Monday, August 29, 2011

Photo Flash: MAMMA MIA! Manila Meets the Press - BroadwayWorld.com


by Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com

Manila, Philippines, August 28, 2011 -- Mamma Mia!, Broadway's 11th longest-running musical, is set to premiere in the Philippines early next year through Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, David Atkin Enterprises, Hi Definition Radio Inc. and Concertus Inc.'s international touring production of the Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus and Catherine Johnson hit musical.

James Cundall, Lunchbox Theatrical Productions chief executive, recently presented British actors Sara Poyzer (Donna Sheridan), Charlotte Wakefield (Sophie Sheridan), Rosie Heath (Ali), Tasha Taylor Johnson (Lisa) and Kelly Edwards to the local media. These lead actors, together with some 30 cast members, will headline Mamma Mia! at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Main Theatre starting January 24, 2012.

Mamma Mia!, which is widely regarded as the mother ship of jukebox musicals, contains 22 of the best radio hits of ABBA, a Swedish pop music group formed by Andersson and Ulvaeus in the '70s. "Dancing Queen," "Mamma Mia," "Take a Chance on Me" and "The Winner Takes it All," are some of show-stopping musical numbers from the show.

Johnson's script, which is set on a Greek island where a wedding is about to take place, adds a dramatic structure that melds together ABBA's hit songs in a very pleasant way.

"...the score consists entirely of songs made famous in the disco era by the Swedish pop group ABBA, music that people seldom admit to having danced to, much less sung in their showers. Yet these elements have been combined, with alchemical magic, into the theatrical equivalent of comfort food," said Ben Brantley of the New York Times.

Moreover, Anthony Van Laast's choreography is an excellent aspect of the show. "Its ensemble dancing explodes on stage, especially during "Voulez-Vous" by the end of Act One," according to BroadwayWorld.com Philippines.

The international touring production of Mamma Mia! that will play the CCP has been seen by over 4 million theatregoers in China, Lithuania, Greece, Taiwan, Hungary, New Zealand, Serbia, Austria, among others, since its debut seven years ago.

Tickets are available at TicketWorld outlets at selected National Bookstore branches, Robinsons Department Store (Galleria, Malate, Metro East, Festival Mall & Starmill Pampanga) and Ayala Center (Greenbelt 1, Glorietta 4, and Trinoma Mall Cinema Booths) and at the TicketWorld Office at 6793 Ayala Avenue, Suite 701 V. Madrigal Building, Makati City. Call (632) 891-9999 or visit www.ticketworld.com.ph. Ticket Prices: P750, P1000, P1500, P2000, P2500, P3000, P3500, P4000, P4500, P5000, P5500, and P7000. Senior citizens enjoy a 20% discount.

For more photos, click HERE.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

BroadwayWorld.com: STOMP Comes to Manila, 10/18-23

by Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com

Manila, Philippines, August 23, 2011 -- The non-traditional Off Broadway show Stomp, which has been packing in audiences at the Orpheum Theatre in East Village, New York since 1994, will have a limited run at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Main Theatre from October 18 to 23.

Stomp, created by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, showcases actors who use ordinary objects as musical instruments (brooms, dust bins, and boxes of matches, among others) while they show off their dance moves and their flair for comedy.

Local audiences may be more familiar with Stomp's dolby digital cinema ads shown in Metro Manila cineplexes.

"What drives Stomp is its complex combination of polyrhythms building one on top of the other in waves of tension and release, creating a kind of mesmerizing, hypnotic effect on the audience. That they're doing this with common household objects and industrial junk, is what makes it so appealing... Co-directors and co-creators Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas have crafted a well-paced show that's amusing and toe-tapping at the same time," said Chris Gibson of BroadwayWorld.com.

Stomp has been seen by more than 15 million theatergoers in 48 countries across 5 continents since its world premiere in the United Kingdom in 1991.

Stomp Manila tickets are sold at P750, P1000, P1500, P2000, P2500, P3000, P3500, P4000, P4500, P5000, P5500 and P7000. Senior citizens enjoy a 20% discount.

