Saturday, July 28, 2012

First Look at Leo Valdez & Monique Wilson in THE KING AND I

Leo Valdez, Monique Wilson in "The King And I"; photo credit: Jonas Abueva
by Oliver Oliveros,

Manila, Philippines, July 28, 2012 — “Miss Saigon” alumni Leo Valdez and Monique Wilson were first seen as the King of Siam and British governess Anna Leonowens, respectively, at the press conference for Resorts World Manila’s (RWM) grand production of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s “The King And I” held Saturday, July 28 at Newport Performing Arts Theater.

Directed by multi-awarded stage director Freddie Santos, “The King And I” follows RWM’s phenomenal run of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music,” which ran for eight months.

Besides Valdez and Wilson, the production also features Shiela Valderrama (Anna Leonowens), Bo Cerrudo (King), Gina Respall (Lady Thiang), Apple Chiu (Lady Thiang), Tanya Manalang (Tuptim), Marian Santiago (Tuptim), Lorenz Martinez (Lun Tha), and Floyd Tena (Lun Tha).

RWM’s “The King And I” premieres Saturday, September 15.

Friday, July 27, 2012

BWW Reviews: Less is More for NYMF's PRISON DANCER

by Oliver Oliveros,

Jeigh Madjus is Lola. Photo credit:  Billy B. 
One of New York Musical Theatre Festival’s (NYMF) fastest-selling shows, “Prison Dancer,” an original screenplay turned into a web series turned into a stage musical by Romeo Candido (music, lyrics, and book) and Carmen de Jesus (book), veers away from the hugeness of its viral hit inspiration — a video uploaded to YouTube in 2007 that boasts around 1,500 male inmates of Cebu, Philippines’ Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center dancing in sync with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” — by using its two-hour storytelling to explore more about the personal lives of a handful, fictitious prisoners instead, interspersed with a lively dose of Filipino cultural and religious quirks, and with a heavy R&B/club-ish score not often used for a musical.

Lola, an adorable cross-dresser (played by Jeigh Madjus who exudes a gay demeanor that is not wildly exaggerated), clad in a long nightgown adorned with fuschia feathers, which is later disrobed to reveal an orangey coloured short shorts and sports bra getup, opens and narrates the show told almost entirely in flashback. His Greek chorus-duo of sorts, Oo Oo (played by Nathan Ramos) and Nana (played by Enrico Rodriguez), the only two characters that do not have backstories, are reliable comic sidekicks, back-up singers and dancers.

Inside prison walls, the audience members — a diverse mix ­— are introduced to the facility’s other four inhabitants: Hookaps, the tough boys’ anointed leader (played by Marc Delacruz who channels boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao); Tondo, a supposedly isolated death-row inmate who faces execution in two months (played by Albert Guerzon who is given a longer exposure time here compared to his current job at “Ghost” on Broadway), strangely so, freely interacts and dances with his fellow convicts; Shakespeare, Lola’s object of affection and dance partner (played by Moses Villarama who turns in a finely nuanced and bold performance; and who also doubles as the production’s acoustic guitarist when the spotlight dims on him); and Christian, the anti-social, introverted new kid on the block (played by Broadway veteran Jose Llana whose solo number in Act Two, “Typhoon,” brings out the toughest, strongest vocal performance from the actor).

Jose Llana is Christian; Catherine Ricafort is Cherish. Photo credit:
Billy B.
Lending support, a.k.a. non-dancing actors, are Andrew Eisenman who plays the techy warden that elects Lola to teach the inmates some groovy moves as part of their daily exercise routine, whose video footage he would anxiously share with the online world via YouTube; and Marcus Calderon who plays the ineluctable, emotionless cellblock’s guard.

“Mamma Mia!” on Broadway’s current cast member Catherine Ricafort, who plays Cherish, Christian’s girlfriend who believes in evergreen love stories, lights up the stage whenever she is on it; hers is a sweet singing voice that can get thicker, deeper when needed. Ricafort and Llana look smashing together.

The musical’s creative and production team’s intimate approach works well on that small performance space at the Theatre at St. Clements, which effectively depicts the play’s setting of a supposedly crowded prison through the functional use of Josh Zangen’s movable jail bars and makeshift brick walls, and Betsy Adams' consistently sparse lighting, which helps evoke a sordid milieu amid the overnight social media fame of its occupants.

