Tony Award winner Lea Salonga, who returns to Broadway this fall in a revival of Flower Drum Song, will begin a worldwide concert tour following her ten-month run in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. An interview on Salonga's official website confirms the news.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer reports that the Philippine native will offer a lengthy concert tour that features stops in major U.S. cities — including New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Honolulu — as well as evenings in Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok, Stuttgart, Paris and London. David DeCamillas, a director of the Manila-based company Trans-Continental Entertainment, which is handling the tour, told the Philippine paper that "the [tour's] last stop [in London] will be significant for Lea because it was in London where it all started for her."
Featuring a live orchestra conducted by Salonga's younger brother Gerard, the Broadway concert tour is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2003. "Lea is the first Asian artist to be promoted in the mainstream performing arts scene in the U.S." DeCamillis said. "Her shows will be staged in venues where Miss Saigon was presented. Depending on the demand, we may do more than one show for each city. Our ultimate goal of bringing Lea's Broadway concert to a worldwide tour," he added, "is to break in other Asian artists to the mainstream market. Lea has a following in the U.S. and Europe. Hopefully, she can open the doors for other artists to also be recognized in the international scene."
Lea Salonga burst onto the London and New York theatre scene as Kim in the international hit musical Miss Saigon. For her heartbreaking performance, she was awarded the Laurence Olivier, Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World awards. On Broadway she was also seen in another Boublil-Schönberg musical, Les Misérables, as the ill fated Eponine, a role she would later repeat in the concert video of the musical. In her native Philippines, the singer-actress has appeared in productions of Annie, The Sound of Music, The Goodbye Girl, Paper Moon, The Fantasticks, My Fair Lady, Into the Woods, They're Playing Our Song and, most recently, Proof. On film, Salonga sang the female leads in the Disney animated films "Aladdin" and "Mulan" and has recorded several solo albums. She returns to Broadway this fall (previews begin Sept. 23) in the eagerly awaited revival of Flower Drum Song, which received much critical praise when it debuted last season at the Mark Taper Forum.
—By Andrew Gans