Lea Salonga

The Broadway Concert

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AllMusic Review by

This is the album Lea Salonga was destined to make. Long recognized as a prodigious talent, Lea Salonga has appeared in a number of musicals outside her native Philippines, including the original Broadway production of Miss Saigon, for which she won a Tony. Although she has tried to crack the Asian and international pop market, she's had less success in that area. It's not because of her voice; it's been suggested that it's because of the lackluster material she sings, which is more easy listening than pop. While Philippine-composed easy listening music can sell in big numbers inside the country, it doesn't fare as well outside the country. There is, however, a potential international market for The Broadway Concert, which was recorded at a Manila concert of the same name. The San Miguel Philharmonic Orchestra provides musical accompaniment, and the musical director for the show was her brother, Gerard Salonga. The entire album is wonderful, and contains a number of endearing performances. An unexpected highlight is the heartfelt "Too Much for One Heart," a number that she explains was dropped from the production of Miss Saigon. One wonders why it was dropped, as the song is simply beautiful, and Lea Salonga's rendition could possibly even be released as a single. Other songs include "Don't Cry for Me Argentina," from the musical Evita; "I Enjoy Being a Girl," from Flower Drum Song (Lea Salonga appeared in a lauded Los Angeles production of Flower Drum Song); "Nothing," from A Chorus Line; "Someone Else's Story," from Chess; and "I Don't Know How to Love Him," from Jesus Christ Superstar. There are other songs as well, including an overture performed by the orchestra. While an album of Broadway music by any performer won't rival sales of Jennifer Lopez or Ashanti, there is a niche international market that may very well enjoy this album.

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