Twenty-seven years after Lea Salonga became the "Miss Saigon," she remains the "standard" as far as the selection for the female lead who will play Kim is concerned.
"It's been more than 25 years ago that a group of 15 people, no, we're 13, that headed off to London on a PAL [Philippine Airlines] flight," she told TV Patrol's Mario Dumaual and PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) yesterday, March 17, at her launch as UNIQLO's brand ambassador for its summer collection, in SM Megamall store.
Since the open-call auditions was held on March 15 and 16, at the Opera Haus in Makati, Lea--being the first actress to play Kim in the original 1989 West End production--was asked to comment on the local singers who auditioned.
She began, "I got to speak with Cameron Mackintosh [producer] a little bit last night [March 16 at the after-party of Les Miserables], and he's very excited about some people they found.
"And there are work sessions I think, tomorrow, over the next however many days.
"It's still a source of talents for this particular production, which makes me feel very proud."
One of the auditionees was Morissette Amon, what can she say about her?
How about Cris Villonco?
She initially remarked about her age, before adding:
She added, “When I hear her name, I also think of Aicelle [Santos].
“And I know that Aicelle, fantastic. And I’m hoping she'll also put her hat in the ring.
“But I know that Jonalyn is good. She's really, really good...
“I'm hoping that she's a fit for what they're looking for."
Lea didn’t know he was asked to audition, and didn’t make any further comment.
Lastly, Lea said that talent is not the only requisite to bag any role.
“You can be super talented but wrong fit for the show.
”Good luck na lang.”