The cast of "Prison Dancer" (the stage musical); photo credit: Billy B.
I personally find myself wanting for a big signature dance number that is expected from dance-oriented musicals though, i.e. the rip-roaring swing dances in “Memphis” or the endless turns and pirouettes in “Newsies,” which, on second thought, could be a bit far-fetched because of the production’s intimate nature.

Nonetheless, "Prison Dancer" is brimming with sheer Filipino talent and thick Filipino accent seldom experienced on New York stages.

“Prison Dancer” plays its last weekend tomorrow, Friday, July 27, 5 p.m.; and Saturday, July 28, 5 and 9 p.m. For tickets, visit

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

BWW Interviews: POTTED POTTER's Dan & Jeff Talk New Cast in Manila Run, Memories of the Philippines & More

"Potted Potter" marquee at Little Shubert
Theatre; photo credit: Oliver Oliveros
by Oliver Oliveros,

Going to any new country we never had a show before is an honor. We’re loving America at the moment; it goes the same for the Philippines. – Jeff Turner, co-creator and star of “Potted Potter”

“Potted Potter” premieres in Manila on Tuesday, August 28, and runs until Sunday, September 2.

New York, July 24, 2012 – During a Saturday evening performance of “Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience,” a parody by double Laurence Olivier nominees Daniel “Dan” Clarkson and Jefferson “Jeff” Turner, at Little Shubert Theatre on 42nd Street, kids show up with “Harry Potter” collectibles in tow: golden snitches, wizard wands, and Horcrux lockets; some grown-ups even put on Hogwarts apprentices’ robes – the “Harry Potter” movie saga may have made its final bow a year ago, but the “Potter” phenomenon continues to live and grow.

“When we started doing “Potted Potter” [potted means abridged in colloquial British English] seven years ago, we were huge ‘Potter’ fans. It’s a loving homage parody. So everything we do is love for the book. We never in any point disrespect the book and its characters because we didn’t want to go against the fans that we want. We’d rather do this in a fun way. The fans of “Potter” are so huge. Even tonight, there were people dressed in their robes, with their wizard wands. And these are not just kids, we have a full-grown woman dressed as Dumbledore, which is terrifying. When you see a middle-aged woman dressed as Dumbledore is a scary thing. But you don’t mess with these fans,” says Dan in an exclusive interview with

Jefferson "Jeff" Turner, Daniel "Dan" Clarkson; photo credit:
Rolando Gatilao
However, Dan and Jeff’s 70-minute (with no intermission) tribute show does not only cater to Potterheads or die-hard “Potter” fans. Based on the mixed crowds the production has been getting since it opened on Off-Broadway early last month, “Potted Potter” also appeals to those who have not read J.K. Rowling’s seven “Potter” books or who have not seen their movie counterparts. In fact, Dan and Jeff have written the show with their extreme audiences in mind: In “Potted Potter,” which is an engrossing quick guide to the “Potter” books, albeit with outworn slapstick devices every once in a while, Dan plays the “Potter” neophyte, who dons funny wigs and numerous headdresses depicting various “Potter” characters, e.g. Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Professor Dumbledore, Lord Voldermort et al., while Jeff plays the “Potter” go-to guy, who dons Harry Potter’s signature black spectacles almost all throughout the presentation.

One by one, Jeff summarizes the seven “Potter” books whose main character he believes is utterly bland. Dan prances around the stage as Jeff’s comedy sidekick, who can hardly wait for the books’ finale and the duo’s improvised Quidditch game, complete with neon ring-shaped goals on both sides of the auditorium, a beach ball that is tossed around, and a human-sized golden snitch, which prompts enthusiastic audience engagement.

Little Shubert Theatre main lobby; photo credit: Rolando Gatilao
“You’ve got so much happening in book four: the Quidditch World Cup; a tournament where you have to do a scene under water, and a scene in a huge maze; and a fight with a dragon; among others. How in a parody do we condense all these? We spent a whole bunch on the dragon as you saw tonight, and that’s how we did it. That's tough,” says Dan.

What was originally conceived as a five-minute sketch comedy show meant to entertain Potterheads waiting in line for the release of the sixth book, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” (Jeff’s least favorite book in the series; Dan feels the exact opposite) at a London bookshop in 2005, has been expanded into a full-length theatrical production that toured the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, and now breaking box office records in the United States, which even runs three performances on Saturdays at 2, 5, and 8 p.m., and extends until Sunday, September 2.

Good news is that theatergoers in the Philippines can also join the “Potted Potter” frenzy next month for a limited time. Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, Potted Productions, and Concertus Manila bring “Potted Potter” to Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati City from Tuesday, August 28 to Sunday, September 2, for 10 performances only, featuring British actors Gary Trainor and Jesse Briton, playing the roles of Jeff and Dan, respectively.

