Getting ready… getting set…By Lea Salonga
Philippine Daily Inquirer
My mom and I are here, and we’ve spent the last couple of days settling into our little home. We’ve scoped out the ginormous neighborhood grocery stores and found shelves stocked with Pinoy patis and toyo, and I’ve driven around just to see what’s here. So far, so good. Everything we need is less than five minutes away.
(We didn’t have the greatest of starts on this US trip. Jet lag and sickness are never fun. Knowing that we had a few days to rest had apparently sent our bodies into brief systems failures. For a few days, we were coughing and sneezing—with a rehearsal for a concert squeezed in between for me— that even our host, my cousin Lou, got in on the cold virus action. Thankfully, we felt well enough to travel down from Los Angeles to San Diego when we needed to, and now we’ve returned to normal.)
Fun at the gala
San Diego is home to Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, and Legoland, not to mention many museums, and some great beaches. But our stay here didn’t start with the usual sightseeing; it began with a fundraising gala concert for the Old Globe Theater, home for my next big project, “Allegiance.”
In attendance at the gala were many Globe patrons, friends and staff. I sang for about an hour, and it was a great time! One highlight was the young man who volunteered to sing “A Whole New World” with me, an acting student named Adam. According to many of the patrons, he’s known for his work performing Shakespeare, and no one knew he could sing! His voice had really a great, sweet quality to it, and he had the song’s harmonies down pat.
Following the concert was an elegant dinner, where I was seated with a few “Allegiance” sponsors. A lovely lady named Mary Beth introduced us to everyone seated. There’s this story of one of the couples I met that really struck me, and I want to share it here.
Two years ago, both the gentleman and the lady lost their respective spouses to disease. After some time, their paths crossed and they fell in love. Last week in Hawaii, they got engaged.
Also at the gala, one big thrill for me and mom was meeting actor Robert Foxworth, whom we watched every weekend on the primetime show, “Falcon Crest.” I freaked out big time when I shook his hand, and I thought my mother would have a heart attack herself! He was very sweet and humble.
Tomorrow is my first rehearsal day for “Allegiance,” and I’m very excited. My mom is, too, in her own way. She’s already started preparing my snacks and lunch for a long first day (a rehearsal day lasts eight hours, much like a regular workday for working folks), and I’ve got my driving map handy. I think I need to wake up early, to give me ample time to find a parking spot. Wish me luck—I am going to need it.
Over the last few years, we’ve done a few readings and a workshop. And now, we’ll be putting it up on its feet in an actual production. It’s very exciting to do this at the Old Globe, because there have been quite a few shows that made the jump from here to New York, including “Into the Woods,” “The Full Monty,” and “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.” Here’s hoping our little show makes it to that list.
(For more information, log on to www.theoldglobe.org, and www.allegiancemusical.com.)
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