NEWS: Ballet Manila to debut two original ballets on 22nd Performance Season


“Ballet Manila is entering a new age.”

These were the words that Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, CEO and Artistic Director of Ballet Manila, told her team of ballerinas and danseurs when plans for the 22nd performance season of the country’s leading classical dance company were made earlier last year. Named Flights of Fantasy, the new season will debut two all-original productions, which Macuja-Elizalde is proudly working on with a team of internationally-award winning dancers, musicians, and costume and set designers.

“Ballet Manila has always been known as a company that strictly adheres to the Vaganova technique and Russian style of dancing. That’s something that we’ve always stressed out by staging classical ballets that highlight our technique’s strength. However, we understand that times are changing. And while we shall continue to stick to our technique—which is widely-accepted as the best in the world—we understand that we need to up our game if we want to appeal to more people,” she explains.

This season, she works with two classic tales—one Filipino and one foreign—to create world-class productions that will further establish Ballet Manila’s position as the premiere classical dance company in the country.


IBONG ADARNA, one of the two original productions mentioned by Lisa, will open the 22nd performance season this August. Choreographed by the one of the company’s principal dancers and multi-awarded choreographer, Gerardo Francisco, the show will bring to life the magical kingdom of Berbanya with modern production techniques, flying sequences, and impressive routines that can rival even those of the most well-known classical pieces. It will feature Gia Macuja Atchison, a West End star, as the voice of Ibong Adarna, and will also showcase music by Diwa de Leon, set and costume design by Make It Happen Workshop, and script by Angela Blardony Ureta.

Following IBONG ADARNA in October is one of the world’s most enduring classical romantic ballets— SWAN LAKE. Featuring music from master composer Peter Tchaikovsky, the production is a showcase of the company’s commitment to have at least one classical ballet in its repertoire every season—so as to uphold its Vaganova Academy roots.

Ballet Manila’s FLIGHTS OF FANTASY presents SWAN LAKE

For its version of SWAN LAKE, Ballet Manila’s production features the original Lev Ivanov choreography for the white acts and a brand-new set design by Miguel Faustmann. It will also make use of new costumes created by fashion designer Michael Miguel and live accompaniment from the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Alexander Vikulov of Russia’s Marinsky Theater.

“SWAN LAKE is, for me, the ultimate test for a classical ballerina. To dance the dual roles of Odette and Odile is one of the most difficult roles to do because you need to be vulnerable and lyrical as the white swan and sharp and steely as the black swan.”

Come November, the company will stage its second original production this season, and Lisa Macuja-Elizalde’s second full-length choreography work— SNOW WHITE. Aimed at making the holiday season more magical for everyone, Ballet Manila promises to bring everyone a heartwarming take to the classic tale.

Ballet Manila’s FLIGHTS OF FANTASY presents SNOW WHITE

“We are making SNOW WHITE a more magical and musical experience for everybody—from toddlers to the lolos and lolas,” says Macuja-Elizalde. “I won’t reveal much, but we are working so hard to make sure that our version leaves a mark that will make the holidays more memorable and spectacular.”

And to close Flights of Fantasy, Ballet Manila will stage another installment of its widely-popular Ballets & Ballads. Happening in February 2018, this edition will feature live music by the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra.

“Ballet is a form of dance that is usually accompanied by music without words. By dancing to popular ballads performed live, we are showing another side to our storytelling—one that is more appealing and relatable to the modern audience. And again, this is in line with Ballet Manila’s vision of bringing ballet closer to the people, and the people closer to ballet.”

In addition to the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra, Ballet & Ballads will also premiere British choreographer Martin Lawrance’s Aria. Lawrance has collaborated with Ballet Manila many times in the recent past, most notably in the the highly-acclaimed original, Rebel.

Show Schedules

IBONG ADARNA makes its world premiere on August 26 at 6 PM. Other show dates are: September 2 at 6:00 PM and on August 27 and September 3 at 3:00 PM.

SWAN LAKE goes on stage on the following dates: October 7 and October 14 at 6:00 PM and October 8 and October 15 at 3:00 PM.

The SNOW WHITE world premiere is set for November 25 at 6:00 PM. Other show dates are  December 2 at 6:00 PM, and November 26 and December 3 at 3:00 PM.

You can catch Ballet & Ballads on the following dates: February 10 and 17, 2018 at 6:00 PM, and February 11 and 18, 2018 at 3:00 PM.

For more information about the shows, including ticket prices and schedules, you may visit or follow Ballet Manila on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Tickets are also available through all TicketWorld outlets.


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NEWS: WEST SIDE STORY opens in Manila next month!


Manila, PHILIPPINES — Broadway’s greatest dance musical WEST SIDE STORY premieres at The Theatre at Solaire next month and the excitement couldn’t be more palpable. Daring, realistic and still as relevant as the day it premiered, WEST SIDE STORY comes to Manila as part of a worldwide tour, following sold-out seasons around the world, including London, Paris, Sydney and Berlin.

Boasting of a young all-American cast, many of whom come direct from Broadway, WEST SIDE STORY will be playing for a strictly limited 3-week season beginning 10 August 2017 and tickets are now on sale at The Manila season of WEST SIDE STORY is presented by Globe LIVE.

WEST SIDE STORY European Tour, 2016. Photo by Johan Persson
WEST SIDE STORY European Tour, 2016. Photo by Johan Persson

WEST SIDE STORY is inspired by Shakespeare’s tumultuous love story Romeo and Juliet, and is set amidst the vicious rivalry of teenage gangs in 1950s New York. In a sweltering New York summer, the boys from the Upper West Side neighborhood are on the prowl. Ready to explode at any moment they dance with their girls, the air vibrating with the rhythms of mambo, rock ‘n’ roll and jazz. They belong to two enemy street gangs ruling the immigrant quarter – the Jets and the Sharks – and a clash is imminent. The Jets, sons of previous immigrants to America, are fighting the new arrivals from Puerto Rico, the Sharks, for domination of the streets in the area. Among them, Tony, a Jet, and Maria, sister to the leader of the Sharks, fall in love.

