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NEWS: GMG PRODUCTIONS OPENS IN MANILA

GMG Productions

Yesterday it was announced that GMG Productions will begin operations in the Philippines. Headed by Carlos Candal, GMG Productions will bring prestigious musicals to Manila in association with Robert Sewell and a pre-existing production and marketing team, starting with the record-breaking Really Useful Group production CATS the Musical.

Candal excitedly says, “GMG Productions’ core vision and mission remain is to bring top quality theatrical productions to Asia. Audiences will be experiencing more of what Broadway and the West End have to offer, with an exciting line up of shows in the coming years.”

Over the past 30 years, Candal has been a steady co-producer and investor in numerous theatrical shows including On Your Feet (London and World Tour), The Bodyguard (London, United States, Australia, World Tour), Annie (London and World Tour), Sunset Boulevard (UK Tour), Flashdance (World Tour), American Idiot (World Tour), Gypsy (London), Buddy the Buddy Holly Story (London/Broadway and Worldwide) and Rock of Ages (Broadway/ US Tour) to name a few.

Carlos Candal is the founder of Global Marketing Group, a world-renowned business focused exclusively on the development and manufacturing of theatrical merchandise for shows on Broadway, the West End and touring companies around
the world including CATS, MAMMA MIA!, Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables in Manila, and Disney’s The Lion King in Manila. GMG has also produced the merchandise for music festivals with artistes like Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, Bruno Mars, and Ed Sheeran.

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News: Carlos Siguion-Reyna directs ‘Katsuri’, His first drama for Tanghalang Pilipino

Tanghalang Pilipino KATSURI poster

For Tanghalang Pilipino (TP)’s upcoming powerhouse drama “Katsuri”, esteemed movie and stage director Carlos Siguion-Reyna teams up with multi-awarded writer and coincidentally his real life partner Ms. Bibeth Orteza to come up with a timely adaptation of John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men”. This production goes onstage from October 4 to 27 at the Tanghalang Huseng Batute, Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

“Katsuri” tells the harrowing fight for survival of the Sakada (sugar cane workers) in Negros, and how it tends to destory lives and the people’s spirits, including families and friendships.

Direk Carlos Siguion-Reyna. Photo by Erickson dela Cruz

“The play discusses the hardened, threatened lives of the Sakadas, and how they try to survive and overcome their daily ordeals”, says Direk Carlos. “This production reminds everyone of the importance of brotherhood, friendship and hope during these hard times.”

Direk Carlos previously directed TP productions of the sarswela “Walang Sugat”, fantasy “Panaginip sa Isang Gabi ng Gitnang Tag-Araw” and the war epic “Coriolano”. This production of “Katsuri” makes his first outright drama for the resident theater company of CCP.

Tanghalang Pilipino’s resident Actors; Jonathan Tadioan and Marco Viaña

Jonathan Tadioan (will portray the mentally-challenged Toto) and Marco Viaña (the stern George) lead the talented ensemble, which includes the acclaimed members of TP Actors Company; Antonette Go, Lhorvie Nuevo, JV Ibesate, Doray Dayao, Ybes Bagadiong, Eunice Pacia, and Manok Nellas.

Fitz Bitana who has done several plays in the Virgin Labfest is one of their guest actors for “Katsuri”.

Michael Williams

In special roles, theater stalwats Michael Williams and Tata Nanding Josef, also TP’s Artistic Director, complete the impressive roster of actors tapped for the production.

“This production is in line with TP’s aim to educate via theater and the arts”, adds Tata Nanding. “And to highlight  the need for all us to fight for equality, and to not simply accept inequality as a fact of Filipino life. That we have to all play our respective parts in community building to ensure a better future for all of us.”

The Cast and the Artistic Team of Tanghalang Pilipino’s KATSURI. Photographed by Erickson dela Cruz.

Tickets are available at the CCP Box Office, Ticket2Me, Bliimo and all Ticketworld outlets. For more information, Visit TP Facebook page: facebook.com/tanghalangpilipino or e-mail tanghalangpilipinomarketing@gmail.com 

 

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artsTheatre

PERFORMANCE PHOTOS: Ricky Lee & Vincent de Jesus’ HIMALA Isang Musikal 2019

_Banner _HIMALA isang Musikal

The Sandbox Collective, in its first collaboration with sister company 9 Works Theatrical wayback in February 2018, restaged one of Philippine theater’s finest and most prized possessions—Ricky Lee and Vincent A. deJesus’ HIMALA: ISANG MUSIKAL.

