Lea Salonga: Broadway star, Disney princess, cabaret chanteuse

Sep 02

Lea Salonga: Broadway star, Disney princess, cabaret chanteuse

It’s the day after the Richmond-Ermet AIDS Foundation, and Lea Salonga, visiting family in the Bay Area, is still glowing because, at the curtain call, she got to hold hands with Shirley Jones.

“Some of the 20somethings there had no idea who Shirley Jones was,” Salonga says. “My jaw dropped on the floor. Come on, people! Watch a rerun of The Partridge Family at the very least. See Oklahoma! or Carousel! She has done Broadway and film and television and she still looks and sounds amazing. If you don’t know Shirley Jones, woe be to you. Those of us from New York all know who she is.”

Salonga is no slouch herself. A Tony winner for Miss Saigon, she is married, has a 5-year-old daughter and makes her home in Manila, in her native Philippines. She’ll make her San Francisco cabaret debut later this month as the season opener for Bay Area Cabaret, now in its second season in the Fairmont Hotel’s venerable Venetian Room. Her original date on Sept. 16 sold out quickly, so a second show, at 5pm on Sept. 17 has been added.

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The greening of Shrek’s Eric Petersen

Nov 29

The greening of <i>Shrek’s</i> Eric Petersen

Kermit the Frog said it best: it’s not easy being green. It wasn’t easy for Elphaba the witch of Wicked. It wasn’t easy for the Grinch (of stealing Christmas fame). And it certainly isn’t easy for Shrek, the good-hearted ogre from the swamp.

As difficult as it is for Shrek, that’s nothing compared to the challenges facing Eric Petersen (above), the actor playing him on tour in Shrek The Musical, which opens this week at the Orpheum Theatre as part of the SHN/Best of Broadway season.

The method of converting the amiable Petersen, who was the standby for Shrek on Broadway, into a singing ogre takes about 90 minutes. It takes a village, as they say, and the finished Shrek is the work of Tim Hatley (Tony Award-winning costume and set designer), Naomi Donne (make-up design) and Michael Marino (prosthetic make-up design).

“It’s not so bad,” Petersen says on the phone from Denver. “I can go to a Zen place while it’s being done. Sometimes I can even sleep through half of the process.”

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AIDS fundraiser getting very `Drowsy’

Aug 10

The cast of the national tour of The Drowsy Chaperone will raise money for the Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation Monday, Aug. 11 at Club Fugazi, the home of Beach Blanket Babylon. Photo by Joan Marcus For one night only, and to raise money for a good cause, the cast of The Drowsy Chaperone, along with special guests Susan Anton and “American Idol” contestants...

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Celebs warble through `Help’ Aug. 3

Jul 31

The Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation’s annual gala fundraiser, Help Is on the Way 14: Blame It on the Movies, is this Sunday, Aug. 3, at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. As usual, the roster of performers is impressive. Among the locals you’ll find singing songs from movies (both great movie musicals and pop songs from contemporary blockbusters)...

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Comedy tonight (actually June 11)

May 19

Laugh for a worthy cause on Wednesday, June 11 when The Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation presents COMEDY TONIGHT! , an evening of “outrageous comedy & decadent divas.” Which begs the question, are there any other kind of divas? Here are some of the comic divas expected to attend: JUDY TENUTA American Comedy Awards “Best Female Comedian” /...

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