MANILA – For Lea Salonga, her return to Broadway for the revival of “Once on This Island” will be very special because it is one of her favorite shows since she saw its run in Manila.
Salonga will be playing Erzulie, the goddess of love, in the musical.
“I saw a production here in Manila. That’s when I learned the music and got to really appreciate the story and everything about it. They had a re-run and Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo asked if I could come and help her. I think she was the associate or the assistant director. Thanks to that, I don’t know how many times I saw the show,” Salonga said.
That is the reason why she did not hesitate when “Once on this Island” was offered to her.
“I’m going to have the best time ever. I didn’t have to [audition], not for this because the director is a friend. He and I had worked together a few years ago. It was a ‘Would you be interested in doing this?’ And I said yes,” she said.
Asked how this trip to New York will be different for her, Salonga said: “This is going to be a little interesting. Nicole (her daughter) is also on a show. I’ve been taking her to rehearsals. Once I head off to the States, it’s going to have to fall in my mom’s and Rob’s (her husband) lap.”
Salonga’s daughter will make her theater debut as part of Atlantis Theatrical’s production of “Matilda.”
However, she is not worried since Nicole is “growing up to be responsible and she knows what she needs to bring every day.”
“The production is also trying to encourage all the parents to let their kids to be independent as much as possible. Fine by me,” she said.
Does she consider herself a stage mom?
“Not in the way my mom was. 'Yun talagang however many hours, bantay. Hanggang ngayon naman, bantay. A little different. My daughter is not attracted to the celebrity aspect and she is very suspicious of people who go near her,” she said.