Jay Españo Does Movement for 'At The Flash'

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Yay! My article on the production of "At The Flash" presented by Pride Films and Plays was published in www.broadwayworld.com on Dec. 6, 2012.

Jay Españo Does Movement for 'At The Flash'
By Walter Ang

Jay Españo
Chicago, December 6, 2012 — Former Tanghalang Pilipino actor Jay Españo has taken assistant director and movement coordinator responsibilities in the recently opened "At the Flash," a one-actor, five-character play that condenses LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) history from the 1960s to the 2000s.

Written by Sean Chandler and David Leeper, this comedy features a closeted man in the 1960s, a black drag queen in the 1970s, a club kid in the 1980s, a budding lesbian activist in the 1990s, and a family man/entrepreneur in the 2000s as they relate their stories in the gay club The Flash.

For its world premiere, presented by Pride Films and Plays (PFP), co-playwright Leeper stars under the direction of David Zak, PFP's executive director.

Leeper's acting credits include roles in David Mamet's "Oleanna" and Lanford Wilson's "Fifth of July."

Españo collaborated with the Leeper and Zak to create distinct physical silhouettes, mannerisms, and behavior for each of the five characters. Españo received his yoga teaching certification in Singapore and has a graduate certificate in Laban Movement Analysis from Columbia College, Chicago.

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'Nutcracker' ballet gets modern treatment

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Yay! My article on the upcoming production of "Nutcracker Swit" by Myra Beltran's Dance Forum was published in www.abs-cbnnews.com on November 22, 2012.

'Nutcracker' ballet gets modern treatment
By Walter Ang

Ballet audiences are familiar with "The Nutcracker" as it is usually staged during the year-end holidays.

Set to Peter Tchaikovsky's music and originally choreographed by Marius Petipa, the ballet's libretto is based on E.T.A. Hoffmann's story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King."

The story is about a girl who receives a nutcracker carved in the shape of a soldier on Christmas Eve. After she goes to bed, the Nutcracker comes to life and battles the evil Mouse King. The Nutcracker transforms into a handsome prince and takes the girl to the Land of Sweets where she meets the Sugar Plum Fairy and different sweets from around the world.

Tchaikovsky's score has been given other ballet choreographies, such as by George Balanchine in the US and Noordin Jumalon (after Petipa and Ivanov) in the Philippines. Local companies sometimes set the production design in a Filipino setting.

The story has been remade into other mediums such as film, including excerpts in Disney's "Fantasia" and even a Barbie movie.

A new Filipino contemporary dance version of "The Nutcracker" presented by Myra Beltran’s Dance Forum takes off from a similar point: paper dolls of American icons.

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UP performing groups win at int’l fests

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Yay! My article on the international performances of several performing groups from University of the Philippines was published in Philippine Daily Inquirer's November 5, 2012 issue.

University of the Philippines performing groups win at int’l fests
By Walter Ang

UP Concert Chorus
University of the Philippines Concert Chorus has won three awards on the international scene: 1st Prize in the Folk category of the Festival Internacional de Musica de Cantonigros in Vic, Spain; and the gold diploma and the Audience Prize (People’s Choice Award) at the 9th Cantemus International Choir Festival at Nyíregyháza, Hungary.

In Spain, the group sang “Kruhay” (Beny Castilon); “Pasigin” (arranged by Eudenice Palaruan); and “Ilay Gandangan” (Rodolfo Delarmente) for the Folk category.

The contingent had 28 singers and one pianist. The chorus, celebrating its 50th anniversary, was led by director Jai Sabas-Aracama.

In Hungary, under the baton of president and assistant conductor Emmanuel de Leon Jr., the group sang “Ama Namin” (John August Pamintuan); “Jezus es a Kufarok” (Zoltán Kodály); and “Ilay Gandangan.”

For the Folk concert, the basis for the Audience Prize, Sabas-Aracama led the choir in singing “Gabaq-An” (Ruben Federizon), “Pasigin” and “Kruhay.”

“At the gala concert and awarding ceremony, UPCC performed a tribute to the King of Pop, Eman de Leon, where it received a rousing standing ovation from the audience and festival participants of nearly 2,000 people from all over the world,” says Sabas-Aracama.

