Lea, Darren Criss to headline 'Yolanda' benefit concert
MANILA - Broadway star Lea Salonga, "Glee" star Darren Criss, and Grammy-winning violinist Joshua Bell will headline a benefit concert in the United States for the victims of super typhoon Yolanda.
Dubbed "After the Storm," the show will be staged at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington on June 15.
The concert will be directed Broadway's Baayork Lee ("The King & I," "Jesus Christ Superstar") and produced by Robert Pullen, who has been nominated for an Emmy award.
"The road ahead for people in communities that were devastated by typhoon Haiyan is not going to be easy and this concert is our way of helping them rebuild their lives,” said Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia, Jr., who conceived the project with his wife, Maria Victoria Cuisia.
"As the world's attention is gradually drawn away from the devastation in the central Philippines, we are reminded that formidable challenges remain for millions of families displaced by the most powerful tropical storm ever to make landfall,” added Ambassador John Maisto, president of the US-Philippines Society.
Criss, the half-Filipino actor and singer-songwriter best known for his role as Blaine Anderson in "Glee," has also been active in raising funds for the victims of the super typhoon.
In addition to the numerous concerts he participated in, he has also raised over $100,000 for the cause to be given via the World Food Programme.
He is joined by Salonga, the first Asian actress to play the roles of Éponine and Fantine in "Les Miserables" on Broadway. She portrayed both roles in the musical's 10th and 25th anniversary shows in London, respectively.
Bell, a renowned violinist and conductor, has scored several films and participated in a Pulitzer Prize-winning social experiment with The Washington Post.
Philippine-born artist and former "The Voice of the Philippines" coach apl.de.ap will also lend his talents to the cause, alongside acclaimed actor Lou Philipps, best known for his roles in films La Bamba (1987) and "Stand and Deliver" (1988).