Monday, April 25, 2005

An Intimate Evening with Lea Salonga: The Best of Broadway

In a word, Lea's concert was awesome. She interacted with the audience to such a great extent, telling us about her life, how she met her husband, her family, her experiences with the different musicals that she's done... it really was an intimate evening with her. And the songs that she sang - all familiar songs from musicals or oldies that I've heard before, and the thing about her Broadway experience... her voice was much richer than ordinary singers, and as a result, she could pack so much more emotion and meaning into her singing than anyone else I've heard. When she sang the chorus of A Whole New World, she brought tears to my eyes. I loved that song when I heard it in 1994 and had forgotten how happy it made me. And of course, when she began On My Own, I doubt there was a single dry eye in the house. In a sweet, tender moment, she also dedicated The Way You Look Tonight to her mother in the audience, telling her that though she and her brother were married and moving on with their lives, she would always be the most important woman to them.

You could tell she was very happy and very much in love; all the songs she sang had love as its theme, and she was dedicating songs to the audience, to those who've been in long relationships (a jazz standard I can't quite recall right now) and to those of us still looking (Someone To Watch Over Me). She exhorted us to fall in love at least once because it's such a magical experience, wryly stating that she's had that experience quite a few times in her life, some not at all pleasant.

And I must confess that I did that night. I fell in love with her voice, her songs, her. I could listen to her sing forever, and I considered myself among the luckiest people in Singapore last night, being one of the few who got to see her up close (I was a couple of metres away from her all night, and when she looked up at the balcony where I was sitting, I couldn't help but smile).

If you ever get the chance to see her, beg, borrow or steal to go see her. You will not regret it one iota.

Other songs she sang included Too Much For One Heart (Miss Saigon), Someone Else's Story (Chess), The Story Goes On (Baby), When October Goes By (Manilow & Mercer), Tomorrow (Annie), Reflection (Mulan), Love, Look Away (Flower Drum Song), I've Never Been In Love Before and It Had To Be You (When Harry Met Sally).

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