The action takes place over no more than a few hours of two consecutive days and portrays a love story, action thriller and social study all at the same time. WEST SIDE STORY tells the tale of a love between two young people whose happiness is destroyed by the hate of two enemy camps in New York City’s urban jungle.

WEST SIDE STORY European Tour, 2016. Photo by Johan Persson
WEST SIDE STORY European Tour, 2016. Photo by Johan Persson

WEST SIDE STORY packs a powerful punch, both dramatically and musically. At its 1957 Broadway premiere the musical redefined an entire genre in terms of both choreography and score. The genius of its four creators – Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim – produced a piece whose great artistic quality remains unquestioned to this day.

WEST SIDE STORY European Tour, 2016. Photo by Johan Persson
WEST SIDE STORY European Tour, 2016. Photo by Johan Persson

Youthful desires, fears and swagger described so tersely and precisely in Arthur Laurent’s script, have been masterfully translated by legendary choreographer Jerome Robbins into some of the most exhilarating dance routines in the world of musical theatre, full of provocative finger snapping from street gangs and Puerto Rican girls’ whirling skirts on New York City’s flat rooftops.

The now-famous score by Leonard Bernstein braved uncharted waters at the time it was written, and combines influences from American jazz with classical and Latin American music to create a sublime work of art.

Stephen Sondheim, then only an unknown young musician and lyricist who would later rise to great musical heights with works such as Gypsy, Sweeny Todd and Into The Woods, managed to condense the painful process of coming-of-age, passionate love and fateful conflict into concise and punchy song lyrics, creating a legacy of classic songs such as Maria, Tonight, Somewhere, America and I Feel Pretty.

WEST SIDE STORY European Tour, 2016. Photo by Johan Persson
WEST SIDE STORY European Tour, 2016. Photo by Johan Persson

Jerome Robbins’ original choreography has been recreated by director and choreographer Joey McKneely, a former pupil of Jerome Robbins. Musical supervisor is the renowned conductor Donald Chan, who studied under Bernstein himself, and who leads a live orchestra of 20 musicians.

WEST SIDE STORY has been produced three times on Broadway, twice in London’s West End, and enjoyed numerous US, UK and international tours over the last 60 years. The movie version, released in 1961, went on to win an incredible 10 Oscars (including Best Picture) and further cemented the reputation of this undoubted masterpiece.

WEST SIDE STORY European Tour, 2016. Photo by Johan Persson
WEST SIDE STORY European Tour, 2016. Photo by Johan Persson

Presented by Globe LIVE. Major sponsor is Novuhair. Special thanks to Solaire Resort and Casino, OOCL, Victory Liner, Lyric Piano and Diamond Hotel. Media partners are 2nd Ave, JackTV, Philippine Daily Inquirer, The Philippine Star, Preview, MEGA Magazine, Magic 89.9, 99.5 Play FM and Klite 103.5 FM. Official Makeup Sponsor is M·A·C Cosmetics.

WEST SIDE STORY is a Michael Brenner production, produced by BB Promotion GmbH in association with Sundance Productions, Inc. NY, Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and David Atkins Enterprises.

SOURCE: Concertus Manila

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Ballet Philippines collaborates with Independent Artist Eisa Jocson in YOUR HIGHNESS

Your Highness – photo by Hiyas Baldemor Bagabaldo

Eisa Jocson’s newest creation, YOUR HIGHNESS will have its world premiere on July 27 (8pm) and 28 (3pm, 8pm) at the CCP Little Theater, and will be performed at several major European performing arts festivals from August to September 2017. The work is a production by Ballet Philippines and Künstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt am Main (Germany), in co-production with Internationales Sommerfestival Kampnagel (Germany), Zürcher Theater Spektakel (Switzerland), La Bâtie – Festival de Genève (Switzerland).

Eisa Jocson
Eisa Jocson

Eisa Jocson is an internationally renowned artist creating and touring works in Asia, Europe, America and Australia. Educated as a visual artist and trained as a ballet dancer, she won her first pole-dancing competition in Manila in 2010 and began her international dance career with public interventions like “pole-tagging” here and abroad. Her 3 solos, DEATH OF THE POLE DANCER (2011), MACHO DANCER (2013) and HOST (2015) toured extensively in major festivals abroad. Under the HAPPYLAND (2017) series, her new creations, PRINCESS a duet with Filipino performance artist Russ Ligtas and YOUR HIGHNESS are a continuation of her investigation into Filipino labour, performance of happiness and production of fantasy within the happiness empire. YOUR HIGHNESS is her first ensemble creation, and is the first of all her works to be premiered and produced in the Philippines.

In YOUR HIGHNESS, the classically trained dancers masterfully alternate between stylized Disney gestures and standards of ballet classics like GISELLE, THE SLEEPING BEAUTY and SWAN LAKE – and explore the fine line between portrayals of happiness through ballet history and princess archetypes in a globalized entertainment industry.

Your Highness - Poster-1The massive employment of Filipino performers by Hong Kong Disneyland has led to a dire brain drain, with its impact strongly felt in Ballet Philippines, which has lost half of its top dancers within the last decade. Against this backdrop, choreographer Eisa Jocson has now created a dance piece with five young dancers of the Ballet Philippines.

“As an independent Filipina choreographer it is a unique and inspiring adventure to collaborate with Ballet Philippines in creating this new ensemble work,” shares Jocson. “It is exciting to see the dancers push their capacities into unknown terrain with incredible virtuosity. And I am looking forward to share this performance born out of an intense and meticulous process of exploring the dancer’s and ballet’s manifold bodies and voices.”

YOUR HIGHNESS international artistic team is led by Eisa Jocson (choreographer), Gia Gequinto, Stephanie Cabral, Maila Habagat, Alexis Piel, and Carlo Padoga (Ballet Philippines dancers), Arco Renz & Anna Wagner (dramaturgs), Teresa Barrozo (music & sound design), Florian Bach (lighting design), and Dennis Maristany (costume design).

SOURCE: Ballet Philippines

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NEWS: PETA opens a special run of CAREDIVAS

PETA’s Caredivas

Quezon City, PHILIPPINES — As part of the 35th anniversary celebration of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) is bringing the special run of the wondrously hilarious, deeply heart-warming, and genuinely eye-opening story of ‘CAREDIVAS – An Original Pinoy Musical’ on June 24 to July 30 at The PETA Theater Center.

