Deedee Magno HallDeedee Lynn Magno HallThere is a problem with parsing the infobox (born April 2, 1975) is a Filipino-American actress and singer of pop group The Party. The child of immigrants from the Philippines, a sailor in the United States Navy and a nurse, she grew up in San Diego and Orlando. She began acting at a young age, lending her voice to the Disney show The All New Mickey Mouse Club (that was first recorded in 1988) in 1988-1991 and sometimes 1992. She also appears as Jasmine on the Disney's Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular soundtrack. She is credited as one of the students in the 1993 film, Sister Act 2. She is currently the voice of Pearl in the animated series Steven Universe.
After The Party, Magno went on to perform in musical theater, most notable was her role of Kim in the Broadway production of Miss Saigon, a role she later reprised on the national tour. She later played the role of Nessarose on the first national tour of Wicked, from December 12, 2006 until November 16, 2008. She most recently reprised the role in the San Francisco sit-down production at the Orpheum Theatre. Performances began January 27, 2009 with an opening
night of February 6, 2009. She played her final performance on September 5, 2010, when the production closed. She joined the ensemble for the US tour of If/Then in October 2015.
Magno is married to Cliffton Hall, who has starred opposite her in both Miss Saigon and Wicked national tours, and most recently in the San Francisco production of Wicked. They have an older son named KaedenRyley Hall and had a second son named Brycen Hall in August 2011
The proud Fil-Am from Miss Saigon to Wicked
<time>Published August 18, 2009 12:29pm</time>
By MARCONI CALINDAS, GMANews.TV
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SAN FRANCISCO, California—There is so much to celebrate about the Filipino talents in the world especially in the musical theater arena in the US as proven by the talented Filipino-American Deedee Magno-Hall.
Magno-Hall, an alumna of the acclaimed and Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Miss Saigon, was considered to be one of the longest-running actresses to portray the lead role in the musical. Now, she is once again making the Filipino community proud as she plays a major role in the much-celebrated musical Wicked, the Untold Story of the Witches of Oz.
Wicked, also a Tony Award-winning Broadway and West End musical, with songs and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and book by Winnie Holzman, is a story based on the best-selling novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire.
The novel was inspired by the novel of L. Frank Baum's classic story The Wonderful Wizard of Oz from the point of view of the witches of the Land of Oz. The homecoming show has been playing in San Francisco where it has been very well received with sold-out tickets every night.
The Filipina actress plays Nessarose, the insecure, spoiled and crippled younger sister of Elphaba, the green wicked witch of the West. Magno-Hall stands out from the lead cast as she is the only Asian-American in the ensemble.
Magno-Hall has been squeezing her time in between motherhood, being a wife and a stage actress. She said time management has been challenging these past few weeks as her four-year old son Kaeden had just started preschool.
This reporter had the privilege to have a tête-à-tête with the talented Filipina:
How long have you been part of the Wicked cast?
Magno-Hall: I joined the 1st National Touring Company in late November of 2006 after my husband, Cliffton Hall, had been with the show for about a year and a half already. I left the tour mid November of 2008 to join the San Francisco Company in January 2009 after a 3 month vacation.
Can you tell me more about how you got the role which is one of the major characters/roles in the musical?
Magno-Hall: My husband suggested I try out for the role of Nessarose, the sister of the Green Witch after he heard the previous actress was leaving. After a few e-mails and phone calls to casting directors and agents, an appointment was made to fly to NYC for an audition.
My trip to NY was the first time I would be apart from my son. He was 18 months old. It was a very tough decision to leave, but we knew opportunities like these came far and few between. The night of my audition, my agent called and congratulated me on getting the part. I was so excited to have the chance to share the stage with my husband again! We met doing Miss Saigon in 1995.
How does it feel to play the character as an Asian-American woman?
Magno-Hall: I don't think I try to play her specifically as an Asian-American woman. I just want to do the best work I can and hope the audience believes that I am Nessarose, regardless of what I look like. That being said, I was thrilled that they cast me even though I look nothing like my predecessors.
What can you say about working with the cast?
Magno-Hall: I have been blessed to work with a wide variety of talented personalities, and I continue to learn and grow artistically from each and every one of them!
How would you compare working on Wicked with Miss Saigon?
Magno-Hall: They are two completely different animals; both amazing shows to work on. In Miss Saigon, I was onstage almost the entire show, and in Wicked I have so much downtime. The only similarity is I die tragically in both of them.
How long were you on Miss Saigon? I believe you are considered the longest to play Kim in the musical?
Magno-Hall: At one point I had been the longest running Kim, but I'm sure someone has since surpassed me. My memory is a little blurry, but I think I was on the 2nd National Tour from February 1995 until June 1997. Then Broadway from June 1997 until December 1998. And then a return to Broadway sometime in 1999? I need to check my contracts. But anyway, I also did the Asian Tour opposite my husband in 2001. I got to play Kim for a long time! What a dream role!
Plans after Wicked?
Magno-Hall: The show is in San Francisco indefinitely. My plans with or after Wicked are still up in the air. I leave it up to God.
On being a Filipino
Where are you originally from, here in the US and the Philippines?
Magno-Hall: Hindi ako ipi-na-anak sa Pilipinas. Forgive my “mali ness." I was born in Portsmouth, Virginia. I grew up partially in San Diego, California and Orlando, Florida. My dad was in the US Navy. My mom was a nurse.
Are your parents both Filipinos? Do you have siblings?
Magno-Hall: Both my parents were born and raised in the Philippines. My dad in Baguio, and my mom in Manila. I have an older brother, Dave, and 2 younger sisters, Dayna and Darlene.
Do you speak any Filipino language?
Magno-Hall: Although I grew up listening to Sharon Cuneta and learning how to sing in Tagalog phonetically, I unfortunately did not learn to speak Tagalog until later in life. My Filipino friends from the Asian Tour of Saigon would only speak to me in Tagalog forcing me to practice, which I loved. I still need a lot of practice.
Do you ever go back and visit the Philippines?
Magno-Hall: The last time I was there was January 2002.
Anything you miss about the Philippines?
Magno-Hall: The food!!! But I'm happy to know there are many Filipino restaurants here in the Bay Area!
Any message to the Filipino community here in the US and back in the Philippines?
Magno-Hall: Kamusta po! Ingat po kayong lahat! - GMANews.TV
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