Wicked (West End Touring Cast)

In 2014, the Australian cast arrived bringing with them the beautiful musical that is Wicked.

When I heard of news that the West End cast will arrive, I felt my heart jump. I just have to see it again.

This post is not a comparison between the two because they both have their own merits.

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So, how was it? It was awesome. Wicked will always deliver no matter who performs.

The things I liked best about this performance are:

  • Glinda seemed to be on a total Red Bull rush. This is a compliment. She was funny, engaging, true to the character she’s playing. She gave it a lot of justice.
  • Elphaba’s voice, alongside her character, grew throughout the musical. There was a distinct difference between the singing before she met the wizard and after.
  • DEFYING GRAVITY. I’M NOT THAT GIRL. FOR GOOD. NO GOOD DEED. AS LONG AS YOU’RE MINE. DANCING THROUGH LIFE. ONE SHORT DAY. Probably every song in the musical was a moment.
  • Great costume design and stage manipulation.
  • Fiyero’s very cool but powerful voice.

I loved every minute of it.

I was just a bit annoyed when the theatre staff let the late people go in in the middle of the performance instead of during the intermission. But, no big deal.

So, if you have a little bit of free time (around 3 hours for the show and 2 hours for travel to and from Solaire) on or before March 19, do watch the show! It is very recommended and satisfying to watch. Get your tickets here and go on a short trip to Emerald City.

I promise, it will be magical.

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Miss Saigon 25th Anniversary Performance

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Credits to the owner of the poster

For the musical’s 25th birthday, the producers decided to film the cast on West End and have it shown to select cinemas around the world. For the Philippines, fortunately, they will be shown until November 16, 2017.

You can visit the SM Cinemas website for tickets. For parents who want to bring their children, the movie (musical) is rated as R-13. So, children below 13 years old are not permitted to watch. Plus, the general theme of the musical would be too heavy for them.

So, on to my thoughts.

 

The cast is extraordinary. It was superbly cast. Great singing. Great acting. Great production. It was emotional and heart-wrenching, and it was how it should be.

I just had the problem with Eva Noblezada’s (Kim) singing. The tone isn’t as consistent. I wasn’t to happy with the transition from high to low notes on Sun and Moon. But, she can really hit those power note which made I Still Believe and I’d Give My Life For You too much for one heart.

And one of the best performances for the night was Jon Jon Briones. I couldn’t fathom the depth of character he gave to The Engineer. Another one was Kwang-ho Hong as Thuy. You don’t get a lot of Korean actors in musicals lately and it’s nice to see one make it big.

This show was wonderfully thought out. It was the marriage of live stage caught with the technology of cinema production.

One thing that I loved about this is the camera work. Miss Saigon is probably one of those musicals who would do great in the screen because of the complexity and completeness of the production.

Just a question, though. Kim, a country bumpkin, and Chris, an American GI, hit it off on their first night together. How did Kim communicate with Chris to tell her story? I know it’s a musical.

One thing that irks me about this musical was how selfish Kim was. I don’t know how emotionally burdened she is considering she killed her own cousin and the love of her life is already married. But, did she really have to kill herself in order for Tam to have the life she wanted for him/her?

Anyway, if I didn’t convince you, here’s the trailer for the movie of Miss Saigon.

The movie also features a gala performance by three of the original cast members namely Lea Salonga, Simon Bowman, and Jonathan Pryce. If that doesn’t still convince you, I don’t know what will.

 

Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady The Musical

Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady: The Musical (KPANLL), under Dalanghita Productions, opens this weekend at the PETA Theater. I was glad to be one of the people who first saw it. And I must admit that I am really entertained to say the least.

KPANLL is based on Carlo Vergara’s one-act play and graphic novel. It became a two-hour musical from then and it involved a lot of social commentaries.

The musical features the talents of Bituin Escalante / Frenchie Dy as Mely, Kim Molina / Natasha Cabrera as Viva, Markki Stroem / Hans Eckstein as Leading Man, May Bayot-de Castro as Nanay, and Menchu Launchengco-Yulo as Madre de Dios.

The musical centers around sisters Mely and Viva, who are different in personalities, and their efforts to make ends meet. Mely becomes employed in the superhero household and Viva is used as a pawn by the opposing super villain group.

The rest of the plot line, I leave it up to you so you should watch!

First and foremost, thank you for casting Markki Stroem! I haven’t had the chance to hear Hans Eckstein, but I have loved Markki’s voice ever since I heard him in the first season of Pilipinas Got Talent. And, apparently, he had the chops to be a real Leading Man. He’s got the charms, the voice, and a good chemistry with her love team.

Bituin Escalante, too, could not be faulted. I really love her since I don’t know when. I got excited that she will be doing Mely for the performance we’ll be watching. She embodied Mely perfectly.

I could not say anything but praise to the supporting cast. I especially like Domi Espejo as Senyor Blangko and Gianina Ocampo as Nena Babushka. Their roles had me stirring, laughing, and heart broken.

One thing I was worried about was the size of the stage. There were times that I fear for the performers because of the number of activity they’re doing and someone might just slip and tumble. Good thing that nobody did!

On the other side, I loved the music! There were really good songs! Props to Vincent de Jesus who penned and gave music to the lyrics! I hope they’ll be selling albums of the music!

Lastly, but definitely not the least, if you think a little deeper, you’d see the message the musical wants to send across. There’s about the complexity of interpersonal relationships – how things don’t look like what they seem to be. There is about how your actions may cause a dozen different and isolated effects.

The one that I like the most is how we patronize stuff or items or people that are foreign to us. How could we not be more accepting those that are locally-made or native?

At the end of it, KPANLL is a joy to watch. If you’re looking for a place to go after work or you don’t have to do anything on a weekend, watch KPANLL. They’re showing every day at the PETA Theatre from now until June 7.

You’ll laugh, cry, be amazed, get heart broken, have tingly feelings in your special place, and, most of all, be proud that we have avenues like this to show what Filipino talent is all about!

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Leading Man left this on my playbill. I really enjoyed. I really did.