A tribute to our Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW), CAREDIVAS is a candid stage drama that reveals the reality of the lives of our modern-day heroes. It tells the tale of five OFWs (namely Shai, Kayla, Chelsea, Thalia, and Jonee) in Israel who work to give care during the day and transform into glamorous drag queen performers at night. While desperate to make ends meet, they also aspire acceptance in a foreign land.

PETA's Caredivas
(from left to right) Dudz Teraña as Thalia, Melvin Lee as Chelsea, Ricci Chan as Kayla, Buddy Caramat as Jonee and Vince de Jesus as Shai in PETA’s CAREDIVAS

The major roles will be played by acclaimed theater performers. Melvin Lee will reprise his role as the sweet Chelsea who seems to have it all – a kind employer and potential lover; Vincent De Jesus and Ron Alfonso as the often-sarcastic leader Shai who is haunted by the image of her mother who expects so much from her; Dudz Teraña and Jason Barcial as the ditzy Thalia who along with Jonee joined “D’ Nigtingales” (their unit stage name) to express their creativity; Gio Gahol, Jerald Napoles and Ricci Chan as Kayla who is always transferring employees and has become an illegal migrant worker, and Thou Reyes and Phil Noble as Jonee.

When asked about his message to non-theatergoers, original cast Vince De Jesus says, “CAREDIVAS is not really a gay play. It is a play about Filipinos who happen to be gay. There is nothing sexual about it. They work hard for their families so it’s everyone’s story. They could be lesbians, they could be straight, but like I said nga, it’s not about the gender. It’s about the sadness in their lives and they’re trying everything to better the situation, ignore the pain and sadness. Which is very universal. Very Filipino.”

Paul Holme and Vincent de Jesus in PETA's CAREDIVAS
Paul Holme and Vincent de Jesus in PETA’s CAREDIVAS

Caregivers, also known as personal aides are individuals who give assistance to their clients who are often sick, in rehabilitation, mentally or physically disabled, or the elderly. Their job descriptions include bathing and bathroom functions, workout and light exercises, plan and prepare meals, feeding, grooming, giving medication and regular household chores. They are also considered personal assistants and companions who engage their client in various activities.

The term OFW is not new to Filipinos. Majority of the households in the country have a relative working abroad to provide for the needs of those who are left behind. There isn’t a shortage in the exposure of the life of OFWs because it’s been a topic of radio, television, and print media for many years. However, CAREDIVAS hopes to shed a different light to people especially their families who are unaware of the struggles of these caregivers in a live stage production with a highly-witty script and story written by Liza Magtoto with tastefully Pinoy music and lyrics by Vincent de Jesus.

Phil Noble and Jerald Napoles returns to the CAREDIVAS stage to reprise their roles of Jonee and Kayla
Phil Noble and Jerald Napoles returns to the CAREDIVAS stage to reprise their roles of Jonee and Kayla

Rounding up the cast are Myke Salomon (Faraj, David, Daniel), Paul Holme and Leo Rialp (Isaac, Moshe, Yaakov, club owner), Joan Bugcat and Gold Villar (Nonah), Eric Dela Cruz and Dom Miciat-Janssen (Avi, Aryeh, police officer), Sherry Lara (Sarah, Adara), Eko Baquial and Joseph Madriaga (ensemble).

Melvin Lee in his award winning role as Chelsea in PETA's CAREDIVAS
Melvin Lee in his award winning role as Chelsea in PETA’s CAREDIVAS

CAREDIVAS is directed by Maribel Legarda. Completing the artistic team are Leo Abaya (set designer), JonJon Villareal (lighting director), John Abul (costume designer), Carlo Pagunaling (assistant costume designer), Carlon Matobato (choreographer) and Gimbey dela Cruz (vocal coach).

CAREDIVAS was first produced in 2011. The musical dominated the 2011 Philstage Gawad Buhay! Awards, bagging seven trophies including Outstanding Musical Production and Outstanding Ensemble Performance for a Musical.

CAREDIVAS was continued to be produced in April 2012 in partnership with Repertory Philippines and last February 2017 to open PETA’s 50th Anniversary.

Bring your family and friends to watch this tale that shares a message that is still as relevant today as it was when it first premiered. CAREDIVAS opens July 1, and will run until July 30 at the PETA Theater Center.

For inquiries and ticket reservations, contact PETA Marketing and Public Relations Office at 725-6244, or at 891-9999.

#TheJellicleBlog #CAREDIVAS #TakePETABeyond50

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REVIEW: Repertory Philippines returns home for the Family

Repertory at 50 Years

In celebration of its golden year, Repertory Philippines (REP) presents a one-night only grand musical gala, REP: 50 Years of Telling Stories. Consisting of its current talents and acclaimed alumni, REP narrated its story from ‘its beginnings, to its continuing efforts of nurturing the next generation of performing greats’ on June 11 at The Theater at Solaire.

The production that features seven segments with different directors took almost a hundred people to mount. Opening with a tribute to Zeneida Amador and honoring all the founders of REP, the show transitions to telling the story of the ‘dreamers, tellers, artisans, hands, interpreters, and the story being realized.’

Miguel Faustman as Tevye
Miguel Faustman as Tevye in “Tradition” from  FIDDLER ON THE ROOF

With numbers from past REP productions such as A Chorus Line, West Side Story, Carousel, Camp Rock, Pippin, Annie, Sound of Music, Jekyll and Hyde, Seussical and Les Miserables, one would think that the show would become a showdown of the ‘best of the best’ Filipino theater talents. But it is rather intimate, rustic, and authentic that it feels as if the audience was witnessing a reunion of a one traditional Filipino family.

Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo in "Magic To Do" from PIPPIN
Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo in “Magic To Do” from PIPPIN

The narrations and its productions feel like hearing stories from our beloved grandparents about the ‘good ol’ times’ and their ‘struggles from the early days.’ Its music is arranged to allow different members of the family to sing along regardless of when they had just arrived for the reunion; sometimes in solo; often in chorus.

