As published in EDGE on May 23, 2013.

After Kobe beef, cheesecake drizzled in peach sauce, and coffee served from silver pots are whisked away, the band, white-haired and dressed in black, tests their instruments on stage. The hum drowns out the dinner chatter as the lights dim. From the darkened crowd appears Lea Salonga, jumping on stage, “Hi y’all, how are you this evening?”Stephen Sorokoff

“Back to Before” at The Carlyle focuses on the international career of Lea Salonga, capturing the struggle of a Filipino woman who has defied all stereotypes and ethnic barriers. Directed by Victor Lirio, Salonga walks you through her career, relating her experiences to strong female characters in American show tunes.

Starting her career in 1978 at the age seven in the musical “The King and I” in the Philippines, she has worked internationally, having performed for five Philippine presidents (from Ferdinand Marcos to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) and three American Presidents (George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush).

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Lea Salonga