Cabaret Festival – Lea Salonga – 5K

By Anthony Nguyen

How often can one say that they have met a Disney princess? Well, theoretically, as a part the Adelaide Cabaret Festival last night, Lea Salonga, an internationally acclaimed Broadway star, Disney Legend and winner of Olivier and Tony awards, marks her Australian debut with a concert highlighting the milestones in her illustrious career.

Accompanied by the 54-piece Adelaide Art Orchestra, conducted by Vanessa Scammell, Lea Salonga opens her concert with a bone-chilling rendition of West Side Story’s Something’s Coming. Salonga takes us through her life journey, displaying a 17-song performance showcasing songs from shows she has been involved in, including Miss Saigon and Les Miserables, as well as songs reflecting her relationships with the family in her life.

A memorable and highly enjoyable moment of the night would be when Salonga expressed her time as a part of Disney taking on the singing roles of Jasmine and Mulan, performing Reflection from Mulan and Colors of the Wind from Pocahontas. Unexpectedly, Salonga interacted with the audience and invited a guest from the audience onstage to join her in performing a duet of Aladdin’s A Whole New World. Nostalgic childhood memories flowed back upon hearing Salonga once again take on Jasmine’s voice through the musical piece which received a overwhelmingly positive response from the audience.

In the most unforgettable way, Salonga closed the show with her ‘all-time favourite’ songs For Good and Defying Gravity from the musical Wicked. Being was nothing less of a spectacular performance, it earned a standing ovation from everyone in the auditorium. It wasn’t then long after until Salonga returned to thank the audience through a final mesmerizing rendition of Moon River.

The Adelaide Festival Theatre, housing approximately 2000 people, provided a simple backdrop and minimal staging decorations in order to allow a more intimate performance between Salonga and the audience. The powerful vocal performance displayed emphasized Salonga’s professionalism in being a renown musical theatre actress.

It goes to say that the name Lea Salonga has been passed around countless times in the theatre world throughout the years. Unfortunately, although it was the last show in her Australia debut journey, through the amazing magnitude of her performance as well as the never-ending support from thousands of fans across the world, it is apparent that Lea Salonga’s journey is yet far from over.

Kryztoff Rating: 5K.

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