But the acting was what made REP’s 50th anniversary celebration different and special. Distinctly, because the cast seemed to be saying their lines out of memory, not by the script. It’s occasionally funny with no intention to be, it was poignantly nostalgic, and it pulls the audience in the way a relative’s story of greatness would.

Mitch Valdes, Franco Laurel, Jack Salud, JM Rodriguez, and Red Nuestro in COMEDY TONIGHT
Mitch Valdes, Franco Laurel, Jack Salud, JM Rodriguez, and Red Nuestro in “Comedy Tonight” from A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM

From well-established names of theater actors to seeing the writers, directors, designers, production managers, and stage managers perform on stage, it was inevitable for the cast to be more engaged in narratives, as they lived it than to produce a show that was clean-cut to sell more tickets. It was the real REP members on stage, not the actors.

And that makes all the difference.

The gala came to a close with the ‘young and upcoming REP members taking over center stage as the veterans hand the baton to the new guards of Philippine theater.’

It was a fitting celebration of REP’s five decades of developing Filipino talents and staging excellent productions from Broadway and the West End. Bart Guingona serves as over-all director and collaborates with segment directors Jaime del Mundo, Miguel Faustmann, Audie Gemora, Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Raymond Lauchengco, Freddie Santos, and Michael Williams as well as musical director Ejay Yatco and writer Luna Inocian.

The Company in “One Day More” from LES MISERABLES

Theater luminaries and stars including REP co-founder Baby Barredo, REP Artistic Director Joy Virata, Monique Wilson, Franco Laurel, Sheila Francisco, Markki Stroem, Morisette Amon, Pinky Amador, Mitch Valdes, Ayam Barredo-Eckstein, Cara Barredo, Leo Martinez, Cocoy Laurel, EJ Villacorta and many more gather to #ComeHomeToREP.

It was a night of sights, music and remembering. Seeing these familiar faces from our local stage in one night was more than just refreshing — it was empowering. More than just an outpour of talents, this night showed us that there are bigger things that await us for Philippine Theater.

As they continue on with their journey to the next 50 years, Repertory Philippines continues to bring the same magic for the Philippine stage, honing new talents and offering greater shows for the Filipino audiences, as they too come home to Rep.

You can view their 2017 Season at

4 Stars out of 5!

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NEWS: Globe Live! and 9 Works Theatrical siezes the day with Disney’s NEWSIES


The companies that brought AMERICAN IDIOT and A CHRISTMAS CAROL: THE MUSICAL to the Filipino stage is back with one of theater’s most challenging musicals to date. Globe Live and 9 Works Theatrical present Disney’s NEWSIES, showing on all the weekends of July at the Globe Iconic Store Bonifacio High Street Amphitheater!

The story follows the charismatic newspaper boy Jack Kelly, a leader-figure among a band of “Newsies,” who “dreams of a better life far from the hardships of the streets.” The plot deepens when Jack steps forward and moves the newspaper boys to rally against publishing strongmen Joseph Pulitzer, William Randolph Hearst, and other similar authorities who raise newspaper fees at the expense of the “Newsies”. From newspaper boys to advocates, NEWSIES dramatizes a “David and Goliath” fight for justice against corporate corruption.

Newsies 2
The cast of Globe Live! and 9 Work Theatrical’s NEWSIES

Featuring lyrics by Jack Feldman, music by Tony and Oscar winner Alan Menken, and a book by Tony star author Harvey Fierstein, NEWSIES showcases an array of highly-passionate music relaying age-old issues that remains alarmingly relevant to today’s world.

NEWSIES was first produced as a motion picture musical in 1992 which was inspired by the true events of the “Newspaper Strike of 1899,” which in turn inspired the live stage adaptation that premiered at the Paper Mill Playhouse in 2011 before being brought to Broadway the following year that ran for a total of 1,005 performances.

Executive Producers Joe Caliro of Globe Live, Santi Santamaria of 9 Works Theatrical, Director Robbie Guevara along with choreographer PJ Rebullida has their work cut out for them with the high-demands of this award-winning musical. But they not only rise to the challenge but promise to deliver it with a display of the incredible talent from across the country. After the grueling auditions, they established Training Ground – a five-month long training in voice, acting gymnastics, and dance lessons in ballet, hiphop, tap, jazz, and more. Filmed with the behind-the-scenes of NEWSIES, watch the webisodes of the hardcore, intense training of the stellar cast of this local production of NEWSIES’ Training Ground at

Jef Flores as Davey Jacobs in Globe Live! and 9 Work Theatrical's NEWSIES
Jef Flores as Davey Jacobs in Globe Live! and 9 Work Theatrical’s NEWSIES

“We need our actors to be triple-threats, so instead of the usual auditions and rehearsals, Training Ground allows us to maximize their potential before going to actual rehearsals,” shares Caliro. “There is so much talent in the Philippines, and with proper training, we can elevate our skills to be world-class. It is also an opportunity for the cast to hone their skills at no cost with the best trainers in the country,” he adds.

Playing the role of Jack Kelly is recording artist, singer, actor and 9 Works Theatrical mainstay Gian Magdangal, who has just come back from a stint at Hong Kong Disneyland’s The Golden Mickeys and Universal Studios Japan. Joining him as part of the newsboys are Jef Flores (recent Gawad Buhay awardee for Outstanding Lead Actor for Tick, Tick…BOOM! ), Daniel Drilon (Secret Garden, Fun Home), Tory Cortez (Hansel and Gretel, A Christmas Carol), Luis Marcelo (Little Shop of Horrors), and Alex Diaz (Host & TV Personality, MYX VJ). Also in the cast are Danielle Chopin (Into the Woods, My Fair Lady), Greg Dulcie (The Wizard of Oz, Sweeney Todd), Pinky Marquez (The Wedding Singer, Beauty and the Beast), and Raymund Concepcion (Annie, The Little Mermaid).