Based on the cinematic masterpiece by Ricky Lee and Ishmael Bernal, Himala or “miracle”. With music and lyrics by Vincent A. deJesus and book and lyrics by Ricky Lee, Himala broke barriers as one of the most celebrated film-to-stage adaptations in Philippine theater history. Himala: Isang Musikal returns to the stage this year to cap off a milestone season for both The Sandbox Collective and 9 Works Theatrical, as they celebrate five and ten years in the industry, respectively. With fresh, new faces and refined orchestrations that are poised to make the soundscape even more hauntingly beautiful.

Opening on September 20, 2019 and will have a limited engagement until October 20, 2019 at the Powermac Center Spotlight in Circuit Makati.

Here’s an exclusive peek at the some performance photos of 9 Works Theatrical and The Sandbox Collective’s HIMALA Isang Musikal:

Photographs by Erickson Dela Cruz

Fresh from her West End debut as “Gigi” in Miss Saigon, multimedia star Aicelle Santos makes her highly anticipated comeback in the role of Elsa, for which she recently won a Philstage Gawad Buhay Award for Outstanding Female Lead Performance in a Musical. The multiawarded singer and host holds the title of being the “First Undefeated Pop Superstar” having achieved eight straight wins in the nationwide search, Pinoy Pop Superstar. Some of her recent theater credits include Rak of Aegis, Katy! the Musical, and Maynila sa mga Kuko ng Liwanag, for which she received an Aliw Award and a Philstage Gawad Buhay Award for Female Featured
Performance in a Musical.

Philstage Gawad Buhay nominees, Kakki Teodoro and Neomi Gonzales both return to their roles of Nimia and Chayong, respectively. Teodoro and Gonzales both received nominations for their critically-acclaimed performances in last year’s run of Himala. Teodoro was most recently seen in The Sandbox Collective’s Every Brilliant Thing, which also earned her a Philstage Gawad Buhay semestral citation. Gonzales was most recently seen in 9 Works Theatrical’s Eto Na! Musikal nAPO!, winner of the 2019 PHILSTAGE Gawad Buhay Award for Outstanding Musical – Original. David Ezra reprises his role as the troubled filmmaker, Orly. A back-to-back Aliw Awardee, Ezra was most recently seen in Mabining Mandirigma and Ang Huling El Bimbo.
Meanwhile, Gawad Buhay and Aliw Award nominee, Floyd Tena also reprises his role as ‘pari’ (priest) in this year’s staging of Himala. Tena was most recently seen in Binondo and Musikal nAPO!

Marking her return to Barrio Cupang is legendary actress and singer, May Bayot-De Castro. She joins the 2019 production of Himala: Isang Musikal in the role of Nanay Saling. Ms. Bayot-De Castro is known for playing the iconic role of “Elsa” in the 2003 original stage adaptation, for which she won the Aliw Award for Best Actress in a Musical. A certified leading lady in Philippine theater, some of her notable performances include Once On This Island, Rama at Sita, Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady, Kleptomaniacs, Ibalong, Sandosenang Sapatos, Carmen and Skin Deep, which earned her a Philstage Gawad Buhay Award for Best Actress in a Musical.

Alternating for the role of Nanay Saling is West End alumna and Philstage Gawad Buhay awardee, Ms. Sheila Francisco, who has the distinct achievement of being nominated for three different productions and categories in a single year. Francisco is also known for having been the very first Filipina to perform at the prestigious National Theater in London, where she received critical acclaim for her performance as “Bloody Mary” in South Pacific’s London and UK Tour. Some of her recent credits include: Portrait Of An Empress, Ang Huling El Bimbo,
Cinderella, La Cage Aux Folles, The Boy In The Bathroom and A Doll’s House Part 2, for which she recently won a Philstage Gawad Buhay Award.

Vic Robinson is thrilled to be celebrating his 10th year in the industry by joining the cast of Himala: Isang Musikal. He is set to alternate with Sandino Martin in the role of Pilo. An actor, commercial model and voice talent, Robinson’s professional career took off when he played the title role in Si Juan Tamad. Some of his notable theater credits include: Sa Wakas. Ang Diyablo at ang Limang Milyong Boto, Batang Rizal, Lola Basyang, FnL, Ako Si Josephine, Tagutaguan and Singapura.