“Gary [who’s Irish like Jeff] and Jesse are better than Jeff,” Dan roars with laughter.

young fan Julianna Oppenheimer; photo credit: Rolando Gatilao
On a serious note, Dan admits, “We had to audition. We really searched hard to get a cast who can do this, which is the strangest thing in the world if you ever audition for someone to play yourself. You have to sit in a room to see people who are pretending to be you for a day; so it’s like having an out-of-body experience all day. But we’ve found two great British soap comedy actors; we’ve been working with them before we came out here. They’re coming in with a new lease on life for the show.”

“We were meant to be in New York two months earlier than we were. But everything was put back; so we were double booked [both productions in New York and Manila are closing on the same day]. Instead of cancelling the Manila tour, which we really wanted to do, we decided to recast it,” Jeff explains.

Although both Dan and Jeff have been raring to go to the Philippines, the former is a lot more anxious than the latter.

Dan shares animatedly: I went to the Philippines with my family when I was young. And there are two things I vividly remember about the Philippines: one of them was when we were jumping off a rock into the sea (hot springs in Coron, Palawan), and the water was burning hot, which burned my chest. For the rest of the time, I had to be in t-shirt because I was bright red; the other one was when we were eating at a food market, and my mom had to pull me away because I was fascinated by the chickens that were there. There was this woman who would put out a live chicken and wring its neck, and give you the chicken. I just stood there, transfixed. I said to myself, “This is amazing.” I wanted a live chicken. And my mom said, “You can’t have a live chicken!"

Jeff is shocked; he laughs hard.

“We’re hoping to fly out to watch “Potted Potter” with the new cast in Manila,” Jeff interjects. “Some British jokes, come over here, work, some don't; some American jokes that go out to Britain work, and some don't. It’d be interesting to know how things would play out in the Philippines."

"Potted Potter" Pop Quiz blackboard at the theater lobby; photo credit:
Rolando Gatilao
Dan points out that "being a parody, we have to comment on what’s trending, on what’s happening, like we say 'Twilight' at the moment, which is terrible. I hate 'Twilight.' Things have been changing though. Seven years ago, those 'Twilight' references weren’t around yet. We were mentioning Justin Bieber just last year because we would get a great reaction, for instance. Now you mention his name, people boo. We had to take his name out. As things trend, we move along with them."

"In the world of 'Harry Potter,' when 'Pottermore' came out, we put that in the show. When 'Harry Potter World' opened in the UK, we put something about that in the show as well. Both didn’t get that much reaction. I think not everyone outside the world of 'Harry Potter' knows about them," Jeff adds. "If there’s laughter, it’s working on one level. And on another level, if the people who love the subject you’re talking about are enjoying it – they’re laughing – then you have a parody."

For Pottedheads and “Potted Potter’s” more than 14,000 Facebook fans in the Philippines, Dan and Jeff have a special message for you:

“Keep living the ‘Potter’ dream. Wear your robes, and keep that wizardly magic alive,” says Dan.

“And to anyone who would like to send me some mangoes, the best mangoes I ever had were from the Philippines,” he adds.

“Oh, and don’t let the muggles get you down!” Jeff wraps up.

“Potted Potter” is directed by Richard Hurst, featuring set design by Simon Scullion, lighting design by Tim Mascall, music by Phil Innes, and associate direction by Hanna Berrigan.

For tickets to “Potted Potter” in Manila, visit TicketWorld's Facebook Fan Page at, call hotline (632) 891-9999, or visit website

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Domingo, Atadero to Star in THE WOMAN IN BLACK, 8/31

Reb Atadero, Jeremy Domingo; photo credit: Dulaang Kalay
by Oliver Oliveros,

Manila, Philippines, July 21, 2012 – Jeremy Domingo, 2011 BroadwayWorld Philippines Awards’ Best Featured Actor in a Play, and Reb Atadero (“Bare,” “Rizal X”), will star in Dulaang Kalay’s one-night-only production of Stephen Mallatratt’s psychological period thriller, “The Woman in Black” (based on the novel of the same name by Susan Hill), at Teatrino, Promenade, Greenhills on Friday, August 31. 

William Elvin Manzano will direct the two-man play, which recounts young lawyer Arthur Kipps’ ghostly experiences in the Eel Marsh House of recluse Alice Drablow years ago. Kipps hires an actor/director to help him tell his paranormal stories in front of his family and friends in a desperate bid to exorcise the ghosts from the past.