The group had performed in several cities in the US before joining the festival in Spain. From September to October, it will give performances in Switzerland, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Malaysia and Singapore.

UP Arco String Ensemble
UP Arco String Ensemble, after a struggle to raise funds, made it after all to the Festival International de Music Universitaire in Belfort, France.

It was the first time a Filipino group had joined the festival.  Under musical director Edna Martinez, the group was composed of 27 students, all majors of the Strings and Chamber Music Department of the UP College of Music.

Before the festival, Arco performed twice in Paris, at Saint Bernadette Church, organized by the Philippine Catholic Mission in France; and at Unesco Miollis Building, hosted by the Philippine Embassy in France.

After the festival, Arco also performed in Geneva, Switzerland, at Notre Dame Church.
Robert Belot, Belfort’s vice mayor and the city’s cultural head, said the group “has fine quality sound, [is] technically adroit, and brought to the festival something unique and fresh.”

Arco’s repertoire included the Tsaikovsky Serenade for Strings; Serenade for Strings by Elgar; and Concerto Grosso by Corelli. Filipino masterpieces Rombino from the Children’s Quartet by Bueneventura and Buencamino’s Pizzicato Caprice were also performed.

“In its second and last concert at Belfort, the audience gave a prolonged feisty applause and standing ovation,” says Ruben Defeo, head of the UP Diliman Office for Initiatives in Culture and the Arts. “UP Arco had to reciprocate the warm reception by giving two encores. The organizers invited UP Arco to render another concert on the last day of the festival.”

Scene from "Screen: Macbeth"
UP's Department of English and Comparative Literature’s production of “Screen: Macbeth” was performed at National Taiwan University, Taipei, for the 6th Conference of the NTU Shakespeare Forum.

This production of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” premiered last year and features video projections as part of its staging, thus the inclusion of the word “Screen” in the title.

The conference theme “Shakespeare across Media” aimed to explore how Shakespeare had been translated in various forms of media.

“The production’s use of film fitted the conference theme superbly,” says cast member Ricky Abad.
The contingent had seven actors in multiple roles, with direction by Anton Juan; dramaturgy by Judy Ick (who also played Lady Macbeth); technical direction by Meliton Roxas; and video design by Winter David.

“The show was received very well. The organizers were pleased, and look forward to more Philippine participation in the future. The biggest achievement, I think, was that ‘Screen: Macbeth’ identified the Philippines as the Asian country that could do Shakespeare in English well. The acting was praised. It was deemed passionate.”

For details of UP Concert Chorus’ touring performances, visit www.upconcertchorus.org or call 9296963, 9818500, 0927-4284629 or 0917-6283739.

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British dance company does outreach in the Philippines

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Yay! My article on British dance companies doing charity work in the Philippines was published in Philippine Daily Inquirer's October 15, 2012 issue.

British dance company does outreach in the Philippines
By Walter Ang

Photo by Ige Ramos.
Hope for Children
Philippine representative Kevin Connolly,
DanceAid founder and CEO Laura Wilson,
Pangarap Shelter for Street Children
resident Erick Soberano,
Flava lead member Kyle Richardson,
Big Dance Company founder Fiona Richardson,
Pangarap Shelter for Street Children
executive director Br. Francisco Tanega.
Big Dance Company (BDC), based in Cornwall, England, sent a delegation to Manila for outreach and interaction activities with three charity groups that assist street children.

The group spent a day visiting the Philippine Community Fund (PCF) School in Tondo; Childhope Asia Philippines in Paco; and Pangarap Shelter for Street Children in Pasay.

The group gave workshops, performances, and danced with the children.

BDC founder Fiona Richardson said: “We can’t save the world with our dance outreach, but we can help get rid of a lot of ignorance, we can help build compassion.”

Reaching out
BDC first visited the country in 2010 upon the invitation of Shirley Halili Cruz, whom the group met at the Dance Excellence festival for young dancers in Los Angeles in 2009, to participate in the annual Dance Xchange Philippine International Dance Festival.

BDC brought over its most popular dance group, Flava, a hip-hop group which was a semifinalist in “Britain’s Got Talent” in 2008.

