MANILA, Philippines—Filipino singer-actor Lea Salonga earned a rave review from Broadway trade website Playbill.com for the “Ragtime” concert staged at the Lincoln Center in New York on Monday.
Salonga’s performance as Mother” was described as “the stand-out performance of the evening.”
A Tony winner for “Miss Saigon” in 1991, Salonga’s “rare appearance” on the New York stage was hailed by Playbill’s Adam Hetrick: “Salonga was in pristine voice, filling the auditorium [Avery Fisher Hall] during the first trio ‘Goodbye, My Love/Journey On.’”
Playbill reported that Salonga also “received the biggest ovation of the night for her show-stopping 11 o’clock number ‘Back to Before.’”
Said Playbill: “Her voice and committed performance (after less than two weeks of rehearsal) can only leave us hoping that Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty [the duo behind “Ragtime”] will consider writing a musical for the talented actress who has been absent from the Broadway stage for too long.”
Salonga could very well be the first Asian to sing the role of Mother, written as a rich Caucasian Protestant woman by EL Doctorow in his novel.
Salonga told the Inquirer in an earlier interview: “I never thought I’d ever get cast in this musical in any role . . . so this one is very special.”
On Tuesday (Manila time), she told Facebook: “I cannot believe it’s over . . . ‘Ragtime’ was such a blessing. I think it’ll be a while before I finally find myself on earth. The cast, the orchestra, the choir . . . if there was such a dream as this, I’m only too glad to have been in some way a part of it.”
After the concert, Salonga explained to the Inquirer that it was an intoxicating evening: “Still riding high on the night.”
It was an “incredible” evening, she said.
In “Ragtime,” Salonga shared the stage with such luminaries as fellow Tony winner Tyne Daly (of “Cagney & Lacey” fame) and Tony nominee Norm Lewis (who performed in “Les Miserables” with Salonga).
She likewise thanked the concert’s director Stafford Arima, who also directed her most recent musical “Allegiance.”
There is talk that “Allegiance” will soon have a run on Broadway.
Salonga was recently chosen as one of the mentors, along with rocker Bamboo and singing champ Sarah Geronimo, on the ABS-CBN talent search “The Voice of the Philippines.”