LA CAGE MANILA Podcast Series: Bongga Cagelles

Click the play icon below to listen to my interview with the Cagelles.

On August 15, 9 Works Theatrical opens its re-run of their well received production of LA CAGE AUX FOLLES.  This is the musical adaptation of an original French play with the same title that tells the story of two gay couple, Georges (MICHAEL DE MESA) and Albin (AUDIE GEMORA), who has to face a new stage in their lives as their son, Jean-Michel returns home to announce his engagement with a girl named Anne.

Last Sunday, we launched the premiere episode in the series featuring Mr. Steven Silva. You can listen to the podcast here.

LA CAGE MANILA Podcast Series: Bongga Cagelles

Today, the LA CAGE MANILA Podcast Series continues with my group discussion with the CAGELLES!!!

The Cagelles are the chorus girls (?) in the La Cage Aux Folles. Worthy to mention that this ensemble opens the musical with a show-stopping number. The Cagelles come from different countries (Miss Universe lang ang peg), seeking refuge in a country where diversity and acceptance is more welcome, and in this case in France.

LA CAGE MANILA Podcast Series: Bongga Cagelles

This is my first podcast with a relatively big group. If you’ve been a subscriber to The Jellicle Podcasts in iTunes, you’d notice that I tend to be with no more than four. That was why I was surprised when Jonjon Martin told me that I was scheduled to have a podcast interview with the entire Cagelles ensemble, I immediately drafted my questions and notes. But the cast members were so amazing, and so fun. Never did I expect that we’d end up laughing so hard on familiar jokes, and yet touch on some sensitive issues on gender, identity and love.

LA CAGE MANILA Podcast Series: Bongga CagellesStarting this fabulous line-up of the Cagelles is Noel Rayos. Noel is a young theater veteran. In LA CAGE, he plays Jacob – the gay couple’s wannabe-diva-butler. In his first run, Noel as Jacob was a hit; a show-stopping fag whose loyalty to her employers and friends would make her take on the challenge of wearing a pair of leather shoes.

Next is Rafa Siguion-Reyna who will play the role of Mercedes — the complaining drag queen. Yes, dear Jellicle readers and listeners, Rafa is the son of film director Carlitos Siguion-Reyna and screenwriter Bibeth Orteza. LA CAGE is Rafa’s second project with 9 Works Theatrical, his first being Kenickie in GREASE.

LA CAGE MANILA Podcast Series: Bongga CagellesIn the podcast, we also have Dindo Divinagracia who will take the role of Hanna (from Hamburg!). Dindo takes pride for his years of experience in dance and performance. He also holds the distinction of being the only Filipino dancer to perform at the Sydney, Austrialia Mardi Gras with international perfromers like Kylie Minogue and Chaka Khan.

Recently known for his role as Popoy Pusakal in Dalanghita Production’s Kung Paano Ako Naging Leading Lady The Musical, Chesko Rodriguez returns to La Cage Aux Folles as Chantal – the Diva from Manila. Since his professional debut in 2008, Chesko  has played diverse roles for the local and international stage.

Mara Celine Javier reprises her role as a member of the Cagelles and as Angelique (a restaurant owner) and a Cagelle. Mara is a fresh face in the musical theater scene. La Cage Manila is her first venture in professional theater. However, she takes pride in her experience in all areas of voice, dance and theater. Mara has trained in dance for 12 years, with a background in modern jazz, contemporary, tap and hip-hop.

LA CAGE MANILA Podcast Series: Bongga CagellesRandi de Guzman made his musical theater debut as Lo Singh in La Cage Manila’s initial run. Randi is an alumnus of the Salinggawi Dance Troupe in UST where he took Fine Arts. He has also perfomed professionally on television and stage as amember of the Adrenalin and KYX dance companies. Randi is also a graphic designer and works for a local clothing manufacturing company.

Playing Phaedra (the Enigma) is Carlos Deriada. Carlos’ first acting experience was when he joined acting workshop in their parish chursh and became and active member of a theater troupe in Bacolod. He eventually go trained on Broadway Jazz, Folkdance and Ballroom. In 2007, Carlos became a member of Airdance, where he recieved his formal training in ballet, modern and  contemporary dance.

