Nag-emote si Lea Salonga dahil sa pagtatapos ng 34-year run ng musical na Les Miserables sa London’s West End noong nakaraang July 13.
Kasalukuyang nasa United Kingdom si Lea para sa kanyang concert tour kaya hindi niya napigilan na mag-reminisce tungkol sa Les Miz.
Naging parte ng naturang musical si Lea nang kunin siya para gumanap sa role na Eponine pagkatapos niyang manalo ng Tony Award as best actress in a musical bilang Kim sa Miss Saigon on Broadway in 1991.
Si Lea ang kauna-unahang Asian actress na gumanap sa role na Eponine na kadalasan ay mga Caucasian actresses ang kinuha.
“And it was this production with that original staging I joined on Broadway in 1993, then in the West End in 1996 and finally during a production of one US National Tour, for its Honolulu stop.
“I vividly remember that first meeting with Richard Jay-Alexander when he told me that I was cast as Eponine. After all the hints I dropped while in “Miss Saigon,” to say I was ecstatic would be an understatement,” pag-alala pa ni Lea.
Hindi nga raw makakalimutan ni Lea ang Les Miz dahil una niya itong napanood noong 1988 sa London habang nasa final auditions na siya para sa Miss Saigon na magbubukas in 1989.
“That was my “Les Miz.” Sure, I’ve seen the new production in different countries (the UK, Japan and Manila), but for sentimental reasons, I shall remain, in my heart, married to that turntable (also called a revolve).
“This was the production I first saw in London in 1988 while doing my final auditions for “Miss Saigon.” The cast was led by Peter Karris as Jean Valjean, Mario Frangoulis as Marius and Linzi Hately as Eponine, whose interpretation blew the roof off the theater,” sey ni Lea.
Pinost nga ni Lea via Instagram ang unang photo shoot niya in full costume bilang Eponine.
“Taken by Michael Le Poer Trench at the Palace Theatre, sometime in 1996. Played Éponine in the West End for 4 months. Made some lovely friends and had the best time! Merde to everyone closing the original production of Les Miserables tonight!!!” caption pa ni Lea.
Kaya sa kanyang concert, inawit ni Lea bilang tribute sa Les Miz, ang mga pinasikat na songs ng musical tulad ng “On My Own” and “I Dreamed A Dream”.
“At the end of all my concerts here during my UK tour, I sing a mashup of “I Dreamed a Dream” and “On My Own,” the big solos of Fantine and Eponine, respectively.
“It’s my own way of saying “au revoir” to the original version of this show that I love, and my way of saying “thank you” to Cameron and Richard Jay for the opportunity to inhabit the one “dead girl” I had always wanted to play.”