Lea Salonga, Award-winning Broadway Star and Singing Voice of Disney's Mulan and Princess Jasmine, to Perform Oct. 10

By David Wedekindt

Release Date: September 24, 2009

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Center for the Arts at the University at Buffalo will present Lea Salonga on Oct. 10 at 8 p.m. in the Mainstage Theatre in the Center for the Arts on the UB North (Amherst) Campus.

Lea Salonga is an award-winning Filipino singer and actress who is best known for her acclaimed portrayal of Kim in the musical Miss Saigon. In the field of musical theater, she is recognized for having won Olivier, Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics and Theatre World awards, the first to win various international awards for a single role. She was also the first Asian to play Eponine in the musical Les Misérables on Broadway. Salonga is the singing voice of Princess Jasmine in the film Aladdin and Fa Mulan in the films Mulan and Mulan II.

Salonga started as a child star in the Philippines, making her professional debut in 1978 at the age of seven in the musical The King and I by Repertory Philippines, and went on to star in several more musical productions.

She began her recording career at age 10 with her first album, "Small Voice," which received a gold certification. Her second album, "Lea," was released in 1988, and her most recent album "Inspired" was released in 2007 and has been certified platinum.

Salonga's big breakthrough came when she was selected to play Kim in the mega-hit musical Miss Saigon in 1989 after a world-wide talent search. She later won the Olivier for Best Performance by an Actress in a Musical. When Miss Saigon moved from London to Broadway in 1991, Salonga subsequently garnered Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and the Theatre World awards for the same role. Between 1993 and 1996, she was asked periodically to play Kim on Broadway to boost ticket sales. In 1999, she was invited back to London to close the musical, and in 2001, Salonga returned to Broadway to close the Broadway production.

In 1993, upon completion of her initial stint as Kim on Broadway, Salonga played the role of street waif Eponine in the Broadway production of Les Misérables. In 1996, Salonga was in Les Misérables once again, in various ways. She played Eponine in the London production of the musical, then continued on to do the role in the musical's U.S. national tour in Hawaii. She capped her Les Misérables comeback with an invitation from Sir Cameron Mackintosh to play the same role in the musical's legendary 10th anniversary "dream cast" presentation at London's Royal Albert Hall.

Salonga continues to perform in musicals worldwide and more recently began performing concerts. In 2008 she was presented with the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a Filipino civilian, the Order of Lakandula by the president of the Philippines.

Tickets for Lea Salonga are $39.50, $31.50. Tickets are available in the Center for the Arts Box Office from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and at all Ticketmaster locations, including ticketmaster.com. To charge tickets, call 1-800-745-3000; in Canada, call 416-870-8000. For group sales, call 716-645-6771. For more information call 716-645-2787.