Gian Magdangal as Jack Kelly in Globe Live! and 9 Work Theatrical's NEWSIES
Gian Magdangal as Jack Kelly in Globe Live! and 9 Work Theatrical’s NEWSIES

Chopin shares that, “the energy is going to be there. We are definitely doing our best to keep the Disney standard, which is going to be amazing. There’s a lot to look forward to, the dance, the music, the story, we have an amazing collection of people in this project and it’s just so much fun and you can really see all of the love and the blood and the sweat and the tears that have gone into it. So by the time we open, I think the audience will get to really feel that and enjoy it.”

“They can look forward to me sing and dance from start to end! I almost don’t get off the stage!” Madrigal chimes in.

Rounding up the cast are Franz Imperial, Ariel Reonal, Joni Galeste, Melissa Bell, Ian Ocampo, Ronelson Yadao, Erick Arenas, Jourdan Bartolome, Mark Anthony Grantos, Jim Ferrer, Chesko Rodriguez, Kendrick Ibasco, Anton Posadas, Stephen Viñas, Clark dela Riva, Jon Abella, MC dela Cruz, Vyen Villanueva and Jan Mayo.

Newsies Cast
The cast of Globe Live! and 9 Work Theatrical’s NEWSIES

The rest of the creative team are as follows – Franz Imperial as assistant director, Daniel Bartolome as musical director, Yek Barlongay additional choreography for tap, Ed Lacson as set designer, Eric Pineda as costume designer, Martin Esteva as lighting designer, GA Fallarme as video & projection designer, Myrene Santos as hair and makeup designer and Dong Calingacion as technical director.

For tickets and more information, go to or or dial 891.9999.

#TheJellicleBlog  #GlobeLive9WTNewsies #CreateHeadlines

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NEWS: THE SOUND OF MUSIC is in search for Von Trapp Children in Manila!

Screen Shot 2017-04-01 at 12.40.40 PM

MANILA, Philippines — The legendary musical THE SOUND OF MUSIC is coming to Manila this September, and the search is now on for local Philippine children to be part of the show. Presented by Globe LIVE, the highly-acclaimed production comes from the home of West End musical theatre – the famous London Palladium – where the lavish and dazzling show celebrated a record-breaking 954 performances and was seen by over two million people. Tickets are now on sale via TicketWorld.

The producers of THE SOUND OF MUSIC are now looking for 18 outstanding girls and boys from Manila (six children cast in three rosters) to play the roles of the six younger von Trapp children: Friedrich, Louisa, Kurt, Brigitta, Marta and Gretl. Children who wish to audition must fit the below criteria to perform in the show. The children are expected to have a good level of skill in acting, singing (including part singing with harmonies) and dancing. All nationalities are very welcome.

Auditions will be held in Manila this May. Prospective candidates are required to complete an online form at, where further details can also be found. Candidates are also required to be physically present at the pre-registration sessions on May 6 and 7 at The Theatre at Solaire Lobby.

Screen Shot 2017-04-01 at 12.39.17 PM

James Cundall, Producer of THE SOUND OF MUSIC and Chief Executive of Lunchbox Theatrical Productions said, “For local children to have the chance to star on stage with actors of this calibre in an international production from London’s West End will be a dream come true and the chance of a lifetime. You never know where an opportunity such as this could take you!”

THE SOUND OF MUSIC tells the uplifting true story of Maria, the fun-loving governess who changes the lives of the widowed Captain von Trapp and his seven children by re-introducing them to music, culminating in the family’s escape across the Austrian mountains as tensions rise prior to the outbreak of World War II.

Sofa 2015THE SOUND OF MUSIC features some of the most unforgettable songs ever heard on stage and screen, including My Favorite Things, Edelweiss, Do-Re-Mi, Sixteen Going on Seventeen, The Lonely Goatherd, Climb Ev’ry Mountain and the title song The Sound of Music. Even today, THE SOUND OF MUSIC is considered the world’s most popular musical – an iconic show that touches the hearts of all ages.

The original Broadway production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and was Rodgers and Hammerstein’s biggest success. The 1965 movie starring Julie Andrews as Maria won five Oscars, including Best Picture, and remains one of the most popular movies of all time.

This stunning, critically-acclaimed production of THE SOUND OF MUSIC is produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Company and David Ian Productions, and is presented in Manila by Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, Concertus Manila and David Atkins Enterprises.

For sponsorship, corporate nights and bulk buy inquiries, please call ?(02) 403 86-46 or ?(02) 403 86-78.

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NEWS: Ateneo Blue Repertory closes their season with KUNG PAANO AKO NAGING: LEADING LADY THE MUSICAL

Screen Shot 2017-04-01 at 9.27.17 AM

The box-office hit KUNG PAANO AKO NAGING LEADING LADY: THE MUSICAL is back on stage fully re-imagined and revamped through the fresh eyes of rip-roaring millennials. This pun-filled musical extravaganza brims with Carlo Vergara’s acerbic wit, flamboyant production numbers, and superhero-supervillain action sequences that pack a punch.

Tongue-in-cheek comedy, family drama, romance and live action converge in Ateneo Blue Repertory’s 25th Anniversary Season Finale. They partner with Dalanghita Productions in bringing to life the famed comic book world of Zsazsa Zaturnnah, but this time focusing on new characters.

KUNG PAANO AKO NAGING LEADING LADY: THE MUSICAL tells the story of a lowly labandera, Mely, and her young and wild sister, Viva, who struggle to fulfill their dreams in a world that gives a premium to foreign super heroes with white skin and well-educated barako men who always get the job. They seem to fight to be favored in a society that has no room for them.

KPANLL POSTER A PORTRAIT 27x40KUNG PAANO AKO NAGING LEADING LADY ushers in a new artistic team led by Issa Manalo Lopez, Director, who recently performed politically charged pieces “I” and COLONIZED. With additional lyrics and composition by Kevin Maske, an Ateneo alumna and awardee of Loyola Schools Awards for the arts and music, he comes in as Musical Director of Vincent de Jesus’ original music. Delphine Buencamino, who has essayed the role of Apolinario Mabini in Tanghalang Pilipino’s MABINING MANDIRIGMA and has alsochoreographed Tanghalang Ateneo’s JANUS SILANG AT ANG TIYANAK NG TABON, UP Dulaang Lab’s ORESTIA, Ateneo Entablado’s “DESAPARASIDOS, and PETA’s 3 STARS AND A SUN directs movement as Choreographer. J Laspuña, whose previous soundscape collaborations include “Disco1081”, “I”, and “Kapit” does Sound Design. Carlo Tabije and Ben Padero, the award-winning Production Designers of the film HENERAL LUNA (2015), creates the highly imaginative Set and Costumes. Joseph Matheu, Lighting Designer and Co-Producer of Twinbill’s ASHER LEV, does the Lights Design.

