Lea Salonga makes Filipinos proud again with successful staging of "Cinderella"

by Rose Garcia
Aug 2, 2008
Lea Salonga said in one interview that one of the hardest places to perform in is in your own country because of the high expectations set by her own countrymen. Lea met all the expectations, as shown by the audience's standing ovation last night.

Napanood ng PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) ang Rodgers and Hammerstein musical play Cinderella, produced by Broadway Asia Entertainment and starring our very own Lea Salonga—Tony Award winner and Broadway and West End Star—at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) last night, August 1.

At kahit kasagsagan ng napakalakas na ulan, hindi ito naging hadlang para hindi mapuno ng mga taong nanood ang CCP Main Theater. Based sa mga naunang run ng Cinderella, which opened last July 29, nagsisimula raw talaga ang staging nito at exactly 8 pm. But, maybe, due to bad weather, medyo pinaantala nila ng ilang minuto. Still, marami pa rin ang na-late due to heavy traffic.

Once the musical play started, no one was allowed to enter the venue and everyone had to wait after almost 20 minutes na mag-run ito. It was one of the most celebrity-filled nights dahil sa presence ng ilang showbiz personalities and famous faces in society.

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Ilan nga sa namataan ng PEP ay ang dating First Lady na si Imelda Marcos. Nandoon din ang anak nito na si Ms. Imee Marcos. Also seen were TV host Boy Abunda, Sarah Geronimo, Mark Bautista, Rachelle Ann Go, at Isabella Ledesma (anak ni Kuh Ledesma).

The Cinderella musical is based on a TV special that starred Julie Andrews in the title role and became one of the most-watched TV specials of all time. Lea worked with Julie in a 1992 recording of another Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, The King and I.

The musical is directed by Bobby Garcia, the same director of Disney's Beauty and The Beast and Broadway Asia Entertainment production's The King and I.

Aside sa excellent performance at music ay siguradong marami ang mapapahanga sa costumes ng bawat cast and the whole production design and visual effects.

Ayon sa website ng Cinderella, the designs were created by a team led by renowned clothing designer Renato Balestra, the Italian clothing designer who has dressed some of the world's most famous women, from Hollywood royalty Elizabeth Taylor and Lauren Bacall to rich and powerful women like the Queen of Thailand, the empress of Iran, the first ladies of Egypt and the Philippines.

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Tony Award-winning scenic designer David Gallo's designs have included The Drowsy Chaperone, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Blue Man Group. He has also been honored by the Drama Desk, NAACP, Obie, American Theatre Wing, Outer Critics, Lortel, Eddy, Ovation, and Los Angeles Critics. His works are in the Smithsonian Institute's permanent collection. Balestra and Gallo worked together to create the magical world of Cinderella and her Prince Charming.

The cast, aside from Lea, are Peter Saide of Brisbane, Australia, playing the Prince; Charlie Parker, Julia Cook, Jen Bechter, Brandy Zarle, Jefferson Slinkard, and Janna Cardia.

Sa isang interview kay Lea months before the staging of Cinderella, isa sa mahirap mag-perform ay sa sariling bansa, 'ika niya, because of the high expectations on her. Pero after last night's staging, by now ay alam na siguro ni Lea how proud Filipinos are of her by giving her a standing ovation.

Cinderella will run at CCP until August 24.

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Lea Salonga said in one interview that one of the hardest places to perform in is in your own country because of the high expectations set by her own countrymen. Lea met all the expectations, as shown by the audience's standing ovation last night.
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