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Showing posts from January, 2012

Atlantis Productions' NINE Pulls Off A Casting Coup, 9/21-10/7

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by Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com 

Manila, Philippines, January 30, 2012 – Rest assured that Atlantis Productions Inc. (Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Next to Normal) will deliver casting coups in its current theater season: the official announcements that Tony Award-winning actress Lea Salonga will be starring as Veronica in the straight play God of Carnage, and rock star MiG Ayesa will be reprising his Broadway role as Stacee Jaxx in the rock, ‘80s themed musical Rock of Ages came in earlier; in addition to that, Atlantis Productions' recent announcement of another rock star Jett Pangan (Next to Normal, Jekyll and Hyde) and some of the classy ladies in Philippine theater, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Love, Loss and What I Wore, Next to Normal), Cherie Gil (Master Class, Doubt), and Eula Valdez (Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah), will be essaying lead roles in the sexy musical Nine in September confirmed another casting triumph for the prolific theater company.

In the musical Nine, which features…

MAMMA MIA! In Manila Extends Till 2/19

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by Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com

Manila, Philippines, January 25, 2012 – True blue ABBA fans have an additional one week to catch the international touring production of composers and lyricists Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, and book writer Catherine Johnson’s smash musical Mamma Mia! at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Previously slated to close on February 14, Concertus Inc., one of the local producers behind Mamma Mia!, has just announced the show’s final extension: must close February 19.

Mamma Mia! opened in Manila on January 24 to a very enthusiastic audience that danced in the aisles to the show’s finale megamix: a medley of ABBA’s greatest hits that includes “Mamma Mia,” “Dancing Queen,” and “Waterloo” done in a concert style.

Presented by Infinity, powered by Smart, and Citibank, Mamma Mia!, which is widely regarded as the mother ship of jukebox musicals on Broadway and in London’s West End, features 22 songs by ABBA, a Swedish pop music group formed by Ande…

Photo Flash: LOVE, LOSS, AND WHAT I WORE In Manila

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by Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com

Co-written by Precious Lee Cundangan 

Manila, Philippines, January 23, 2012 – Falling in love is sweeter the second time around, and it’s true in the case of Love, Loss, and What I Wore, an Off Broadway play that you would fall in love with, and would love to see over and over again. For that reason alone, Manila-based CTE Productions brought back Love, Loss, and What I Wore for another run at RCBC Theater in Makati City last weekend. Michael Williams (Sweeney Todd, Defending the Caveman) and Cathy Azanza-Dy (Defending the Caveman) teamed up again as co-directors for Love, Loss, and What I Wore, which was first performed in Manila in July 2011.

Love, Loss, and What I Wore’s ultrachic, straightforward, and compelling script is penned by sisters Nora Ephron (When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle) and Delia Ephron (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Hanging Up). Based on the bestselling book by Ilene Beckerman, Love, Loss, and What I Wore vi…

Spotlight Artists Centre Holds Auditions for KATY!, 1/29

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by Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com

Manila, Philippines, January 22, 2012 – Ryan Cayabyab (music) and Jose Javier Reyes’ (book and lyrics) hugely successful original Filipino musical, Katy!, a musical based on the life and times of the “Queen of Philippine Jazz” Katy dela Cruz (1907-2004), is making its way back to the stage this year! Acclaimed theater and recording artists-cum-performance teachers Isay Alvarez, Robert Seña, and Tricia Amper Jimenez’sSpotlight Artists Centre is on top of this much-anticipated theatrical event.

Auditions for major roles, like Katy (25-40 years old); male lead (25-40 years old); and young Katy’s father (45-55 years old) will be held on Sunday, January 29. Auditionees should prepare a song from the musical like “Minsan Ang Minahal Ay Ako,” “Sari-Saring Babae,” “Balut,” etc. or a jazz song. Call Yssa at (632)899-8089 or (63)922-8986644 for more information and registration requirements.

“Katy!” was originally produced by Celeste Le…

2011 BWW Philippines Awards Winners Announced!

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by Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com

After an intense internal auditing process, the results are in for the 2011 BroadwayWorld (BWW) Philippines Awards!

This year's nomination and voting periods broke online traffic records and we couldn't be more excited to announce the winners from the Philippines, which were chosen by our avid readers: Nikki Gil (Sweet Charity); OJ Mariano (Rent); Ciara Sotto (Sweet Charity), Cris Villonco (The Joy Luck Club), Vince Tañada (Cory ng Edsa); Martin Delos Santos (Ang Post Office); Shamaine Buencamino (Fake); Jeremy Domingo (American Hwangap); original Filipino musical Cory Ng Edsa; The Play Company and Ma-Yi Theater Company’s original play American Hwangap; 9 Works Theatrical; and Resorts World Manila are among this year’s top winners.

Nominations were submitted on October 2011, and voting ran through midnight of December 31, 2011.

