of broadway songs and west end dreams

Today I bought a DVD of Les Miserables In Concert (The Dream Cast) and it’s refreshing and still a thrill to relive my younger years. Back then, I wanted to become a theatre actor. Not just in a local theater production, but in the grand stages of West End and Broadway.

This passion was fueled by the emergence of the Filipino talent in the stage of world musicals. In particular, Lea Salonga’s success as the lead Kim in the 1989 West End debut of Miss Saigon and much later, as Eponine in the 1993 Broadway production of Les Miserables. To craft my vocals, I even became a member of the Manila Children’s Choir and I remember playing a role of one of Santa’s elves in a Christmas performance at the Mini Theater of the grand Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Some time later, I used to spend my summer days at my cousin’s place. This was where I first found album copies of the two musicals. Day in and day out, I would sneak into her room, lock myself in, and memorize the lyrics from the inlay while singing along with the masters. In the years after, I still remember singing the tunes – from Miss Saigon’s “The Last Night of the World,” “I’d Give My Life For You,” “Sun and Moon” and “I Still Believe” to Les Mis’ “Stars,” “I Dreamed A Dream,” “On My Own,” and “Do You Hear The People Sing?” I knew all of them by heart, until years rolled by and new tunes, new artists, and new genres came ringing in my ear.

But tonight, while watching the DVD, the lyrics came rushing back into my head. I found myself singing the songs that fed me once with the passion for musicals, that gave me an innocent glimpse of revolutions past and freedoms won at the French barricades, and of an unrequited love confessed in a little fall of rain.

Will I ever make it to West End or Broadway? I don’t know. But deep in my heart, I still hold on to that passion and will still sing the songs that made me dream of making it big someday. For even long after the music has faded, this dream of mine remains alive.


5 Responses to “of broadway songs and west end dreams”

  1. 1 Senor Enrique November 6, 2005 at 1:29 am

    Good for you, Mark! Be true to your dream! It’s easier to deal with the pain of failure than the pain of saying to yourself someday, “I should have.”

  2. 2 ash November 6, 2005 at 2:33 pm

    Good luck Mark! I always loved musicals and sort of fantasise that one day, i’ll be singing too. and I totally adore Lea. Malaysia has its own production of Miss Saigon but I was too young to be appreciative of the arts at that time. I surely wouldn’t miss out on any good ones that come by next time around.

    Grrr… the book Les Misarables is still sitting on my shelf waiting to be flipped. I don’t have the time! Ish!

  3. 3 Mark November 6, 2005 at 3:33 pm

    Como esta Senor Enrique? Thank you for your wise words. It’s a real far shot with West End and Broadway, so a chart-topper single would be just as sweet. Hehe. I wish! It’s actually one of my dreams, too. To be able to write a song that will ring forth throughout the years. Oh, well…

    Hello Ash! Lea is really one of the Philippines’ finest, she’s such a gem. I saw a Manila production of Miss Saigon some years ago, and fortunately, she starred in it. Maybe we can both audition for it someday, eh? ;-) I remember having a book of Les Mis, too, but now I couldn’t find it. Grrr…

    Thanks for dropping by!

  4. 4 BatJay November 15, 2005 at 7:49 pm

    i had the pleasure of watching les mis in new york many years ago. we had great seat even though the tickets were discounted. it was a memorable night for me.

  5. 5 Mark November 16, 2005 at 6:10 pm

    that must have been a rare, wonderful moment for one to experience, batjay. it’s great that you were able to see this musical! thanks for dropping by.

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