“Blurred Lines,” the new album from Lea Salonga scheduled to be released next month, is a live recording featuring a song list that ranges from Rodgers and Hart’s “Manhattan” to Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Cars.”
Salonga, who appears at Cache Creek Friday-Saturday, April 7-8, says her Cache Creek performances will differ from the New York club performance on the album.
“We will have a four piece-band, and this allows us a little bit more freedom with material. We can move into more pop, for instance, and it allows everything to be more intimate.
“Lately, I’ve been doing this number from ‘Hamilton’ called ‘Burn,’ a really emotional song to sing from the point of view of the spurned goodwife. When a politician’s wife has been hurt, we wonder what she would have to say, and this song approaches that.”
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Salonga, a native of the Philippines and still a citizen of that nation, was the original Kim in the London production of “Miss Saigon” and then opened in the Broadway show. She was also in the reboot of “Flower Drum Song” and voiced Disney characters Princess Jasmine in “Aladdin” and Mulan in both “Mulan” and “Mulan II.” She currently is a judge on the Filipino edition of “The Voice.”
Back when “Miss Saigon” came to Broadway, it arrived only after controversy with Jonathan Pryce set to play the Engineer and Actors Equity protesting a non-Asian in the role. Ironically, they also protested Salonga because, even though she was Asian, she was not American (she has a green card).
“That was just weird, but it all came out OK, and now I’ve paid my dues for 25 years – to Actors Equity. When I was last in Manila, I did have a few qualms about returning to America with the current situation. Would they let me back in? It was seamless, it turned out. But it is worrying.”
She performed the role of the mother in “Fun Home” in Manila last year and goes back and forth a lot.
“My 11-year old daughter has just become obsessed with ‘Phantom of the Opera,’ ” Salonga said. When I first took her I told her it could be a little dark, but if she got scared she was to remember that Mommy has friends on the stage. Didn’t scare her a bit, and now she doesn’t stop playing the recording. I have to take her back while we’re here. I won’t take her to the ‘Miss Saigon’ revival, though. That truly is too dark for somebody her age.”
Are there roles she would like to play?
“Mrs. Lovett. Dot in ‘Sunday in the Park with George.’ I always wanted to do Eva Perón, but I’m too old for her now,” the 46-year-old Salonga said. “And it’s too much work. I don’t want to work that hard in a show anymore.” (9 p.m. Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday; $65-$105; cachecreek.com)