Yes folks, Lea Salonga’s back in Broadway where she is essaying the role of the tragic character Fantine in the theatrical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s Classic Novel Les Miserables at the Broadhurst Theater.
The Tony Award- winning musical created by the two collaborating geniuses Alain Boublil and Claude- Michel Schonberg, with English lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer and produced by Cameron Mackintosh is a heart-wrenching and thought- provoking musical that would melt even the hardest soul among us.
Les Miserables set in the 1800s in volatile France tells the stories of Jean Valjean an escaped convict and his struggles to start a new life while being relentlessly pursued by an obsessed Police Inspector Javert.
By the way, talk about injustice, like Nelson Mandela, Valjean was wrongly convicted for stealing a mere loaf of bread and served 19 years of his life for it!
You can just see the parallelism here of the situation in the Philippines where the poor would be easily convicted for minor offenses while the crocodiles who plundered millions remains scot-free. Hah, I long for the day when the long, long arm of the law will finally caught up with them and their shenanigans. Even though it is a moon shot still we are entitled to dream, di po ba?
Lea Salonga’s Fantine, a worker in a factory owned by Jean Valjean, (now a Mayor and a rich man) and the desperate mother who turned to prostitution in order to feed her daughter Cosette.
Cosette is in love with the rebel- student Marius who is in turn being secretly desired by Eponine, the daughter of the scheming Innkeepers, the Thenardiers.
Lea replaced Nikki Renée Daniels, an ensemble cast member who briefly took over for the miscast and much- maligned Daphne Rubin- Vega who found a graceful exit when she left last February to team up with Philip Seymour Hoffman in Jack Goes Boating Off- Broadway.
Songs like Master of the House, On My Own, I Dreamed a Dream, Do You Hear The People Sing?, Bring Him Home, One Day More and even Castle on a Cloud are veritable classics if not, classics in the making.
I have planned to watch the show this month but due to some work- related changes in my schedule and other stuffs I have to postpone it until April next month or until I replenish my Paid Time Off bank that I spent when I got sick with the flu early in the year. But I will definitely watch Les Mis before Ms. Salonga’s stint end in the summer.
So, my dream of watching Lea Salonga in Broadway will have to be still a dream, at least for now.
But to all of you out there, go forth and watch the show eventhough the new venue Broadhurst Theater which has a seating capacity of “just” 1, 100+ is quite smaller than the old one, Broadway Theater (1,900+) and also some say that the stage is less grand this time. Still, it will be a fascinating journey and worth the time and money that you will spend since it will be more up close and personal with the casts and of course, the presence of Lea Salonga which is the primary reason why I plan to watch the show.
Speaking of Broadhurst Theater, I watched the short- lived musical Lennon there when I was in the Big Apple in the summer of August 2005. You can read my review of the show
Les Miserables Rehearsal:
Lea Salonga- Filipina Performer Par Excellence
DIVA Talk: Lea's Playbill Interview
Les Miserables Official Website
About Les Miserables
Broadway Word of Mouth