Tony Award-winner Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon) comes to the Café Carlyle to make her New York cabaret debut in an exclusive three-week engagement. "The Journey So Far" began performances on Tuesday, March 9 and plays through Saturday, March 27.
Leading up to and through her run, Lea Salonga will be blogging for BroadwayWorld.com!
For reservations please call 212-744-1600. For additional information please visit www.thecarlyle.com.
March 9, 2010 was my first night at the hallowEd Halls of the Carlyle. And it was one of the most amazing nights of my life, ever.
All of us had been rehearsing for nearly two weeks without a day off. For two weeks we went through all the music, put together patter, had script meetings, and just ran the show over and over again. Ripley-Grier rehearsal studios became my home for the fortnight; I have no idea how many cups of butternut apple soup I had! (By the way, if ever you find yourself there, you have to get a roll with your cup of soup. Jerry, the guy at the cafe calls it a "little bit of heaven".)
For the most part I was housed in studio 16H... then we started playing musical chairs with the studios, as that place books really quickly. We've seen the interiors of most of the other studios, including one on the 10th floor. I've also been able to see quite a few friends and former co-workers moseying around the halls! We've had a few impromptu reunions on the premises, which made me really happy.
The final three rehearsals were in front of test audiences... since there was a lot of comedy written into the script, we needed to see where the laughs would fall. All of us invited a few friends to each rehearsal, including workmates from the revival of Les Miz and the Asian tour of Cinderella. I held a poker night in my suite with my Les Miz poker group, to calm my nerves and have a little fun.
Fast forward to opening night. I had chosen the turquoise Andrew Gn number to wear for this special evening, as I would be performing in front of audience of good friends (including one of my bridesmaids and "gay of honor" Victor Lirio, artistic director of Diverse City Theatre Company). I wanted to look (and feel) like a princess. The Jimmy Choo sandals were a big help, too.
My make-up artist Yuko Takahashi arrived at my suite at around 6:15. While she set up, I took a quick shower to clear my head and freshen up, then warmed up as she was fixing my face and hair. A half hour before the show, Dan, Diana and Larry came up to wish me luck and to tell me that there was a lot of love in the room. I then went back to getting ready, and felt the butterflies in my belly begin to flutter... hoooh boy, it's another opening night.
The show itself went like a blur. I messed up on a couple of things, but no matter! I did feel the love from everyone watching, and it was amazing!
Afterwards was an impromptu photo session in the lobby with the celebrities in attendance: Sandy Duncan, Rebecca Luker, Andrea McArdle, Leslie Uggams, Jose Llana and Paolo Montalban, who came with his mother Vivian. I then headed up to my suite, hung up my dress, got into my jammies and iced my foot (I had injured it in Manila previous to my arrival in New York). My friends then came upstairs and hung out for a bit.
So... how did my cabaret's opening night go? I don't think I could have asked for a better one, because of all the love in the room.