BDC visited children on the Smokey Mountain dumpsite in Tondo for an outreach with Philippine Community Fund, a charity group founded by British national Jane Walker.  BDC has returned annually since to conduct outreach activities at the site.

Flava has won competitions and represented the UK at the World Hip-Hop Championships. Last year it performed with Halili Cruz Ballet Company in Cornwall.

BDC works with young people in the UK to tackle antisocial behavior and gun and knife crime.

This year
This year BDC brought over a group of younger dancers.

“Some of the Flava dancers came, but we included dancers from Tricky Crew, our under-14 group, and Sweet Flava, our girl group.  The youngest in our group this year is 11 years old.  It’s important to let young people see what’s going on in the world,” said Richardson.

With BCD this year is UK-based DanceAid, a charity group that raises funds for charities through dance-related activities such as performances.

Laura Wilson, founder and CEO of DanceAid, said: “BDC is one of the many dance schools working with DanceAid to raise the UK to its feet to dance to make a difference for suffering children in the UK, Africa and Asia.”

“[Laura] knew we would be performing in Manila, and thought that we might want to help them out, and we have been ever since,” said Richardson.  “I am hoping to plan a big project next year with these charities to help more and get these talented young people on a stage with a captive audience.”

Ongoing aid
Wilson, who has a master’s degree in Conflict, Governance and Development from the University of York, founded DanceAid as a way to bring together her passions in developmental work and dance.
“We were inspired by the work being done by another charity we work alongside, Hope for Children,” said Wilson.

Among other projects for Manila charities, Hope for Children collects donations for PCF’s school (built from recycled shipping containers), which gives free education to street children in the Smokey Mountain area; for Pangarap Shelter for Street Children, a shelter and recovery center for homeless and at-risk boys aged 8-17 years; and for Childhope Asia Philippines’ Street Education Program, where 20 full-time street educators are deployed to teach street children on-site.

Hope for Children’s projects in the Philippines are monitored by its representative Kevin Connolly, who has been living here since 1996.

This was Wilson’s first time in Manila.  She came over to help set up funding protocols from DanceAid to its Hope for Children Manila charities.

“We visited to see what the situation is here, and how DanceAid can help more and organize a DanceAid day for the children, who, we already know, love to dance!”

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Tanghalang Pilipino’s silver anniversary coffee-table book now available

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Yay! My article on Tanghalang Pilipino's silver anniversary coffe-table book was published in Philippine Daily Inquirer's October 8, 2012 issue.

Tanghalang Pilipino’s silver anniversary coffee-table book now available
By Walter Ang

Tanghalang Pilipino has produced a coffee-table book, “Tanghalang Pilipino: Celebrating 25 Years of Philippine Theater,” to commemorate its recently concluded silver anniversary.

Spearheaded by  artistic director Fernando “Nanding” Josef and written by Inquirer contributing writer Amadis Ma. Guerrero, the 171-page hardcover features a jacket with the image of actress Noemi Manikan-Gomez in costume as the character Angelita from “Dalagang Bukid,” the company’s inaugural production in June 1987.

Her photo is stylized with sketches of the production’s set design in a manner that recalls the style of TP founding artistic director Felix “Nonon” Padilla’s woodprint designs for many of the company’s early souvenir-program covers.

The book is divided into chapters which “deal with material that provided the company with its unique identity.”

It begins with the group’s history; its objectives of “developing a national theater [group] that would develop original Filipino plays and mount translated foreign works”; and the rationale behind its original and updated logos.

The different theater forms that TP has staged are discussed: sarsuwela (the indigenized Filipino theater form “with songs and dances” that evolved from the Spanish zarzuela); original musicals (with subject matter or themes that range from historical pieces and films to indigenous epics and oral-narrative chants; and even comic-book gender-changing superheroines), and plays that mirror societal issues (from political milieus to personal relationships and everything in between).

Guerrero gives summaries and histories of selected scripts or librettos; quotes from interviews with the productions’ respective directors and other collaborators; and excerpts of reviews published at the time of the productions.

The book reveals the inner workings and processes undergone by the backstage disciplines, featuring composers, translators, set designers, costume designers, and lighting designers who have worked on TP productions.

The book concludes with a section that showcases the actor, specifically the kind of actor molded in the TP spirit.

