Lea Salonga To Star In SWEENEY TODD in Manila
Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group announced this morning that Tony And Olivier Award-winning actress Lea Salonga will take on the role of Mrs. Lovett in Stephen Sondheim's classic musical SWEENEY TODD, which culminates Atlantis' 20th Anniversary Season in 2019.
Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's musical masterpiece SWEENEY TODD has become a bloody, worldwide success since being awarded eight Tony Awards, (including Best Musical), for its Broadway premiere, as well as the Oliver Award for Best New Musical. Stephen Sondheim's and Hugh Wheeler's tasty, thrilling, theatrical treat has simultaneously shocked, awed, and delighted audiences across the world. The Broadway revival went on to win two more Tony Awards taking its total up to 10 Tony Awards. Next year also marks the 40th Anniversary of the musical, having first opened on Broadway in 1979.
Lea Salonga will take on the role of meat pie maker Mrs. Lovett, who infamously makes "the worst pies in London." Mrs. Lovett was originally played by Angela Lansbury in the original Broadway production and by Patti LuPone in the last Broadway revival. Lea last appeared on the local musical theater stage as Helen Bechdel in Atlantis' critically-acclaimed production of FUN HOME, which was also the musical's international premiere. She last appeared on Broadway as Erzulie in the Tony Award-winning revival of ONCE ON THIS ISLAND. Lea recently celebrated 40 years of performing with a sold-out, two-night anniversary concert at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
Lea says, "I cannot tell you how excited I am to be cast in one of my favorite Sondheim musicals. It pleases and tickles me to no end that I'm finally old enough to play Mrs. Lovett! She is such a well-written, thoroughly fleshed-out character that's equal parts drama, comedy, music, and crazy. And I am all about the crazy."
She says of Sondheim's music, "The thing about any Sondheim score is how complicated it sounds the first time you listen to it. Name a Sondheim show, any show, and it can be really intimidating. Until you start learning it. Then the score reveals itself to you, and before you know it, it makes perfect sense. And once it makes sense and it's in you, it never leaves."
She joins the previously announced Jett Pangan, who will be playing Sweeney Todd. Jett says, "SWEENEY TODD is a role I never thought would come my way... and it is quite daunting. Stephen Sondheim's genius for odd meter music flowing like a dark stream of consciousness is something not to take lightly, to say the least. Add to it being cast opposite the one the world knows by the name Lea Salonga, and I've got some serious work to do.
Atlantis' Artistic Director Bobby Garcia, who directs SWEENEY TODD, says, "What a thrill and honor it is to have Lea join us for our final musical for our 20th Anniversary. She has been an integral part of the Atlantis family through the years. SWEENEY TODD has been something we have wanted to do together for some time. It's complex, it's dangerous, it's funny, it questions how horror and humanity can co-exist, it deals with the impact of revenge and retribution. I think she will create a Mrs. Lovett unlike any other, one that will be remembered for a very long time."
Atlantis' 20th Anniversary season also includes ANGELS IN AMERICA: MILLENNIUM APPROACHES in March and BEAUTIFUL: THE Carole King MUSICAL in June. SWEENEY TODD will run in October at the Theatre at Solaire.
For more information, contact Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group at firstname.lastname@example.org.