Best Leading Actress (Musical)
Nikki Gil - Sweet Charity - 9 Works Theatrical

Best Performance by an Actor in a Fe…

BWW Phils. Interview: PRISCILLA's J. Elaine Marcos Talks Ping-Pong Balls, Pink Boas & More

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By Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com

New York, January 18, 2012 – TV, film, and Broadway actress J. Elaine Marcos can’t shy away from the fact that she’s a distant relative of the Marcoses, the Philippines’ most controversial political clan. Apart from the obvious last name and broadly similar facial features as Imee Marcos, the current governor of the northern province of Ilocos Norte, J. Elaine even made a cameo appearance as Imee’s mom, Imelda Marcos, the Philippines’ former first lady, in the Broadway musical comedy The Wedding Singer five years ago. Nonetheless, the Marcoses (and Filipinos around the world) should pay attention to this petite, brown-skinned, talented actress – J. Elaine happens to be carrying an impressive Broadway resume that includes Miss Saigon, Flower Drum Song, Wonderful Town, Sweet Charity, again The Wedding Singer, A Chorus Line, and her latest assignment, Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, where she does a show-stealing turn as Cynthia, a feisty Filipina …

Photo Flash: Geoffrey Nauffts' NEXT FALL Opens In Manila, 1/13-2/5

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by Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com

Co-written by Precious C. Lee Cundangan 

Manila, Philippines, January 13, 2012 – Repertory Philippines (Rep.), the country’s premier English-speaking theater company, is celebrating 45 years in business by opening its 75th season with New York University Tisch School of the Arts alumnus and playwright Geoffrey Nauffts’ Broadway dramedy Next Fall, a moving story of a gay couple whose religious differences add tensions and contradictions to their five-year romantic relationship. The play “takes a witty and provocative look at faith, commitment, unconditional love, and what goes beyond a typical love story,” according to Rep.

Audie Gemora, who recently won a Best Direction citation at the Aliw Awards for his work on the original Filipino musical Noli Me Tangere, directs Next Fall, his second straight play directorial job for Rep. after Equus.

Leading the production’s cast is theater stalwart Bart Guingona, who plays Adam, a cynical atheist whose non-…

BWW Phils. Interview: Fredison Lo Talks SOUND OF MUSIC, RENT, Anne Curtis & More

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by Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com

Co-written by Jude Cartalaba

Manila, Philippines, January 11, 2012 – Perceived as a boy-next-door type by many young theater habitués and TV 5 viewers, Fredison Lo (Fred Lo to his theater colleagues and former schoolmates at De La Salle University-Manila), has started out a career niche in the theater by essaying lead roles in major musical productions of Rent (Mark Cohen) and Trumpets’ N.O.A.H (Narrator/God); and has recently been exploring acting on mainstream television too via TV 5’s remake of the ‘70s-‘80s popular sitcom Iskul Bukol, where he played the role of the young professor Rude Valentino.

“[As to being typecast as a take-home-to-mama guy] Well, I try to be as nice as I can be whenever I deal with people. But, I don’t exactly label myself like that because in every experience that I have, it changes me in some way, helping me grow as a person. And, I do admit to having a dark side,” Lo told BroadwayWorld.com at Resorts World Manila’s r…

MAMMA MIA! Gives Backstage Tour; International Tour Opens in Manila 1/24

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by Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com

New York, January 9, 2012 – Philippine-based ABS CBN lifestyle program host and entertainment reporter MJ Felipe recently flew all the way to Zurich, Switzerland to meet and conduct a behind-the-scenes tour with Mamma Mia’s international touring company’s stage manager, James Anderton and its cast. The touring production marked its 2,000th performance on the road in Zurich last November; its next stop is the Cultural Center of the Philippines, with limited engagement performances from January 24 to February 12. 

On Broadway, Mamma Mia!, currently the 10th longest-running musical in Great White Way's history, which features the music and lyrics of Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus, and book by Catherine Johnson, celebrated its 10 years at the Winter Garden Theatre with a street concert party in Times Square and the Empire State Building lit up in pink, white, and blue last October. Three Filipino Broadway actors are currently playing in M…

SOUND OF MUSIC Manila Releases New Promo Video; Show Extends Till 2/12

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by Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com

Manila, Philippines, January 7, 2012 – London-based musical theater actress Joanna Ampil (Miss Saigon, Avenue Q), who’s been playing the coveted role of postulant Maria Rainer (with Cris Villonco as alternate actress) in Resorts World Manila’s local production of Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers’ beloved musical The Sound of Music (SOM) for over three months now, would need to postpone her planned visit to New York City this winter because Resorts World has just announced SOM’s extended performances till February 12, 2012.

Resorts World held a press conference on January 5, which unveiled its new hit musical’s additional performances and Ampil’s new co-stars: Ariel Rivera (1896, Rama at Sita) plays Captain von Trapp (Audie Gemora and Jon Joven as alternate actors); Leo Martinez (Equus) plays Max Detweiler (Miguel Faustmann and Robbie Guevara as alternate actors); Sheila Valderrama (Wedding Singer, Sweet Charity) plays Baroness Elsa Schrae…

MAMMA MIA's Catherine Ricafort Stars In PRISON DANCER Web Series

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by Oliver Oliveros, BroadwayWorld.com

New York, January 2, 2012 – Last year’s New York Musical Festival’s (NYMF) participant Prison Dancer, a musical inspired by the world-renowned dancing prisoners from Cebu, Philippines, featuring music and lyrics by Romeo Candido, and book by Candido and Carmen de Jesus, is now a web series. Prison Dancer, a 12 episode web series premiering this Spring, stars Canadian IdolSeason One finalist Mikey Bustos and Mamma Mia! on Broadway’s current Ali, Catherine Ricafort.

Prison Dancer tells the story of six Filipino dancing prisoners – Lola, Oo Oo, Nana, Hookaps, Shakespeare, and Christian (played by Bustos) – whose lives are suddenly changed when their dancing videos uploaded on YouTube became viral hits. Investigative journalist, named Matt, uncovers the “personal, poignant, hilarious, and universal stories of these prisoners.”

Ricafort plays Cherish, love interest to Bustos’ Christian, the prison’s newly-admitted inmate. “We shot in Toronto last month…