Dulaang Kalay’s creative team will consist of Janine Santos (original music), Meliton Roxas (lighting design), Alden Acosta (sound design), Nina Bedruz (technical direction), and Nissi Gatan (set design).

“The Woman In Black,” the second longest-running straight play in London’s West End, opened at Fortune Theatre in 1989. 

For tickets and more information, call Gabe Ongkiko at (63)905-4283371 or visit

Photo Flash: POTTED POTTER's Dan and Jeff Pose for BroadwayWorld Philippines

"Potted Potter" creators Jefferson Turner and Daniel Clarkson; photo by
Rolando Gatilao
by Oliver Oliveros,

Daniel “Dan” Clarkson and Jefferson “Jeff” Turner, creators and stars of smash parody “Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience,” recently sat down for an exclusive interview with BroadwayWorld Philippines, where they talked about the impending premiere of “Potted Potter” in Manila, which is set Tuesday, August 28, and will run until Sunday, September 2 at Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza in Makati City.

“Potted Potter” condenses all seven “Harry Potter” books in 70 minutes. And the parody authors have a special message for “Harry Potter” fans in the Philippines:

“Keep living the ‘Potter’ dream. Wear your robes, and keep that wizardly magic alive,” said Dan.

“And to anyone who would like to send me some mangoes, the best mangoes I ever had were from the Philippines,” he added.

“Oh, don’t let the muggles get you down!” said Jeff.

Up Next: More of Dan and Jeff on BroadwayWorld Philippines!

For tickets to "Potted Potter" in Manila, call TicketWorld at (632) 891-9999 or visit

Monday, July 16, 2012

Photo Coverage: JOE, An Original Filipino Rock Musical, Opens

Philippine Stagers Foundation presents JOE: The Filipino Rock'sical.
Photo by Dale Bacar
by Oliver Oliveros,

Manila, Philippines, July 16, 2012 – 2011 (BWW) Philippines Awards’ runaway winner, the Philippine Stagers Foundation (“Cory ng EDSA”), opened its newest theatrical offering, “Joe: The Filipino Rock’sical,” an original Filipino rock musical that deconstructs the ideologies of the Philippines’ national hero, Jose Rizal, last weekend at St. Cecilia’s Auditorium, St. Scholastica’s College.

BWW photographer Dale Bacar shares his photos taken during the show’s opening. See his photos below!

“Joe: The Filipino Rock’sical,” is written and directed by Atty. Vince Tañada, featuring music by Pipo Cifra and choreography by John San Antonio.

The musical stars Patrick Libao, Atty. Vince Tañada, Monique Azerreda, Kevin Posadas, Jordan Ladra, Cindy Liper, Kierwin Larena, Adelle Ibarrientos-Lim, Chris Lim, Chin Ortega, JM Encinas, Cherry Anne Bagtas, and Gabby Bautista.

“Joe: The Filipino Rock’sical” continues its run at St. Scholastica’s College on Saturday, July 21 at 8 a.m., 11 a.m., and 2 p.m.; and on Sunday, July 2 at 8 a.m., 11 a.m., and 2 p.m.

In addition, performances at Tanghalang Pasigueno are set on Sunday, July 29 at 8 a.m., 11 a.m., and 2 p.m.

For more information, visit

For more photos, click HERE.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Filipino American Symphony Orchestra Plays Bach and Rock, 7/28

The Filipino American Symphony Orchestra (FASO); photo by FASO
by Oliver Oliveros,

Los Angeles, July 15, 2012 – The Filipino American Symphony Orchestra (FASO), the first Filipino-organized orchestra outside the Philippines, which is based in California, presents “FASO is Bach to Rock!,” an eclectic concert featuring classical masterpieces by Johann Sebastian Bach; pop-rock anthems such as Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Led Zepellin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” arranged by Filipino composer Louie Ramos; popular disco songs; and Original Pilipino Music (OPM) on Saturday, July 28 at Ford Theatres (2580 Cahuenga Boulevard, East Hollywood).

Robert A. Shroder is principal conductor; OPM icon Joey Albert, and legendary jazz vocalist Mon David are guest singers, together with Mirielle Enriquez, Immaculate Heart of Mary Children’s Choir, and FASO’s Youth String Ensemble, showcasing the musical talent of youngsters, ages eight to 14.

