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LOOK: Lea Salonga’s first lead role on stage as Annie

Repertory Philippines shared photos from Lea Salonga’s first big break on stage as the lead in their 1980 production of Annie.

LOOK: Lea Salonga’s first lead role on stage as Annie-Rhea Manila Santos
BY
Rhea Manila Santos

Twitter: @allaboutmanila

FRESH SCOOPS

11/07/2022 08:55 AM
LOOK: Lea Salonga’s first lead role on stage as Annie
Photo credit: @repertoryphilippines Instagram

Repertory Philippines shared a throwback photo of Lea Salonga as Annie!

After more than four decades in the entertainment industry, Lea Salonga has been a source of national pride after being recognized abroad multiple times. She was the first Asian actress to win a Tony award for her role as Kim in Miss Saigon in 1991. And most recently, she accepted a TIME100 Impact Award in Singapore in October.

READ: Lea Salonga on receiving the Time100 Impact Award: ‘I want to share this with my fellow entertainers’


In an Instagram account of Repertory Philippines last Saturday, November 5, the theater company shared throwback photos from their 1980 production of the popular Broadway musical Annie featuring a nine-year-old Lea in the lead role. 

“Before she became the Lea Salonga we all revere, the global theater phenomenon honed her craft at the REP stage itself. The young Salonga debuted in the Philippine theater scene at the age of six in a 1978 REP production of ‘The King and I’,” Repertory Philippine wrote in its post.

“In just two years with the theater company, she bagged her first lead role in the 1980 staging of Thomas Meehan’s ‘Annie’,” the local theater group added.

“During the promotion run of “Annie” in 1980, REP’s founder the late Baby Barredo was quoted in a newspaper article, saying: “In just a few weeks, Lea Salonga will be the talk of the town.” Who would’ve known that this quote will become prophetic years later?” it continued.

READ: Lea Salonga named as Time100 Impact Awards honoree

Accompanying Lea in the photos is veteran actor Jaime Fabregas who played billionaire Oliver Warbucks, while stage veteran actress Joy Virata played his assistant Grace Farrell. 

In 2018, Lea joined the cast of the Hollywood Bowl’s production of Annie, where she played the role of assistant Grace Farrell this time around.