MANILA – Tony award-winning theater actress Lea Salonga was impressed with fellow Filipina Joreen Bautista, who plays alternately for the lead role of Kim in the UK tour of “Miss Saigon.”
Salonga, who saw the show when she went to Birmingham last week, said she is proud to see a completely Filipino principal lineup.
“She was magnificent, I thought. She perfectly embodied that role but did not in any way look or sound like a carbon copy of any previous production. It was all hers but everything was right,” Salonga said in an interview with a reporter at West End Proms.
In Salonga’s Inquirer column, the Broadway diva also praised the chemistry between Bautista and her partner on stage, Vinny Coyle, who played the character of Chris.
“The astounding part is that Joreen and Vinny haven’t even played that many shows, but on that stage, they were obviously very prepared. I believed everything that was happening between them, and most notable with Vinny, there is kindness and the purest kind of love every time he looked in Joreen’s direction,” she wrote.
Bautista expressed her gratitude on Facebook after receiving compliments from Salonga, who played Kim in the original production of “Miss Saigon.”
“I used to watch amazed in my seat in the audience as she performed since I was a little girl, and now the Kim from the original production watched me tonight as I took on the same role! How amazing is that,” she said.
“Your feedback about us means so much to me, Lea Salonga! Thank you very much again,” she added.