KUNG PAANO AKO NAGING LEADING LADY: THE MUSICAL is set to open on April 19 and will run for two weeks until April 30, 2017. The show starts promptly at 8 p.m. (Thursday-Sunday). Matinee shows (Saturday-Sunday) start at 3 p.m. The show will be at Rizal Mini Theater, Faber Hall, Ateneo de Manila University.

For ticket inquiries, please contact Stephanie Escuadro at 09568452030 or reserve through blueREP’s website:

Connect to Ateneo Blue Repertory online through the following social media networks:

Twitter: @_blueREPERTORY
Instagram: @blueREPERTORY

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NEWS: UP Playwrights’ Theatre brings Floy Quintos’ ANGRY CHRIST this April

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ANGRY CHRIST, a new play by Floy Quintos is the second offering of the UP Playwrights’ Theatre’s 25th Season. The two act play, set in 1950 is about the painter Alfonso Ossorio and his masterpiece, the mural entitled “The Last Judgement” in the Victorias Sugar Mill in Negros Occidental. The mural scandalized and shocked when it was first unveiled but has come to be accepted as an important landmark in Philippine Contemporary Art.

Angry Christ Teaser PosterAn exciting cast performs this new work. Nel Gomez, last seen in “My Name is Asher Lev” is the young Alfonso Ossorio. Appearing with him are Kalil Almonte, Stella Canete-Mendoza, Julienne Mendoza, Randy Villarama, Banaue Miclat-Janssen, Alex Cortez, Jomari Jose, Micaela Pineda, Arya Herrera and the Dulaang UP ensemble. The production also marks the fourth collaboration of Floy Quintos and director/choreographer Dexter M. Santos. Their body of work has contributed some of the most exciting events in recent theatre history, Ang Nawalang Kapatid, Collection and Ang Huling Lagda ni Apolinario Mabini.

UP Playwright’ Theater’s production of ANGRY CHRIST is led through the direction and choreography of Dexter M. Santos, with the production design by Gino Gonzalez and lights direction by Monino Duque.

Perhaps one of the most enigmatic works of Philippine contemporary art is the mural entitled THE LAST JUDGEMENT in the Chapel of ST. JOSEPH THE WORKER in the Victorias Sugar Mill in Negros Occidental. The work of the Fil-American painter Alfonso Ossorio was created in 1950, a time of great social upheaval in Negros.

padre nunelucio with logo

Quintos’ ANGRY CHRIST, will run from April 26 to May 14, vividly imagines the process that Ossorio underwent while conceiving and executing his masterpiece. As in many of his works, historical fact and artistic license meld to produce a thought provoking piece of theatre peopled by characters historical and fictional.

Tickets are now available. For inquiries, please contact Arkel Mendoza at (0908) 814 9975.

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NEWS: Ballet Manila starts 2017 with DON QUIXOTE


Opening the year in true Ballet Manila fashion, the country’s premier classical dance company is staging one of the world’s most colorful and enduring ballet pieces—DON QUIXOTE.

Happening on February 24 and 25, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. and on February 26, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. at Aliw Theater, DON QUIXOTE is known in the ballet world as one of the most technically challenging pieces ever created, with some of the choreography raising the already high international standards when it first premiered in 1869 at the Tsar’s Imperial Ballet of St. Petersburg. It is especially known for its compulsory quick and strong movements, high vertical takeoffs, one arm lifts, quick fouettes, quadruple pirouettes, and Kitri’s signature move, the Plisetskaya head-kick.

Katherine Barkman and Rudy de Dios in Ballet Manila's DON QUIXOTE
Katherine Barkman and Rudy de Dios in Ballet Manila’s DON QUIXOTE

DON QUIXOTE is the closing act for Ballet Manila’s 21st performance season. Set in Spain, the story tells the tale of Don Quixote, who decides to become a knight and embark on a journey to find Lady Dulcinea, a lover that he has only made up in his head. The ballet places special focus on the love story between Kitri and Basilio, a pair he encounters during his adventures. The production combines great acrobatic feats, lively music, colorful sets and costumes, and a lot of comedic elements. Specially for this run, Ballet Manila will bring in Kremlin Ballet Theater star and principal danseur, Mikhail Martynyuk, to play Basilio.

“Our 21st performance season, Revenge of the Classics, has allowed us to mark so many milestones not just for Ballet Manila, but for the country as well,” says Lisa Macuja-Elizalde, Ballet Manila’s CEO and Artistic Director. “Therefore, we only find it fitting to close it with a true classic—one that’s opulent, captivatingly elaborate, and serves as a true testament to the strength, passion, and skills of our dancers, who are all trained in the Vaganova Academy Style of dancing.”

She continues, “DON QUIXOTE is kind of like my signature ballet. It’s the ballet that really brought me to the spotlight, and Kitri is my most performed role. I’m so excited for this production because I feel like this is me handing down the role to Ballet Manila’s next generation of principal dancers.” Alternating for the role of Kitri are Katherine Barkman, Pia Dames, and Dawna Mangahas, who will be partnered by Martynyuk, Lisa adds that the public should also watch out for the ballet’s production elements. “We are revamping some elements of our staging from previous ones. We are going all out with stage designs, props, and costumes. We’re not holding back for Don Quixote. Everyone should really watch out for it.”

Pia Dames and Gerardo Franscisco in Ballet Manila's DON QUIXOTE
Pia Dames and Gerardo Franscisco in Ballet Manila’s DON QUIXOTE

DON QUIXOTE is co-presented by the Manila Broadcasting Company, Star City, and Aliw Theater. Other sponsors include ACS Manufacturing Corporation, First United Corporation, Papa John’s Pizza, Hot Star Chicken, Oasis Paco Park Hotel, Microtel Wyndham Hotels, Marco Polo Hotel Ortigas, City Garden Suites Malate,Island Rose, and Philcom. Official ride partner is Grab Philippines.

