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!

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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.

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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

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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

Screen Shot 2017-01-21 at 2.38.18 PM

“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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TP’S “MABINING MANDIRIGMA” returns to the CCP stage this December


PASAY CITY, Philippines Tanghalang Pilipino is on its 30th theatrical season and for its mid – season offering is the acclaimed and multi – awarded Mabining Mandirigma a steampunk musical from Dr. Nicanor Tiongson’s narrative entitled MABINING MANDIRIGMA (The Gentle Warrior).

It is the first in Philippine theater to have a woman play the role of Apolinario Mabini. “The play is about a great man, Apolinario Mabini, with a vision and mission for a free and united Filipino people, which were not realized during his time, and which remain to be an elusive dream until now”, according to TP’s Artistic Director, Nanding Josef.

It is a steampunk musical foregrounding the intellectual heroism of Apolinario Mabini, who in the second phase of Philippine revolution, displayed an uncommon vision, a warrior’s spirit, and a principled revolution, as he struggled against all odds to enjoin his countrymen to go beyond considerations of class, clan, economic gain, and personal ambition, so they could think and act as citizens of one nation.

Steampunk is incorporated in the production to make it appeal to contemporary audiences. It repurposes the expressions of the Victorian era and engages them with the current. “The production repurposes the politics and aesthetics of turn of the century Philippines and engages it with current notions and issues”, says director Chris Millado.

Mr. Millado states, “What new meanings will come forth as Mabini’s life and times collide with the restlessness of the present? How can Pure Reason stand up against Brute Power? This is what propels MABINING MANDIRIGMA.”

SOURCE: Tanghalang Pilipino

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‘Magic is Everywhere’ in Resorts World Manila’s Grand Fiesta Manila 2016


With over a month-long revelry filled with delightful entertainment, topnotch cuisine, great family events and a showcase of the best in Filipino culture, Resorts World Manila’s annual Grand Fiesta Manila (GFM) truly encapsulates how Filipinos celebrate the Christmas season.

Intended as a traditional festival that mirrors the true identity of Filipinos—fun-loving and closely knit with family, both Pinoys and tourists have endeared themselves to the many offerings of GFM during the holiday season since 2010.

For this year, GFM is once again set to unleash a magical celebration that not only continues to champion our local culture but also brings the best of world-class entertainment from all over the world.


Dubbed as “The Magic is Everywhere”, this year’s GFM starts off the celebrations with a ceremonial tree-lighting event at The Plaza in Newport Mall on November 17. The vent heralds a string of special events and family offerings that include topnotch performances at the award-winning Newport Performing Arts Theater featuring the classic dance hits of ‘70s Filipino icons in Yugyugan Nation! on November 23, soft rock hall-of-famers Air Supply on December 8, and hit children’s television show “Hi-5 Fairy Tale of Australia on December 16 to 18. RWM’s latest theater production, the family musical ‘Annie’ also runs at the NPAT until December 4.

Another fleet of beautifully-designed Pinoy Ultimate Jeepneys also take the spotlight at Newport Mall this December for this year’s GFM as various colleges and universities compete in the design competition. The finalists’ works will be on exhibit from December 12 to January 6, 2017 with the awards night slated on December 17.

World-class entertainment continues at Bar 360 and Bar 180 featuring PRIMO’s variety show I Heart Pinoy and the Singing Sensations’ Spices of Love shows with international acrobats Duo Golovin plus the hottest bands and soloists in the metro.

The novelty of GFM among Filipinos is also evident by guest numbers who attend the annual Simbang Gabi, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day masses. Free concerts top-billed by the hottest acts in the music scene are also held at The Plaza for free during Christmas Day as RWM’s very own gift to its guests who annually celebrate the holiday at the country’s premier lifestyle hub.

Capping off this year’s magical five-week festivities is the biggest New Year’s Eve spectacle in the city, the Grand Countdown to 2017 at the Marriott Grand Ballroom. The largest ballroom in the country, MGB is the perfect place for such world-class events as the Grand Countdown

A number of talented acts have already signed up for one jam-packed entertainment extravaganza for families who plan to spend the first big bash of the New Year including veteran comedian and impersonator Jon Santos as the host of the event; international magicians, dancers and acrobats; top Filipino bands; and featuring two of the Philippines’ most powerful voices Bamboo and Lea Salonga for the night’s main performance.

