Showing posts from July, 2011

Photo Exclusive: Salonga, Takei, Leung Lead ALLEGIANCE Workshop Presentation -

by Oliver Oliveros,

New York, July 30, 2011 -- has been following the progress of Broadway-bound musical, Allegiance, since its first reading in Los Angeles two years ago up to its final workshop presentation held at the Baryshnikov Arts Center yesterday. What we just saw certainly bore little likeness to its initial working draft while some aspects of the production have remained the same, like its central story on the Japanese American experience during and after the World War II internment; and its composer and lyricist Jay Kuo's uplifting and emotionally charged music and lyrics.

Sing Out, Louise! Productions and the Tony Award-winning regional theater company, The Old Globe, have just wrapped up a two-day developmental workshop presentation of Allegiance. The presentation has featured Lea Salonga (Gloria Suzuki), George Takei (old Sam Omura), Telly Leung (Young Sam Omura), Jose Llana (James Omura), Paolo Montalban (Mike Masaoka), Allie Tr…

Photo Exclusive: SummerStage at Leonia Presents BYE BYE BIRDIE -

by Oliver Oliveros,
New Jersey, July 26, 2011 -- Seeing a Broadway musical at "SummerStage at Leonia" has become a family affair for Leonia's residents since medical practitioners/husband and wife tandem, Frank and Joanne Livelli, put on a summer stock production of The Wizard of Oz in 2000.
11 years later and after a string of successful productions of The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, Carousel, among others, the Livelli couple returns to the Little Theatre in Leonia at Leonia High School with a big cast of 60 (and a live orchestra) for a production of Charles Strouse and Lee Adam's old-fashioned bubble gum musical, Bye Bye Birdie, which is running only until July 31.

"SummerStage primarily aims to produce a high quality musical suitable for family theatergoing in midsummer. We also raise funds to support the arts in schools and other performing arts organizations like The Players Guild of Leonia, St. John's Theater Guild and the Fresh Air Fund,…

Photo Flash: A New Musical on Cory Aquino Tours Northern Philippines -

By Oliver Oliveros,
July 24, 2011, Urdaneta City, Pangasinan -- The launch of the Northern Philippines tour of Cory ng EDSA, a new musical based on the life and times of the nation's icon of democracy, former President Corazon Aquino, couldn't have been more timely considering the country is commemorating the 25th anniversary of the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution this year.

Philippine Stagers Foundation (Ako si Ninoy, Enzo...Santo), in partnership with the Ninoy and Cory Aquino Foundation, produces Cory ng EDSA,  a new musical in Filipino penned and directed by Atty. Vince M. Tañada, music directed by Pipo O. Cifra and choreographed by John San Antonio, officially opened at St. Scholastica's College in Manila on July 16, where select members of the press and (Philippines) were invited to cover the event.

Theater critic Amadis Ma. Guerrero wrote: "By and large, however, Cory ng EDSA is a stirring production if your political heart …

ROCK OF AGES' Dan Domenech Talks Being a ‘90s Grunge Kid and Bud Frump -

by Oliver Oliveros,
New York, July 22, 2011 -- Similarity is attractive: Bryne's law of attraction points out that the attraction towards an individual (or a stage role) is positively related to the proportion of similar attitudes shared by two or more persons. It's no wonder smash Broadway musical Rock of Ages' new leading man, Dan Domenech (who shares similar attitudes toward his new stage role), has been having the time of his life since he made his Broadway debut five months ago -- playing the part of Drew, a rocker wannabe from Detroit.

"I really love singing the show's kind of music. It's loud and high. And I love singing loud and high. The thing that I also like about Drew is that he's a big nerd. In high school, I was a big nerd. When I grew up -- Oh yeah, I'm still a big nerd. I kind of relate to him at lot. Drew wanted to be a rock star. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a Broadway star. And it worked out," Domenech … LML Music Launches 'Questions for Lea Salonga' Contest, 7/18-7/29

by Oliver Oliveros,
New York, July 18, 2011 -- LML Music, an independent label that distributes Tony winner Lea Salonga's newest live album, "The Journey So Far," launches "Questions for Lea Salonga" contest for her fans to get a chance to win a signed copy of her CD.

