Tony winner Lea Salonga visited the set of "The Wendy Williams Show" last March 15, 2010 to promote her ongoing cabaret series at Café Carlyle, dubbed "The Journey So Far." She sang the pop ditty "Your Song," which she also performed in her recent year-end concert in Manila.
It's Lea's first attempt to stage a one-woman show in an intimate setting. And her debut at the Café Carlyle, now on its second week, has been getting favorable reviews from music critics.
"Ms. Salonga is the vocal personification of what might be called the Broadway and Hollywood international style, which embraces Disney songs, Rodgers and Hammerstein ballads and the anthems of Schönberg and Boublil...Backed by a functional quartet under the direction of Larry Yurman, Ms. Salonga touched many of these bases on Tuesday, with some forays into Philippine music. Like most singers who rely on various degrees of declamation, Ms. Salonga was most appealing when she relaxed and sang a sweet, low-key rendition of "Someone to Watch Over Me," accompanied by a single guitar. Especially in an intimate space like Café Carlyle, the cliché applies: Less is more," Stephen Holden wrote in the New York Times.
"Smartly, Salonga doesn't disappoint her fans; she gives her all to the stirring "Reflection," which she sang in the Disney animated film 'Mulan,' and tackles her biggest hit, "A Whole New World" (from Disney's 'Aladdin'), albeit in an unusual and humorous fashion. Her final pairing of "Your Song" and "Someone Is Waiting for You" is memorable and unexpected," said Brian Scott Lipton of Theatermania.
Lea's stint at the Café Carlyle, 35 East 76th Street, Manhattan runs 'til March 27, 2010.
The singer and actress is best known for originating the role of Kim in the British megamusical "Miss Saigon" and for singing for the animated roles of Princess Jasmine in Disney's "Alladin" and Fa Mulan in another Disney film "Mulan."