Showing posts from June, 2011 SWEET CHARITY (Manila) Releases New Promo Photos

by Oliver Oliveros,
Manila, Philippines, June 28, 2011 -- Nikki Gil (Legally Blonde, Seussical), Ciara Sotto (Rent, Magsimula Ka), OJ Mariano (Rent, The Wedding Singer) and Sheree Bautista (Rent, Little Mermaid) were among 9 Works Theatrical's cast members of its upcoming production of Neil Simon and Cy Coleman's Broadway musical, Sweet Charity, who met the press at the Dusit Thani Hotel today.

Ms. Gil plays a dancer for hire, Charity Hope Valentine; Ms. Sotto plays one of Charity's best friends, Helene; Mr. Mariano dabbles in double roles as an Italian film star, Vittorio Vidal, and as a charismatic religious leader of the Rhythm of Life Church, Daddy Johann Sebastian Brubeck; and Ms. Bautista plays one of Charity's co-dancers, Carmen; when Sweet Charity opens on Friday, August 5 at the Carlos P. Romulo Theater, RCBC Plaza, Makati City.

Sweet Charity, which originally starred Gwen Verdon as Charity, premiered on Broadway in 1966. The show was also adapt…

Photo Flash: Elton John and Tim Rice's AIDA Premieres in Manila, 6/24 – 7/10 -

by Oliver Oliveros,
Manila, Philippines, June 24, 2011 -- Elton John and Tim Rice's contemporary take on Aida, a tale of star-crossed lovers based on the Giuseppe Verdi's opera of the same title, made it to Manila through Atlantis Productions Inc.'s local production that opened at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati City Friday night. (The musical runs until Sunday, July 10)

Aida's local premiere has prompted the return of musical theater actress Ima Castro (Miss Saigon, Paglayang Minamahal), who's been based in London for the past 10 years, to the Philippine theater scene. Ms. Castro plays the title role opposite to Myke Salomon's (Care Divas, Magsimula Ka) Radames and Rachel Alejandro's (Xanadu, Avenue Q) Amneris.

Ms. Alejandro's real-life dad, Hajji Alejandro (Batibot, Kapinangan), plays Radames' father, Zoser. Recording artist and theater newcomer, Josh Santana, plays Mereb while one of local theater's most …

Roy Cruz: My Fixation on Meryl Streep Began 30 Years Ago -

by Oliver Oliveros,

STREEP TEASE, an evening of Meryl Streep monologues that parodies her movies as performed by an all-male cast, will transfer from Bang Improv Theatre in Los Angeles to a one-night-only performance at Joe's Pub at The Public Theatre in New York City on June 27.

"My fixation on Meryl Streep began when I first saw her in the movie Still of the Night at a film screening in Manila 30 years ago. She was classy and mysterious that as a gay teenager, I wanted to channel her -- the way she smoked, her attitude and her mannerisms," said Roy Cruz, a Filipino television writer-turned-stand-up comedian and creator and co-producer of the hit Los Angeles (LA) stage show Streep Tease.

The LA Weekly described Cruz's brainchild, which has been enjoying a cult following of loyal fans since its world premiere 18 months ago, as a "well-structured, tight show that's over almost before you want it to be." Streep's prodigious feat as a…

Photo Coverage Exclusive: Nutley Little Theatre's THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE -

by Oliver Oliveros,
Who would have thought that Nutley Little Theatre (NLT), a community theater group, could hold workshops and productions inside an old red barn since the mid-1930s?

NLT's red barn, which is nestled in the heart of Nutley in North NJ, saw the theater company's humble beginnings as a parish-based arts ministry in 1934 and its first regular season plays directed by Robert Winternitz in 1934 to1935. That same iconic red barn also serves as the performance venue in NLT's current season --76 seasons and counting -- that closes with William Finn and Rachel Sheinkin's Broadway musical The 25th Annual Putman County Spelling Bee from June 10 to June 25.

NLT's Spelling Bee director Danielle Jacob and its cast, headed by former Repertory Philippines actor John Villa (Douglas Panch), had recently invited for an exclusive peek into their community theater production of the Tony Award-winning musical.

Its charming, quirky an…

Photo Coverage: Lea Salonga Returns to Café Carlyle, 6/7-6/25 -

by Oliver Oliveros,
New York, June 8, 2011 - surprisingly bumped into Lea Salonga (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables) at The Carlyle's lobby a few minutes before she stepped onto the stage at the Café Carlyle last night. Looking elegant and dazzling in her Robin Tomas gown, she talked to us a bit and then said a little prayer prior to facing her opening night audience.

"It's great to be back in New York," Ms. Salonga beamed when she said that in her opening spiel.

Tony Award winner Ms. Salonga is currently in town for an exclusive three-week return engagement, featuring an all-new program entitled Lea Salonga: New York in June, at the Café Carlyle at The Carlyle beginning last night and running until June 25.

Grammy Award winner and stage actress Helen Reddy (Blood Brothers, Anything Goes); cabaret singer and stage actress Marilyn Maye (Mame, Hello, Dolly!); international theater director Bobby Garcia (Next to Normal, Sacrifice); Broadway…

Photo Coverage Exclusive: Lea Salonga's Rehearsal for Café Carlyle Return -

by Oliver Oliveros,
New York, June 7, 2011 -- Tony Award winner Lea Salonga's (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables) pristine voice once again fills the ultra-chic Café Carlyle at The Carlyle as she returns for her second exclusive three-week cabaret-style show entitled "New York In June," which is opening tonight and is running until June 25.

In preparation for the show's curtain raising, Salonga, along with her stage director Daniel Kutner, musical director Larry Yurman and writer Diana Basmajian , welcomed and some friends to her final run-through held yesterday at the Ripley-Grier rehearsal studios in Midtown Manhattan.

Neither wearing makeup nor her Robin Tomas' dress, Salonga walked her audience through her spiels and song numbers -- running around 70 minutes -- at yesterday's rehearsal.

"For our second outing at Café Carlyle, we've assembled the original members of the creative team who were part of Lea's debut at…