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Lea Salonga Joins Les Miserables as Fantine Tonight

Lea Salonga, the Tony Award-winning star of Miss Saigon, will start performances as Fantine in Broadway's Les Miserables a few days early.  Previously announced to join the show on March 6th, she instead plays her first performance tonight, March 2nd.

This will mark Salonga's second appearance on Broadway in Les Miserables, first having received critical acclaim for her portrayal of Eponine in 1993 in the original Broadway production.

Due to strong box-office and enthusiastic audiences, the musical is playing an extended run through at least the summer of 2007, and Salonga will stay with the production through the entire period. Salonga replaces Daphne Rubin-Vega, who departed the show on February 18 to star in Jack Goes Boating with Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Lea Salonga catapulted to international stage stardom when she was chosen to star as Kim in the 1989 London world premiere of Boublil and Schonberg's Miss Saigon, produced by Cameron Mackintosh. Only 17 at the time, the Philippines native Salonga received critical acclaim and went on to win the Olivier Award as Best Actress in a Musical. In 1991, she reprised her performance on Broadway, again earning rave reviews and winning the Tony Award as Best Actress in a Musical, along with Best Actress honors from the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics' Circle. Salonga returned to Miss Saigon twice during the show's near decade long run, each time bringing in sold-out houses. Salonga became the first Asian actress ever to play Eponine on Broadway in Les Miserables in 1993, reprising that performance in the London production, in Hawaii, and in the legendary 10th Anniversary Concert at London's Royal Albert Hall.

Salonga returned to Broadway in 2002, starring in the revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song. In 2005, she played her first U.S concert tour, culminating with a sold-out evening at Carnegie Hall. She has released several albums, which have sold millions of copies worldwide. Salonga was also the singing voice of Mulan in Disney's Mulan and as "Jasmine" in Disney's Aladdin.

Her U.S television appearances include "Redwood Curtain" with Jeff Daniels, a guest-starring role on "ER" and a recurring role on "As the World Turns" in 2002-03.

For tickets and performance information, please call telecharge.com at (212) 239-6200 or on-line at www.telecharge.com, or www.lesmiserables.com


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