The Philippines has a plethora of talented individuals that have excelled in many fields, but we’re here to talk about one lady that has blazed the way for Filipinos performing in musicals outside of the country: Lea Salonga. Most people know her as a celebrity endorser, recording artist, Disney Princess, and most recently, judge for one of the country’s hottest singing competitions. To the theater community however, she is Kim, Eponine, Fantine, and Grizabella, to name a few of her iconic roles. The actress has made a name for herself both in London’s West End, as well as across the pond in The Great White Way, having recently starred in Broadway’s Allegiance alongside Telly Leung and George Takei.
(WATCH: Former Annie Lea Salonga and New Annie Krystal Brimner Sing a Duet!)
Salonga got her big break when she auditioned for Miss Saigon in 1989. The show’s producers had no luck finding a suitable East Asian actress in the UK to play Kim, and ended up looking for one in various countries. They found one in the Philippines, and it was none other than a seventeen year old Lea Salonga. Prior to this, she had already been part of numerous productions, including The Sound of Music, The Fantasticks, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and Annie.
We came across some rare footage of Salonga singing two songs from her stint as the title character in Repertory Philippines’ 1980 production of Annie. In the videos, Salonga sings Maybe and the iconic number Tomorrow.
The actress’s crystal clear voice and perfect enunciation have become her trademarks over the years. In the clips, Salonga plays Annie with a genuine perkiness, and a flawless New York accent to boot. You can watch the videos from Youtube channel Rare Live Performances below!