Salonga - whose breakout performance at age 19 in Miss Saigon earned her Olivier, Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World awards - has remained an active presence on the theatrical stage, appearing on Broadway in Les Miserables (both original and revival) and Flower Drum Song as well as in numerous productions in her native country and Singapore.
In between acting roles, Salonga has established herself as an international recording star, with albums reaching multiple platinum status in the Philippines; played to sold-out concert halls around the world; and lent her vocal chops to two of Disney's most beloved animated leading ladies, Princess Jasmine and Mulan.
Now Salonga takes on yet another of the great musical theatre roles, stepping into the glass slippers originally worn by Julie Andrews in the record-setting 1957 television broadcast. Cinderella has been remade twice for the small screen: a 1965 airing for CBS starred Leslie Ann Warren and Ginger Rogers, and pop singer Brandy played the title role in ABC's 1997 version. First adapted for the stage in 1958, more recent revisions have surfaced at New York City Opera in the 1990s and in the form of a 2000-2001 U.S. tour that starred Deborah Gibson and, later, Jamie-Lynn Sigler.
For this new incarnation produced by Broadway Asia Entertainment, the piece has been further adapted by Mark Waldrop (Bette Midler's Divine Miss Millennium tour), who secured permission from the Rodgers and Hammerstein library to introduce additional famous songs from their catalogue to "capture the romance and enchantment that will be the cornerstones of this production."
The resulting song list consists of: Act I
Prologue: The Sweetest Sounds
The Prince is Giving a Ball
In My Own Little Corner
Loneliness of Evening
Boy and Girls Like You and Me
In My Own Little Corner (Reprise)
The Cinderella Entrance (Instrumental)
Ten Minutes Ago
Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful
Do I Love You Because You're Beautiful (Reprise)
Impossible (Slow Reprise)
When You're Driving Through the Moonlight
A Lovely Night
There's Music in You
Finale, The Wedding
Cinderella is staged by Bobby Garcia and boasts a creative team consisting of Tony Award winner David Gallo (sets) and Paul Miller (lighting) and celebrated couture fashion designer Renato Balestra (costumes). Vincent Pesce choreographs.
Joining Salonga onstage are Peter Saide as the Prince, Charlie Parker (Caroline, or Change at SpeakEasy) as the Fairy Godmother, Julia Cook (Mamma Mia! national tour) as the Stepmother, Jen Bechter as Portia, Brandy Zarle as Joy, Jefferson Slinkard (Mamma Mia! in Las Vegas) as the King, Janna Cardia (The Wizard of Oz tour) as the Queen and Aaron Galligan-Stierle (Broadway's How the Grinch Stole Christmas) as the Herald.
Rounding out the ensemble are Abby Baum, Willow Bennett, Michael Biren, Richard Cerato, Brance Cornelius, Matthew Duré, Steve Gagliastro, Willow Grey, Jen Jenkins, Ryan Jesse, Lorenz Martinez, Harriette McClure, MaShawn Morton, Stefanie O'Connell Allison Poccia, Sean Quinn, Sarah Ripper, Kristin Alexis Turner and Shiela Valderrama.
The production will continue performances at Manila's Cultural Center of the Philippines through Aug. 24 before moving on to mainland China, Korea, Singapore and Malaysia. Specific dates are TBA.
A cast album, recorded and produced by Lakeshore Records, has been completed but is currently only available at tour stops.
Here is a two-part look at the production - showing the cast in the final stretch of rehearsal and, finally, onstage in newly released production shots:
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Rehearsal Shots (July 18)
Rehearsal photos by Sany Chua, courtesy ABS-CBN Interactive.
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Photos courtesy of Broadway Asia Entertainment