Sunday, March 27, 2011

BroadwayWorld.com: PETA Scores A Hit With CARE DIVAS, Encore Performances Set 4/1-3

by Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com

Manila, Philippines, March 26, 2011 - Musicals on drag queens have irresistible appeal to theater audiences nowadays -- Broadway classic "La Cage Aux Folles" has been running strong at the Longacre Theatre (N.Y.) since it opened last year. New Broadway import "Priscilla: Queen of the Desert" has been attracting long lines of ticket buyers at the Palace Theatre (N.Y.) since it opened March 20.

On the local front, "Care Divas," Philippine Educational Theater Association's (PETA) newest musical comedy, responds to a public clamor for encore performances at the PETA Theater Center (Quezon City) set April 1, to 3.

"During 'Care Diva's' February-March run, the musical had been enjoyed by a wide range of audiences: students, gay groups, Overseas Filipino Workers' (OFWs) families, balikbayans and local celebrities that included Sharon Cuneta, KC Concepcion, Regine Velasquez, Ogie Alcasid, film and stage directors Maryo J. Delos Reyes, Joel Lamangan and Brillante Mendoza," a news release stated.

"The encore performances will be packed with the same combination of explosive dance numbers, fancy music, comedic antics and a visual feast of glitter, wigs and high heels that enticed its first set of audiences."

"Care Divas" tells the life stories (based on book writer Liza Magtoto's personal interviews) of five OFWs -- Chelsea, Shai, Kayla, Thalia and Jonee -- who work as caregivers of elderly Jews in the morning and perform as drag queens at night in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Vincent de Jesus, who also acts in the play as Shai, composes the show's music. Maribel Legarda directs PETA's new hit show.

"Care Divas" also features Melvin Lee (Chelsea), Ricci Chan (Kyla), Jerald Napoles (Kayla), Dudz Teraña (Thalia), Jason Barcial (Thalia), Phil Noble (Tonee), Buddy Caramat (Tonee), Eric dela Cruz, Cecilia Garrucho, Paul Holme, Myke Salomon, Angeli Bayani, Miguel Hidalgo and Dominic Miclat-Janssen.

For tickets, contact PETA Marketing and Public Relations office at (632) 725-6244, 410-0821 or (63)917-564-2433, petatheater@gmail.com. Ticket prices: PhP600, PhP800 (Premium seats)

About PETA

Now on its 43rd theater season, The Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) continues to help bring about social awareness and change through its productions, performances and workshops -- as it calls on its audiences to act and respond to social issues facing the Philippines today.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Photo Flash: NEXT TO NORMAL Manila Opening Night - BroadwayWorld.com


by Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com

Manila, Philippines, March 13, 2011 - Atlantis Productions brings to Filipino audiences the first licensed English language production outside the United States of rock musical "next to normal" at RCBC Theater, Makati City from March 12-27.

"next to normal," which is Atlantis Productions' first musical theater production of the year -- "Aida," "In the Heights," and "Little Mermaid" are in the pipeline -- opened the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning masterpiece to an enthusiastic audience; model, film, and television personalities were among those who attended the premiere.

Helmed by international stage director Bobby Garcia, "next to normal" features musical theater veterans Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo as Diana Goodman, Jett Pangan as Dan Goodman, Felix Rivera as Gabe Goodman, Bea Garcia as Natalie Goodman, Jake Macapagal as Doctor Madden, and stage newcomer Markki Stroem as Henry.

Early critical reviews on the production have been mostly positive: "The local cast, especially Lauchengco-Yulo, captured the rawness and conflicting tensions of their characters, making for very affecting performances that we find it difficult to choose our favorite number. Stroem, who plays the love interest of Natalie, displayed vocal maturity and range...," said Rowena Joy Sanchez of The Manila Bulletin. "Kudos also to the stage design (by Lex Marcos) and lighting design (by Shoko Matsumoto) of the musical---the multiple layers of the stage that presents the family's home, and the soft lights on the walls (and notably the "lightning" tracing the walls in one of the scenes) made the whole stage alive and useful, in a classy, unfussy yet still edgy fashion."

About "next to normal"

"next to normal" is one of the most critically acclaimed original Broadway musicals in 2009-2010. With a contemporary score by Tom Kitt (music) and Brian Yorkey (book and lyrics), "next to normal" is an emotional powerhouse of a musical about your average dysfunctional American family.

About Atlantis Productions

Atlantis Productions Inc. is one of the most prolific commercial theater companies based in Manila, Philippines. Theater credits include "Rent," "Jesus Christ Superstar," "Hedwig and the Angry Inch," "Proof," "The Rocky Horror Show," "Dreamgirls," "Urinetown," "Baby," "Beauty and the Beast," "Doubt," "Avenue Q," "Seussical," "Hairspray," "Spring Awakening," "Xanadu," "Legally Blonde," and "A Little Night Music."