Padilla’s creation of the Actors Company (AC), the group’s pool of resident actors who perform in season productions and continuously train in performance methods, has since been one of the defining elements of TP.

Josef was part of the pioneer batch of AC (personally invited by Padilla). Former TP artistic director Herbert “Herbie” Go was also an AC member.  Other former AC members have gone on to acclaim as actors for stage, TV and film, or administrators of other theater groups.

Call 8321125 loc. 1620-21, 0917-7500107, 0918-9593949, 2183791. E-mail tanghalangpilipinomarketing@yahoo.com.ph.

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Tony-winner David Gallo designs set of "Nine"

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Yay! My interview with David Gallo, the set designer of Atlantis Productions' "Nine," was published in Philippine Daily Inquirer's October 3, 2012 issue.

Tony-winner David Gallo designs set of "Nine," closes Oct. 7
By Walter Ang

Gallo's computer sketch of his set design for "Nine."
Atlantis Productions' staging of the musical "Nine" features a set designed by Tony Award winning set designer David Gallo.

"Nine," based on Federico Fellini's semi-autobiographical film "8½," focuses on Italian filmmaker Guido Contini, who, dreading his imminent 40th birthday, gets entangled in a web of romantic difficulties in early-1960s Venice.

With book by Arthur Kopit and music and lyrics by Maury Yeston, the musical was made into a movie in 2009, directed by Rob Marshall (“Chicago”) and starring Daniel Day-Lewis as Contini.

Directed by Bobby Garcia, Atlantis’ “Nine” features Jett Pangan as Contini with an ensemble of popular theater actresses, recording artists, and TV/film actresses: Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo plays Contini’s wife, Cherie Gil plays his film producer, Eula Valdez plays his muse, Carla Guevara-Laforteza plays his mistress, Ima Castro plays a prostitute he encounters, and Jay Glorioso plays his mother.

Gallo met Garcia in Broadway Asia Entertainment’s touring production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” in the late ’00s, where he designed the set while Garcia directed. The show opened in Manila and toured several Asian countries.

“I’ve always enjoyed working in the Philippines, so naturally when he rang me asking if I was interested in working on the production of the great musical ‘Nine,’ I jumped at the chance,” Gallo says.

Based in the US, Gallo worked with Atlantis’ production staff via the Internet. “[Since] it’s become the norm to design shows almost entirely using technology, most of the things I design are communicated via the Internet. Everyone can open and share even the largest files with ease.”

The only drawback, Gallo notes, is the loss of personal interaction, though a situation that’s mediated by this familiarity with Garcia.

“Theater is a business of emotion and feeling. It’s then that having a great bond with someone such as Bobby truly pays its dividends.”

Gallo has not seen the film version and has only seen one staging “many years ago.” He emphasizes the need to “approach every project as a new beginning.”

He researched on various bath houses and spas around the world. “I found some particularly interesting images from India, which I was then able to spin into a Viennese look. I find that capturing a feeling, a mood or style is more important than attempting to replicate a place, either real or imagined.”

“One of the interesting things about being a scenic designer is the fact that every production naturally finds its own way to a particular style.”

Costumes are designed by New York-based Filipino fashion designer Robin Tomas.

“Nine” runs until Oct. 7, at Carlos Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza Bldg., Makati. Call  8927078, 8401187 or Ticketworld at 8919999.

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Tanghalang Pilipino's suspense thriller 'Walang Kukurap' runs until Oct. 7

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Yay! My article on Tanghalang Pilipino's upcoming production of "Walang Kukurap" was published in Philippine Daily Inquirer's September 24, 2012 issue.

Tanghalang Pilipino's suspense thriller 'Walang Kukurap' runs until Oct. 7 
By Walter Ang

Scene from 'Walang Kukurap.'  Photo by Erickson Dela Cruz,
grabbed from https://www.facebook.com/enrico.dc3/info
Tanghalang Pilipino is staging "Walang Kukurap," a suspense thriller about the pervasive shady politics and unethical business practices in the Philippines today.

Suzette Ranillo plays Cristina, a first-time vice mayor candidate who is sucked into corruption, deceit and murder.

