Monday, March 10, 2014


ALAS!!! After 25 years, Miss Saigon is yet to be reborn this May, 2014. The much awaited debut will set the crowd in awe with its new cast and new additions (a different song that will be seen and heard in Act 2 that is oh so familiar from before) mixed with the classic theatrical experience telling a love story of an American GI and a young Vietnamese woman that happened in 1975 during the final days of the American occupation of Saigon.

Hungry for the history it had made, I was drawn to watching parts of it via youtube. I got familiar with the songs only by acts and it made me do nothing but dream of how the orchestra would feel like in conduction if I were to experience it live due to certain limits that I am more than ready to overcome (now that two of the cast who had become workmates, turned colleagues, turned inspiration, are currently "in" the cast and had blessed me with their time to hold an interview). My parents were never fans of broadway until they have heard me getting interested with it. The first theatre show I was able to experience was "Lido" when my family went to Paris but I swear, I wished we watched, "Les Miserables" instead.

But "Yes!" people! Two of the new cast of Miss Saigon gave me the privilege to conduct their first personal interview which will be read in the coming posts that will surely inspire you in attaining your dreams. In getting what's for you and what you are here for. Upon deciding to do such, we all agreed that the intention of writing it would be something that would remind them of how good the feeling is, of "ACHIEVEING A DREAM". To let the people know that it happens to those who persevere.

But before I lead you to those posts, please allow me to pay tribute to Philippines' very own, Ms. Lea Salonga who had opened the eyes of the Filipinos to a world where the impossible can be possible.

When I was young, I have been amazed with Lea Salonga's achievements since she began gracing us all with the talents that had formed the pedestal where she is currently standing on right now.

From being one of German Moreno's talents, to making it in her audition to Miss Saigon, to doing movies like, "Sana'y Maulit Muli" (my younger sister and I just love the idea of just bawling our eyes to this - no JOKE!), to getting awarded as a "Disney Legend" because of doing Jasmine's singing voice and Mulan's voices for the movies, Aladdin, Mulan 1 & 2 respectively, ... whew! I am continuously  mesmerised. I can just go on and on with what I have researched that literally, reading about her got me nauseated for that much awards she had. Tony Awards, Olivier, FAMAS, and many more. Let's take a look back at when she was just 18 years old, and was already starting to make a name.

At a very tender age, Lea had been exposed to a lot of pressure but her supportive parents had surely done a great job in establishing her roots. Her attitude to it all is what made me admire her the most. The way she balances her personal life with the ones that she makes so alive on stage, the way she carries herself in front of people, the way how outspoken she is with her opinion and well spoken with what she agrees and disagrees with. Most importantly, the way she sees art regards the utmost respect she has for it. She says being lost to what a character is portraying is the most important substance to consider in order to say he/she did good in playing the role. The story of a movie, the fluid movements of a dancer, the fineness of a sculpture and the words of a poet... these are the details that I look into now after learning how Lea sees any form of creation. She could be a critic and she could have a sharp tongue in doing so but being an award winner with her field, she has the right to declare war against lip syncing. This video clip says it all about how outgoing, real and "straightforward-no-taking-bull-shit" kind of gal she is.

Lea Salonga had always been pursued by a lot of producers and still is on the verge of looking for new projects (broadway productions) alongside world renowned composers. Recently, "Wicked" composer, Stephen Schwartz just had a talk with her over dinner of what else they would want to do together just because he feels delighted working with the broadway diva. Lea had just left a mark to New Yorkers when she had a concert at the Allen Room Jazz, Lincoln Center and is collaborating with the band "Il Divo" for 3 legs of the tour to Korea, Japan and North America (going on this March). Lea also had just finished coaching in the "The Voice: Philippines" and knowing all these, and holding a Tony and Olivier award at hand, or on 2 hands for that matter, who wouldn't want to have a project with her?

But despite that, the talented Lea Salonga, being all this, plus an actress, endorser, a wife and a mom, she finds a way to congratulate and support the uprising stars of the Miss Saigon 2014 cast, most especially, Rachelle Ann Go who after letting Lea know of her successful auditions and call backs had been chosen to portray the role of Gigi in the replay of Miss Saigon, she felt nothing but pure excitement for her. She described her own experience then, upon landing "Kim" during her time as something that she was sure would change her life the moment she got introduced during the press conference for the paparazzis/press to prey on. And now, it's an "adventure of a lifetime" for the young and mesmerizing, Go.

And that leads me to being equally proud of Ms. Ela Lisondra (whom I have featured a number of times) for having the "Swing" part and Ariel Reonal (whom I've looked up to since I met him) for one of the group as an "Ensemble". You could check out the rest of the cast list by clicking here. And yet, a more intimate and personal interview about these two is yet to be released.

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