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

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



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

At kahit kasagsagan ng napakalakas na ulan, hindiito 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 8pm. 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 allowedto enter the venue and everyone had to wait after almost 20 minutes na mag-runito. It was one of the most celebrity-fillednights dahil sa presence ng ilang showbiz personalities and famous faces in society.

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

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

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

Aside sa excellent performance at music aysiguradong marami ang mapapahanga sa costumes ng bawat cast and the wholeproduction design and visual effects.

Ayon sa website ng Cinderella, the designs were created by a team led by renownedclothing designer Renato Balestra, the Italian clothing designer who hasdressed some of the world's most famous women, from Hollywood royalty ElizabethTaylor 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'sdesigns have included The Drowsy Chaperone, ThoroughlyModern Millie and Blue Man Group. He has also been honored by theDrama Desk, NAACP, Obie, American Theatre Wing, Outer Critics, Lortel, Eddy,Ovation, and Los Angeles Critics. His works are in the SmithsonianInstitute's permanent collection. Balestra and Gallo worked togetherto 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, JuliaCook, Jen Bechter, Brandy Zarle, Jefferson Slinkard, and Janna Cardia.

Sa isang interview kay Lea months before thestaging of Cinderella, isa sa mahirap mag-perform ay sa sariling bansa, 'ika niya, because of the highexpectations on her. Pero after last night's staging, by now ay alamna 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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