Rounding out the cast are Jon Abella, Roxy Aldiosa, Sigrid Balbas, Gene Barsaga, Jay Barrameda, Patricia Bermudez, Raflesia Bravo, Joshua Cabiladas, Dannielle Cruz, Christian Cusi, Katreen Dela Cruz, Angelo Esperanzate, Marielle Estalani, Mano Domingo, Kits Falcis, Jef Flores, Nel Gumalog, Pam Imperial, Sean Inocencio, Jasper Jimenez, Gary Junsay, Glenda Liao, Alvin Maghanoy, Roby Malubay, Hazel Maranan, Eizel Marcelo, Nathan Molina, Red Nuestro, Ivan Panganiban, Matel Patayon, Cristy Peredo, Neil Ericson Tolentino, Onyl Torres and Jenny Villegas.

Award-winning director, Ed Lacson, Jr., returns to the director’s chair in this year’s re-run of Himala: Isang Musikal. He also doubles as the show’s set designer. Multi-awarded composer and lyricist, Vincent A. deJesus, is at the helm once again as composer, lyricist and musical director. Completing the artistic team are Ricky Lee as writer and lyricist, Barbie Tan-Tiongco as lighting designer, Carlo Pagunaling as costume designer, Jed Balsamo as music consultant, JM Cabling as assistant to the director and Ejay Yatco as assistant musical director.
Toff De Venecia leads the production team as co-executive producer alongside Santi Santamaria, for The Sandbox Collective and 9 Works Theatrical, respectively. Completing the team are Anna Santamaria as operations and finance director, Sab Jose as marketing and PR director, Maine Manalansan as design director, Erwin Romulo as creative consultant, Charyl De Guzman as production manager, Jonjon Martin as public relations manager and Mara Agleham as head stage manager.

Ricky Lee and Vincent A. deJesus’ HIMALA: ISANG MUSIKAL is co-presented by The Sandbox Collective and 9 Works Theatrical, in commemoration of their 10/5 anniversaries.

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artsTheatre

Breaking News: SHAKESPEARE’S ROSE THEATRE CANCELS SHOWS IN MANILA

Shakespeare Rose Theatre

[MANILA, 12 SEPTEMBER 2019]: The producers of UK-based Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre have today announced that they will not be proceeding with their productions of Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, due to be staged at the Theatre at Solaire from 17 to 22 September 2019.

James Cundall, CEO of producer Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and founder of Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre said “The publicity we have achieved from the media in Manila is unbelievable and we are immensely grateful for that, but sadly this has not translated into ticket sales, and despite an intense and costly marketing campaign, we have not been able to sell anywhere near the number needed to make the project financially viable.

“It is with great sadness that we have made the decision to cancel the season. The team at Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre was incredibly excited about bringing these superb productions to Manila audiences, so this is not a decision we have taken lightly.”

Ticket-holders seeking a refund should contact TicketWorld by calling 8919999 or emailing tickets@ticketworld.com.ph
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artsEventsTheatre

News: HIMALA -PASSING ON THE BATON OF FAITH

Himala Isang Musikal 2019 (landscape) promotional banner

Kunan mo ako at gawin mo akong sining. Gawin mo akong imortal.” — Elsa

Truer words were never spoken. From Nora Aunor to May Bayot-De Castro, the former to Aicelle Santos, the iconic role of Elsa has been immortalized every which way—transcending various mediums from page to stage. Whatever the form, the legendary heroine, who beckons to a higher being then aches with disappointment in the lines, “Walang Himala!” launched a crusade of sorts, bringing in flocks of followers, who struggle with their own faith and morality.

Based on allegations of Marian apparitions on Cabra Island, Occidental Mindoro, writer Ricky Lee sought to document one of the country’s greatest mysteries—faith healers and religious crusaders. Amidst the film’s multiple revisions and developments, one thing remained constant: the casting of Nora Aunor, whom the creators had in mind from the very beginning. Considered one of Philippine Cinema’s greatest films of all time, Himala is also considered Aunor’s best work, earning her multiple nominations and awards, including her Best Actress Award in the 1982 Metro Manila Film Festival.

May Bayot-de Castro (c) Photographed by Erickson dela Cruz

Aunor passed on the baton of faith to May Bayot-De Castro in 2003, when the original stage adaptation was mounted at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Bayot-De Castro’s turn as Elsa earned her an Aliw Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She is equally honored and humbled to be returning to Barrio Cupang in the role of Nanay Saling, and admits to having the jitters prior to rehearsals. “Ninenerbyos ako days before the rehearsal. Maybe the anxiety came from not knowing what to expect. Also, most of the cast members did the musical before, and coming in with a new track is kind of nerve-wracking.