LA CAGE MANILA Podcast Series: Bongga CagellesAliw Award and Philstage Nominee for Best Featured Actor in a Musical Cheeno Macaraig will play Nikki. Cheeno has been in the local theater stage for quite sometime and we got to catch in shows like Repertory Philippines’ Mulan Jr., TP’s Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal, PETA’s William, and CCP’s Orosman at Zafira.

JP Basco plays the Baby Cagelle Derma. Prior to the intial run last February, JP was last seen playing the role of Lord Krishna, the blue-haired god in DUP’s Ang Nawalang Kapatid. He also took part in some of our big local musical productions like the Ambon, Ulan, Baha and Orosman at Zafira in 2012, Maxie the Musicale and Collection in 2013.

To complete the fabulous gang, three new additions join this re-run. La Cage Manila Choreographer, PJ Rebullida is a dance actor, singer, choreographer, director and teacher who stumbled into perming in 2002 and never looked back. Since then, he continues to explore his craft giving him the chance to work with local and international productions. Next is Arnold Trinidad. Arnold took his first big leap in theater when he became part LA CAGE MANILA Podcast Series: Bongga Cagellesof the ensemble of Miss Saigon in Manila. He eventually joined the Asian tour that brought him to Hong Kong and Singapore. This opportunity gave him more chance when he was invited to London to join the company in the West End. Finally, we have Mako Alonso. Mako’s first professional production was the first staging of Rivalry: the Ateneo-La Salle Musical as lead Tommy Basilio, which had a re-run January of 2013. Afterwhich he joined Atlantis Productions in Carrie the Musical  as Billy Nolan, and played various roles in Piaf. More recently, Mako joined Resorts World for the Manila and Singapore runs of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, and Bituing Walang Ningning.

Wheeew! Shogod!

So there, ladies and gentlemen: the entire ensemble of the Cagelles!

Come listen to our discussion, as we talked about their journey in La Cage Manila (from audition to the stage), their interests, their stories and #Rayuma.

And did I mention that we laughed a lot? Ako yata pa rin ang may pinakamalaking bunganga. Sorry naman. 

Thank you, dear Cagelles, for giving me this rare chance to be in podcast with you! Can’t wait to see you on stage this month!

Stay ravishing! Stay fabulous!

LA CAGE MANILA Podcast Series: Bongga Cagelles


9 Works Theatrical’s LA CAGE AUX FOLLES will be shown at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium at the 4th floor of RCBC Plaza in Makati on August 15, 16, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30, September 4, 5 & 6, 2015, with Friday and Saturday galas at 8:00pm, selected Saturday matinees at 3:30pm, and Sunday matinees at 4:00pm.

A limited number of performances are available for fundraising and block-buying. For tickets and other inquiries, please call 586.7105 or 0917.554.5560, or email Tickets are also available at

Thank you, Steven for giving me the chance to interview you for this podcast.

“We Are What We Are” performed by 9 Works Theatrical (the Cagelles)
Source: 9 Works Theatrical
Photos by Mr. Erickson dela Cruz

This Jellicle Interview is made possible by The and ZyMedia Services.


The Jellicle Podcasts are also available on iTunes. Click here to listen and subscribe for FREE.

Let us know how you feel by giving a star review and a comment on iTunes.


Tags : 9 work theatricalArnold TrinidadCheeno MacaraigChesko RodriguezDindo DivinagraciaJP Bascola cage aux follesla cage manilaMako AlonsoMara Celine JavierNoel RayosPJ RebullidaRafa Siguion-ReynaRandi de Guzmansteven silva
Orly S. Agawin

The author Orly S. Agawin

Orly has been writing for The Jellicle Blog since 2008. He is a training and development consultant by day and an art enthusiast by night. He lives in Parañaque with his mom.

Leave a Response

Warning: Cannot assign an empty string to a string offset in /home/jellicle/public_html/wp-includes/class.wp-scripts.php on line 426

Warning: Cannot assign an empty string to a string offset in /home/jellicle/public_html/wp-includes/class.wp-scripts.php on line 426