More photos HERE

Saturday, March 12, 2011

BroadwayWorld.com: First Ever ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat' In Tokyo Cancels Remaining Performances

by Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com

Tokyo, March 12, 2011 - Filipino-American stage actress Jennifer Paz, "American Idol" Season 4 finalist Anthony Fedorov, and the rest of the cast and crew of Broadway Asia's touring production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" had to spend the night at their hotel lobby after a massive earthquake hit Japan Friday afternoon.

Performances set Friday night through Monday have been cancelled. The Tokyo International Forum, which serves as performance venue, has been transformed into an emergency evacuation center.

"We had a crazy day. We went to see 'Beauty and the Beast' in Japanese. And right before the end of Act One, the entire theater started shaking because we started to experience an 8.9 earthquake. They kept everybody outside. We're back in the hotel now. Everybody's safe. Everybody's OK," said Fedorov, who plays Joseph in the touring production.

The 8.9-magnitude earthquake, which struck about 250 miles northeast of Tokyo, is the fifth biggest earthquake in history according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It triggered a seven-meter tsunami and more than 50 aftershocks yesterday. At least 350 people are dead, and 500 people are missing.

"Aftershocks were felt for the next hour or so while hundreds calmly gathered in the streets, watching the news on giant screens at subways. Aftershocks were even nonstop through the night, and all day today. Subways and trains were completely gridlocked. Stranded commuters wandered the streets, and sought shelter in subways, restaurants, and hotel lobbies," said Paz, who plays the show's narrator. "The earthquake's epicenter is 230 miles north of us. We're all relatively safe, but we're a bit shaken up. Please continue praying for the families and tourists in Japan."

"This entire experience has been a life-changing experience for us. I strongly urge you to donate if you can. Help this country out because right now they need us; they need everybody in the world to lend a helping hand," added Fedorov.

"Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" at the Tokyo International Forum had been slated to run from March 3-14.

Friday, March 11, 2011

BroadwayWorld.com: NYU Alum Stephen Mark Lukas To Play Lead In THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA Manila

by Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com

New York, March 11, 2011 - Philippine show biz royalty Karylle Tatlonghari, who will essay the role of Clara Johnson in Stages Production Specialists Inc.'s Philippine premiere of Broadway musical "The Light In the Piazza," has found a new leading man in New York University Tisch School of the Arts alumnus Stephen Mark Lukas. He auditioned for the role of young Italian Fabrizio Naccarelli in N.Y. Matthew Morrison and Aaron Lazar previously played the romantic lead in the Broadway production.

"Aaron Lazar and I have the same agent, Robert Atterman. And Aaron is someone I've always looked up to. It'd be great to be able to play the role of Fabrizio. I've never been to Manila. This is an incredible opportunity for me, said Lukas.

Stages Productions had been auditioning actors in Manila for the role of Fabrizio since last year, but ended up auditioning in Manhattan with American casting agent Judy Henderson. "Casting agents in Manila had offered very limited choices for leading men in local theater. So I opted to get a Broadway actor instead. Stephen has a beautiful tenor voice. He's a handsome and strong actor too," said Stages Productions president Audie Gemora.

Lukas' recent theater credits include the second national tour of "Little Women" (Laurie), Ogunquit Playhouse's production of "Hello, Dolly!," Summer Lyric Theater's "Oklahoma!" and Seacost Repertory Theater's "Grease" (Danny Zuko).

Stages Productions' "The Light In the Piazza" will open at Meralco Theater at Ortigas Center in Manila on July 8. Jaime del Mundo is director. Joey Mendoza is set designer.

About "The Light In the Piazza"

"The Light In the Piazza" features Adam Guettel's Tony award-winning original score and Craig Lucas' book in this adaptation of Elizabeth Spencer's novella of the same title.

"The Light In the Piazza" takes place in Italy in the summer of 1953. Margaret Johnson, the wife of a well-heeled American businessman, is touring the Tuscan countryside with her daughter, Clara. While sightseeing, Clara, a beautiful, surprisingly childish young woman, loses her hat in a sudden gust. As if guided by an unseen hand, the hat lands at the feet of Fabrizio Naccarelli, a handsome Florentine, who returns it to Clara. This brief episode, charged with coincidence and fate, sparks an immediate and intense romance between Clara and Fabrizio. - Lincoln Center Theater

The Broadway production won six Tony Awards in 2005- Best Original Score, Best Leading Actress In A Musical for Victoria Clark, Best Scenic Design For A Musical, Best Costume Design, Best Lighting Design For A Musical and Best Orchestrations.

About Stages Productions

Stages Production Specialists Inc. is a full-service production solutions company that specializes in event management, talent management, live booking and casting, theater production and public relations. Being one of the Philippines' most creative and reliable live production groups, Stages Productions works with many of the country's premier brands and corporations, a huge number of which are local and global market leaders in their respective industries. Recent musical theater productions include "Footloose," "Disney's 'High School Musical On Stage'" and "West Side Story."

