“She had no idea who they were.”
This was what Pinoy Broadway icon Lea Salonga said in response to the viral video where fans were seen visiting her dressing room after a show in New York City.
Lea is performing in the first all-Pinoy Broadway cast “Here Lies Love” in a special five-week guest engagement from July 11 to August 13. She is portraying Aurora Aquino.
Meanwhile, in a video uploaded by Facebook user Cristopher Retokelly Carpila on July 15, some Filipino fans were spotted entering her dressing room and taking a chance to have photos with her after the show.
Lea could be seen engaging with them following the request.
“Unless you’re on the guest list, we cannot have you back here,” she was heard saying to the fans in the video.
“So you’ll have to go to the door. I’m sorry because if I will allow this now, then other people are gonna take advantage of this,” the Broadway performer added.
Another Pinoy claimed that Giselle “G” Töngi, one of musical’s co-producers, was her friend.
But Lea stood her ground and said that they were not on the guest list. She instructed them to wait “by the door” instead.
This door is different than the one in her dressing room.
“Kasi kung wala sa listahan, hindi namin pinapasok,” she added. “‘Cause it’s our, for security.”
“Please don’t do this anymore,” Lea further said as she turned off the lights in her dressing room and began to close it.
She then walked away from the dressing room area and headed out.
In the Facebook post, however, the fan insisted in the caption that the Broadway icon should already have her picture taken with them when they were in the dressing room, despite not being part of the guest list.
“Para kay Ate LEA, if ever naman po na mali kami at wala sa guest list, the fact na [andoon] na kami para lang magpa-picture… pumila at nagbayad ng mahal para sa show, siguro naman po bilang kapwa PILIPINO at mga FANS, eh mabigyan ng kahit konting RESPETO AT KAHIT HINDI NA YAKAPIN OR I-BESO ay mapagbigyan na kahit sandaling magpa-PICTURE (mabilis lang naman ‘yun),” Cristopher wrote.
The viral video made its way to Twitter, where Lea made some clarifications.
If your are really a fan then give her a space.
Pero naging considerate pa din ang isang @MsLeaSalonga at pinagbigyan naman un request ng fanneys.
Cristopher Retokelly Carpila pic.twitter.com/L4heb6lT3T
— Madam Beki Not Vidanes (@MadamWanderBeki) July 16, 2023
“This is the problem of some of our kababayan. Porke’t kapwa Pinoy, they think that they are entitled to do what they want and not follow rules. Lea was right in saying that they are not allowed backstage. The venue needs tighter security,” journalist Ruel Mendoza said.
“Hi, Ruel! Actually, we have multiple levels of security at the theater. But I had a ton of guests that night and perhaps they folded right into them. Security policies have been even more tightened,” Lea responded.
“Thanks for your concern, and hope to see you on our dance floor soon! It’ll be good to see you again!” she added.
The Broadway icon also addressed another Twitter user who tagged G Töngi on the replies thread to call her attention to the incident.
“I checked in with G after this happened… she had no idea who they were,” Lea said.
The Tony Award-winning actress also shared a post from the account @kulturemotivation on Instagram Story on Monday, July 17.
“Everybody loves you when you let everything slide. But as soon as you start checking things and creating boundaries, you become the most hated,” the post reads.
Lea also reminded the public of her boundaries while quote tweeting her past post about why she will not accept food from strangers.
Just a reminder… I have boundaries. Do not cross them. Thank you. https://t.co/LVziX55lDf
— Lea Salonga (@MsLeaSalonga) July 17, 2023
Other Pinoys also called out the uploader who insisted that their pictures should be taken with Lea when they were already in her dressing room.
“Anong problema dito, kuya? Haha, super nice pa nga niya kayong pinapaalis kasi nga bawal kayo dun. So anong problema? Alam niyo po ba protocols sa theater? Or kahit sa ibang artists, specially sa mga private dressing rooms nila?” a Facebook user said in the comments.
“DRESSING ROOMS are PRIVATE SPACES of the artists. You are only allowed to go inside the dressing rooms if you are part of the production or if the artist invited you to go inside it. If you think Lea Salonga was rude here, going inside her dressing room without her permission is even more rude,” a Facebook user claiming to have seen several Broadway shows also said.
“A meet-and-greet or photo op is NOT included in any expensive Broadway ticket. The artists are NOT required to take photos with us or talk to us at the stage door (or worse, like this one!). We only pay for a ticket that allows us to watch the show. That’s it! Let’s learn to respect people’s private spaces. RESPECT!” he added.
A dressing room is where a performer changes costumes and puts on makeup. It is usually a private space and is not allowed to be accessed by the public.
Meanwhile, “Here Lies Love” is a disco Broadway musical centering on former first lady Imelda Marcos’ rise to power and subsequent fall at the hands of the historic People Power Revolution.
Lea is playing the mother of the late senator Benigno Aquino Jr.