To learn more about it, visit or follow Ballet Manila on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Tickets are also available through all Ticketworld outlets. Please call 8919999 or visit, for more information.

SOURCE: Ballet Manila

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NEWS: Swan Queens Debut at BalletPH’s SWAN LAKE on February 24 to March 3

Denise Parungao and Garry Corpuz in Swan Lake – photo by Ju

Manila, PHILIPPINES — This February, audiences will witness the debut of three extraordinary ballerinas in the career-defining dual role of Odette/Odile in Ballet Philippines’ SWAN LAKE. Principal dancer Denise Parungao, soloist Jemima Reyes, and former principal dancer Candice Adea rise to the challenge and are set to claim their place in the global ballet stage with this production.

Widely considered to be the greatest classical ballet of all time, SWAN LAKE is a goal production for dancers and dance companies alike. A dancer who has done Odette/Odile can be considered a full-fledged ballerina.

Candice Adea (photo by Paul Valles)
Candice Adea (photo by Paul Valles)

“SWAN LAKE is completely alien to me,” says Candice Adea. “I’m used to doing roles like Aurora, Kitri – human roles, basically. Here, you’re half woman, half-swan. I’m still working on making my body adapt to the role and look more swan-like. It’s a huge challenge for me, but I’m excited to face it because that’s part of being an artist.”

This production will be Adea’s big comeback into the professional ballet scene after a six month-long hiatus. A former principal dancer with Ballet Philippines, she has also danced with the Hong Kong Ballet as a soloist and BalletMET as a company member. She is the Philippines’ most laureled ballerina, winning first prize at the 7th Helsinki International Ballet Competition in the senior women’s division in 2012 and the silver medal at the 2010 USA International Ballet Competition senior women’s division, among others.

Denise Parungao as Odette in BP's Swan Lake (photo by Just)
Denise Parungao as Odette in BP’s Swan Lake (photo by Justin B.)

Denise Parungao has steadily risen to her spot in center stage since 2012, her first year as a Ballet Philippines company member. Within that year, she performed key roles such as Maria Clara in Crisostomo Ibarra, Gintong Usa in Rama Hari, and Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. As a soloist in 2014, the roles kept on coming – notably Oryang in Rock Supremo, and of course, the titular roles in Giselle and Cinderella. For the latter, she won the Gawad Buhay award for Female Lead Performance in Classical Dance. Also in 2014, she won first prize at the 1st CCP Ballet Competition. Unceasing in momentum, she was promoted to junior principal dancer in 2015. Her most recent performances of note include the role of Death in Opera, the Princess from the Land of Spices in Firebird, Maria Clara in Simoun, and Teresa in Awitin Mo At Isasayaw Ko.

“Because SWAN LAKE is so widely known, people really look forward to it,” says Parungao. “Everyone already has an idea in their minds as to what Swan Lake looks like, a standard that they’ve set, so there’s a considerable amount of pressure to meet those expectations. Swan Lake itself sets its own high standard, so we’re all challenged to meet that.”

For 21-year old Jemima Reyes, this will be not only her first SWAN LAKE, but also her first lead full-length classical ballet role. “My previous lead roles like Wendy (Peter Pan) and the Firebird weren’t nearly as demanding as this ballet,” she shares. “Here, you have to show polished classical technique, give an awe-inspiring performance, portray a clear character, and tell a story.”

Jemima Reyes as Odile in BP's Swan Lake - photo by Justin B.
Jemima Reyes as Odile in BP’s Swan Lake – photo by Justin B.

Reyes started dancing at the age of 3 at the Lilibeth C. Trinidad Dance and Exercise Center in Cabanatuan City. She graduated from the Philippine High School for the Arts, Majoring in Ballet, in 2011. She joined the company as an apprentice at the age of 16 and was promoted to junior company member a year after. She has consistently shone in her numerous featured roles in past years, notably Gintong Usa in Rama Hari, Love-in-Idleness in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the Peasant Pas de Deux and Lead Wilis in Giselle, and the Black Swan Pas de Deux in Body Positive+.

Ballet Philippines has previously staged the full-length “Swan Lake” in 1980, 1982, 1985, 1989, 1991, and 1994. The 2017 production marks the company’s 8th restaging to date. Ballerinas who have brought the dual role of Odette/Odile to life on the BP stage include the likes of Maniya Barredo, Kelly Cass, Toni Lopez Gonzalez, Valentina Kozlova, Yoko Morishita, Guo Peihui, Cecile Sicangco, Ester Rimpos, and Anna Villadolid.

Based on Germanic folk tales coupled with Russian traditions, “Swan Lake” weaves drama and dance together in an unparalleled spectacle. The ballet tells a timeless story of magic, love, and forgiveness through the ingenious choreography of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov. It centers around Odette, a princess under a curse that traps her in swan form during the day, and Prince Siegfried, an idealistic royal under pressure to find a suitable bride.

Nonoy Froilan restages SWAN LAKE after Petipa and Ivanov. Set designer Ohm David shall combine grand scale and psychological intimacy. His magnificent designs pit Edwardian splendour against the spectral beauty of the white acts. James Reyes’ dramatic costumes shall emphasize the contrast between human and spirit worlds, in shimmering fabrics and designs create a magical setting.

SWAN LAKE runs at the CCP Main Theater on February 24-26 and March 3-5, 2017. The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Yoshikazu Fukumura will perform the music live during the gala nights on February 24, February 25, and March 3. The ballet also features guest artist Joseph Phillips of the Primorsky Stage of the Mariinsky Theatre, and Ballet Philippines dancers Victor Maguad and Garry Corpuz as Siegfried.

Connect to Ballet Philippines online through the following social media networks:

Twitter: @balletph
Instagram: @balletphilippines
YouTube: balletph

To join in the Ballet Philippines conversation, use our official hashtags: #balletph, #swanlakeballetph

For tickets, call Ticketworld at 891-9999.

