GMA News Online
Pinoy Abroad

Lea Salonga leads stellar cast of Fil-Ams in NY concert

October 21, 2011 11:40am
Filipino actress and Tony Award winner Lea Salonga will lead on November 7 a stellar cast of Filipino-Americans in the benefit concert “PhilDev Celebrates Broadway: Suites by Sondheim" in New York in the United States.

The concert, part of Philippine Development Foundation-USA's (PhilDev) annual fundraising gala, will be held at the prestigious Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on November 7 at 7:30 p.m.

The concert will present iconic composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim’s creations from such musicals as "Company," "West Side Story," "Saturday Night," "Sweeney Todd," "Anyone Can Whistle," "Follies," "A Little Night Music," "Merrily We Roll Along," and "Sunday in the Park with George."

The concert was conceived and co-produced by PhilDev Trustee Ronna Reyes Sieh and Victor Lirio, an actor, director, producer, and artistic director of Diverse City Theater Co. (DCT). Music direction was by Tom Myron.

Aside from Salonga (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Flower Drum Song, Disney’s Mulan and Aladdin) the other Filipino-American Broadway stars who will be performing in the concert are:
  • Joan Almedilla (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables);
  • Alan Ariano (Miss Saigon, The Encounter);
  • Emy Baysic (Miss Saigon, Mamma Mia);
  • T.V. Carpio (Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark);
  • Angel Desai (Company);
  • Ali Ewoldt (Les Miserables, West Side Story);
  • Rona Figueroa (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Lennon, Nine);
  • Lydia Gaston (The King & I, Miss Saigon);
  • Adam Jacobs (Les Miserables, The Lion King);
  • Jose Llana (The King & I, Spelling Bee, The Flower Drum Song, Wonderland);
  • Orville Mendoza (Pacific Overtures, Miss Saigon);
  • Paolo Montalban (Pacific Overtures, The King & I, ABC/Disney’s Cinderella as Prince Charming opposite Brandy);
  • Emily Morales (Lincoln Center’s South Pacific);
  • Jennifer Paz (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Joseph … Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar);
  • Diane Phelan (South Pacific, West Side Story) and
  • company members Aaron Albano, Ester Barroso, Billy Bustamante, Liz Casasola, Karl Josef Co, Marc dela Cruz, Ariel Estrada, Albert Guerzon, Joanne Javien, Brian Jose, Jaygee Macapugay, Mel Maghuyop, Jake Manabat, Alan Mangasser, Adam Marcelo, JP Moraga, Lora Nicolas, Catherine Ricafort, Enrico Rodriguez, Vincent Rodriguez III, Chris-Ian Sanchez, Melissa Singson, and Kay Trinidad.

    The concert will be the first New York gala for PhilDev. It also marks the first all-Filipino concert at Lincoln Center presenting top Filipino-American talents who have all made marks on Broadway in leading roles.

    “Given the repertoire of material that Victor has assembled and the stars he's been able to enlist for this very special concert, I think the audience can expect nothing less than excellence," Salonga said.

    "These are all theater artists at the top of their game, who sing like nobody else can, whose understanding of every piece they tackle is not just admirable, but straight from the heart. I'll be watching from the wings for sure, and at every rehearsal," she added.

    Lirio, who also produced Salonga’s sold-out and critically-acclaimed Carnegie Hall concert debut in November 2005, said, “Sondheim’s works are some of the greatest in the musical theater canon and it is a privilege to breathe life into some of his iconic works."

    "I am grateful to him for giving us this tremendous opportunity. We are looking forward to sharing with the New York audiences our expression of his work," Lirio said.

    He added, “A vital part of PhilDev’s mandate is to raise the profile of the Filipinos in the global landscape. This is a dream cast. I am grateful to be working with them again in support of PhilDev’s mission. Furthermore, this concert will underscore the contributions Filipino artists have made to America’s rich and diverse theater culture."

    Tickets for PhilDev Celebrates Broadway: Suites by Sondheim can be purchased:
  • at the Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center box office located at 70 Lincoln Center Plaza in New York City,
  • online at, or
  • by calling CenterCharge at 212-721-6500.

    Ticket prices are $100, $150, $250, and $500. Limited patron/VIP subscriber seats of $1,000 and $500 are available which includes a pre-concert VIP reception by contacting Rene Encarnacion at or 650-288-3937. 100% of net proceeds will benefit Philippine Development Foundation.

    Suites by Sondheim is being sponsored by Tallwood Venture Capital, Alvarez & Marsal, Ms. Mercedes Zobel, Mr. Washington Sycip, the Reginald F. Lewis Foundation, Gladney Center for Adoption, Philippine Airlines, Convergex, Prince Street Capital Management, VuQo Vodka, Ms. Elena Abella Brim and Jay and Renate Green. Media support provided by Asian Journal and the Filipino Reporter. - GMA News
  • Go to comments