Tickets are available at TicketWorld outlets at selected National Bookstore branches, Robinsons Department Store (Galleria, Malate, Metro East, Festival Mall & Starmill Pampanga) and Ayala Center (Greenbelt 1, Glorietta 4 and Trinoma Mall cinema booths); and at the TicketWorld office at 6793 Ayala Avenue, Suite 701 V. Madrigal Building, Makati City. Call (632)891-9999 or visit www.ticketworld.com.ph.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Photo Flash: Ateneo Blue Repertory Celebrates 20 Years with LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS - BroadwayWorld.com


by Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com

Manila, Philippines, August 18, 2011 --Ateneo Blue Repertory (Hair, Edges), a student-led musical theater organization at Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), kicks off its 20th anniversary with Alan Menken and Howard Ashman's rock musical Little Shop of Horrors, which is running until Saturday, August 27 at ADMU's Fine Arts Theatre.

Based on the 1960 black and white film with the same title, Little Shop of Horrors tells the story of dorky florist Seymour Krelborn (Luis Marcelo) and his chance at romance with ditzy chick Audrey (Maronne Cruz). However, a sadistic dentist Orin Scrivello, DDS (Gelo Lantaco) and a man-eating plant Audrey II (Tina Ramos) are obstacles that stand in the way of the young lovers.

"For Ateneo Blue Repertory's 20th season, the theme focuses on man's inner struggles -- the clash between the beast and humanness within us," said Ejay Yatco, Ateneo Blue Repertory's artistic director. "Seymour, the lead character of the play, faces that struggle when he's offered everything he ever wanted but at a great cost. Little Shop of Horrors is the first of three plays we offer this season that will move our audiences to ask themselves: 'Who's the man? And who's the beast?'"

Directed by Christopher De Venecia (All Shook Up, Freakshow) with musical direction by Yatco (Edges), Ateneo Blue Repertory's Little Shop of Horrors also features Darrell Uy (Mr. Mushnik) and Greek chorus girls Roxci de Leon (Crystal), Cassie Manalastas (Ronette) and Abi Sulit (Chiffon).

For tickets, call Mica Fajardo at (63)9178908795.

For more photos, click HERE.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

STAGE TUBE: 9 Works Theatrical Presents SWEET CHARITY Manila - BroadwayWorld.com


by Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com

Manila, Philippines, August 16, 2011 -- Television and recording artist-turned-stage actress, Nikki Gil (Charity Hope Valentine), and newbie theater actor, Kris Lawrence (Oscar Lindquist), lead 9 Works Theatrical's (Rent, The Wedding Singer) production of the classic Broadway musical comedy, Sweet Charity, at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati City.

Sweet Charity, which originally starred Gwen Verdon as dancer-for-hire, Charity Hope Valentine, premiered on Broadway in 1966. The original Broadway production had Cy Coleman's music, Dorothy Fields' lyrics, Neil Simon's book and Bob Fosse's Tony Award-winning choreography. The musical was also adapted into a full-length film in 1969, which starred Shirley MacLaine as Charity, and had several remakes on Broadway. Sweet Charity's most recent revival on the Great White Way was in 2005, which had Christina Applegate and Charlotte d'Amboise in the title role.

Coleman's music for Sweet Charity boasts of catchy-but-naughty tunes (and sometimes with dark tones in the same vein as John Kander's musical Chicago). A couple of popular show tunes, "Big Spender" and "If My Friends Could See Me Now," are from the show.

Apart from Ms. Gil and Mr. Lawrence, Sweet Charity also features Shiela Valderrama-Martinez (Nickie), Ciara Sotto-Oconer (Helene), Sheree Vidal Bautista (Carmen), Miguel Faustamann (Herman), OJ Mariano (Vittorio Vidal, Daddy Johann Sebastian Brubeck), Angela Padilla (Ursula March), Tasy Garrucha, Caisa Borromeo, Chinie Nepomuceno, Vinia Pamplona, Carmelle Ros, Topper Fabregas, Job Bautista, Francis Matheu, Anthony Tarrosa Ong, Peter Alcedo and Chai Relucio.