SOURCE: Ballet Philippines (Toots Tolentino)

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NEWS: Time to carry the banner! Globe Live and 9 Works Theatrical open auditions for NEWSIES

Newsies MNL Auditions

Globe LIVE and 9 Works Theatrical are proud to announce their latest production of Disney’s internationally acclaimed musical, NEWSIES, coming this July 2017.

NEWSIES is a stage musical based on the 1992 musical film Newsies, which in turn was inspired by the real-life Newsboys Strike of 1899 in New York City. The show has music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, and a book by Harvey Fierstein. The musical premiered at the Paper Mill Playhouse in 2011 and made its Broadway debut in 2012.


The team opens online auditions nationwide from February 15 to 25, mostly for males aged 15 years above.

For dancers, record a 1-1.5 minute video of your dance routine (Jazz/ Ballet/ Gymnastics/ Hip-hop/ Tap and/or other dance techniques).

For singers, record a 1-1.5 minute video of you doing a cover of your song choice. For those who can both sing and dance, record your dance routine and song cover in a single 2-3 minute video.

2 Ways to send in your audition video:

A. Via Youtube:
Upload your video on Youtube with the title: “Cast (FULL NAME) for #GlobeLive9WTNewsies!” Afterwards, tweet your entry using the YouTube link with #GlobeLive9WTNewsies & #SeizeTheDay and tag @enjoyglobe. (A public account is needed.)

B. Via Email:
You can e-mail your video to & with the subject “#GlobeLive9WTNewsies #SeizeTheDay Audition Video – (Your Name)

Minimum resolution for the audition video is 720p.

Audition Callbacks are set from February 27, 28 & March 5, 2017.

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NEWS: Dulaang UP brings the tragic story of FAUST

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“Man errs, till he has ceased to strive” so sighs God in the prologue to Wolfgang von Goethe’s romantic tragic masterpiece FAUST. Driven by a boundless desire for knowledge, Faust struggles to fathom “what holds the world together in its innermost self.”

Directors and theatre audiences around the world have been asking similar questions in their relentless pursuit to comprehend this masterwork.

On its 41st Theater Season, Dulaang UP brings you Rody Vera’s adaptation of FAUST. The play opens in heaven where the devil, Mephisto, wagers with God that he can corrupt his most virtuous servant FAUST. What follows in the play is a series of events that questions our preconceived notions of justice, rationality, and morality.

Ina Azarcon-Bolivar as Gretchen in Dulaang UP’s Faust
Ina Azarcon-Bolivar as Gretchen in Dulaang UP’s FAUST

Neil Sese and Jack Yabut alternate in the title role of Faust while Paolo O’Hara and Mailes Kanapi as Mephisto ? a cultivated, witty and cynical servant from hell who is an embodiment of a complex doctrine of philosophical nihilism and negation as some scholars point out. Karen Gaerlan plays the innocent and pious Gretchen who is transformed into a tragic heroine as the play develops.

FAUST is directed by José Estrella with an artistic team led by Sir Anril Tiatco, Jem Javier, and Bryan Viray (Dramaturgy), Barbie Tan-Tiongco (Lights), Carlo Pagunaling (Costume), Ed Lacson (Set), JM Cabling (Choreography), and Jon Lazam (Sounds).

As it problematizes the entanglement of religion, morality, and folk narratives, FAUST is Dulaang UP’s participation in Salaysayan: K’wentong Bayan, Kaalamang Bayan (UP Diliman Month 2017) and National Arts Month in February.

The play will open on 15 February 2017 (Wednesday), 7:00pm at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theatre, Palma Hall, UP Diliman. The performance dates are: February 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24, 28, March 1, 2, 3, 7:00pm and February 18, 19, 25, 26, March 4 and 5 10:00am and 3:00pm.

For further inquiries, please contact Arkel Mendoza, DUP’s Marketing Manager, through 0917-967-3616.


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NEWS: Atlantis’ FUN HOME returns on a limited run in March

Leah Salonga FUN HOME

MANILA, Philippines — Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group together with Metrobank Card Corporation are proud to announce that, after its sold out run last November, the critically acclaimed Tony Award winning musical FUN HOME returns to Manila from March 10 -19, 2017 for a limited repeat run of 12 performances. It will feature its original cast who all gave unforgettable performances includingTony Award winner Lea Salonga, Eric Kunze and Cris Villonco.

Cris Villongco FUN HOME
Cris Villionco as Alison Bechdel in Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group’s FUN HOME

FUN HOME was the most awarded and acclaimed musical of 2015 winning 5 Tony Awards including Best Musical. When her father dies unexpectedly, graphic novelist Alison dives deep into her past to tell the story of the volatile, brilliant, one-of-a-kind man whose temperament and secrets defined her family and her life. Moving between past and present, Alison relives her unique childhood playing at the family’s Bechdel Funeral Home, her growing understanding of her own sexuality, and the looming, unanswerable questions about her father’s hidden desires.

FUN HOME is a based on Alison Bechdel’s best-selling graphic memoir, FUN HOME and features music by Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by Lisa Kron. The New York Times calls it, “THE BEST NEW MUSICAL TO OPEN ON BROADWAY.” The Manila production was hailed as, “TERRIFIC THEATRE!” and “UNDENIABLY MOVING, PIERCING THROUGH OUR CORE.” and played a sold out run last November.

Yannah Laurel and Mickey Bradshaw FUN HOME
Yannah Laurel as Jo and Mickey Bradshaw as Medium Alison in Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group’s FUN HOME

Also in the cast, delivering acclaimed performances, are Mikkie Bradshaw-Volante, Yanah Laurel, Laurence Mossman, Katie Bradshaw and Andee Achacoso.

FUN HOME is directed by Bobby Garcia with Musical Direction by Ceejay Javier, Vocal Direction by ManMan Angsico, Choreography by Cecile Martinez, Light Design by Adam Honoré, Set Design by Faust Peneyra, Costume Design by Oz Go, Sound Design by Kevin Heard, Projection Design by GA Fallarme and Hair and Make Up Design by Johann dela Fuente.

The limited repeat of FUN HOME runs from March 10-19, 2017 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati. Tickets are now available at Ticketworld by calling 891-9999 or online at

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