Happy Birthday to Phillipa Soo, Breaking Barriers on Broadway

Phillipa Soo is magnetic. As sweet and dedicated Natasha (Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812), kind and loving Eliza Schuyler Hamilton (Hamilton), and shy and whimsical Amelie Poulain (Amelie), she brings a beautiful voice and effortless charm to each part.

Her most recent role was in Amelie, which closed at the Walter Kerr Theater on May 21. But with her subtly powerful stage presence, there’s no doubt that Phillipa, who is Tony-nominated, will be returning to Broadway. It’s very important to the Asian-American community that she does.

Phillipa is half Chinese-American and has inspired many young Asian-American girls who want to be on Broadway. She’s played roles where she is not reduced to stereotypes, roles than can be played by anyone (or in the case of Eliza, only by ethnic minorities). Most Asian-American roles on Broadway are in musicals like Miss Saigon, The King and I, and Flower Drum Song — where the character’s race is crucial to the plot. Phillipa’s roles in Great Comet, Hamilton, and Amelie prove that Asian-Americans can play roles that are not specifically for Asian-Americans. The role of Amelie could easily have been given to a white woman, but Phillipa earned it, and her being in that role is inspiring. A fan’s online letter to her puts it best: “You have proven, to young Asian girls everywhere, that they can be anything they want to be.”

Not only is Phillipa inspiring and empowering, she is using her platform for good. She constantly retweets and comments on current politics, especially what President Trump is up to. She is also incredibly kind on social media, making a “Humans of Amelie” series on her Instagram highlighting her fellow castmates and the good that they have done.

Happy birthday to a kind, talented, inspiring woman, who has achieved so much at only 27.

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