Tony Award Winning Star of Miss Saigon Makes Carnegie Hall Debut to Benefit Diverse City Theater Company

LEA SALONGA, the singer, actress and recording artist, will make her Carnegie Hall debut on November 7th at 7PM. It will benefit Diverse City Theater Company (DCT), a groundbreaking theater company in New York City that promotes diversity in the theater. It reunites her with director/producer, Richard Jay-Alexander, and Broadway conductor and musical director, Kevin Stites. It also puts her together with long-time friend, Artistic & Producing Director, Victor Lirio.

Salonga, the multi-award winning star, as well as a singing voice for Disney's Mulan and Aladdin, most recently headlined the star-studded opening of Disneyland in Hong Kong and the Leonard Bernstein Tribute with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks in Munich as Maria in West Side Story. As for her Carnegie Hall debut, she commented: "For so many years I've walked past this great building, dreaming that one day I would perform in concert here. Arguably one of the greatest performance halls, in what is perhaps the greatest city in the world. It is a place where many dreams have come true and on November 7th, mine will as well."

She added: "It's also wonderful collaborating with my friends at Diverse City Theater, a place that provides a safe haven for artists to collaborate and express their unique views on social and cultural issues creatively. Art is a great medium to communicate positive change in our society."

The one-night only concert is directed by Richard Jay-Alexander, best known for directing and producing Bernadette Peters's Carnegie Hall concert Live at Carnegie Hall and Bernadette Peters Loves Rodgers and Hammerstein at Radio City Music Hall. In addition, he also worked on the concert tours of Bette Midler's Kiss My Brass and Barbra Streisand's Timeless/Farewell. Jay-Alexander directed Lea in Les Miserables and was the show's Executive Producer as well as for Broadway's Miss Saigon, which won Salonga her first Tony. He has also worked with many other international stars.

Broadway's Kevin Stites will conduct Salonga's 28-piece orchestra for this much-anticipated solo debut. Stites and Salonga previously worked together in a special concert event, The Music of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg, in Manila. One of the most sought-after musical directors on Broadway, he has most recently conducted Fiddler on the Roof and currently serves as Music Supervisor for the upcoming Oprah Winfrey produced musical, The Color Purple. He conducted Oklahoma!, Titanic, On the Town, Sunset Boulevard and the revival of Nine as well as the national touring productions of Miss Saigon, The Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables.

"We are honored and thrilled to have a world-class creative team, a Tony-winning star, conductor and director- all lending their talent and time to Diverse City Theater," said Victor Lirio, Artistic & Producing Director. "As a small non-profit theatre company with an important mission and ambitious goals, their generous and personal support is overwhelming. With Lea, Richard and Kevin, I can't begin to imagine how incredibly magical the evening of November 7th will be. A celebration of diversity in the arts."

Salonga gained international acclaim for her award winning performance as Kim in the London and Broadway productions of Miss Saigon. In addition to winning the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award in London in, she also garnered the coveted Tony Award as well as the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World awards when the show opened on Broadway. Salonga was the first Asian actor to play the widely popular role of Eponine in Les Miserables on Broadway. She reprised the same role in London, Hawaii (with the U.S. National Tour) and the "Dream Cast" 10th anniversary concert production at the Royal Albert Hall in London. She returned to Broadway in the fall of 2002 when she starred in the hit "new" production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song. She is the singing voice of Disney's Mulan and Princess Jasmine in Aladdin and recorded the Academy Award winning song, A Whole New World, with Brad Kane.

Carnegie Hall is located on West 57th Street and Seventh Avenue in New York City. Tickets can be purchased by calling (212) 247-7800 or Tickets prices are $45, $65, $85 and $100. Limited VIP tickets are available at $350 which includes a post-performance VIP after-party sponsored by Bombay Sapphire and Martha Clara Vineyards. Contact Liz Casasola at 212-309-9018 or

Diverse City Theater Co. Inc., is an independent not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that focuses on promoting diversity in the theater arts. Its mission is to commission, develop and produce original plays that explore and examine diversity issues in our national culture-social, cultural, lifestyle and demographic-thereby creating multiculturally fluent theater audiences as well as advocate the non-traditional casting of actors.

Formed in 2003, Diverse City Theater Co., Inc. is based in New York City. For more information, visit the organization's website at

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Copyright 2005, Roger W. Tang

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