Lea Salonga, currently headlining Allegiance on Broadway, will lead the first international production of Fun Home in Manila in her native Philippines in late 2016. The Tony winner herself announced in the Philippine Daily Inquirer that she would play Helen Bechdel in Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron's Tony-winning tuner, the role originated by Judy Kuhn.
"Everyone in the theater was in tears at the curtain call (yours truly included)," said Salonga of her experience of watching the Broadway production. "I don’t recall a musical having that kind of effect. No big dance numbers, no large cast. Just a story about a family and its unique brand of dysfunction so specific, we all could find something to relate to."
Salonga earned a Tony Award for Miss Saigon, her Broadway debut. Her additional Great White Way credits include Les Miserables (playing both Eponine and Fantine), Flower Drum Song and Something Good. On screen, her singing voice can be heard as two Disney princesses: Jasmine in Aladdin and Fa Mulan in Mulan. She recently served as a judge on The Voice of the Philippines.
Based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel, Fun Home charts a girl's quest to come to terms with her father's unexpected death. As she moves between past and present, Alison dives into the story of her volatile, brilliant father and relives her unique childhood at her family's funeral home. The Main Stem production, which is running at Circle in the Square, won five Tonys, including Best Musical.
Along with Kuhn, the Great White Way company currently includes Michael Cerveris, Beth Malone, Emily Skeggs, Gabriella Pizzolo, Roberta Colindrez, Zell Morrow, Joel Perez and Oscar Williams.