Director Robbie Guevara, assistant director Lorenz Martinez, musical director Joseph Tolentino (orchestra), musical director Sweet Plantado (vocals), scenographer and costume designer Mio Infante, costume designer Hanna delos Reyes, lighting designer Martin Esteva, choreographer Deana Aquino, graphic designer Dale Amon and photographer Roy Macam round out its creative team.

Sweet Charity runs until August 27. Performance schedule: Friday 8 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. , Saturday 3:30 p.m. & 8 p.m. and Sunday 4 p.m. For tickets and more information, call (632) 557-5860, 586-7105 or (63) 917-5545560 or email info@9workstheatrical.com.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Buy your tickets now: SUITES BY SONDHEIM at Lincoln Center starring Lea Salonga, T.V. Carpio, Adam Jacobs et al.


New York, August 14, 2011 -- Philippine Development Foundation (“PhilDev”) announces that tickets for its upcoming star-studded benefit concert, “PhilDev Celebrates Broadway: Suites by Sondheim,” set for Monday, November 7, 2011 at 7:30 p.m. at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, can now be purchased at Lincoln Center’s box office by visiting www.lincolncenter.org or by calling 212-721-6500. Ticket prices are $100, $150, $250 and $500. Limited patron/VIP subscriber seats of $1,000 are available (includes a pre-concert VIP reception) by contacting Rene Encarnacion at rene@phildev.org or 650-288-3937. 100% of net proceeds will benefit PhilDev.

Directed by Victor Lirio with music direction by Tom Myron and with an all-star cast of Filipino-American Broadway stars led by Tony Award winner Lea Salonga, the evening’s concert will be devoted to the works of iconic American lyricist and composer Stephen Sondheim. It will present musical numbers from Broadway shows such as "Company," "West Side Story," "Saturday Night," "Sweeney Todd," "Anyone Can Whistle," "A Little Night Music," "Merrily We Roll Along" and "Sunday in the Park with George."

The cast will include T.V. Carpio ("Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark"), Angel Desai ("Company"), Catherine Ricafort ("Mamma Mia"), Joan Almedilla ("Miss Saigon," "Les Miserables"), Alan Ariano ("Miss Saigon," "The Encounter"), Emy Baysic ("Miss Saigon", "Mamma Mia"); Ali Ewoldt ("Les Miserables", "West Side Story"), Rona Figueroa ("Miss Saigon", "Les Miserables," "Lennon," "Nine"), Lydia Gaston ("The King & I," "Miss Saigon"), Adam Jacobs ("Les Miserables," "The Lion King"), Jose Llana ("The King & I," "Spelling Bee," "The Flower Drum Song," "Wonderland"), Orville Mendoza ("Pacific Overtures," "Miss Saigon"), Paolo Montalban ("Pacific Overtures," "The King & I," ABC/Disney’s "Cinderella"), Emily Morales ("South Pacific"), Jennifer Paz ("Miss Saigon," "Les Miserables," "Joseph … Dreamcoat," "Jesus Christ Superstar"); Diane Phelan ("South Pacific," "West Side Story"), Aaron Albano, Marie France Arcilla, Ester Barroso, Billy Bustamante, Liz Casasola, Karl Josef Co, Marc dela Cruz, Ariel Estrada, Albert Guerzon, Joanne Javien, Brian Jose, Jaygee Macapugay, Mel Maghuyop, Jake Manabat, Adam Marcelo, JP Moraga, Lora Nicolas, Enrico Rodriguez, Chris-Ian Sanchez and Melissa Singson.

For more information, visit www.phildev.org.

Photo Flash: Repertory Philippines Opens SEUSSICAL, 8/13-12/11 - BroadwayWorld.com


by Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com

Manila, Philippines, August 14, 2011 -- Repertory Philippines (Little Women, Equus), the country's premier English-language theater company, opened its five-month run of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahren's Tony Award-nominated children's musical, Seussical, yesterday at the Onstage Theatre, Greenbelt 1, Makati City. The musical runs until December 11.

Seussical assembles an amalgamation of American writer Theodor Seuss Geisel's whimsical, far-out and unconventional characters from children's books The Cat in the Hat, Horton Hears a Who!, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Lorax, Green Eggs and Ham, Yertle the Turtle and other Dr. Seuss books.

