The much-anticipated international tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella
, starring Tony Award winner Lea Salonga, kicked off the first leg of its tour of Asia July 29 in the actress' homeland of the Philippines.
Salonga - whose breakout performance at age 19 in Miss Saigon
earned her Olivier, Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World awards - has remained an active presence on the theatrical stage, appearing on Broadway in Les Miserables
(both original and revival) and Flower Drum Song
as well as in numerous productions in her native country and Singapore.
In between acting roles, Salonga has established herself as an international recording star, with albums reaching multiple platinum status in the Philippines; played to sold-out concert halls around the world; and lent her vocal chops to two of Disney's most beloved animated leading ladies, Princess Jasmine and Mulan.
Now Salonga takes on yet another of the great musical theatre roles, stepping into the glass slippers originally worn by Julie Andrews in the record-setting 1957 television broadcast. Cinderella
has been remade twice for the small screen: a 1965 airing for CBS starred Leslie Ann Warren and Ginger Rogers, and pop singer Brandy played the title role in ABC's 1997 version. First adapted for the stage in 1958, more recent revisions have surfaced at New York City Opera in the 1990s and in the form of a 2000-2001 U.S. tour that starred Deborah Gibson and, later, Jamie-Lynn Sigler.