Monday, March 07, 2011

BroadwayWorld.com: Stages Productions (Manila) Holds Auditions For Actors In NY


by Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com

New York, March 6, 2011 - Stages Production Specialists Inc., an event production company based in Manila, Philippines, has been auditioning male singers and actors in N.Y. who can fill the role of young Italian Fabrizio Naccarelli in the company's local production of Broadway musical "The Light in the Piazza" in July. The scarcity of leading men in local theater has brought the show's producers to N.Y.

"We're looking for a Fabrizio who has a beautiful tenor voice. He must be a handsome and strong actor. Casting agents in Manila had offered very limited choices for leading men in local theater. I want to get a Broadway actor instead, and treat Manila audiences to a world class performance," said Stages Productions president Audie Gemora.

The successful candidate for the role of Fabrizio will be paired with singer and actress Karylle Tatlonghari, who will essay the role of Clara Johnson in "The Light in the Piazza." Tatlonghari reaped rave reviews from critics and audiences when she played Maria in the musical "West Side Story" three years ago.

"West Side Story was a huge hit because Filipino audiences love romantic stories. The Light in the Piazza is yet another classic love story," added Gemora.

Stages Productions Partners With Judy Henderson & Associates Casting

Judy Henderson & Associates Casting, a film, television, Broadway and off-Broadway casting agency in N.Y., represents Stages Productions for its search of a leading actor. The casting agency had auditioned more than 30 singers and actors for the role of Fabrizio. Call back auditions will be held March 9.

Henderson is one of the top 20 film casting directors in the United States (The Ross Reports). Her film credits include "Paranormal Activity 2," "Coming Up Roses" and "Perestroika." She is also a recipient of two Artios Awards for Outstanding Achievement For off-Broadway Theater Casting from the Casting Society of America. Her contributions to Broadway and off-Broadway productions of "Ecstasy," "Curtains," "Ruthless" and "Forever Plaid" won Obie, Drama Desk and MAC awards.

Stages Productions' "The Light in the Piazza" will open at Meralco Theater at Ortigas Center, Manila on July 8. Jaime del Mundo is director. Joey Mendoza is set designer.

About "The Light in the Piazza"

"The Light in the Piazza" features Adam Guettel's Tony award-winning original score and Craig Lucas's book in this adaptation of ElizaBeth Spencer's novella of the same title.

"The Light in the Piazza" takes place in Italy in the summer of 1953. Margaret Johnson, the wife of a well-heeled American businessman, is touring the Tuscan countryside with her daughter, Clara. While sightseeing, Clara, a beautiful, surprisingly childish young woman, loses her hat in a sudden gust. As if guided by an unseen hand, the hat lands at the feet of Fabrizio Naccarelli, a handsome Florentine, who returns it to Clara. This brief episode, charged with coincidence and fate, sparks an immediate and intense romance between Clara and Fabrizio. - Lincoln Center Theater

The Broadway production won six Tony Awards in 2005- Best Original Score, Best Leading Actress In A Musical for Victoria Clark, Best Scenic Design For A Musical, Best Costume Design, Best Lighting Design For A Musical and Best Orchestrations.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

BroadwayWorld.com: Filipino-Australian Rock Star MiG Ayesa Returns To Broadway, 3/24


by Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com

New York, March 3, 2011 - From "Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark" to "Rock of Ages," Filipino talents will light up Broadway marquees in the spring season.

"Rock Star: INX" finalist MiG Ayesa brings his nightly touring performance as Stacee Jaxx in the musical comedy "Rock of Ages" to the Helen Hayes Theatre (240 W 44th St.) starting Thurs., Mar. 24. Prior to joining the Broadway and national touring cast of "Rock of Ages" over the last two years, Ayesa made his Broadway debut in the dance musical "Burn the Floor."

"I feel not only incredibly humbled and blessed, but also incredibly grateful to reopen 'Rock of Ages' on Broadway. While touring with the show the past six months was one of the most fulfilling and fun-filled adventures for me - being able to once again work in a city that's home, in the company of family and friends, is what I'm looking forward to about this new assignment," said Ayesa.

Apart from "Burn the Floor" and "Rock of Ages," Ayesa had also appeared in musicals "We Will Rock You," "Rent" and "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story" in London; and "Grease," "Fame," "Rent," "West Side Story" and "Buddy" in Sydney.

Ayesa's Broadway role as Stacee Jaxx is the same role film actor Tom Cruise will be playing in the upcoming movie adaptation of "Rock of Ages."

For tickets, visit www.tiketanonline.com.

About "Rock of Ages"

"Rock of Ages" is a rollicking musical tribute to the biggest hits of the '80s. With a book by Chris D'Arienzo, audiences are taken to a dive bar in Los Angeles where a small town girl falls in love with a big city rocker. "We Built this City," "I Want to Know What Love Is" and "The Final Countdown" are some of the musical numbers from the show.

"Rock of Ages" celebrated its first anniversary on Broadway, five Tony Award nominations (Best Musical, Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for Constantine Maroulis, Best Director of a Musical, Best Costume Design and Best Sound Design) and 267 sold out shows before hitting the road for its first national tour September 2010.