All set to perform in Do You Hear the People Sing?, an upcoming fundraising concert in support of the Yolanda rebuilding program of Habitat for Humanity Philippines on January 29 and 30, Lea Salonga admitted she is very excited to perform some new never-before heard lyrics from Miss Saigon. “The audiences in Manila will be the first to get to hear these new lyrics in Miss Saigon and I'm still the first one to sing it (laughs),” she shared during her press conference held last January 22 at The Terrace in Maxim Hotel, Resorts World Manila.
In Do You Hear the People Sing?, Lea will be joined by Miss Saigon alumni from different parts of the world like David Harris from Australia and Marie Zamora from France as well some of the Philippines' most acclaimed theater performers who all donated their time for the cause. Guest soloists include Rachelle Ann Go and Jed Madela. Rachelle is set to play the role of Gigi in the new West End revival of Miss Saigon happening later this year and she has admitted she had some reservations playing the role of a prostitute wearing a bikini in the play. Lea said Rachelle has nothing to worry about. “We've all seen what she looks like, nothing to worry about (laughs). Kung si Isay Alvarez nga after three children. This is my Miss Saigon story about Isay. She had only one child—Didang—who is now in her twenties when she first did Miss Saigon 25 years ago. Didang is about 27 or 28 now. So Isay was the same, had anxiety about showing her body in a bikini then ten years later we do the production here and after three children she was far more confident about her body. Kung ano man yung pagiging self-conscious niya before, nawala when she did the show in Manila. So Rachelle has nothing to worry about, ang payat kaya ng babaeng yan. And with the rehearsals naman and go to the gym a few times a week, she'll get the body she wants. But I think kasi the bar girls, the look talaga they don't need people to look super fresh? So we'll see what the director tells her to do,” she explained.
Lea said the only thing she can impart to Rachelle is to just enjoy the whole experience. “She is in the exact same position many of us were leading up to our participation so we know exactly how she feels right now, two months before she is slated to leave. Just take plenty of pictures and enjoy yourself. Because that's it, that's the only piece of advice I can give to someone embarking on a journey like that. I don't know what working with this production team will be like because it's going to be a very different experience from ours. The lucky thing lang about this is may template na eh, nagka-Miss Saigon na many years ago, there were so many productions so there is something to work off off. Sa amin flying blind eh. We were learning everything from zero and after learning something from zero, magiging zero ulit if they decide on something like we have to change the song. We have to do a new melody so it's nakakaloka, you're really going to go insane. At least there's something na structure na of the show. But there will be re-writes which are exciting and I've seen some of them and they're so nice. Ang suwerte ng cast na ito. They get some very beautiful re-writes in some of the songs and I think we're going to be able to do some of it here [in the show] so I'm excited,” she admitted.
Watch Lea Salonga in Do You Hear the People Sing? on January 29 and 30, 8 pm at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Resorts World Manila with tickets available at Ticketworld and RWM Box Office. For more details log on to www.thepeoplesing.ph