“Bach to rock is a very interesting combination of repertoire because the Baroque era [1600-1750 C.E.], the era of Bach, is when improvisation started – even before the birth of jazz and rock. So it’s really a good combination to mix both genres together,” said Shroder in a press statement. “This is [also] very exciting for FASO; it’s the orchestra’s first time doing this mixture of genres in a major concert.”

“FASO is Bach to Rock!” is part of the 21st annual Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture (FPAC), the largest celebration of Filipino arts and culture, which presents more than 1,000 artists and cultural ambassadors from all over the United States from September 8 to 9 at Point Fermin Park in San Pedro, California.

For tickets to FASO’s concert, visit General admission: $30-40. VIP package: $100, which includes premium seating and pre-show reception. Students and children tickets: $20. Group discounts are also available.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Photo Flash: First Look at Lea Salonga in GOD OF CARNAGE in Manila

Art Acuna, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Lea Salonga, and Adrian Pang
in Atlantis Productions and Singapore Repertory Theatre's staging of
Yasmina Reza's "God of Carnage"; photo by Jaime Unson
by BWW News Desk,

Manila, Philippines, July 13, 2012 -- It’s a gargantuan war among Lea Salonga (Veronica), Adrian Pang (Michael), Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Anette), and Art Acuña (Alan) as they bring to life Tony Award-winning playwright Yasmina Reza’s brutally honest characters in her play “God of Carnage,” which opens in Manila tonight, and runs until Sunday, July 22 at Carlos. P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza in Makati City.

Directed by Bobby Garcia, and produced by Atlantis Productions and Singapore Repertory Theatre, “God of Carnage,” whose original text was in French, is a 90-minute debacle of two couples who meet and discuss about their kids' recent playground squabble.

Atlantis Productions’ photographer Jaime Unson shares his production photos.

For tickets to “God of Carnage,” call Atlantis Productions at (632) 892-7078 or TicketWorld at (632) 891-9999, or visit

Shows on Saturday, July 14 at 8 p.m. and Friday, July 20 at 8 p.m. are sold out.

“God of Carnage” also travels to Singapore in November. Tickets are available at

For more photos, click HERE.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

GOD OF CARNAGE, Starring Lea Salonga, Holds First and Only Preview, 7/12

Lea Salonga and Adrian Pang; photo by
Atlantis Productions
by Oliver Oliveros,

Manila, Philippines, July 12, 2012 – Imported Broadway shows do not enjoy the luxury of having long previews with test audiences. The Asian touring production of Yasmina Reza’s 2009 Tony Award-winning play, “God of Carnage,” a case in point, starring Tony winner Lea Salonga, which premieres in Manila this weekend, and tours Singapore in November, is no exception.

Atlantis Productions and Singapore Repertory Theatre open the doors of the Carlos P. Romulo Theater at RCBC Plaza in Makati City to “God of Carnage’s” first and only set of preview audiences tonight, July 12 (July 11 in the United States). The play, which also stars Singaporean actor Adrian Pang, Philippine theater’s favorite leading lady Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, and multi-award winning theater, television, and film actor Art Acuña, officially opens in Manila on Friday, July 13, and runs until Sunday, July 22.

In Salonga’s weekly newspaper column, titled “Backstory,” in the Philippine Daily Inquirer today, she has shared her enthusiasm over her impending return to doing straight plays after her first starring role in a non-musical production via David Auburn’s “Proof,” which premiered in Manila 11 years ago, also produced by Altantis Productions.

“Tonight will be the only preview we’ll have, our first crack at performing this piece in front of an audience. Until tonight, we’ve rehearsed the show in front of the production staff and a handful of colleagues whose feedback has been nothing short of invaluable.

But still, wonderful though it has been hearing them react and respond, it’s not a full audience. None of us four in the cast (Menchu, Adrian, and Art) has any idea how a line reading will go in front of 450 or so people.

Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo and Arthur Acuna;
photo by Atlantis Productions
We don’t know when to hold for a laugh if one comes, or for how long. This is one element that will, with every performance, change the way we do whatever it is that we’ll be doing onstage. In every show, there will be an element of the unknown,” Salonga wrote.

She added, “We know that script backwards and forwards … we’ve run through the whole play at least 10 times, its internal rhythms and tempos changing with each go (Bobby Garcia, our director, called one of the runs 'Kafkaesque,' coinciding with a particularly dark and dreary afternoon).

We’ve figured out just about everything, individually or collectively. We’ve discussed, argued, tried things, thrown things out, laughed, cried, given dirty looks and uttered dirtier words. But, until tonight, only with one another. Now, it’s time to get the crowd in and see what happens.

