My wife and I went to see Lea Salonga in concert on Friday night. As Julie already responded to a previous message that I wrote, she has a lovely voice. She opened with "Something's Coming" from WEST SIDE STORY which was probably the most upbeat number in her show, titled "An Intimate Evening with Lea Salonga." She is from the Philippines and 25% of the residents in Guam are Filipino, so she established a good rapport with her crowd naturally by singing two Filipino songs. She talked between her songs quite a bit, perhaps too much, because the show lasted only an hour and ten minutes. I would have liked to hear her sing more. She had a show at 7 and 9. Being parents to two little ones, we caught the 7 o'clock show.
She did well at introducing her numbers, although not as well as Audra McDonald and Barbara Cook. Both of them are masters at speaking during their concerts. Lea had a musical director who played piano for her, two other keyboardists plus a guitarist, bass player and drummer. All of them seemed like good musicians, although they used music which is not always the case with combos, but perhaps Lea does not always travel with the same band. She sang "I Still Believe in Love" from THEY'RE PLAYING OUR SONG, "On My Own" from LES MIZ, "I'd Give My Life for You" from MISS SAIGON which she says became immediately informed following the delivery of her daughter two years ago, "You Must Love Me" from EVITA (movie version) and "Tomorrow" from ANNIE. She jazzed it up a little bit, but it basically was the same version that Andrea has done as an adult, although I was a little surprised that she breathed between "a" and "way" at the end. She certainly has the lungs to do it without breathing in the middle of a word. For her encore she sang "A Whole New World" from ALADDIN with a man from the audience. I couldn't tell if it was prearranged or not. He was passable, and it gave her more audience interaction. I wondered why one of the musicians from her combo didn't do it with her. Perhaps none of them are singers.
I enjoyed seeing her sing, but I probably wouldn't pay as much money to see her a second time, especially for such a short program. We don't have a lot of options for live entertainment here in Guam, though, so we were happy for this opportunity to see a well-known Broadway artist. Next time I'd like to see her in a musical. She's doing the upcoming Asian tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein's CINDERELLA, which I don't think is coming to Guam.
Posted on Mar 3, 2008, 6:31 AM from IP address 126.96.36.199