Theater Icon Lea Salonga Is Up For A Grammy Award And Is A New Sweeney Todd Star!
The multiple award-winning stage actress has been tapped to play a leading role in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street's Manila run, and is also in the running for one the music industry's most prestigious accolades—a Grammy award!
Lea Salonga shared both pieces of great news on Instagram, declaring that her and her castmates in Once on This Island had indeed been nominated for the Best Musical Theater Album award at 2019 Grammy Awards, and that her role as Mrs. Lovette, a.k.a. the crazed pie maker whose main ingredient is the flesh from the corpses that travel down the chute of Sweeney Todd's barber shop, was made official.
Once on This Island—a revival musical which tells the story of the love that blossoms between Caribbean island peasant girl Ti Moune and upperclass Frenchman Daniel Beauxhomme—saw the Filipina talent play the role of Erzulie, the goddess of love who watches over the couple throughout their journey.
Lea was part of the production's ensemble from December 2017 up to the first half of 2018, and throughout her stay, received critical acclaim for her performance. (Her most recognizable song number from the show is that of "Human Heart").
For those who know Lea best, it comes to no surprise that she has yet again been recognized by an international award-giving body. After all, this songstress has done everything from lending Disney princesses their melodic voices (Mulan and Jasmine, in case you forgot), rule concert stages, and shine on Broadway and West End.
To date, her most noteworthy professional credits include the Laurence Olivier award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical in 1990 for Miss Saigon, a Tony Award for Lead Actress in a Musical in 1991 for the same musical (making her the first Asian woman to bag the award), and playing both Fantine and Eponine in "Les Miserables," again making her the first Asian woman to achieve such a feat.
Should Lea best her fellow nominees in her category at the Grammys, the award will be a memorable first for her. Recognizing the opportunity, she writes, "I am officially a Grammy nominee!!! It may be a while before I get any sleep tonight! So thrilled to share this with my Island family. And that at 47 years old, one can still have a first!"
While Lea continues to bask in her excitement, her fans—including us!—will feverishly begin the countdown to the big awards ceremony.
The 2019 Grammy Awards is scheduled to take place on February 2019 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles California, and until then, we'll keep our fingers crossed for this world-class Filipino talent to make history once more.
Her Sweeney Todd role, on the other hand, will wow audiences beginning October 2019, where the musical will be staged at Solaire Resort & Casino's The Theater. The Filipino talent wasted no time in expressing her fiery enthusiasm for the role, as Sweeney Todd is one of her favorite Sondheim musicals and is now mature enough to play one of its major roles.
She'll be starring alongside Jett Pangan as the demon barber himself and will be directed by Bobby Garcia.
The cat’s out of the bag!!! I can’t wait to start working on this!!! To say that I’m excited is an understatement!!! Woooooot!!! #AtlantisTwenty #SweeneyToddMNL #AttendTheTale #MrsLovett https://t.co/h8NZVoomID— Lea Salonga (@MsLeaSalonga) December 7, 2018
Photos from @msleasalonga