For this year, the MGB New Year’s Eve Grand Countdown to 2017 will welcome revelers with a grand magical party that will showcase top-notch cuisine, stellar performances, and an evening to remember with family and friends to kick off the New Year.

Book your seats early for this year’s New Year’s Eve Grand Countdown at MGB by visiting or by calling TicketWorld at (+632) 891-9999 or the RWM Box Office at (+632) 908-8888 local 7700. For room and ticket reservations contact Marriott Hotel Manila at (+632) 988-9999, Belmont Hotel Manila at (+632) 318-8888 or Remington Hotel at (+632) 908-8833.

SOURCE: Resorts World Manila

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Ballet Philippines brings back the “Disco Fever” in AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO


The Disco Fever is back!

From December 2 to 11 at the CCP Main Theater, celebrate the holidays with “Awitin Mo At Isasayaw Ko”, Ballet Philippines’ new dance musical featuring the songs of popular Filipino disco group, VST & Co. The show is an exciting collaboration with ABS-CBN and the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Gerard Salonga.

“Awitin Mo At Isasayaw Ko” tells the story of the forbidden love between Teresa, a high-class kolehiyala and Victor, a construction worker. They are brought together and torn apart amidst the backdrop of the Philippines in the late ‘70s – brimming with disco fever but within the confines of Martial Law.

The show features Filipino disco favorites such as “Rock Baby Rock”, “Magsayawan”, and “Ipagpatawad Mo”, along with Bert de Leon’s “Hindi Ko Akalain, Roger Rigor’s “Ikaw ang Aking Pasko”, and Celso Llarina & Roger Rigor’s “Puwede Ba?”, all woven together by a libretto by Bibeth Orteza and transformed into dance by choreographers Carissa Adea, James Laforteza, and PJ Rebullida. It will be directed by BP artistic director Paul Alexander Morales.

Taking the lead roles of Victor and Teresa are two of Ballet Philippines’ legendary principal dancers: Nonoy Froilan and Edna Vida Froilan. Their younger selves will be portrayed by Jean Marc Cordero, Rita Angela Winder, Denise Parungao, and Garry Corpuz.

(clockwise) Sandino Martin, Karylle, Markki Stroem, Cookie Chua, Michael Pangilinan, Jef Flores, Kyle Echarri, and Noel Comia

Joining them are two casts of singers culled from the ABS-CBN talent pool and distinguished actors from the Philippine theater scene. The gala cast from ABS-CBN is comprised of Michael Pangilinan, Karylle, Markki Stroem, and Kyle Echarri. They will be alternating with Sandino Martin, Cooky Chua, Jef Flores, and Noel Comia.

“This has been a rather fortuitous undertaking,” shares Morales. “Jed Balsamo had the idea to do a show with the music of VST and Co., then ABS-CBN approached us to do a project together… We’re very lucky that all of these pieces came together so easily.”

Erl Sorilla, Katrene San Miguel, Lester Reguindin, Sarah Anne Alejandro, Gia Geguinto and Victor Manguiad in Ballet Philippines’ AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO.

A Filipino disco group prominent in the late 1970s, VST & Co. is one of the pioneering groups of the music genre known as the Manila Sound. The group is composed of Vic Sotto, Spanky Rigor, Tito Sotto, Val Sotto, Celso Llavina, Monet Gaskell, Male Rigor, Roger Rigor, Jun Medina, Joey de Leon, Homer Flores, Chito Ilagan, Ben Escasa, Fred Concepcion, Boy Alcaide, and Clod Baria. Their impressive collection of hits has left a legacy that endures to this day.

“Awitin Mo At Isasayaw Ko” will be staged at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo) from December 2 to 11, 2016. Ticket prices range from Php 500 to Php 3500, with discounts for students, senior citizens, and government employees.

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