Time to say goodbyeBy Lea Salonga
Philippine Daily Inquirer
It’s hard to believe that nearly three months have passed since our arrival in San Diego and the start of the “Allegiance” rehearsal. It was the middle of summer, with the sun shining every single day in beautiful Balboa Park. We spent the daylight hours indoors, working on what has become quite the show, which we have performed nightly since September 7.
This is our final week—eight more shows, eight more times to tell this story of injustice, racism and family fracture … of loyalties and taking sides, of finding love, and losing it … and of singing amazing, heart-wrenching music.
The feeling in my heart is bittersweet. On the one hand, I’m looking forward to the next play, “God of Carnage” at the DBS Arts Centre in Singapore, November 6-25, and getting some rest. On the other hand, I will miss singing the songs in “Allegiance” daily, working with an amazing company of actors, musicians and production people, and greeting the audiences which have been nothing short of extremely generous.
The feeling is the same with every show, but this one is very special. It’s something I’m not ready to bid adieu to just yet. Thankfully, the powers behind it are working very hard to bring it to the East Coast for a Broadway debut.
So the balikbayan boxes are getting filled, the suitcases are open and will be packed slowly. We’re doing last-minute shopping and running errands. My husband and I are getting our final In-N-Out Burger fixes, since it isn’t available outside the West Coast.
Allow me to thank everyone at the Old Globe Theater (Michael, Todd and Eric, among many others) for opening their arms to us, and the show. To Jay and Lorenzo for asking me to be part of it and, in tandem with Marc, for writing such a beautiful role for me. To Stafford, Lynne, Andrew, Melanie and Jenny for their leadership.
To George for being such an inspiration to all of us and for inspiring this incredible story. To our design team in Donyale, Alejo, Howell, Jonathan and Darrel for the playground we got to inhabit.
Finally, to Laura and the boys and girls in the pit—Telly, Paul, Paolo, Michael, Allie, Kay, Katie, Ann, MaryAnn, Jill, Jennifer, Jon Jon, Karl, Marc, Scott, Geno, Brandon, Kürt, Conrad, Heather, Melissa, Ksusha, Noelle, Anna, Debbie, Beth, Beverly, Anjee, Evangeline, Jen, Trevor, June, Seamus, Christian, Dewey, James, Andy, Leah, Arita, Tonnie, Erik and Stephanie (if I forgot anyone, I apologize)—for being the amazing unit that brought this show to life. It has been a privilege working with all of you.
Bright and early
This week we have two student matinees. Wednesday and Thursday mornings, we will be singing full-throated for junior high and high school students.
We will be sleepy-eyed for two mornings in a row and frantically getting caffeine into our systems. We will be getting up at the crack of dawn to get nice warm-ups into our bodies. It will feel alien to be putting on makeup at 9:30 a.m., and be done with the show before 1 p.m. But for those kids who really want to be there with us, then we shall. We are looking forward to that.
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