Monday, February 14, 2011

Les Miz - Disney Connections

I've been in my Les Miserables bunker for a few weeks now. Besides seeing the stage production as it swings through Chicago, I've been watching the DVD of the 10th anniversary concert, and PBS showed the 25th anniversary concert on Saturday night.

As I mentioned in the previous post, it's my favorite musical, and as I was watching it, I mentioned to my wife and kids that it has a couple different connections to Disney. First, Cameron Mackintosh produces it, and he is also involved as producer for Disney's Mary Poppins stage musical.

But the Disney crossovers that I was pointing out to my family were two of the female leads in the 10th anniverary DVD. First, the role of Eponine is sung by actress/singer Lea Salonga. Ms. Salonga first came to attention in the title role of Miss Saigon, then went to play the role of Eponine on Broadway. Disney used her to supply the singing voice to Aladdin's Princess Jasmine. Then she also sang the on-screen songs for Fa Mulan in both Mulan and in the straight-to-video release Mulan 2. Her duet with Brad Kane on the song A Whole New World is one of the most powerful songs in Disney animation history, in my opinion.

The other tie-in is actress/singer Judy Kuhn, who voiced the role of Cosette on Broadway and in the 10th anniversary concert. Ms. Kuhn provided the singing voice to Pocahontas in the movies Pocahontas and Pocahontas 2 (also a straight-to-video release). Ms. Kuhn also had a cameo appearance in the recent film Enchanted, where she played a pregnant woman with kids.

Ms. Salonga went on to play the role of Fantine in the later New York production of Les Miserables. Ms. Kuhn replaced Ms. Salonga in that role, and played it until the show closed in 2008.



Anonymous said...

I love Lea Salonga... im glad she is still very active. i would die to see her in one of her concerts.

Scott said...

She is on tour currently - I believe she is playing near Chicago (at a casino with a nice performing arts venue) this weekend (Feb 18th, perhaps?)