"All you have to do is tweet your question with the hashtag #q4lea and make sure you're following @LMLMusic and @MsLeaSalonga on Twitter. We'll keep track of all the questions and pick some (randomly) that Lea herself will answer in a live streaming broadcast. Everyone who has a question picked will get a signed copy of her CD too," said LML Music.

Contest Rules:

1. Enter as many questions as you want; but multiple entries from one user will only count as one entry.

2. You must be following both @MsLeaSalonga and @LMLMusic to enter. Entries will be disqualified if you're not following both accounts.

3. Questions that are lewd or inappropriate in nature will be …

Photo Flash: Fil-Am Playwright Marisa Marquez's GATED Premieres at Midtown International Theatre Festival -

by Oliver Oliveros,
New York, July 16, 2011 -- Gated, Filipino-American playwright Marisa Marquez's new dark comedy that exposes dysfunctional relationships between residents of a gated community of Las Penas Hills in California, premieres at the Midtown International Theatre Festival.

Ms. Marquez, who's originally from Sacramento, California, has written four plays in the past four years that included Gated, Sampaguita (a play that finds humor in lupus therapy) and Plunge (a collection of scenes and monologues about trials and tribulations and true commitment). Drawing from Ms. Marquez's own Filipino-American experience, her plays are a reflection on the complexity of family dynamics and the duality of cross-cultural adaptation.

"I've been working on this play (Gated) for four years now and finally things are really coming together with this production at the Midtown International Theatre Festival. The designers and the talented actors and the p… THE LITTLE MERMAID (Manila) Audio Preview

by Oliver Oliveros,
Manila, Philippines, July 14, 2011 -- Atlantis Productions Inc. has just released an audio preview of singer-actress Rachelle Ann Go singing "Part of Your World" on its Facebook fan page that builds up to the theater company's upcoming production of Disney's The Little Mermaid -- with Ms. Go playing the title role -- from November 18 to December 11 at the Meralco Theatre.

"Rachelle Ann possesses all the qualities of Ariel. She's spunky and adventurous. And she sounds amazing singing 'Part of Your World.' I'm sure she'll thrill audiences the way she thrilled us during the auditions," co-director Bobby Garcia said.

Atlantis Productions' past shows have included Jesus Christ Superstar, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Proof, The Rocky Horror Show, Dreamgirls, Urinetown, Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Dogeaters, Seussical, Hairspray, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Spring Awakening, Xanadu, Le…

Photo Exclusive: STREEP TEASE at Joe's Pub -

by Oliver Oliveros,
The audience came to a stand still when stage actor Bryan Donovan -- who's channeling the cold and intimidating Sister Aloysius (Doubt) in a nun's black habit and hood -- made a grand entrance through the audience at the recent New York debut of Streep Tease, an evening of monologues culled from Meryl Streep's current database of 49 movies performed with an all-male cast.

A critically-acclaimed new cult comedy that originated from one of Los Angeles' comedy venues, Bang Improv, Streep Tease's monologue line-up heavily relied on the present cast members' personal favorite movies that had starred Ms. Streep.

"We had actors who personally chose to perform excerpts from The Bridges of Madison County and Angels in America during our first run in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, the actors who did these monologues could not commit to an encore performance due to previous commitments. But we've been very much open to new acts f…

Photo of the Day: ALL NEW PEOPLE at the Second Stage Theatre

New York, July 2, 2011 -- Playwright Zach Braff’s film orientation (he wrote and directed the Independent Spirit Award-winning film Garden State and currently co-starring alongside James Franco and Michelle Williams in Oz) is apparent throughout his new play All New People at the Second Stage Theatre, where he has cast fellow Hollywood actors Justin Bartha (The Hangover II, The Rebound), Krysten Ritter (Confessions of a Shopaholic), David Wilson Barnes (30 Rock, Law & Order) and Anna Camp (True Blood in ensemble roles, and has seamlessly interspersed flash back scenes shot on film that were projected on a white solid backdrop across the proscenium arch.
All New People, which is often poking fun at contemporary references, is a tightly written piece. Its sampling of media convergence charmingly pushes the story forward.

About All New People:

It’s the dead of winter and the summer vacation getaway of Long Beach Island, New Jersey is desolate and blanketed in snow. Charlie (Bartha) is …