Announcement from Gantimpala Theater
Gantimpala Theater’s "Sino ka ba Jose Rizal?” features TV singers Gerald Santos and RJ Jimenez
Gantimpala Theater artistic director Tony Espejo has announced the company's first touring production for its 34th season: the musical "Sino Ka Ba Jose Rizal?," produced in cooperation with Musical Theater Philippines.
“It is fitting to stage this musical now," says Espejo. "We can learn so much from his history, most especially the great relationships he had with his mother Doña Teodora, brother Paciano, and sisters; his devotion to the academe and the ardor for the written word; the romances that added color to his years and the nationalistic fervor he had for the country and how he stirred the consciousness of his fellowmen through his novels 'Noli Me Tangere' and 'El Filibusterismo.'"
“Gerald Santos and RJ Jimenez will alternately portray the role of our national hero. We are very fortunate that two of the country’s finest singers are playing the lead. Balladeer Gerald Santos is visceral in his portrayal while acoustic RJ Jimenez invests a lot of refreshing emotions in his interpretation.”
Who the singers are
“Being part of a theater production is like attending a performing arts class,” says the theater first timer. “Every day there is something new to learn, from memorizing your lines and blockings. There is also the choreography and songs you must remember. There is something so vibrant about the dynamics of theater actors. Lahat sila disiplinado. At sobra silang matilungin sa katulad kong baguhan sa teatro.”
“I did a lot of research, read materials about Rizal,” says the singer who is now a TV 5 talent. “This musical made me realize how much Rizal loved our country and his countrymen. We must continue to keep his legacy burning knowing the fact that the problems that were evident during his times persist.”
The guitarist and singer says, “I am thankful to our vocal coach Agnes Barredo because she was able to teach me techniques on how to properly use my voice. Playing Rizal is emotionally taxing, all the emotions due to the conflicts of his life are very new to me.”
“We can all follow Rizal's footsteps. True, they are such big shoes to fill nevertheless, we must really do something for our country. Bayan natin ito. Dapat magtulong-tulong tayo para mas maging masagana at maligaya ang buhay nating lahat.”
The musical's synopsis and provenance
This musical follows Rizal’s childhood in Calamba, Laguna; his leaving behind his childhood sweetheart Leonor Rivera to study in Spain; his relationship with Josephine Bracken during his exile in Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte; up to his death in Bagumbayan.
"Sino Ka Ba Rizal" was first staged in 1998 by Music Theatre Philippines (then known as Musicat). The original cast featured Ogie Alcasid as Jose Rizal, Mikee Cojuangco as Leonor Rivera and Rachel Alejandro as Josephine Bracken.
Collaborators and cast
TV actress Kathleen Hermosa as Josephine Bracken
Ellrica Laguardia as Leonor Rivera
Ronald Concepcion as Paciano
Kakai Bautista as Neneng, Rizal’s sister and O-sei-san, his Japanese girlfriend
Nonoy Gallardo (music and libretto based on the book by Rene Villanueva)
Joey Nombres (lights designer)
Eric Cruz (set designer)
Raul Nepomuceno Jr. (choreographer)
Performances are on
September 3, 10am/2pm,
EXPO Filipino, Pampanga;
September 23, 10am/2pm,
Ynares Gym, Antipolo
October 14-15, 10am/2pm,
AFP Theater in Quezon City.
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