Still, she thanks her lucky stars for giving her the opportunity to work on the musical that may well be considered her big break. Over all, the rehearsal process has been a refreshing and reassuring experience for the veteran actress. She shares “It was refreshing to find out that Ed is very open to new attacks on the characters. It was also reassuring to know that there are no set profiles for the characters. The process and technique appealed to me— that we are freely allowed to explore and discover our characters and relationships within the community.”

Aicelle Santos and Celine Fabie will alternate for the role of Elsa.

Returning to the show, albeit in a different role and track, May Bayot-De Castro shares that she has nothing but pride and admiration for the Elsas of this generation. “Having played Elsa in the past and now watching Aicelle and Celine take on the iconic role, makes me proud of them. It is not an easy role to play. I’m also learning from them. May mga nakita akong acting choices na ginagawa nila na I wished I could have done myself.”

She elaborates further on her return to Barrio Cupang in the role of Nanay Saling, a role that came naturally to her because of her maternal instincts. “Being a mom myself has helped tremendously. And as I’ve said, it’s helpful that Ed is very open to acting choices. He does not censor right away.” Challenges and all, she is thrilled and inspired to be retelling the story of Himala, and passing on the torch to Aicelle and Celine for this year’s re-run.

Down from the hill of Barrio Cupang, Elsa will continue to call on her followers and unveil the hard truth—that miracles merely exist in the eyes and hearts of its firm believers. Decades after the film and the original stage adaptation, the baton of faith will be passed on generation after generation to keep the legacy of Himala alive, and forever in the annals of Philippine film and theater.

HIMALA isang Musikal 2019 will star Aicelle Santos in the role of Elsa, with Celine Fabie covering for the role at certain performances. Joining her are May Bayot-De Castro and Sheila Francisco alternating for the role of Nanay Saling, Kakki Teodoro as Nimia, Neomi Gonzales as Chayong, Sandino Martin and Vic Robinson alternating for the role of Pilo, David Ezra as Orly and Floyd Tena as Padre.

Rounding out the cast are Jon Abella, Roxy Aldiosa, Sigrid Balbas, Gene Barsaga, Jay Barrameda, Patricia Bermudez, Raflesia Bravo, Joshua Cabiladas, Dannielle Cruz, Christian Cusi, Katreen Dela Cruz, Angelo Esperanzate, Marielle Estalani, Mano Domingo, Kits Falcis, Jef Flores, Nel Gumalog, Pam Imperial, Sean Inocencio, Jasper Jimenez, Gary Junsay, Glenda Liao, Alvin Maghanoy, Roby Malubay, Hazel Maranan, Eizel Marcelo, Nathan Molina, Red Nuestro, Ivan Panganiban, Matel Patayon, Cristy Peredo, Neil Tolentino, Onyl Torres and Jenny Villegas.

Award-winning director, Ed Lacson, Jr., returns to the director’s chair in this year’s re-run of Himala: Isang Musikal. He also doubles as the show’s set designer. Multi-awarded composer and lyricist, Vincent A. deJesus, is at the helm once again as composer, lyricist and musical director. Completing the artistic team are Ricky Lee as writer and lyricist, Barbie Tan-Tiongco as lighting designer, Carlo Pagunaling as costume designer, Jed Balsamo as music consultant, JM Cabling as assistant to the director and Ejay Yatco as assistant musical director.

Toff De Venecia leads the production team as co-executive producer alongside Santi Santamaria, for The Sandbox Collective and 9 Works Theatrical, respectively. Rounding out the team are Anna Santamaria as operations and finance director, Sab Jose as marketing and PR director, Maine Manalansan as design director, Erwin Romulo as creative consultant, Charyl De Guzman as production manager, Jonjon Martin as public relations manager and Mara Agleham as head stage manager.

Ricky Lee and Vincent A. deJesusHIMALA: ISANG MUSIKAL will open on September 20, 2019 and will have a limited engagement until October 20, 2019 at the Powermac Center Spotlight in Circuit Makati. Tickets are now available through Ticketworld online or 891.9999, The Sandbox Collective at 0956 200 4909, 0917 554 5560 and 586 7105.

This Musical is co-presented by The Sandbox Collective and 9 Works Theatrical, in commemoration of their 10/5 anniversaries.

Official (character) posters of Himala: Isang Musikal 2019
More Photos from the Press Conference:

Photographs by Erickson Dela Cruz

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