"We always connect corruption with the big fish, like the case of former Chief Justice [Renato] Corona as an example, but what's more frightening are the corruption done by the `small fish'—the towns and barangay, the grass roots," says TP associate artistic director Tuxqs Rutaquio, who is directing the production.

Written by Layeta Bucoy, the title is a play on words, with kurap homophonous to "corrupt," explains Rutaquio, as well as a play on notions of vigilance.

The material started off as a devised performance piece by TP's Actors Company, its resident pool of actors. "As a group, we started asking ourselves, Why do we want to do a play about corruption? We recounted incidents of corruption experienced by us, or ones we heard from family and friends. Those accounts became the basis for our first draft."

From personal experiences, the group moved on to interviewing other individuals who had experiences with corruption.

The group spoke with Jun Lozada, government-anomaly whistleblower in 2008, and the nun who helped protect him after his revelation, Sis. Mary John Mananzan, women's advocate and former St. Scholastica's College president.

"We also came across [journalist] Maria Ressa's speech for the graduation at Far Eastern University delivered earlier this year. She talked about corruption, zero tolerance, and how corruption is personal. Her ideas helped move our play articulate a notch higher in terms of what we really want to say.

"This production has been collaborative from Day 1. It must try to answer what we initially asked ourselves: Why do we want to do this? It is not to preach about corruption. It is simply putting another perspective to the concept. We have to jolt our audience. We have to provoke them to think."

The production will feature all members of the Actors Company, TP's pool of resident actors, and guest actors such as Manila 6th District councilor and actor Lou Veloso and, in certain performances, rapper Gloc 9.

"We don't expect audiences to change completely and suddenly become vigilant against corruption, though we hope they will. We want them to become aware of the problem, even if it's just a sneak peek of what is really happening in our society. And, of course, they decide if they will still tolerate these things or they will do something about it."

With technical direction and lighting design by Katsch Catoy; production design by Jerome Aytona; and sound design by TJ Ramos.

After its run at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the production will be open for bookings for shows around Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

"Walang Kukurap" runs until Oct. 7 at Huseng Batute Theater, Cultural Center of the Philippines. Call 8321125 loc. 1620 and 1621, 0917-7500107, 0918-9593949, 2183791.

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Ballet Philippines explores magical talismans in "Anting"

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Yay! My article on Ballet Philippines' upcoming production of "Anting" was published in Philippine Daily Inquirer's September 10, 2012 issue.

Ballet Philippines explores magical talismans in "Anting" 
By Walter Ang

From left: Hedwig de Leon, Tony Perez, and Paul Morales.
Ballet Philippines stages "Anting" for its "Neo-Filipino" series this September. The series features new works by Filipino choreographers and allows them a venue to tackle issues and experiment with form and choreography.

"'Anting' explores the world of talismans and amulets of Filipino magical traditions," says BP artistic director Paul Morales. "It's made up for four separate movements, each depicting a specific kind of amulet and its powers."

The libretto is by playwright Tony Perez, also known as the author of a series of books on how to cast spells and perform Wiccan rituals. He is also popularly known as the founder of Spirit Questors, a group of psychics who "communicate with earthbound human spirits and elementals."

Perez explains that anting is the street term for anting-anting (talismans). "'Anting' touches on indigenous Philippine 'magickal' systems practiced from the time of the Katipunan to the present day."

He notes, however, that Filipinos have been practicing these forms of "magick" since the pre-Hispanic era. "The mumbaki in the North and the babaylanes in the South; to when oraciones [prayers] were composed and distributed during the Spanish colonial period; to the continued practice of faith healers in the Cordillera; more than 200 existing cults on Mount Banahaw; and the numerous groups and individual practitioners until the present time."

The production will include projections of images of taladros, cloth with magickal patterns and oraciones drawn on and used by albularyos (rural medicine men); medalyones, brass and copper medallions; and anting-anting from Perez's personal collection, featuring the photography of Hedwig de Leon and video art of Andre Cawagas.

"Nang Wala Pang Mundo," is a creation story that traces the origins of the Dios Infinito sa Bato medallion. "This medallion is used for empowerment, establishing supremacy over others, escape from/evasion of danger, and enhancement of masculinity," he says.