Yup, my seatbelt is securely fastened. We’re ready. Let the war games really begin.”

Read Salonga’s column HERE.

Directed by Garcia, featuring set design by Lawyn Cruz and lighting design by James Tan, “’God of Carnage’ is a comedy of manners, without the manners: the play begins as two middle-income couples (Salonga and Pang, Yulo and Acuña) meet to amicably resolve a playground squabble between their kids. Lines are drawn, allegiances are made and broken, and the evening quickly turns into a laugh-out-loud train wreck – served up with clafouti, espresso, and a bottle of rum,” so says the production notes.

For tickets to "God of Carnage," call Atlantis Productions at (632) 892-7078. The show on Saturday, July 14 at 8 p.m. is sold out.

Immediately after the Manila leg of “God of Carnage,” Salonga will fly to San Diego, California to begin rehearsals for the Broadway-bound musical “Allegiance,” which also stars George Takei (“Star Trek,” “Celebrity Apprentice”) and Telly Leung (“Godspell,” “Rent”). “Allegiance,” which tackles about Japanese-American internment during World War II, plays at Old Globe Theatre in San Diego from Friday, September 7 to Sunday, October 21.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

FORBIDDEN BROADWAY Returns for a Two-Day Run, 8/24-25

by Oliver Oliveros,

Manila, Philippines, July 10, 2012 – Upstart Productions (“Defending the Caveman,” "Breakups and Breakdowns”) brings back Off-Broadway smash “Forbidden Broadway” (Greatest Hits), a musical revue that parodies old and new Broadway musicals at Carlos P. Romulo Theater, RCBC Plaza, Senator Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City on Friday, August 24 and Saturday, August 25.

“Forbidden Broadway” is a four-person show with two male actors (Lorenz Martinez, OJ Mariano) and two female actors (Caisa Borromeo, Liesl Batucan) playing multiple characters. Besides its musical numbers from popular Broadway shows, the intimate revue, which was conceived, written, and directed by Gerard Alessandrini, has also been endearingly mocking famous theater personalities since its 1982 debut at Palsson's Supper Club in Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Alessandrini has recently announced that a new edition of “Forbidden Broadway” is set to premiere in New York City this fall and winter season.

In Manila, Joel Trinidad (“Crush Hour,” “Breakups and Breakdowns”) and Cathy Azanza-Dy (“Love, Loss and What I Wore”) direct Martinez, Mariano, Borromeo, and Batucan, plus a set of surprise celebrity guests. Amusing parodies of “Chicago,” “Annie,” “Into the Woods,” “West Side Story,” “Wicked,” Les Miserables,” “Phantom of the Opera,” “Mamma Mia,” “Rent,” “Spamalot,” “Cats,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Hairspray,” and “A Chorus Line,” are featured in the show.

For tickets and more information, call Upstart Productions at (63)917-5285678 or email or Tickets are also available through Ticketworld at (632) 891-9999 or

Monday, July 02, 2012

Photo Flash: Josh Young Exits JCS with "Judas" Pooch

Tony nominee Josh Young and Keppy pose for
Photo by Oliver Oliveros
by Oliver Oliveros,

Tony nominee Josh Young (Judas Iscariot), who brought the closing audience of “Jesus Christ Superstar” (JCS) to its feet, seconds after his strong 11 o’clock number, “Jesus Christ Superstar,” yesterday afternoon at Neil Simon Theatre, signed everyone’s playbill at the stage door, and showed off to the crowd his pooch, Keppy, who was wearing a replica of Young's character’s royal blue sequined top, designed by Paul Tazewell (“In the Heights,” “The Color Purple”) for the show. was there, and took a photo of Young and Keppy.

Following the critically-acclaimed runs at Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada, La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego, and Neil Simon Theatre on Broadway, JCS, starring Paul Nolan (Jesus), Chilina Kennedy (Mary Magdelene), and Young (Judas), took its final bow on Sunday, July 1. Directed by Des McAnuff (“Jersey Boys,” “The Who’s Tommy"), the Broadway presentation, which garnered Tony nominations for Young (Best Featured Actor in a Musical) and for the entire production (Best Revival of a Musical), played 116 regular performances, and 24 preview performances.

Young also recently sang at the one-night-only, all-star concert adaptation of the Broadway musical “Baby” held at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. His latest album, “Still Dreaming in Paradise,” which includes “Heaven on Their Minds” from JCS, has been re-released. To purchase the CD, visit