Its story centers around Horton the Elephant, who finds himself faced with a double challenge -- not only must he protect his tiny friend Jojo (and all the invisible Whos) from a world of naysayers and dangers, but he must also guard an abandoned egg that the irresponsible Mayzie La Bird left in his care. Although Horton faces ridicule, a kidnapping and a trial, the intrepid Gertrude McFuzz never loses faith in him, the only one who recognizes "his kind and powerful heart." Ultimately, the powers of friendship, loyalty, family and community are challenged and rewarded. - Music Theatre International

Repertory Philippines' production of Seussical features Arnel Carrion, James Stacey, Kawie Atwood, Robie Zialcita and Rem Zamora as Cat in the Hat; Oliver Usison and Nic Campos as Horton; Noah Ramos, Nacio Samonte, Alessa Zialcita and Nicolle Cojuangco as Jojo; Cara Barredo, Charity Grace and Giannina Ocampo as Gertrude McFuzz; Liesl Batucan, Naths Everett and Kyla Rivera as Mayzie La Bird; Bituin Escalante, Pinky Marquez and Ampy Sietereales as Sour Kangaroo; Robie Zialcita, Raul Montesa and Onyl Torres as Mayor; and Naths Everett, Ampy Sietereales and Pinky Marquez as Mrs. Mayor.

Joy Virata, Repertory Philippines' former associate artistic director, directs Seussical.

For more information and tickets, call (632) 571-6926 or visit http://repertory.ph.

For more photos, click HERE.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

STAGE TUBE: Repertory Philippines' SEUSSICAL on ANC; Show Opens 8/13 (BroadwayWorld.com)


by Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com

Manila, Philippines, August 10, 2011 -- The cast of Repertory Philippines' upcoming production of Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahren's Seussical recently performed an excerpt from the Broadway musical on ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC). Seussical runs from August 13 to December 11 at the Onstage Theatre, Greenbelt 1, Makati City.

Seussical assembles an amalgamation of American writer Theodor Seuss Geisel's whimsical, far-out and unconventional characters from children's books The Cat in the Hat, Horton Hears a Who!, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Lorax, Green Eggs and Ham, Yertle the Turtle and other Dr. Seuss books.

Its story centers around Horton the Elephant, who finds himself faced with a double challenge -- not only must he protect his tiny friend Jojo (and all the invisible Whos) from a world of naysayers and dangers, but he must also guard an abandoned egg that the irresponsible Mayzie La Bird left in his care. Although Horton faces ridicule, a kidnapping and a trial, the intrepid Gertrude McFuzz never loses faith in him, the only one who recognizes "his kind and powerful heart." Ultimately, the powers of friendship, loyalty, family and community are challenged and rewarded. - Music Theatre International

Repertory Philippines' production of Seussical features Arnel Carrion, James Stacey, Kawie Atwood, Robie Zialcita and Rem Zamora as Cat in the Hat; Oliver Usison and Nic Campos as Horton; Noah Ramos, Nacio Samonte, Alessa Zialcita and Nicolle Cojuangco as Jojo; Cara Barredo, Charity Grace and Giannina Ocampo as Gertrude McFuzz; Liesl Batucan, Naths Everett and Kyla Rivera as Mayzie La Bird; Bituin Escalante, Pinky Marquez and Ampy Sietereales as Sour Kangaroo; Robie Zialcita, Raul Montesa and Onyl Torres as Mayor; and Naths Everett, Ampy Sietereales and Pinky Marquez as Mrs. Mayor.

For more information and tickets, call (632) 571-6926 or visit http://repertory.ph.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

BroadwayWorld.com: Sutton Foster Receives a Special Gift from a Filipino Fan

by Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com

New York, August 7, 2011 -- Twitter is a perfect way for Broadway stars to connect with their fans.

Two time Tony Award-winning actress, Sutton Foster, flashed a photo of her holding a dainty graphic illustration that rounded up her characters from past and current Broadway shows -- from Millie Dillmount in Thoroughly Modern Millie to Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes -- on her Twitter account yesterday. Dianne Louise Dequino, a 17-year-old Computer Science and Information Technology student and a budding photographer and graphic artist from the Philippines, made the illustration.