In "Sinotris Gentillorum," a taladro comes to life and showcases the syncretic images of the Blessed Virgin Mary. "Specifically Atris, the Immaculate Conception; Matris, Ang Birheng Nagpapasuso; and Sinotris, La Virgin Milagrosa."

"Krus ng Alitagtag" shows the legend of the origins of the holy crosses in the churches of Alitagtag and Bauan in Batangas. Krus ng Alitagtag talismans are made from pieces of wood from the crosses and are worn as pendants for protection, power, success, and fame. "Variations of the talismans are set in gold, silver, copper and/or brass. Thousands of Krus ng Alitagtag have circulated over the years, so that it's difficult to determine which are authentic and which are not."

"Haring Bakal" is about a renegade member of the cult of Haring Bakal, a group that originated in Mindanao and was heavily influenced by the warrior rituals and movements of the area's ethnic groups. "The group is known to have its own distinct taladros and oraciones, and are most widely known for their training to be unaffected by blows dealt with bladed weapons."

Unlike his involvement in plays in which he attends rehearsals to revise scripts based on actors' speech patterns, when it comes to dance, "I always give directors and choreographers the freedom and the creative space they need to bring the works to life on stage."

Each movement will have its own choreographer: Morales; BP associate artistic director Christine Crame; BP alumnus and E-Dance Theater artistic director Gerald Mercado; and Airdance artistic director Ava Villanueva-Ong.

They will work with the music of Jed Balsamo, Jerrold Tarog, Teresa Barrozo and Israel Rodriguez. Set design by Zard Eguia; costume design by Dennis Maristany; and lighting design by Jonjon Villareal.

"Neo-Filipino: Anting" opens Sept. 14 at Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (Aurelio Tolentino Theater), Cultural Center of the Philippines. Contact 551-1003 or Ticketworld at 891-9999. Student and senior citizen discounts apply. Visit www.ballet.ph.

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"The King and I": Pageant to enthrall Manila

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Yay! My article on Resorts World Manila's upcoming production of "The King and I" was published in Philippine Daily Inquirer's September 10, 2012 issue.

"The King and I": Pageant to enthrall Manila
By Walter Ang

A costume design sketch by Laurel
Resorts World Manila is staging the musical “The King and I,” with Leo Valdes and Bo Cerrudo as King Mongkut and Monique Wilson and Sheila Valderrama as Anna, starting this September.

Based on the experiences of Anna Leonowens, the musical is set in the late 1860s and is about how the King of Siam (now Thailand) hires an English governess to tutor his children in ways of the Western world.

With music by Richard Rodgers and lyrics and book by Oscar Hammerstein, the Broadway musical was adapted into a movie in 1956 starring Yul Brynner as the king.
Directed by concert director Freddie Santos, the production will have close to 200 costumes designed by Rajo Laurel and Aksana Sidarava.

Full circle
“I am actually very familiar with the musical!” Laurel says. He was cast as one of the children in the 1978 staging by Repertory Philippines, where he shared the stage with Lea Salonga and Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, who were also cast as children.

He says it feels as if he’s come full circle by now designing costumes for the production.  He’d been fascinated by the costumes in the Rep production and it made him realize he wanted to become a fashion designer.

Tasked to design for the lead characters, Laurel’s “plan is to just go in and update the 19th-century costuming with a more modern take. The costume history of this production is very rich, specifically Anna’s corsetry and hoop skirts set against the King of Siam’s traditional garb. All it needs is just a modern flourish!”

Laurel has designed costumes for Repertory Philippines (“Evita,” “My Fair Lady”); Atlantis Productions (“Dreamgirls,” “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”); Ballet Philippines (“Inamorata”).

Design process
“Designing for the stage is very particular because it deals with both practical functionality and presence. It has to do with all of the minute details whilst simultaneously appealing to the point of view of an audience member. Theatricality is key as the sum of all the details makes for visual impact.”

Sidarava, who hails from Belarus, will work on costumes for the rest of the cast. She says the preparations for costume design included research through books and the Internet as well as viewings of film versions of the story. “My guideline is the traditional costumes of that time period.”

Having started off as a dancer, Sidarava also incorporates her experience with body movement into her works. “As a costume designer, you always have to think about the actors and the way the costumes are going to flow around with their movements, and choose the right material for maximum stage effect and best comfort for the artists.”

