FROM THE BACKYARD GANG TO THE PRIDE LANDS! Over the years, we've always had that one big childhood show and our favorite standout performers. Years later as we got older many of us wondered, where are our childhood favorites now? Before currently appearing as a Dancer in the Ensemble 8 times a week in Disney's Award winning smash hit The Lion King – Musical, Pia Hamilton got her start as a child performer appearing alongside a little friendly big lovable purple dinosaur called Barney.
After initially falling in love with the original 80's BARNEY & THE BACKYARD GANG home videos, the Filipino-American actress auditioned in 1991 for a spot on the PBS Award winning series BARNEY & FRIENDS landing a part in the original cast as "Min", She appeared on the series for the first 3 seasons as a regular and made 2 brief returns in some of the later seasons. Pia Hamilton (under her maiden name Manalo) holds the record of the actor with the most appearances on Barney…. a complete total of 50 episodes. In addition with the role of "Min" being initially Chinese, the producers changed the part to Pia's very own nationality of Filipino.
Following her time with that SUPER-DEE-DUPER dinosaur, Pia went on to appear in numerous regional shows and 2 years as a featured Dancer on the National Tour of the Radio City Christmas Spectular. Hamilton made her Broadway Debut and joined the cast of THE LION KING in 2014 where she continues to perform with the show 8 times a week at the Minskoff Theatre. She also has her own dance studio she co-founded with her husband entitled the Intrigue Dance & Performing Arts Center in Chicago, Il.
Check out a little podcast interview about her journey from Barney to Broadway right below.
Who remembers seeing Pia on BARNEY? Anyone seen her in THE LION KING?