobtrusive, except for perhaps the pole dancers. Not too hard a job.

KEY PERSONNEL (The ones you MUST get right.):

Director, Musical Director, Set Designer, Lighting Designer, Costume Designer, Kim, Chris, The Engineer

This is an absolutely huge show, which is strange given the intimacy of the central story. I think it’s unnecessarily big, and could be scaled down considerably to its advantage, but I think its unlikely it will be. A future candidate for the opera house?