With the participation of Philippine Ballet Theater and Manila Philharmonic Orchestra; musical direction by Rodell Colmenar; vocal direction by Lynn Fabella; sound design by Radz Corpuzset; design by Jo Tecson; and lighting design by John Batalla.

“King and I” opens Sept. 15 at Newport Performing Arts Theater, Resorts World Manila, Pasay City.  Call tel. 8366333 or visit www.rwmanila.com.

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Gantimpala Theater's "Kanser" ("Noli Me Tangere") Aug. 26-Sept. 16, 2012

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Gantimpala Theater

35th theater season

Jomar Fleras'
Based on Jose Rizal's novel “Noli Me Tangere”

Directed by Adriana Agcaoili and Jheyar Caguimbal

“Kanser” was first staged in 1980 at the CCP. 
Why an adaptation of “Noli”? Because, says Agcaoili, “As live theater, it makes for an entertaining two hours of watching. And as a historical record, it is a powerful and very real testament to the sacrifice that Rizal--and all the revolutionary Eliases, the victimized Sisas and Crispins and the broken idealists like Ibarra--made for our motherland. The lost dreams and the blood they have shed have bought us the freedom we enjoy but sometimes take for granted.”

Kapuso actor Jay Gonzaga and Kapamilya actress Cris Pastor reprise their roles as Crisostomo Ibarra and Maria Clara, respectively. They first performed the roles in GT's 2011 run of "Kanser."

“Ibarra is a very difficult role since he is the center of the novel’s universe,” says Gonzaga. “He starts as an idealistic ilustrado who just came from Europe, whose main reason for coming home is to rekindle his affair with Maria Clara. But as the play progresses, his discoveries and battles become all gut-wrenching and heartbreaking, consuming him in the end.”

Pastor says of her Maria Clara: “I have a better appreciation of her person because of this production. To many, she is emotionally weak. But I've realized she is a brave and strong woman. She sacrificed so much to protect the purity of her love for Crisostomo.”

Philstage Best Actress Marj Lorico, meanwhile, is playing Sisa. “I am also a mother, so I know how she feels... Giving life to such a larger-than-life character is my way of telling today’s generation to read our literary classics. What I like about this play is that each of the major characters are highlighted, thus audiences get to know them better.”

Model/actor Patrick Patawaran is Padre Salvi, the young priest who secretly covets Maria Clara.

Artistic collaborators include Benjie Cayetano (lighting designer), Norman Peñaflorida (set designer), Roobak Valle (choreographer), Charyl De Guzman (production manager) and Wilmark Oliver Tabio (stage manager).

The National Parks Development Committee and Everbilena fully support Gantimpala Theater’s production of “Kanser”.

August 26, (7 p.m.), Concert at the Park Open Air Auditorium, Luneta, Manila;
August 31, September 1-2 (9 a.m./12nn/3 p.m.), AFP Theater, Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City;
September 7-9 (9 a.m./12nn/3 p.m.), Star Theater, Star City Compound, Pasay City;
September 14-16 (11 a.m./2 p.m.), Cinema 3, SM Southmall, Las Piñas City.

For tickets, call 9985622. Facebook: gantimpala.

MMQ Theatre's "Shhh...Speakeasy Le Cabaret 6" Sept. 15, 2012

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Announcement from MMQ Theatre

MMQ Theatre

Shhh...Speakeasy Le Cabaret 6
"Les Annees Folles (Crazy Years) A Night of Prohibition Fun"

September 15, 2012 7pm
Grand Ballroom, Dusit Thani Hotel

Tickets include a four-course authentic French dinner, free-flowing wines and champagne, fabulous raffle prizes, silent and live auction items, and a cabaret show just for you.

Attire: Black Tie or Swanky 20s

MMQ is a non profit arts for charity organization which produces theatre and other arts events that aim to promote Expatriate-Filipino partnerships, build Expatriate and Filipino audiences, and support women's and children's charities in the Philippines.

Contact mmqtheatre@gmail.com or 0927-383-9517 to purchase tickets and to receive password needed to enter the venue.

What do you think of this production? Share your comments.