Ms. Dequino -- a self-confessed fangirl over Ms. Foster and @mysweetcupoftea on Twitter -- who first posted her illustration on Twitter a month ago, made a good impression on the stage actress. "I love love love the illustrations! Can I have a copy?" Ms. Foster as @sfosternyc replied to @mysweetcupoftea.

Ms. Dequino sent a printed copy of her illustration to the stage actress without skipping a beat.

Ms. Foster on the other hand showed her great appreciation to her fangirl from the Philippines by tweeting that she already got her special gift. "I got the picture today! Thank you thank you!" she said.

Ms. Foster received two Best Leading Actress in a Musical citations at the Tony Awards for her performances in Thoroughly Modern Millie in 2002 and for Anything Goes this year. She's currently playing Reno Sweeney in Roundabout Theater Company's Broadway revival of Anything Goes running at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Photo Flash: SWEET CHARITY Opens in Manila, 8/5-8/27 - BroadwayWorld.com


by Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com

Manila, Philippines, August 6, 2011 -- Television and recording artist-turned-stage actress, Nikki Gil, took the cue from Sweet Charity director, Robbie Guevara: "Portray the character of Charity Hope Valentine with a clean slate."

Ms. Gil (Charity Hope Valentine) and newbie theater actor, Kris Lawrence (Oscar Lindquist), led the opening of the classic Broadway musical comedy, Sweet Charity, at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium in Makati City last night.

BroadwayWorld.com joined 9 Works Theatrical (Rent, The Wedding Singer), the theater company behind Sweet Charity, during its press preview.

"Director Robbie insisted on starting with a clean slate. So we started from scratch. We had to figure out a way to present this without any kind of like background -- no idea how it's going to sound; how things are supposed to be said; how certain songs are supposed to be sung -- we started from scratch," Ms. Gil said during a post-show talkback.

Sweet Charity, which originally starred Gwen Verdon as dancer-for-hire, Charity Hope Valentine, premiered on Broadway in 1966. The original Broadway production had Cy Coleman's music, Dorothy Fields' lyrics, Neil Simon's book and Bob Fosse's Tony Award-winning choreography. The musical was also adapted into a full-length film in 1969, which starred Shirley MacLaine as Charity, and had several remakes on Broadway. Sweet Charity's most recent revival on the Great White Way was in 2005, which had Christina Applegate and Charlotte d'Amboise in the title role.

Coleman's music for Sweet Charity boasts of catchy-but-naughty tunes (and sometimes with dark tones in the same vein as John Kander's musical Chicago). A couple of popular show tunes, "Big Spender" and "If My Friends Could See Me Now," are from the show.

Apart from Ms. Gil and Mr. Lawrence, Sweet Charity also features Shiela Valderrama-Martinez (Nickie), Ciara Sotto-Oconer (Helene), Sheree Vidal Bautista (Carmen), Miguel Faustamann (Herman), OJ Mariano (Vittorio Vidal, Daddy Johann Sebastian Brubeck), Angela Padilla (Ursula March), Tasy Garrucha, Caisa Borromeo, Chinie Nepomuceno, Vinia Pamplona, Carmelle Ros, Topper Fabregas, Job Bautista, Francis Matheu, Anthony Tarrosa Ong, Peter Alcedo and Chai Relucio.

Assistant director Lorenz Martinez, musical director Joseph Tolentino (orchestra), musical director Sweet Plantado (vocals), scenographer and costume designer Mio Infante, costume designer Hanna delos Reyes, lighting designer Martin Esteva, choreographer Deana Aquino, graphic designer Dale Amon and photographer Roy Macam round out its creative team.

Sweet Charity runs from August 5 to 27 - Friday 8 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. , Saturday 3:30 p.m. & 8 p.m. and Sunday 4 p.m. For tickets and more information, call (632) 557-5860, 586-7105 or (63) 917-5545560 or email info@9workstheatrical.com.

For more photos, click HERE.